Traveling for the past year across Northern and Central Europe, Jonathon Reed has taken his camera to some amazing places. He’s a student, explorer, and fearless photographer and he answered a few questions for us about his experiences with mobile photography, traveling, and Instagram.
Q: What’s your best photo-taking story?
JR: I dreamed of sleeping under the northern lights for years, and this past March I made the journey to the north of Sweden to see the aurora. To get this photo, I hiked several kilometers in Abisko National Park up the Kårsavagge, stood stomping my feet under the stars and slept outside in -13 ºC weather. It was tough, but worth it. As midnight approached, the skies danced.
Q: You’ve been traveling and taking photos. What has been the most important thing you’ve learned?
JR: Never stop exploring. (Which is also my favorite hashtag on IG.) Every day there are adventures waiting to be had, sights waiting to be discovered. The key is to be curious and be bold. It’s always worth it.
Q: What are your favorite kind of photos to take? Why?
Easy: jumping photos (also known among IGers as a jumpstagram). They’re fun and challenging, and remind me to never stop frolicking.
Q: What are your tips for brand new photographers?
JR: The most common advice I’ve seen is to shoot, shoot, shoot. That’s valid, but I would add that it’s important to critique what you create. Look back at your photos and figure out how you could improve the shot—evaluate the composure, the depth of field, etc. and do it better next time. Self-criticism can suck, though, so also make sure you recognize and pride yourself on your best photos.
Q: You use your iPhone to take photos when a bigger camera is too bulky. What are you best tips for iPhone photos? What other camera(s) do you use?
JR: I also use a Canon 6D with Magic Lantern and usually a Sigma 12-24mm lens. I used to shoot almost exclusively with my DSLR and didn’t take mobile photography very seriously, so my best advice would be to, yeah, take it seriously. Make it count, take your time. I can easily spend an hour shooting and processing a photo on my phone. On that note, a tip I wish I’d been given is not to over-edit—my least favorite photos are the ones where I over-saturated a filter trying to get a specific effect. Take it easy.
Q: What is your favorite photo you’ve ever taken?
JR: I really like this photo because of how utterly dominating the force of nature is. I am so small compared to the relentless wind, the crashing waves. Perfectly accurate.
Q: Where can we find your photos online?
I’m @jonathonreed everywhere except for Twitter, where I’m @jonathoncomfort.
Not feeling inspired enough yet? Check out more of Jonathon’s amazing mobile photography on his sites below. Happy shooting, mobile photographers!