Sunday, 27 July 2014

Interview with Kevin Conor Keller

Kevin Conor Keller is a father of two adorable children, a creative photographer and a graphic designer. Kevin takes incredibly unique photos of his children, blending away children's playfulness and innocence along with natural elements to create a single photograph that looks like a child's beautiful day dream...

I had the opportunity to ask Kevin few questions, so lets get to know him together shall we...    

Introduce yourself

 My name is Kevin Conor Keller, part occultist, part mystic, full time dad. Only two of those are true. 

How long have you been doing photography?
 Early 2008 is when I bought my first camera, a Sony DSC-H5. 

What type of camera do you use?
 Currently I own a Canon 60d.

What is your ideal camera (doesn't have to be real)
 I never really thought about what my ideal camera would be. Maybe a lightweight waterproof full frame mirror less with a huge sensor, fast lens, and a higher/faster frame rate. I'm more than happy with what I have now though. 

If you had to choose one lens what would it be?
Probably a 35mm; it's versatile, works great in pretty much every situation, and is fast. It's the perfect grab and go lens.

Do you prefer natural light or flash?
 I love natural light, but I'm not opposed to using strobes, I just prefer to carry the least amount of equipment possible. 

Indoors or outdoors?

 Outdoors, outdoors, and outdoors.

I've noticed that one of your favorite models are actually small children! how do you guide them through the shoot? how can you get them to do what you want?
  My son Avin and my daughter Evie are my two wonderfully terrible yet awesome subjects. Parents, or those that work with children know that asking one of them to stand still for a photograph rarely goes as planned, so instead of trying to get my kids to do exactly what I want, I lead them to a general area and let them pose/jump/run/wander/whatever on their own terms. I just hold the camera and keep my finger on the shutter button. My son, now 6, is starting to understand the process more and more each day which makes going out and taking photos that much easier.

Who do you think is overrated as a photographer or model?
 Everyone, including myself.

you do more than just photography, you design t-shirts as well tell us about that?
 Indeed, before I picked up a camera I worked at a screen printing studio as a graphic designer working on shirt designs, websites, and print projects for an insane amount of clients, mostly within the music industry but not limited to. Since then I still do freelance graphic design work alongside photography. Creatively, I don't think that I would be able to have one without the other.

You seem like a multi-talented person, yet I'm sure there's at least one thing you can't do..
 I don't know how to cook... yet.

What advice would you give multi talented people to be more focused at their work? (since you do so much along with photography) 
 Be mindful of your creativity and listen to what it tells you because inspired work will always be your best work. If creativity is tapping you on the shoulder, take it by the hand and don't ask any questions.

where do you find yourself the most? photography or design?
 As a stay at home dad of two young animals, time is a tool that has to be used very wisely. I find myself primarily doing photography because it provides me with a two birds, one stone scenario. It allows me to scratch the creative itch and run wild with the animals at the same time. 

How does it feel to see somebody wear a t-shirt you designed?

 It's embarrassing, awkward, exciting, humbling, strange and a few other feelings all at the same time. It's amazing that there are those who acknowledge that my work is good enough to be worn on a shirt or hung on a wall, but there are also times where the whole idea of such seems ridiculous and I wish that I kept all of my work to myself.

Tell us about

 Shuttrr was as idea I had to create an invite only social network of photographers. I really didn't have a reason why other than the want to create something potentially important to those who use it. With the help of a programmer friend, we quickly had something up within days and started handpicking and inviting people to join. For fear of creating something similar to a myspace cess pool, we kept the membership invite only. We ended up with a small but decent and quickly growing group of great photographers sharing work/information/knowledge. Unfortunately, with a wave of server crashes later, a database lost, and bugs we couldn't keep up with, we allowed the ship to sink. No joy.

 Walk us through your creative process ( from coming up with the idea until it's fully executed) 
Most of the time my creative process could be similar to playing russian roulette, or maybe a roulette wheel, either or. Once in a blue moon I'll have a light bulb moment and have a clear concept on what I want. Either way, the process is still a lot of trial and error, some struggle, more work, sleep, wake up, more struggle, and then it's finished and you look at it and have no idea how it happened. Some days are easier. 

What type of photography do you find challenging? 
 I find formal photography to be a bit challenging, especially when shooting weddings. I prefer to shoot candidly, and without interfering or asking too much from the subjects. Formalities are usually forced, and an attempt at perfection which to me isn't as beautiful as imperfection.

