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Revealing the beauty of nature from a bird's eye view

6 years ago

Manish Mamtani is an avid nature photographer. He grew up in Nagpur, India and came to the U.S. to work as an IT/finance consultant. He discovered his love for photography when he first visited Yosemite National Park in 2010 and experienced the beauty and wilderness of the Majestic Park.

Manish’s work has been published in several National and International media including National Geographic, Vanity Fair, Digital Photo, Digital Camera world, Better Photography magazine, Smart Photography Magazine etc.

He has also Judged International Photo contests including – 2015 Sky Pixel Photo contest (Aerial Photography Contest), Siena International Photo Awards 2016, and Urban 2016 Photo awards, etc.

His image, 'Patterns of Glacial River', is shortlisted in the Open competition of the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards and will be shown as part of the 2018 Exhibition.


Hi Manish. Thanks for taking the time to chat. Please introduce yourself and your photography 

The pleasure is all mine. I am a travel and nature Photographer. I focus on landscapes that reflect the beauty of nature and specialize in night/astrology, aerial, landscape and infrared photography.

Why photography? What does the medium mean to you?  

First and foremost, photography to me is an expression of creativity! It allows me to show everyone the way I see the world. Photography is a stress buster for me; I feel at peace whenever I am close to nature, taking pictures.


Tell us more about your successful image in this year's competition

This image was taken during my first trip to Iceland with my wife. I remember it was cloudy and raining most of the time. Due to this weather, I couldn't manage normal landscape photography but apparently, it worked out really well for aerial photography.

This shortlisted image shows the aerial view of a Glacial River in Iceland. While crossing a bridge, I noticed some patterns in the water and wondered how it would look from the sky. I stopped our campervan at a turnout after crossing the bridge and prayed for the rain to stop. After 10-15 minutes, I was able to fly my drone and capture this image. I waited for a car to cross the bridge and luckily it was a red car. I feel that the red car gives a nice touch and acts like a cherry on the cake for this colorful landscape. It also gives an idea of the scale.


Your work focuses mainly on landscapes - what do you hope to achieve with each shot? 

When it comes to Landscape photography, capturing something unique has always been my goal. I have developed my own style over the years. I try to display night/astrology images with the vibrant colors of stars and nebulas, infrared images with a dreamy look and aerial images with creative compositions and patterns

Talk about your aerial work - how did you get started in this area? Is it all drone photography? 

I always used to wonder how birds see the world and I wished I could do the same. When I heard about the drone cameras and that they could offer this view, I was really excited to venture into drone photography. Even though my drone doesn't allow me to fly like birds, it allows me to see the way they see. I always look for a unique point of view and composition in photography. With the help of a drone, I get exactly that. Aerial photography gives me a completely new perspective of a place that has already been captured a million times before.

So far, it has been only drones but I plan to take photos from a small plane or helicopter of places where drone flying is not possible.

Could you give some top tips for those just starting out in landscape and nature photography? 

I would like to give the following suggestions when it comes to photography. Try to create story-telling images by using the composition creatively. Understand the histogram. Be creative and do not copy others. Try to think out of the box.

Where in the world are you and what's next for you? 

I am originally from India but I live in the US for past 10 years. I am working on a project to capture the aerial view of landscapes in different seasons. For this, I travel to the same landscape in different seasons and capture the changes. I am available for projects in aerial and astrophotography.