All images by Emil Rashkovski. Used with permission.
“I don’t just shoot the landscape I see but put my own interpretation of the scenery through interesting my point of view and photo editing.” says Emil about his landscape photography.
Photographer Emil Rashkovski is a 38 years old landscape photographer. Born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria, he is an engineer and loves to shoot on his off hours. Upon browsing through his Behance profile, you wouldn’t think that Photography i just a hobby that he devotes his free time. He caught the photobug more than 10 years ago and combined that with his affinity for nature and its beauty.
“My pictures have been published in photo magazines both in Bulgaria and worldwide.” Emil tells us. “A photo of mine was published as a front cover of the most popular Bulgarian photography magazine together with a featured publication about my work.” But beyond this, I am one of the winners of Sony World Photography Awards winner for Bulgaria.
Phoblographer: Talk to us about how you got into photography.
Emil: Photography is my hobby and passion. When I look back, I can find some childhood memories related to the photography. My uncle was a photographer and had a dark room laboratory. Part of the post processing of family photos was happening in front of me. This memory remains in my mind even today.
I like watching art – movies, fine art works, music, books. The good art is food for the soul. I feel a necessity to consume and do art.
A mountaineer and avid skier, I first started photographing the sights, which had impressed me with what I could produce using a point and shoot camera. Over time I started to feel a stronger need to make interesting photos and finally completely devoted to it.
Photography makes me look for beauty and creativity. I love the creative process, in which I put my own interpretation of the subject trying to express my feelings about what I see.
Phoblographer: What made you want to get into shooting landscapes?
Emil: I am fascinated by nature and its beauty. Photography is the instrument that helps me to express the way I perceive it.
I like walking and skiing in the Bulgarian mountains, the nature of Bulgaria (I was born and raised in this country). The Alps are also not unknown to me. I have been in the Dolomites, climbed mounts like Gran Paradiso (4061m) and the highest one – Mont Blanc (4810m).
I am also attracted to the sea, lakes, fields, rivers and waterfalls, changing seasons and the different moods that they bring, everything in nature that surrounds us and can be source for creative inspiration.
When I see such landscapes I feel the need to captures a of picture them and show to the public.
Phoblographer: When you’re composing scenes, what specifics do you try to go for each time? What’s your thought process like when you shoot?
Emil: I like to focus on the fleeting but also most beautiful moments of sunrise, sunset, night lights, starry sky. These transformations are truly magical, showing the eternal cycle when the day dies but is always born again.
I also like to put some dreamy/mystical elements in my works – e.g. misty forest, dreamy long exposure seascape or night scenery lights.
I don’t just shoot the landscape I see but put my own interpretation of the scenery through interesting my point of view and photo editing.
I like wide lenses and panoramas. Many of my works are actually made by a number of individual shots which are stitched into panoramas. When I shoot wide, I like to include interesting foreground together with the background. I am happy when I make the spectators feel as they are in the scenery.
Phoblographer: Talk to us about the gear that you use.
Emil: I will not mention the point and shoot cameras I used in the past, except one that was really favorite – Sigma DP1.
Most of my works are done with Nikon D7100 and Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 lens. From a few months I am using Nikon D750 and Samyang 14mm f2.8. Neutral density filters Lee and Cokin for long exposures, especially for water, tripod Benro and remote control are also in use.
Phoblographer: How do you go about finding the locations to shoot? It must involve lots of footwork.
Emil: Yes, finding locations to shoot is not always easy. There are different type of locations – from mighty mountain panoramas through seascapes, lakes, rivers and waterfalls, forests, fields, interesting and/or famous objects like churches, chapels, different landmarks both nature and man mage, nightscapes. Everything mentioned can have completely different look and feel when shot in the different seasons or time of the day/night.
I also like to find interesting places near my living area. This way I can react fast when there is promising weather forecast.
When I am searching for places and planning my trips I am using Internet/Google to find the location. I review many pictures from favorite authors or from just a people went there. I am using also applications like Stellarium and The Photographer Ephemeris (TPE) to see how the Sun/Moon/stars will make the place attractive or not. Weather forecast sites are of the most important instrument too.
When I go on ground I often do research by foot before I choose the perfect position. This sometimes takes me several times to one and the same place before I find the perfect POV and/or time/weather conditions. For that reason I have to be in a good body shape to carry the mountaineering and photographic equipment with me which is not always easy job.
Phoblographer: Lots of photographers only want to shoot during the golden hour, but it looks like you break that rule often. What are you favorite times to shoot?
Emil: I like shooting during the golden hour too, but also during the blue hour and night. When there are suitable conditions I can even shoot almost all day, e.g. when I am in a dark and/or misty forest. It is also possible to shoot in the morning or in the evening outside golden hour (especially in the winter), e.g. when there is interesting light and/or moving clouds. I like to play with the long exposure.
When there is a good light that shapes the objects the magic is happening even outside the golden hour.