Featured Artist - Martin Ramirez
Ladies and gentlemen, today it is our distinct honor to welcome Martin Ramirez to the UNTC blog. A man of many tantalizing talents, Martin's ever expanding bag of tricks has been steadily growing over the past couple of years to include aerial maneuvers, underwater wonderment, and land laden lavishness. Yet as awesome as his abundant abilities are, it's the company that he keeps and the drive he puts forth that truly speak volumes about the quality of his character and his craft.
Right off the bat, let’s get started with everyone’s favorite question... can you tell us a little about yourself and how it is you managed to get into photography?
The memories I make.
How do you see yourself 5 years from now ?
That's a tough one to answer. I don't really have a set goal so i'm pretty much living day by day.
Are you a dog person or a cat person?
Dog for sure. I have a dog named Nacho (landseal).
How long have you been skateboarding?
I've been skateboarding for 12 years now. It's starting to catch up on me now.
Who is Ramon? (He’ll know what this means)
Ramon - That's my cousin Jose. He likes to call himself Ramon randomly for some reason.
Do you think Lake Superior is cold?
I took off my wetsuit once. Yeah never making that mistake again.
What’s your favorite f-stop?
Alright getting back to the script...
After following you for a while now, it has come to our attention that your family is in the restaurant business... I know I’ve asked you before, but just so we have it on official record for our viewing audience - where is your favorite place to eat and what is the best thing on the menu?
When I'm around home I usually go to Applebees. When I'm out taking photos it's usually Olive Garden.
My favorite thing on our menu would be Burrito San Jose. It is a 10 inch flour tortilla with grilled chicken and chorizo inside. Topped off with cheese dip with a side of rice and guac salad. Be sure to stop. We have 2 locations. One in Howard Lake and the other one is in Glencoe. Maria's Mexican Restaurant.
Coming from a background in the food industry, when you travel up and down the North Shore are there any particular places that you happen to highly recommend stopping at along the way?
I would recommend stopping by this little restaurant in Finland. It's called "Our Place". 10/10 hits the spot everytime.
In our previous interview with John Keefover, you submitted a question for him on Instagram revealing that he had never been to the iconic Betty’s Pies establishment… but isn't it true, as he stated, that you too have never stopped in for a slice? How can this be?? How about the Rustic Inn a little further up the road (also amazing pie) ?
I haven't stopped by either of the 2. As much as I've always wanted to stop for some pie their parking lot is always packed so i usually just keep driving.
Alright back to the serious business of photography... what resources do you use for improving your skills? What have been some of the biggest lessons you have learned since you first picked up a camera?
I tried YouTube when i first started for tips and such. I use an app called Planit Pro and it tells me where exactly sunrise or sunset will be from my exact location. One of the biggest lessons was to not shoot Jpeg. I shoot jpeg for a while and always wondered why photos would fall apart so easily.
What would you say is your approach to editing? Do you tend to favor certain tones or would you say you prefer to capture the moment as close to natural as you can?
I usually mess with the temperature slider first. I usually don't like to be cool or warm. During sunrise or sunsets and even winter I do prefer a bit more of a blue tint. Yeah I also try not over saturate my photos.
What would you say is your favorite thing about shooting in Minnesota? And favorite location to shoot?
Definitely shooting sunrises. I would say the North shore is my favorite place to shoot. The fact that you can shoot milky way from multiple locations and the have the sunrise on the lake. It doesn't get much better than that.
Do you happen to have a favorite photo you’ve ever taken?
Moraine Lake Sunrise. Hands down the most unreal sunrise I've ever seen still.
Who are your heroes? (Photography or otherwise)
Paul Nicklen is honestly hands down my favorite photographer.
Any bucket shots on your list?
Only 1 on my mind so far. Grizzly bear fishing for Salmon. I'm going to Alaska next summer for it. Just patiently waiting for it now.
What’s one piece of advice you would offer someone who is just starting out as a photographer?
Assuming it's and landscape photographer. Get prepared for all nighters and becoming a morning person.
This one comes from our previous featured artist John Keefover who would like to know... what’s the most work you’ve put into one photo?
Mount Storm King photo where I caught the bird. My buddy Brandon took an insane photo there a few years ago. I wanted to experience it also. I never actually hiked previous to this. It was a 2 mile hike up a mountain and literally 2 hours of switchbacks. The last part of the hike required holding onto ropes to get on the ridge. I never felt so out of shape in my life until that day. I didn't plan on leaving the top either until I caught a bird.
What one question would you ask our next featured person? (Anything you like. Doesn’t have to be about photography- it may or may not be a fellow photographer who goes next)
Do you call it pop or soda?
Time to pay it forward... who else would you like to see featured on this blog?
Im going to name a few
Thank you so much for your time.