Our Insta Fav #66, Emanuel Smedbøl aka @secretcities is living and working as a graphic designer in Vancouver. He enjoys long walks, bicycling, or hiking around exploring new places, looking for interesting things to see and share. We especially enjoy the beautiful surroundings he finds in nature and shares in his feed. Without further ado we’d like to introduce Emanuel in the following Q&A. Enjoy.
Where are you from? How does that place influence the way you photograph?
I grew up in the mountains of British Columbia. Like most rural places, it seems to run at a slightly different pace than the city. You are immersed in your environment in a much more real way, attuned to little shifts in weather and seasons — the first buds on the trees in spring, the warm rush of wind in midsummer, the slow slide into autumn. And while you experience these in the city too, you feel more removed from it, separate. But really my adopted city of Vancouver is very conscious of its natural surroundings as well. Things feel slower here than in many other cities, unrushed. We take the time to notice our surroundings and take pleasure in them.
What are your favorite environments to shoot in?
I live in an old working class neighbourhood in East Vancouver and love wandering its back lanes with a camera in hand and seeing how nature and greenery reclaim unused and abandoned spaces. But of course I also love getting out into the woods and mountains and lakes surrounding and encroaching upon the city. I love wet brooding weather. Light drizzle. Low clouds. Late winter light.
What are the strengths of shooting primarily mobile? How does this affect your imagery?
Shooting mobile really simplifies the process, brings you closer to the moment. You can literally take a photo and share it with thousands of people within a matter of minutes. You don’t need to think about gear or developing or transferring or even shutter/aperture/ISO, you can just focus on the subject and the angle and the light and then seamlessly shoot and share it. It feels very intuitive, very natural. I like to think that the raw spontaneity of this process is experienced through my photography.
Who and what are the things that inspire you?
Seasons, shadows, the way shapes converge.
Tell us a little about your everyday.
The slow everyday cycles of work and pleasure, of making meals from scratch, of long walks in the rain, of coffee with milk, of watching the light move across the walls.
Which Apps do you use to edit your pictures?
If you’d like to become a future ‘Insta Fav’, follow @ignant. We’ll look into it.