One On One - Damian Caniglia

15 September 2015

Australia is full of outstanding photographers and at Ted's we love sharing their work with you.
Ted's "One On One" let's you find out what makes these great photographers tick, so read on, enjoy the photos and don't forget to let us know what you think :-)

This week we meet Adventure Photographer Damian Caniglia

One On One - Damian CanigliaOne On One - Damian Caniglia
Damian Caniglia

Please introduce yourself
My name is Damian Caniglia and I am a Travel, Landscape and Documentary photographer based in Brisbane. I work overseas for around 4 months of the year either for personal work and projects or running photographic tours and the occasional commissioned shoot. I was fortunate to have started travelling when I was only 13 with my parents and have been addicted ever since. Through photography and guiding I have travelled to 6 out of the 7 continents (number 7 in 2016) and have been able to see and experience some of the most stunning and profound locations and cultures on earth includingNepal and the Himalaya, Papua New Guinea, Africa and Antarctica.

What defines your photography style?
My style has definitely evolved and developed over the years. I love documentary work that is also beautiful to look at aesthetically. The strength of an image and its ability to move people is definitely what I aim to achieve through my work.

How did you become interested in photography?
I started bushwalking with my Brother in law when I was 13 and he was a keen photographer in natural environments. This sparked my interest in photography and time in the mountains. 25 years later, the interest is just as strong.

One On One - Damian CanigliaOne On One - Damian Caniglia
Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 17mm Focal Length - 1/160s f/8
One On One - Damian CanigliaOne On One - Damian Caniglia
Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 40mm Focal Length - 1/160s f/8

Do you have any formal training?
Yes,I studied the Bachelor of Photography at Griffith University in the Queensland College of Art majoring in Photojournalism. I am also a qualified trainer. Interestingly I was already full time on the camera before I started my degree. I have wanted to teach and help others to improve their photographic work for a while, hence why I decided to study.

What do you think were some of the key elements to the development of your photography?
Never giving up, a lot of research into other photographers work, support from other more established photographers and my willingness to learn and improve on my abilities through hard work. Essentially being proactive with my career and always keeping in mind that I will never stop learning and adapting. Spending as much time behind a camera in every possible lighting, environment and varied weather condition to know how to respond to what is going on in front of me when the magic happens. I also made sure that I learnt as early as possible the fundamentals of how cameras work so I can react quickly and accurately to changing light.

How has social media helped with the success of your photography business?
Being able to connect with people all over the world who share the same passion for photography and the natural world is a wonderful thing. It also allows me to showcase my work and the tours I run which without social media, would be very expensive and difficult to get the same reach. It essentially allows me to tell my story and the story of my images in a very honest way. It allows me to instantly connect with people no matter where they are.

How important is post-processing to your work?
Although not used a great deal, it is important. As I use to shoot on film and print in darkrooms, my training and development from the very beginning was to capture images as close to correct in camera as possible. Nowadays as I predominantly shoot digital, my workflow is very much the same as when I printed in darkrooms with only minor edits for colour and contrast and lightening/darkening of selected parts of the image. As I shoot in Raw I end up with a pretty flat looking file out of the camera so a certain amount of editing is needed, exactly the same as film days. I find shooting in Raw allows for flexibility and the best possible outcome for a final image.

One On One - Damian CanigliaOne On One - Damian Caniglia
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 200mm Focal Length - 1/800s f/7.1
One On One - Damian CanigliaOne On One - Damian Caniglia
Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 150mm Focal Length - 1/1000s f/9

What’s on your gear buying list for 2015?
What’s on your gear buying list for 2015? I am a canon shooter so I’m very interested in the new 50mp 5d options. For the type of work I do and the fact I like to print big images, having that amount of detail will be wonderful. Of course the new 11-24mm L series would be a lovely addition as well, especially in the Himalayas!!

What awards have you won?
I have had a number of images win silver awards at the State and National AIPP Awards. As part of a team, I filmed a series of short story telling, documentary style projects a couple of years ago around communities rebuilding after the devastating floods in 2010/2011 in Queensland. We won the overall place for the state awards and a highly commended for the national awards. My responsibilities were for all the filming and editing of each piece.

Any big plans for the future?
I have a number of trips that I am working on that I am very excited about. I head back to Nepal later this year to continue filming a project I started a couple of years ago about daily life in Kathmandu. I am then leading a trip to Everest Base Camp once I have finished filming so will have almost 3 weeks in the mountains. April next year I head back to Papua New Guinea for my 17th crossing of Kokoda. In July and August 2016 I am running a photo tour to Alaska, the Russian Far East and across to Wrangel Island, the Polar Bear capital of the world. This trip was listed within the top 50 tours of a life time by National Geographic Traveller. Then in September I am running another photo tour through Southern Africa which includes Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe. Lots of travel with many different and diverse locations.

One On One - Damian CanigliaOne On One - Damian Caniglia
Canon EOS 7D, 190mm Focal Length - 1/320s f/6.3
One On One - Damian CanigliaOne On One - Damian Caniglia
Damian Caniglia - One On One Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 24mm Focal Length - 1/60s f/4.5

Any advice for novice photographers?
Spend as much time behind a camera shooting as possible, in different weather and different environments. Learn from other photographers and when the opportunity arises, ask questions. Do your research and learn what other people are doing with the focus of developing your own style and direction as a practitioner. There are many ways to learn, both formal and informal. Everyone benefits from different types of learning so finding away that works for you is the best approach, and keep on practicing.

If you like Damian's work, check out his portfolio and galleries here...

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