Photographer Manish Mamtani is a recent convert to aerial imaging. His stunning landscape and aerial photography have been featured in some of the world’s most respected publications including National Geographic.
In a recent interview with UAVFacts, he said the newest type of aerial photography is something a creator can be passionate about and that the technology has changed the way we look at the world. Excerpts of that interview are below.
Q: Tell us a bit about yourself and your background in photography.
A: I am an avid nature photographer and have traveled widely across exotic destinations in the US. Born and brought up in Nagpur, India, I came to the US to work as an IT/Finance consultant, and discovered my love for photography. I have been published in National Geographic, Vanity Fair, Better Photography Magazine, Digital Photo and many more magazines and newspapers. I have also judged international photography contests including SkyPixel (www.skypixel.com) and SIPA.
My work includes Landscapes, Aerial, Night/Astro and Infrared and has been published in National Geographic, Vanity fair, Better Photography Magazine, Digital Photo and many more Magazines, Newspapers and online Media.
It all started after my first trip to Yosemite National Park in November of 2010. I was awestruck by the sheer beauty of the Majestic Park and after this trip; I started planning my other trips for Photography.
Who inspired you to pick up Landscape Photography as a genre and who are your mentors or influences?
The beauty of nature inspired me. I always feel at peace whenever I am close to nature. I still remember how excited I was, when I saw the Milky Way for the first time, or the Aurora Borealis or the meteor shower. I still feel the same level of excitement and this is what drives me to enjoy and capture the beauty of nature.
I do not have Mentors. Good Photographs inspire and influence me and a good photograph can be from a Professional or an amateur photographer.
Q: What type of photography are you into?
A: I am into landscape, infrared, aerial and astro/night photography. I take landscape images to show how beautiful nature is, infrared images to show how I imagine this world to be. My love for night sky is the reason I ventured into astro/night photography. To me, the stars are not just sparkling dots in the sky, they are prized jewels visible to those who seek them. Aerial photography, a new passion, gives me a bird’s-eye view of a landscape that was previously incredibly difficult to capture.
Q: What piqued your interest in aerial photography?
A: I always used to wonder how birds see the world and I wished I could do the same. When I heard about drone cameras which could offer this view, I was really excited to venture into it. Even though it doesn’t allow me to fly like birds, it does allow me to see the way they see.
Q: Which drone do you use for your aerial photography?
A: I use a DJI Phantom 3 Professional drone right now. I always look for a unique point of view and composition in photography. With the help of a drone, I get exactly that. Aerial photography gives me a completely new perspective about a place that has already been captured a million times by tens of thousands of photographers.
I am waiting to try my hand at the DJI Phantom 4.
Q: How does drone photography differ from your usual photography?
A: I am more careful while attempting drone photography. I read the rules and regulation of the place where I am planning to fly a drone. There are not many rules and regulations when it comes to usual photography.
I get a unique point of view for any place, which is not always possible with usual photography. Drone photography allows me to be more creative.
Q: What is the feature you find most impressive about your DJI Phantom?
A: I really like the intelligent flight modes – Point of Interest and Follow me, which feature in my DJI Phantom 3 Pro drone and have been improved upon in the Phantom 4. I like the 4K video quality and the gimbal stability, which allow me to take video of a professional quality despite not being a videographer.
Q: What improvements would you like to see in drone technology?
There are a few improvements I would definitely like to see in drone technology. I wish the consumer drones came with a better camera with a better dynamic range and the drone had better stability to allow shooting much longer exposures (Like a tripod in the sky). Also, I wish for more flying time with the batteries. I am still waiting for a drone that can do night and long exposure photography that I can do with my usual photography gear.