is an award-winning landscape photographer who has captured some of the most breathtaking spots on earth with his camera. His work has been published in a number of books, calendars and magazines such as GEO. At age 27 Felix Röser has held several exhibitions, talks and photography workshops. As an expert on landscape photography he is also working as a photography tour guide for Iceland Photo Tours. Today he is talking to us about his experience traveling the world as a professional photographer.
Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us today, Felix! So first of all: how is traveling related to your job?
As a landscape photographer, travelling is one of the biggest parts of my job. Flying to various countries, then travelling further by car and finally walking to the locations that I want to photograph. Taking pictures is actually by far the smallest part of any adventure I experience.
How do you travel with your camera gear?
As I mentioned before, I travel with all kinds of vehicles. Normally I have my backpack with all my gear with me. And I always have it near me, except for my tripod which goes into my checked luggage. When I go by plane, I take my camera as hand luggage, which is not always easy, because the backpack is quite big and heavy, so we have to be in the front of the queue in order to get an overhead storage slot.
Have you ever run into problems traveling with camera gear?
Not really, the only thing that happens almost every time at the security check is that they want to take a closer look at my lenses and the cameras. I have to switch them on, have to remove all the lens caps and they make an explosive test on the whole gear. Which is ok, since they can’t look through the stuff with their x-rays.
So what are your tips for traveling light? Is that even possible with all that equipment?
Haha, I guess you have the wrong guy here – almost every time I have overweight luggage. With all the gear for an outdoor adventure it is quite hard to travel light, at least when you go by plane. You need tents, sleeping bags, gas heaters, jackets, shoes – all that stuff you could eventually need. When it comes to hiking though it is important to reduce. So it makes sense to think about what you will really need. Because every gram you have with you makes it harder to climb a mountain for example. So in this case, you compile everything you think you will need and then you reduce it down to a half.
What’s most important to you when you travel?
Most important to me is to get as far away as possible from civilization. Getting away from the fast society that we live in. Sometimes I also like to reduce the comfort to a minimum. Sleeping in the car and the tent directly on location is the best you can do. I don´t even need luxury such as hotels, showers and a breakfast buffet. To me there is nothing cozier than a tent with a sleeping bag, nothing more refreshing than a bath in a river and nothing tastier than a steaming hot coffee on a cold and grey morning out in the mountains. Being outside and close to nature is something that makes me incredibly happy and teaches me a lot of things such as patience, humility and respect.
You have already seen and captured a number of incredible places. Which place in the world is still on your bucket list and why?
Nepal and the Himalaya are a destination I always wanted to go to. Majestic mountains, absolute wilderness and the harsh and raw landscape have been fascinating to me for many years. Friends of mine already went there and came back with a huge smile on their faces – and of course very inspiring pictures. So Nepal is one of these destinations I am dreaming of. I hope I will make it there in the near future.
Of all the things you’ve experienced on your travels so far – what’s your craziest travel story?
One of the craziest and most absurd things happened to me in Yosemite National Park in California. We were climbing up to the Cathedral Peak, to be more precise to the Budd Lake in front of the Cathedral Peak. After a quite exhausting hike I came over the ridge and saw the lake for the first time. Breathing heavily and with sore feet I walked down to the lake and right in that moment a long bearded, thin man came out of the bushes to my left. He was wearing old hiking pants and a Grateful Dead T-shirt. He said: „Hey man! You made it. It´s a beautiful place!“ With these words he put his hands into his bag and pulled out a little plastic bag with a green content and a little pipe. He handed both to me and told me: „Here man, try this, it´s good for you!“ When I told him that I have to make it back to the car today and politely denied his offer, he walked away shaking his head and disappeared in the bushes he came from. Totally perplexed I began to take my pictures that I was there for. On the way back it grew dark and it was quite hard to find the path we had come from. After a while it began to smell like fire somewhere around. As we walked further the smell became really strong and the air got thicker and thicker. We realized that we were walking right through a forest fire. Nothing unusual for Yosemite but it made it even harder to find the way back and breathing became really difficult. We put tissues in front of our mouths and noses and made it through the forest and back to the car after one and a half hours. That was a tough tour and really unreal in a way.
Thank you for sharing your very unique travel experiences with us! We wish you pleasant travels in the future!