Monthly Archives: June 2015

iamcued: Unbound Imagination

Roberto Cuevas, known as iamcued, is an 18 year old photographer, musician and visual artist based out of Blacksburg, Virginia.  He creates amazing 3D imagery using only an iPhone 5s.

The following is an interview with Roberto Cuevas where he discusses about creativity, innovation, smartphone technology, visual artworks, and his inspiration. The interview has been edited for brevity.

A photo posted by Cued (@iamcued) on


Niaz: Thank you, Roberto, for taking the time to join us at eTalks.  We are thrilled to have you.

Roberto: Thank you so much for having me! I’m excited to share.

Niaz:  You have an extensive background in music, DJ work, and visual art. You have been bringing creativity and art works to a different level. For the people who don’t know about you, can you start with telling us a little bit about yourself?

Roberto: I’m an 18 year-old content creator from Atlanta, Georgia currently based in Blacksburg, Virginia. I enjoy exploring new concepts, visualizing new ideas, and pushing forward to be an innovator in various creative fields. And every now and then, I enter alternate realities.

Niaz: What’s Cued Media? How are you involved with Cued Media?

Roberto: Cued Media is the corporate title of my independently-run freelance establishment. Simply put, it’s an avenue for me to channel different styles and generate various forms of content. Everywhere else, people know me as @iamcued.

A photo posted by Cued (@iamcued) on

Niaz: How do you define the terms creativity and imagination?

Roberto: I think they both are relatively synonymous, directly related to the idea of innovation. Those moments when one fuses commonly known ideas with experimental notions on the verge of creating the new. It’s not something that you can really learn or study, but it can hit you when you least expect it. Sometimes you may even plan on it, but you still won’t be prepared for where creativity may take you. And that’s where the adventure kicks in.

Niaz: The late Steve Jobs once talked about connecting the dots. How do you actually connect music, photography, and design to create amazing art works?

Roberto: They balance each other out well, in some cases. In other cases, I find myself putting one thing down and picking up another, and then switching those roles as time goes on.

A photo posted by Cued (@iamcued) on

Niaz: How beneficial is it to have different sets of skills and backgrounds?

Roberto: It’s really useful, as it provides many chances for me to alter my perspective in the process of making material in any creative field. Whether learning a new thing about music while making a photo composite, or learning how to capture source imagery more efficiently while editing a video, there’s a lot to learn from cross-processing among multiple mediums.

Niaz:  The thing that fascinates me most about your work is the use of the smart phone. Professional designers and photographers have been investing thousands of dollars on cameras, lenses, computers, and processing softwares, but you have been doing remarkable things by using smart phones. Can you tell us about the uses of cutting edge smart phone technology in creating your art?

Roberto: It is definitely something I’ve put a lot of work into. Creating scenes with my phone has provided many challenges for me to learn more about making visual material. With the convenience and accessibility of my phone, it is so close to being my photographic eye, allowing me to capture so much on the fly. It’s provided solid opportunities for me to switch it up and try new stuff.

A photo posted by Cued (@iamcued) on

Niaz: Over time you have developed a unique concept for your art works. How did you end up with this 3D imagery concept?

Roberto: In my visual portfolio, there is a progression from posterized graphic material to photo hyperrealism. I’m not entirely sure how I ended up with my current style, but I think it stemmed from my interest in exploring the magic in everyday life. I found myself visualizing concepts based around things that we see from a distance but might not get to experience up close on a normal basis. The atmosphere, outer space, other worlds, and magical fantasy settings instantly became my backdrop, and I have been having so much fun with it all.

Niaz: Sometimes it is very hard for photographers to stick to one concept, but you bring an enormous amount of diversity to your concept and push yourself constantly to make great art. What’s your source of inspiration?

Roberto: It’s a big challenge to be simultaneously consistent and diverse. I particularly enjoy looking to old concepts, stories, films, books, and other content for inspiration. It’s always fun to reimagine old ideas and create something new. The occasional trips to other worlds helps, too.

A photo posted by Cued (@iamcued) on

Niaz: It appears to be a complex process from building the idea to finding the location to making the composition to doing the final processing. Will you please describe the process of making these arts?

