There are so many amazingly talented artists and individuals here in Santa Barbara, so I had the idea to showcase their brilliant work right here on my blog!
This week I interviewed the incredibly talented photographer Daniel Ochoa, who had some great advice for aspiring photographers. Check out the interview below, and be sure to follow Daniel on his social media accounts!
instagram – @fotochoa
facebook – Fotochoa
web – www.fotochoa.com
What is it you do?
To pay the majority of my bills I work as an aerospace engineer here in the Santa Barbara area. My company makes hardware for satellites and spacecraft. I also dabble in photography. I like to consider myself semi-pro since I make a few dollars here and there but really I photograph for the fun of creating and capturing something unique, interesting, and beautiful.
What is your favorite thing about living/working here in Santa Barbara?
My favorite thing about living and working in Santa Barbara is simply that I am able to live and work here. Santa Barbara is paradise in so many ways. We have big city culture, food and entertainment, the beautiful pacific ocean with great surfing, beaches, and diving, and we even have access to the backcountry and front country Santa Ynez mountain ranges. There is so much to see and do. Our climate can’t be beat either!
Favorite place in Santa Barbara?
My favorite place right now is probably Miramar and Hammonds beaches. It is a place my family spends lots of time on the beach, surfing, and playing with the dogs. It seems like everytime we go there we see dolphins or whales which we like to think is a good luck. My favorite place to photograph is the rugged Gaviota coast. it is like Big Sur but it’s only 20 minutes away.
How does Santa Barbara influence your work/art?
Santa Barbara is just such a beautiful place it’s hard to avoid capturing nice light on a nice scene. Light is everything and I feel spoiled by the quality of light in Santa Barbara at magic hour. I feel like being in tune to light has helped me become a better photographer.
What are three things you’ve told yourself that kept you going during your darkest hour?
This too shall pass.
Where’s my passport?
Looking out 3 to 5 years, beyond the obvious trends, what do you think will be the next big change in your industry?
Obviously social media has made everyone a published photographer in some way. I think that’s great but true visual storytelling will become more and more valued as we are all saturated with images daily. I also hope that printing photos comes back. There is nothing like seeing a photograph in print to appreciate detail and richness. Prints have impact
What tips can you recommend that you’d only share with a close friend (and everyone reading this blog)?
Go travel somewhere. There is nothing like travel for opening eyes, seeing something surprising, and making memories For budding photographers I’d recommend buying a film camera and shooting some slide film. You can’t fake your exposure or focus on film and you’ll get better fast
If you had a list of ‘best-kept secrets’ [websites, books, coaches] you’d recommend, which would you include and why?
I don’t know how secret any of these are but…
Galen Rowells “Mountain Light” book taught me all I really needed to know about capturing light to make an impactful outdoor photo
yourshot.nationalgeographic.com is a great way to have your photos critiqued by Nat Geo photographers and other photographers
luminous-landscape.com is a great resource for all things photography. Gear reviews, photo tutorials, tips, and artists spotlights
Thanks Daniel! See some of his incredible work below.