What I love the most about photography is that it is closely related to imagination and creativity. I love that you can capture a moment and freeze it in time to save all those memories and emotions. What makes this even more special compared to video is that photography forces you to use your imagination due to the missing part of the information. The image becomes more relevant to every viewer personally because they use their own feelings and experiences gained throughout life.
My name is Denis Timofijuk and I am a Survey Framework Developer at Sermo. I am mainly responsible for developing new internal tools and process automatisation, in order to help our team to do their daily tasks easier and faster. In addition, I consult our clients about various technical details related to their needs for particular projects. And naturally, in the end, I make those projects happen.
I have always been passionate about technology, computers, and programming. When I was a child, the digital world seemed very mysterious and magical, where everything seems to be possible. One of the reasons why I like what I am doing now is because I am able to see the end results live. When I create things, other people can see them too, and it is important to be able to share my creations with others and get feedback.
I was born in Ukraine and lived there for almost 4 years. When my parents divorced, my mother took me and my two brothers to Lithuania. And honestly, I am very happy I grew up here. We lived in a relatively small town called Utena where all the neighbours were very friendly. We had our own little house with a yard and a little garden where we grew our vegetables. Almost every summer day, my friends and I would ride great distances to the forests or parks to play, or to lakes to swim and chill. I especially enjoyed those moments when we would go to old railways. There is something special about them to me.
Outside of my job, I love photography. My interest in photography began a long time ago, but I still remember that moment very well. It was a very snowy winter. We had 3 cherry trees in our yard. On that day, everything was covered with a very big layer of snow. It was pure white and so silent, even though we lived in the city. I remember sitting behind the window and admiring the view. At that moment, I really wanted to have a camera and take a picture, to save that magical moment and be able to return to it in the future. Of course, we neither had a camera nor the money to buy one, so all that was left for me to do was just to sit by the window and try to record all that in my memory.
When I was a teenager, I started to earn my own money. That opened a possibility for me to buy my own camera. Of course, I did not earn much, so all I was able to get was a super-cheap and low-quality product. It had no expandable memory, no flash-light, no screen – nothing, just a button for taking pictures and an eject-able glass to aim at the subject. The quality was maybe 0.3 Mpix (352 x 288 pixels), but that was not important. The main thing was that I was able to do photography, to capture those moments and “freeze” time. I had so much fun with that camera. Mainly because it was able to store only 10-20 images in its memory, and they stayed there only until the batteries were alive. When they died, all the images would disappear. So when we were going somewhere far away and I took lots of pictures, I had to go quickly back home and upload those images to my computer!
Below are my first pictures taken with my camera. You can clearly see how poor the quality is (no composition or other things), but that is not important. The most important thing to me is the emotions I get looking back at them. And that is the key value of photography – emotions.
I have a lot of favourite photographers (both locally and through online sources). I discovered most of these names when I was a student and started to dive deeper into photography and learn more about it:
Scott Kelby – he was my first favourite photographer; I started to learn photography from him through his book. The way Scott expressed his thoughts really inspired me to dive deeper into the photography world. Thanks to him, I was able to achieve much better results with my pictures. I gained more technical skills and started to grow as a photographer much faster and better. Now, I buy all his books like a collector and watch his broadcasts on Facebook.
Aaron Nace – I found this photographer through recommendations from other photographers on our local photographers’ group. He is a brilliant photographer. I am watching all of his tutorials in PHLERN. He provides great value about understanding colours, light, Photoshop, and Lightroom, and how to edit photos correctly. I am learning from Aaron how to express my imagination, thanks to all those things. I am planning to buy all of Aaron’s online courses and learn as much as possible.
Morten Hilmer – he is a wonderful nature photographer. He was a Youtube recommendation, and I was instantly hooked; I watched all his videos. He teaches super valuable things about nature, how to understand and respect it. Actually, Morten became like a ritual in my family. Every weekend, we watch his videos during our breakfast. Those are very magical and happy moments for us. His passion for coffee looks very influencing!
