Interview: Jed Forster
Jed Forster is a self-taught photographer with an insatiable desire to travel and capture some of our planets most beautiful natural landscapes.
Can you tell us about yourself, and how you discovered photography?
I’m Jed Forster, a 21 year old self-taught photographer from Melbourne, Australia. Photography is kind of something that I picked up just before I started travelling. I had planned a long backpacking trip around Europe and decided that I wanted to take some great pictures over there, so I bought myself a little Sony A6000. Once I started shooting photos, I was completely captivated. It grew from a small hobby into my equal biggest passion, travel being the other.
Where has been your favourite location to shoot?
This is a tricky one. I’ve shot in so many incredible places the last few years. One place I can’t go past is Fiordland in New Zealand; the glacial carved landscapes of the area are seriously mind blowing. There’s the world famous Milford Sound, but there are so many other gems in the area, such as Doubtful Sound and Lake Marian. The drive from Te Anau to Milford Sound is arguably the best drive I’ve ever been on. Another place I can’t go past is Iceland. Specifically, the south and the highlands. Iceland is the most alien looking environment I’ve ever been in and it captivated me in a way that I never thought possible.
Which images would you say have been your most significant so far?
One would be a shot of the Aurora Borealis at Kirkjufellsfoss in Iceland. It was a shot I had dreamt of taking, but more importantly, it was a moment I had dreamt of seeing with my own eyes. I was lucky enough to get some strong Aurora when I was in Iceland and it was the most incredible thing I’ve ever seen. Some of my favourite work is a series of photographs I shot on the way to Milford Sound in June this year. A massive storm rolled in, dumping snow everywhere. With this storm, dark clouds engulfed the landscape and I shot arguably the darkest series of photos I’ve ever taken.
How would you say social media contributes to your work?
Social media is obviously a massive influence on my work, and being able to share my images with people on Instagram is really great. But to me, the best part of Instagram is actually linking up with people and collaborating. I’ve made some really great friends through the social platform and I’ve been able to collaborate with people in some of the most beautiful places on the planet.
Which places would you like to photograph in the future?
This December I am setting up shop in Banff for an extended period of time, so the National Parks in Alberta and BC are super high on the list. I’m really looking forward to visiting the USA as well. Even though I’ve been there, I’m putting Iceland on this list as well. I didn’t get to do much of the highlands there and I’m dying to go back. Greenland would also be insane.
What camera do you use?
My current set up is this:
Sony a7ii X 2 and the following lenses: 16-35 f4, 25mm f2, 50mm f1.8 and a 70-200 f4.
Which lens is your favourite?
The 25mm f2 Carl Zeiss Batis is probably my favourite. It’s an incredibly sharp lens with amazing character. The 70-200 f4 is also a lens I use a lot.
What kind of tools do you use for post-processing?
I edit with Adobe Lightroom and I’m an ambassador for tribephoto.co so I use their presets in my workflow.
How do you educate yourself to take better pictures?
I do a bit of reading here and there on the internet about some technical things but I’m very big on practical learning; I find I learn a lot by being around other creatives.
Whose work has influenced you the most?
I’m probably going to go with Chris Burkard. His work was the catalyst in making me travel to natural places such as Iceland and the Faroe Islands. The dude is a flat-out legend.
What advice would you give to another outdoor photographer?
My biggest piece of advice is this: remember to put the camera down. We all get so caught up in taking photographs of the great places we visit, that sometimes we forget to actually relax and take it all in. No photograph can ever replicate or be as valuable as our memories.