The portfolio of Max Zedler is a wonderful display of adventure and even danger as his travels wander atop high cliffs to the deep forests where beasts can be found.
First of all, let’s talk equipment, what do you use to shoot with?
I shoot with a Nikon D610 with a 24-85mm 3.5f lens. When shooting portraits, I use my 50mm 1.8f.
You’ve travelled to many different locations to shoot some incredible landscapes. What is a place that stands out for you in particular?
A place that really stood out to me was getting to see and photograph the Matterhorn. It’s a mountain that really lives up to expectations. For this particular shot, we got up before sunrise to walk to the lake from the ski hut we were staying in and got the perfect mountain glow.
Let’s move on to animals, you’ve got some amazing photos of animals on your profile, your dog has come on a few adventures with you and you’ve got some very good close-up pictures with squirrels and goats. But let’s talk about these two particular photos:
1. The birds.
How were you able to convince wild birds to land in your hand?
The birds are always a tricky one and really just comes down to luck of the draw and in most cases patience. Lots of patience. Most of these birds are fed by tourists and are expecting you to have food in your hand. Some of them are so accustomed to this that you don’t even need to have anything in your hand, just put it out and wait.
2. The mother bear and her cubs.
How were you able to get so close to a mother bear and her cubs, how did you feel and did she spot you?
The bears were a bit of a controversial one as I was with a group of people who left the scene making as much noise as possible to get a safe distance away. I on the other hand decided to stick around as I wanted to photograph what I thought to be a possible once in a lifetime experience. I kept a safe distance and did not move using my 200mm lens to photograph the family of bears. The mother noticed me but did not seem to be concerned about my presence so I stayed in the same spot and watched them as they wandered through the forest. It was such a rush to be able to be that close to them and something I will never forget.
Can you talk us through three of your favourite photos and talk us through the process and location?
We got up before sunrise to drive to this lake in Switzerland in search of a secret outdoor hot tub that we had seen in a shot by a famous Instagrammer. We ended up finding the tub, but the water was absolutely freezing so we quickly abandoned that plan. It was all made up for by a warm and bright sunrise.
We camped overnight in a crowded campsite for the opportunity to see a reflection at sunrise. We were worried that it would be busy in the morning but were pleased to see that everyone else was too lazy to get up before sunrise. The reflection was perfect and I couldn’t have been happier.
During a last-minute trip to the Faroe Islands we saw some of the most rugged landscape I had ever witnessed. We walked beside a lake that overlooks the ocean to get to these jagged rock formations that make up the coastline. It was so windy standing on the edge that we had to sit down a few times in fear that we might actually get blown off the cliff we were standing on.
How important is consistency on your profile, do you ever feel like trying another style? What kind of impact do you think that would have on your profile?
Consistency is key when maintaining a professional looking profile as people want to follow you for your style and look. I just recently decided on a cold/blue style as I previously kept my shots very warm. Another style that I love and sometimes incorporate into my brand work is a faded look. I personally love the faded look but at the same time, would not want to have to put it on all of my shots. Since I always recommend that people keep their style consistent, I would probably never post a shot with a heavy fade.
Where are you travelling to next?
My next big trip is going to be New Zealand as I want to explore every corner of the South Island.
Any advice for people starting out in landscape photography?
My only advice is to find a style that you love and stick with it. I never wanted to stick to a style because there are so many different looks that I like and that is the hardest part. Finding a style that you like and know you can stick to will do wonders for your social media especially.
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