Roberto: It usually starts with a crazy idea of something I want to try, and then I go out and look for a location that can accommodate the concept. While shooting, I play around with various angles and orientations to capture the source material. Then I move on to the editing stage, bringing the image to a new level. The process is immediately followed by an exclamatory “woo boost!” upon finishing the artwork.

Niaz: Which tools do you use for post productions (hardware, software … )?

Roberto: For Instagram, I shoot with my iPhone 5S and edit with iPhone apps like ArtStudio, Matter, and VSCO Cam.

Niaz: When did you join Instagram? Why have you chosen Instagram as a platform for sharing your art?

Roberto: Over the past year, it’s been incredible to engage with so many creative individuals through Instagram. I joined several years ago, but I didn’t start actively creating stylistic work until last year. The community surrounding Instagram is incredibly connective and inspirational. It’s so awesome to instantly immerse yourself in visual content, and then turn right around to share content of your own. With this, it’s so fun to connect with others and learn collectively.

A photo posted by Cued (@iamcued) on

Niaz: What are your favorite hashtags on Instagram?

Roberto: #socality #STUNTitFORtheGRAM

Niaz: Would you list some of your favorite Instagrammers?

Roberto: @huseyintaskin is my biggest inspiration on Instagram, as he’s a massive influence on my work.

Some current favorites of mine are @max_ross @aroyalday & @gouldjosh

Niaz: You have built an amazing community on Instagram. What are your tips for someone who is just starting out?

Roberto: Engage with people. Build a community. Give people a voice, and share your own! Be sure to have fun, and remember to woo boost!

Niaz: What does photography mean to you now?

Roberto: It is something that fuels my passion to explore and embark on new adventures, all being opportunities that I’m beyond grateful to have.

A photo posted by Cued (@iamcued) on

Niaz: What is the one most important lesson that you have learned since you started creating these arts?

Roberto: That’s a hard one. One of the most important has been to always keep it fresh and never be afraid to try new things.

Niaz: If you were advising a young artist today, what would your words of wisdom be?

Roberto: Something I’m still learning is that I’m still learning. And learning..and learning! It’s always good to remember that there’s more to learn and discover. Sharing your unique creativity with the world can be scary. But never let that stop you from pushing forward and doing what you love. Be sure to encourage others along the way, too.

Niaz: Where do people find you to know more about your and your works (Website, Facebook, Twitter …..)?

Roberto: You can find me on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook as @iamcued. To see more, visit cuedmedia.com

Niaz: What is your vision for your art works as well as for Cued Media?

Roberto: To change the game, be an innovator, and create to inspire.

A photo posted by Cued (@iamcued) on

Niaz: Any last comment?

Roberto: If you’d like to see more about what I do, check out my livestreams on the Periscope app, available for free on iPhone and Android. Follow me there to see free tutorials, live art sessions, giveaways, and more. Because awesome.

Niaz: Roberto, thank you so much for sharing with us your incredible ideas. We are wishing you very good luck for all of your upcoming great endeavors.

Roberto: It has been my pleasure! Cheers, & woo boost!

Editor’s Note: You can follow Roberto on Instagram at @iamcued. The interview has been conducted by Niaz. He is the founder and curator of eTalks. You can follow him on Instagram at @neohumanity. And I am Ava Madigan at @lavatl

_  _  _  _  ___  _  _  _  _

Previous Interviews:

01. Puji Faisal Nawawi on Behind the Beauty of Beautiful Art

02. Dominic Liam on Capturing the Shadows

03. Sloppystick on Photographing Abandoned Buildings

04. Debra Harder on The Art of Photography

05. Daria Khoroshavina: The Art of Metaphoric Photography

06. Cole Thompson on The Ultimate Photography Manifesto

07. Jeff Haden on Pursuing Excellence

08. Barry Schwartz on Wisdom and Happiness

09. Gautam Mukunda on Leadership

10. Hugh Mac­Leod on Creativity and Art

Puji Faisal Nawawi: Behind the Beauty of Beautiful Art

Puji Faisal Nawawi is a photographer based out of Garut, Indonesia. He is only 20 years old though he has been doing tremendous amount of great works. His works will inspire you to dream, will give you the courage to love, and will push you to imagine in different ways.

