Monday, July 27, 2009

Netream

FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER: Netream

Swirl
It's a spiral stairway in a public library in Amsterdam. I was tipped of about the library, so I went on a photo-safari there. When I was inside I saw this stairwell. It was hard to reach it, it was somewhat hidden away in the back of the building. But it was worthwhile. And yes, I did some editing, but it was already beautiful.

Cosmic snake-charmer
This is the reflection of a fountain/artwork somewhere in Nijmegen (where I live). I only needed to bring out the blue a bit. Just a very nice
fountain. And I had luck with the dark and cloudy sky.

1: How long have you been involved in photography?

For as long as I can remember, really. My father was into photography and had a dark room in the attic. When I was about 12 I got my first camera (an Olympus trip, an excellent camera), soon after that I bought my first SLR (a Nikon Nikkormat). I shot black and white and did my own processing. I shot black and white until about ten years ago, when my interest waned. Working in a darkroom was intense, time-consuming and gave very few satisfying results. Thank God for digital photography - it gave me a big boost!

2: Equipment you use?

I began with Nikon and sticked to it. Excellent stuff, although I'm sure Canon isn't bad either. But Nikon really rocks! I have a D300, with a 17-55 2.8 lens, which cost me a fortune but turned out to be worth every penny - fast and sharp. I also have a 50 mm 1.8 for portraits and lowlight.

3: Mac or PC?

PC, unfortunately. Works very well, but lacks the user-friendliness and sex-appeal of a Mac. I do have an iPod and an iPhone though!

4: What inspires you?

I like to look at reality, but with a twist. Sometimes a detail, sometimes a different angle, extra saturation or contrast. I find it very hard to shoot people (photographically that is), and studio-work doesn't appeal to me.
Flickr really gave my photography a boost. I love looking at other peoples work as it really inspires me. And of course I really like it when people like my work :-)

5: Preferred subject matter?

Architecture, stairwells, colours, form-repetition, contrasts. In general the thin line between abstract and reality.
I am the sole administrator of the group über-spesh (http://www.flickr.com/groups/uber-spesh/) where I collect photo's that I really like (and no, I don't post there myself). I hope to bring good photographers in contact there.

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

There are plenty of places to go to, all over the world, where I would love to shoot. Bilbao, Sydney. But I find it also very challenging to take a beautiful photo of a well known place nearby.
Oh, and sure, I would love to be able to do portraits.

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

I have one very good friend, who has an awesome eye. I trust his judgement completely. I'll make him my manager and get famous, one day.

8: Qualifications/training in anything? ie: Photoshop

Nope. Completely taught everything myself. Takes a bit longer, but is much better, I think.
Nowadays internet is a big help. I subscribed to Matt Kloskowski's Photoshop Killer Tips podcast. That turned out to be very helpful!

9: Plans for the future?

I would like to do some exhibitions, and make more Blurb-books (I have one out: www.blurb.com/my/book/detail/666991).
Oh, and I'm gonna get famous and rich.

10: In one word, describe your photography.

Über-spesh.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Rick Elkins

FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER: Rick Elkins

watching
One of a recently shot series of candid ballet photos taken backstage. I found the expressions of the dancers as they watched the other dancers perform to be quite a show.

la Saltimbanque Rose
Taken on a beach in Pondicherry, on the Bay of Bengal. When I saw them, they instantly reminded of an early Picasso painting of an acrobat family.

1: How long have you been involved in photography?

I took a course in b&w photography during the summer after I graduated college and bought a little Rollei 35mm, I remember transferring the film to a metal developing canister while sitting on the floor with a blanket over me as a makeshift darkroom! It was completely dark under that blanket (I had to work by feel) and very hot, as it was July. I enjoyed learning darkroom printing techniques like burning and dodging, but never did it again after that.

I didn't get serious about photography until about three years ago. That's when I got my first digital SLR, a Nikon D80. That's when I began really thinking about the photos I took.

2: Equipment you use?

I recently upgraded to a Nikon D700, and I'm happy I did. Obviously especially good for low-light! With it, I got a Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8, a 70-200mm f/2.8, and a teleconverter for extended range. I already had a prime 50mm f/1.4 and I'll probably get the 14-24 at some later date, unless Nikon introduces an updated version first. The rest of my lenses I've sold or put aside. And I'm a new fan of ThinkTank bags, I have two different kinds now.

