In the vibrant world of photography, where technology often steals the limelight, Gil Shmueli stands out as a beacon of pure, heartfelt artistry. At 60 years old, this advanced hobby photographer from Israel has cultivated a rich tapestry of experiences and insights that transcend the boundaries of conventional photography.

Gil Shmueli’s journey as a photographer is as dynamic and diverse as the images he captures. Based in Israel, a land of profound historical and cultural significance, Gil’s passion for photography has taken him across the globe. His love for travel is not merely about visiting new places but about immersing himself in the essence of each location, capturing its spirit through his lens. Scroll down and inspire yourself.

Interview With Israeli Photographer Gil Shmueli

#1. A Few words about you?

My name is Gil Shmueli and I can describe myself as a 60 years old advance hobby photographer. I live in Israel and love to travel around the world.

I don’t believe in specific photo gear, so it is no mater with which camera you using, as long as you take your photo with your heart and your soul.

#2. How did you develop your interest in photography?

I liked photography since I was a young boy. I purchased my first camera when I was 17 years old from my pocket money which I earned from my summer time work.

Obviously it was a film camera and I see it as a bless. At that time you had only 35 photos in each film, so you had to think very well before every click. All the years I saw it as a nice and creative hobby. During the years I read several books and study the photo art history. In 2005 I purchased my first digital camera, and two years later I joined to one of the leading photo clubs in Israel. As a team member in photo club, I participated in several photography workshops and courses, continuously keep improving my techniques and knowledge. It gave me a huge push forward and boost my abilities and experience.

I joined to PSA (Photographic Society of America) and to FIAP (Federation Internationale de I’Art Photographique). Both these organisations running international photo competitions and exhibitions. I started participate in these competitions and it promoted my photographic abilities a lot. With hard work and successful photos, I deserved the honour award of Excellence PSA and Excellence FIAP distinctions.

A few years ago I joined to online photography game Gurushots. It is a great fun and joy. It is online and any one can participate from totally beginning hobbyist to professional photographers with high end equipment. I saw how beginners win the challenges with simple gear or mobile photo.

The variety of the challenges fit to everybody and each one can find something which fit to his interest. For me it was a great opportunity bring myself to expression in many different photo styles, genres and photo aspects. It increased my creativity. I never stop learning, grow and improve my abilities.

Interview With Israeli Photographer Gil Shmueli

Interview With Israeli Photographer Gil Shmueli

Interview With Israeli Photographer Gil Shmueli

#3. How did you get interested in nature photography?

Nature it’s something which exist deep in each of us and we all connected to mother nature from the birth, so it is naturally make it as comfortable and easy place to start. Nature surrounding us all and even in modern crowded cities, you can always find some type of nature like parks, lakes or flowers gardens. Nature it’s the butterfly, it’s the flower, it’s a bird on the branch and it’s the wildlife, the landscapes, the beautiful sunrise – sunsets. For me the nature is me.

Although the nature is all around, I always looking for something more interested than the regular photo. I find myself leaving the home in darkness, while all others is still sleeping, not afraid the outside rain, the storm, or crawling in the mud in the cold winter, cover myself with camouflage net in hot summer day, or stung by mosquitoes – and all that for the better and interested nature photo. I don’t like to look all the time to the backscreen and see If I succeed to got the photo. There are a few special photos, that you know you got them, even without looking and check it – you just know you have it. For these photos you know that all the hard work, the rain, the mud and the mosquitoes was worth it.

Interview With Israeli Photographer Gil Shmueli

Interview With Israeli Photographer Gil Shmueli

Interview With Israeli Photographer Gil Shmueli

#4. What catches your eye to produce such wonderful photographs?

I believe in creativity, and in order successfully do it, I must bring to my photo the added value, what we commonly call as the X factor.

Don’t take the photo – Create it. Taking a regular photo by pushing the button, is just copy of the reality, something that I call as tourist style photos. To call myself advanced photographer, I must bring more than a copy, so I always looks for some special spots, special angles and trying to bring my point of view. I always look for the story behind the visual and try to bring it out and express it from the photo. I never stop reading between the lines and look for the unwritten story behind the image. The question to what catch my eyes is the unseen story which I have to reveal.

Interview With Israeli Photographer Gil Shmueli

Interview With Israeli Photographer Gil Shmueli

Interview With Israeli Photographer Gil Shmueli

#5. Could you please share your post-processing techniques?

I believe in post-processing and think, that it is very important and no matter which photo gear you using. My years of experience in photography taught me that the best post-processing technique actually begins before the shooting. You must do it by better learning and understanding of your photo gear and correct setting of the camera, according to the desired photo subjects.

Prior starting the actual editing, I download all the photos to “untouchable” safe library and keep it as the main source file. I never deleting the source file and never change it, since what is correct for me today doesn’t mean will be correct for me also tomorrow. Later on, I copy the better and desired photos to work file and editing from there. With the time past by, I learn more and get more experience in editing. Sometimes, even years later, I go back and perform a different editing to the same photo, so I must keep the original file.

