"Know Your Talent" - Xander Kabat
Updated: Feb 5, 2021
Really excited to introduce another Perth photographer, although most of his photos that are published are not made in Perth. He is a travel and wildlife photographer with a good dose of healthy approach and energetic attitude.
LET´S ADDRESS THE ELEPHANT
Xander is a pretty unusual name. How many people you have met whose names start with the "X"? Actually his name is Alexander and since his childhood friend's name was also the same they decided to do a fair call - one is called Alex and the other gonna get the last part of the name - Xander.
Xander has Ph.D. in zoology and used to give lectures in universities and took part in research jobs. He has been on every continent and in total about 80 countries. The biggest spark for photography probably lashed out when he was in Antarctica with the British science division.
WHAT IS UP WORLD?
On his photographic journeys, he has seen a lot of places and parts of the world - from Great Britain streets to savannahs of Africa. To my question which part of the world he felt danger, I got a surprising answer - Britain.
In Africa he was greeted as a guest and treated with utter respect - even in some places, he didn't have to spend any money. The most dangerous thing about Africa was traffic, quite hectic as one can say.
And he has an exhibition in Boya Community Center - Infinite Wonder of Africa. Recommend going to see it, it's free.
PHOTOGRAPHY AS A PROFESSION
He has done photography for about 17 years altogether. A few years ago he became a full-time photographer.
He has been published in many nature and travel magazines. Giving workshops and private lessons in photography. The biggest for him is the Journal of Experimental Biology magazine cover and calendar.
ATTITUDE FROM FILM, PHOTOS FROM DIGITAL
One really interesting approach that really struck me was - "know what you want before you put the camera in your face". I shoot frequently martial arts and I used use "Continous shoot" mode which meant that I can get about 3-12 imager per second. At the end of evening, I usually have about 1000+ images and the client usually picks 70-80 images. So, after thinking about Xanders approach I did about 300+ images and the client picked about 50-60 images. Images were more consistent and they had a story and purpose in them.
When he travels around, he usually uses 2 or 4 GB cards on Nikon D850 - that means that he can get on 4GB card about 30+ photos per card. The biggest card he uses is 8GB. It clearly says that this photographer thinks in film.
Also, he is in the circle of "Depth of wow", members are nature/travel photographers, mainly circle of friends - Americans, British, Australians - who has made a promise NOT to manipulate with photos: no composites, no object removal, no sky replacement. Idea is to give a person an authentic experience of a location.
I liked the energy of the interview. There is something about people who like to go to nature alone and fully embrace the experience and own it. He really reminded me of one of course mate back home while I was studying photography.
Also, he said that his biggest influences are Steve Frazer and Kevin Schafer. He had the luck to work with Kevin Schafer in Antarctica and probably was the one who gave him the push to do photography as a profession.
And like he said in the video - "Trust yourself and trust your art"