The following is an interview with Puji Faisal Nawawi where he discusses his photography techniques, working process, and inspiration. The interview has been edited for brevity.

Niaz: Thank you, Faisal, for taking the time to join us at eTalks. It has been great watching your amazing works on Instagram. For the people who don’t know about you, can you start with telling us a little bit about yourself?

Faisal: I was born on February 16, 1995 to a very modest family, but that doesn’t mean I had modest dreams. I am from Garut, Indonesia, a small city with millions of stories and experiences. My parents worked as farmers who managed their own rice fields and I have four brothers. Through modesty of life I started to make my dreams come true and I built those dreams.

Niaz: How did you get started with photography? Did you go to school to study photography?

Faisal: I have been very independent from around the time I started school. I didn’t have experience playing with the other kids because I spent a lot of my time working in an internet cafe. I didn’t go to school to study photography. I sought out learning without having a special course or without going to school; instead I learned from many ways and sources, especially people’s experiences, books, internet, etc.

A photo posted by Puji Faisal Nawawi (@pfaisaln) on

Niaz: What type of cameras do you shoot with and what is your favorite lens set-up?

Faisal:  I just have Canon EOS 600D and 135mm f/2 lens. My favorite lens is 85mm f/1.2. This is an outstanding lens. I rent this sometimes.

Niaz: What lighting equipment do you take on a shoot?

Faisal: I use natural light and reflectors.

Niaz: It appears as though there is a tremendous amount of work behind every single one of your images. From selecting the model to picking the location to applying make-up to making the composition to shooting to retouching…. it’s definitely a lot of work. Could you tell us about the whole process of finding an idea to making it into an amazing art?

Faisal: There’s no special idea or model audition. Actually, everything happens spontaneously. However, I tend to set up a model whose character is really strong and charismatic as an object. Since the strength of the concept of the photo is related to the place, I rarely make a complete concept; as long as there is a good place with a background that’s appropriate with what I need, I don’t have to think too much about taking photographs.

A photo posted by Puji Faisal Nawawi (@pfaisaln) on

Niaz: You are very skilled in terms of using post-processing software. Your final output is very impressive. Tell us about the software and tools you use for post-processing.

Faisal: I don’t have a special software for editing or retouching my works. I only use Adobe Photoshop CS 6 edition and a pen mouse (Wacom). Everything depends on the object in the photo; if the object is good because of the very sharp focus of the photo, my work needs little editing. I am so sure those combination of works will create good results.

Niaz: How long did it take you to become a master of using this software? Are you self-taught?

Faisal: I love to learn everything related to my work wholeheartedly. I take good lessons from other people’s experiences and my own way of learning.

A photo posted by Puji Faisal Nawawi (@pfaisaln) on

Niaz: Your Instagram feed is stunning. You have also created an amazing community. When did you join Instagram? Why have you chosen Instagram as a platform for sharing your art?

Faisal: I have been using Instagram for two years to share photographs and experiences. The platform makes it easy to share with people I know as well as strangers. It is also great for promotion, because my works can be seen by many well- known brand owners directly. Besides, Instagram is the right place to learn new things, especially about photography.

Niaz: How long did it take you to create your own community on Instagram?

Faisal: One year, more or less.

Niaz: What tips would you share for building a community on Instagram?

Faisal: There are no special tricks or strategies; the most important thing is if I stay true to myself and give my best, certainly people will accept me and give positive responses.

A photo posted by Puji Faisal Nawawi (@pfaisaln) on

Niaz: What are your favorite hashtags?

Faisal: #2instagoodportraitlove #instagood #ftwotw …There you will find the works of extraordinary people from various parts of the world.

Niaz: Who are some of your most favorite Instagrammers?

Faisal: @dimitryroulland @irenerudnykphoto @jenniferilene @emilysoto @bwaworga @arinabphotog @landonwiles and @robertcorneliusphotography inspire me alot.

Niaz: Where do you draw inspiration?

Faisal: Books, films, other photos, etc.

