Archive for the ‘Photographer Interviews’ Category
Written by Freddy Martinez on December 7th, 2013 at 10:58 pm
British photographer Alison Gibson has a knack for making images appear self-fulfilled. The emotional yet highly restrained moments look weightless and unburdened, seemingly caught in their natural state, as if taken by the ether. You can see it in the way the people photographed express honestly and gaze unaffectedly to the camera’s presence, while the places are candidly frozen — unhurried, distilled, the focus where it should be.
And though beautiful, her images have a dark and broody edge. They remind me of a mid-to-late 90s movie, those films gnawing with muted angst. Her images are unsentimental and almost never feature any bright color or sharp light. They look like they were made in winter, for those who love winter. But that’s no matter. What they focus on are the soft-hued, less romanced and less charged, moments of being. Moments that require a ghostlike observer ready to capture the unrehearsed expressions of warmth.
In this interview, Gibson talks about how she got her start in photography, explains why she’s drawn to dark imagery, and gives some advice about finding interesting locations and people.
Benjamin Von Wong Interview: How to Achieve Hollywood-Sized Spectacle through Retouching and Imagination
Written by Freddy Martinez on December 5th, 2013 at 8:01 am
You can’t ignore Benjamin Von Wong’s work. It’s impossible. Go ahead, try it. Look at these images, what do you think? His images always call me back, no matter how focused my attempt to look away. That’s their purpose. They’re images built for and from our times. Using today’s digital retouching powers to recreate scenes of fantasy and the surreal, Von Wong makes images designed to excite the fickle contemporary eye.
But keeping the eye’s attention isn’t easy. It takes a lot of time to pack Hollywood-sized spectacle into a single image, requiring work from a dedicated team of talented workers, all inspired to work their way to final product. And it makes sense that, before photography, Von Wong spent three and half years working as engineer. Only a person obsessed with details could pull off these highly impressive feats of digital imagination.
In this interview, Von Wong reveals how he got his start in photography, explains his approach to completing an image, and talks about how his unique work.
Written by Freddy Martinez on December 1st, 2013 at 1:15 am
“Being an introvert and a portrait photographer isn’t easy,” says French born photographer Anne-Marie Arpin, “I’m attracted to quiet, empty and desolate places. I feel better when there’s no one around.” Although Arpin is quick to confess her quiet nature and lonesome bent, she’s also capable of likening her hunt for light, shapes, and colors to that of a lion stalking its prey. Though these two descriptions seem at odds with each other, they perfectly characterize Arpin’s work. Her images are both severely quiet and deeply intense.
Because sometimes it’s the quietest listener who must suffer for intensity, even if below the surface. Their quiet natures become our conduits of feeling, absorbing and reflecting the moods around them. One only has to look at Arpin’s beautiful work to understand how being quiet allows one to connect with those notes often unheard, left for only those patient enough to listen. You’ll see work that’s both perfectly composed and hungry for blood.
In this interview, Arpin talks about how she got her start in photography, explains why her introversion helps and hurts her work, and reveals her approach to honest portraits.
Written by Freddy Martinez on November 23rd, 2013 at 6:33 pm
When you imagine light in its various colors and weights, it’s easy to picture the moonish blue of twilight, or the purplish red of sunset. What’s harder to admire — or work with — is the harsh, direct light of midday. The light is unforgiving. It seems to enjoy overpowering shadow and detail, oppressing color and flattening distance, making pretty look pretty bad. Obviously, it’s not a favorite to work with among photographers.
Yet it is precisely this light that makes British landscape/portrait photographer Richard Burniston’s Wonder Valley images even more impressive. Taming it has allowed Burniston to showcase his vivid backdrops of ruin. Capturing the desert at its most stark, his images stay true what a desert announces. The colors will pop, the shadows solidify, and the mountains steady, like they do in real-life, as deep-chested calls to appreciate the simplicity of nearing oblivion.
In this interview, Burniston talks about how he got his start in photography, explains his approach to working with midday light, and reveals why he’s drawn to desert landscapes.
Written by Freddy Martinez on November 19th, 2013 at 9:31 am
When I asked Austin based fashion/portrait photographer Jen Rachid to explain why she calls her portraits “Lady-Like”, she told me it was because she could tell that they were taken by a woman. And that her images expressed a certain softness in their natural diffusive light and understated tones. I would have to agree with her. Rachid’s images are undeniably intimate and, yes, soft.
They remind me of those quiet hugs between friends. Friends who know each other enough to stop worrying about how they look or how they seem. People comfortable in their own skin. Rachid’s images capture these small gestures of trust. They exude effortless beauty, the portrait like a hug meaning more than its touch but keeping its depth unsaid, knowing some things are too meaningful for words.
In this interview, Rachid talks about her Lady-Like portraiture, explains how this philosophy impacts her work, and reveals her artistic influences.