Describe your favorite image taken by you. 
 I haven't seen it yet.

Who do you look up to as a photographer?
I look up to anyone who can consistently come up with amazing work that stands out among the rest. Those who create for the sake of creating and nothing else. Those who see the beauty in things that I have yet to see or may have overlooked.

Describe your favorite image taken by another photographer.
 I enjoy so many from all sorts of artists/photographers, but if I had to choose one it would be this photo by Lauren Rosenbaum. It has so much movement and emotion yet is incredibly simple and naturalistic. It says so much without having to say much at all.

If you could be anything other than a photographer what would you be?

 Probably working in the forestry industry or similar, or a journalist. I enjoy writing a lot but have never taken it past the point of "weekend hobby". 

What are you still learning? 

 Still and will always be learning everything, even when it feels like I'm not. 

If you can photograph anyone or anything in the world who/what would it be?

 Any of the pyramids in Egypt or Central America, or my kids hanging out on a glacier in Iceland.

What movie/play/book/ music inspire you?

 I have more books than anything else and I am continuously inspired by them. I enjoy a good story from any genre or age category, fiction or non fiction. I have a good/bad habit of reading a lot of books in the same period of time, which can range from poetry by Shel Silverstein to backyard gardening to mysticism. Everything has to do with everything.

What inspires you the most?

 The unconditional love that nature provides for everything in existence. It is an ultimate truth that we have yet to fully comprehend or even become aware of. Each and every moment that brings me closer to that truth is always inspiring. 

How can you describe your style?

I haven't given much thought to style in my work. Abstract?

Did photography change you? Your vision? The way you see the world? 

Of course! How could it not? Every new image, every new creation shows me something I haven't seen before. Even the tiniest of realizations can cause you to wake up to a new truth/perspective/understanding of the world. 

If you had magical powers (breath underwater/fly/be invisible) what kind of pictures would you be taking?

 I suppose that would depend on how deep I can swim or how high I can fly. If I was invisible I would find out what my cats do while I'm out of the house. Is my camera also invisible?

How would people describe you?
 Stubborn, probably.  

It seems that nature and outdoors plays a big roll in your photography atmosphere  is that right?

 Indeed it does. Nature is everything. As a species we tend to create conveniences for our lives in spite of nature, instead of creating ways to live with it. It would be a shame for any child not to know the joys of walking barefoot in mud, or scraping a knee while climbing a tree, or picking wildflowers in a field, or any of the other infinite things one can do outside whilst wild and free. That freedom is a necessity to living happily with nature. Hippie much?

And you have a thing for humming birds...

 Small but mighty and beautiful creatures they are.

Can you share a before and after with us?

Absolutely. Here is my latest manipulation. 

Do you watch any photoshop tutorials or read any books? if so, please link

 Rarely do I watch or read any tutorials about photoshop or anything art related. My best learning (from reading or watching videos) comes from focusing more on the theory side of the spectrum, and not so much the technical side. The technical stuff I sort of figure out as I go, or from watching someone else do it in person. My mind tends to function in a non-linear kind of way especially when it comes to creativity, and step by step tutorials tend to work best when your mind is in linear mode, and I haven't found that mode yet. 

When you first started using photoshop what was the most challenging thing for you to learn?

Keyboard shortcuts, menu options, and tool memorization. Workflow plays a huge part in the process of creating anything, especially so on a computer. It was frustrating knowing what I wanted Photoshop to do, but not knowing where that tool or option was. 

Would you let me interview you again?

 Always and forever.

Find Kevin at : Website -- Flickr 

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Visual Artist Noell S. Oszvald

Noell S. Oszvald is a self-taught visual artist and photographer from Budapest, Hungary. although Noell doesn't like to be referred to as a photographer, she uses photography as a base for the images she creates. She became an internet sensation for her captivating creations.
 Her dream like images are so powerful, surreal yet very simple and sophisticated, she captures the simplicity of basic composition, allowing herself and her surroundings to blend beautifully even with the lack of colors she's able to produce art that everyone can relate to .“I don’t want to tell people what to see in my images. This is the reason why I never really write any descriptions other than titles. It shows what I wish to express but everyone is free to figure out what the picture says to them. It’s very interesting to read so many different thoughts about the same piece of work.”
Claudia Moscovici  once wrote about her work saying “A sense of harmony with our surroundings that doesn’t place human beings on top, but rather as one with nature.” 

to know more about Noell, read below... 

