In our continued effort to highlight amazing Mextures users from all parts of the world and styles of photography, we now pay a visit to the work of Catherine Nunnally (@catherinenunnally). As a perpetual traveler, Catherine has had the opportunity to photograph some of the most gorgeous landscapes and landmarks on the globe. Her deep love for photography drives her to capture images of every type and vantage point. We learned a lot about Catherine, her work and her creative process so be sure to read along to learn along!
Hi! My name is Catherine Nunnally. In 2014, I took a huge leap of faith from a safe 9-5 banking job in Sarasota, Florida and decided to go work at a seasonal job in Alaska for the summer. On that one way plane ride I felt like Mel Gibson’s character in Braveheart when he screamed “Freeeedomm!” I’ve always had a love for travel, but that summer was the catalyst for my unyielding wanderlust! Alaska was the perfect place for me to nourish my love for the outdoors, grow in my love for photography, and it also taught me that I can thrive through whatever life throws my way.
I’m currently working another seasonal job in Bavaria, Germany and it is already one of the best decisions of my life. It drives my passion for connection, self discovery, pushing through my comfort zone and fully immersing in the unknown. Thankfully it is also a great way for me to adventure around Europe and share pieces of my experience through the eyes of my lens. I’ve definitely fallen in love with seasonal work and I’m already excited for the travel/work opportunities the future holds for me!
HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INTO PHOTOGRAPHY AND INSTAGRAM?
I’ll never forget the day I convinced my mother to get me a camera at the age of 12. My cat was pregnant and I prepared a compelling argument as to why it was important that I documented the kittens growing up. It truly felt like my heart exploded out of my chest when she handed me my very own sparkly camera! From that day forward I have been taking pictures.
I’ve always been introverted so it was the best way for me to cope with my desire to be creative without bringing too much attention to myself. I started using Instagram as soon as I moved to Alaska. I LOVE gaining inspiration for places to visit and it truly is a creative community with a lot of love and encouragement to give.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE?
I would describe my style as multifaceted. I don’t feel limited when it comes to my photography and I love having the freedom to experiment.
WHAT DO YOU WANT VIEWERS TO TAKE AWAY FROM YOUR WORK?
I’ve always valued how photographs can inspire and move people. Photographs are a representation of memories; a frozen, distinct moment of time. No one will ever be able to capture the same exact image as the next and that is something I find to be truly magical about photography.
I love to give my photos a dreamy and thoughtful effect, pushing your mind to wonder. All of my photos are observations and frozen moments of beauty that I hope will inspire the viewer’s imagination. I also hope that it will ignite in them a desire to experience this beautiful world. Whether that be traveling to these locations or even just exploring their own backyards.
WHEN YOU ARE OUT SHOOTING HOW MUCH OF IT IS INSTINCTUAL VERSUS PLANNED?
It’s 100% instinctual. I definitely try to just go with the flow of the moment.
WHAT KEEPS YOU INTERESTED IN PHOTOGRAPHY?
It’s a great way to keep a photographic diary of my life. I also love that it challenges me to see the world with fresh eyes every day. Photography is timeless.
WHAT DOES YOUR EDITING PROCESS GENERALLY LOOK LIKE?
I will go through all my photos and put the ones I want to edit into a separate editing folder. After I have picked out my favorites I will do basic editing in Snapseed or VSCO such as cropping/straightening, sharpening, contrast altering, and upping the saturation. Recently in my photography I’ve loved the look of a bit more saturation, really bringing out the colors of the scene. It is also incredibly important to get the correct exposure on the photo. High contrast that is counterbalanced with a bit of fade is something I enjoy as well. Thankfully I’ve streamlined my editing process so that I can accomplish a cohesive look over my photos in a shorter period of time.
HOW SPECIFICALLY DO YOU USE MEXTURES IN THAT PROCESS?
After I have done the basic editing, I will use Mextures to give my photo the right mood. I love that the Mextures application has a lot of freedom to layer on the photo without compromising the quality. I love the landscape enhance and light leak options coupled with the blending modes. It assists me in creating the perfect whimsical vibe that I love for my images to have.
There are also so many amazing formulas that help add complex emotions to what might be just any other landscape photo. You also have the option to make your own formulas which has been an incredible asset when it comes to editing my photos quickly. I want my photographs to portray the feeling I felt in the moment when they were taken and I’ve found that Mextures is the best editing system to achieve this.
CAN YOU SHARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE FORMULAS?
High Noon – BWEYCYX – This one will add depth to your photo. It gives the image a great texture and works well with landscape or architecture shots.
Lit - NFQJQGK – This is a great one to use if you just need to brighten up your photo quickly. It’s also a great base to build on.
Burnt - CLZBHBQ – Perfect for giving your images a cinematic vibe.
Bloom – RMSZMBL – This is my go to for flower/nature photos. It has the perfect balance of contrast and fade.
DO YOU FEEL LIKE MEXTURES OFFERS ANYTHING UNIQUE TO YOUR EDITING PROCESS?
Mextures is the perfect way to streamline your editing process (via the formulas) and gives creative autonomy. The in-built filters, blending modes, and layering options definitely set Mextures apart from any other editing application I’ve used. It also has a wonderful community of artists that happily encourage and openly share their process.
WHAT HAVE YOU FOUND TO BE YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE IN DEVELOPING YOUR HOBBY?
Time has been by far the biggest challenge. Before I started seasonal work I had a consistent schedule that I wasn't able to break away from. I was a weekend warrior who lethargically rolled my eyes at my work week and then celebrated when Friday was here! Thankfully I've been able to have a more balanced approach to my life. I work part time now at my seasonal job and all my free time is dedicated to traveling/photography.
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO ACCOMPLISH VIA YOUR WORK IN THE NEXT YEAR?
Over the next year I aspire to continue traveling as much as possible. It would be a dream come true to have my photographs lead me to traveling full-time! I'd also love to start up destination photography workshops.
IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT MAKES A PIECE MEMORABLE?
If I could express it in words it would be both dedication and obsession. Art is a desire to share pieces of our experience. Creation is the main driving force. I know that is a bit of an elusive answer but I suppose that's what art is. It's a mirror for our experiences, hopes, dreams and fantasies.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO CREATE MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE?
Creation is a natural part of life. My desire to connect and share is what inspires me to create more than anything else.
ARE THERE PEOPLE FROM INSTAGRAM OR THE WORLD OF PHOTOGRAPHY THAT HAVE HELPED OR INSPIRED YOU IN SOME WAY?
Galen Rowell has always been a great creative influence when it comes to my nature/travel photography. I'm in love with his articles on the importance of communicating the value of an experience. It's all about focusing on the beautiful moments you're having and not getting lost in the desire to "take the perfect picture".
Alison Scarpulla is one of my biggest inspirations. I love the mysterious and piercing effect her images depict. The grain and use of light is something I always aspire to emulate.
David LaChapelle has always fascinated me with his use of color and shock factor. He is one of those photographers that really makes you feel something when you look at his photos.
Wouter Boer is another incredible landscape photographer I follow on Instagram. I love his transparency with his editing process and also his adventurous spirit in showing you simple landscapes in a more brilliant light.
Be sure to wander over to Catherine’s feed to see more!