Ali Ejmal is a Photographer & Videographer who loves telling stories through his camera lens. Originally from Libya and now based in Auckland, New Zealand.
Creativity, travel and learning are the core foundation of who he is. He enjoys capturing special moments with my camera, loves to put a smile on someone’s face and inspires others.
It all started as a hobby for him. After his last Uni degree exams, he purchased his first camera and has never looked back since!
Link to the photo/s that we talked about in the podcast
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Ali Ejmal 0:00
That’s how I got to where I am. I’ve always I’ve never said no to anything. I’ve always tried new things someone invites me to something you know even if I’m nervous or you know standing you inviting me therapy or podcast, I was like, I’m gonna say yes, but I was like, you know, I was an introvert I’ve never done one before. Let’s just do it. Yeah, let’s just say yet
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 0:26
Hey, weekenders. Welcome back to The Art of Photography podcast, where we share photographers journey and how they find hope, purpose and happiness, true photography. And hopefully you could find inspiration and life lesson a two day journey as well. Today, I have someone very excited I met him a true Twitter space. He just got one of very inspiring, first Milky Way shot the other day. And I must say it’s, it’s, it took me I don’t know how long until I can take photo like that. So just looking at that. I was just so inspired. You know, he just taken photography to the next to the new level in this past few months. I can’t wait to have a chat with him. So Ali, what is going on? How’s things in Auckland?
Ali Ejmal 1:16
Well, it’s South Stanley. Thanks for having me, man. Yeah, I mean, it’s going it’s going good. We just getting into autumn. So we’re this shot is starting to change a bit. So, you know, you never know how the wood is you in New Zealand keeps changing every every five minutes. Yeah.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 1:34
That’s awesome. It means more better weather for for some photography. I suppose the transition periods always exciting, right?
Ali Ejmal 1:43
Yeah. 100% I mean, I love I love autumn. It’s, you know, it’s one of the seasons that I really love. You know, last year, I went on a trip to the South Island in autumn and I just loved it. You know, just the three colours and everything is just so amazing. Yeah.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 2:02
That’s awesome. Yeah. Look, listeners if you I mean, you can’t really see this. And Ali is actually in his car. While we record this. There’s so much commitment to make this happen. I’m very thankful for you to make this happen, Ali, but let us know who you are, man. Just a little bit about yourself. You know, where you’re from in how you move to Auckland. And what makes you stay?
Ali Ejmal 2:31
Yeah, so my name is Ali. I’m originally from Libya, North Africa, if anyone who doesn’t know where it is, yeah, I came to New Zealand when I was 14 years old. I came here to study actually. So that’s how I came here. It’s only meant to be four years study with my family. But ended up staying here now for about 11 years, actually. So. So yeah, it’s been it’s been about 11 and a half years actually. Now here in New Zealand. I’ve been living in Auckland. Yeah, you know, I studied high school here and university. And, you know, I just feel now I’m like a kiwi. Now. It’s been a you know, it’s been 11 and a half years. I just got used to New Zealand. So, yeah, it’s been it’s been great.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 3:23
And you’re, you’re an engineer as well, right? If I’m not wrong, is that right?
Ali Ejmal 3:27
Yeah. Yeah. So, um, you know, I’ve studied construction management. You know, and when I was doing high school, I was just trying to, like, you know, in high school, it’s always a struggle, you know, to try and find what career you want to do. And I’ve always, I’ve always been that type of person who, I don’t know, I just had it naturally in me that, you know, I’ve always wanted to, like, find what my strengths are as a person, what I like doing and stuff like that. So, I was, I was trying to figure myself out in high school, you know, what I what I like doing, and I found out that there’s a class I took, you know, in the, in the late years of my high school, it’s a it’s a building class, which basically, you know, you do hard material tech technology, you just make like, you know, little furniture with timber and stuff like that. So I found myself I’m a, you know, I love you know, doing stuff with my hands and, and there was a, we had like, groups of people and they used to come to me and ask me questions about how to do things because like, I was probably the first or second person in that class, actually, because, like, I felt like natural like doing these sort of things that felt natural and people used to come, you know, students come and ask me questions. And I felt like, you know, I’m helping them out, given them tips and stuff. You know, I’ve felt like, Oh, I was like, Oh, I’m a people person I love, you know, I kind of felt like I love that type of work, you know, like construction type of work. And then and I felt like I was a people person. So I was like, Oh, let me see what I can do, you know. And I found the, you know, I find construction management, which is basically a, you know, it’s a field part of engineering. So, you know, I took that path. I went to university for that. Yeah, and just study construction management was all about, you know, people management and dealing with people and, you know, understanding how everything work, and you know, how they manage construction sites, how you, you know, how you get things done, basically, and working under pressure and all that stuff. So that was, that was my strength, as I said, since I was a young boy. And I’ve also I’ve always loved you know, I’ve always loved construction, because my uncle used to, used to do like, he used to have a workshop. Back Back in Libya, he used to, like, have those big machineries that you use in construction. So I’ve always had an interest in it since a young age. But, you know, as I said, Through the years, I just started finding what my strings are in life and what I love doing. And yeah, so that’s, that’s how it started. You know, that’s how construction started. For me.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 6:31
That’s cool, man. Thanks for sharing that. And I mean, it’s always good to kind of like hear that background before, you know, jumping into photography, but, you know, like, how do you go from that into photography? What was that first thing that make you want to be a photographer?
