Monday, August 30, 2010

Gumby*

FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER:
welder
I love this one for the comments from the DeleteMe group on Flickr. They are so delightfully snarky, they feel just like family...

the red pill
And this, because there is something initially creepy about it, but its sense of calm has grown on me...

1: How long have you been involved in photography?
I have had a camera since I was about 6, and can still remember the smell of the spent flash cubes.

2: Equipment you use?
I currently have a Nikon D700, and my most frequently used lenses are the 60mm 2.8, the 80-200mm 2.8, and the 24-70mm 2.8.
I have tried numerous times to use the SB600 flash I have, but the results are always horrible.

3: Mac or PC?
I use a Mac, but I used a PC until last year.
I am equally inept on both, which is saying something.

4: What inspires you?
I am inspired by Flickr, plain and simple. Many photographers here are better than the professionals, and there is always something fresh and uncommon here. It hardly takes any time at all to find a photographer that you have never seen, and a photostream that is a revelation. I have been hooked from the first day. Even better than this, I consider many of these people lifelong friends.

5: Preferred subject matter?
My preferred subject manner changes, but I am fascinated by the elk in the autumn in Banff National Park. I also seem to shoot a lot of flowers, but I have no idea why.
It could be the fault of my macro lens.

6: Name one thing you haven't caught with the camera that you REALLY want to capture.
I went to Death Valley this year and never caught on camera what I wanted, some elusive quality of light and land that would represent the place. I am terrible at landscapes.

7: When in doubt about your art, who do you confide in?
I think there is always a low-grade dissatisfaction with what I shoot, but when it becomes acute, I turn to Flickr, and although the comments are usually generous, I can tell by the quality of enthusiasm from my good contacts exactly what is wrong by the things left unsaid. That strangely convoluted honesty is wonderful....it inspires me to improve.

8: Qualifications/training in anything? ie: Photoshop
I took a landscape course at night school last year and failed miserably, apparently by refusing to put a person/clump of flowers in the foreground to demonstrate scale. I have CS4, but rarely open it. I am no purist...I just have no idea how to use it.

9: Plans for the future?
I have no specific plans. I love the luxury of photography as a hobby, and am deeply grateful that there is no pressure to shoot anything in particular, in any specific manner.

10: In one word, describe your photography.
One?!

11. I just wanted to personally thank Jill (borealnz) for her energy and enthusiasm on Flickr, and her outstanding photography, which has always been an inspiration.
There are many people who seem to guide the tone and level of creativity here, and Jill has always been one of those individuals who show untiring leadership.
And her photography is amazing...

Monday, August 23, 2010

mj.foto

FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER: mjfoto
Flaming Drop
Flaming Drop
The photo above is perhaps the most challenging of all macro shots I've taken to date. Not that it's super technical, but because it was super windy when I composed it. I had to create a makeshift barrier made of foam boards to accomplish this shot.

Star Trails -- Chasing Perseid
Perseid: Star Trails, Lake Ann
This photo was taken at Lake Ann, near Mt. Shuksan and Mt. Baker in the Cascades. It took a lot of effort to be able to take this photo -- all the effort certainly gives this more meaning (to me).

1: How long have you been involved in photography?

I bought my first point-and-shoot camera roughly 5 years ago and have slowly progressed since. I've always been interested in photography, but I haven't had much time to devote to it until very recently.


2: Equipment you use?

I have a few in my arsenal. For those of you who have checked my stream and looked through the EXIF info, you should already know. I have two Nikon DSLR bodies (D700 and D300s) and a few decent Nikkor lenses including a telephoto zoom (70-200mm f/2.8G VR), macro (105mm f/2.8G VR), standard (50mm f/1.4G), and a standard zoom lens (24-85mm f/2.8-4). Looking to get a wide angle zoom lens and a film camera in the very near future.

3: Mac or PC?

Mac and PC (Windows and Linux/Unix). I run Linux for my file server/RAID array. I first tried OSX on a PC hardware and learned the ins-and-outs of the OS and its file system before I bought my first Mac. I also run Windows and a few Windows centric application.

There is no point on being a (Mac) fan boy! Every OS has its strengths and weaknesses.


4: What inspires you?

There are plenty of things that inspire me and I can't possibly write all of them, but I can list a few:

Life
Colors
People
Family and Friends
Art
Science
Flickr -- I take a lot of inspiration from other people's work. They certainly help me grow.


5: Preferred subject matter?

Anything under the sun. I love to travel and photography came along handy. I prefer to take photos that are technically challenging. For example: bees in flight, tiny droplets, landscape with dynamic lighting. Shooting photos that are technically hard engages me and helps me focus. I also like to shoot candid moments.


