Monday, April 25, 2011

Kala_m

FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER: Kala_M

Magnolia Magnificence
This shot is called Magnolia Magnificence
The tones and perspective of this image are very different to most magnolia shots I’ve seen. I like to be surprised by my photographs, and this one did that for me

Punch Drunk Tulip Love
This shot is called Punch Drunk Tulip Love. I’d been shooting only about six months when I captured this image. To this day, I still love the colors, selective focus, and shallow depth of field.

1 Tell us a little about yourself
I’m a fairly private person. I enjoy gardening, reading, hiking in the woods, and spending time with family.

2: How long have you been involved in photography?
About 2 1/2 years ago I started taking a serious interest in photography and bought my first dSLR shortly thereafter. I’d go out with my camera for several hours shooting, come home and upload shots, and then just shake my head! So I took a few classes at a local college to help acquaint myself with the fundamentals.

3: Equipment you use?
I currently shoot with a Canon 450d and use two lenses. One is a 100mm f/2.8 Macro and the other a 50mm 1/.4. I like my primes.

4 Who or what inspires you?
Who inspires me? There are many wonderful photographers here on Flickr as well as on photography sites throughout the Internet. When I have free time, I may spend hours viewing images where I get ideas for subject matter. What inspires me? Nature, first and foremost. Although I do enjoy using the macro lens around my home to explore the extraordinary detail of everyday things, it’s to parks, gardens, and nature preserves that I always return.

5: Preferred subject matter?
I started shooting landscapes last autumn, so right now I’m looking to capture the spring season in all its glory with blooming trees, flowers, and shrubs.

6: Name one thing you haven't caught with the camera that you REALLY want to capture
Some of the night shots I’ve seen with festive, colorful bokeh lights I find very appealing.

7 If you weren’t a photographer would you have another artistic pursuit? If so what?
I’m passionate about music, but unfortunately am almost tone deaf, so singing in the shower is really my only option!

8: Do you have any advice for someone just starting their photography journey?
Learn the basics first: exposure, composition, and depth of field. Take classes, read your camera manual. Don’t be afraid of developing your own style and remember not everyone is going to like it.

9: Plans for the future?
Well besides finding new and different ways of looking at the world through my lenses, I started a photography blog a year and a half ago as a fun little way of sharing my photography. To date, A Matter Of How You See It has received close to 90,000 views and over 11,000 comments. As a result, I’ve had a number of inquiries about purchasing my work, so I’m looking to set up a venue for that.

10: In one word, describe your photography.
Ethereal

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Toon_ee

FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER: toon_ee
I want to say thank you to Jill again for choosing me. Choosing 2 favourite pictures is a very difficult task. I had probably more than 5 or 6 candidates. Some pictures I really like because they are very nice but only I know there is some element of 'luck' in it. I choose these two because it of the back-story. Looking at them make me smile thinking about that day.
100 Strangers Beta #1 : Beautiful stranger
The first one was taken in Cairo. I went there for one of my closest friend wedding. We had quite a rough few days as we first went to very touristic places. The people around those area are not so nice, trying to trick you and all. One guy tried to lift me on his camel for example. Then we went to the Khan el-Khalili bazaar and met the real egyptian people, my experience in egypt took a big turnaround. The people there are very nice and I really enjoy the day. I saw this lady with a big bag of bread on her head and we exchanged smile. I took my courage to ask her for a picture and her happy expression was just simply amazing. Technically, this picture is not so good as my hand was a little shaky and it seems a bit out of focus. I wish I could print the picture out and send to her but I had no idea about this at the time. This picture make me want to improve myself to avoid making mistake in such a wonderful moment again.

Nanjing # 16 : Lunch on the move [Explore]
This one was taken in Nanjing, China. I went there for work + holiday. That day I explored the city of Nanjing with my friend Michael. We walked the whole day through big streets, small streets, rich area, poor area with very little rest. It was about 7 hours non-stop city hiking. We decided to buy some street food to get the feeling of being in china not something like McDonald (ahh I miss the taste of stinky tofu). We bought these spicy meat stick from the lady that made us knew each other a little bit. Then I walked away and thought I should take a picture of her. I raised my camera with the meat stick still in my hand. She noticed and gave a little smile. So many stories to tell from the trip and a lot of fun. Everytime we look at this picture (or the Nanjing set), we just can't help smilling and talked about memories.

1: How long have you been involved in photography?

