Monday, March 08, 2010

Åsta

FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER: Åsta!!


I picked this one because it’s a picture I had in my head for years before finally getting the chance to shoot it.

The wait (Venter)
The other picture only because it’s some of my later work.

1: How long have you been involved in photography?
This is actually a hard question to answer as I’ve been on and off photography for about 20 years. However, for 15 of these years, I used the camera more as a sketchbook than a medium in itself. I think I can conclude that I really started photographing in 2006. That’s when I was introduced to Flickr – and by that also to the comments and interaction with you all. The pictures got a life on their own. I also discovered that photography was a relatively quick way to express myself and a fun way to discover other parts of my creativity. Suddenly I was hooked.

2: Equipment you use?
I’m not very focused on equipment, but I mainly shoot with a Nikon D40X. I’ve also got an Olympus Mju that I bring everywhere. Apart from that I’ve got very little stuff – I use whatever I have around, like DIY-lamps, torch lights etc. I recently got a ring flash that I look forward to trying out.

3: Mac or PC?
PC.

4: What inspires you?
Photography in itself inspires me. I’ll try to explain: I’ve got a fine arts education, but ran out of steam when it came to painting and printing. I completely stopped expressing myself visually. This stressed me and worried me quite a lot, as the visual language always has been such a big part of who I am. Then I started playing with photography and suddenly I got a new and different access to the creative part of me. It became fun to “speak pictures” again. As a result, I’m very determined on keeping photography as “just” a hobby with no demands - and to keep the bar low.
Also I love and get inspired by scavenger hunts. Getting a list to work with is like being dropped into an unfamiliar landscape. That means I see and discover ways to approach motives I’d never discover by on my own and challenge me to explore.

5: Preferred subject matter?
I don’t think I’ve got a preferred subject matter. To me it’s not about the whats , but it’s all about the hows. My “baby” is composition.

6: Name one thing you haven’t caught with the camera that you REALLY want to capture.
Most of the time we’re talking about moments I missed. The expression in someone’s face, the body language of the man on the bus, the light outside just now, the way the chocolate sauce was running down the ice cream I just had for dessert... Unfortunately I don’t know what I really want to capture until it’s gone. From this, maybe it’s obvious that I’d love to get better at street photography and shooting action pictures. I find it hard to recognize, compose and execute pictures where the motives are there for only a split second. I’d love to master this.

7: When in doubt about your art, who do you confide in?
I’m so fortunate that I’ve got a bunch of Flickr friends whom I can ask. It wouldn’t be fair naming them. By not mentioning anyone, no one will be forgotten. They know who they are. I also have real life family and friends giving me valuable reactions to my work. Sometimes I leave a comment under my picture, asking what people think about this or that. I’ve found that so many Flickr members are amazingly generous sharing their view and expertise. I learn a lot from this. Thank you!

8: Qualifications/training in anything? ie: Photoshop
I’ve got an education in fine arts and in teaching design and fine arts. I think this gives me a somewhat different view on pictures and photography – especially when it comes to composition. I highly recommend photographers not only to look at photography books, but also to explore the fine arts section in the library to learn about the endless number of composition tools. There are so much more than the rule of two thirds or the golden section!
I’m autodidact when it comes to the basics of Photoshop. I pick up a bit here and there, and firmly believe in learning by doing. Youtube has become a fantastic learning arena which I use frequently. I also like Scott Kelby’s books on PS because he’s so direct on solving problems in photography.

9: Plans for the future?
I’ve had a very busy life the last couple of years. Hopefully I’ll get the chance to do more photography. I also plan to stay a dilettante.

10: In one word, describe your photography.
Exploring

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