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

The Northern Lights, a bullet in flight (I've already caught spent shells in flight), and a bald eagle swooping in to catch a salmon. I've plenty of ideas and just haven't executed them yet.


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

I check with my kid brother who is also into photography.


8: Qualifications/training in anything? ie: Photoshop

I don't have any technical training related to photography -- I'm self taught. Books and online articles have helped me a lot. Flickr has been an instrumental tool. EXIF info -- I love checking EXIF info -- on photos I've looked through has given me a good guideline for shooting different scenarios.

9: Plans for the future?

I plan to do more hikes to take landscape photos. I also plan to delve into high-speed photography and studio-type portraits including lighting.

10: In one word, describe your photography.

Dynamic.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Eric Vondy

FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER: Eric Vondy
Dirt Tracings
This is my son Seth wandering around San Pedro Riparian Preserve in Southern Arizona. This was shot with my Lensbaby. This is one of my favorite photos. It appears there's a story here but the story is up to the interpretation of the viewer.

Drift
This is my older son Griffin. The real photo is him standing in front of a pond looking at some ducks. I blurred him and placed a texture layer on top and added sunset colors. Once again, there appears to be more going on than what is revealed in the photo. One again, its up to the viewer to interpret.

1: How long have you been involved in photography?
Since 2003. I grew up in Arizona but had been away for some years. When I moved back I saw the state in a new way. It didn’t seem like I would be here for very long & I wanted to document it. After while, when it was clear I was going to be here for while I moved to a more artistic approach – I have Flickr to thank for that.

2: Equipment you use?
I have a Nikon D70s and a brand new D90. I’ve got a 55-200mm Nikor lens, a battered 19-35mm Quantaray, a 500mm ProOptic mirror lens, Nikor 50mm and a Lensbaby.

I also have an iPhone 4 which I’m starting to use. I’ve started a series of iPhone portraits using a photo effects app called Lo-Mob that emulates stuff like old slide film and TTV.

I use Photoshop, Photomatix, and Tiffen DFX, as well.

3: Mac or PC?
I was a PC user for years but 2 years ago I moved to Mac. I have not regretted it.


4: What inspires you?
Being in new places. Flickr. The work of other photographers and artists. History. I try to find inspiration everywhere. In January I started a project to document Phoenix – mentally it was to be similar to W. Eugene Smith’s Pittsburgh project but it devolved into me taking photos on my commute to and from work. I took a couple of thousand photos and only a couple of hundred were worth downloading. Of those only a handful were any good. What it taught me was that even though I was shooting on the same route I had taken for the past 5 years there was a lot that I didn’t see until I started looking for it.

5: Preferred subject matter?
Landscapes. The world. Cities. Collapsing buildings. I’m not fond of forests though. I was born in the desert. I understand it. Trees baffle me. You have 1 in a landscape and it makes for an awesome shot. You have a thousand and the shot goes all pear shaped for lack of a subject.

6: Name one thing you haven't caught with the camera that you REALLY want to capture.
There’s a lot: Europe, real cities. I’d like to move into more story telling photography; cinematic shots. I’m a big film noir fan. I’d love to do some noirish images.

7: When in doubt about your art, who do you confide in?
No one really. Usually I just need to go shoot something and then I’ll start feeling better.


8: Qualifications/training in anything? ie: Photoshop
98% of what I’ve learned has been through experimenting. The rest is either through tips friends have given me or stuff I’ve found on-line.


9: Plans for the future?
Galleries? More on-line sales?


10: In one word, describe your photography.
Dreamish

Monday, August 09, 2010

Swiv

FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER: Swiv

death knell of the republic
I trained as an Ancient Historian, and the forum Romanum has got to be one of my favourite places on the planet - I could sit there for hours and just be. This was taken when I was at a conference in Rome, and I had an hour free, so I fled down there with my camera (fortunately it was National Heritage week in Rome and everything was free). I was lucky enough to catch it just as storm clouds came rolling in across the sunny spring afternoon, and this was the result. One of my nerdier friends described it as "The Roman sky that Philip saw at Pydna."

consider...
This is a photo I'm particularly proud of because I feel like it managed to capture the atmosphere I was going for. I thought quite a bit about the kind of photographs I wanted to take when I visited Auschwitz, because I really didn't want to just take a bunch of snapshots. I wanted to capture something of the bleakness of the place - and with this one (taken from the guard tower above the entrance arch to Birkenau), the scale.

1: How long have you been involved in photography?
I got my first camera when I was seven, inheriting my mother’s old one for a family holiday to South Africa (it took 110 film... those were the days! ) I’ve been taking photos ever since. I had a few classes as a teenager, but it only really started being a proper hobby about eight years ago - and then I discovered flickr and it got serious.