Ali Ejmal 6:54
Yeah, um, when, when I was 12 years old, my dad actually bought a point and shoot camera. And that was, again, back in Libya. And my dad, like, yeah, he used to take us out on like, little trips here and there, and used to use the camera. And, you know, he gives it to me as well to shoot and stuff like that. And I kind of liked it. I remember one time we went to went to my cousin’s house, actually, and they’ve got, they’ve got a big farm. And from there, so I just decided to take the camera with me. So I took it from home, went to my cousin’s house, and just went out in the farm and started taking photos of horses, you know, the dogs and everything. And I was just loving it, you know, and I also made like, a video, you know, I was I was making a video of us like playing football in front of the house as a little kids, you know? So I don’t know, I just since then I like a lot. The, you know, the idea of capturing memories. But I’ve never really, I’ve never really thought of anything about photography. I just, I just thought that, you know, taking photos and you know, with my dad’s camera, and that’s about it. But then, you know, a few years later when I came to New Zealand when I was yeah, in 2018 Basically, that’s when I really got into photography. I just, you know, kind of clicked back into me again, but you know, every time I go for a drive or you know, sometimes I take my time that weekend, I just go for a long drive here in the gym, Lachlan, stuff like that, just you know, I used to always take photos and it just clicked in me that I love capturing memories and you know, I love capturing moments like that because I used to always go to my phone and just look at the photos I captured few months ago and you know, always like I always feel like that was great moment you know? And also like when I go to like my brother’s you know, any celebration he’s got a uni only plan that I always take my phone with me and you know, I take photos of that because again, like I felt like I love capturing memories. So in 2019 You know, after my last exam of like uni time I decided to just go on YouTube and just search you know, what, what are the best beginner cameras and I wanted something that hasn’t gone up flip screen because again, I love videos. Well I love doing video. So yeah, I ended up buying my first timer and it’s Canon EOS in 50 I still actually have at home yeah, so from there just you know started going locally around the parks that we have around around the area and just taking you know photos and I yeah, I got my I got like room Am I subscribing to my subscription? And I remember I was I didn’t know what I was doing then I was just using that saturation slider and just doing all the way of just making the photos look terrible. But the photos look good to me back then. So yeah, that’s that’s how I started. Yeah.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 10:19
I remember. I mean, I was the same with you. When I first started, I used to use that slider so much, overuse that slider so much. And I remember, one of my photo got picked up by the by one of this big account and got shared and I always just get trashed. Everyone is like, oh, you know, slider 200% or saturation 100, like 1,000% or something like that. It’s like, it’s funny. It’s the rites of passage, right? We all can have gone through that we started with, like, we just oversaturated over fibrin photos, because they just look good. But it’s yeah, it’s funny how that works. 100 And it’s funny because m 50 is such a good camera to get started. You know, if there’s any student that come to me that ask is like, Okay, what camera should I get? Get em 50 It’s cheap. It’s great. Even good for astrophotography it’s fantastic.
