• Photographing in the outdoors. Rich Morgan/Unsplash
    Photographing in the outdoors. Rich Morgan/Unsplash

We spoke to another one of last year’s Wilderness Photographer of the Year winners, Evan Agee, on his photo tips and tricks.

GRW: Do you have any habits that allow you to be creative photographically?

Evan: Yes, I have a few habits that really help me stay creative with my photography. One is consistent shooting. I always take my camera with me, no matter where I'm going. This regular practice keeps me sharp and constantly looking for unique shots.

Another important habit is scouting and exploration. I love spending time outdoors, not just for the fitness and mental clarity it brings, but also to discover new locations.

I often visit potential spots multiple times, at different times of day, to see how the light and weather change the scene.
Speaking of weather, I’m always monitoring forecasts. I keep an eye on the weather to catch the best conditions for each location, whether it's dramatic skies for a moody shot or clear weather for a sweeping landscape.

GRW: What tips would you offer anyone wanting to enter our Wilderness Photographer of the Year?

Evan: Honestly, I’d say just go for it! When I found out I had won, I was completely shocked. I work full-time in construction and study part-time, so I never saw myself at the same level as some of the other competitors. But I guess my shot really captured the soul of the place I photographed. My biggest piece of advice is: don’t doubt yourself. You never know
you might be sitting on an award-winning image. What do you have to lose? Entering the competition has definitely boosted my confidence and inspired me to get out more and shoot.

GRW: What’s your favourite camera and why?

Evan: I currently use a Sony a7RIV. It has high megapixels, great in-body image stabilization (IBIS), and a wide selection of lenses that fit my needs. However, my Favorite camera has to be my old Fujifilm X-T3. There’s something magical about it—the colours are amazing, and it was such a fun camera to shoot with. It did have its downsides, like less dynamic range and Raw files that were tricky to edit in Lightroom.

For my goal of selling prints one day, I need higher resolution and the ability to crop while still having enough detail for large prints. That’s why I switched to Sony. I’d love to try the Fujifilm GFX system, but since I hike long distances, the Sony wins on weight. In the end, I try not to get too focused on the camera system itself. It’s just a tool. What really matters is the photographer using it and the image captured.

GRW: Do you prefer using zoom lenses or multiple fixed lenses and why?

Evan: I like to keep my kit simple and light for hiking, so I only shoot with zoom lenses to cut down on the need for multiple focal lengths. I shoot about 90 percent of my landscapes with just two lenses. I use a 12-24mm f/4, which is super wide. This lens is great for capturing a strong foreground because you can get close and really amplify it. I also use a Tamron 28-70mm f/2.8 midrange zoom for panoramas and more intimate scenes of trees or abstracts.

The f/2.8 aperture is helpful when I shoot the occasional astro landscape scene. I do own a 100-400mm telephoto lens, but to be honest, it rarely sees the light of day. I don’t like the weight of it in my pack. When I do use it, it's for mountain scenes, and I love the compression effect it brings with the longer focal length.

GRW: What’s your favourite part of Australia to photograph and why?

Evan: My Favorite place to shoot in Australia is easily the Daintree Rainforest. Nowhere else in the world do you get two World Heritage-listed places in one spot—the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef. Once you cross into the Daintree National Park, it's like stepping back in time to a prehistoric era. The waterfalls are crystal clear, with stunning blue and green tones from the minerals.

The foliage is incredibly lush and green, and the beaches are beautiful with shallow reefs. While I don’t shoot wildlife, it’s always exciting to see cassowaries and crocodiles in the wild. The Daintree is a rare wilderness area that I feel like I’ve only begun to explore. Every visit feels like uncovering a new, untouched part of nature.

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