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".

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Katrin Ray

FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER:
Katrin Ray


Astro projection. Dreamscapes of Cloud City
It’s really hard to choose just 2 photos of my favourites… I love to experiment, I love long exposure, I love the sun magic… so I think this image from my new “Astro Projection” series will show this part of me… This is somewhat of out-of-body and lens experiences during the atmospheric phenomena accompanying the daily disappearance of the sun in Toronto dreamscapes... In other words, it is the result of manual zooming and long exposure – a pure sooc creation.

Jasmine Delight. One More Touch
This work is from a series I call “My Magic Brush” and it presents another direction, where I allow my imagination to immerse in post-processing, enjoy textures and photo-manipulations.
I love finding beauty in what I see around and envisioning as if I’m painting it to life.

1 Tell us a little about yourself

I’m an artist and author, based at present in Toronto, Canada, being largely involved into an origami art with my husband. We have created the whole fantastic origami world we call Oriland that has been exhibited in different countries across the globe. We have written many books about our origami and have done Internet projects on the origami art, including our award winning Oriland.com... I’m also holding a Ph.D degree in Psychology; had a wide road in science before me but have chosen the art path. I’m a self-taught photographer and should thank my origami for being involved into this fascinating world of photography. I am happy to add that I’m a winner of Toronto Photo Contest 2010 – that was a fantastic experience. What else… love healthy style of life, yoga and I’m mostly vegetarian.


2: How long have you been involved in photography?

Somehow photography, drawing, painting were always a part my life to a certain degree and then having the need to photograph our paper artworks prompted me to take photography more seriously. So I started to explore the photo-art in different aspects and became delighted with the world of photography, finding it quite flexible for artistic expression, like a digital paintbrush! All in all, I’m into photography seriously for about 5 years.


3: Equipment you use?

Canon EOS REBEL T1i with Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS mostly
Corel Photo-Paint and Paint Shop Pro
Adobe Photoshop
And, of course, my creative vision and attention to details at my service all the time :-)
I prefer to be laconic with my equipment and rather use inventive approach within given parameters. But I think a new lens is about to join my list.


4 Who or what inspires you?

Oh many things… Universe, celestial bodies, miracles of nature, art, music, my husband, who is also a composer… life itself!


5: Preferred subject matter?

Beauty! We can find it in the most unexpected places… I often find it in the sky and on land, far and close… and I keep an open mind to where to find it.
In technical terms, I enjoy long exposure, zooming technique, tilt-shifts, landscapes, macro... Composition and colours are important for me, so I will do post-processing where I feel it is needed, or just leave a photograph pristine, depending on my idea.


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

The moon path on water surface!


7 If you weren’t a photographer would you have another artistic pursuit? If so what?

Definitely yes! I would pursue my inner painter and poet in this case.


8: Do you have any advice for someone just starting their photography journey?

Try, experiment, get inspired, be critical to your work... Long-term projects like 365 days or 52 weeks are a good learning ground. Practice makes perfect!


9: Plans for the future?

Plans are to keep on art photography and to boldly go where no one has gone before :-)


10: In one word, describe your photography.

Creative

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

~Patti~

FEATURED PHOTOGRAPHER:
~*Patti*~

balance
selected this photo because I love the utter simplicity of it, the balance of the elements. If a composition can be called "confident", I think this one is.

energy level (August)
Echinacea is one of my garden muses. I feel this shot represents the essence of the plant: delicate, elegant and dignified.

1 Tell us a little about yourself
I live near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I’m a lifelong artist with a BFA in painting from Carnegie Mellon University. I consider myself an image junkie: forever in search of new forms, colors, and visual relationships to keep myself visually excited. Fickle, restless and open-minded would also be accurate descriptions of me.

2: How long have you been involved in photography?
I’ve gotten seriously involved in photography over the last three or four years. The instant access to my work via DSLR appeals to me greatly (I’ll never be remembered for having great patience). Painting, drawing and gardening have always been my go-to creative outlets.

3: Equipment you use?
I shoot with a Canon 5D MKII, Canon L 24-105 f/4, 50mm f/2.8, Speedlite 580EX II and I’ve just gotten a Lensbaby Muse; I also use my old Sony Alpha 100 from time to time—the color is incredible!

4 Who or what inspires you?
My passion for gardening provides much of the inspiration for my photos, but I am also inspired by so many other things. I have a few contacts here on Flickr who continually inspire with their expressions.

5: Preferred subject matter?
My subject matter is usually what is close at hand—garden plants and my children. My husband and I go to vintage car shows from time to time and I adore shooting 1940’s and 50’s American cars.


6: Name one thing you haven't caught with the camera that you REALLY want to capture.
My photography bucket list is long! I would love to try some underwater art photography and also explore long exposure.

7 If you weren’t a photographer would you have another artistic pursuit? If so what?
I love the physical as well as the creative aspects of gardening and landscape design. I would love to be a landscape designer, florist or some sort of plants-person.


8: Do you have any advice for someone just starting their photography journey?
I am too new to photography to give advice! For artists in general, we should seek constructive criticism, make ourselves vulnerable to advice and critique from those we admire. This is not seeking validation (hearing what we want to hear), but it is encouraging exploration and personal growth. Then, we must not be afraid to ignore rules, advice and criticism.

9: Plans for the future?
With my youngest child leaving for college in a few weeks, I hope to expand my creative horizons with new media and subject matter, and I also plan to return to painting more seriously. An “Art Camp” or retreat is not out of the question.

10: In one word, describe your photography.
Alive