Ali Ejmal 11:23
It’s great. I mean, speaking of ashlag actually used it like, you know, I use that USM 50 When I started photography for about four months, and then I decided to buy any RSR. But actually, like, about a few weeks ago, actually, I took the USM 50 Back again, like you know, I took the Duster but again, you know, it’s okay, and I actually went and tried to shoot extra with it and actually turned out pretty good. Yeah, too bad. Pretty good damages from the,
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 11:53
ya know, for sure. A lot of my first like, you know, Astro, my first my student who are never shoot, but when it should Astro I told them just get them 50 It’s okay. And it’s perfect. So I agree man and fit they have a lot of potential. But um, yeah, so, man, it’s it’s good to hear you know, your story. And I think you know, being a photographer that is something that’s really big in our in our mind is just being able to capture a moment and being able to savour that moment right and go back to it whenever we want to. Do you have like, Do you have any photo or any moments that are you know, if I asked you about you know, one of your biggest moment that you’ve captured what is the first photo that came across and tell me about about a little bit about that day and you know, but that adventure
Ali Ejmal 12:46
I think recently in you know, in recently from last lockdown we had I think it was August Yeah, yeah, in the August last year. It was a photo that I took it’s actually in one of our local beaches in Oakland to Bihar beach. I went to you know, just to basically you know, just take photos during the sunset you know, to lock downs and just trying to get out and just shoot something you know, I just had that afternoon to myself and I was actually waiting for one of my other geography friends here man just while I was waiting for him now he’s just you know, just you know, trying to snap some shots and it was a low tide that day he was just across he had a she was wearing she had she was wearing a dress she had a camera that strap on I think was a phone camera by and she was just walking across a ambulance like because it’s a low tide there was like an ice formation and on the side with a little bit of puddles and stuff like that all over so it looked so cool and as soon as I saw a weekend I always say I think something as soon as I say we’re going to be good photo to take I haven’t even taken the photo yet. And then I just put the camera down you know I’m just got the reflection of that water while she was walking and she had that you know, film camera was terrible. That was I think that’s my favourite photo that I’ve taken so far. It’s just that moment he might like you know from lockdown just being locked in the house for you know for about two months and and just you know, just trying to get out just to be creative, you know, use their creativity and a sunset in an hour local areas. And you know, that’s that’s my I think that’s my best Yeah, maybe suppose so. Yeah. And I’d say
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 14:51
that’s awesome, man. Yeah, I mean low type shots is a low tide condition. So it makes such a good shot because they are that reflection and you know, all that good. He’s on the foreground so, man glad to hear that and you know cuz you told me You said earlier that it was when you’re just got out of the lockdown as well, isn’t it because you had a pretty lengthy lockdown, right if I’m not wrong?
Ali Ejmal 15:15
Yes, yes we had. We have a lot of lockdowns here in New Zealand actually. We go in for like two months lockdown. And then we open up for a few months and go back again, lockdown again. It’s yeah, it’s been crazy since since 2020. But finally we only have it now. So. So that’s a good thing.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 15:40
Yeah, and and so how does? How does have photography help you during, you know, this tough time recently, especially, you know, not being able to travel as much, you know, being able, I mean, you know, during the COVID, we kind of felt like our freedom has been stripped. Right. I mean, it almost felt like our life have been stripped everything that we know about our life kind of just taken away, and how has photography impacted, if any? Or how does it have helped you go through this difficult time?
Ali Ejmal 16:19
Yeah, you know, what would photography and you know, during lockdown, it’s been a blessing and a curse at the same time. You know? I’m more of like, a local photographer anyway, so it hasn’t affected Well, I mean, it has affected me in some ways, but, you know, there’s, there’s a lot of filters on go out, you know, you know, they don’t really spend more than two weeks ago, they asked me to go for trips, you know, all over New Zealand, for example, and so on. But me because obviously, I work as well as construction managers, it’s very hard for me to take leave and stuff like that. So most of my travels are local. So it, you know, in regards to look down in terms of photography, it affected me that much, because I would still be able to go to my local areas that I always go to, to take photos. However, I mean, you know, it’s, you know, it’s been great, especially this last lockdown that we had, it’s been great to sit down and you know, have that time because as I said, I work full time. So it’s been always hard to try to learn new things with photography and finding the time to do photography. So actually, I’ve always, even though you know, it’s, it’s not a good thing, but I’ve always loved lockdowns because I get to either learn a new thing, you know, I could go to Photoshop and learn a whole new, you know, new skills. You know, that’s what I did last, the last lockdown, we had like two months of, you know, just staying at home. And that’s what I did. I just went and sharpened my skills in, you know, in Photoshop and Lightroom learning new editing styles, you know, just improving myself as a photographer overall. And when I get the chance, when we are able to at least go out I will just go to the local beaches and just take take sunset photos and stuff like that. But also, like, you know, that last lockdown, you know, it was an opportunity for a lot of us actually around the world. You know, we, that’s when I kind of got into NF T’s and like, you know, met a lot of amazing people like you, Stanley and and so many photographers that inspired me, you know, during lockdown, like, you know, their, their editing styles, the way they do things, you know, it’s just motivated me and I was looking forward for the to get knocked down to the elbow so I can actually go out and shoot because I was inspired by so many people that I met through Twitter
