Interview With Kayte Dolmatch – Finalist In National Geographic Travel Photographer 2016 Awards

What inspired or motivated you to first get into photography?

My Mom was always taking pictures of our family and I guess some of that passed down to me. The desire to capture memories with my friends is what got me into photography. I started out with disposable cameras and I would bring them with me everywhere.

I have a lot of images from spontaneous “photoshoots” with my friends. Much more comical in nature than artistic, but still counts as the start of my passion for photography.

Divide ©Kayte Dolmatch
Divide ©Kayte Dolmatch

Is there anyone in particular whose work influenced you a lot?

I wouldn’t single any one person out. When I first started getting more serious about photography I would go to the bookstore and comb through the National Geographic Simply Beautiful Photographs book (Annie Griffiths) and other photography books and just write down bits of text about photography that I thought were important and try to apply them to my own work.

More recently I get a lot of inspiration from Instagram. I follow a bunch of professional and advanced amateur photographers on the platform and am always in awe of the images I see posted.

This past November I went to a photography workshop by Chris Burkard. I’m a huge fan of his work and it was very interesting to hear about the business side of being a photographer professionally – as I only do it on the side as more of a hobby.

Mainly what influences me is nature itself. The way light interacts with everything and the moods or feelings created by various landscapes or perspectives.

Chrysler Corner ©Kayte Dolmatch

What inspires you in particular about cityscape photography?

A large part of what draws me to shoot cityscapes is the architecture and planning aspect. Buildings on their own are unique and works of art, but I also like to examine how an entire block looks or even a corner. Take for example my image “Chrysler Corner”, the Chrysler building is the stand out no question, but there is so much going on in that section of Manhattan.

The buildings themselves are frozen but everything surrounding them is constantly moving.

Natures Window ©Kayte Dolmatch

What software and camera gear do you mainly use in order to achieve your best images?

I only use Adobe Lightroom to edit my photos. Currently Lightroom 6. I use Canon gear. I took “Divide” with a Canon 5D Mark III and EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM. I recently upgraded to a Canon 5D Mark IV but I still have my 5D Mark III.

I also like to shoot with a 50mm fixed lens. A tripod is a must for me as well.

Cloud And Cascades ©Kayte Dolmatch

Finally, congratulations on receiving an honorable mention in the 2016 National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year, how did it feel to receive that recognition of your work?

Thank you very much! When I opened the email that I was a finalist in the contest I was still in bed. By the time I finished the email I immediately jumped out of bed – ecstatic! It felt incredible to know that “Divide” had appealed so much to the contest judges. This was the first National Geographic contest I had entered and it certainly won’t be the last.

You can visit Kayte’s website at www.kaytedolmatchphotography.com

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