Thursday, 25 February 2010

John-Elio Reitman

John-Elio Reitman
New York City

What are you studying exactly? Did you plan on it?

I am currently studying fine arts at the Cooper Union. I was always interested in many forms of art, but was only towards the end of high school that I began to pursue art as more than a hobby.

How does being in New York City affect a student's life?

Being in New York City gives me opportunities to see things, get exposed to what exists, what I did not realize was possible. It's all about exposing and educating yourself in order to become better at making things, making pictures. I am mostly awestruck by the sheer number of people in the city, and even more at how many have similar goals to mine.

When first looking through you flickr, one could get the impression that, besides constructing things yourself, you seem to be collecting extraordinary sightings with your camera. Is it so? Do you have some definition in mind?

I am attracted to what is rare, or more often, what is interesting to me. However, I am really hesitant to plan photos in advance, as I usually end up not succeeding as much as I'd like. I also find it really easy to become contrived in my thought process. But, I do walk around with my camera a lot, and I have really "hungry" eyes for anything i failed to notice before.

Please explain the concept behind the victory tower.

The victory tower is childish, but also probably one of my favorite ideas. I think there is something beautiful about structures bigger than myself. It becomes a monument. I also think of a tall structure as something to conquer. Does one climb it, does one build it. Does one understand it? Does one topple it? I think the connotations of the piece are also linked to my ideas of creative process. It is difficult and intense, the rewards are triumphant.

Do you have a favourite café?

I'm a huge fan of downtown bakery. They make really good mexican food, with a really good menu. I go embarrassingly often.

You also have a couple of drawings on your flickr. What do you enjoy doing more currently: drawing or photography?

I can't really choose between drawing and photography. Both are unadulterated forms of making things. Sort of like sketching. I also really enjoy collage. I think with these mediums I am able to distance myself from my head and just work. I think I am most effective because of this detachedness.

How many people got to eat this?

Hahaha. Oh wow. Let me think. I think 6 or 7. I got em all rounded up for killer breakfast.

What was the best trip/vacation you've been on so far? Where was it?

One of the best trips I have been on was when I went with my parents and brother to Israel, to visit family. This was this past summer ('09). I was completely blown away by everything.

Backpack or messenger bag?

Backpack! how else are you supposed to run with everything you need?

Sometimes it's all about concepts. Be sure to visit his flickr!

Monday, 22 February 2010

Joe Coleman

Joe Coleman

Do you engage in photography in your free time or is it also part of your studies/work?

Only in my free time, which I've had a lot of up until recently. I'm now back, and part of the nine-to-five cogs of society (but not for too long I hope).

You traveled through Turkey, Eastern Europe and the Balkans. How was that? Anything that caught you especially?

Well, I'm not really going to do these places any justice by talking about them. But anyway, it was amazing. And yes, I discovered some real gems along the way. An amazing little Croatian island which seemed to be free of tourists, apart from us.We camped there on a farm by the sea with a lovely fishing family. We also came accross an amazing secluded valley on the Turkish Mediterranean coast where I found one of those twisty leg tripods literally IN the waterfall there. I ended up taking some timed exposure photos with it there before it broke a couple of days later I II.

Do you prefer to shoot with 35mm film? If so, why?

Yes. For starters, I really like messing around with old manual cameras. It's fun to see the results from combinations of different films, cameras, lens' etc. Film somehow seems to capture moods and atmosphere more accurately. Also, the imperfections. Quirky colours/grains/marks/reflections/whatever, create something beautiful and unique. Nothing against digital though.

Are you the kind of person to stay near your hometown, or would you rather migrate to another country?

A travelling wilbury.

What's going on here?

A piece from an Anish Kapoor exhibition in London. It's a cannon. It's a about to shoot a big hot red glob of wax into that room.

Do you prefer to choose the angle you shoot from carefully or do you rather like to shoot from different angles spontaneously without much thinking?

Really depends on the situation. Obviously with candids and other impromptu styles you've just got to gooo without thinking too much.

What do you think of lomography?

Great way to see how different people view the world.

What is "The Von Gütenberg Family Album" about?

Just one of those things that happened one night in Manchester. It was my mate Kieran who came up with the whole story behind it, industrious bastard. By the way, I think there may be some long lost cousins on the way.

The song you listened to most frequently in the last couple of days?

Cross The Tracks - Maceo & The Macks

Most ridiculous music act of all times in your opinion?

I know he was teased in school and everything, but meatloaf is pretty bad really, isn't he?

McDonalds or Burger King?

The burgers are better at Hungry Jack's

Anything else?

Just wanted to add this for anyone who will be in Prague at some stage in the future. Biggest collection of old cameras I've ever seen. Lovely staff that don't speak a word of english. Cheap as chips. (here)

Europe's corners caught on film, be sure to check out his flickr and blog!

Friday, 19 February 2010

Carl W. Heindl

Carl W. Heindl
Toronto, Canada
flickr tumblr website
behance FOES

What is a "lifestyle photographer" and what don't you like about it?

