Featured Artist - Marcela González - Formatt Hitech USA

FH: Who are you and what do you do?

MG: My name is Marcela González. I am a Mexican landscape, adventure photographer, and blogger. If I'm not traveling, I'm living in Mexico or Germany. Inspired by humanity and our relationship with the planet, I’ve traveled around some of the world’s most remote places, from the highest mountains of the Andes and the Himalayas, to the depths and underground caves of the ocean.

I consider my travels not only as adventures in the physical world, but equally a journey through my inner self.

FH: Are there any particular influences or artists that have inspired you?

MG: I've gotten inspiration from different experiences and people that I’ve crossed paths with. They can be either spiritual and mindful, or sporty and intense in nature.

As for photographers, I’ve been strongly inspired by the work of many different people whom I’ve met and some I haven’t. Quin Schrock has inspired me by his way of magnifying simple moments in life and making them so special through his photographs. Another influencer is Cory Richards for his way of sharing and telling compelling stories no matter what the cost is. Erin Babnik, for her adventurous spirit to go out to capture incredibly beautiful landscapes in wild places.

At the same time, I’ve been strongly inspired by female athletes who have accomplished great achievements. One notable female athlete is the mountaineer, Viridiana Álvarez, who is the first Mexican and Latina to climb to the summit of K2.

FH: Do you have any recent projects we should check out?

MG: For 2020, with all of its challenges and teachings that it brought to us, led me to realize two projects that I had dreamt of for several years: 

  1. My first photography book pictures the memories of frozen landscapes and white mountains that I have visited, worship and respect the most. This book is intended to be the first of a collection of five books, each showcasing different types of landscapes, reflecting the greatness of nature and the relationship between humanity and planet Earth.
  2. My first online landscape photography course, through which I share my complete workflow while traveling through seven different states around Mexico, each offering different types of landscapes.

FH: What’s in your go-to kit?

MG: It always depends on where I go and for how long. For all my photography work, I do it with my Nikon D850 camera. Sometimes I use my Nikon Z50 for in-between shots and scouting.

My favorite lens is the Nikon 16-35mm f/3.5-5.6 because I can use it perfectly for capturing wide landscapes in combination with my Formatt Hitech Firecrest Pro ND filter kit. I also carry around my 28-300mm lens just in case that I want to do some extra zoom shots, as well as my tripod.

Something that comes in handy particularly in the mountains is carrying a couple of rain protection bags for the camera and for my backpack. This is for when we get unexpected weather conditions.

Lastly, I probably have a microfiber cleaning cloth in every pocket.

FH: How do you use filters and how do they help you tell your story?

MG: There are two main factors you can never control out in nature: the weather and the light. Firecrest Pro ND filters and polarizers help me to play with the light and use it to my favor when conditions are harsh. Either to smooth the currents of water, or play with skies, foregrounds and clouds, no matter if it's day or night. Filters give me that extra boost of creativity and a more artistic look to my photography.

FH: How has your choice of equipment changed over time?

MG: I remember in the beginning, I was not even used to carrying a tripod with me until I realized that it made a huge difference in the details when printing my work. This was also the moment when I started to realize the importance of a high-end lens when I wanted to have the best image quality. Better glass helps avoid chromatic aberration, better sharpness, color, stability, and control over my images.

Also when I was starting out with screw-on round filters, I ultimately adopted square filters when I noticed how easily I could get negative vignetting on my images and have less flexibility when stacking multiple filters for creating a shot.

FH: Why do you choose Formatt Hitech filters?

MG: I sometimes feel like Formatt Hitech Pro ND filters can listen to me and know what I want to create! The Firecrest 100mm Holder system really removes hurdles and variables with different setups, especially in harsh conditions.

Once I finalize the camera adjustments, they’ll never fail me. Firecrest Pro filters offer great sharpness, no resolution lost, or color cast either.

FH: What projects are you working on now and what is your dream project?

MG: I’m currently working on two important projects - one is creating my second book that I want to release in November 2021. The second one is building a community for passionate photographers who support each other, share feedback, practice and explore together.

I also organize photography trips and experiences with clients around Mexico. I want to expand internationally in the future. But for now because of Covid-19, this project will have to wait.

Having more than a single dream, I feel that I have a mission which is to help people discover their own dreams, follow their passion, and to believe in theirselves and what they’re capable of.

FH: Where can people see more of your work or follow you online?

MG: You can find my work on my website https://marcelagonzalez.me/ where you’ll find my gallery, my adventure and photography blog, my book and my new online photography workshop!

I publish most of my work on my IG where you can find me as @marcelaoutside. You can also find me on facebook here!

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