30 October, 2007

Interview with my Flickr friend Alex (Algo)




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

I was a Brownie Box Camera boy, and took at least two films on it. Many years later my interest got sparked by being given a pre-war Robot motorized camera 24x24. This may still be responsible for my liking of square pictures. Wish I had had some teaching, but never have.


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

My favourite camera and lens has been the Minolta A1, with its excellent 28 - 200 lens. Sadly, when it broke down, after more than 20000 exposures, it could not be repaired.


3. What equipment and software do you use?

I’m mainly using the Sony DSLR, and quite like it, but have a number of niggles. Roll on Christmas with the hope of an upgrade? PSElements for the minumal processing I do.


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

The three lenses I carry around all the time are the 50mm Minolta Macro, the 35/200 Minolta zoom, and the Sony kit lens, 18-35 fitted with a circular polarizer to catch blue sky. If I’m in the car, I usually have an ultra wide angle. That’s not really an answer but they are part of the camera, which is the “one item”.


5. How do you decide on locations and subjects?

I look at the light and see where I feel like going -- to the reservoirs, or the woods or the hills, or just driving around? Almost all photos I take are less than ten miles from home.


6. What are your favorite subjects to photograph?

Anything I see. (My sunbeams and misty photos have seemed to have been liked.)


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

The way the light falls and strikes subjects.

(And of course seeing great photos on Flickr is a constant source of inspiration.)

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


I aim to get better pictures of birds in flight (with wings back lit?) -- especially swans or herons.


9. What other artists have influenced your work?

So many photographers on Flickr produce outstanding photographs. Every day I am astonished, and hope I express it sufficiently. I’m tempted to name a few, but know I couldn’t then stop ....

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

I’ve tried my hand at a variety of things, with varying success, but would really have liked to have a been a much better dinghy sailor. For me it is a Zen activity, letting the wind, water and gravity (balance) take over -- and either fly across the water, or fall in.


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


I’ve not met any flickrites in person ( that I know of), although that seems almost a surprise to say, as I feel I know a number quite well. I live near several, and we have photographed the same places. Gary, the foremost English flickr photographer, lives near.

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

It depends what you want to use Flickr for. If you want comments and Faves, then give them ... lots. (Sorry .. That’s so obvious ... but I’m lousy on advice.)

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

I can’t decide -- not today. But try -- 100 year hand.
100 Years hand


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

Don’t get me started on the Explore/interestingness so called lottery. Part of my dislike is “sour grapes”, following the way I was chopped down in June 2006. Part is the biased methods used in choosing (and ignoring) photos for the publicity that Explore gives. We’re given warnings over and over, not to take it seriously, and then It is pushed forward as the prestigious accolade -- hypocrisy! Maybe some transparency would help instead of the hocus pocus at present, and the feeling that the choices represent some individual’s taste.

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

1) The stage is set




2) Sunday morning mist




3) trees watch the sun set



Thanks to Alex for his kind reply and for teaching me to dig my surroundings in search of the hidden gems laying around me and to not underestimate the beauty of a misty morning.

Alex's profile on Flickr

Angela Lobefaro aka angie_real

26 October, 2007

Interview with my Flickr friend Eduardo Amorim





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

My first interest was about drawing, I started to photograph in order to have some models... From my father comes my interest for drawing and also for the culture of Gauchos... Yes, I am self taught, I never had any class about photography

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

I have a little experience about lenses... now I’m using a 28-80 mm and sometimes I think I could do a better job if it had a bigger range

3. What equipment and software do you use?

I use a Nikon EE8800 and a Nikon D50, Photoshop and Picasa

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

I’m satisfied with my D50, it’s very effective in action shots, it’s speedy, maybe the most important item to me

5. How do you decide on locations and subjects?

Maybe because I’m not a professional, I don’t chose and don’t plane locations, I just take my camera where I go, I like this kind of photo taken by chance

6. What are your favorite subjects to photograph?

Well, I’m a photographer with just one subject: Gauchos, their life, work, entertainment, skills, tools, stuff, inhabitat, scenery etc. My hobby has been to document that and show it in Flickr

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

Surely is my passion about this subject, this cultural inheritage from my ancestors, my people, their traditional way of life, things I’ve learned to love from my childhood

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

I love to discover how our traditional culture is shared besides and in spite of the formal frontiers of countries... Gauchos are the men of Pampas, don’t matter if in South Brazil, Argentina or Uruguay... I would love to document this fact capturing photos in Argentina and Uruguay

9. What other artists have influenced your work?


Maybe they will not agree about it, but I can say all I know about photography I’ve learned from three Flickr friends, just following their job: Any Manetta, Felicitas Molina and Isaías Mattos, great artists, my first contacts and my references since then

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


Maybe I should explore a skill I had to draw sometimes... I don’t know if I have it yet... Well, I work in a financial institution and I am a lawyer also

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

Not yet, but I’m about to do it, with great expectations

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


Who am I to give some advice ? But I think it’s important to love and to know the subject

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

This one: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bombeador/413749035/

I think I got a good moment of action and got a good result processing it

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

Surely one thing I don’t like in Flickr is the systematic of Explore... I really don’t care if my photos are or aren’t there, I don’t even see it, but I think it’s sometimes very unfair to some people.

