#CreatorConversations is an AMA (Ask Me Anything) series hosted by @sonyalpha on Instagram. As part of the series, we were joined by Kathryn Dyer (@kathryn_dyer) & Karl Zoltan (@karlzoltan) of the Alpha Imaging Collective, who “are soulmates who used the camera to heal while Kathryn was fighting cancer.” See some of the highlights below as they share their favorite lenses for landscape, what photography means to them and more. Visit the Instagram post for the full AMA and make sure you’re following @sonyalpha and #CreatorConversations to stay connected.
"Cancer gave us a new appreciation for life and the camera gave us the tools to capture that." – Kathryn Dyer & Karl Zoltan #CreatorConversations
How long does it generally take you to edit a single shot? – @robbie_ralph
Karl: “I take about 10-20 minutes depending on the pic. I try to get what I want initially. I’m not big on layers and adding skies.”
Kathryn: “I am very hard on myself. I also like to try new things with editing. I can spend an hour easily. I’ve found the best is to walk away and come back with fresh eyes.”
(Cont’d) Since you mentioned you like to capture the beauty of the world, do you find it cheating if you were to do a composite sky or something? – @robbie_ralph
Kathryn: I honestly feel that’s up to each person. While I was sick, I was limited on which days I could go out and for how long. I utilize tools at my disposal to create the image I want. I prefer to capture things in camera but that’s not always possible. I love creating beauty and hoping it brings joy to someone.
Karl: I personally don’t add skies as the challenge for me is capturing what’s there and making the best of reality. Others make beautiful compositions and it’s up to each individual to do what they enjoy. That’s the beautiful thing about photography.
(Cont’d) I’m super perfectionist too. Do you guys go out on shoots together all the time? – @robbie_ralph
Kathryn: Yes. We’re a pretty great partnership. During chemo, Karl carried my gear. After he fell off a waterfall, I carried his. It’s good to have a shooting buddy and I feel extra lucky that mine is my husband.
“I can tell you like shooting into the sun, how do you avoid overexposure and halos and manage to get such clean rays of light?” – @gsus_mx5
Kathryn: “The light is really diffused through those trees. There’s fog there and it’s a natural diffuser too. I use my lens hood but mostly it’s natural diffusion and angle.”
Karl: “There’s a fine line there but I f/22 it and get the flair and pray my sensors clean.”
“Do you find sometimes you lose sharpness when you use f/22? Or any tips to combat this? Currently using an α7 II.” – @shelliefarrell
Karl: “Yes you do lose sharpness but you still have to compensate for the bright light and to me it’s better than no shot at all. If you have filters that would help.”
"What lens would you recommend for landscapes to someone just starting out?" – nicholas______o
Kathryn: “I started out with the 16-35 because I love the magical look of wide shots. Now, I carry only the 24-70mm because it’s so versatile. I’m jealous of Karl’s 12-24mm. The camera you have and budget will dictate some and then within those parameters, see what you personally like.”
Karl: “My favorite is my Sony 12-24mm, then I go to my 70-200mm when there is minimal sky or the mountains are too far away.”
“I'm wondering if you have any tips for the photos with the water reflections. Do you focus on the reflected image? Do you need a shallow depth of field?” – @kkpeakphotography
Karl: “I focus on the main area I’m shooting and stay as close to the water as I can. As far as depth of field, it depends on the reflection source and the subject, I angle the camera using both to balance the shot which varies depending on what you have to work with. Hope that helps!”
“What's the meaning of photography for you guys?” – @iamsrijanrana
Kathryn: "Thank you very much. For me, I began photography during cancer. It was my escape. I saw a whole new beauty through that lens. It was a chance for me to create images of hope and to dream. It’s a universal language we can all share. It’s a way to inspire and be inspired.”
Karl: “Photography to me is a universal language that inspires without words. Photography is my ticket to experience life through a new lens.”