Interview by Rich Nardo
Photography by Daniel Imperial
Daniel Imperial is a rising photographer from Port Jefferson. He excels in a lot of different environments from the natural world of Long Island to the urban landscapes of New York City. He was kind enough to answer some questions for us ranging from the craft of photography to some of his favorite places to shoot on Long Island.
NTVLI: Thanks for taking the time to talk with us, where on Long Island are you from and what are some of your favorite spots around your hometown to shoot?
DI: Thank you for choosing me as your first featured artist. Truly humbled. I currently Reside in Port Jefferson NY. Some of my favorite places to shoot are Pirates Cove (McAllister County Park), the off-limit local beaches of Port Jeff (ha-ha) and pretty much the connecting towns like Setauket and Stony Brook.
NTVLI: Where are some of your other favorite spots on the Island to shoot? Any hidden gems you don't mind sharing?
DI: Hmm so many to list. one of my all-time favorites is Long Island City. Some would say that isn’t Long Island, but it is ha-ha. Another favorite of mine would be anything abandoned.
NTVLI: How long have you been shooting and what drew you to photography?
DI: I have been shooting since I was a kid. Although I’ve only been taking it very serious for the past 2 years. Learning new techniques and the technical aspects of the camera to produce what I see. I have always thought photography was a great outlet for creativity and that has led me to my passion for it today.
NTVLI: In addition to your beautiful landscapes and natural photography, you also do a great job at urban photography. Is there a difference in approach to how you shoot in New York City as opposed to when you're shooting in more natural environments on Long Island?
DI: Thank you so much. I feel like when I’m out and about on the island I know what to expect environmentally so the shots are more composed and thought out.
I absolutely love NYC. When I’m shooting city scenes, its pure randomness and chaos. You know, shoot first, ask questions later kind of deal.
NTVLI: You're a moderator for the @Just_New York Instagram page. Can you tell us a little bit about that page and how people can submit their work to be featured?
DI: Just Like any other feature page on IG, people can use #Just_Newyork or tag the account. It’s an honor to be a part of a feature page that showcases the local talent of NY, whatever part of NY they come from. From Rochester to Montauk all are welcome to Share their photos.
NTVLI: You're also an ambassador for PicBallot.com Can you tell us a little bit more about what Pic Ballot is and what your role as an ambassador entails?
DI: Picballot.com is a social Network dedicated to photography and travel with monthly photo contests and challenges. It is also available on Instagram and in the App store for free. Picballot is based in the United States, but is now open to Canada and will hopefully reach other countries soon.
My Role as an Ambassador is to continually help promote and build a following to all that are passionate about photography. There’s no ads or people trying to sell you stuff, its purely photography only.
NTVLI: One of my favorite things about your work is your ability to portray a very specific tone. Is there anything in your process for shooting that helps capture that or is it more taking the best photo possible and editing to match your signature style?
DI: Thank you again for a very, very flattering compliment. I suppose I don’t have any kind of secret process. I pretty much take photos of what appeals to my eye. It sometimes takes 20 times for me to get it just the way I saw it. When I do, in post-production it’s more of how I’m feeling at the moment. I continue to try to learn as much as I can.
NTVLI: Do you have any tips for beginner photographers who want to take their talents to the next level?
DI: Well I’m still a beginner myself, but my advice to anyone trying to get to that next level is to learn the capabilities of your gear and get out there and shoot! Don’t let anyone judge you. All photos are beautiful to you and that’s all that matters.
NTVLI: Are there any spots on Long Island that you haven't shot yet that you would like to?
DI: I feel Like I’ve shot a lot of the Island ha-ha. But I would like to explore the gold coast a little more. It seems they have tons of preserves and old architecture. I also enjoy searching out abandoned places.
NTVLI: What are some of your favorite outdoor activities on Long Island aside from photography?
DI: I love surfing. I’ve been doing it since I was 16-years-old and it continues to be a way of life for me. I grew up on the beaches of Long Island.
NTVLI: What are some of your favorite spots you've shot outside of Long Island? Anywhere outside of LI that you'd really love to shoot?
DI: Recently I was lucky enough to go to Hawaii on vacation, and I could spend years photographing the beauty of those islands. I also visited Boston, it was amazing to shoot all their historical places. I would love to visit Costa Rica, hopefully that will happen.
NTVLI: Where can people find your work online?
DI: As of right this minute, Picballot.com and Instagram @Imperialphotog_ , coming to a computer near you soon will be my website, imperialphotog.com. But uhhh, its still in the works .