July 2016 MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: Ivan Gunis


Our sincere congratulations go out to Ivan Gunis, who came out the clear winner of our July 2016 photo contest, Ivan’s first VPW event. His romantic, beautifully backlit shot of a ride in the Prater can be seen here. Ivan’s actually the third newbie, in a row, to win a Vienna Photo Walk contest upon attending our excursion just once – great incentive to join our group, isn’t it! But it’s my particular pleasure to interview winning newcomers, because neither I nor the group know much about them, so these interviews are a great excuse to get nosy and learn a thing or two from and about them. Please welcome Ivan to our group, and enjoy his interview.


I’m originally from Slovakia, but I moved to Vienna three years ago to pursue my career as an IT Consultant. That doesn’t mean I’ve abandoned my hometown; I still visit my friends and family there about twice a month. Vienna is an interesting city that offers some great spots not only for photography, but also lots of options for one’s leisure time. I really like the city center with its historical buildings, though I have not been inside most of them. Generally, Austria seems to be an orderly and calm country, though – compared to my hometown – it’s quite rushed and crowded.
My interest in photography began about five years ago, when I first left my hometown for a summer job in Germany. Since I was planning on travelling a lot that summer, taking my camera and snapping a picture or two seemed like a good idea. As my enthusiasm and skills grew, so did my list and level of gear.
Thanks to the Internet the source of information on photography is virtually limitless, and mostly free of charge. Though, I do also think that if you feel the need then taking a paid course, where an expert explains techniques in detail and in person, can be very useful. Personally, I have learned a lot from two guys who publish photography tutorials online: Serge Ramelli and Ellia Locardi. Some of their tutorials are free on YouTube while others need to be purchased, but they are both definitely worth the money.
I think that the key to taking good photos lies in having solid basic knowledge, the ability to see different perspectives, reasonable gear, and the will to travel. Crucially, taking good photos is not just about using your camera right, but also the post-processing, which is I think, at the moment, is more important than ever. I choose to specialize in landscape/cityscape and architecture photography, so travel is key to my purposes. That means having to carry my gear with me on most of my trips, which isn’t always comfortable. But, in the end, having the right equipment at hand at the right moment makes it all worth it. I am currently using a Nikon D5200, which up until now has been my favourite, ticking all the right boxes for weight, picture quality, and handling. As for my lenses, I realize that high quality is a must, so I am working on building up my gear collection to have everything from a very wide to a tele lens.
Sunsets and blue hours are my favourite times to photograph; it’s quite challenging to be at the right place and the right time, and of course that also involves travel. Though, theoretically, it can be done any time of the year and in any place that offers good scenery. Finding a great, photogenic spot is not always easy, but I think that just makes it all exciting and interesting.
This is what motivates and pushes me, while receiving positive feedback about my work is the cherry on top. At the moment I just take photos for myself and showcase them in my portfolio but, one day, I hope to make a photo book out of them. What else can I tell you about myself? Well, besides photography I try to keep myself fit with sports such as fitness and badminton. I’m also a car enthusiast, so taking care of my own car is especially important for me. Oh – and I can eat a big portion of spaghetti under 2 minutes!

Since I moved to Vienna I have been looking for an opportunity to join a photography association, which is how I came across VPW. I wasn’t able to join any of the previous events because they either took place on a weekend or were fully booked before I had the change to register for them, so I was pleased to be able to join this spontaneously announced weekday event. The two hours that the Prrater event lasted gave me sufficient time to take the photos that I wanted, and to have a chat with the others on the walk. It was an interesting evening, and I would definitely like to join you again next time!

I would like to thank Ivan for taking the time to share his thoughts and photos here with me; it was a pleasure to find out more about him and his work. To see more, please visit the following links:

500px: Guniva
Facebook: Guniva.eu

If you have any questions or comments for Ivan, please feel free to leave a comment below, or send us an email.

As always, looking forward to the next walk, the next winner, the next interview!