It’s common that you find yourself breathless looking out on a beautiful landscape, or looking up at the star filled sky. It is also, unfortunately, quite common that you find yourself not being able to capture this magical moment so you can show how amazing our world is to others. Fin art landscape photographer Eric Bennet (ericbennet) is one of those photographers who master the art of capturing and creating a dreamy look image - an image that almost feel like fantasy, but you know very well that this is exactly what Mother Earth looks like. Eric loves the journey, the struggle and the challenge to create exciting images - it’s his kind of meditation where he blocks out everything else on his mind. Single-tasking at it’s finest, don’t you say? We wanted to know more about Eric and his photography techniques! Enjoy our conversation…

1. I first started taking photographs with an old film camera when I was as young as I can remember. Later on I got into video and stopped focusing on photography. Once DSLR's could start filming HD video I started to take pictures again with my camera and about a year ago I started to take it more seriously and made some challenging goals for myself to improve in photography.

2. My first DSLR was a Canon 60D. Now I am shooting on the Canon 6D and the Sony a7s.

3. I would hope that my images can inspire hope in people and that they can show how beautiful our world is. I am so grateful for the planet and I have had so many amazing experiences while exploring it I would love for people to be inspired to do the same, to invest in experiences and not things.

4. I love the journey, the struggle, and the challenge. Creating a challenging image is exciting and requires complete focus, blocking out everything else on my mind. It is a form of meditation for me. I love the whole editing process as well, seeing what you shot and watching it come to life. It feels good when it all comes together.

5. Photography has taken me places and introduced me to people I never would have seen or met without it. It inspires me to get out and see new parts of the world and travel more. It has helped me find my purpose and calling in life.

6. I try to show emotion and feelings in my work for sure. I want viewers to be able to see exactly what I did and feel what I did. I really work hard so that the mood and emotion shows through the image.

7. All of my work is landscape. I'd say I usually look for interesting light and very deep images, with lots of interesting elements throughout the foreground to the background. I try to give my images an almost dreamy look, like the place is too good to be true, almost fantasy, because that is what is it like when I am really there, witnessing it with my own eyes, it is hard to believe myself. A lot of people don't even know how beautiful a sunset can be.

8. I have shot around 90% of my gallery with the Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 L. It is a sharp lens and has just enough warp to it when shooting at 16mm to give your image more depth and stretch it out. It works great at both 16mm and 35mm so you have a good range as well if you ever would like to do more close ups.

9. Three tips I would give to my fellow photography colleagues would be as follows… Tip number one would be to know what you want. When you are shooting an image you cannot just shoot a bunch of photos and hope one will turn into something. You need to show up early, find a good composition, plan ahead, and have an end goal. Of course a lot of times the conditions force you to change but you still need to have something in mind while you are shooting.

Number two I would say to look for other really awesome photographers and try to imitate certain parts of their style that you like. This is a good way to challenge yourself and learn how to do different effects and obtain different moods in your work. Later on you will develop your own unique style.

Number three I would say to not pay too much attention to social media. Always post work that you are proud of and not just to please the audience, you may not get as many likes and followers but you will become a more unique and valuable photographer that way.

10. I actually have never had any negative feedback on my work, but I have received some negative comments about my lifestyle. Some people get envious when you have a set path in life and they see you know where you are going. In their mind they only see me traveling to all these amazing places and doing awesome things and it makes them feel self conscious, so they make up excuses and respond negatively instead of facing the truth and changing what they are doing so they can also have the lifestyle they want.

11. I never attended photography school nor any college at all. All of my skills have been obtained by hours and hours of practice in the field. Also from shooting alongside many talented photographers.

12. Always use RAW. If you are not planning on doing any post processing and just posting images straight from the camera, you should definitely go with JPEG, otherwise you will have dull, flat images. RAW is recorded with less contrast, color, and sharpness so that you can manipulate those things easier later on. It records more information in the shadows and highlights so you can open them up or crush them. JPEG files are smaller and will look better if you are not editing them.

13. In my bag I have my Canon 6D, my Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 L, a shutter remote, a lens cloth, a headlamp, extra head lamp batteries, 10 camera batteries, a camera charger, a small monfrotto ballhead tripod, and a Canon 50mm f/2.8.

14. I am honestly just excited to see myself become the best version of myself that I can be, there are no specific photographers that I aspire to be. I love how all photographers seem to have a unique style and so I am not trying to become any of them, they can do their own thing, I am on my own path trying to do things that haven't been done before and give people my own, unique perspectives.

15. I see a lot of landscape photographers editing their photos with way too much contrast and saturation. Landscape is supposed to show the details of nature. I cringe when I see an image with black shadows and boosted saturation. Images like that don't make the place look beautiful, they don't inspire me to go there. Post processing is a big deal, it is developing the image, Ansel Adams called it "performing the image." It is when it really comes to life. I also think a lot of people don't pay enough attention to composition. Basic rules like rule of thirds, balance, foreground, middle ground, and background, are very important. If you want really compelling images you will need impressive elements in all of these.

16. I have been to a lot of places on my dream list but I have yet to go to New Zealand. I would love to go there soon, so much diverse and unique landscape.

17. I look at a lot of photographer's work and if I see a place I like, I go there. I check out things like where the sun will be at what time and determine if sunset or sunrise will be better, or the milky way, etc. I then look for an interesting foreground with cool patterns or leading lines and a balanced composition. After that I just wait for the magic moment.

18. I am heading to the San Juan Islands and the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon as well to shoot some nice greenery and water flow this spring.

19. My main goal with my photography is to make enough money doing it to always be able to keep taking photos and not have to worry about anything else. I don't care about wealth, I just want to earn enough to be able to focus 100% on my art.

Want to see more beautiful photos by Eric, visit his profile and make sure to follow him!