Meet ViewBug community member and guest judge Michael Woloszynowicz. Michael is a published and award winning portrait and architecture photographer based in Toronto, Canada. With a background in computer science and an MBA in corporate finance, Michael is hardly an archetypal photographer. Despite his affinity for math and science, Michael was drawn to the creativity and expression found in photographing people, buildings and cities. He photographs primarily for commercial clients, modeling agencies and personal assignments. When he’s not taking pictures or editing them he can be found sampling food and wine with his fiancée Melanie or relaxing with a book.

How you got started in the photography industry?
I had a strong interest in photography when growing up, but somehow with film my vision of the images never really seemed complete so I gave it up for several years. 2 years ago I picked up my father’s Nikon D300 and began playing with Photoshop and got instantly hooked again. I educated myself through a variety of online sources and publications and spent the first couple of months practicing portrait lighting and retouching on myself and my fiancée. I discovered my love of architecture photography after a casual stroll with my camera in downtown Toronto and quickly began experimenting with a variety of long exposure and multiple exposure blending techniques. As my portfolio grew I began reaching out to modeling agencies, and establishing connections with local publishers as well as creating a growing online presence through social media, image sharing sites and my website which have proven incredibly useful in generating licensing deals.

How would you describe your photography and style?
My photography is far from photojournalistic as I strive to present my subjects as the best version of themselves through a mix of in camera technique, multiple exposure blending, lighting and post processing. My style is to produce images with a modern commercial feel that incorporate a good deal of contrast and depth. With architecture my goal is to make the images feel three dimensional and draw the viewer into the scene through lead-in and anchoring elements. With portraiture I shoot both natural light and strobe but often aim for a mix of both. The final image tends to have a blended commercial and fashion feel with a good deal of split tone adjustment and dodging and burning.

What camera do you use and what other equipment/lighting is your favorite?
I use a Nikon D800 along with Nikkor zoom lenses including the 14-24mm f2.8, 24-70mm f2.8, 70-200mm f2.8 and 85mm f1.4 and 50mm f1.4 primes. For lighting I use Elinchrom Quadra Rangers and Nikon SB-910’s along with a variety of Elinchrom modifiers including a small Octa, large Octa, strip lights, beauty dish and gridded reflectors. My favourite pieces of equipment include the Quadra Ranger which is really nice lightweight strobe for location photography, a B+W 10 stop ND filter for creating long exposure sky effects in architecture images, and my 14-24mm lens which forces me to get really creative with architecture compositions and produces great results at any f-stop or focal length. On the post processing side, I use a MacBook Pro with Retina display, Adobe Lightroom 4, Photoshop CS6 and Nik Color Efex Pro 4.

Where do you find inspiration?
I spend a lot of time on photo sharing sites  to draw inspiration for editing styles, trends and concepts that I can translate to a different style or situation. For architecture my greatest inspiration often comes from casual strolls around a city and looking for elements that are either physically interesting or do something interesting in combination with the light or their surroundings, as well as looking for texture and shape.

What tip can you share with aspiring photographers?
Be your own worst critic but also celebrate progress and successes. This is really a balancing act because being too hard on oneself can often cause you to overlook your accomplishments, while never being critical of your own work stymies progress. Along with this I would say that it’s good to use the work of others as a source of inspiration and yardstick but at the same time avoid the temptation to produce similar results. If your aim is to replicate the work of others, they’ll always be one step ahead of you. Develop your own style and find what it is that you’re best at and what makes you unique.

To see more of Michael's work and tutorials on his post processing techniques, visit his website at https://www.vibrantshot.com