Today we are featuring a talented photographer whose roots reach back to 35mm film and film printing, two awesome skill sets that are not practiced as much today. Please welcome joeKilanowski!

5 Lions by joeKilanowski

What are your quick 5 tips for others who want to become better photographers?

1. - Learn to see. Many people only see the superficial being able to see light and color takes practice and concentration.
2. – Carry your camera with you as much as possible. Opportunities do not have a schedule.
3. – Look at other photographer work and try to learn from their work, and try to apply it to yours.
4. – Shoot often.
5. – Shoot with other photographers. I have found that being with other photographer motivates and encourages me.

Small Medium Large by joeKilanowski

What inspired you to be a photographer?
From an early age, I remember my father always having a camera, a Kodak folding Kodamatic 620, and our family gathering to look at the black and white images he had created. Later, I discovered the images of Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, and Berenice Abbott and it again triggered my interest and motivated me to buy my first SLR.
Later and with my brother, we bought a used darkroom where I learned the craft of black and white printing.

image by joeKilanowski

What was your first camera and what do you shoot with today?
My first "real camera" was a Canon FT with a 50mm f1.8 lens I bought in 1970. It was indestructible, heavy and I still have it. Today I have two systems for different travel needs.

My primary system is Canon with the 5D Mark II body. For lenses I carry the 24-105mm f4L IS USM, 70-200mm f2.8L IS USM mark II, and the 16-35mm f2.8 L USM mark II. All of this is incredible quality and heavy. When I business travel as an architect, weight is an issue and for that reason I have recently I been carrying the Fuji X-T1 with the XF 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 OIS WR lens. This system produces surprisingly great quality images at about half the weight, allowing me to always have it with me in a taxi, meeting, dinner, or just looking out of a hotel window.

Rialto by joeKilanowski

When someone looks at your photos, what do you want them to take away from it?
I really want the viewer to "understand" and emotionally connect with the subject, and not just see the image. Documenting is easy, but exposing the essence or soul of the subject is my goal. I am not perfect at this yet, but still experimenting and learning.

What is it that you love about photography?
Photography allows me to slow-down, observe, learn and be creative. Photography is not just image capture, but also creative processing and creation of the print. The physical print is the final piece of art. It is that tangible thing I can touch and feel that I love the most.

What has photography done for you?
As an architect I have always been into the details. Photography has allowed me to "see" more and understand better. Seeing is not just about sight, but also about understanding that which is not visual, the aura, energy, and emotion present.

Do you try to be conceptual or do you prefer to show the feeling behind a photo?
Feeling, it's all about feeling!

Denali by joeKilanowski

How do you describe your style?
My photographic goal is to create respectful, introspective, contemplative images, attempting to better understand the subject it its natural setting.

If you had to choose one lens which one would it be and why?
For Canon it is the Canon 24-105mm f4.0 L IS USM. It is great walk around lens with decent bokeh, reasonable range, and image stabilization.

For the Fuji, it is the18-135mm f3.5-5.6 OIS WR. It's just a nice range for a travel lens.

TDS Tower of Terror- by joeKilanowski

How did you achieve your social media following? any tips for photographers who are trying to get more reach?

I have never really tried to attain a following. I just download my best work and thankful for everyone’s comments and feedback. Sharing one’s work can be scary though, and receiving critical positive feedback is a valuable way to learn and improve. Viewbug is a great way to step out there and be seen by other photographers. Just remember to show the world your best work and be willing to accept criticism.

Saint Paul

Raw vs jpg and why?
RAW!!! More data is always better. I do all of my processing in Adobe Lightroom, then through NIK Silver Effects Pro 2 for black and white, and finally if necessary Photoshop. I am always amazed at how much data is possible to extract from the RAW file.

What do you carry in your camera bag?
The Canon 5D MarkII body, with the 24-105mm f4L IS USM, 70-200mm f2.8L IS USM mark II, and the 16-35mm f2.8 L USM mark II lenses. In addition, I carry polarizing filters, lens brush and paper, extra lens caps (I always loose them), extra batteries, extra memory, a towel, and sometimes an extra body (my Canon 5D).
Depending on where I am, I will also carry a tripod or monopod.

Looking Up by joeKilanowski

If you could have the gift of a great photographer who would it be and why?
I guess I would pick Ansel Adams. He understood tonal values so well, had a tremendous amount of energy and drive, and loved the outdoors.

What is the most common mistake you see people making when shooting these days?
Many photographers shoot too quickly when it is not necessary. Take some time to compose the shot, and understand what is the focus of the composition. Too often I see images with a large amount of negative space and the subject lost in the chaos of its surroundings.

Zebra alone by joeKilanowski

What is your dream location to shoot?
I want to return to Africa to photograph the Desert Elephants of Namibia. Elephants are so majestic and intelligent and need much more protection. If in any way, through my photography, I can draw more attention to their needs, I would love to do it.

What is next for you? Any planned adventures with your camera?
This year I am concentrating more on my Photography, with travel plans to Michigan, and the British Isles in the near future.

Crossed Giraffe by joeKilanowski

What is your goal with your photography?
Photography motivates me to explore, learn, and improve my craft.

Cape Buffalo in Rain by joeKilanowski

Thank you joeKilanowski! Please head over to joeKilanowski's profile and follow him to see more of his photos.