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 19:04
Yeah, that’s That’s cool, man. Like I think that’s that’s that’s and I love how you say that right? Because everything that happened in our life have both good and bad. And you know, through the lockdown, I know it’s difficult and not a lot of people hate love it I don’t like it. I don’t actually I don’t know any people that truly love it. But there are a few different good that came out of it and you know, you’re able to basically harness that positivity and make that into something that is you know, great instead of just looking at the negative so that is very inspiring. And that’s great to hear. Right and I hope you know the listeners out there who are still struggling to, you know, to go through kind of lockdown and stuff like that can find inspiration from this. So talk to me about that very You first Milky Way shot out, I know I saw your photo there of the first Milky Way shot. And it was incredible man. And you know, for a first Milky Way shot, it was insane. Like, it took me months. And, you know, until I got my successful shot of the stars, and it took me another like, probably half a year or something like that until I shoot my first Milky Way. So to see that you’re able to capture that that was amazing. But what I’d like you to share to the listener is what inspires you to shoot the Milky Way. Why? Why the Milky Way why, you know, because the sunsets are beautiful sunrise, the bluebird shots are beautiful. Why do you go into this hassle of going at, I don’t know, to one o’clock in the morning, I’m guessing, and try to find the Milky Way. And
Ali Ejmal 20:56
again, you know, like, before, me going into Twitter, and you know, getting to meet all of those lovely ographers before then I really be an abrupt but, you know, hearing the stories of the extra photographers that I met through Twitter, there’s a lot of them here in New Zealand as well. You know, you extended as well, one of them, like, you know, just like through tweets cases, I just loved their journeys that were talking about when they were gone and taking the Milky Way shots. I just I was inspired. I was like, Oh my God, I want to try this. Or at least try it once. You know, and I’ve seen so many beautiful photos, Milky Way shots on Twitter, and one of them is LeBron Ray. He’s, you know, he’s, he’s one of my good good friends here. In Oakland. He’s actually photographer. His photos are crazy good man and the work ethic that that guy’s got, it’s just insane. Like, he’s, he’s so committed. And he’s he’s inspired me a lot, you know, and, and he’s actually the one I remember, I was telling him, I want to fit in, I want to get into this extra stuff, like I need I need to add, I remember me and actually we went shopping, you know, and he’s was telling me which you know, which lens best to buy and, and you know, which tripod and stuff like that. And actually, yeah, we went shopping for my 24 millimetre lens. One point I you know, so, and I bought my tripod, and, you know, and then he actually told me some, you know, before taking that shot that we’re talking about. He actually, you know, taught me, you know, just few things through messages. And I was like, What do I do for my, for my first thought, I’m gonna go and take time tonight what what should I do what, whatever tension I have what, you know, what’s, what’s the ISO and what’s all of that stuff, and he was just, you know, being in detail telling you how to shoot it and how, how to do everything. So again, like I was inspired by so many of the photographers that we have on Twitter that I’ve not, I mean, so many amazing photographers, just the list keeps going. I mean, Stanley, it’s huge to me. I mean, Laron. You know, we’ve got Kenny, we’ve got, like, so many so many amazing photographers.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 23:32
Yeah, that’s cool, man, that’s really inspiring. And I love how you shortcut your learning curve, right? Just by going to someone who have gone through someone who know what they’re doing and just, you know, find a recipe from them. And you know, I think one of the one of the things that I learned from my journey is that the best way to learn something is to model someone who’ve already done it and to immerse yourself in that subject and you did just that and you know, that photo was incredible man it’s one four it’s just such a beautiful shot composition wise as well as you know, exposure and everything so man massive Oh, excuse me massive congratulations to you for making that happen. That’s awesome. And thank you yeah, so what what was the learning what was the learning from taking that first QA shot? I mean, you don’t have to go through too much details but in a higher level. You know if somebody can come to you as like, hey Alia. So your first Milky Way shot and they’re incredible and by the way, guys, we’ll put a link on the description so you guys can see this shot this incredible shot. So if people come to you and say like, Hey, I want to you know, take awesome shot like this, like what you did on the first Milky Way shot. What are some of the advice Well, says what are the top three advice you would tell them? On, you know, being able to make that night a good investment and a successful astrophotography outings?