Niaz: What is the one most important lesson that you have learned since you started taking photographs?

Faisal: Have a peaceful mind and soul; that’s the most important thing.

Niaz: What does photography mean to you now?

Faisal: I think the world of photography is my railway to start my future, and I am the train on it. God willing, if the railway is available and stretches for miles away, it depends on me to build and shape the train so it can keep running on that railway and arrive at the destination.

Niaz: If you were advising a young photographer today, what would your words of wisdom be?

Faisal: Life is not about the seeking-process, but rather the creation-process. Thus, create yourself and be yourself, be unique, never try to imitate other people’s work, and create your own style!!

Niaz: Where do people find you to know more about you and your works? (Website, Facebook, Twitter …..)

Faisal: My official website is www.pujifaisalnawawi.com. I am on Instagram at @pfaisaln & @pfaisalns. You can also find me on Facebook and Twitter.

Niaz: Any last comment?

Faisal: Always remember and thank God’s grace in your life. Never try to account for things that you do not have. That’s it, thanks.

Niaz: Faisal, thank you so much for sharing with us your incredible ideas and works. We are wishing you very good luck for all of your upcoming great endeavors.

Faisal: You are welcome. I appreciate you doing this interview. Hopefully you are doing great. Good luck to you too.

Editor’s Note: You can follow Faisal on Instagram at @pfaisaln . The interview has been conducted by Niaz. He is the founder and curator of eTalks. You can follow him on Instagram at @neohumanity. And I am Ava Madigan at @lavatl

_  _  _  _  ___  _  _  _  _

Previous Interviews:

01. Dominic Liam on Capturing the Shadows

02. Sloppystick on Photographing Abandoned Buildings

03. Debra Harder on The Art of Photography

04. Hugh Mac­Leod on Creativity and Art

05. Daria Khoroshavina: The Art of Metaphoric Photography

06. Cole Thompson on The Ultimate Photography Manifesto

07. Jeff Haden on Pursuing Excellence

08. Barry Schwartz on Wisdom and Happiness

09. Gautam Mukunda on Leadership

10. Shaka Senghor on Writing My Wrongs

Dominic Liam: Capturing the Shadows

Dominic Liam is a photographer based out of Athens, Greece. He has been setting the new standard of Silhouette Photography.

The following is an interview with Dominic Liam where he discusses his photography techniques, working process, and inspiration. The interview has been edited for brevity.

A photo posted by @dominicliam on

Niaz: Dominic, thank you for taking the time to join us at eTalks. For the people who don’t know about you, would you start by telling us a little bit about yourself?

Dominic: My pleasure, thank you for the invitation. I was born and bred in the UK and moved to Greece 8 years ago to study Theology. I never left and now live and work at the college I studied at.

Niaz: How did you get started with photography? Did you go to school to study photography?

Dominic: I found it impossible not to own a camera living in such a beautiful country as Greece. It all started here, live and learn (self-taught)… There is so much you can learn these days with a simple Google Search…

A photo posted by @dominicliam on

Niaz: What type of cameras do you shoot with and what is your favorite lens set-up?

Dominic: I use a Nikon D5200 with an assortment of lenses, 18-105mm being the most frequently used. The most important part for me is the flip screen on the D5200, almost all my work is done via low angle. Simply couldn’t manage without it……

Niaz:  When did you join Instagram? Why have you chosen Instagram as a platform for sharing your art?

Dominic: 2 years ago, I kind of fell into it. I was really disappointed with Facebook and just wanted to share photos of places I’d been. Then I gave Instagram a go and I started to see some really nice images and thought, I could manage that… And so it began…

A photo posted by @dominicliam on

Niaz: Over time you have developed a unique concept of photography. Would you please tell us how you found this concept?

Dominic: I always wanted to shoot a sunrise but just couldn’t drag myself out of bed at such a time. in the end it was students who dragged me to the beach for an early morning swim… I took my camera and saw one of, if not the most beautiful sunrise I’ve ever had the pleasure to see. I learnt two things that day. The best time to shoot and never rely on a stranger to take the correct stance…. Always take your subject with you…..