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

1) Um retrato amarelado



2) Mundo do avesso




3) No potreiro




Thanks to Eduardo for his kindness and for showing us a full world of real emotions, hard work and a great, immense Nature!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bombeador/

Angela Lobefaro aka angie_real

21 October, 2007

Interview with my Flickr friend Bonnie Shulman




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

When I was 13 years old I asked my father for my first camera. I still have it, a Canon AE-1 SLR, and I have been taking pictures ever since, I've owned dozens of cameras. I studied journalism at university, and I took many photos for the school newspaper, developing them in the darkroom as well. No, in those days I had no formal training. My pictures always made the front page of the school newspaper. I remember that the first rule I ever practiced was, "zoom with your feet". I have always liked to go for the close-up shot, what a former boss of mine calls the "money shot". One of my colleagues quit journalism school to become a photojournalist. I stayed in school and got my degree, but in every job I have had, I have had to either art direct or take photos. Two years ago I started studying digital imaging at a college and now I take courses all the time, I have a lighting course coming up in November in a photography studio and I belong to two photography clubs in Toronto that offer clinics and lectures. I also subscribe to photography magazines and follow tutorials on flickr.

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

Oh yes, my most precious lens is the Canon EF 28-105 mm, with macro capabilities. It can do everything, it's a little gem of a lens, and very affordable. I did my research and chose this lens very specifically and I just love it.

3. What equipment and software do you use?

I use Photoshop CS2 on a PC.

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

My car. I find to get great nature pictures and keep being innovative it helps to travel around, and with all this equipment it helps to have a car. I don't go very far, sometimes, I just travel to the next block, but after an hour of taking pictures in the outdoors, in bushes and climbing in tall grass, I'm very fatigued, it's good to get in the car and go have a coffee and just relax before I start working on the photos. Of course I also take pictures indoors, and for that purpose natural light coming in through my window is the most important equipment!

5. How do you decide on locations and subjects?

I think about what I'm going to shoot throughout the week, as I like to do most of my shooting on the weekends. The City of Toronto has a great website listing all the parks, where they are, what their features are, so I use the Internet to figure out where I'm going to shoot. Once, though, I decided to go to the Toronto Zoo but it started raining and I turned back to go home, and just by accident, or maybe fate, I found a park I never knew existed, and that is where I took one of my most favourite shots!

6. What are your favorite subjects to photograph?

I like to photograph the things that give people joy to look at. For me, I find people take great pleasure in nature shots and so that is what I do, but I try to add a little twist, a little signature touch of Bonnie to the shot. I also love to photograph my CAKES! Oh my goodness do I love to photograph food. Again, it's what gives people joy. I photograph my cat Leo because he has so many fans on flickr. Me, I have enough photos of Leo, but he is in demand from the many cat lovers on flickr, so he gets his picture taken, and he doesn't like it at all! Poor little guy, but what can he do, he's a star and I'm his paparazzi.

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

New challenges - I don't have a travel budget to go to exotic places, I don't have the fancy professional lenses, I don't have a studio - so I have what I have, and the question for me each day is: with what I have, what can I shoot that will give people joy? I don't always have an answer! And that worries me sometimes. And then - voila - suddenly the answer comes, like a miracle, and I feel blessed.

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

I love to shoot rock bands in action but I don't have a media pass to bring my DSLR into venues. I would love to shoot a great band on stage with a great camera and a great lens. I would like to photograph my rock and roll heroes in action. That would give me a lot of satisfaction and pleasure. I did once sneak a DSLR into a venue, but I didn't have quite the right lens. But I learned from that.

9. What other artists have influenced your work?

There are so many talented people on flickr who have influenced me, it's crazy! They know who they are, because I comment on them all the time - I see something I love and I just have to write something to the artist, even if it's just "wow"! I am influenced by my contacts with formal training and by those who have no formal training. Basically I think I have the best contacts on flickr!

If I had to pick one person, the person who has influenced me the most is my good and dear friend from Spain, Ignacio Abalos, www.flickr.com/photos/ihnasio/, whose every photograph fills me with joy. He taught me to see the beauty in everything, even in rustic old walls, which he photographs to perfection, and he is also a joy to have as a friend. I appreciate his work and his friendship so much.

But I would like to mention two other artists who never cease to entertain me with their brilliance, one is David Michaels ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidsangle/) and the other is Jeff ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/iamnotanumber8885/). I'll never be able to do what these two guys do, their styles are totally different than mine, but I appreciate their perspective and ingenuity, and how they take risks.

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

Cakes. I do cakes. And for a living I am a speechwriter. So let's say I do words too. I own a piano and would like to learn how to play it. I would also like to learn how to play guitar, even though I tried once, I have a picture of my Fender Stratocaster on my stream. But I gave up too easily. I wanted to be perfect right away and I got frustrated.

