Landscape Photographer Interview

Fabian Hurschler Interview

In this interview, talented landscape photographer Fabian Hurschler shares a selection of his favourite images and his landscape photography journey to date. It first featured in Issue 31 of Light & Landscape Magazine.

How did you become interested in landscape photography?

When I was a teenager, small digital cameras were all the rage and they immediately caught my attention. I was fascinated by the possibilities and the idea of capturing digitally. It was suddenly possible to produce, edit and develop an image by yourself on the computer. I then told my parents my wish for my first camera. The following Christmas, my dream came true and they made me a truly awesome gift.

Golden hour photo shot from a cave out over the sea - photo by Fabian Hurschler

How much research and planning do you put into your photography?

In my case, I really like to plan my shots ahead as much as I can. For instance, when I have a spot in mind that I’ve never been to, I first try to find all kind of useful information on the internet. I use apps for getting information about weather conditions, sunrise/sunset times or the angle of the sun. It is also a good idea to ask a photographer who has been there already and knows the area. But as not all the photographers are willing to share their information about locations, I often go and explore it myself. When I’m out there, I can determine my spots much better and later, when the desired conditions may appear, I can come back with the knowledge of the good spots. That’s a big advantage.

A waterfall landscape photograph - by Fabian Hurschler

What equipment do you typically use when taking pictures?

When I go for landscape photography, I mostly use my Canon 5DsR with a wide-angle lens and a tripod. Those are the absolute basics I need in order to capture with good quality. Depending on the location and trip I’m doing, a remote release, an ND-filter and a panorama head, as well as other lenses, such as telephoto, are much appreciated too.

A landscape photography scene by Fabian Hurschler.

Do you prefer standard or long exposure photography?

This is an interesting question. For me, each of them has its own characteristics and there are situations where you can’t use one or the other. However, my personal favourite is long exposure photography. You can create amazing art in a way that you wouldn’t be able to see solely with your eyes. In my opinion, it can help you achieve extraordinary imagery. I sometimes see the work of photographers that just leave me speechless. I then ask myself “How the hell did they do that?”

A lake and mountain vista at dawn.

What is your approach to editing your photography?

Like most ambitious photographers, I typically start my workflow with a RAW converter. Adobe Lightroom basically does a good job and for many of my photographs, this tool is sufficient. However, when I need to blend two different light situations, I go over to Photoshop where I can do pretty much everything. Furthermore, I can create filters there easily.

A waterfall scene with a forest and mountain backdrop.

What are your favourite places to photograph?

Definitely one is the area of the Canadian Rockies. There I found little civilization and a lot of wilderness including wildlife. It actually was so great when I visited it for the first time last year that I decided to come back just 2 months later. Another truly stunning place is Patagonia with its amazing mountain ranges, huge glaciers and beautiful lakes. If you like mountains and hiking, this is definitely a place to go. Besides this, I also love to capture the southern alps of Switzerland or the incredible waterfalls of Iceland.

Star trails over a waterfall.

What advice would you give to budding photographers?

Try to develop your own, personal style when it comes to shoot and process images. Don’t always choose the same angle and locations that other people already have chosen. My advice is to try new things. Go and walk around to discover spots that aren’t as much photographed or at least try new composites with new elements. Go there at different times than the normal folks and if you’ve done a good job, build a consistent portfolio that represents your style. Publish your work on your personal website and social media. Furthermore, if you are really into it, think about how to make a business out of it.

An alpine landscape.

What do you look for when arriving at a location you wish to photograph?

In order to create a good composition, I always try to combine an interesting foreground subject with the background. There are many elements I can use as a foreground such as rocks, trees, water streams or why not a person? If I’m lucky, maybe an animal appears and can give my image the perfect eye-catcher.

Sunset over a lake shore with a mountain backdrop.

What are the greatest challenges you face as a photographer?

For me, it seems to be hard to stand out from the masses. I mean, there are already so many great and professional landscape photographers and they definitely won’t decrease. Basically, everyone with a little budget can get good gear and therefore, have the basis of creating good quality images. You really have to stay creative, find a niche and a personal style that reflects you. People will then recognize your work after a while and they are going to love it.

An alpine cabin on the shore of a lake at the foot of a mountain range.

What are your future goals as a photographer?

My dream is to go, explore and photograph the most awesome places on earth and inspire other people with my work. I would like to showcase my art in exhibitions and teach others how to become better photographers. It is my dream.

Bio – Fabian Hurschler

Fabian Hurschler is a 27 year-young budding landscape photographer from Zürich, Switzerland. He was born and raised in his home town, Urdorf, where he’s been spending most of his life. While doing a study as a technician, he became interested in photography and this soon became his big hobby. After a few years of practising, travelling and collecting experience in this matter, he started to upload pictures on social media of places he had explored on his travels. As he got quite good feedback for his work, he decided to learn more and signed up at an art school in Switzerland.

Landscape photographer Fabian Hurschler at Machu Picchu.