ViewBug community member tobiasmandt is the Amateur winner in the Exotic Wildlife Photo Contest. Enjoy our conversation with him and get inspired!

Seal by TobiasMandt

What inspired you to be a photographer?

A few years ago, I had nothing to do, so I borrowed my grandmother's camera, and started taking pictures of nature. I found it interesting and a year or two later I got my first camera. My uncle takes a lot of good pictures too, so that is how I got inspired! Oh, My first camera was a Canon EOS 20D. I got it from my uncle, because he bought a new one for himself. It was old so I only took a few pictures before it got «detroyed». But then I got a new camera from my mom, and that’s the camera I still use! Nikon D5100, and I really like it!

When I’m taking pictures I dont really think about what the picture is gonna communicate, I just take pictures of what I think is beautiful and I want to capture moments that our eyes can’t. That’s pretty much it. What I love about photography is that we can capture moments that only the camera can see. For example if you use long exposure in a picture. It’s magical, and you get to see things in nature that is only visible thru a camera.

Sunrise by TobiasMandt

I have always played football, but when my foot got ill, I started with photography instead. Without photography I would probably just sit in my room playing videogames or something like that. With photography I get to use my creativity and imagination, and be outside. It’s kind of weird to say it, but i’m glad my foot got ill.

How do you describe your style?

Well, most of the pictures I take is of nature, and when I take pictures in nature I’d like it to be as clean as possible. I dont want anything to be messy in my pictures. Some things you can always fix in photoshop, but I like to clean before i shoot. I love colors, contrast and clarity. Details in general.

River by TobiasMandt

What is your favorite lens?

Oh, well. I am not good with lenses, I only have the lens that was with the camera when I got it, and this 150-500mm 1:5-1.3 APO HSM lens (honestly, I basically just copy-pasted what was standing on the lens, I have no idea what it means). But I wish I had a macro lens, so if anyone know of a good macro-lens for Nikon D5100 send me a private message!

Smooth River by TobiasMandt

Can you share three tips with us?

First of all, dont you ever let a chance go to waste. If you for example see an animal; take pictures, even if it’s with your iPhone. Do NOT think that this chance will come again, and I can take a picture then. Second. Composition is everything. If your picture is messy, then it wont be as good as it could have been. Third. You have you dedicate your time to photography. You will not become a great photographer by sitting inside your room with the lights off playing videogames just because it’s raining. You have to use your imagination and creativity to take pictures under the circumstances. There is no excuses for not taking pictures.

Have you received any negative feedback?

I don't think I have gotten any negative feedback yet. My mom thinks some of the portraits I take is too dark and sad, but I think that is more about personal opinion than what is technically correct.

Mini-goat by TobiasMandt

Raw or jpg?

I’m always taking pictures in both Raw and Jpeg. That is what people are telling me to do. I know that Raw is easier to edit, and I am always using the Raw-files when I am editing my pictures.

Who do you admire?

I really admire a photographer called Dennis Edson Similie. I just love his pictures. Found him on instagram a while back. He is huge inspiration for me. He is not a viewbug member tho, I think.. As a nature-lover, I think his nature- and animal-pictures is amazing!

Nature Beauty by TobiasMandt

Any planed adventures?

I would really like to go to Africa or something like that. Animals and beautiful nature, that’s everything I need. But if I was gonna choose somewhere here in Norway, it has to be Lofoten! I have seen so many great pictures from Lofoten, so that’s a place i really want to go.

What is your goal with photography?

I would really like to be great at it, and get a fun job as a photographer. I would love it if I got to work for a nature magazine or a TV-program.