INTERVIEW WITH KYLE BOWMAN @airloft
Firstly, can you start with a little bit about yourself?
I drink way too much coffee.
I work as a firefighter here in Perth.
I own two rescue cats.
I'm borderline obsessed with exploring Western Australia.
You have an inspiring portfolio of work. Can you tell me how you got started in photography?
I guess I've always enjoyed exploring and inherently landscape/lifestyle photography. Over recent years I've enjoyed using drones, as they allow a very high level of creative freedom. Although it has reached a point now that I don't have a preference between a drone or regular camera, just different tools for different situations.
How did you get started in drone photography and why did it appeal to you?
I've always been a huge nerd, so I built my first drone with my dad around 2010 (DJI F550). We would let our family dog chase it up and down the local park many times. Then finally decided to strap a GoPro to it with electrical tape (literally). And have been fascinated with aerial imagery ever since.
Can you tell me about your drone setup as well as your current photography equipment?
I currently own and use a DJI Inspire 2 & Phantom 4 Pro, they both have their strengths and weakness. I love being able to use different focal lengths with the inspire (the 90mm especially).
It just has such a different look to most drone photos. More akin to shooting from an aircraft. I also shoot video projects with a Panasonic GH5 which I like. It is not the ideal camera for everyone, but it suits my needs.
What time of day do you prefer to shoot at and why?
In general, I like early morning, and late afternoon, everything looks more careful with soft details and long shadows (in my opinion). It depends on what I'm shooting.
What would you say inspires your creative vision?
Other photographers mostly and a lot of local ones from Western Australia.
What is it about the ocean that draws you to photograph it?
I've grown up close to (& often in) the ocean, so I have always been drawn to the sea especially for creative endeavours.
Among all your work what is the most memorable moment you have captured?
I would have to say being awarded the grand prize for DJI's/Tourism Australia 'Australia from Above' competition (for an image captured at Wyadup in South West, WA. I entered this very last minute.
How do you continue to educate yourself to become a better photographer?
Shooting, shooting and shooting more. I think I have over 100,000 archived photos now, of which I guess I've shared very few. I spend a lot of time reviewing each of them, figuring out what I like and what I don't or wish I did differently. I'm notorious for visiting some locations over and over again before finally taking a photo I'm happy to present.
I also pay close attention to other peoples pictures that I admire, how they frame things, the time of day, the focal length all of the details that make up the image. Then I try to keep these things in mind each time I shoot.
You have travelled extensively in Western Australia where is your favourite destination?
I've visited a great deal of Western Australia. However, it is such a large part of Australia that I still have so much left to see. Of the regions, I have been too though The Kimberley blew me away. It's incredible to see an area so dominated by tidal patterns the tides dictate everything.
Is there somewhere you have been dying to shoot but are yet to capture it?
I'd love to visit the Rowley Shoals. It's about 300km off Broome and quite challenging to get to (unless you can throw money at the trip). But yeah, that probably top of my list.
What would you say is the most challenging part of being a photographer?
I think it would be different for every individual, but for me, it would be taking pride in my work. I am rarely pleased with my results... regardless of the effort put into it. I try to be conscious of this and see it as a way of seeking improvement in my works. However, I'm also aware that I need to ensure I am still proud of what has been created and enjoy the process; otherwise, I shouldn't be doing it.
Who are your greatest photography inspirations?
I enjoy a lot of West Australian local's to name a few; Andrew Semark, Jarad Seng, Jampal Williams, Mic Goetze the list could go on.
What do you like to do when you are not taking photos?
Pretty much anything along the coast or on a board, surfing, skating, just hanging out with mates :)
Finally, do you have any advice for people just starting, out in drone photography?
Shoot, shoot and shoot some more, and it doesn't always have to be with a drone. Photography knowledge and technique can be applied across all disciplines.