FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER: Overthemoon!
For this one I was just filling in time while waiting for the train; it was a grey day and the red poppy stood out. I included the dilapidated building in the background because it is all that remains of the once-famous Mechanical Workshops of Vevey; I have always been attracted by that building with its big arched windows and was worried it would be demolished along with the rest of the buildings (they have been replaced by huge white apartment blocks). Now it looks as though it will be restored and I’m looking forward to seeing its reincarnation. For me this is a picture of nostalgia and hope.
You could say this is a typical “overthemoon” picture, a window, a reflection, shutters, tilted… Place Scanavin is a picturesque, enclosed square tucked away behind the streets of the old town in Vevey. I was rushing along trying to catch up with my husband when I caught a glimpse of two women looking down from a window; at my second glance I realised it was the reflection of a mural on the opposite wall. I whipped out my camera and took a quick picture while my husband was making his usual impatient noises. It came out well and I’m glad I stopped!
1: How long have you been involved in photography?
Choosing photos for travel guides (from individual reportages by professional photographers or from stock photo sites) has been part of my job since around 1990. I didn’t start taking photos myself, at least with any confidence, till I bought a little Lumix in 2005.
2: Equipment you use?
Just my camera, a little Canon that I can slip into my pocket or bag. I would hate to have to cart tripods, lenses etc. around with me.
3: Mac or PC?
Mac at work and PC at home.
4: What inspires you?
Anything I see out of the corner of my eye as I walk past – a reflection in a window, the light in a single leaf, a shadow or a bright colour…
5: Preferred subject matter?
To answer that I looked at my flickr sets. There is: chocolate, bicycles, books, cats, eggs, food and drink, architecture, machinery, shadows, doors and windows, clouds, trees, leaves, flowers, seeds, stairs, reflections, ripples, and things in shop windows. Views of my area (Lavaux on the north shore of Lake Geneva). I need to get interested in portraits.
6: Name one thing you haven't caught with the camera that you REALLY want to capture.
I’d like to take a decent picture of the moon.
7: When in doubt about your art, who do you confide in?
No one, I just sleep on it.
8: Qualifications/training in anything? ie: Photoshop
I fumbled around with Photoshop, which was already installed on my old computer when I acquired it, and got as far as Curves, but then the computer died and took PS with it. Now I manage with Picasa for cropping/retouching, and also for textures, though you don’t have the control over them that PS gives you. I’ve done several trips with professional photographers so have picked up some tips through observing them at work and talking to them. People say I have a “good eye”; I think that comes from my travel guide training: when you ask a photographer for a picture of North Cape and he comes to your office bearing two large leather cases containing 2000 trannies (colour slides) saying “I can’t choose”, you soon learn how to sort the wheat from the chaff in the blink of an eye.
9: Plans for the future?
Immediate future: sit down quietly and try to fathom out shutter speeds and apertures (my brain seizes up when confronted with figures). In the long term, maybe I’ll do a photography course when I retire; it might help me understand what I’m doing. And I’ll get some more sophisticated equipment.
10: In one word, describe your photography.
One of my contacts said my photos were “quirky” and I quite like that.