We are so excited to introduce Benny to the AOV community! He has shared his life experience, his advice, and his beautiful editing tools.
My name is Benny Bystrom. I’m a landscape photographer from Northern Sweden. I’ve always had an interest in aesthetics no matter the form. After finishing art school and language studies I finally bought a camera. Up until that point, I had shot and edited with my iPhone. Now I think I’ve truly found the craft I’d like to focus on at least for some years ahead.
The exploration bit of landscape photography is what interests me the most. To be able to create something new out of something existing and make it accessible to others is truly a great feeling.
What are your challenges creatively?
As with any art form, now and then, you struggle creatively. I find it challenging to create unique photos and tell interesting stories through them – there’s so much good material already out there. However I think it’s important to always ask yourself why you are taking photos. Answering that question keeps you on the track and guides you forward.
What is your favorite thing about photography?
My favorite thing about photography apart from the exploring dimension, are the places it takes you and all the people you meet. If you’re lucky you get to hear stories from someone who has spent their whole life on the location you’re shooting. Something which I think adds a totally different meaning to the whole experience and the photo itself.
Tell us about your favorite recent image and please provide it. What went into capturing that image?
My most recent trip went to the Faroe islands where I captured these animals. It was my first encounter with these giants called Highland Cows. I could have spent a good hour hanging out with them. I’m happy with how the composition turned out. They look so synchronized plus the snowy mountains in the background tell you something about the harsh conditions. I think it’s just a numbers game when you’re shooting animals. Talk to them and try every angle and a few different lenses.
Do you have tips & tricks you have used in your creative pursuits that you would like to share with the AOV photography community?
On the shooting front, my best advice would be to spending time at a location before shooting. Starting to shoot straight away might limit the chances of you getting the most out of the scene. I also think doing some footwork at the location can push your creativity extensively.
Other things that are good to focus on are preparation and planning. You are usually out long hours so it’s key to research in order to stay warm, dry and getting the best light.
On the editing front, there are a few things that I consistently do. For starters, I’m always using one of my presets to get a consistent look. If you’re shooting a series of photos the presets help binding the story together. Furthermore, I make sure the highlights are not too bright, blacks not too strong and that no chromatic aberration is left unadjusted.
What gear do you use?
I always bring my Canon 24mm prime lens on all trips and my Patagonia soft shell jacket always get the job done. Another thing I always carry is a fat moisturizer for my hands since I regularly shoot in tough weather conditions.
Why did you create this set of presets?
Presets are the base for all of my edits. Presets simplifies my editing process and helps to keep that consisting look and unique signature.
What do we get with your preset pack?
The New Look – is my latest preset (hence the name) which creates that soft desaturated look with a bit of fade and crushed blacks.
Wild Greens – is perfect for lush green landscapes and creates a desaturated green fade combined with slightly blue highlights and darker shadows.
Northern Blues – works well with images shot in cold wintry conditions and enhances primarily the blue tones.
Empty Woods – is best used on images with a lot of greens. It provides subtle desaturated tones and a fairly dark look.
Autumn Touch – creates that fading autumn feel and fits perfectly with both moody weathers and more sunny conditions.