Joanna (@joannakatd) is a nature enthusiast and landscape photographer based in calgary whose work we’ve come to love. Her consistent use of overlays from Landscape Enhance and X-Film to add unique colorations to her imagery tends to make her work stand out and provides truly enjoyable visuals. The Mextures team recently had a conversation with Joanna about everything from music to inspiration. We compiled it for you in the News section of the app and the Journal section of mextures.com. Read along and let us and Joanna know what you think!
I'm Joanna from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I was born and raised in this city and I love that it's only an hours drive from the mountains. Capturing the mountain's beauty has become my absolute passion! When I'm not shooting mountains or macro shots, I work at a book warehouse where I catalogue books for various public libraries in Western Canada. My hobbies are of course photography and then editing those photos on my iPhone usually. I'm also teaching myself how to play guitar, something I've always wanted to do, and I love music which is another passion of mine. Music is always surrounding me - most of my mextures formulas are named from song lyrics that are being sung the moment I go to save the formula.
HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INTO PHOTOGRAPHY?
It's actually been pretty recent - in the last 3 years. I needed to be challenged and motivated daily and so I started those photo a day challenges. It gave me the start I needed to begin looking at things differently, however I didn't like being told what to photograph. I was drawn to nature and that's all I wanted to photograph. Once I learned about Mextures, it changed everything, and how I captured landscapes. Mextures could give plain scenes a certain mood and transform them giving them a look that I loved. I was hooked in the beginning and have been hooked since.
IS THERE ANYTHING IN PARTICULAR YOU HOPE TO COMMUNICATE THROUGH YOUR WORK?
With my work, what I'm trying to communicate is my love for nature. I hope that comes through with my photographs. I love looking at things like tiny buds or grand mountains and messing them up a bit (or sometimes a lot) with mextures - changing colors, tones, and maybe adding scratchy texture or a light emulsion. And I guess that's what I want viewers to take away from my work. That not all photographs have to be perfect in tone or crisp in the details. What I try to create is an overall mood, which mextures helps with immensely.
WHY ARE YOU INTERESTED IN PHOTOGRAPHY AND WHAT KEEPS YOU INTERESTED?
I'm interested in photography because I love capturing images and then editing them to become something new and beautiful to look at. Since I've had my goal of posting a photo a day on Instagram, photography has become such a big part of my life. I love looking at things differently now wherever I go (especially weeds or clouds) and usually if i don't have my camera, I regret it! But I always have my iPhone which takes amazing photos too.
What keeps me interested is first of all, I love it so much, it's turned into my passion/addiction. And second, I know I have a lot to learn yet. I recently took an Intro to DSLR cameras class which was a real eye opener. I learned so much and want to keep learning! Instagram is an amazing place to be inspired and I've learned so much there from such talented artists.
WHAT DOES YOUR EDITING PROCESS GENERALLY LOOK LIKE?
After a day of shooting, I'm always excited to get back home to start editing my images. I always start with Mextures and decide whether or not I want to crop the image to square or keep it rectangle. Then usually I'll go through my formulas and if I can't find one to fit, I'll go through all guest formulas. Sometimes I'll take a guest formula and expand on it or change adjustments or blends, or I'll even do that with my own formulas. And if those don't fit, I'll create my own. Especially when I already have in mind a certain look I want to achieve.
HOW SPECIFICALLY DO YOU USE MEXTURES IN THAT PROCESS?
Mextures is definitely the app I use almost always to edit. Even if I've used VSCO, I usually bring it to Mextures to add extra color. I usually start with the Atmospheric pack and go through all of the layers before I get to a look I like. My favorite is Insidious. Next I'll go to Vintage Gradients and any other pack I think will work. I try blending any layer as well to get different looks. Then I go to Adjustments and begin playing with different films, saturation levels, fades, shadows, and highlights, etc. I love all the film presets which can really give the image an entirely new feel.
WOULD YOU MIND SHARING A FEW OF THE MEXTURES FORMULAS THAT YOU’VE CREATED?
We used to be so beautiful - IRLTAEV
A simple 3 layer formula which includes Insidious, Vignette and Tesla from the Emulsion pack at 50% just for some added texture and light. The film used for this is F-Superia which gives it that warm feel. This formula really gives images an earthy, moody vibe especially if the image is already slightly dark.
