Friday, 6 April 2012

Photographer Gary Chapman Interview

If you want to have a good laugh looking at some pictures then you'd love Gary Chapman's work,his photos mix creativeness humor and more,,, 

let's get a closer look,

introduce yourself please.
Hey, my name’s Gary Chapman. I’m a 25 year old amateur photographer from Lincolnshire on the east coast of England. 
Who has inspired you the most in terms of photography?
That’s a tough one, I’d have to say Aaron Nace. He’s incredibly talented and very open, helpful and supportive to anyone which is unusual for someone in his position. I discovered his work and the phlearn website a short while after I had started doing creative photo manipulations so I wouldn’t say it was him that made me take this route with photography but I’ve certainly leant so much from him and been inspired to keep going.

What is your favorite style of photography
Definitely portraits with humour and plenty of Photoshop! 
What style of photography do you find challenging?
All of it!!! Haha! I really enjoy seeing good travel photography and would love to be able to do it myself but I just seem to be incredibly average at best with it. Definitely something I want to improve on. I also want to improve my direction of models as I’m not exactly a natural at it.
Where do you hope to go with your photography?
Well obviously loving photography so much the dream would be to do it professionally. Although the idea of shooting weddings or kids in front of white backgrounds does nothing for me so I’ll keep learning and improving with the style I like doing and just see where it takes me. I’d hate for photography to become a chore.
What do you look for in a model?
Up to now I’ve only really worked with myself on self portraits or very close friends/family. I’m to the point now where I want to start working with models and people who are keen to create something with me on bigger more ambitious projects. I think it’s a big step working with your first model… especially when you aren’t a confident person. I feel I’m ready now though, a year ago I would of crapped myself at the prospect!
name other photographers you admire.
The usual list you’ll get from people like me, Aaron Nace, Joey L, Miss Anelia, Rosie Hardy… I tend to not get too wrapped up in other peoples work in an obsessive fan way other wise I think it’s inevitable your work starts to mirror theirs.
who are your biggest supporters?
Definitely my fiance Laura for putting up with me spending the little spare time we both get together doing odd things with my camera... Can’t be all that much fun for her at times. My buddy Chris for always helping me out and being there to bounce ideas off and his partner Gem who I sometimes rope in to being in a shot.
what do you enjoy doing other than photography?
The usual things a 25 year old man does, stroking kittens, baking fairy cakes, writing love poems and riding unicorns into the sunset.
What are some of your favourite films, books and musicians that keep you inspired?
I love movies! Old, new and from all around the world. I was big into Hong Kong cinema for a long time and love thrillers. I don’t really have a favourite film but I love the work of Scorsese, Shane Meadows, Jonnie To, Christopher Nolan, Darren Aaronofski, Guillermo Del Toro... I could keep going. 
I just read a book called “Into the Wild” which was excellent and really my kind of thing, I believe Sean Penn has made into a film but I haven't seen it yet. I go through stages with books, I’ll read intensely for a while but as soon as something gets in the way I struggle to get back into the routine.
Musically I’m not very diverse, I still have the same few CD’s in my car as I had when I started driving 8 years ago. My favourite bands are Manchester Orchestra, Brand New, The Early November, Incubus & Rage Against the Machine and Regina Spektor
you created a mini series of  black and white nude photos, what is your take on nude photography?
I assume you mean the ones I did of my partner where she was throwing flour in the air? It’s not something I’ve done much of and I think it’s something that can be done either really well or really bad. I don’t have a problem with nudity in photography, it’s been used in art for forever.
do you think its abused by some photographers?
Not really... or at least abused isn’t the right word. It’s used for varying different purposes I suppose, like them all or not all of them have a market. 
in your photos we see humor and creativeness! would you call that your personal signature ?
Yea I think so. They are the images that have got me any kind of attention online up to now. The ideas came quicker than the photography & editing abilities at the start so hopefully when people view my flickr stream they can see a progression as I’ve improved. I started out by coming up with an idea and then say “Right, lets figure out how to do this”.
you're working on a 52 week project! what have you discovered about yourself so far?
I started a 52 project at the start of the year... again. What I discovered is I just don’t have enough time! See next question :-)
have you ever felt like giving up?
Yes and I have. For the same reasons as I did the year before, I work full time in a pretty uninspiring job,  add to that being a boyfriend and attempting to have some kind of a social life I just don’t have the time to put into a 52 and work on bigger more ambitious projects that requires more than a weeks planning/shooting/editing time. Last year that didn’t work out and I went into a pretty tough 5 month creative rut where I barely did anything. This years 52 got me shooting again and also a notepad full of ideas so I’m hoping the rest of this year will be a success.
what scares you the most?
David Bowies bulge in his tights in the movie Labyrinth. It’s traumatising.
tell us a wierd fact about you,
I have 17 fingers on my left hand.
if you could create the perfect camera what features would it have?
I have a Canon 7D which is a very sturdy camera but it’s only weather sealed with certain L Lenses on which I don’t have. I’d love to have a camera I could bash around and expose too all elements and not worry about the financial risks. I’m not too much of a ‘gear’ kind of guy, far too many people lust over new equipment rather than learning even the most basic skills. Not sure I like the idea of these new cameras they are developing where you choose the focus points in post... I fell in love with photography because of the challenge of getting better. Can’t help but feel advances like that are making things too easy, although I’m sure people said that about digital!
what is you favorite location to shoot in and why?
I prefer location shooting to studio work although I nearly always work with strobes. I’m not too good with natural light. I live in a very rural location so most of my locations are quite remote. Before I started doing the creative shots I had started photography by taking pictures of and in abandoned buildings so I like those kind of locations.
you post before and after of your images, was it your idea or were you asked to? do you mind sharing more than just a before and after image (tips and tricks)?
Yea I posted “making of” shots for all of this years 52 project shots on flickr... I have since taken them down. I do like the idea of sharing the process with those who are interested, but I do think for most people who just want to look at an image it can take some of the impact away. I love it when I show someone I know a shot and they have no idea how I did it. I am thinking about starting a blog for those kind of things, then only those people interested enough to visit it will get an insight into how I did things. I’m not really sure that many people would be interested though, I’m hardly well known and there are so many people out there better than me. My plan is to document my process from an idea to the edit, more for myself than anything as I feel my output is very limited and inconsistent, hopefully it will make me get my ass in gear and get creating more.
do you recommend any websites for photoshop tautorials?
The only tutorials I watch regularly are the phlearn ones. Before I discovered Phlearn I either figured things out or did a quick google search for techniques to point me in the right direction. I used to edit so “de-constructively” in that I never used layer masks (I didn’t know what they were) and I used to flatten all my layers.