Niaz: Sometimes it’s very hard for most photographers to stick to one concept, but you bring an enormous amount of diversity to your concept and constantly push yourself to make great art. What’s your source of inspiration? What does push you to go out and shoot?

Dominic: Sticking to one concept is a sacrifice, but i found it to be worth it. I wanted to build a gallery that people would stop and take a look at, not just the most recent post. By posting only one image a week it allows me the time to think about what really needs to go in next… In doing this I’ve found that 45% of my likes come in over the following months… Images don’t get buried, they get seen and this is the whole point of what I do.

A photo posted by @dominicliam on

Niaz: As far as I guess, it’s a complex process from building the idea to finding the location to finding the right models to making the composition to doing the final processing. Will you please enlighten us on the total process of making these arts?

Dominic: I already have the location and more often a model. It’s about the creative process, do I want an unedited image or do I want to get more creative and edit the final shot by adding an image? You really just have to brainstorm and be sure to write your idea down as soon as you have it. Instagram is a really good source of inspiration as well, just be sure to follow the correct people…

Niaz: What are your favorite hashtags on Instagram?

Dominic: #freedomthinkers @freedomthinkers have been very supportive over the two years I’ve been on instagram and the nice thing is I have no idea who’s behind it…

Niaz: Can you list some of your most favorite Instagrammers?

Dominic: That’s easy, just look at who and what groups I follow. To be honest I’m driven by images…

A photo posted by @dominicliam on

Niaz: You have built an amazing community on Instagram. What are your tips for someone who is just starting out?

Dominic: It’s not so easy these days, Instagram keeps on moving the goalposts concerning the #hashtag and that has made it very difficult for newcomers to get their work seen. I would say just have fun and see where it leads you…

Niaz: What does photography mean to you now?

Dominic: It’s a never ending story, you just keep learning, and it’s given me a wonderful window to express my creativity. Niaz: What is the one most important lesson that you have learned since you started taking photographs?

Dominic: Get to know your camera better than you know yourself…

Niaz: If you were advising a young photographer today, what would your words of wisdom be?

Dominic: Don’t invest in equipment until you really know what you like to shoot best, it’s going to save you money…

A photo posted by @dominicliam on

Niaz: Where do people find you to know more about you and your works? (Website, Facebook, Twitter …..)

Dominic: My website: www.dominicliam.com. Facebook: dominicliam. And: Instagram @dominicliam

Niaz: Any last comment?

Dominic: Have fun, this is the single and most important factor for me as an artist…

Niaz: Dominic, thank you so much for sharing with us your incredible ideas. We are wishing you very good luck for all of your upcoming great endeavors.

Editor’s Note: You can follow Dominic on Instagram at @dominicliam. The interview has been conducted by Niaz. He is the founder and curator of eTalks. You can follow him on Instagram at @neohumanity. And I am Ava Madigan at @lavatl

_  _  _  _  ___  _  _  _  _

Previous Interviews:

01. Sloppystick on Photographing Abandoned Buildings

02. Debra Harder on The Art of Photography

03. Hugh Mac­Leod on Creativity and Art

04. Daria Khoroshavina: The Art of Metaphoric Photography

05. Cole Thompson on The Ultimate Photography Manifesto

06. Jeff Haden on Pursuing Excellence

07. Barry Schwartz on Wisdom and Happiness

08. Gautam Mukunda on Leadership

09. Shaka Senghor on Writing My Wrongs

10. Daniel Pink on To Sell is Human

Sloppystick: Photographing Abandoned Buildings

Jeff Hagerman is a photographer based out of Atlanta. He is a king of taking pictures of abandoned buildings and has brought High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography to a new level.

The following is an interview with Jeff Hagerman where he discusses his photography techniques, working process, and inspiration. The interview has been edited for brevity.

A photo posted by JΣҒҒ ΔTL (@sloppystick) on

Niaz: Thank you Jeff for taking the time to join us at eTalks. We are thrilled to have you.

Jeff: Glad to be here.

Niaz: For the people who don’t know about you, can you start with telling us a little bit about yourself?