Almost 2 years. I started around June 2009. Before that I only have a Canon compact camera and didn't use it so much. It was actually luck that brought me to photography. My family won a sony A300 in some kind of annual party. I tooked the camera and went really deep into photography. I did a football video editing as a hobby before. My friend just told me yesterday that he would never expect a person who did a very hyperactive football video like me to do still photography!

2: Equipment you use?

:-) prepare for a very long list! My main camera is Sony A850. I'm using it with several prime lenses and mostly from minolta. I use only prime lens now as I prefer their weight and quality (and when I use Zoom I tend to use wide-end and tele-end anyway). If I have to choose to live with only one lens it would be Minolta 135mm f2.8. I even left it at home sometime to give other lenses some chances to be on my camera :P.
Lately, I start to do medium format. I have Pentacon six & Rolleiflex TLR (2.8f & Tele). It was a fun new experience with a lot of new things to learn and I'm enjoying it. Last week, I got myself a GF1+20mmf1.7 and also enjoy snapping around with it. It's obvious that I have too many equipments but they are all nice. I try to give all of them time.
I know that equipment is not everything in photography and the person behind the camera is probably the most important. But I'm more like a 'middle way' person. I want to develop myself as a good photographer as well as knowing and experiencing many equipments.

3: Mac or PC?

PC. I've never seriously tried using MAC so the answer doesn't mean much for 'PC vs MAC'. I process pictures in photoshop and do the resizing in ACDSee. It's a strange workflow but it works and I already got used to it. I'm not a very well-organized person so PC probably suits me. I'm a kind of person who can have "New Folder (6)" in a "New Folder" in a "New Folder (2)" and have duplicate of files all over the place.

4: What inspires you?

Hmm. There are many things. People&things around me, I see them and I want to take pictures. People on flickr and nice pictures on flickr. I like to go through pictures on flickr for inspiration to get the feeling of the pictures, to get the feeling to go outside and shoot.
This may sound a bit strange but pictures taken by myself also give me inspiration. I look at the pictures I like and want to go out there and do it again. I look at bad pictures and I want to go out and improve myself.
There is one feeling I really like when I go out and take pictures. It's hard to describe but I think you could understand. It's like the day 'click'. walking around the same area/standing at the same spot for a few hours and enjoying the time taking pictures....something like that.

5: Preferred subject matter?

I did a lot of candid/street photography. I like to capture the moment, the emotion of people, the story. I try to give respect to my subject. I try not to do something that might interrupt the person or make him/her unhappy. If the person does not look nice in the picture (for example; putting food in the mouth, sleeping), I tend to delete the picture immediately and certainly not upload it to the internet. Lately, I also doing a lot of abstract/minimalism and also toys. I like to capture something that is different.


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

Hmmm....a perfect 'stranger portrait' perhaps. One that really shows character of the person. I'm still not good at this and I really enjoy looking at this type of pictures and hope I can do it one day. I tried to do '100 stranger' project when I went for a trip to china and failed miserably. I got only one picture and not fully satisfied.

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

Friends. I have several friends who are doing photography. I visit may colleague www.flickr.com/photos/30928442@N08/ office almost everyday chatting about photography and gears (hope our boss do not read this). He is a guy who somehow brought me to flickr. I chat with www.flickr.com/photos/potichao/ , www.flickr.com/photos/36592120@N05/ regularly. the list can go on and on.
Also people on flickr. Sometime I can't decide to upload my picture in color or BW as I like both. I just put both of then online and see the comments on flickr. It's very interesting to see the opinions and how people interpret my picture. Some of them look into my picture even deeper than me!

8: Qualifications/training in anything? ie: Photoshop

Not yet. I picked things up on my own from reading books,magazine,internet also from trial&error. It took me may be 2 months until I actually stop using 'ISO Auto' and I think I use 'P' mode for about half a year :P. It took me quite a while to learn about all the basic things&parameters but it come naturally now. Picking up a 50mm was the turning point for me, I always tell people who just start with photographing to pick it up fast.

9: Plans for the future?

The weather is getting better so I plan to go out on the street more for candid pictures or probably making a short trip and learn more about cityscape/landscape. I want to try doing different kind of photos to be more versatile. I will also learn more about self-developing BW film. I said 'not yet' in the last question because I might join a training for using flash&studio lighting but not in the near future.

10: In one word, describe your photography.
fun

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Chickentender ™

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."

and with the dawn

drink from the sun

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.
Steadfast