3: Mac or PC?

A no-brainer, I'm a longtime Mac user, since the early 1990s. For any kind of graphic use, there's no comparison, and so far, for security reasons, too. And Apple's engineering and aesthetics are elegant and they just work better then a PC!

4: What inspires you?

More often, things not related to photography. I've always believed inspiration from mediums different from the one you're currently working in is more likely to produce something more arresting, more original. I started as a painter, and that influences my styles and work habits.

5: Preferred subject matter?

I love to include people in my shots when possible. They make a shot much more challenging, but more rewarding. The depth of meaning the inclusion of a person can add to even, say, a landscape makes the extra effort well worthwhile for me.
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6: Name one thing you haven't caught with the camera that
you REALLY want to capture.


I'd REALLY like to shoot an alien spacecraft making a landing on Earth. That's what I remind myself will probably happen any day I leave the house without a camera, and that kind of thought helps motivates me to grab one to bring along. But I don't like to use the word "capture", it seems to imply that one has just grabbed something that was already there and waiting, I prefer to think of the process as making photographs, not taking photographs.

What I want to work on are more photographs that have been planned in advance, most of my shots on Flickr are candid. I love the challenge of candid photography, but there are so many images in my head that could only be accomplished if planned. I need to work more with models and I need to learn how to use artificial light, I just bought an SB900 and some Lastolite lighting equipment toward that end...

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

People who don't have any training or experience with photography can bring an unbiased eye to a photograph, so I like getting their opinion, but people who are emersed in photography have their own special insights to offer. Hmmm, combine those two groups and I guess I've just described the entire human race.


8: Qualifications/training in anything? ie: Photoshop

I'm self-taught, so I sometimes bring unorthodox methods to solving problems. As for Photoshop, I had to teach myself to use it in the early 1990s for my work as as art director. Photoshop can be a blessing or a curse, far more people ruin their photographs using Photoshop then improve them, but used judiciously, it is a godsend. Sadly I am sometimes overdo it, please yell at me when you see me do that.

9: Plans for the future?

I'm working to learn much more, and hopefully improve the craft, and elevate the material.


10: In one word, describe your photography.

Tryingtoalwaysgetbetter.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Bec Thomas Photography

FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER: Bec Thomas Photography

Passing in Between
Passing Between is water coming through an old seawall, my husband thinks it should be called Dancing Fairies.

Reaching High
Reaching High is one of the shots my kids deceided I was insane because I kept crouching down and looking up at the trees on a trail we were walking.

1: How long have you been involved in photography?
I was around 10 when my grandmother got me a little 110 camera. I always wanted to play with her camera, pictures always fascinated me. So I guess you can say I’ve always been involved with photography.

2: Equipment you use?
I hate this question because I really have just too much equipment to list. Suffice it to say that an inventory sheet would be required to answer this question.

3: Mac or PC?
I use PC; I build my own to the specs I require.

4: What inspires you?
Inspiration is like the wind, it comes, it goes, and it pops up when it isn’t terribly convinient. I love the outdoors and that is where I do find most of my inspiration. Fog is one of my favorite conditions to shoot in; I’ve always loved fog and the light works completely different in fog then in any other situation. Shooting in fog is like having the entire world turned into a huge light box, there just isn’t anything that compares to it.

5: Preferred subject matter?
Nature is my preferred subject matter, shooting B&W gives you the ability to show a side of nature people often over look and take for granted, those are the details I like to capture.
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6: Name one thing you haven't caught with the camera that you REALLY want to capture.
A picture is a single moment in time that will never come again, so there are lots of moments I have not yet captured that I will want to. Penguins in Antarctica, rivers in China, sheep in Wales, and a Coco De Mar in the Seychelles all are things that I might yet capture and who knows what else my take my fancy.

7: When in doubt about your art, who do you confide in?
My husband and friends

8: Qualifications/training in anything? ie: Photoshop
I’m an antidisestablishmentarianist so I haven’t gone to do formal training, I even homeschool my kids. I have learned from other photographers, through my own research, and experience.


9: Plans for the future?
More photos, more shows, remodel my studio, and so on!


10: In one word, describe your photography.
Classic