Swedish photographer and filmmaker Tobias Hägg is known for his dramatic landscape photography, achieved through the masterful use of either a drone or DSLR. An avid outdoorsman, Hägg has traveled from Patagonia to the Dolomites, hiking and trekking to capture the perfect image of the majestic landscapes around the world.
With his company, Airpixelsmedia, Hägg works as a content creator to produce stock photography, high-quality films and still images, as well as fine art prints. His well-rounded approach allows him to work freelance for a variety of clients. With recently published work in National Geographic and an exhibition at the Swedish Museum of Photography, Hägg is gaining increased recognition for his work.
Looking at his landscape photography, it's easy to see why clients are captivated. His attention to composition and color brings a cinematic quality to his still photographs, allowing viewers to see a story unfold before them. We had a chance to chat with Hägg about his love for landscape photography and where he sees his work taking him. Read on for our exclusive interview.
Can you tell us a bit about your background in photography?
My background in photography is a rather long story since it has been pretty much up and down since the age of 14. When I started out back then, I was generally more interested in making movies and doing visual effects for them than I was into photography. Ever since I started out, I have been really motivated to improve every single day, no matter how big or small—I just want to move forward in my creative process. So, I have been making my way forward by making mistakes, all kinds of them.
After a while, I picked up photography and I absolutely loved landscape photography and nature. Through photography I found myself, I found out what I enjoy in life and along the way I have been finding out who I really am through my photography.
Clearly, landscape photography is your niche. Have you always been an outdoorsy person?
Landscape photography and the outdoor life is definitely what I enjoy most. I have been doing all types of photography and film, but nature and landscape are where my heart is. I have spent a lot of time outdoors in my life, but not really on the scale that it is now with the heavy hiking and trekking. I've gone fishing a lot with my father over the years, and after awhile I realized I wasn't really out to catch fish, I was just there to enjoy the time with my father and nature.
What do you look for when composing the perfect landscape photo?
I would say I try to compose my shots after ideas I get when I see a scene. It also depends on what I am shooting and what story I want to tell with the image I am taking. It is always different, and I think and shoot very differently depending on if I am shooting from the ground or aerial photography from the sky.
With landscape photography comes a lot of rules. How to photograph and how to compose leading images from cold to warm and so on. But I don't like to follow rules and instead focus a lot more on telling a story with my image. How I can make someone else feel the image the way I see it is my way of thinking when I am out.
What equipment do you usually shoot with?
I have a lot of different equipment depending on what I do. But mostly I use a DJI Phantom 4 pro for my aerial work and a Sony a7rII for my ground work.
Tell us a bit about your post-production work. What are you trying to achieve when taking the image to the next level?
The post-production I think is a key for me to really set off and be myself through my own photography. It helps me to tell the story I want to show you. Taking the image to the next level for me is if you can display it as you see it.
You’ve traveled quite a bit. Is there one place that stands out as the most memorable for its landscapes?
Yes, I have traveled a lot lately and every place I go to has an impact on me in its own way. For landscape photography, I would say Iceland and Patagonia really stand out for me because they are so different from anything I have seen before, simply amazing. But South Tyrol and the Dolomites are probably the places that left the biggest impression on me in terms of beauty. I really felt at home in the Alps and I will probably go back there for the rest of my life, I hope.
Next up is a photo tour in Patagonia where I will guide and help people improve their own photography in one of the world's greatest landscapes. There are actually still a few spots left so if anyone is interested in joining just send me an email and I will provide you with all the information you need. Other than that, I will continue to do what I love most—photography and film around the world.