MEXTURES HIGHLIGHT: @SOFI_PHOTGRAPHY_

MEXTURES HIGHLIGHT: @SOFI_PHOTGRAPHY_

Today we're showcasing the words and work of our friend Sofi (@sofi_photography_)!  Whether it be her gorgeous macro work or her sparkling sunrise/sunset captures, we absolutely adore her work.  Read all about her process below and say "hello" to her on Instagram!

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Hi! My name is Sofi and I live on the south-east coast of the sunshine state, Florida.

WHAT WERE YOU LIKE IN HIGH SCHOOL?

I was a kind of shy and introverted girl, but I still had my own small circle of good friends. I was a good student ...I think. I was passionate about visual arts. I’ve always had a special connection with colors and textures. I loved to draw, paint, and write. These three activities were on my mind daily. I was a dreamer! I wanted to be a poet, a painter, and a sculptor. At the end of my college career, I ended up with a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration. Life gives you unexpected, crazy turns!

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?

A happy and healthy woman who loves her life. Very simple, nothing complicated.

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WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE COMFORT FOOD?

My favorite comfort foods are strawberries and watermelon, I could eat those all day long. Occasionally, I love to eat dark chocolate too.

WHAT IS YOUR SPIRIT ANIMAL?

Probably a dove. I love their determination and serenity. I love how they’re fast and agile while flying, yet they have a very calming presence.

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WHAT TWO CELEBRITIES WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO BE YOUR PARENTS?

My parents are celebrities in my heart and no one can replace them.

IF YOU COULD LIVE ANYWHERE ON EARTH, WHERE WOULD YOU LIVE?

Oh God! It would have to have mountains and the ocean near by. I’m not quite sure where exactly, but as long as there’s scenery to photograph, I’m all for it!

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WHAT'S THE MOST INTERESTING THING ABOUT YOU THAT WE WOULDN'T LEARN FROM INSTAGRAM ALONE?

I am not sure if this is interesting or not, but I am a runner. I’m not a pro but I love to run and if I don’t run, I walk. I need to keep moving. I drawn to mountains, I love them. Many years ago, all I wanted was to climb high. When you are on the top of the world, where the mysterious thin air is around you, you forget everything and once you do it, it gets into your blood and you want to do it again and again. My highest summit was around 5,600 meters (18,300 feet) (Vallunuraju Peak, Huaraz, Peru).  I don’t know how my body would react to those altitudes now but, if I ever have the opportunity to, I would climb again in a blink of an eye.

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HOW DID YOU FIRST GET IN TO PHOTOGRAPHY?

My first love was art. This included writing, drawing, and painting. It's a passion that I kept throughout all my life. During my younger adult years, I was kind of an adventurer. I traveled constantly, I had a point and shoot camera but, I didn't take many pictures because I preferred to memorize the moment with my eyes and later draw, paint, or write about the scenery. Most of the time, my film wouldn't come out clearly and that always made me sad! When my life got busier, I realized I didn't have the time or space necessary to unravel my passion for painting. My involvement with painting was very sporadic, however; I knew I needed an outlet for my creativity.

My real interest in photography as a hobby came not too long ago, maybe about 5 or 6 years behind. When I got my first DSLR camera, a Canon EOS Rebel T2i, and  I had more time to go out and explore.

With photography, the possibilities are endless, you never quite stop learning. It makes you exercise your creativity because there is so much you can capture and different ways to do so. There are numerous editing tools, methods, and applications that can turn an image into something completely different. It's amazing to see how you can transform and enhance a picture. You can tell a story and transmit all kinds of emotions and moods. It's almost like my three passions (drawing, painting, and writing) all come together in one image. The amount of stories I can tell through my photography is what holds my interest. I don't know what more I could possibly ask from this life!

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HAS SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCED YOUR WORK?

Yes, definitely! I would have never imagined the amount of exposure my work has received from it. I never thought a person would be interested in my photography. It is also my source of inspiration. There are so many talented photographers out there and just when you think you have seen it all, there is always something new and igniting. I have used other photography sites but, nowadays I only post on Instagram and occasionally on Facebook. The Instagram community was and is very welcoming to my work. The support I receive is incredible to me! When time allows me, I give feedback and I love to receive it too because I'm able to learn from it. The consistent input you receive makes you grow as a photographer. It's like you're continuously developing. One never knows everything about this world! Instagram has helped me expand my mind and explore new techniques and methods like Mextures.

IS THERE ANYTHING IN PARTICULAR THAT YOU TRY TO COMMUNICATE THROUGH YOUR WORK?

Nature is so wondrous and I want to be able to convey that through my images. I want every viewer to feel the energy and atmosphere of each image. If I post a landscape photograph, I want the viewers to feel like they are there with me, living in that moment. If I post a macro photo, I want them to appreciate how nature makes extraordinary and intricate things. I tell stories though my pictures. I’d like for my viewers to feel colors, moods, textures, and maybe even smells. I love to evoke emotions.

