Belgian, self-taught photographer Johan Lolos spent five months travelling across 17 countries in search of stunning mountain images. He's curated the best of some 27000 shots in his debut book, Peaks of Europe.
Peaks of Europe is a book that was designed for a specific purpose. That purpose was to tell the story of a 5-month long trip across the European continent, living out of a car and what that journey was like with all its good and bad moments.
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The project involved documenting more than just landscapes - it was also about capturing the people and moments along the way. Though the work that Johan embarked on was to eventually feature a series of photos, the focus was very much on the storytelling as much as the imagery.
From all three major regions of Europe including the North, the Alps and the Balkans, Johan takes viewers of his imagery to some of the most awe-inspiring locations on the planet. From the Arctic island of Spitsbergen in the Svalbard archipelago to Greece's largest island Crete, Peaks of Europe is a visual journey that this travel photographer used to showcase the unique and diverse landscapes of Europe.
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The imagery extends beyond landscapes, as Johan has a fascination for human interactions and accordingly attempts to portray the different cultures of the various people he encountered on his journey. One of his favourite photographs is one he took in Greece of a young girl of 8 or 10 who he describes as being "dressed like a woman" and that for some reason it was "such a strong moment and strong interaction" that it left the photographer much more comfortable with shooting people, which never happened before.
The book itself can thus be seen as being akin to something of a travel diary that uses photography as the main medium.
Johan's three tips for beginners are:
1. Get up early, shoot with the morning light or shoot late in the evening and that will help you have softer images and beautiful contrasts.
2. Practice your composition. Get out there with friends who can pose for you, do whatever it is you need to do but work on your composition as composition is key.
3. Don't spend too much money on gear. You needn't spend too much money and time on looking for the best gear. Just use what you have.
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