Wednesday, December 23, 2015

On top with Mitch Hagelberg

I got the chance to catch up with the Austin, Texas based photographer Mitch Hagelberg. These days, with all the daredevil rooftop ledge photos and look at me feet dangling from a skyscraper photos, it is great to see a photographer that can effortlessly work within that arena, but goes well beyond it as well. He gains access to seemingly inaccessible locations and takes the time and effort to actually compose a photo, rather than just snap a shot as proof. Looking at his photos I am usually left with the sense that he is out there living his life to the fullest and letting us tag along. 

Bridge Burner:  How long have you been photographing? What was your first camera and what is your current set up?
Mitch Hagelberg:  A few years now seriously, I always used to shoot bmx photos just messing around growing up. My first body was a Nikon d5000 that my whole family passed around (This body fell off a 12 story roof a few years back). I have two bodies currently My Nikon DF and my old d7000 for lapsing. I had my wide angle stolen a few months ago (Tokina 16-28 f2.8) So right now I'm kinda deciding to go more of the prime lens route. 

BB:  What is your basic shooting and editing process?  Do you try to get your photo "out of camera" as close as possible to what you want it to look like, or do you do a lot of editing after the fact?
MH:  I'm all about Lightroom 5, It really depends though I really enjoy editing as much as shooting. That wasn't always the case. For the most part I try to keep everything in a single frame and just make small adjustments. Generally speaking, I would say I have a medium amount of work done in post.

BB:  You shoot a lot of cityscape photos. Is that your preferred type of photography, or just what is most readily available to you?
MH:  That is a hard one, I love astrophotography I love the journey, I love being in the middle of nowhere. The reason I really got into shooting again was because of the urban and abandoned stuff though. I used to be terrified of heights too.

BB:  Are there any photographers, famous or not, that have had a big influence on your work?
MH:  Where to start? Well, as a kid, Ansel Adams for sure (we share the same birthday too). Tom Ryaboi, Seph Lawless, Michael Shainblum and I'll just throw out a handful of instagram shooters that have inspired me: @humzdeas, @asteryx, @lastsuspect, @acer_, @jamakiss, @max_ross

BB:  What are some of the locations or subjects that are at the top of your list but have not had the opportunity to shoot yet?
MH:  To fully answer this would take years, but location wise all major cities in South Asia and maybe someday Chernobyl.
BB:  What was the last album you listened to in its entirety?
MH:  I pretty much use Soundcloud for everything but i will say when I'm shooting I'm always jamming the NO SLEEP mixtapes.

Please check out Mitch's Instagram @haggletheberg as well as his Flickr.