Mitch Meyer (@mitchmey) has been an admirer of photography since high school. After learning with film and eventually making the transition to digital, his creativity has exploded and his abilities have skyrocketed. Whether he is capturing landscapes or portraits (and many times the two together) his particular touch is intelligently unique. Adding depth, tweaking colors and toying with textures are things that he not only excels at but also enjoys. The Mextures team had the opportunity to chat with Mitch recently about all of this and more. Have a read! Words are not my friends. This is why photography is my tool of choice to express myself. An image should speak to you. I never caption an image because I feel if I have to explain it then I didn’t do my job. Anyway, my name is Mitch. I live in Salt Lake City, Utah (no, Im not mormon). My favorite people include Payton (my daughter) and Morgen (my girlfriend). They make me super happy. We all share common interests such as Coffee (Hot Cocoa) , Music (One Direction only applies to Payton), Adventuring into the abyss and Photography/Art of course! I live a pretty simple life although I see it pretty vividly. Thanks for checking it out.
What was it that first attracted you to photography?
Honestly, it was an excuse to avoid boring classes in high school. I took a photography class and my first assignment was to shoot with black and white film - any subject we wanted. The following week we were able to develop and print the film in the darkroom. I loved the entire process! I was able to tune everything going on at school out and listen to music while I let my creativity take control. I was hooked instantly. From there I took any photo related courses I could. Photoshop was another class I fell in love with.
How have you seen your approach to photography develop since you first started shooting?
The switch from film to digital was what made me fall even more in love with photography. Don’t get me wrong, I love film photography and the whole developing process, but with digital I felt I was able to learn and produce way faster than I was with film. I could shoot and instantly see what I needed to change, I would experiment more with light and exposures without having to worry about wasting film. I had a studio lighting class in college and afterwards I decided to buy my own lights and put them in my office at home. I began playing with various lighting setups on different subjects. I also had advanced photoshop classes at the time and I was determined to master it, I was using photoshop a lot. Fashion photography and Ad photography was a huge influence at the time (still is). Currently I am more inspired by raw, natural light. I appreciate both, I just go in waves of what I’m inspired by.
What is typically your approach to editing a photo?
It depends on what I’m shooting. Any professional job I shoot with my DSLR I put into lightroom first where I do a batch edit on the exposure and color balancing. I then take the chosen image(s) and open it in photoshop and do an extensive edit on it. I zoom in and smooth out every last imperfection. I then apply a custom action I made that gives the image a gritty look to it. Sometimes I will do some compositing or I will add in lighting effects + dodging and burning. Anything on my Instagram is usually shot with my iPhone. If I get a shot I like I will take it into Mextures, VSCO, Afterlight, or CameraBag. I experiment with effects that emphasis the mood of the image, I try not to use too many filters that take away from the image but rather just enhance what was already taken. I feel Mextures is ideal for lighting effects. If I do custom adjustments (shadows, highlights, straightening, etc) I use VSCO or Instagram’s editing tools.
When you use Mextures to edit an image how do you generally utilize the app?
I usually know exactly what I want to do to an image before I open it in Mextures. Typically it’s to add more depth with the lighting effects (leaks, gradients). Occasionally I like to tweak the colors with the x-film pack and other various overlays. Other times I’ll get a little more experimental with the grit/grains and emulsions, I try to use those effects more subtle to avoid overpowering the image. Once I choose a layer I’ll find it’s position and then play with the blending modes, sometimes I’ll play with the adjustments on an individual layer as well. I would say an average edit I do has only about 2-4 layers. I find myself using Mextures mostly when I want to enhance the colors or manipulate the lighting in an image. With all the layers to choose from its a good tool to use to create more depth in a photo.
Do you ever save your Mextures edits as formulas?
Of course! Here are 5 that I have saved:
NADA - HZQRVRK - This is a moody black and white overlay with a lighter sky to darker plain.
VISTA - NDGNPGZ - This is a cooler toned overlay with a color flare. It is low in contrast
BEBOP - KSZEZAS - This is a warm toned black and white with a grainy overlay to give it a old print feel.
VOLCAN - QZNPBIS - This is a warmer version of Vista
LLAMA - RDHEGUG - This a colorful overlay with a holga feel to it, light leak included.
What have you found most inspires you to take and edit pictures?
Music (and coffee) is what gives me most of my inspiration. A lot of times when I'm shooting/editing I have a track in my head and I use the mood of that to create an image. I’m inspired by various things, anything from paintings, music, photography, fashion design, interior design, places, food, etc. I use photography as my platform to convey the emotion or mood Im feeling at that time in the time of my life. Sometimes that is dark, and sometimes it is bright. A few fellow photographers/directors/musicians who inspire me are Bruno Dayan, Eric Bute, Tyler Gourley, and Scott Hansen (Tyco).
Are there specific people from Instagram that inspire you?
Make sure to check out more of Mitch’s images here!