Jeff: My name is Jeff Hagerman. I’m 34 years old. In my spare time, I explore and photograph abandoned buildings.  

A photo posted by JΣҒҒ ΔTL (@sloppystick) on

Niaz: You are sloppystick on Instagram. What is the story behind sloppystick? How did you come up with this name?

Jeff: It’s just an old nickname that sounded funny. My old roommate had a pool table, so I used to play a ton of pool. I usually started sloppy, using a cue stick, so my buddy Alex called me sloppystick. We laughed about it, I used it as an email address, and it stuck. Had I known I’d ever have more than 10 followers, I would’ve chosen something a little better for social media! I have so many people that call me “sloppy” or “slops” now, it’s way too late to change it.

Niaz: What does photography mean to you?

Jeff: Photography means a lot to me. It’s opened a lot of doors for me and has really changed my life. It’s led me to my girlfriend of almost 3 years and has introduced me to a bunch of great people, some that have become close friends. I can only imagine what will happen in the future. I have so many more places to see.

A photo posted by JΣҒҒ ΔTL (@sloppystick) on

Niaz: How did you get started with photography? Did you go to school to study photography?

Jeff: I’ve always had a camera, but I only started to try to be artistic with photography since joining Instagram a few years ago. I’ve never gone to school for photography. I’ve basically learned everything I know from friends and YouTube. A lot of trial and error.

Niaz: What type of cameras do you shoot with and what is your favorite lens set-up?

Jeff: I shoot with a Canon 70D and sometimes Canon T2i. I don’t have a ton of money, so no full frame body or L lenses in my bag. Every once in a while I rent lenses, and really enjoyed shooting with the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 lately. I sometimes shoot with my Canon 50mm f/1.4, but my favorite lens is my Sigma 8-16mm. It’s unbelievably wide and very sharp in the center. It’s a little soft on the edges, but the Instagram crop takes care of most of that. I’m going to Colorado in a few weeks to watch the Pikes Peak Hill Climb (auto race), so I think I’ll try out the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L. I guess since I’m still learning and trying new lenses, I can’t say what my ideal setup is. Definitely looking to upgrade when possible.

A photo posted by JΣҒҒ ΔTL (@sloppystick) on

Niaz: Tell us about your favorites subjects of shooting?

Jeff: My favorite subject would definitely be abandoned buildings, particularly hospitals/asylums.

“Death has always been something that kinda freaks me out, so going somewhere where there’ve undoubtedly been a number of deaths really gives it a heavy feelin.”

Some of the stuff that went on at some of these asylums is just mind-blowing. I also love shooting abandoned churches, schools, and factories. The bigger, the better.

Lately, I’ve really been interested in shooting portraits of homeless people. I guess I just like to go where not many other people want to go, and I find beauty in it.

A photo posted by JΣҒҒ ΔTL (@sloppystick) on

Niaz: Where do you find the inspiration? Is there any specific book, movie, music, or something else that has been an inspiration for you to shoot abandoned places?

Jeff: That’s a tough question. I get inspiration from all over the place. Instagram is a great start. There’s endless photographic inspiration there. I also have a bunch of talented friends. Whether they’re a photographer, an artist, or a musician, they all inspire me in different ways.

Niaz: As far as I guess, it’s a complex process from finding those locations to composition to final processing. Will you mind sharing a behind the scene story?

Jeff: Well, finding the locations can sometimes be difficult. People aren’t very fast to give away locations that they worked hard to find, so you have to rely on google and do your research. Knowing the right people certainly helps as well. Finding a way inside without being detected is another challenge. Once you’re in, you can usually kind of just relax and settle in. I can normally see the way I want the final photograph to look as I’m taking it. Because of that, I’m pretty fast and don’t take as many alternate photos (angles, etc) as I should, but if I can get 5-7 decent photos out of 30-50 total, I’m pretty happy.

Niaz: When did you join Instagram? Why have you chosen Instagram as a platform for sharing your art?

Jeff: I joined Instagram in December of 2011. I didn’t exactly choose it to share my art as much as I was just using it to share a few vacation photos. The filters made them a bit more interesting and I started getting compliments. I didn’t realize I had naturally picked up on the use of the rule of thirds and it made me curious as to what other techniques I could learn. Before I knew it, I was obsessed.

