Interview with landscape photographer Viktoria Haack

Viktoria Haack is the owner of Viktoria Haack Photography specialising in landscape, editorial, portrait and wedding photography. She is based in Salmon Arm, British Columbia, Canada.

Viktoria Haack

Tell Us About Your Background.

My name is Viktoria Haack and I am the owner of Viktoria Haack Photography. Originally from the UK, I have been living in Canada for the past eleven years. I started studying Fine Art at Art College but dropped out of my course. Instead, I decided to study Art History with my main focus being on non-western art. My photography is mainly self-taught but my art background has definitely helped me with things like composition and colour. Prior to taking up photography full time, I worked in the UK for the National Trust, the UK’s largest conversation charity. During my time working for the Trust, I lived on a 500-acre island which was also a nature reserve. This really helped me develop my love for the natural environment, a theme that runs strongly throughout my work.

What Is Your Favourite Type of Photography?

I don’t think I have a favourite as I love them all. I love the quiet that comes with waiting at dawn in a backcountry location for a sunrise. However, I also love the connection I get when photographing animals or being a part of someone’s wedding day celebrations.

What Is Your Gear for Landscapes? 

I shoot with Nikon cameras and lenses. I own a Nikon D4 and Nikon D800 but generally shoot landscapes with the Nikon D800. It is a bit lighter to carry, has a larger number of megapixels and wonderful dynamic range. I use a Manfrotto, a Gitzo and an Induro tripod. All have different merits namely sturdiness, weight as well as the ability to get closer to the ground to capture foreground information.

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Since I am a Lowepro Ambassador, I have a number of bags for different occasions. I would say my all-around favorite is still my Lowepro Whistler BP 450 AW or AW11. In winter, I am more prepared with layers of clothing to keep warm so that my hands can keep working in sub-zero temperatures. My favorite gloves are snowboard mitts by Loki. I can pull my whole hand out through the finger area and wear another thinner pair underneath for extra warmth.

Favorite Lens for Landscape Photography?

My favorite landscape photography lens would be the Nikkor 17-35mm 2.8 which is my only wide-angle lens. I would definitely like to get the 14-24mm and some of the new Z series, mirrorless lenses. I like using a wide-angle because it allows you to photograph foreground elements which help to frame the subject. Landscapes aren’t all about wide angles though. I love shooting details with my 70-200mm 2.8, my 24-70mm 2.8 and 105mm 2.8 macro lens.

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Basic Editing Workflow for Landscapes? 

I usually start in Lightroom CC with basic adjustments. This would include removing lens distortions, remove chromatic aberrations and then working through the sliders until ready to move into Photoshop. At this point, I like to work with layers and luminosity masks to help tease my vision from the image. My goal is to recreate the mood I encountered or felt during my initial shooting experience.

Which Brands Have You Collaborated With? 

I have collaborated with a number of brands including Nikon, Lowepro, Gnarbox, Telus, Klymit, Purina etc. I try to work with brands that I feel an affinity for or that produce a product that I love. This isn’t always possible as there are bills to pay but that is my general ethos. I find it easiest when a brand allows me to connect with my followers, in a way that works authentically for me and using words that are my own rather than scripted. The greater freedom a brand gives me, usually the better connection I can establish with them and my audience.

How Does One Source Collaborations?

I believe the only time I have actively contacted a brand was Lowepro which was a number of years ago. During this communication, I mentioned that I loved their products and would love to work with them. I have been fortunate that brands have contacted me subsequently. If I was looking to source collaborations, I would actively prepare a media kit. This kit would contain information regarding my social media engagement and following. This would also cover my travelling plans for that year etc.

Who Has Inspired Your Photography Journey?

I take inspiration from a number of different photographers and artists. Sometimes local photographer friends and at other times those with a larger media presence. I can’t say there is anyone that stands out as my greatest, overall inspiration. But I enjoy looking at the work of other artists, especially if I feel a personal slump in my creativity. 

Any Words of Wisdom for Others? 

Try to be open to what nature provides. Don’t fixate on using a particular lens or shooting in a particular direction. Try to allow your creativity to flow with what nature provides. Be open to the changing light and weather conditions and move with them. Get up early and stay out late to capture the best light. Keep an eye on weather forecasts and webcams.

Do You Have Any Upcoming Workshops?

From 5-12 October 2019, I am co-leading a workshop to Scotland: Isle of Skye and the Highlands with photographer David Topping. We are excited to be accessing some beautiful, iconic landscapes; from the scenic mountains, glens and lochs of Glencoe to the rugged mountains and dramatic coastline of Skye.

If you would like to see more of Viktoria’s work, check out her website, Facebook and Instagram sites.

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About the author

Jennifer Venter

I am a passionate trained photographer currently living in China. I love travelling & meeting new people so my photos tend to fall into those categories. I love coffee, fashion & Christmas. Contact me via email ([email protected]) or Instagram (@fleetingtimephotography).

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