IN FOCUS WOMEN IN PROFILE - MARICEL QUESADA JARA, California
What sparked your interest in photography?
Since I was a little girl I was fascinated by cameras, but my family couldn’t afford one so I never really got into photography and kind of forgot about it. When I got my first job and was able to afford one, I bought my first camera, a point-and-shoot Sony Cybershot, 2 megapixels (2 megapixels can you believe it?). Back then I mostly used it to document the places I visited during work trips and unfortunately while in Spain during one of those work trips, somebody stole my little point and shoot. A friend of mine suggested getting a better one, so I got another Sony Cybershot but better, and as the years went by I gradually upgraded to better cameras until I bought my first DSLR, a Nikon D3100. I started taking macro shots of my Mom’s flowers, my family, and photos of the places I visited. A few years ago, I started taking photography more seriously, learning more about composition, light, and post-processing. I realized that I enjoyed taking photos of landscapes more than anything, so I started using photography as a way to visit new places. Photography has helped me appreciate nature even more, it helps me focus on details that otherwise, I wouldn’t have noticed and to value things, that for other people are everyday things, like a beautiful sunrise, for example.
How long have you been shooting for?
I have been shooting landscapes more seriously for the last 5 years.
What is your favorite type of photography?
My main focus is landscape photography, but I enjoy shooting wildlife when I can and nature shots in general.
What is in your camera bag?
I have a Nikon Z7 and have what is called the Nikon holy trinity of lenses, the 14-24mm 2.8, the 24-70mm 2.8 and the 70mm-200mm 2.8 and I enjoy all of them depending on the situation. I love my 14-24mm when I want to capture as much as possible of the landscape and emphasize elements in the foreground, it is also awesome for night photography. I love my 24-70mm for the same reasons as the 14-24mm but I use this one when I want to compact the scene a bit more and get a more intimate view of the landscape and then my telephoto is great for when I want to get closer and emphasize certain details, I also use it for when shooting wildlife.
I also have the 150mm Lee Filters system with the Little Stopper, the Big Stopper and the CP filter. In addition, I have the B+W 10 stop ND filter and the B+W CP filter.
What would your dream kit be?
I am pretty happy with my current kit, I guess the only thing I would change is upgrading my lenses to the Nikon S version so I don’t have to use the adapter and also because the S versions are smaller and a bit lighter. I could also add a longer telephoto to use for moon shots and wildlife.
What software do you use to process your images?
I use Lightroom and Photoshop. I usually start with minor edits in Lightroom and then finish the photo in Photoshop.
Who are your top 3 photography inspirations?
There are so many great photographers out there that I admire, but to list some of those who inspire me, there is Erin Babnik a California based photographer who shoots some amazing landscapes, Michael Frye another California based photographer whose shots of the Yosemite National Park are simply amazing, and Luis Solano Pochet a very talented Costa Rican landscape and wildlife photographer whose photos and entrepreneur skills are incredible.
What are your top 3 bucket list locations you want to shoot?
I would love to visit Patagonia and Torres del Paine, Lofoten Islands, Africa, there are so many places I want to visit, it is hard to pick.
How has Covid-19 changed the way you shoot?
I have been very conservative with the whole Covid-19 situation, trying to stay home as much as possible, so I haven’t shot as much as I would like to. Now that we know masks are a good way to protect yourself I have been shooting more, before that while staying at home I used that time to improve my post-processing skills and to learn more about that area.
What advice would give a beginner?
Shoot what you love and shoot often, the more photos you take the better you will get at it, practice makes perfect they say, and don’t get frustrated if you go out and you don’t a good photo that day, it happens and it is ok, the important part is going out shooting, learning and having fun.
What are your social media handles?
Facebook Maricel Quesada Photography