Interview from week 3.
Please welcome for our 3rd week of Spotlight Seven, Paint Monkey.
1) Where are you from and where do you live now?
I was born and raised in Newcastle upon Tyne in the north east of England, I currently reside on a smaller Island, Nantucket, Massachusetts US and A
2) How does the area where you live influence your photography?
It's funny because Nantucket is one of those tourist destinations that is photographed to DEATH! It's only 18 miles wide and has a limited number of landmarks/beauty spots, of which I've seen a million photographs, mostly all the same. That led me to start experimenting with different cameras, different film, cross processing etc. I don't know of anyone that owned a HOLGA out here until I started shooting with one. I try to get a different take on such an oft photographed place.
3) Can you show us an early photograph that you took which made you really excited about photography?
Tough one, any photo's I took pre-flickr are no longer in my possession so I think I'll have to go with this one. It led me into the wonderful world of film, and film cameras....there's just something magical about film, I can't put my finger on it.
4) Talk about the 365 Nantucketers project seen here.
The 365 Nantucketers project was an Idea borrowed from the 365britons by Monkey Magic and friends, (you might notice a few of Eamon's shots in there.) Nantucket is such a seasonal place, the population swells from roughly 10,000 to 50,000 during the summer so I thought it would be an interesting project to document the 365ers, the people who live and work here year round, a tough breed I can tell ya!
So together with the newly formed Nantucket Photography Club we're setting out to capture 365 portraits by the fall and to have a show accompanied by a book at the end of it all. It's also a project to try and capture the fabric of the Island, which has changed so much in recent years and also to show the summer residents the heartbeat that keeps this place going, year round....and because the people change we might carry it on year after year.
5) Are there any photographers that you admire or seek to emulate?
I wouldn't say I try to emulate any photographers, but do take a lend of others ideas and play with them in order to find my own "groove". If I had a favorite right at this moment in time it would be Henri Cartier Bresson. I just look at his shots and think..."how?" He manages to get "that" shot before my mind and fingers would have time to react....simply amazing.
6) What do you find most challenging in regards to photography?
Everything! haha, I've only be shooting seriously for the past 2 years, maybe less, but everything is a challenge, I'm learning something new everyday but sometimes it doesn't stick...it takes a while to sink in with me! Don't get me wrong, it may be challenging but I love it, I love very second of it.
7) Talk about one of the photos we chose for Spotlight Seven.
Out of the 10 you chose I'm going to go with this one as it's the only one that isn't posed. That Cartier Bresson moment. It is of a Brasillian guy that works with me. I love the realness of the photo, although he notices the camera he hasn't had time to react to it yet. Taken with a Contax G1 f/2.8 28mm. AGFA Ultra 100.
8) What’s your favorite lens/camera for taking portraits?
I'd have to say my Hasselblad 503cx and 80mm Planar T*.... but a close second would be my Nikon D-80 and Nikkor 50mm f/1.4.
9) One person living right now that you'd like to have an hour to sit and take portraits of?
wow....just one?!!! that's a tough one....but it would have to be the Dalai Lama...something tells me that I might not end up taking many photographs in that hour ;)
10) Show us a photo on flickr that you wish you had taken.
This shot of the Brooklyn bridge, we've all seen a million photo's of it, this one is just that little bit different, just enough to make you question it's location....just for a second.