Indie Spotlight: Mike Fennell

Each Monday, we’ll highlight one indie photographer whose body of work deserves special recognition. Please enjoy their photography here, and make it a point to enjoy the rest of their work on their website.

“To move, to breathe, to fly, to float, To gain all while you give, To roam the roads of lands remote, To travel is to live.” ― Hans Christian Andersen

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Travelling and photography are two different things that mysteriously complement each other. What other way to immortalize and share a fragment of the world through your eyes if not by photographing them exactly how you see them.

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This month’s Indie Spotlight shines bright on Mike Fennel from the Golden State of California, USA. Mike practically lives on the road as he is always on the move so it is only natural that his primary focus & subjects of photography is everything that he sees and experience first hand with a majority of his work showcasing nature’s beauty and amazing landscapes.

top 15 tiff 11Kit:

Mike has chosen one of the excellent ‘not for the faint hearted’ cameras that money can buy, Nikon’s magnificent D800 FX coupled together with Nikkor 24mm-120mm f/4 and Nikkor 85mm f/1.8 to express his views and interpretations of the world to everyone. He found himself using the Nikkor 85mm f/1.8 most of the time due to the clarity of its fast glass and bokeh effects it produces which compliments Mike’s soft focus style, dreamlike backgrounds, accompanied by sharp and detailed foregrounds.

top 15 tiff 3Workflow:

Mike has been trying his hand at High Dynamic Range (HDR) lately so more than 90% of his landscape shots comprise of  HDR. In order for him to capture and utilize pure unadulterated sunlight in his imaging, he uses a tripod so he can use lower ISO speeds together with longer shutter speed for most of his HDR work. Mike will then import his shots into Nik Software’s Color Efex Pro for them to undergo some enhancements before transferring them to Apple’s Aperture for some final touches.

NAP_6786Tips, Tricks and Techniques:

Mike has been receiving favorable feedback on his photographs, particularly his works that include an element of sky. He enjoys making them soft and colorful, sometimes for pure aesthetics and at other times is to focusing on an exquisitely detailed foreground. Trying to mix large aperture setting with a long shutter speed can be tricky in many situations but Mike always varies them in order to get that perfect shot in his own unique style.


Mike’s combination of long shutter speeds and large apertures  is tricky because a large aperture will take some focus off of the clouds while the long shutter speed will blur them into a soft texture. Once these sky shots has been imported into Aperture, Mike uses the skin softener brush to go over the sky and try to make the clouds and sky more softer while increasing the saturation.


Mike admires a number of very talented photographers whose works inspires him to do better in every way possible. Two of them are Trey Ratcliff; A modern HDR landscape photographer; and Ansel Adams who is the father of landscape photography.

NAP_7129What’s Next:

Next on Mike’s list? Scandinavia. There’s literally thousands of amazingly beautiful photos of Scandinavian countries – From the ice fields in Iceland, the enormous valleys in Norway, to the colorful homes popping out of the snow, and of course the Aurora Borealis – and Mike would love to have the chance to capture photos of these amazing scenes himself. Mike would also like to improve more on his skills in documentary style of shooting which basically means he needs to learn the art of natural light portraits and candid shots. As of February 2013 he has taken a 3 month trip to South East Asia and like you we shall eagerly await his photographs from the trip.  He  thinks it will be a great place to work on those skills.

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Mike can be reached online either via his website, Facebook, and Google+.

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Hafez is a Security Consultant by day, tinkerer by night. He loves to photograph just about anything; be it plain Jane coffee mugs to ants on top of buildings. Flickr:


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