Jens Mirwald on Travel Photography

Updated: Nov 23, 2019

Jens Mirwald, Switzerland

"Land- & Nightscape Photography with a hint of a surrealism".

Jens describes when asked about his photography style, adding further Jens expresses, he got more serious during the second half of 2018, as photography is still ‘only’ his hobby, the most difficult part for him to use his vacation days wisely – unfortunately those are very limited.

Jens recently switched to Sony. He says that Sony is definitely top tier when it comes to nightscape photography, describing his camera gear further,

Sony A7III (unmodified)

Sony 24mm 1.4 GM

Sony Zeiss 50mm 1.4

Sony 100-400 4.5-5.6 GM

Sigma 12-24mm 2.8

Samyang 135mm 2.0

Canon 24-70mm 2.8 II

When asked about his favorite lenses, Jens tells us that, despite the fact, that he just upgraded & invested in several prime lenses, he still uses his Canon 24-70mm 2.8 II most of the time when he is out for a casual cityscape shooting. It has outstanding picture quality & the zoom is very convenient. For any kind of astrophotography, he uses the 24mm & the 50mm Sony, both are outstanding & deliver fantastic results - of course also under normal conditions.

"Nothing makes me happier than a night outside under the stars & to see new places".

Jens speaks about his inspiration & influences,

"The person that inspired me to bring my skills to the next level & who basically taught me everything is Alyn Wallace from Wales, UK".

Jens believe in thorough research & investigates a location prior to Travelling. To the maximum possible, he plans his trips thoroughly & he knows exactly what he wants to shoot at what time. When he is at the place, Jens scout before the night kicks in, he tells further to us that,

"When you do night photography you are kind of forced to plan ahead as you cannot count on your luck to find a nice composition during the night".

To travel the places & take better photos Jens exchange knowledge with other (mostly) professional photographers & tries to meet up. He adds further, that this is always a great way to learn & to boost your own knowledge. Once you have acquired different techniques it is up to yourself to use them – or go for another one as there isn’t just one way of doing it. Jens plans his trips by checking a spot that he likes & according to the weather, moon phase etc. Google maps & Photopills, an app to plan Milky Way photos, are essential for this.

Like his hobby Jens likes to travel places, when asked about his favorite place to visit he adds with a smile, "Switzerland – because we got it all! You will find beautiful places all around the year. There is no off-season for photography here" 😊

On his travel list for the next years is: Chile (Atacama Desert)

Italy, Dolomites,

"I am honestly not sure why I haven’t been there yet as we basically live around the corner, shame on me!"

Jordan, Wadi Rum


What he doesn't likes about travel photography is limited amount of funds!

Jens shares further, If he has enough time to plan & the weather is right, he always prefer nature, landscape shots during sunset or sunrise & of course night photography over anything else. He avoids any kind of tourist shots & daylight photography in general – if he want to capture a nice moment then he just uses his smartphone.

"My favorite subject right now is the Milky Way but absolute favorite subject is the Milky Way combined with a stunning Swiss scenery".

For shooting night pictures most important aspects when discussed with Jens, he expresses,

This is a tough one since there are so many different things to consider when photographing the night sky. In his opinion, the top three are:

- Composition

- Focus (manually during the night)

- Color management

"A good composition & a solid color management – I cannot stress it enough how important the color is in a picture. There’s a whole science behind color theory – for a good reason".

Among Jens favorite works is, a multi-row panorama during a night with perfect conditions in La Palma, Canary Islands (Sony A7III, 50mm 1.4, untracked).

He adds further,

"It didn’t go well on social media due to its landscape format but in real life print, it amazes me every time I see it. I have framed the print (90x70 cm, 300 dpi) & want to go back every time I pass it (which happens a lot as it is in the kitchen... 😉)".

Jens shares a hike experience with us, where he recently went for a trip within Switzerland to the SachserLücke, Alpstein. He was so excited but the weather was awful. They had to spend two days in a little shack, it was so cloudy & foggy that they couldn’t even see the rock formation "we could barely see each other during the hike". It was devastating but he adds further, "I will be back – promise!"

Jens shares some travel tips,

- Never forget water, not an issue in Switzerland though

- Charge all your stuff before you leave, So many times that people show up with nearly dead batteries…!

- Pack only what you need, carrying your full equipment is no fun at all! But a very good workout!

"Believe it or not, I have learned a lot by watching tutorials on YouTube. The knowledge sharing on this platform, especially for post processing is very good. But the most important thing is & will always be: practice. Go out & try as much as possible. If it doesn’t work, try to find out why & – yes – do it again. & again, & again…

Clear skies!" - Jens

Jens Mirwald insta: jens.mirwald

All the images in the article are clicked & are intellectual property of Jens Mirwald.

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