My name is Mio Monasch and I am a landscape and commercial photographer based in Seattle, Washington.
I’ve been learning from photography since I took my first camera out whale watching at the age of six and realized I didn’t have any film with me.
Since then, this miraculous art form has changed my life in so many ways, freeing me from the corporate grind and transporting my life into creating in the great outdoors.
I can easily say that I wouldn’t be working as a photographer without the beauty of this world around us. I feel so fortunate to learn the lessons that are constantly taught by waiting for a sunset, the patience in trusting the process to the end of a long hike.
This planet has become as much a part of my photographic process as any piece of gear or equipment.
I’m thankful to have worked with brands such as Eddie Bauer, Backcountry, Mazda, Land Rover, and Red Bull to name a few as well as a handful of tourism boards around the world.
The gear I use:
I’m gonna start by saying, I’m a Fujifilm guy, through and through. I switched from Canon almost exactly two years ago and haven’t looked back.
I switched because I was looking for a 4k capable body that was smaller than my Canon setup and I found all of this and more in Fujifilm cameras and lenses.
Their color profile is more than I could have hoped for and their available technology, paired with incredibly fast and sharp glass couldn’t be more underrated in the photography world. Their cameras are weather sealed which is immensely helpful when the Pacific Northwest changes the forecast halfway through a hike as it often does.
They have really effective shooting modes and high frame rates which are incredibly effective for me when shooting automobiles or from the window of a helicopter.
More than anything, the UI and physical nobs and switches on the device create an incredibly immersive and involved shooting process which reminds me of shooting film.
I love feeling completely involved in the process of manipulating each detail when shooting and these cameras are a huge reason for why I feel this is accomplished when looking through the viewfinder.
Fujifilm X-H1 – My go-to camera, I use this for photography and videography alike. I’m obsessed with the technology Fuji is packing into their cameras right now. I particularly value their color profile, the IBIS found on the X-H1, and their high FPS when shooting vehicles or moving subjects.
Fujifilm X-T2 – The first camera I used when switching from Canon to Fuji. I immediately fell in love with the manual, film-like shooting experience found on all of their cameras bodies!
Fujifilm Fujinon XF 50-140mm f/2.8 – 70-200mm in 35mm equivalent terms – Primarily used to scale subjects against backdrops or when hiking, as the lightest ultra-zoom lens in the X Series family. Sharp, fast focusing, wonderful colors and tonality.
Fujifilm Fujinon XF 16-55mm f/2.8 – 24-84mm in 35mm equivalent terms – My most commonly used lens, this thing is a beast. Ranging from a fairly wide starting point to a fairly zoomed lens, if I have to leave all the others at home, this is the one I take!
Fujifilm Fujinon XF 35mm f/1.4 – 50mm in 35mm equivalent terms – This is probably my favorite lens in my bag. I primarily use this for detail-oriented shots or in portraiture and branding work. You won’t find a better lens for tonality at the price of this, I swear by it!
Fujifilm Fujinon XF 10-24mm f/4 – 16-35 in 35mm equivalent terms – Not the sharpest lens but it answers the call when I need wide-angle shots. Great color accuracy and quick focus, too!
🌋 Related: Recommended Fuji X Lenses
DJI Mavic Pro – Frankly, this might be my least favorite drone I’ve owned, if we’re talking just about the quality of the content that it produces but, coming from a Phantom 3, I think that is to be expected. The extreme benefit of size and weight is what makes this drone entirely worth it, I take it everywhere.
SanDisk 1TB Extreme Portable External SSD – Fast and reliable, so far. I don’t really trust most hard drives but after 4 months of regularly abusing this thing, we’re off to a solid start. :)
Lexar Professional 2000x 128GB SDXC UHS-II Card – These cards changed everything for me in terms of what I expect from SD Cards. I create a lot of multimedia from 4k content to high FPS-based cinemagraphs and gifs, meaning I offload a high volume of files (slow process before UHSII) and need to be able to record these large files on fast cards. These come highly recommended!
Fujinon XF 200mm f/2 with XF1.4X TC F2 Teleconverter Kit – The big beast in the X-Series lineup. I’ve never used another lens that is faster, or as sharp for wildlife. It’s very heavy and large, so I only use this selectively and would almost never hike with it, but, for what it is intended, it’s incredible!
Fujifilm XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 – The middle of the Fujifilm ultra zoom lineup, this might be the sweet spot. It’s a little heavier than the 50-140, which is why I don’t take it everywhere with me, but the additional focal length is a major difference-maker, especially when comparing its size and weight to most comparable or competing lenses.
Drobo 5N2 – I run a 30TB network-connected server out of my office, which allows me to offload and manage high volumes of data and backup when internet connections allow on the road. Having global access to this most certainly helps when a hard drive fails on the road or I max my available local storage.
In Search Of:
The perfect bag. I still can’t seem to find one that works for me. Because I often find myself backpacking, I use camera inserts in a normal overnighting backpack, like the Eddie Bauer Alchemist 40/55 Pack or sometimes something even bigger for multi-night hauls.
🎒 Related: Camera Bag Backpack Guide