Marius Čepulis – he is a local and great nature photographer. With every photo, he tells his story about that moment. Every time, his stories are very interesting to read and his pictures are super high-quality: https://www.facebook.com/cepuliofoto/.
Romualdas Barauskas – he is a professional nature photographer, also from my local area. We met at a book event and he suggested that I go with him for a nature photo-trip. From that moment, I became deeply hooked on nature photography. Thanks to him, I felt what it is to be in nature, to see how it is living on its own. I think I should mention that Romualdas also was a teacher for Marius Čepulis. Every autumn, I try to go with Romualdas for a photo-trip, as those moments are super-valuable for me: https://www.facebook.com/romualdas.barauskas.5.
I work with two cameras: Canon 550D and Nikon D750. At the time, Canon 550D was a very good camera for the price. I liked it, did some research on the Internet, and decided to buy it – I am still very happy about this choice. I expanded my gear with Canon 70-200 L class lens and I had very good moments with this camera; I gained a lot of experience and knowledge.
Since I became interested in working in dimly-lit environments (night sky photography, nature of dark forests, etc.), I realised that I need a better body that would be able to handle ISO better. And I wanted to have a full-frame sensor. So, after a long time researching, I bought a Nikon D750 with a couple of wide lenses and a Tamron 150-600 G2 telephoto lens for wildlife photography. This became my main camera, and the Canon is now only a backup gear.
I am interested in a variety of different photography types: nature, night sky, city architecture, macro, wedding, fashion, people, various events photography (concerts, shows, meetings, lectures, etc.), portraits, and digital manipulations. I even had built my own little studio with lighting and background. All of it was very interesting to me, and I had so much fun doing it all. Now, I am mostly interested in nature photography. I guess the main reason for that would be that I like to be alone in nature. To achieve that, I get up a couple of hours before sunrise. Those moments are, as photographers say, “golden”.
I like to edit my photos in post-production. I remember reading a post from a photographer that really stuck with me. There was a discussion among photographers about the same topic – edited photos versus raw. He compared this to the everyday life of people. When we are representing ourselves to the outside world, we want to leave a good impression: we do not go out straight from our beds; we shower, we make our hair, we choose nice clothes – the same goes with editing photos. You need to fix colour balance, contrast, remove some garbage elements if there are any, cut it, and make many other post-edits to achieve the final goal you wanted to show to the world. For me, Photoshop and other software are just tools helping to get to that final result I see in my head.
I see a lot of similarities between photography and my job. I am a programmer and my final product is visible to users on the internet (basically front-end developer). So this is a closely related environment where I can connect art with technical elements and use my imagination. For example, I merged both these worlds in one by creating an online game using my photos. Actually, this is the first product I have created when I started to learn programming. This was a super fun little project for me to do.
I definitely think that photography has been a benefit to my technological career. They are directly related because the end result for both is the product that will be visible to others. This involves understanding composition, how and where to place particular elements, understanding colours, and knowing what complimentary colours are and what purpose they have. The end result will be an emotion that the user will get using my product.
My advice to anyone interested in photography is to just do it. It does not matter what tools you will use, or what other people will think about this. All that matters is how you feel by doing this. After your first steps toward photography, you will naturally need to go the same basic learning path (as all photographers did), and that is a journey full of fun and happy moments.
There is always more than tech. We are building tech to help us to achieve our dreams, which are coming from our imagination. I believe that this is a very important process that helps to share ideas and spread them to the world. Creativity helps us to improve, move forward, and set our destination goals. In the end, a technologist with imagination and creativity is a very valuable and powerful combination.
Denis’ YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/Denkaa1987/videos
Denis’ 500PX Photo Gallery: https://500px.com/p/dennka
Denis’ eFoto Gallery: https://www.efoto.lt/user/46741/nuotraukos
Denis’ Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/denisas.timofijuk/