Tell us about the location in the photos.
Iceland is a small country that covers less than 40,000 sq. miles, but has a wide range of geography that I had not yet covered in any of my previous trips to other places. This was going to be my first of many trips there, so I planned, budgeted, and scheduled a 10-day itinerary around the Ring Road (Route-1), and asked three friends if they wanted to go with me.
The people of Iceland are extremely friendly, and the trip was both fun, and rewarding. The only downside to doing it all in 10-days was that we were restricted to sightseeing, as opposed to backpacking or exploring. I had also realized that this would create problems for me as a photographer, because all of our popular destinations were covered by every imaginable angle. So I made it an objective to shoot these locations in a way that would make it feel personally unique, while still covering subject matter, and theme. But if I could go back in time, I would’ve given myself more free time to do more F-Roads, and go off the grid.
Also, Reykjavík ended up being a highlight, because the locals were really cool, and interesting. I think the feeling was mutual though, because I noticed a lot of double takes (I suspect they don’t get to see a lot of Asian-Americans in person).
How did you get started in photography?
My first camera dedicated to photography was a Nikon D80. I had always been interested in filmmaking, so photography was my first step towards that.
That same year, I had moved to Los Angeles from NYC, and had begun to fall in love with backpacking to all of the nearby parks. It was important to me that I document all of my trips; so the two interests ended up aligning with each other.
Does anything in particular influence your photography style?
I do my best to avoid looking at photography on the internet, simply because it gives me the freedom to focus on my own voice. But when I discovered Vincent Fournier, I couldn’t help but notice that we had similar interests in subject matter and composition (only he’s way better!).
I’ll occasionally refer to his book, “Past Forward”, as a reminder that theme, and subject matter must supersede everything else in my own work.
What photography gear do you use?
My gear is really simple, because my objective is to never over-shoot, or over-photoshop my images. A Canon 5D MKII, various Tiffen filters, Manfrotto 055CXPRO3 tripod, Manfrotto 322RC2 head, and an iPhone 5.
I use all Canon lenses: 70-200mm 2.8L, 24mm 1.4L, and a 50mm 1.4.
Are there any products you swear by?
Google Maps, a Luna Solaria star chart, and my trusty Case Logic SLR Sling.
What is your dream adventure photography location?
My interests in landscape photography and exploration aren’t mutually exclusive. So, I can’t say that I have a “dream” destination because there are so many places in the world that I feel compelled to visit. That said, I have a tendency to be interested in the cold, barren worlds of the Arctic circle, so I’ll probably be focusing on that for awhile.
Name Tommy Wooh
Location Los Angeles, California
Featured In Issue Seven - September 2014
Gear & Equipment Camera: Canon 5D Mark II, iPhone 5, Lenses: Canon 70-200mm 2.8L, 24mm 1.4L, and a 50mm 1.4, Other: Manfrotto 055CXPRO3 tripod, Manfrotto 322RC2 head, Tiffen filters
Websites Portfolio, Flickr, VSCO Grid, Tumblr
Chosen By Cody Cobb