Ali Ejmal 25:12
Yeah, well, the tips I would say is, like maybe go out with, you know, a, a professional extra photographer, you know, first of all, just to just to, you know, to understand how they go, because that day actually, I went, I went out with my good friend use of him and his wife, actually, we went out and shot that shot. But yeah, I would say go out and, you know, and just experience how other photographers, you know, how other people would be. It’s, it’s their bread and butter. They know how to do the sort of work, so just go out with them and, and learn the way you know, when I was out with user, I was looking at how he’s positioning everything, how is he, you know, how he’s zooming in on the stars, and getting, you know, focused? And so on. So, yeah, my first step, I would say, you know, just go out within astrophotography, so that you actually learn that while you’re doing that. Secondly, I would say, maybe, learn how to Yeah, I mean, maybe doesn’t talk about it already. But, you know, like focusing, I mean, you know, I don’t have a tracker. So I mean, I’ve just started so I’m just, you know, using a tripod and a camera on the lens, I would say just, you know, learn how to focus on the stars, make sure that you do know, your pinpoint your focus, to get there, you know, a sharp shot. I mean, it’d be nice to get a tracker, you know, a tracker is like, the next thing for me to get, you know, mix your image a lot, a lot sharper. But yeah, I mean, you know, learn your focus. You know, and that’s, I think that was a big learning for me, because at the start, I didn’t know what I was doing. Until actually, I was showing body. My, one of my Astro friends how to focus on that on on that side, because I was trying to focus on I was like, Is this good? And he was like, Man, I’m like, this is blurry, you got a good other area. So, so yeah, that was that, you know, that was a great learning curve for me. And the third one, I would say, the best learning I had would be how to stack images, you know, usually using stacks and, you know, if you have programmes and just really diving into first time extra Milky Way shot was, I felt like was good. But if I, like, you know, zoom in and look at the details, I can, like, see around the trees and around the, you know, their satellite is a little bit of, you know, that hazy, you know, shadowy, not, because, like I haven’t masked the sky correctly, and stuff like that. So, I’ve learned from that as well, after I posted the photo. I was like, oh, no, is some, you know, some shadows and stuff like that. So, yeah, so just learning, you know, learning how to stack the images, and then also just, you know, mask the sky around, like, you know, around the edges between the foreground and the background, and so on. So, yeah, I think those are my three tips.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 28:35
That’s awesome, man. I mean, like, it’s cool that you capture that, you know, especially with the first your very first Milky Way shot. And I know, like a lot of people say, you know, you get a tracker, because you can get a lot cleaner shot with a tracker, but I don’t have a tracker as well. You know, all my shots are off the tripod and a camera. And there are a lot of different things that you could do in a pose to kind of or in during the show during the shoot as well. You can make it a higher quality. So yeah, that’s, that’s awesome to hear. You know, I think that is a really good advice to just find someone and just, you know, gone through it, learn the technical details and then you know, post processing that’s, that’s literally like the pillars of making photography great, right? Yeah, man. So like during your journey as a photographer, do you ever come across a time where you felt like you lost your passion for photography or you have a burnout or you know, things like this? Have you ever come across time like this at all?
Ali Ejmal 29:49
No, I’ve never, ever come across a time like this. The only thing is, which I’m actually going through right now is finding my A niche, right? So I’m still trying to figure that out, you know, in regards to just finding what I, what I want to do with photography, but in regards to, like, you know, burning out or feeling like, the creative process or anything like that, it’s never happened. But yeah, like, lately I’ve just been trying to figure out what I want to do with photography, you know, what sort of, you know, you know, what sort of photography genre I want to I want to do, like, my first inspiration, or first videos I’ve ever watched when I started filming was Peter McKinnon. And I’ve always loved his style. And he does a lot of different things. You know, he does. Landscape, he does so many things. So that has inspired me, but I’m still, I’m still trying to figure out, you know, what, what is specifically I’m gonna do in photography, but yeah, in regards to, you know, this creative route when he thought that I’ve never had never had it.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 31:04
So that’s cool, man, like, you know, I think finding a niche is very difficult, and some people just given up on it, and don’t bother on it. Right, which is not not not a bad thing. But well, we’ll talk us through for people who are in this process, right? I’m trying to find a niche and everything. What, what are you doing right now that kind of? Well, what are you doing right now to be able to find that niche to be able to, you know, get you closer to that, because I see that you kind of try a few different things, and you kind of change, you know, and stuff like that. So just talk us through, like, you know, the journey and you know, how that journey goes.
