Interview with Roman Fox

 
 
Contributor Stories is a brand new way to get an insight into the mind of a traveller. The series will combine Featured Interviews with Blog posts, created by travellers from all over the world who want to share their stories with you.

The first in this series is Roman Fox, a 27 year old amateur photographer from Surrey, England. With his photography career primarily focused on Instragram, Roman has recently returned from a trip to Israel with some incredible experiences and breathtaking photographs to share.

His photos are truly remarkable - enjoy!
 
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Roman Fox
Travel Photographer
How did you get into travel photography?
At a young age, I simply liked cameras from a gadget point of view. As I was growing up and learning photoshop etc, it was becoming more of a creative outlet. Now however it is the fact that I can capture a moment that is entirely unique and has little to no chance of repeating. Also, it is a great excuse to travel and explore because if not for photography, I wouldn’t have explored half as much.

What are your favourite locations to shoot in?
For general photography it is London. Not only is it on my doorstep, but you’re almost always guaranteed to walk away with a good set of different images as well as discovering a cool new location. Further afield, the Alps in the summertime are a joint first. It is hard to put in words how breathtaking that region is. Coupled with an almost unlimited potential for spectacular photos, it is a no brainer.
© Roman Fox,  Millennium Bridge,   London

© Roman Fox, Millennium Bridge, London

© Roman Fox,  The Alps

© Roman Fox, The Alps

Have you got any recommendations for people starting out in photography?
Avoid blowing your entire photography budget on a camera and then having nothing left to spend on actually travelling to take photos. Spend 1/2 your budget on a decent used camera / lens and some key accessories then build the rest up as you go along. After that it's all about practice, making mistakes, learning and repeating.


What's in your photography kit?
Canon EOS M5
Canon EF-S 15-85mm
Canon EF-S 11-22mm
Canon 24mm & 35mm primes
All my editing is done in Affinity Photo on a Mac, as well as iPad when I'm on the road


Which destination did you travel to?
I travelled to Israel, specifically to explore the Dead Sea and locations away from the tourist hotspots. I started in the north near the border with Lebanon and slowly made my way down along the Jordan border to the Dead Sea. The trip also included a stop in Haifa (Israel's largest northern city) and the Sea of Galilee, so I could drive along the twisting mountain roads. I tried to keep away from the motorways and use back roads to get a better appreciation for the place.


What did you get up when you were there?
Hiking in the mountains above the Dead Sea was a very rewarding experience. The heat was intense; however, every so often you'll come to a small waterfall or cave where you can relax, get some shade and a drink. Further north, on the Israeli / Lebanese border, there are some amazing caves where the Mediterranean sea comes in. The waves crash into the caves sending spray everywhere, accompanied by an almost earthquake like shudder. The caves are not very deep, but deep enough for it to be almost pitch black and even unnerving when a big wave comes in. Finally, to top it all off was a swim in the Dead Sea, which was an experience like no other. To get there we drove past the Sea of Galilee, which provided some nice scenery and twisting roads.
© Roman Fox,  Israel

© Roman Fox, Israel

© Roman Fox,  Israel

© Roman Fox, Israel

What made you travel to Israel?
After watching a Top Gear episode where the guys drove 3 cars through the Galilean heights, it has always been on the to do list. I’ve also read that swimming in the Dead Sea is a very unique experience, and I can now confirm that. These are not the stereotypical tourist spots that most people visit, however they are very unique, and I'm sure I'll be back to do the typical tourist spots in the future.


What were the best places you found to shoot?
The twisting roads leading up to the Dead Sea. There's something photogenic about pitch black pristine roads running through an orange rocky desert with the sea in the far distance. At the time I was driving through, we had a mini sandstorm so the sky turned a pale orange colour to top off the moody scenery.
© Roman Fox,  Israel

© Roman Fox, Israel

© Roman Fox,  Israel

© Roman Fox, Israel

Moving closer to the city, Haifa was a great place for photography. Downtown was ideal for spontaneous street photography in a very old part of town. Further up the mountain, you had spectacular views of the city and the harbour. Using a longer lens I borrowed from a friend, I also managed to zoom through the trees and catch the little sailing boat in the distance.
© Roman Fox,  Israel

© Roman Fox, Israel

Any hidden gems you'd recommend?
In Haifa, head to the Golden Dome and the Baha’i gardens located on the mountain above. You will need to start the walk from the top and work your way down through pristine gardens overlooking the city. There are a multitude of great photo opportunities, especially if you time your visit with the sunset. If you prefer a more active day, head to David’s Waterfall located near the Dead Sea. It's a good hours hike but you’re rewarded with amazing scenery, caves and waterfalls you can drink from. Just go early to avoid larger crowds of tourists. Finally, the floating lumps of salt in the Dead Sea can almost be mistaken for icebergs, and can make for great photos (even though it's hard work to get the right composition).
The Golden Dome & Baha'i Gardens © Roman Fox,  Israel

The Golden Dome & Baha'i Gardens © Roman Fox, Israel

© Roman Fox,  Israel

© Roman Fox, Israel

© Roman Fox,  Israel

© Roman Fox, Israel

What tips do you have on how to get great travel photos, in Israel and in general?
For key locations, always plan ahead and know what you want to shoot, at what time and to what ‘ideal’ conditions. There are many apps which tell you sunrise / sunset times, direction, tide times etc. Research online to help you paint a picture in your mind of what you want to achieve. If you have time, go and scout the location at midday so you know exactly where to go, thus saving time for when it counts, i.e. sunset. Also, after taking the images that everyone else takes, go and scout areas or compositions which most will overlook. Not only will you get more original and unique photos, but you will explore somewhere away from the ‘beaten path’.

For everything else, keep your camera, and a good all round lens handy and ready to go. I periodically adjust the camera for the conditions outside, so that if something pops up, I have the best chance of a good image.


Where are you planning to travel next?
Next on the list would be Lisbon and Morocco. Morocco for the rich history as well as a unique terrain and culture. Lisbon because I have never visited and have a photo of a tram passing through narrow streets ingrained in my mind that I must take. Aside from these two, Jordan is also in the plan.


And finally, do you have any travel photographer inspirations?
Although not a strict travel photographer, Alen Palander is a huge inspiration because of his style and an almost OCD level of attention to detail that goes into his photos. Closer to home, I find the work of Tobi Shinobi very inspiring for similar reasons.


Awesome, thanks Roman for giving your time for this interview.


We think Roman is an incredible photographer,
and we can't wait to see more of his work.

Follow his journey on Instagram, @snapsbyfox!
 
 

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