A Conversation with Marcin Zajac

A Conversation with Marcin Zajac

A stunning view of the Yosemite Valley by Marcin Zajac. Read further to hear about this incredible shot.

 How would you define your style of photography?

I find myself drawn to grand landscapes under spectacular, vibrant conditions.

How does photography play into your daily life?

I try to shoot locally whenever there are interesting conditions (for example dramatic sunrise/sunset or fog). In addition to that I try to take monthly roadtrips to shoot in more distant locations.

Big Sur

What are some of the most interesting changes in photography that you've observed over your career? 

I have definitely become much more picky about the photographs I end up post processing and publishing. A lot of times I will go out to shoot, but not publish any work from the outing if I don’t feel I’m fully satisfied with it. 

How far do you go to capture a truly unique moment? and what is the craziest thing you've done to capture a photograph?

Photography has taken me to some amazing places - from the coastline of Australia to the rugged volcanic landscape of Iceland. But the craziest moment I experienced was earlier this year when I captured a controlled fire in Yosemite Valley. It was a surreal experience, especially when after taking the photo I drove back to my campsite on a road flanked by the fire from both sides and felt the emanating heat inside my car.

How did you get started in photography? 

I picked up photography when I started traveling more around 2015-2016. Initially I took photos mostly on vacation, but later on I got more seriously into it and started shooting more locally as well as planning photography-focused trips several times a year.

What was the first camera you ever owned? and what are you shooting with these days?

My first camera was a Nikon D3200. When I got more serious I upgraded to a full-frame Nikon D800 which I still shoot with as it is a fantastic camera. If I could only use one lens it would be my wide-angle Tamron 15-30

30L Kiboko with Marcin Zajac's gear

Marcin Zajac's 30L Kiboko with shooting kit


What are some of your favorite places to photograph and why?

My favorite places to photograph are Yosemite, the coastline of Big Sur and the red canyons of the Southwest (Utah, Arizona). What these places have in common is their absolutely spectacular nature.

Where are you currently based?

Golden Gate Bridge

I live in the San Francisco Bay Area in California and enjoy living here - I have close access to a beautiful coastline, great city skyline in San Francisco, while also being a 4 hour drive from the Sierra Nevada mountains. I have no plans to move soon, but definitely aim to travel more.


Who are some photographers that have inspired you and/or continue to?

There’s a lot of them, I try to learn from the best. I will name two inspirations - one is Marc Adamus, who’s a pioneer in the digital landscape photography world. Second is my friend Jeff Lewis who’s an amazing photographer and an expert in forecasting weather with photography in mind.


What do you look for when creating a photograph? Do you go in any order like "light, subject, composition, action" or is it a different process? 

Two main factors I’m looking for - a pleasing, interesting composition as well as unique, beautiful conditions, in particular weather conditions.

What or where inspires you next? 

I am looking forward to experiencing some dynamic weather on the California coast this winter. This is our season for dramatic conditions and clouds.

Marcin's work can be found on Instagram and his website