Who has inspire you the most in terms of photography?
Director, screenwriter Ingmar Bergman.

Do you think that you have your own personal signature ?

I would like to think that I finally found my own voice.

Most of your photos are simple, effective and black and white, would you call that your signature?

I suppose you could. This is the only way I’m comfortable creating art.

What scares you the most?

I’m a very anxious type of person, so many things scare me. The most scared I’m of is probably the future.

Whats your favorite locations to shoot at?

Most of the time I use my own room to make my images.

Do you prefer indoor or out door photography?

It depends on where I can find a suitable place for a picture, but I think I prefer to create indoor.

Do you recommend any websites for photoshop tutorials?

I can’t, I’m sorry. I've never used any of those, I like to figure these things out myself.

What is your favorite photo taken by another photographer?

It’s not a photo. It’s scene from the film, Wild Strawberries by Ingmar Bergman.

What is your favorite photo taken by you?

It has to be Silence or Thoughts.

Do you think its hard to be unique and have your own style in photography? how do you manage to stay creative? 

It’s difficult to get there, but once you manage to find your own voice it gets somewhat easier, because you know what you want to see in your images.

Is fame important to you?

Absolutely not. I obviously want people to discover my art and follow my journey as an artist, but as a person I don’t wish to be popular. I share very little about myself. I want my pictures to speak for themselves while I’m staying in the shadows.

When you first started at photography, what were the mistakes you made a lot?

I tried to imitate other artists’, not finding my own style. So many bad pieces I had in my portfolio and I've always felt uncomfortable about them. I’m now thankful for this feeling, because it helped me find the right path.

Any new project you're working on?

Yes, on a sculpture. It’s difficult, but I hope I can finish it soon.

What frustrates you the most about the world of photography?

I’d like to be accepted as a visual artist. I don’t claim to be a photographer. I edit my pictures, I build props for them, I draw or paint on them. I use photography as a base for the art I create. It'd give me a sense of freedom, the feeling that I’m allowed to take a picture and make it into something else. 

What kind of photography gear do you use? ( camera, lenses, computer, tablet)?

My first camera was a starter Canon dslr, now I have a Lumix Lx7 and I bought a medium format film camera last year. I want to experiment with it in the future.

Your Flickr portfolio only contains 8 photos, how come?

I don’t want to include my first pictures into my portfolio, I really want to forget those. These very few images are what I have right now and I hope to make more.

Noell's Facebook page -- Flickr -- Portfolio 

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Photographer Sasha O Interview

Sasha O 

 Very talented, creative photographer with a long - hard to pronounce- last name,
Sasha has an interesting take on self portraits that will leave you inspired!

wanna know more? well, keep reading... 

Introduce yourself
I’m Sasha O (short from Oleksiichuk, as no one can read or pronounce my last name correctly  ), 24 y.o. at the moment (feel myself like 20), proud to be Ukrainian, currently live in Belgium.

How long have you been doing photography?
I bought my first camera in 2008, started as a hobby, but it dragged me deep inside for the rest of my life.

What type of camera do you use? 
Canon 5D Mark III


What is your ideal camera (doesn't have to be real)
The one that could make exact same picture like in my head with pressing one button. 

If you had to choose one lens what would it be?
85mm 1.2. I love the depth of field it creates.

Do you prefer natural light or flash?
I use more natural light right now, but plan to get used to strobes.

Indoors or outdoors?
Both. All depends on location.

Who do you think is overrated as a photographer or model?
I think none. As you can get great result only when both a model and photographer work together, understand each other and do their own job the best they can. 

Do you like using actions? 
I do use actions, mostly my own, to speed up work. But I also like actions from Michael Woloszynowicz, as he is really great photographer and retoucher. 

Describe your favorite image taken by you. 
I haven’t taken yet my favorite picture. It’s still in the future.

Describe your favorite image taken by another photographer. 
There is too many such images. Hard to pick one.

If you could be anything other than a photographer what would you be?
I’d play cello. My favorite instrument.

What was the hardest thing you learned in photoshop?
The hardest thing was and still is skin retouching. I still can’t get the result I want.