Ali Ejmal 31:50
Yeah, so when, when I started photography, you know, I started that on the basis that I wanted to do landscapes, you know, landscape photography, I was taking a lot of landscape shots and stuff like that, but then I wanted to expand on new things. So I tried, you know, architectural photography, street photography, because, again, you know, I do construction management, so I love buildings about structure. So that was another thing that I, you know, I got into I got it too, you know, you know, the buildings actually, that I built. I just can’t take photos of them and stuff like that. So, yeah, so I got into, you know, I would say just, you know, get into different things. So that’s what I got into so I started actually photography, architecture landscape. I mean, I, you know, I had a lot in cars, you know, automotive so then I took a few shots of cars as well. You know, I love a lot of fullback for vehicles, I love like, you know, those offroaders I’ve always have love for these people. So, you know, I just go to the beach, we’ve got a beach here in Oakland, but you know, grandmother for photos on them, they they always go there, you know, just, you know, take the cars over there. So I was always taking photos of the cars and stuff. Yeah, I think I think these are the, the, the ones that I really fell in love with, I can put a product for the photography as well. But I don’t feel like I loved it that much. So I tried different things, you know, I just keep trying things. I always try different things, different styles of photography, and just see what what works for me at the moment. I love landscape. That’s number one. And then I love, you know, cityscapes and street photography, that’s number two. And the third one is automotive. I love those three, those are like my favourite. And I, that it’s, you know, I’m trying to niche down even more, and try to figure out why you’d like to be more specific. But I feel like I don’t know if I could because I’m just struggling because those those three, I just love so much. Yeah, so I’d say just, you know, keep trying different things. And I keep telling myself every day as well just keep trying different things and just see what works. For me, you know, on a, let’s say, product photography. I tried that. But that’s kind of the list now I just started. didn’t feel like it. Right. So,
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 34:27
yeah, that’s awesome. And I think that is very true. One of the best way to find your niche is just to try a bunch of different things. I know that had worked really well for me, so and I know a lot of people who cannot even like you know, they don’t even to their professional career, they have changed niches and that’s okay as well. Right. So yeah, thanks for that advice, man. That’s a really good advice, especially coming from someone who’s in it right now. Right. I think it’s easy to you know, for people to I judge people that have already made it and it’s like, and just kind of brush it off because oh yeah, but you know, you already made it. So this must be easy. But, you know, coming from someone like us actually in the journey, you know, finding that path. That niche that you really enjoy in photography is, is very relatable. Right. So that’s good to hear. Thanks for sharing that. So you let’s talk about, you know, a lot of your photos. Now you have what, seven photos you mentioned on minted as an NFT. So before we get into that, let’s talk about why you want to get into NFT.