do you read books about photography? if you do, what's your favorite?
The best photography book I have is “Professional Portrait Retouching Techniques for Photographers Using Photoshop” by Scott Kelby.
what is your favorite photo taken by another photographer?
I love this shot by Aaron Nace. This is the kind of quality work I hope to one day create.
what is your favorite photo taken by you?
Even if I like one of my photos when it’s complete usually within a week I hate it! I don’t think I have taken a shot thats not riddled with stupid mistakes which I’m quite happy to point out. Perhaps my two favourite shots are  (cropped off foot) 

and (dodgy shadow on right hand side of cut off flesh)
I don’t like to go back and re-edit my work, I think it should show where I was at that point. As long as you learn from the mistakes you make it was well worth it.
do you think its hard to be unique and have your own style in photography? how do you manage to stay creative?
I do think it’s hard! I feel pressure to not do something simple or the same thing again and again. It’s hard to find the time I need to put into it which is why my output isn’t as much I would like. It gets me down sometimes and I can go ages without even having a half decent idea or I attempt something and it doesn’t work out. But when it does go well nothing beats the feeling.
is fame important to you?
I would love to be well known and respected within the photography community for my work. Hopefully if I keep improving and creating I might achieve some recognition. 
In your early years as a photographer, what were the mistakes you made a lot?
Everything! I still do rush things... especially when on location and when working with other people, it’s a confidence thing and it really doesn’t help!
any new project you're working on?
I’ve got plenty of ideas that need lots of work putting into them. Also got a small project of related images that I want to work on this summer. 
Is there a photo you regret posting online
Not really. I’ve only ever taken a few images down from my flickr photostream, usually because I’ve posted something thats a bit crap because I haven’t posted for a while and felt I need to.

Links you should know:

 -- Website -- Flickr -- Twitter -- Blog 

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