If you can photograph anyone or anything in the world who/what would it be?
I’d photograph famous people or the Earth from the space.

What movie/play/book/ music inspire you?
It’s my favorite movie Amelie. Also Tarantino movies, as he always has great lighting. And all music that I like inspires me.

What inspires you the most?
Different things around like random rope, sea shells, paint, snails, shadows, food. Can be location, weather, my dreams.

Name few of your favorite photographers 
Except such well known as Richard Avedon, Annie Leibovitz and Joey L I like works of  Oleg Oprisco, Kirsty Mitchell, Rob Woodcox, Miss Aniela, Robby Cavanaugh, Cristina Otero, Anita Anti, Lorenzo Invernici. They all inspire me a lot.

How can you describe your style?
I don’t have one style yet, but what I like to shoot it’s portraits, conceptual, fine art.

Did photography change you? Your vision? The way you see the world?
 Definitely. Now it doesn’t matter what I do, where I go, what I see, I think in ‘photography mode’. I notice lights and shadows, colors, texture that would be beautiful for picture, I look on some things and I automatically think how I can use it in photos. I can’t simply watch a movie without reaction ‘Oh, this is a great shot’. And I love it.

If you had magical powers (breath underwater/fly/be invisible) what kind of pictures would you be taking?
Underwater photos.

If you could meet with any famous person dead or alive who would it be? What would you say or do?
Joey L. I’d take a picture of him.

If your life was turned into a movie what kind would it be? How long would it last? And who's going to play your character?
It’d be comedy, drama, romantic movie, for 2 hours with Lucy Hale.

How would people describe you?
I have no idea, as what people and I think about myself can be different things.

You created a beautiful series ( No face) how did it all start?
It was not finished idea from the beginning. Sometimes I have days when I don’t want to shoot my face, but I still need to make a picture. So I looked around at home for objects that I could hide my face with. As I planned to make images for few days. Something different, but that would work together. And not to make exact same picture I used different walls, with different window light, but made the same crop. And only when I finished I saw that they can be like a gradient – from lighter to darker one. Sometimes the idea evolves in the process. 

Your photos seem playful and humorous at times, romantic and soft at times, is that your personality peeking through your work?
Yes. I think my personal mood shows a lot in my pictures even when I don’t realize it. I can make dark moody portraits for days, and then suddenly bright and soft.

Who are your biggest supporters?
My boyfriend and my best friend. They always support me no matter what and believe in me more than I in myself. Without my boyfriend I’d drop 365 at the beginning. He also helps to take some of my self-portraits.

Did photography play a roll on your make up skills?
Yes, as with photography I can make some weird, unusual things, experiment, what normally I’d not wear as a make up for everyday. And I can’t ask some make up artists everyday, so I have to do it by myself.

Everyday you come up with a creative concept, how do you keep producing ideas?
To be honestly I don’t know how. I’m always afraid that magic jar of ideas will be empty one day 

Tell us about your veggie series, did you just wake up one day thinking I'm gonna wear a tomato crown? 
 I was chatting with my photographer friend Martina Dorkinova , first about lack of ideas, then about food. I mentioned that I’m gonna cook an eggplant, and she challenged me to take a photo with eggplant. After eggplant I wanted to try other colors and I was playing with face expressions to make it more funny.

What do you enjoy the most in the process of creating a photo?
Usually it’s shooting and that moment when I get good picture I was looking for. But sometimes it’s retouching, as I get sometimes interesting result from a simple image.

Which photo was the hardest to create?
I think the one with yellow flowers. Not so much because of concept, but editing. As I was shooting with one single flower and with natural light, it took me few hours to pick and place flowers, correct their brightness, edges and other details. But with the hardest photos you learn the most.

Do you watch photoshop tutorials, or read books about photography? if so tell us about it
I’m a big fan of Phlearn and Aaron Nace. Also I watch tutorials of Vibrant Shot (of Michael Woloszynowicz), Creative Live, Natalia Taffarel. Good tips has Karl Taylor, And I like to watch documentary videos about famous photographers. Recently I’ve finished to read a book about food photography – to learn and try something new, and I have books of other favorite photographers.

Would you let me interview you again? 
Of course. After I get better in photography and make more great images 

Find Sasha : Facebook -- Flickr -- Website