Breathtaking Photography Using Only Natural Light

An interview with Envato Elements photographer Janne Amunet

Janne Amunet is attracted to contrast. Whether it’s images with lines, frames or silhouettes, he’s constantly on the hunt for visual opportunities that can produce a story entirely contained within a photograph.

“I rarely enjoy taking photos of just a scene, but would rather include a person in the scene to give the place scale and meaning,” he says.

Inspecting his influences, like the legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins (Skyfall, No Country for Old Men), and Instagrammer @locarl, provides some insight into what Amunet aims for with his photography. “I’d describe my photography as cinematic imagery with strong influences of minimalism that often study people’s placement in the world, and their relation to nature.”

The most breathtaking example of which being his piece, Man silhouetted against a beautiful alpine lake. “It was such a surreal feeling to be there in all its calmness and mystery, and I wanted to add to that calm mystery by giving it a hidden figure that would build the story.”

With no more than an image, Amunet provides enough context for his audience to assume a narrative. What makes this ability more impressive is that most of these images use natural light. “I’m a Cinematographer by trade so my photography is mostly about studying natural light, and learning about it to be able to recreate it later in movies.”

Amunet landed behind the lens by doing music and band promos. From there he quickly migrated to cinematography, eventually returning to the still image on the side. “I found it again as a creative outlet where I could do things differently than in my commercial film work.”

Now he’s able to turn opportunities for great images into pieces of an ever growing portfolio. Like his photo, The Tuscan sun.

“We got the chance to do an early morning hot air balloon ride in Tuscany. When the sun rose, it was like we were transported into a classical Italian painting.” The color pallet and tonality was all there before his eyes. And luckily, he was in the perfect position to catch the moment with his lens.

“I never thought that color palette and tonality could be real, but here it was, in all it’s golden beauty, unfolding before my eyes,” he tells me. As the fire in the bright red balloon he was on puffed a few times, Amunet found himself inching closer and closer to the perfect shot. “[It] gave us the chance to photograph this perfectly complimentary green and yellow balloon that just perfectly drifted between us and the sun, giving us the perfect vantage point.”

Opportunities for the perfect shot are fleeting. And whether by the necessity to be as agile as possible or something else, Amunet has learned how to to take beautiful photos with minimal setup. The hardest thing to deal with seems to be the occasional early starts. “…the amount of time to get to the locations, and the sheer will of force to get up at 4am for sunrise should be considered a feat,” he says, jokingly.

Having noticed his work mostly used for travel and inspiration based businesses, Amunet only sees more possibilities for how people can use his portfolio. “…it has huge potential for more narrated [work],” he says. ”

And with his portfolio now available on Envato Elements, he might just find the emerging audience that he’s looking for.

Discover Janne Amunet’s Photography on Envato Elements

Dom Hennequin

About the Author Dom Hennequin

Dom is Envato's Video & Content Marketing Specialist. He previously worked as the company's Community Content Coordinator, and as the founder and host of the Envato Famous 5.