Blood is Just as Thick as Blood for This Wandering Photographer

In this original Summer series we’re packing our bags and catching up with some of our favourite travel photographers from across the web. These creatives each bring a unique angle to the field; explore their work and polish your own holiday pics.

How often do you find yourself lost in thought staring into a glassy pond, or soothed by the flickering trickle of a fountain? It’s precisely this entrancingly calm quality of water, we think, that creates such easy tranquility in the travel photography of Mio Monasch. “I am actually a Pisces, so I guess that may explain some of my attraction to water” Mio, AKA Monascherie, helpfully shares, as we explore his aquatic body of work.

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Using a Fujifilm XT2 body and various lenses, sometimes even a DJI drone, Mio’s fascination with photography was consummated nearly 3 years ago with the purchase of his first camera (a Cano 6D). Since then, Since then, he’s branched into freelance photography alongside his day job as a retail manager.

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THE PLUS: What draws you so often to bodies of water in your photography?
Mio Monasch:
I’ve had a love for water in my family for a long time. My grandfather served in Her Majesty’s Royal Naval service during WWII and became an avid sailor for the remainder of his life. I grew up sailing with him and my parents primarily in the Pacific Northwest region.  

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TP: So it’s in your blood?
MM:
There’s something uniquely mesmerising to me about the contrast between vulnerability and power that water carries, I’m fascinated by it’s movement and ability to change and shape landscapes.

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TP: Water’s notoriously difficult to draw – are there any challenges in photographing it? 
MM:
It carries light very differently than most subjects, and the movement can bring a tough combination as well.

TP: Is there a particular edit that you like to use with this kind of photography?
MM:
I know a lot of people are using and developing presets to create a high brand aesthetic and consistency to their work. I prefer to not do this, I don’t like forcing these moments into a preset or a particular edit style.

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TP: Let’s talk water personality: are you saltwater or fresh? 
MM:
Depends on the day, I can be notoriously grumpy, like a child, if I haven’t had food or sleep yet also can be entirely too sarcastic, and energetically humorous (fresh) in many cases as well.

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TP: Have you always been a fan of the outdoors?
MM:
Certainly not.  As I went through a darker season in my life, I came to a point where I felt that all I truly had left was my dog and my camera.  In the effort to return the love which my pup so generously and unconditionally shared with me, we started hiking – a lot.  

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TP: What’s one thing you’d say to persuade people to catch the next train into the wilderness?
MM:
Just do it! There’s always a million things going on in life that can be distractions or seem like a higher priority.  There’s nothing to refresh the mind and soul like fresh air and experiences found in the wilderness.

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TP: Any tips for photographing natural bodies of water at its best?
MM:
Shoot during the golden and blue hours, just before and after sunrise and sunset. Bright clear skies, traditionally beautiful to most people’s eyes, are difficult to shoot with. The harsh light creates significant shadows, which makes for a challenging contrast.

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TP: Any luxuries you bring with you on your travels?
MM:
My camera and phone are my most important luxuries.  Without the camera, I wouldn’t challenge myself to see places differently or hunt for places off the beaten track and without my phone I couldn’t research such locations or listen to music constantly.

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TP: How do you like to travel? Alone – with other photographers?
MM:
A mixture of both. Traveling with other photographers is incredible as multiple styles and visions can really bring one to new locations and see them through different perspectives.

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TP: Any non-‘industry’ companions you like to have?
MM:
I love traveling with my girlfriend and our little dog – their interaction with a surrounding environment can provide a very different perspective. Last, I love traveling by myself. There’s a different kind of silence. I’ll always love that.

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