Date of birth: 27th of February 1966
How did you become passionate about nature photography?
I really became passionate in 2004 when I joined the association for nature photographers in Nijmegen. There I learned there is much more to nature photography than just registering species. I felt particularly attracted to working with composition and mood.
What do you take with you on a photo shoot?
A backpack with: 1-2 body’s (Nikon D800/D7100), 3-4 lenses (14-24/f2.8, 24-70/f2.8, 70-200/f4 and a 105mm macro lens), my Gitzo tripod, a filter set and an umbrella.
What subject do you prefer to photograph and why?
Landscapes, because I feel extremely challenged and thrilled by the transformation of ordinary landscapes into compelling images by using good composition and light/mood.
What is your favorite nature preserve?
Actually I have two: Hautes Fagnes (Belgium) and Hatertse Vennen (Holland).
What is your favorite shooting position?
I am not sure what you mean by this, do you mean landscape or portrait mode? In that case I use landscape mode most of the time, because it usually suits my subjects best. But I am always extremely pleased to find compositions for portrait mode.
Which nature photographer do you admire?
For my own style of shooting I am inspired by the landscapes of Hans Strand, Paul Wakefield and Joe Cornish. In general I greatly value the stunning work of my good friend Theo Bosboom.
What quality must a nature photographer absolutely have?
Dedication! To get out of bed early, to keep working on skills, to study and learn, to improve.
Which light situation do you prefer?
I like the diffused light of cloudy weather or mist, because they give the nicest and most subtle tones and colors.
Which setting do you prefer: Manual-Aperture Priority-Shutter Priority?
I mostly use aperture priority, because depth of field is my first priority. After that I can change my shutterspeed by changing the iso.
In percentage terms how much time do you take to create an image and to process the image?
Maybe 99% vs 1 %. I like to make my images in remote places like the Hautes Fagnes, which means long walks. And I usually have to visit a spot several times before I am satisfied with my compositions and the mood in the image. I am not a great photoshop wizard, I just do the ordinary things in Lightroom, like small tweaks of white balance, light, contrast, saturation, sharpness. Usually not more than a few minutes per image.
Which processing program do you use?
Do you have any advice for future nature photographers?
My advice is to concentrate on one aspect of nature photography for a longer period of time. Like I did with wildlife in my early years, and landscapes after that. In my experience that’s the best way to improve and make compelling images. A second advice is to ask feedback from experienced photographers, do not just rely on Facebook feedback.
You can find out more about Michel Lucas on his website: http://www.michel-lucas.com