Monday, September 17, 2007

Rod Monkey


-- from Rod Monkey - (?)
Look Sharp
My most popular image with over 700 faves - he's a street performer taken at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. There are quite a few shots of this guy (Chris Green) on Flickr. He's very photogenic obviously, so it would have been difficult to take a bad shot of him, but I think I have the definitive image, for two reasons - the composition and the sepia conversion, which very surprisingly I don't think anybody else tried. As soon as I saw him on the street I knew exactly what the final image would look like. This was voted TWTME Photo Of the Year which was a huge compliment - thanks to all who voted for it and faved it.

-- from Rod Monkey - (?)
Luksfera Radiator
Very different to Look Sharp in that the subject matter on the face of it is so unlikely - if somebody had told me that a pic of an old radiator would end up with 300 faves I would have just laughed. I love the fact that such a 'boring' subject has done so well, and that it showcases the whole creative process - conceiving the image in my head, composing and taking the shot, and the post-processing which really adds something special.

1: How long have you been involved in photography?

For about 30 years now (so I started aged 4...ahem :) Like many, my interest has been totally re-invigorated by the digital revolution. I know the purists will sneer, but there's no way I could go back to a darkroom now - I love the immediacy and endless possibilities that today's technology allows.

2: Equipment you use?

Canon EOS 5D with Canon EF IS USM 24-105 and 70-300 zoom lenses - a fabulous camera and two very versatile lenses. I also recently bought an Elinchrom D-Lite2 home studio kit which I'm having loads of fun with, never really having done any portrait work before.

3: Mac or PC?

Currently a PC, but have been seduced by a sleek, shiny, sexy 24 inch iMac which I hope to be drooling over on my desk within a few weeks.

4: What inspires you?

The vast range of hugely talented photographers on Flickr - the amazing shots they take and the wonderful feedback & encouragement they give you. Aaw hug!

5: Preferred subject matter?

My stream has a fair range of subjects - landscapes, studio portraits, street shots etc, but my favourite subject would have to be architecture. I love buildings with strong lines, bold colours, repeating patterns and dramatic perspectives.

6: Name one thing you haven't caught with the camera that you REALLY want to capture.

No particular subject matter, although a studio session with Scarlett Johansson wouldn't be too shabby :) I still haven't taken a photo that I'm completely happy with, so I guess what I really want is to finally get something that ticks all the boxes, if that's possible.

7: When in doubt about your art, who do you confide in?

I've made a number of great contacts through Flickr and I often ask for opinions on cropping, processing etc. Two long-standing Flickr buddies whose work and opinions I really respect are Ohsoabnormal (Caroline) and Bukutgirl (Liz). I also introduced one of my best friends to Flickr and he's now very active (Kenny Maths), although his stuff is rubbish and I wouldn't listen to anything he says :)

8: Qualifications/training in anything? ie: Photoshop

Self-taught in Photoshop (I would highly recommend Scott Kelby's excellent PS books for very readable, practical advice). I also went on a photo holiday to the American South West with Nigel Turner, a pro landscape photographer, which was excellent. He really made me think about what I was trying to achieve with the image I was taking, and also totally changed my attitude to quality. I post very infrequently and would much rather have a small stream of (hopefully) quality images than one with loads of filler.

9: Plans for the future?

Travel more, photograph more, age less.

10: In one word, describe your photography


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