Tyler McKay, otherwise known as ‘Tylersjourney‘ on Instagram, is a Canadian photographer capturing cityscapes and street scenes in Canada an across the world. Tyler specializes in cityscape, time-lapse, and street photography and is known for his dramatic tones and deep, crisp editing style.
Tell us a little bit about your childhood and background. When did you first pick up a camera?
Well I grew up in a small town in Northern Ontario Canada called Thunder Bay. I got into photography when I was 13, I loved shooting photos/video of my friends while we were skateboarding. I created many skateboard videos with VHS tapes. I am now 32! It’s been a minute hah.
What and/or who were some of your inspirations when you first began shooting?
My biggest inspiration when I began shooting about 19 years ago was movies! I would watch several films per week, I was obsessed. This is definitely what got me fascinated with photography/film.
Have your influences and inspirations changed since then?
My inspirations have somewhat changed with how constant seeing new images is with Instagram every day. I get lots of inspirations through the amazing followers I follow in my Instagram feed every day.
What kind of photography equipment did you use when you first started?
I used some generic film camera when I started and some old Canon digital cameras. But for the life of me I can’t remember the exact camera models.
How has your equipment changed since your first started and what impact do you think equipment (camera, lens, etc…) has on a photographer?
The most important thing to me about creating captivating images is composition, light and subject matter. Then Camera/Lens comes after that. You definitely don’t need a good camera to be a good photographer but it certainly can help you create sharper more detailed images. Currently I shoot with the Sony A7Riii, Sony G-Master 16-35mm F2.8 Lens, Sony G-Master 24-70mm F2.8 and Rokinon 14mm F2.8 AF.
What is it about street/city photography that pulled you in?
What really drew me in to street photography is that the scenes are constantly changing, new buildings being built, art installations and new interesting people around every corner. Living downtown Toronto makes it really exciting to constantly have my camera in my hand. You never know what’s going to happen.
What are some things you always make sure to bring (other than your camera) when going out to shoot?
I always bring at least a smaller compact travel tripod with me because on top of street photography I also really enjoy capturing urban cityscapes and Time-Lapse. I shoot in the rain very often so I bring a Large Micro-Fiber cloth to wipe water droplets off my lens and also a clear plastic OP-Tech rain cover to protect my camera from the elements.
What is your process like after a photoshoot?
My editing process starts by transferring all my images in from the days shoot and ranking the images 1-4 with star ratings depending how good I think the image could be after the editing process and putting a 5 star when the edits complete. I use every setting available in Adobe Lightroom and mostly edit from scratch, my first image I edit if it’s shot in similar light to the rest of the images I’ll create a new preset to use as a starting point across the images just to save time doing the noise reductions, remove chromatic aberration and other settings quicker. I’m very picky so I usually only end up with 1-4 images average per shoot sometimes up to 10 depending how long I was out. Once all my Adobe Lightroom settings are complete I bring the image into Adobe Photoshop to do any sensor/lens spot removal and then I do simple object removal if there are any distracting items in the image IE. Manhole covers, traffic cones, trash on street etc. Then export from there to a folder and finally Airdrop to my phone for Instagram!
Where would you like to travel in the near future?
I would love to travel to Tokyo in the future! I am hoping this happens in the fall time of this year 2019. I love big cities, the bigger the better – more to explore!
To stay up to date with all of Tyler’s latest travels and visuals, make sure to follow him on Instagram and if you are as big a fan of Tyler as we are, then you should also try out his custom Lightroom Presets here!