Ali Ejmal 35:50
Yeah, so NF T’s. So first time I’ve ever heard of tes was early last year actually was around January or February. Like I had Gary Vee talk about it and stuff like that, but like, it’s just like, you know, just a quick thing, like, you know, what the hell. So back then, when I was in a trip, I was done the sound fun actually, in? I think it was yeah, it was in April last year. And we have a photographer here in New Zealand, his name is Caleb Caleb Johnson. If you guys have heard of him, he’s you know, is he’s one of photographers in New Zealand that got into NF T’s. I remember I used to follow him on Twitter. I hate Twitter back then. But I’ve never really used it that much. But I just started using Twitter, in you know, around that time and I used to follow him. And he used to, you know, tweet about as well talk about NF T’s but I still didn’t understand what the meaning of three was. Until June. Last year, I still story Instagram story of pays tindy she’s a photographer from Utah. And she was saying that, you know, she’s listed some of her photography on as an industry on foundation. And she had like a link on this story. So I was able to click on the link took me to Foundation. And then you know, I did died from from the, you know, like, I did that into Foundation. And I was like seeing her work and other photographers work. And it was just showing me so much stuff. And I was like wow. Since then I was like, I need to get my head around, you know, NF T’s and how it works. And I basically got into clubhouse that was, that was a thing back back back then. So I go into clubhouse and I was just listening to photography videography, chats and NFT chats. And I was just trying to get my head around whether there is I was just listening in I was an introvert, I couldn’t really talk, I can’t really go up and talk I’ll be so nervous, I’ll just, I’ll be just listening and I will be just, you know, trying to absorb as much information as possible. I was doing that for about a month until end of January, basically. And then this is when I sorry, to end of June last year and and after, you know, end of June, Twitter spaces started and stuff like that. So I got into Twitter spaces. And then I felt really you know, after I’m like doing research, I felt ready to put my first book on foundation. I got an invite to a friend who who I met through clubhouse. And yeah, I’m gonna invite foundation and start putting my photography in there. And then I said go into Twitter spaces and meeting new photographers and getting to know them and I was very, very nervous at the start. Like, you know, as an introvert, I couldn’t really talk that much I didn’t even know how to you know, I felt like I think the English as soon as I got back as a speaker, I just, you know, I felt like I forgot the whole English language. But yeah, I just got my head around it and just making new friends. Yeah, just, you know, just the journey that keeps going and going. That’s still there right now. Can use
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 39:42
So, sorry, I didn’t realise I was muted. Yeah. So what made you want to like mint, your work as an NFT you know, what is your vision and to make that
Ali Ejmal 40:03
Um, as like, as I say, like I was here, like, I started deep diving into NF T’s and I felt like a lie, I started understanding that it’s it could be, it will be, it’s going to be the next, you know, it’s going to be the next thing in the world is going to be a neat technology. I’m, I’m a futuristic person, that’s what they’re my strengths in my personality. So I always look ahead and try and understand how things work in the future. And I felt like, you know, when I got into NF T’s I was hearing like Gary Vee, I still listen to him all the time talking about MFDs. And, you know, just from understanding how NF T’s work, when I was doing my research, and so on, last year, just clicked in my head, I was like, This is gonna be the next this is gonna be like, you know, this is gonna be like, the new Internet back in the day, this is going to be like, you know, the new opportunity, but you like social media sort of hype, you know, back in the day. So I was like, I need to get into this, because I’ve had missed opportunities before previously. So I was like, I need to do this right now. So I’m glad I got into it in June. You know, and, as I said, it’s, you know, NFT is, is like, you know, it’s you put your work on the crypto in the, in the, in the blockchain, and it’s a way for you to document your work, but also to, you know, just to share with other people and sell it online. You know, as as an NFT, which is, you know, it’s a non fungible token. So, you know, if you put it out there as an MFT, it’s out there. And, you know, no one can copy it, you know, no one can steal it, even though you can, you know, right click, save the photo, whatever. But, if you if you go back and look who owns that, it’s, um, you know, it’s, it’s, I mean, NF T’s is, and the community behind the fees as well. It’s like, amazing, so many amazing people. So, I’m so glad I got into it. You know, I mean, if I, if I didn’t listen to Gary Vee, or, you know, if I wasn’t curious enough, like, you know, I was, I was curious since the start, but if I didn’t have the curiosity, I don’t think I would have got into it. Yeah, I’m so happy. And I’m so proud of myself that I was curious. And I got into, and if these because a lot of people, you know, like, opportunities like this, they just say, oh, whatever, you know, now, it’s fake and all that stuff. Even if it’s fake, you know, anything, anything that’s even fake, I always try to get in there. If people are doing something, there is an interest, then I will just jump on it. Even if, you know, even if I heard bad things about it, I would just go and try it myself and then make my own decision. My own opinion about it, but I’m like it, I’ll just move on with my life. So yeah, I’ve always had that curiosity. So I was like, whatever, you know, even even my dad was telling me NF T’s is you know, he was telling me to scam and all that stuff. I was like, I’m just gonna try it out. Yeah, no, I’m just gonna try and see how it goes. And I’m glad. Because as I said, the friendship and chips itself is like, you know, it’s, it’s worth, you know, it’s worth everything in my laptop. Yeah.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 43:39
Yeah, man. That’s awesome. I mean, I’m guessing you come across LeBron from NFT. Space, right?
