Aha People: Jay Patel, The Landscape Photographer

Jay Patel is a veteran in landscape photography. He needs no formal introduction. His works speaks for himself. His journey started in his childhood days when he happened to travel around Indian subcontinent. He got so engrossed with the nature’s majesty that its grandness can’t escape through his digital DSLR camera, which Jay bought first in 2002. And the journey that began then is still finding new destinations inspiring us to travel more as the world around is a beautiful creation and we are born to explore it.

I won’t brag about Jay’s popularity as the numbers suffice to convey his reach. Listed across 16 lac Google circles, having gained 2 lac facebook followers and 1161 followers from pinterest, Jay continues to interact with the world around us by producing his works in vibrant colors. His works has a special connection with light. Read further to know more from what Jay has to say:

1) Hi Jay, kindly introduce yourself to my readers and tell us what brought you to photography. How did you get started? You expertise in capturing nature’s majesty, Is there any other niche in photography you would like to venture into?

Jay:   I never really took photography seriously until late 1999 when the digital cameras were just coming onto the scene. I purchased my first Nikon 990 in late 1990, and fell in love with photography (something I always wanted to learn). I purchased my first DSLR in 2002 and started seriously pursuing landscape photography. I love being out in wilderness and I can’t imagine myself doing any other kind of photographic work. I do have the knowledge, but no incentive to seriously pursue other areas of photography.


2) You have a competitor cum partner as your wife Varina. I gathered you two don’t need a critic or company when at work. But my question is: What will you suggest to a single photographer willing to get married to a fellow photographer? Share plus and minuses.

Jay:  There are many advantages to having your spouse as a photographer: We keep each other company on those long drives, we don’t have to worry about visiting a remote location alone, we never feel guilty about keeping a spouse in remote locations for hours, sometimes after dark. For us, going shooting is like being on a date….without the kids! There are no negatives when you are in love with your wife. 😉

3) When photographing, how important is light over location or vice versa.

Jay: I view light as my primary photographic subject. So, I prefer the right light over the right location. I frequently stop to shoot on the side of the road, or on the trail to a fabulous location, because the light was right in that spot. I encourage our students to follow the light rather than be fixated on a location.


4) Tell us about your tools of the trade. What hardware and software do you use?

Jay – I use Photoshop and nothing else to process my images. I will sometimes use Nik Software and OnOne SW as a post processing tool to get my images to get them ready for Printing. You can read all about camera, lenses and accessories here.

5) In the photography area, what would you like to achieve?

Jay – Shoot more and worry less about making money or being popular.


6) You are a photographer, you teach as well via online tutorial classes. Is there anything about you that describes you beyond it?

Jay – Photography is all about developing a workflow.  You can have all technical knowledge in the world, but if you don’t know when and where to use the knowledge you will have a hard time consistently producing breathtaking images.  I excel at teaching students to produce breathtaking images under variety of light conditions.

7) Name five of your favorite nature/ landscape photographers and travel photographers for inspiration. Also, list out 10-15 pictures of other artists that have inspired you.

Jay – This is an interesting question…Most photographers I know will answer this question by naming a few of their favorite photographers.  In landscape photography, being at the right time and at right place plays just as important role in getting a stunning shot as your skill level.  I have to say I am inspired by any photographs rather than photographers who produce the results.

8)We want to flood this interview with pictures captured by you during past 12 years. May be you can share 12 pictures clicked by you (one each year) that you admire for its beauty.

Jay: I will give you 12 photos by year…Feel free to publish them on your website.

Year 2002: Glacier National Park


Year 2003: Canon Beach, Oregon


Year 2004: Key West, Florida


Year 2005: Death Valley, CA


Year 2006: Havasu, Arizona


Year 2007: Glacier


Year 2008: Yellowstone


Year 2009: Canada


Year 2010: Olympic National Park, Washington


Year 2011: Oregon


Year 2012: Volcanoes National Park, HI


Year 2013: Iceland


9) Best advice that you have been given.

Jay – There is always something more to learn. If you think you have mastered all the technical skills there are to master, try challenging your creativity. Put yourself in the worst possible location with the worst possible light, and see if your imagination rises to the challenge. See if you can come away with stunning photographs.

10) Favorite accomplishment

Jay – Never having a favorite accomplishment. This always keeps you hungry for your favorite

11) First digital camera (when and which)

Jay: Late 90s – Nikon 990


12) Lastly, whom do you want us to interview next and why do you think he deserves to be amongst “Aha People”?

Jay – Varina Patel….She is one of very very few successful Landscape Photographers in the world. Colby Brown and Darwin Wiggett, you must interview them.

Jay, many thanks for taking out time and answering questions for aha readers. You are truly an inspiration for people like me who wish to travel, travel and travel.