2: Equipment you use?
Primarily a Canon 400D, with acollection of lenses – a 10-20mm, 17-70mm, 70-300mm, and 50mm 1.4f – that covers all the major bases, and a few filters – my ND-grad is one of my best friends. I also have a compact Canon Ixy , plus a Lomo Diana F+ and a Vivitar Ultra Wide for fun.

3: Mac or PC?
PC. I keep thinking I’d like to try a Mac, but I don’t have that kind of money – and if I did I’d probably spend it on a plane ticket first! But I'm quite happy with my PC.

4: What inspires you?
The beauty of the world around me – I grew up in Cornwall, near the sea, and if I’m stuck in a rut all I have to do is go to the beach to watch the sunset and then I’m ready to go again.

5: Preferred subject matter?
Travel sights generally – so landscape, architecture, people all feature. My favourite has to be beaches, though.

6: Name one thing you haven't caught with the camera that you REALLY want to capture.
The Galapagos Islands. One day I’ll get there.

7: When in doubt about your art, who do you confide in?
I’m more likely to try and work out what’s wrong, what I don’t like and how to improve it – so I’ll browse flickr looking at shots I like and try and work out why I like them and how I could use some of those things. Occasionally I’ll ask a friend of mine who’s a portrait photographer for some advice – if I’m feeling strong enough for his honesty!

8: Qualifications/training in anything? ie: Photoshop
I had a little bit of Photoshop teaching when I was doing a writing course, but that was mostly learning to edit photos for publication, rather than post-processing editing. I’ve taught myself to use Lightroom and Photoshop for that.

9: Plans for the future?
More travel! I’m currently in the limbo that is job-hunting, though, so I want to start taking more photos around Cornwall and trying a little experimentation to get some new perspectives on things I’ve been seeing (and shooting) for years.

10: In one word, describe your photography.
Hmmm, possibly ‘gadabout’.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Eric Lafforgue

FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER: Eric Lafforgue

Hulis Wigmen Papua New Guinea - Mount Hagen
Those warriors are Hulis from Mout Hagen. I was not pro when i took this picture 4 years ago, but this serie allowed me to become pro, thanks to the exposition i had with Flickr.


Kim North Korea DPRK 북한
This woman is called Kim I Sim. I met her on my first trip in North Korea 3 years ago as she is working in the “Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum” in Pyongyang. She speaks a perfect french, my language. It's one of my fav picture cos in NK, you are not supposed to take picture of the people and not supposed to be a photographer!

1: How long have you been involved in photography?
i have started 4 years ago now. Before i was in the mobile industry, something totally different, and i changed my life by going into photography.

2: Equipment you use?
I do not like to make promotion for the cameras i use, as i'm not happy at all with them, as i have many problems and it costs me lot of money, but as the exiff is on flickr: Hasselblad H3D39 and Canon eos1 ds mark3


3: Mac or PC?
Mac, ipad, iphone !

4: What inspires you?
the beauty of the people first and the so different cultures i can meet in my trips.
I'm also keen on the tribal life all around the world. They disapear so quickly... During my last trip in south Ethiopia, in Surma tribe, i could see them starting to use mobile phone!

5: Preferred subject matter?
portraits, potraits, portraits! So much to show in the eyes of a human being!

6: Name one thing you haven't caught with the camera that you REALLY want to capture.
i like to take picture with a 1,2 aperture, so when people move, it's just impossible to get a good focus, but when you get it, there's something magic in the mood of the picture, so there are so many thing i want to capture that i've missed!
I think the picture of Kim Jong Il leaving North Korea like Caucescu would be a good subject!

7: When in doubt about your art, who do you confide in?
everytime i come bacl from travelling, i have doubt about what i've done. Flickr is the best tool and help to be confident, as people, friends and contacts are so helpful. Even if i have became pro, i keep on posting on Flickr as it's the best tool to keep a close relation with the audience.


8: Qualifications/training in anything? ie: Photoshop
no, i have learned alone, without book, or master classes... I use mainly Lightroom, and photoshop very little.
Photogrpahy is so simple: you see, you press on the button, and if it is not your taste you do it again!


9: Plans for the future?
i want to go on travelling in the remote tribes of the planet, i hope to visit the Zoes in Brazil...
i try to go in some countries very closed to tourism, but hard to get the visas ..
I also want to make things on Ipad, for me it is a revolutionnary tool for photography, thanks to the size, the quality, and the interactivity.
I work on it.

10: In one word, describe your photography.
I hate speaking about me, and my photogrpahy! As i say, a good photogtpahy is at 99% because of the subject you shoot, so speaking about the 1 % left would be so pretentious!
I just can say that i hope my work reflects the world i have the chance to visit, and the positive side of every country and people, even in the worst!