Saturday, August 9, 2008

stpiduko: Spotlight 7 Interview, Week 2

Archive of week 2 interview.

Please welcome our second presenter, stpiduko

1) When and why did you start taking so many street portraits of random people, and how do you initially approach them?
Here is the first Street Portrait I took. Up to then it never occurred to me that I could simple approach someone on the street and take their photo.

I've always been interested in portraits and I was curious to see if I would be able to capture the look that first drew me to the person.

As for the technique in asking, it's no big deal. Simply ask.

Approaching people and making them feel comfortable is second nature to me, something I developed while being a waiter and a barman.

2) Can you talk a bit about your One Hour Photo and 100 People projects youv'e worked on?
While drinking with Nic0 one night we decided to photograph as many people as we could in a few hours. There was no plan, just photograph anybody that happened to walk past. At the time I think we both had new camera and thought it would be a good way to get more comfortable with them. Looking back at the images now, I'm not too comfortable with them and would love to try it again, this time I'd use film though.

For me, the one hour photo project was a little more serious. Good editing can make a photographer look good (take 1000 pictures, choose one, repeat), I wanted to see if I could shoot a roll in an hour and be happy to make the images public. Putting yourself under pressure, makes you try harder and for me a test to see if I could really use a camera.

3) Show us an an example of a photograph that you took which made you really excited about photography?
The last image I took made me excited about photography, when I'm not excited about taking a photo, I'll give up.

4) You use several camera's for your street portraiture, what's your preference?
The F90X is probably the camera most suitable. Auto focus, auto exposure, nothing much to it other than point and shoot.

Not too bothered with it much these days, yes, it's a great challenge but not too exciting.

5) There are several examples of portraits people take of you in your stream. Are those taken by random people?
I photograph people, and I allow others to view them and comment on them as they please.

Getting other people to photograph puts things in perspective almost everybody I ask has a digital SLR around their neck

6) Pick one of the portraits we chose for Spotlight Seven and tell us more about it.
Sometimes people ask me why I want to take their photo and I normally have the right answers to give to make them feel more comfortable.

This girl was different, I spotted her while photographing someone else but knew there was no rush.

She never moved, not even when I asked. Just nodded her head.

People say that the person who photographs interferes with life around them, and I agree most of the time.

Just not this time.

7) Have you ever experienced a time where photography left you unfulfilled or lost it's excitement for you, and what did you do to reinvigorate and motivate yourself?
I bring a camera with me all the time, if I'm not in the mood, then I just wont take it out. Ive never found myself holding a camera when I didn't want to shoot.

The excitement has not gone and imagine it will be some time before it does

Every few months I try something new, and have moved from DSLR back to a Film SLR to rangefinder and now to developing my own. There is always something new to try and something to get right
I'm not looking to get a perfect image, I'm looking to learn how to get it good.

8) You've amassed quite a deal of compelling street portraits, is there a goal for you or a direction you want to move in regards to this work?
Yes, there are two goals

a) To collect 1000 photographs of strangers that I'm happy with.

b) To get a portrait into the National Portrait Gallery Photographic Prize within 10 years.

9) Show us the work of a photographer you deeply admire on flickr.
There are many I admire on Flickr, each one stands out in a different respect, but I do have a favourite photograph, here.
It the most honest and complementary photograph I have seen.

This is a close second.

10) What photo should we have added to Spotlight Seven that we missed.
There is a beauty in mistakes, a year ago I would have discarded this.

[Added by Jake: Please Digg this interview here, I submitted Smoothie's interview with stpiduko to Digg. Please Digg it so more folks can see the great photos & fun interview. . Thanks.]

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