Flying To The Moon with Matej Tandara

Discover what it takes to fly to the moon (and back!) with Matej Tandara. He shares his journey with us, what makes a successful and confident photographer and the secrets behind his surrealistic work.

"Flying to the moon" by Matej Tandara

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how, when, and why you started photography?

My name is Matej, I come from Croatia and I am soon to turn 21. My whole life I have been the guy in the group who wanted to photograph everything and anything, from sunsets and dogs to birthdays and other big events in one’s life.

When I was about 15 I decided to buy myself a DSLR. So I went out, after extensive saving, and bought myself a brand new Nikon D3200. At first I was just pointing my camera at pretty things and trying to make them even prettier. At the time I thought I made awesome photos but seeing them now I would say otherwise. My photos were awful but my post processing was even worse, all I knew was to slide the saturation slider as far as I could, but it made me happy and I thought they looked cool so I continued.

Your photo "Fly me to the moon" is very interesting and surrealistic - can you tell us more how this photo came to be and what was happening behind the scenes?

The photo was taken in early July in beautiful Split, Croatia. It was around 8PM and it was starting to get dark when I saw this plane flying by the moon. I quickly grabbed my camera and my 200mm lens and took a photo of it. The original was a bright blue sky with the plane trails barely visible.

I took the photo to Lightroom and turned it into black and white. I also took the luminance slider for the blue colour and dragged it all the way down to make it much darker giving the photo the illusion that it was took at night. After that, the contrast between the now dark colour of the sky and the trail of the plane was perfect and the moon was perfectly exposed too. I then cropped it since I originally took the photo in horizontal orientation and that was it.

Can you share some tips for our wider community on how they could try and take similar photos? What needs to be done?