FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER: chickentender ™
"I need to choose two of my favourite photos, and as Jill mentioned, this is indeed the hardest part. What criteria do I use, what time period, what feeling do I want to leave behind with this crazy post? I thought initially that I'd pick one fav from before my recent travels and one from within them, but that hasn't really helped so much and possibly made it more difficult. It has actually been an amazing and enlightening excersize. So many people who have enjoyed my photos are particularly fond of the slightly surreal floral captures I've made, and I am as well but only a certain quality that they have and in looking at them now I've realized that MY personal favourites are those that possess the same feeling of those floral shots, but with another subject. I like the shots that find the intimate, super-natural floral quality of a street, a bird or a person in a moment. Shots that blend many elements into one subtle image. That's what I've chosen here, I think. Yikes."
1: How long have you been involved in photography?
I remember the first little compact 35mm cam my dad bought me when I was about 11 and I took it to camping trips and all over the place - the prints from that cam still have a strange nostalgia to me when I look at them. When I reached highschool I took several photog classes and learned about the dark room and rolling and all the b&w magic involved, shooting for 5 or 6 years after using the wonderful old Nikon and mint selection of glass that my dad passed on to me. That camera bag and all of its contents were stolen from my car in 2000 and I never quite recovered for years - there was no way for me to replace it all on a student's income, so I remained pretty quiet for a good while.
I bought a great Fuji digicam around 2004 or 2005 and started in on digital. After a couple years of deliberation, a Pentax K100d replaced it along with my trusty old manual fiddy. I didn't really look back. Being away as long as I had was a good thing and as time went on I learned what my eye was about in terms of the world and owe quite a bit of credit to this site and several amazing friends I have made here who took notice of what I was doing and helped me take it to another dimension.
2: Equipment you use?
I have never enjoyed a lot of equipment, nor talking about it as many are apt to. I don't like carrying a camera bag with choices and tools weighing me down and have settled into a mindset of creating the most with the least. These days I shoot with a Pentax K-7, usually with my old-as-I-am 50mm and a couple other lenses I enjoy. I've also fallen in love with my (recently repaired!) Ricoh GRDIII which is nearly always with me for street shots and everyday life moments, as well as a tried-and-true old K1000 I picked up for a song new about a year and a half ago. Most with the least.
3: Mac or PC?
PC with Adobe Lightroom mostly... I'm really not interested in any platform war discussion. I use PC because that's what I have and know quite well being a network and server admin to keep myself fed. They both have merits, but in the end I really don't care as long as a photo gets processed.
4: What inspires you?
How does one answer this? So much inspires me: people, shadows, a missed detail, a song, an attitude or emotion. I guess I'm inspired by the missed details that obscured by the larger picture. When the sun is rising or setting, turn the cam away from the spectacle to find out what the spectacle lights up and reveals. Simple complexity. Honest.
5: Preferred subject matter?
I'm not sure that I have one, and it has certainly been evolving (not always comfortably) in the past year, but I do tend toward anything that shows a contrast. I like a certain hyper-reality and a subtle story, from a toothbrush lying near a storm drain, to the reflection of home in the eyes of a traveler met miles from any home. I tend to shoot anything from beloved birds to a friend on the street but with a certain whimsy and focus that is away somehow removed from just a good photo. I've recently been taking more portraits, but in a way that has happened naturally and without placing the camera in a position that creates a divide. That sounds odd, but it's something I'm still working out in my head.
6: Name one thing you haven't caught with the camera that you REALLY want to capture.
I'll just imagine a shot I'd like nail: a hummingbird face to face with a child feeding them for the first time.
7: When in doubt about your art, who do you confide in?
Hmmm... anyone who talks to me long and deep enough to actually hear my doubts and empathizes before saying how crazy they are.
8: Qualifications/training in anything? ie: Photoshop
Nothing outside of that 35mm course so many years ago. All else is self taught or knowledge absorbed from conversation with some brilliant people here on Flickr or in the greater world.
9: Plans for the future?
I am soon to be returning, at least for the better part of this year, to my home in Seattle after a year and a half away of living and traveling the world. Needless to say it has changed me and put ideas into place that I want to give motion to. I'd like to revamp my "business" website and take Eyewanders Photography to a new level for certain and I have a project currently in conception that involves travels itself and the idea of "home".
10: In one word, describe your photography.