Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Benjeev

FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER:
Benjeev


Outwards
This was one of those days when I just wasn't feeling it. No inspiration. But, as the light started to fade out completely, I happened upon this and it was just magic. A few minutes later and that orange band completely disappeared and the moment was gone. So now, whenever I'm not feeling, I tell myself to just keep shooting because you never know.


Clean power
This is one of the first images I made that almost exactly matched what I pre-visualized. I love it when that happens. It's so satisfying to imagine something and then see it materialize on screen. Having said that, it's pretty awesome to surrender to serendipity and just let things happen too so I'm usually happy to mix it up.

1 Tell us a little about yourself
In a nutshell, I was born in Malaysia, to an Indian father and a Chinese mother, went to school in Singapore, moved to New Zealand for university and work, and now live in the UK. So, the best description of myself is I'm a citizen of the world! Needless to say, I love to travel and I've been lucky enough to have done my fair share of it.
I studied engineering and my day job is very technical and analytical, so photography is really my only creative outlet. It keeps me sane, although it drives me nuts sometimes as well!

2: How long have you been involved in photography?
I've been shooting on and off for about 7 years but never took it seriously early on. Like so many others, I used to only take the camera out to document my travels. It's only been in the last 18 months or so that I've started to use it as a medium of expression and that's opened up a whole new world to me.

3: Equipment you use?
My first camera was a Fujifilm S7000, a bridge camera between a compact and a dslr. My first dslr was the Canon 10D, which I bought preloved from a friend. I shot for years with this. About 4 months ago, I upgraded to the Canon 5DMKII, which is an absolute gem. I have a range of lenses but I use my Canon 17-40 f/4L most of the time. On top of all that, my wellies are absolutely essential ;)

4 Who or what inspires you?
There's no one thing I think, so I'd say all my life experiences. A memory, a song, a smell even, anything can do it. It only seems to happen when I'm alone and quiet though. I love being in places where I'm the only person around. Most of my favourite images were made this way.
I'm also hugely inspired by those at the top of their game. My flickr contacts, famous photographers like Michael Kenna and Cole Thompson, top athletes and actors etc. They all have a relentless drive to improve and I really admire that.

5: Preferred subject matter?
I gravitate towards long exposure work, so my favourite would have to be water. Whether it's in liquid form in the seas and rivers, or in vapor form in clouds, I tend to look out for it everywhere I go and it usually features in a lot of my images.

6: Name one thing you haven't caught with the camera that you REALLY want to capture.
I envy photographers who can make a compelling image from a chaotic street scene. I work very slowly which isn't always conducive to capturing that "decisive moment", but that's the sort of thing I would love to be able to do.

7 If you weren’t a photographer would you have another artistic pursuit? If so what?
I have a thing for buildings and large structures, so I might have gone into architecture. Whether I'd have been any good at it is another thing, so thank goodness for photography!

8: Do you have any advice for someone just starting their photography journey?
Tough question. I'm still there myself. My advice would be to aim to develop your own take on things and don't always put too much stock in others' opinions. Be selective in who you ask for creative advice or critique. In the end though, shoot for yourself, not for others.
And always check the tide tables ;) The number of times this would have saved me a journey!

9: Plans for the future?
I would like to do a long term collective series of images, although finding a suitable, accessible subject that speaks to me has proven difficult! I also want to continue to develop a fine art feel to my work. If, someday, someone calls one of my images a piece of art, I'd die a happy man!

10: In one word, describe your photography.
Others are probably a better judge of this than I am, but I'll go with "emotive".

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