- June 15, 2021
- 12 min to read
Interview with a travel photographer Angela Percival
How and when did you get interested in photography?
I used to make photo montages for my friends when I was young and always took photographs for fun. Mostly because I have always had a bad memory and always feared I would forget great moments if I didn’t capture them. Jokes aside I wasn’t seriously interested in photography, especially as a career until about 2009.
Which photographers influenced you, and how did they influence your thinking, photographing, and career path?
I have been influenced predominately by two very different groups of Photographers. Ski and outdoor photographers and conflict or war photojournalists.
Ski for light, action and outdoor inspiration. Specifically Paul Morrison and Oskar Enander, the former who is known in the ski world as the ‘King of Light’ and Oskar Enander for his use of light and shadow in the mountains.
I am still heavily influenced or more accurately inspired by photojournalists - they are the true masters of story.
And lastly, I was influenced a lot before I even became a photographer by Richard I’Anson and Steve McCurry. Their images single handily laid the seed for my desire to see the world through travel as soon as I left school. Even today I can see their influences in my work even if I don’t consciously realize it and that I have ended up in a bit of a different field to both of them.
How do you choose what you are going to shoot?
I always shoot what I am most interested in, in a place that I find inspiring with people who I love to work with.
What camera/gear do you use?
I have been a Canon user for the past 9 years but have recently been dabbling with Sony systems. Still not fully convinced yet to switch over my entire kit but getting very close.
What is your post-processing workflow? How long does it take to select and then process one photo?
Selecting usually takes me longer than processing as it’s easier to get attached to images and I’m not interested in over processing photographs as I like them as real as possible, also rather be out shooting than inside in front of the computer.
Among your works, which one is your favorite? Why?
Ah, that’s a tough question, it’s like picking my favorite kid :)
Although I can say I have two images that represent why I love my job as a photographer. The first is a portrait of a skier from a trip we did in Northern BC when it was -40, we were camping and everything froze, including our eyelashes.
The second is of a shot of an ice climber on the biggest and most beautiful frozen waterfall I have ever seen.
Which are the top locations that you’ve photographed and why do you love them?
I have loved so many places I have been but Greenland would be at the top. It the one place that surprised me the most and has left little tattoos on my heart. We arrived in Greenland by boat from Iceland which was an almost unworldly experience in itself, first seeing the coast of a country and then sailing through the icebergs to get to land. Secondly, Greenland is the only country that has shocked the visual pants off me. It was staggeringly beautiful, more rugged than I could ever imagine and more remote than I thought possible. North Eastern Greenland could be on another planet it was so different from anywhere I had been before. I would have died a happy and complete traveler after Greenland.
What is the most memorable trip you have had in recent memory?
I just got back from Ladakh in Northern India and although it was physically challenging it was an incredibly memorable trip. We went to do a 1000km Mountain bikepacking trip through the untouched Zanskar Valley. We traveled for 18 days on our bikes at altitude and often in really cold temps but the scenery was exceptional. Himalayan peaks combined with desert colors inhabited by beautiful people and culture.
What was the most curious story behind your photograph?
Curiosity is one of my biggest drivers and this leads to the most amazing photographic experiences. For example, the above trip started as I was fascinated by the area I knew as the Zanskar. A place so remote that it’s cut off for the entire winter and the only way in an out is by walking on a frozen river. I wanted to see this remote Himalayan valley rich in ancient Buddhist history complete with its Ladakhi people who still farm the land as they did hundreds of years ago. As one of the few places untouched by western modernization, it was important to me to visit it prior to the new road connecting to it that will be complete in the next few years.
TOP-5 photographers to follow
1. Steve McCurry - Nat Geo Photog
2. Jim Richardson - Nat Geo Photog
3. Lynsey Addario - New York Times Photog
4. Kari Medig - Ski Industry Photog
5. Jordan Manley - Photog/Cinematographer
What advice would you give to anyone new to photography?
Shoot and share and receive feedback as much as you can early on. Try and make interesting pictures not what everyone else is making and without fail always be true to who you are and what you want to photograph, not what Instagram tells you will get you the most likes.