Ljubljana, 14. 2. 2016, by @sanya_lt
Meet Ed Norton, amazing (Lonely Planet) photographer, who loves extreme sports, thinks people in Bovec are really nice, whereas caves in Slovenia – not so much. It was an honour (& fun!) talking to him and finding out lots about photography; Instagram and his cool mum:)) Thank you so much, Ed!
First of all – can you tell us something about yourself? Who are you, what do you do?
My name’s Ed Norton and I’m a travel photographer working for Lonely Planet / Getty Images. I’m originally from the South West of England from a city called Bristol but I am now based in London.
OK, Lonely Planet! To an amateur photographer this seems like a dream job. Is it?
It certainly is a dream job! There is a lot of hard work that comes with it though. I often work 16 hours a day, 7 days a week. At least half my time is spent in a dark room alone editing and labelling my images. If you don’t enjoy your own company then it’s definitely not for you! Photography is my life and when I’m not working, I’m learning or researching. I literally never stop doing either of those things and I absolutely love it. You absolutely have to love what you do. Don’t ever chase money. That will follow if you’re passionate about it.
Although I got a contract with Lonely Planet I was still essentially freelance. I’m completely self-taught in photography and had to do the same with the business side of things. Without any guidance you have to be really self-motivated and willing to take risks. People always say ‘you’re so lucky’. I personally prefer to keep the word luck out of my life as it implies that things happen by chance and without your involvement. I prefer to see it that you’re dealt a hand in life, without comparing it to anyone else you make the best out of it and create your own opportunities. Things don’t just fall in your lap, you need to be out there being as proactive as you can. Oh, and always remember that failure is all part of the fun of it! Handle failure with a positive attitude and learn from your mistakes and you can do anything you want in life.
Do you travel a lot? How you pick your traveling destination?
I used to travel pretty much full time but slowed down over the past 3 years. I still got away 4-8 times a year but sometimes shorter trips. From March 2016 I’ll be back on the road again and exploring the world full time for a couple of years at least.
Your Instagram profile is full of amazing photos from Slovenia. Can you tell us a little bit about – how you came across Slovenia, when did you decide to visit and what places did you see?
I’m not sure how I decided on Slovenia exactly, it was a case of looking at a map and picking somewhere new. I also tend to check flight prices to European countries to see what’s good at the moment. Wiz Air do flights from London from £35 (return!). I didn’t know too much on what to expect with Slovenia and had only really seen photos from Lake Bled. That alone looked beautiful so I decided to do some more research on Slovenia. The rest is history!
Where did you find information about Slovenia? How did you decide what to see?
Lonely Planet of course 🙂 I then go for some visual inspiration and use platforms like Instagram, 500px, Google Images to look for things to see – if you like to travel then make sure you follow travel photographers as they’ll do all the research for you! I’ll then read blogs, travel forums, articles to get other information and piece it all together.
What was your favourite place in Slovenia? What would you say is ‘a must see’ place in Slovenia … especially if you are a photographer?
That’s a tough one to answer as I loved everything I saw! Ljubljana is an amazing city, great relaxed atmosphere and friendly people (and amazing food!). I fell in love with Lake Bled. It’s just postcard perfect! Bovec was amazing as well! The people were so friendly, the extreme sports, scenery (especially the view from the top of Mangart!) I need to go back to explore more!
Is there a place or thing that you would say – skip it? Why?
Predjama Castle was great to see for a flying visit. The tour was interesting enough but the tour of the caves underneath wasn’t that great. But it’s a minor really! It’s a truly stunning country!
Back to photography; What equipment do you use for taking photos?
Most of my work is taken on a Canon 6D. I have a range of lenses ranging from 16mm and all the way to 400mm. What I pack in my bag depends on the trip.
What does photography mean to you?
Everything! I constantly have to pinch myself that I’m able to travel the world and take photos, combining 2 of my 3 biggest passions (the 3rd being music!). We all share a beautiful world together. My aim is to try and inspire people to explore it as much as they can as well!
Can you describe us your photography style?
Colourful! I guess that comes from growing up in England where grey is what I’m used to! I also spend a lot of time perfecting the details of my images. It’s not something you’ll notice on Instagram but when my work is printed out you’ll notice the sharpness, textures and details that I bring out.
How did you end up on Instagram?
Ha! Believe it or not it was actually my mum who introduced me to Instagram. I didn’t listen to her for a while as your mum isn’t meant to know what’s cool is she?! Turns out she is quite cool and I should have listened to her from the start. I set up my account about 3 years ago but have only really been using it properly over the last 8 months.
Do you use any other social media channel? If yes – can you compare the experience with using Instagram?
I have a Facebook page and Twitter account. Instagram however is my favourite. The community is much more engaged. It’s a visual platform only so you know what you’re getting in your feed and you can tailor to suit you. One post can be and amazing photographer from New York and the next you’re taken away to the top of a mountain in the Himalayas. Travelling the world at the flick of a screen!
How often do you publish photos on Instagram? Do you interact with other people on Instagram?
1-3 times a day. When I’m not posting I’m looking at other peoples work and trying to find new amazing photographers to follow. I interact as much as I can, especially with my own followers. There are loads of names that ‘like’ my posts that have been there from the very start which is amazing.
What would you say are the most important ‘rules’ that every Instagrammer must follow? Or – it would be good to follow?
Apart from the usual don’t post more than 3 times a day I’d say keep the camera facing forward and show the world how you see it! Stop trying to copy the people and be like a ‘celebrity’, your life is probably a lot more interesting than you think! Basically, don’t post selfies unless they’re funny!
To find more about Ed & his work – check his web page!