23 July, 2007

Interview with my Flickr friend Don (dgjean)

First of all i want to Thank you to http://www.flickr.com/photos/lemperleconnie/ for the inspiration and the script of this interview and Don for be my first one interviewed.

Don (dgjean)

1. How did you first get interested in photography? And are you self taught?

I bought my first Nikon camera thirty years ago (a Nikkormat EL) and I’ve had many different Nikon models since then. However, I took only snapshots of family events and vacations shots, so I actually consider myself to be a beginner.

I’m definitely self taught and I learn something every time I take pictures, usually through a mistake I make.

2. Do you have a favorite walk around lens? If so, what is it?

Actually, I have two favorite lenses that I would be hard pressed to do without: the Noct-Nikkor 58/1.2 Ai-S and the Nikkor 28/1.4D. Neither of the two are made anymore, but without a doubt, they are the best night/low light lenses ever made for hand held photography, which is my photographic interest.

3. What equipment and software do you use?

As far as camera equipment goes, I’m a die hard Nikon user. I’ve got 32 Nikkor lenses and mount them on D200 and D50 Nikon DSLR bodies (I‘ve bought almost all of this equipment in the last year). The majority of my lenses are the old, classic manual focus Ai and Ai-s types. I also use a Gitzo 1325 tripod (with RRS BH-55 ballhead) for certain night shots and anytime when I want a really sharp shot.

I’m not much of a post-processor, but I bought PhotoShop CS3 a couple months ago. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to do anything with it yet.

4. Which one item of equipment is the most important for you?

Without a doubt a good lens is the most important item for me, preferably a Nikkor with a f/1.2 aperture!

5. How do you decide on locations and subjects?

Fortunately, I live in northeastern Italy about thirty miles west of Venice. There’s so much natural and man-made beauty here, all I have to do is walk out the door.

6. What are your favorite subjects to photograph?

I love night photography (with people in it) and also classic architecture (especially arches).

7. What continues to inspire you as a photographic artist?

I see a lot of really wonderful night shots on flickr, and I’m just trying to keep up with every one else!

8. What is the one thing that you have not captured on camera you feel you need to express?

I think many people in modern society are loners and a little melancholy (I know I am) and I’m just trying to show this existential malaise through my photography. But I’ve only just scratched the surface.

9. What other artists have influenced your work?

I never really thought much about this until you asked, but I would have to say that I’ve been heavily influenced (albeit unconsciously) by the works of Brassai and his great photographs of 1930s Parisian night life. And, of course, I would throw in Edward Hopper for good measure too.

10. What other talents do you possess besides photography? And is there another area of talent you would like to explore?

I’m a freelance writer (travel, wine & food), but since I’ve been involved with flickr the last ten months I haven’t been able to write much! And I’m not interested in any other areas right now, writing and photography are enough.

11. Have you met other flick rites in person, and how was the experience?

I haven’t met any flickrites in person yet, but I would like to!

12. Any words of advice for those who would like to dig deeper into photography?

Photography is like anything else in life, you get out of it what you put into it. So as a marathon runner has to run every day and a writer has to write every day, a photographer needs to take pictures every day.

13. Of all the photos you've taken, what is your favorite and why?

Contra' Piancoli, Vicenza (8 March 07) is my favorite photo because it's one that I did absolutely nothing to--it's exactly as it came out of the camera (except that I made it sepia). And I think it perfectly portrays the the "existential malaise" that I talked about above.

14. If you could change anything on flickr, what would it be?
If I could change anything on flickr, it would probably be the system of comments, faves & invitations. As it is now, flickr can be extremely time comsuming--afterall, if you want to receive comment, faves & invitations, you have to give them out as well. Not sure what the best system would be, but I already have a couple of contacts that don't allow comments (and therefore, inviatations) on their photos, you can only fave them. Maybe it should be something like this.

These are the three photos Don would like to appear with the interview:

Ponte San Michele, Vicenza (10 February 07)

Venezia (26 May 07)

La Festa del Redentore (22 Jul 07)

Thanks again Don and keep it up with your "Night missions" ;-)

Angela Lobefaro aka angie_real


Bonnie said...

Thank you for this wonderful interview. Don is one of my ultimate favourite photographers on flickr. I just love his work, and I go nuts every time he posts a new picture because I just love everything he does. His photos are amazing!! Cinematic, dramatic, and compelling. This was such a great interview, thank you!!!

Catman said...

Excellent interview, si interesting and grat idea for your blog
have a great day
Don Gato

Gabriele said...

These interviews are so interesting!
Congrats for your blog Angela and thank you!

Gabriele (gab79)

Rajesh said...

I like your style of interviewing ....not very long and one can get the essence. ell done.

Rajesh said...

i like your style of interviewing. short crisp and punchy one gets the essence straight off. well done Angie


tkh said...

Thanks for the interview of great photographer Don. It is very informative. I have been regularly viewing his pics on Flickr and he is my contact too.

Once again thanks Angela for bringing Don more nearer to us.

Proginor said...

Don has disappeared from Flickr. I miss him very much. Do you know what happened?