17 November, 2007

Interview with my Flickr friend Julian (Freelance Virtuoso)

Party of fifty please!...

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

I had my first love affair with photography in the late seventies but it only lasted for a couple of years. I owned a Canon AT1 and then an AE1 – I shot Tri-x (bw 400) film and even went as far as buying an enlarger, yes, Cralab timer, Ilford paper, the works….I shot mostly winter scenes, around Toronto (I was living there at the time). Ducks taking off from ponds, the magic of dark against white – I had a great time. One day I sold everything and moved on with my life, you know, marriage, buying a house, working, working, and more working. The so called responsibilities... To answer the second part of this question: yes I am self-taught.

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

In this later photographic life that started some eight months ago (second fling) I have mainly walked around with the Nikon 28-80 that came with my D50 (sorry Canon lovers, I made the switch!). After a few months I was able to exchange it for an 18-55 and this move toward a wider angle gave me the freedom I needed to dig deeper into architecture and geometric patterns. One day I accidentally broke this lens. I cannot tell you the feeling of losing a lens, your only lens, I wanted to cry. Today I walk around with a Sigma 10-20 and I am still getting used to it.

3. What equipment and software do you use?

A Nikon D50. I love it, but I need more pixels….Software? – I barely tweak my photographs and for this I use Photoshop Elements 4.0. I adjust lighting and levels, and straighten.

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

Equipment?....My camera I guess; I seem to take it everywhere I go. My legs are my tripod, I shoot everything hand held.

5. How do you decide on locations and subjects?

I just get in the car, bus or subway (many times all three) and usually head downtown to visit the works of Gehry and other architects; also museums. I strongly believe that in the earlier stages you have to walk the beat and tease the brain, look around, discover, understand why…loose the fear of space, explore. Make love to your city first, feel the wind, perspire, deal with unexpected situations, work with available light. Be thrown out by security guards then go back, take the shot and run…Keep going back until you find what you are looking for. Often when I go downtown I forget to eat, even go to the bathroom, and I come back exhausted, only to start editing. I work alone; I do not think anyone in their right mind would want to accompany me.

6. What are your favorite subjects to photograph?

Architectural angles, architectural abstracts. Don’t get me going, I could talk about this for hours …I treat architectural forms the way others treat people or landscapes. Architecture is art you can walk through…imagine being inside art.

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

Everything! – everything inspires me!

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

wow….what a great question….the female nude. I shall then photograph true architecture. But I am not ready yet.

9. What other artists have influenced your work?

Since starting up again I have been feasting my eyes with the works of Lucien HervĂ© (who became Le Corbusier’s preferred photographer), Andre Kertez, Tina Modotti, the obsessive Edward Weston, to name but a few… Oh, you mean on Flickr? well, just go to my contact list!. Ok, if pushed to name some I will say……nah…I am not going there, even if your name is Angela Lobefaro.

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

I once made a living playing the guitar. I once studied in the National Conservatory of Drama and worked in the theater, even TV. I once suffered the inclement power of a military regime and sought broader horizons and a new language. Today, many years later, photography is my new art. I would love to take up Painting….

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

I met fellow flickrer Jack Hindmarsh, from San Luis Obispo, CA. I was up there breaking up a trip I took to Santa Cruz. Jack is a cool guy who is very engaging and can handle bokeh like few others can. I still owe him a dinner, right Jack? “You won’t be so quick picking up the tab the next time”. It was great meeting someone you had so much in common with right from the start: photography and Flickr. Behind every contact lies a great person; I was glad to confirm this about Jack.

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

Advice? Me?....go ask the people in question 9, what do I know? The basics: It is not the size of the camera that matters……

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

I love “Party of fifty, please…” I chased those birds till they were tired, and they gave me their splendor and grace. It is my favorite because it has one extra ingredient that no other photograph I took has: luck. How can you plan a photograph with over fifty birds as the main ingredient? Funny, my favorite shot is not architecture.

14. If you could change anything on flickr, what would it be?

That dam&$#@ busy white background! I wish we had on demand view black and view white to REALLY appreciate the photographs. Instead we have to go and play flickrtoys rulette. Also, the vulnerability; people with no declared icon and profile or photographs fave my shots all the time. I have to constantly be monitoring this occurrence and I spend a lot of time blocking these re-sellers? Copycats? Creeps? I know, I know it is open internet and if the kitchen is too hot maybe you shouldn’t cook but…Lastly: Explore – I play the game, but we all know it is a joke.

These are the photos that Julian want to show us in this interview:


Squared/4, originally uploaded by freelancevirtuoso.

2) Waving...

Waving..., originally uploaded by freelancevirtuoso.

3) In light of...

In light of..., originally uploaded by freelancevirtuoso.

Thanks to Julian for his meaningful interview and for teaching us to point our nose upward while making a photowalk ;-)

Julian (Freelance Virtuoso) Flickr profile

angie_real aka Angela Lobefaro


Bonnie said...

Well what a great interview! Julian is incredibly gifted at translating his vision into an artistry that is beyond excellent. He's made me look at buildings differently and I've even started photographing architecture. So I tip my hat to you, Julian!

genevieve.van.doren said...

Yes a good interview...Julian is an Artist,but a PERFECT Artist...He make wonderful images of buildings and architecture on a way you never see it !!! and always elegant...Look at his stream...a MUST !!! and thank you Angela,for this interview !!!