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IN FOCUS WOMEN IN PROFILE - Ela Abeynayake, Australia

What sparked your interest in photography?

My interest in photography began when I picked up my daughter's DSLR camera. When I saw a thick instruction manual I nearly gave up, I thought I would never figure out how to use a camera properly. I started by watching videos, reading online blogs about techniques and tips in photography. A couple of years later when I felt that I developed some skills and knowledge I invested in new equipment as I wanted to capture better quality images. I post them on Instagram. Social media is important to me. It helps to connect with other photographers, exchange ideas, stories and it's a way for others to see my work. I met and developed friendships with people who share the same interest.

How long have you been shooting for? I have been shooting for about 4 years but in the beginning I was using just auto mode. When I learned how to capture long exposure I had to figure out how to shoot in manual mode. I use aperture and shutter priority modes as well depending on the circumstances. What is your favourite type of photography? Landscape and seascape photography really appeal to me. I'm lucky to live in this beautiful state close to the ocean, hills and lakes. The beauty of those places opened my eyes to the details I hadn't noticed or paid attention to before. I enjoy finding new locations, pristine beaches, new trails and remote places on the South Australian coast that are rarely visited. I love to share their beauty through my images which aim to capture a perfect location and conditions that offer great composition, light and reflection. I have always been fascinated by long exposure and how this unique technique creates surreal, dreamy images. About 95% of my shots are LE. What is in your camera bag? I have my Canon 6D Mark ll and 3 Canon lenses - 16-35 f/4, 24-70 f/4, 70-300 f/4-5.6. I use circular NiSi filters - a polarizer, 3, 6 and 10 stop, 4 stop graduated and another 6 stop with an inbuilt polarizer. They fit my two 77mm diameter lenses. I have another 58mm similar NiSi set that fits my telephoto lens. They allow me to have many different combinations for long exposure. I also carry my travel Sirui tripod, it's light and a perfect addition to my quite heavy backpack. What would your dream kit be? I'm quite happy with what I have. But I would like a lighter mirrorless camera in the future, like Canon EOSR. What software do you use to process your images? I edit in Lightroom CC. Who are you top 3 photography inspirations? There are so many incredibly talented photographers that I take inspiration from. Among others I admire the works of John Weatherby and Larry Marshall; they teach others, share information about techniques used, provide camera settings and give valuable tips. I absolutely love epic landscapes of Iceland shot by Iurie Belegurschi and stunning images of remote locations by Daniel Kordan. What are you top 3 bucket list locations you want to shoot? I was so fortunate to see Antarctica during my last trip just before the pandemic. I was so fascinated by this incredible experience that now I'd love to visit similar places, so Greenland and Alaska are my dream destinations. I'd love to shoot in different parts of Patagonia than I did. And visiting Utah and Arizona with those spectacular desert landscapes would be on top of my list. What are you social media handles? Instagram @sea.of.lights


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