Ali Ejmal 43:46
Yes, yeah. Yeah. I’ve met like before, lefties? I didn’t know many photographers here in New Zealand, per se. I’ve met through nfts. Yeah.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 43:55
So your, your milk, your you could argue that your first meal QA shot was successful because you are in the NFT space. Right. But exactly, exactly. But I love that man. I love what you say that because a lot of people judge before they even they judge based not based on their own experience, but based on what other people say what those experiences are. And that’s just sad to hear, right? Because, yeah, like, I see that a lot of people have a bias and when they before, if they don’t get into it and immerse themselves in those, whatever it is, it’s easy to say, you know, what work and what doesn’t work. But when you are immersed in that that’s when you get to understand fully of, you know, all this thing, and yeah, it’s just it’s sad. up, people are not giving it a go. Because it’s such a great thing. It’s the future of the art world and, you know, it will change the world for sure. You know. So I’m glad that you say that to give it a try anyway, you know, and have this. And that just goes to show that you know how courageous you are. Because a lot of people, you know, think about the failures, everything that could go wrong before they try it, but you decided to take a leap of faith, and just give it a try. And it worked out pretty well for you. But yeah, I’m that was just inspiring to hear to hear us share that. And for those of you who doesn’t know, what’s NFT, is, I’ll have a specific episode to explain to you and the link is just down below as well. All right, well, Ali, you know, it’s been a great conversation with you. And it’s one thing that I always ask my, my guests in the podcast, you know, if there is one advice that you could give to the listener out there, whether it’s a live advice, whether it’s photography, advice, whatever it might, it may be connected to, you know, that got you to where you are today, what would that advice be?
Ali Ejmal 46:24
I would say just be curious, you know, try new things, try different things. I mean, that, you know, Curiosity is that is like, it’s it’s so powerful. A lot of people, you know, don’t give curiosity, a lot of credit, but I mean, it’s, you know, just try new things, you know, always saying, yes, you know, like, it doesn’t matter what it is, just say yes, and just don’t do it, try it, you know, try whatever, you know, I don’t know, football or whatever, in life, you know, just go and try different different things, because that’s how I got to where I am. You know, I’ve always, I’ve never said no to anything. I’ve always tried new things. You know, if someone invites me to something, I’d be like, you know, even if I’m nervous, or like, you know, like, you know, standing up biting metre to a podcast, I was like, I’m gonna say yes, but I was like, you know, I was an introvert. I’ve never done one before. And I was like, let’s just do it. Yeah, let’s just say yes. So, yeah, I always say yes. You never know what it takes. Yeah, I mean, like, you know, saying yes, to NF peas and stuff like that. I mean, that took me to places I’ve never been to before. I’ve met so many, you know, friends all around the world. I’ve been to events in New Zealand, you know, and that’s, like NF T’s and stuff like that. And, and I’ve learned so much in regards to life, but also in geography and the fees and everything, man. Just always be curious. That’s my mindset.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 47:52
That’s awesome. Man. That is awesome. I mean, it’s funny, right? Because I wasn’t very curious when probably a good part of my life. And at one point, I decided to be curious. And here I am right now, you know, I left my engineering career and become a photographer. And it has been the best the best decision in my life. Right. And you’re absolutely right. You know, it might be scary, but you know, it might just be the best decision that you’ll ever made. You know, I mean, it took me 30 years to find my passion, you know, in photography, and yeah, I only find it by just trying different things. So that is such a great advice, Ali. Well, Ali, thank you very much for being here. And thank you very much for sharing all your journey sharing all your wisdom and for the people who want to learn more about you Where can where can they find you and connect with you?
Ali Ejmal 49:00
Yeah, you can find me on Twitter, my handle is outdoors sky. Yes. So you can find me on check me out and yeah, let’s have fun.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 49:18
Fantastic man. Yeah, we will put you know all your links on the description below and you know, for those of you who are into NFT and like to look into NFT in photography, Ali have also a collection that will be you know, the link will be down below as well. But yeah, Ali, thank you very much for being here. Man. I’m really appreciate your time, your commitment to be in the car and make this happen.
Ali Ejmal 49:48
Thanks very much, Stanley. It’s been a pleasure, man. Thanks for having me.
Stanley Aryanto – The Wicked Hunt 49:53
All right, we can do is there you have it. Hopefully you have a great time listening to that get a lot of inspiration from our The perspective and journey. For those of you who haven’t subscribed, do subscribe so that you don’t miss out the next interview and the next chat will be very much appreciate if you leave a word or two on the review if this podcast has been inspiring or helpful to you, but it’s been a great time. Hopefully you enjoy the chat today, and I’ll see you guys next week.