09-11-2018 05:05 PM - edited 09-11-2018 05:08 PM
Bulgarian architect and amateur photographer Dimitar Karanikolov loves to travel and capture vantage points that no one has ever seen before.
“I’ve never studied photography and I only do it when I'm in the mood for it,” he told me. But you’d never know that by looking at his work. From Palawan Island in the Philippines to Venice, Italy, he takes stunning photos that show breathtaking views of places he visits.
“What I do in my daytime job is architectural visualizations. These are more or less ‘virtual photographs of future buildings.’ The same principles of composition, light and color are used,” Dimitar said. “So there is a lot in common between my photography hobby and my work as architectural visualizer and architect.”
Dimitar enjoys exploring different subjects and themes in his photography. “People, landscapes, streets, aerials, architecture, abstract---I like to experiment with all of it,” he said. “And also with using different cameras: mobile, DSLR, mirrorless, 360, and drone.”
I recently interviewed Dimitar to learn more about his aerial photography series, From Above, and his experiences as an amateur travel photographer. Below are his responses which have been lightly edited for clarity.
Could you tell me about the inspiration behind your “From Above” photography series?
I love aerial photos and especially love topdown photos. These straight down projections are very architectural, almost like a plan view or like a drawing. There’s no perspective, no horizon. You capture familiar places and buildings at a very unusual angle that’s completely different from the human point of view. Some things and scenarios that look pretty ordinary from the ground, sometimes look much more exciting from above---and vice versa.
What is your process for taking these aerial views?
This is a technology that has been available for only a couple of years now and it is amazing how good the quality of the camera is from a gadget that you can literally carry in your pocket. The flight range is huge--up to 7 kilometers. So, you can explore and photograph much more things around you from the air than you could possibly shoot with your normal camera.
When I travel now I always carry a small, foldable drone with me. Since you can “pause” the drone just above the object, you can fine tune its direction and altitude to frame the perfect composition.
How do you select which cities you photograph?
I improvise most of the time and don’t do much planning. I just travel and search for interesting places on the go.
Do you have one that stands out as a favorite?
Every city has hidden gems---areas and buildings that look amazing from above!
What's one of your favorite photos from the series? Why?
Inle Lake in Myanmar was probably the best place for aerial photography I’ve been to so far. The amazing floating villages and gardens in the lake look even more impressive from the air. And I’ve never before seen aerial pictures of that place.
What advice do you have for new photographers?
Don’t go too much into the technical details about cameras or drones. I only know how to start the drone and which button to press to take a photo and which for a video. It’s all about the good composition and interesting subject!
Want to learn more about getting a bird's-eye view of places you go? Watch this video with helpful tips from a Local Guide in Jakarta.