For all of the times I never could - PCMEHJF
This 5 layer formula has a great yellowish hue to it thanks to the PX-680 film I used. The gritty texture is Ford from the Emulsion pack and the layer of Melancholy gives it that darker bottom. A very moody formula for sure.
Better than candy - UFUMUYF
This formula really gives a warm, reddish tone thanks to the Navy layer blended with Difference, and it has hints of a blue border in the top corners while Sunrise gives it a central glow. I've used this formula on skies, and foggy or cloudy images really giving them extra color.
Stargirl - VCJITBX
One of my favorite formulas that I have used a lot. This one has a centre light while keeping the edges a dark blue green. It works very well with images that have a focal point and a solid or hazy background.
Text me back - FEWMHXV
A great fall formula that gives images a very warm feel. The layer of Soil at 100% really gives it its tone and the film preset of F-Fortia Fade keeps the centre of the image bright.
DO YOU FEEL LIKE MEXTURES OFFERS ANYTHING UNIQUE TO YOUR EDITING STYLE?
Definitely it does as Mextures is pretty much the only app I use to edit. I love being able to move light around and play with color. Mextures allows me to take a picture captured on a colorless day and turn it into something bright or moody and add my own color and light. And the ways you can edit one photo are endless giving it a thousand different looks and feels. Because of this, Mextures is really the one app that got me so into editing and developing my photography passion. Being able to completely transform a scene or image sparked that creative side of me that just wants to keep creating and sharing.
WHAT HAVE YOU FOUND TO BE YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE IN DEVELOPING YOUR HOBBY?
I'd have to say finding the time and energy to get out and shoot. I wake up pretty early in the mornings which is why you never see sunsets or night shots in my feed. And I'd love to be out in the mountains every weekend if I could to shoot, however sometimes life and other commitments get in the way.
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO ACCOMPLISH VIA YOUR WORK IN THE NEXT YEAR?
I would love to set up a website to try and showcase and sell some of my photography within the next year. I never thought I would want to do that, but photography has become my absolute passion so much so that it's becoming all I want to do. I would also love to take a photography class and keep learning and growing as an artist.
WHAT MAKES A PIECE MEMORABLE IN YOUR OPINION?
I think for me, it would be a mix of factors - subject, composition and color. There was this one photo by @ikvile that I've always loved. It's of a bunch of yellow flowers upside down with a white and blue cloudy sky as a background. Everything about it was so cool and different and the contrast of colors worked so well.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE PIECE TO CREATE SO FAR?
This would have to be one of my favorite pieces that I’ve edited. I shot this using my telephoto lens because it looked interesting just standing tall out of the snow. But when I looked at it, it looked like a boring shot, just a bunch of white on white. I was bored one night, out of photos to edit, so I took the shot to Mextures to see what I could do. I tried my favorite formula - Stargirl - on it and was amazed what it did to the shot; really bringing out the details on the grass and darkening up the background perfectly.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO CREATE MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE?
More than anything else, I'd say that it's almost like an addiction - my desire to create. I NEED to create and if I can't, I start to feel like something is missing, and I start to wilt a little, and so I get out there and take more pictures to create more pieces of 'art'. My goal of posting a photo a day also keeps me inspired and motivated, and seeing other photographer’s art every day is also a big inspiration that keeps me driven.
WHO ARE THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE MOST INSPIRED YOUR WORK?
One artist who has inspired me immensely is @nickansted and I'm sure he has no idea how much. I love his creativity, and the way he uses Mextures in his work which ties everything together.
I love the way @victormunt totally saturates his images with such great, deep colors. He's fearless when it comes to that which I've tried to emulate in certain pieces of mine.
At the same time @sean_in_307 has inspired me to use Mextures lightly to only enhance colors in landscapes.
@israelsanchez91 and @jqnv have inspired me from the beginning with their super cool edits and use of mextures. @markjinksphoto always inspires me with his incredible landscape photography and I hope to be able to take as stunning shots as he does one day.
Also, my fam that I mod with every day: @hptuk, @girl_in_the_fern, @momentsforever1, @thekerinicole, @boco_blondie, @explaur_en and @rheamatter inspire me always and I'm so glad to be a part of 3 great hubs.