A photo posted by JΣҒҒ ΔTL (@sloppystick) on

Niaz: What are your favorite hashtags on Instagram?

Jeff: The only hashtags I regularly look at are #abandoned and #urbex, but I use several hashtags to support groups that have featured my photos in the past.

Niaz: Can you list some of your most favorite Instagrammers?

Jeff: I follow over 900 people, so to narrow it down is very difficult. I have many favorites for many different reasons. I mainly post abandoned places, but I love and appreciate portraits, nature, and landscapes just as much.

Just a few favorites are @evidence, @tonydetroit, @jamiebettsphoto, @valsdarkroom, @asteryx, @nevasatisfied, @jsun217, @_bokat_, @vanityandvinyl_, @novess, @cole_younger_, @richkern, @sendingstache, and many more.

The people I explore with in Atlanta are great as well – @rita_josephine, @bahamontes, @tripp_the_light_fantastic, @shannonwantsto, @foocow, @kathryn_nee, @wire_atl, @_sig_, @terminus_jk, @swsix.

Niaz: You are very skilled in terms of using post-processing softwares. Your final output is very impressive. Tell us about the software and tools do you use for post-processing?

Jeff: I shoot in 3 to 7-shot brackets, meaning I take (usually) 7 different exposures of the exact same picture. I merge them using HDR software called Photomatix. Photomatix is a very powerful application and it’s easy to get really wild with the edits. I try to tone my shots down a bit to keep it more realistic. I save the merged photo as a TIFF file to retain as much data as possible and open it in Lightroom. I do minimal touching-up, spot removals, and perspective corrections, then export it to my phone. For Instagram, I’ll usually edit it a bit more in the Snapseed app on my phone before posting.

A photo posted by JΣҒҒ ΔTL (@sloppystick) on

Niaz: What is the one most important lesson that you have learned since you started taking photographs?

Jeff: Do/see what you can while you still have the chance. It’s pretty amazing how many places I have been that have since been torn down. I feel like I’m in a race against time to get to as many places as possible before they disappear. If they don’t get destroyed, they can become completely inaccessible or as I’ve been reminded recently, I’m not getting any younger.

“I’m not sure what I’ll have the ability to do in the coming years. The back of my left leg is completely black and blue as we speak. So that’s the most important thing I’ve learned, if you procrastinate, you may never get another chance to get that shot. I guess that kinda goes for anything in life though – you have to take your opportunities. I struggle with that myself.”

Niaz: If you were advising a young photographer today, what words of wisdom would you share?

Jeff: Take a ton of photos. There’s no better way to improve than practice. Take what you think are too many photos, then take more. Try different editing techniques and find what works best for you.

A photo posted by JΣҒҒ ΔTL (@sloppystick) on

Niaz: Where do people find you to know more about you and your works? (Website, Facebook, Twitter …..)

Jeff: My website sloppystick.com is the best place besides Instagram. I post stories there to go with uncropped photos, many of which won’t be posted to IG.

Niaz: Any last comment?

Jeff: I just want to thank you for the opportunity to share a little bit about what I do!

Niaz: Jeff, thank you so much for sharing incredible ideas with us. We would like to wish you very good luck for all of your upcoming great endeavors.

Editor’s Note: You can follow Jeff on Instagram at @sloppystick. The interview has been conducted by Niaz. He is the founder and curator of eTalks. You can follow him on Instagram at @neohumanity. And I am Ava Madigan at @lavatl

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Previous Interviews:

01. Cole Thompson on The Ultimate Photography Manifesto

02. Debra Harder on The Art of Photography

03. Hugh Mac­Leod on Creativity and Art

04. Daria Khoroshavina: The Art of Metaphoric Photography

05. Derek Sivers on  Entrepreneurship, CD Baby and Wood Egg

06. Jeff Haden on Pursuing Excellence

07. Barry Schwartz on Wisdom and Happiness

08. Gautam Mukunda on Leadership

09. Shaka Senghor on Writing My Wrongs

10. Daniel Pink on To Sell is Human