My name is Alina Rudya, I am originally from Ukraine but live and work in Berlin, Germany. I’ve studied photography in Berlin (Lette-Verein) and in NYC (Parsons). I’ve been a freelance photographer for the past six years, working in the field of travel, lifestyle and automotive.
I’ve worked with travel boards, car manufacturers, electronic manufacturers as my main clients. I worked with Nikon, Mercedes-Benz and Samsung among others.
I’ve also published a few books – by monograph Prypyat mon Amour in 2016 (about people, who like me were evacuated from the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone after the Accident on the Chernobyl Nuclear power plant in 1986), as well as Bell Collective (2019), which I curated and which features 14 female photographers from the field of travel photography.
A few years ago I started Bell Collective as a collective of female professional photographers whose common goal is to break the stereotypes surrounding women, travel and creative choices.
My first serious camera was a Nikon D300, since then I was using Canon for a short while but came back to Nikon. I was shooting with the Nikon F600 and F610, then F850 before moving to the mirrorless system – now I shoot on Nikon Z6 and Z7 only.
I am also a drone pilot – my first drone was a DJI Spark, but now I am using a DJI Mavic 2 Pro.
I think that gear is important for commercial photography, but one is always able to improve photography skills using a Smartphone. I was a mobile shooter for a long time and even won prizes with my Smartphone pictures (like a Smithsonian Photography Award).
I prefer mirrorless cameras because they are lighter than DSLR (perfect for traveling), plus I started shooting videos and a lighter camera is better for the gimbal.
I am a Nikon Ambassador for the past two and a half years, so all my gear is Nikon, even though that was always my camera of choice.
NIKKOR Z 24–70mm f/2.8 S – Versatile all-rounder. Great for travel, landscape, portraits.
NIKKOR Z 70–200mm f/2.8 VR S – A tele lens I love for architecture, portraits and landscapes. I love the depth of field and the compressed space it creates.
NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.8 S – I started using 35mm instead of my previous 50mm for portraits since it is more versatile when it comes to showing more of the background/environment.
NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.8 S – Great for portraits, but this is the least used lens I have to be honest.
Most photography bags I’ve owned were either not comfortable enough, or too heavy. Now I prefer walking with a normal backpack with an extra photo-inside. I prefer not to travel with more than three lenses at the same time, so a bigger backpack just adds weight.
Hardware & Software
I mostly work in Adobe Lightroom. Sometimes I edit pictures in Photoshop, but that is a very rare occasion since I don’t like over-processed images.
On my phone, I mostly use VSCO and Lightroom Mobile. I almost never use presets, but I have an eye for bright colors and contrast, so many people assume I add colors in Photoshop. In real life I just look out for colorful surroundings and situations, performing only a slight color correction in Lightroom.
My usual edit doesn’t last longer than five minutes unless it is commercial work or a portrait, where a more detailed edit of the skin is required.
After stuffing my backpack with gear, there is no more space for anything else =)
People always underestimate the weight of my backpack. With a camera, three lenses and usually a drone and a MacBook Pro inside, it is not a light one!