Written by Freddy Martinez on November 14th, 2013 at 12:55 am
At the onset of one’s love for photography, you usually realize your artistic bent. Either you love this way of seeing or that way of seeing. Respect those photographers or these photographers. Perhaps, if varied in mind, you pick and choose. Austrian photographer, Thomas Hofer, is a pick-and-chooser. Encouraged at Edinburgh Napier University to explore different genres and styles, Hofer has shot in a variety of approaches: still lives, portraiture, street, and landscape.* And although he’s greatly proficient in each, it’s his Domesticated Landscapes project that I was immediately drawn to.
Shot from a helicopter, these landscapes offer an unique perspective toward land and city. They explore the tenuous relation to what is lasting and what is fleeting. And, most importantly, they highlight how our streets and homes can start to look sinister when seen from high above. What seems straight and natural can look zigzagged and scissoring, asphalt and pavement now alien and doomed. These images show us in the way, concoctions molded from Earth but made to look like anything but.
In this interview, Hofer explains how he got into aerial photography, talks about how he got his start in photography, and reveals what went through his mind when up high in the helicopter.
Written by Freddy Martinez on November 8th, 2013 at 8:27 pm
Cara-Lee Gevers is a South African photographer who realized her hobby of photography could do more than make her happy. Finding her talents while at the University of Pretoria, she dedicated herself to making innovate portraiture. Work that could be classically beautiful and visually elaborate, all the while emphasizing the unique wonders found in everyday life.
In pursuit of this, her portraits never shy away from difficult sets or creative imagery. More impressively, most of the sets are constructed by her own hand, which usually takes 1 – 3 months. She views their completed whole as inspirations from her daily world. In their romantic tones, they show her detailed and precise eye for beauty. They are images born from a persistent craft and a need to express the unique story found within every person.
In this interview, Gevers talks about how she got her start in portraiture, explains her approach to posing and direction, and reveals what her self-portraits say about her.
Written by Freddy Martinez on November 4th, 2013 at 8:54 pm
Ice and cold, endless winters, white as far as the eye can see, and all the while, quiet and hardly any sun. These are some of the first physical descriptions one can make of Mikko Lagerstedt’s images of the lands around his home of Finland. But there are other qualities worth remarking on. Qualities that go beyond what the eye can see. Things like the emotional swings felt by imagining yourself in these winter nights.
You get the feeling that being alone to the winds and your thoughts could not possibly be a bad thing. There is something inviolable about ice and dark. I can imagine being alone out there — or just simply staring at these photographs — and thinking I’m at the bottom of the world, but higher than anything else, and closer to the wonderful stars above. I can’t help but feel comforted by the beauty of Lagerstedt’s images.
In this interview, Laderstedt talks about how he got his start in landscape photography, explains how he works in low-light conditions, and reveals his most important techniques to capturing beautiful nightscapes.
Written by Freddy Martinez on October 29th, 2013 at 6:46 pm
A landscape photograph is made of things that never change. And if this change comes, it does so slightly, perhaps through weathering or decay. This is because they are photographs of our most basic things: They are the shapes, the colors, and the forms that we’ve seen. They are photographs that make our lands and cityscapes seem permanent and whole, and perhaps we secretly believe that they are. The truth, however, is that a landscape is just how Pep Ventosa has assembled them. They are indefinite and made up of smaller and even smaller things.
Ventosa’s images are like those futurist paintings of the early 20th century. Those paintings that had meant to force movement, however restless and chaotic, into the canvas of a still medium. His work — like those paintings — construct from disassembled parts: taking the shapes, the colors, and the forms of what was remembered. Through their ceaseless energy to be whole, they show how various the parts are to a complete place. And that is their beauty. Unlike anything I’ve seen before, his images are able to visualize what collective memory wishes to invent.
In this interview, Ventosa talks about how he got his start making his abstract landscapes, explains his process from start to finish, and reveals what you can do to make your work stand out.
Andrew Querner Interview: Capturing the Loneliest Places on Earth with One Camera, One Lens, and Two Eyes
Written by Freddy Martinez on October 24th, 2013 at 7:45 pm
Documentary and portrait photographer Andrew Querner has worked with TIME, the Wall Street Journal, ESPN, and the New York Times. Although these clients are exceedingly high-profile, what’s remarkable is that Querner started, like most do, taking photographs of his friends and his friends’ lives. Though, unlike most, these friends were mountain climbers and his backdrops the impossibly high vistas. Not exactly precious snapshots captured on a lonely night.
Looking at Querner’s images you’ll notice why he’s been fortunate to work with some of the best clients around. Querner is consistent, most images taken with one camera, one lens, and one stock. His work never dips or sways from quality. They are all remarkably soft and incredibly easy to look at. Though this doesn’t mean they lack focus or bite. They have edges, yes, but these edges are folded back inside. They make do with smoothing out. And who knows? Maybe this is the proper way to capture some of the loneliness places on Earth.
In this interview, Querner talks about how he got his start in photography, explains why he only shoots with one lens and one camera, and reveals why he’s in love with natural light.