Today, I taking my photos in RAW, and I open my photo by using Camera Raw. I don’t believe in batch editing so I work on each photo separately. I have different editing methods and techniques for different styles of photos, so night photo, landscape or portrait photo each one has its own kind of techniques and tools. Most of the editing done with Camera Raw and sometimes for the fine editing I use complete it with Photoshop.

Usually In the base editing, I start with general adjustment. I open the Light section, in which I adjust the contrast, highlights, shadows and if necessary also using with white and black. Then I move to Color section, where I adjust the temperature, vibrance and saturation. From here I move to Curve, where I try to balance the histogram. The additional base tool is Calibration section.

At this point, most of the editing is completed and I can use with other tools for delicate and precise adjustments such as skin tones in portraits or correct drama view in black and white photos, or specific preferred filter for landscape photos and many more.

Interview With Israeli Photographer Gil Shmueli

Interview With Israeli Photographer Gil Shmueli

Interview With Israeli Photographer Gil Shmueli

#6. Your favorite photographers?

I can’t say that I have a Favorite photographer, but during the years, I exposed myself to the leading photographers, which I believe many of the readers familiar with them, such as Saly Mann, Henri Cartier Bresson, Ansel Adams, Helmut Newton, Annie Leibovitz, Robert Capa and many more. What was important for me, was not to copy them or to be like them. For me was more important to learn from them, try to understand and follow their line of thoughts and with these tools create my own line and my own point of view. I always says – those who did it before and succeeded in what they did, probably did something correct, so don’t ignore it. Respect them for their achievements and learn from their experience. Each one of them was and still is, is like a Lightower for me and the more I expose myself to their work I find more and more ways enrich my understanding.

There is also a great new generation of young photographers with amazing ideas which I mete on YouTube and really impressed and learn a lot from them. I also exposed to very talented and gifted photographers In GuruShots game and I get a lot of ideas from them. Some of them even became an Internet friends.

Interview With Israeli Photographer Gil Shmueli

Interview With Israeli Photographer Gil Shmueli

#7. One thing you have learned through photography, you would want to share with our readers?

Yes, I have one thing and I see it as a road guide to everything I do in my life – bring passion to what you do and do it with love and desire. Be creative, dare, invent yourself again and again and don’t forget to enjoy it.

#8. What is the best compliment you received so far?

Excellent question, but I’m not sure I have a good answer for such hard question. I can tell you what I really like to hear is, what my pals say to me when we coming back from the same photo session – How did you get such amazing photo, we all been in the same place, how we didn’t see it?

It makes me to feel that I succeeded to get out of the regular and obvious zone and could get to my own point of view and express myself. I appreciate every compliment I get.

Interview With Israeli Photographer Gil Shmueli

Interview With Israeli Photographer Gil Shmueli

#9. Any favorite photography books?

Most of the books I used to read are from 36 mm old Film Era and are not relevant for today. Today, there is plenty of information on line and a lot of tips on YouTube, so it less relevant.

#10. What’s your personal motto?

Observe around you. look behind the visible. Get into your photo subject, learn it and make yourself part of it.

Don’t take the photo – Create it.

Create it in your mind, in your thoughts, in your spirit and only then take it with your heart and your soul.

The technical part is the less important. Make the photo gear be just a tool for the person you are.

Interview With Israeli Photographer Gil Shmueli

Interview With Israeli Photographer Gil Shmueli

#11. Other than photography, what are your hobbies and interests?

In my personal life I’m R&D Electrical team manager in one of the world leading High-Teck company in Digital Printing technology. I like very much the sea, I love sailing so I’m also a Yacht Skipper and deep water scuba diver. I also like deep water fishing. In addition I also a coins collector.

I like to be outside and really like the outdoor travels and as since I remember myself, I always liked to be in the nature, sleep under the stars in the desert, climb the mountains and travel with my kids. I just love live the life and I don’t let them past near by me when I’m looking from the side. I always on the wheel.

#12. Thanks again for providing 121 Clicks with this opportunity to interview you. Any final thoughts for our readers?

Don’t be afraid to do mistakes, don’t be afraid from critics – see it as opportunity for rise and grow yourself from it.

Don’t be afraid to break the rules, create your own photo rules and techniques.

Don’t be afraid to show your art and express yourself. Share your photos with your friends.

Take your photos from the hard disk and participate in competitions, there are a lot of them on the net, such as GuruShots.

Never stop learning. Expose yourself to photographic magazines and online materials.

If you put all my words in one sentence then it will be – Do it with passion, love and desire.

Interview With Israeli Photographer Gil Shmueli

Interview With Israeli Photographer Gil Shmueli

You can find Gil Shmueli on the web:

All the pictures in this post are copyrighted Gil Shmueli. Their reproduction, even in part, is forbidden without the explicit approval of the rightful owners.