I have no idea what it is! It just sounded pretentious to me when I heard it. Like my end goal is showing off a lifestyle or something. I think it happened last summer when I was lighting some friends for flash practice. I wanted to try lighting normal situations really well. Just for kicks I II III . But the photos then take on this planned and posed feeling, as well as the spontaneity and mayhem of what was really going on. It all ended up really influencing where I went with my photography style and work ethic.

You shoot a new version of George Michael's Freedom music video. Do you change the models? If yes, who with?

I love George Michael. Don't change a thing.

What makes a picture perfect to you?

No idea. It just jumps out at you when it's right; trust your gut.

Real daily bliss would be?

Waking up in the sunlight late. Pot of tea, smoke a couple bowls, throw on some dirty 60s tunes and just edit in my underwear all day. I try to experience this bliss every Saturday.

The best car for a roadtrip?

Black 1969 El Camino. Some desert road.

Something a photographer can learn only by himself?

Patience. Timing. Confidence. Not rushing the shot, not rushing your edits, taking time to shave down selections. Letting the finger hover over the shutter a little longer.

You write that you like fashion photography. Do you also enjoy fashion blogs such as The Sartorialist?

I don't follow fashion much at all. But I know what I love when I see it, or when I make it myself. I don't read much of any blogs regularly. I just really, really enjoy playing with light, texture, and colour. Also I seem most comfortable photographing people. So that naturally leads me towards fashion photography, I figure. I think being disconnected from the fashion who's-who of what someone's wearing leaves me free to be creative. That's what stylists are for.

What do you think makes photography so popular among arts?

Well, without much built-in talent, such as drawing or painting, someone with an artistic inkling can pick up a camera and catch a pretty moment they saw. A flare of sunlight, someones face, whatever. That's usually how people get the photography bug. Realizing that most of the shots you took never come out as good as you thought. But the odd few rewarding shots that held that mood, the thing you tried to capture - that's what gets people hooked I think. Then if you really want to get into photography it's pretty endless all the different schools of thought, cameras, techniques. All that and the fact that anybody with a rich daddy or some cash can get into an entry level SLR for cheap these days.

What's going on here?

Hahah some shitty cardboard sword swingin' knights on break. I liked catching them out of context. You know Medieval Times? That stupid family dinner, medieval experience where you eat greasy chicken with your hands and watch these fake knights joust. Actually it sounds pretty awesome now.

Your favourite art gallery/museum/...?

The internet.

The camera you use the most for night shots?

My actual night "shoots". I use two or more speedflashes on my Nikon d700. One on camera, and another in a little umbrella. The film stuff it's just the onboard point and shoot flash.

If there is such thing as a "guilty pleasure", which music would be yours?

Oh fuck. When I used to have a car I used to always get caught with the Kylie Minogue cd in there.

High noon or midnight?

So long as a guy can get a beer.

Endless collection of brilliant pictures, be sure to take a look at his work!

Monday, 15 February 2010

Susan Anderson

Susan Anderson
Edinburgh, Scotland
flickr behance story
the moon please

On your flickr, there are a couple sets with pictures taken in different countries/cities. Do you travel a lot?

I suppose I have travelled a fair bit. I find South America fascinating. I'm always hungry to experience completely foreign cultures. Foreign to me at least.

You seem to prefer digital photography. Is there a specific reason for this?

I shoot so much stuff that if I was shooting to film I'd be bankrupt! Film is beautiful though. And I plan to use it more.

Your most recent series involves pictures consisting of impersonal images with phrases added to them. What is the concept behind it?

Mostly the words are things I overhear, sometimes they are meant for people and sometimes they are just for me.

To you, what is the worst?

Regret unfortunately. I love Marmite now. Fickle. Me.

Wherein lie your goals artistically?

My friend charlie said my photographs are just like my head – all over the place. I think that's quite true, I don't think I'm a goal setter. I have one plan and that's to be happy and have fun. Always.

What kind of movies do you enjoy watching the most?

I like beautiful films. A Single Man is beautiful. City of God is beautiful.

Which place would you recommend the most for nature photography in the UK?

My special place is the Isle of Skye. It's off the west coast of Scotland and 6 hours drive from my house. It's not traditionally beautiful – in fact it's rather brutal. Battered by winds, the sort of place where there's always a storm brewing. But I love it. Huge mountains, waterfalls, sea lochs. Every view is amazing.

A museum/art gallery you enjoyed visiting a lot?

I'm a gallery prostitute. I go where the work that interests me is. Although the Baltic in Newcastle is special to me. I once got stuck in one of their glass lifts for over an hour. They had to pass water in through a gap in the doors. It was all very dramatic.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

A happy place I hope.

What do you spend more money on: music or movies?

Music always. I'd like to marry TraceyAnne from Camera Obscura.

Vanilla, chocolate or strawberry milkshake?


Which camera do you usually carry with you?

At the moment I carry an Olympus OM-1. She's lovely. She weighs a ton and is older than me. I love her.

Loads of pictures telling (a traveler's) stories, be sure to take a look at her flickr!