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HOW DO YOU GENERALLY APPROACH YOUR EDITING PROCESS?

I edit my images in numerous ways, generally, it has two phases. First, I have to say I don't process my images in batches. For me, every photo is special. I treat each one like a canvas, original and ready to be painted on. My first tool during my editing process is Lightroom. I tend to shoot underexposed. With LR, I do some basic RAW edits. Over time, I’ve created some presets that are the foundation of my editing process. Sometimes I use Photoshop. It’s very minimum use though because I feel like I’m bad at it since it’s so complicated! Sometimes I use Nik Collection as well. After editing with LR, I send the photo to my phone and then the second phase commences. There are times where I’ve decided to post my images that have only been editing with LR. Other times, I feel like something is missing, like a minimal detail. I work with the color of the image, the environment, and the mood. This is how my work with Mextures starts. I feel like the possibilities with this app are never-ending. With Mextures, I let my imagination soar. I can spend days editing just one image (feel free to call me crazy). The important thing is to be able to transmit what I saw, felt, and imagined when I took a certain photograph. I constantly end up with several versions of a photo. The decision process on what to post is honestly a dilemma!

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HOW SPECIFICALLY DO YOU USE MEXTURES IN THAT PROCESS?

When I edit, I’m lost in that moment. I’m in my own reserved space where I can create what I want to convey. The filters and editing options Mextures offers are countless. They help me achieve my vision. I can dramatize an image and change the energy by applying different textures and tones. The story of any image is so easy to change using this app. I can give my images hints of light or color and the way to do so is incredible easy. The level of creativity grows exponentially with the use of Mextures.

CAN YOU SHARE TWO OF YOUR FAVORITE FORMULAS? 

Summer (QHSXCRP)

This formula emphasizes the details in the photo and gives more depth to the image. The scene becomes more energetic. It creates emphasis on what you’re looking at.

Sweet dreams (PKBSNGE)

This formula gives a subtle warmth to the image. It invents a magical, soft, and peaceful atmosphere.

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PICK TWO OF YOUR FAVORITE PIECES.  WHAT IS IT ABOUT THESE TWO THAT MAKE THEM STAND OUT?

Autumn (LDWLXGS)

This landscape photo was taken during a very moody sunrise. It looked as if the sun was hiding, the light was very somber and there was a glimpse of romanticism among the sky. It was a very serene moment with very simple colors. Frozen, Ice Sunrise, Waterfront and Omnius filters were used to achieve my vision and give a touch of light and depth to the image. The result gave the image a touch of mysticism and the scene became even more quiet and romantic.

Drummers (IBXIAVY)

A waterscape with lots of sky. These are one of my favorite type of photos to shoot. I love this combination. This was taken during morning hours when a heavy storm was expected. I wanted to give a moody feeling to an already dramatic image. Only one filter was used, the Bloody Orange filter. This filter helped the image look even more sensational; the clouds popped out and the ambiance got a powerful energy. I was very satisfied with the result.

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WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO CREATE MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE?

Nature! Life! I love to explore nature in all aspects. I adore capturing the atmosphere that surrounds me; my style revolves around color and that’s what always attracts my eye and inspires my photography. I’m overwhelmingly passionate about creating stories with my images. I feel like I live in a different universe when I let my imagination and creativity fly. It compares to no other feeling.

WHO ARE THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE MOST INSPIRED YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY?

This is a tough question! I love the diverse genres of photography and editing, even if the photographer doesn't edit the images. When I look at an image I always ask myself what is the photographer trying to convey? I love images that have soul and passion. You can definitely notice who is passionate about their photography. The moment the image makes the connection with me is the moment of pure and sublime inspiration!

Having said that, I have to mention some friends who in someway, influenced, helped and mentored me through the last years. I appreciate and admire their work and am forever grateful for their time and kindness. One of them sadly passed away last year, Ellen Althainz, her work was pure art, always thinking out of the box! @sue_duq, the queen of macros and edits, exquisite vision! @giorgioaiani, the soulful mountaineer, writing fables with his images! And last, but not least, and probably the person who influenced me the most is my mama, she has a huge love for flowers. She provided me with a magic garden, I grew up surrounded by colors, forms, and textures. She taught me how to love and respect nature and be in awe of all the little miracles that life brings each day. Even to this day, every time I visit her, I get lost in her magic garden.

If I talk about Mextures only, I'd like to mention the photographers whose exquisite work made me be intrigued and attracted to this wonderful editing application tool: @littlesquarelives, @eliza_bea, @f_u_g_a_z, @momentsforever1, @charla_yvonne.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the incredible support that my work has. My deepest gratitude to all my friends and followers on Instagram. Kindest thanks to Mextures for this wonderful opportunity.

See more of Sofi's work here!