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

One of my dearest friends I met through flickr, Gabi, http://www.flickr.com/photos/gabifoto/ and I've also met the wonderful Marg, http://www.flickr.com/people/makeupanid/ , who taught me more about birds than anyone! I also met another dear friend, Richard, http://www.flickr.com/photos/18595430@N00/ , who moved to Toronto this year, which was such a wonderful surprise. There are so many brilliant flickr photographers in Toronto, I'd eventually like to meet them all.

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

I would absolutely advise anyone to invest in a course. It will improve your photography to no end! I would say this is especially true if you just bought a DSLR. Take a course and really learn how to use it, understand all the functions, and then you can start to play with it and learn on your own, but you'll have the basic knowledge and this is essential.

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

My favourite photo isn't my best, it isn't even very good, but when Rolling Stone Online asked me to use it, suddenly it became my favourite!!! It's a picture of the man of the moment in England, a tremendously famous rock star named Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys, playing with a supporting band called "We Are Scientists" at the Monkeys' show in Toronto.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/bonnieshulman/169364078/in/set-72157594168658227/


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

I hate Explore. Hate it. Hate what it does to people, hate how it makes them think of photography. I hate Explore. Explore is not a judgement on one's photography but so many people think of it that way. No, I do not like the idea of ranking pictures 1 through 500. As if there possibly could be a number one. When there are millions of flickr members with millions of opinions!

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

1) A log and two cormorants



2) A cup of flower



3) Sunday at Bonnie's bakery



Thanks to Bonnie for her kind reply and for being a true "flag" of Canada in the Flickrdom,
a very supportive and warm Flickr pal.

check it out at: http://www.flickr.com/people/bonnieshulman/

Angela Lobefaro aka angie_real

17 October, 2007

Interview with my Flickr friend Gary (*Gary)



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

I first got interested in photography at art college, processing my own shots in the darkroom for projects. Yes I am self taught, I just see things I like and capture them as I see. Being a graphic designer, I have experience in composition I guess.


2. Do you have a favourite walk around lens? If so, what is it?
My Canon 17-85mm IS USM is pretty versatile and I would never be without my 50mm prime lens.


3. What equipment and software do you use?
Canon 40D. Canon 17-85mm, 50mm prime and 100mm Macro. I now shoot only RAW and process in Photoshop CS3.


4. Which one item of equipment is the most important for you?
My hip flask! Oh and my brain.


5. How do you decide on locations and subjects?
Well subjects is generally anything to do with nature, locations tends to be wherever I am at the time, though I am lucky to have some great locations in bedfordshire where I live.


6. What are your favorite subjects to photograph?
Nature, trees, rivers, sunlight, flower macro's, seasons and wildlife.


7. What continues to inspire you as a photographic artist?
Mother nature mostly, it never ceases to amaze me with it's ever-changing beauty.

8. What is the one thing that you have not captured on camera you feel you need to express?
I would like to do more wildlife and will when I get my 300mm lens soon, also I would like to start doing more long exposure work.


9. What other artists have influenced your work?
I tend not to be influenced by others, but I do admire many artists here on flickr. Strange though it seems, I get great inspiration from music, particularly Beethoven, Pat Metheny, Miles Davis, I also love the paintings of William Turner, his use of light was second to none.

10. What other talents do you possess besides photography? And is there another area of talent you would like to explore?
I am pretty good at my job in design, I play a good game of chess, keep tropical fish and cook quite well, I also enjoy fishing. I always regretted not learning an instrument like the piano when I was younger, so I would like to explore that.


11. Have you met other flick rites in person, and how was the experience?
No I haven't met any in person, though I have made many good friends here. I tend to use photography to get away from it all, it's my quality time alone, though I do shoot with my brother sometimes.


12. Any words of advice for those who would like to dig deeper into photography?
Just to enjoy it, don't take it too seriously and shoot what your comfortable with and enjoy best.

13. Of all the photos you've taken, what is your favorite and why?
The sunset shot of the horse riders was sheer luck but I love it, I was so excited to get back to process that one, I also like the sheep in a shower, because it was a memorable moment.


14. If you could change anything on flickr, what would it be?
I would ditch explore, it effects too many people in a negative way, they become obsessed with it and I see alot of fighting talk about it in the forums, I think it stops some enjoying the real reason of flickr and thats the love of photography, sharing and friendships.

These are the photos that Gary want to show us:

1) Sheep In A Spring Shower



2) Proud



3) Dreams to remember



Thanks to Gary for his quick reply, his kindness and for being a good Flickr friend

Gary's profile on Flickr


Angela Lobefaro aka angie_real

14 October, 2007

a very athmospheric forest!

a bit of Yellow

A walk in the forest



and finally Masters @ Work, you can see Angela in action!

11 October, 2007

Interview with my Flickr friend Johny Day

Unconditional Friendship



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

My father was an amateur photographer and I grew up looking at his color slide show ,,it's all his fault ;o) ,

I'm basically self thought , i did take two night classes on model ( women ) photography , but in Photoshop I took three night class on it , it's the only logical and fastest way to learn Photoshop

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

Ya , I wish they made a 10-200 mm , do they ?


3. What equipment and software do you use?

Cameras : Sony DSC-F828
Sony α 100 18-70mm 70-300mm

Computer : 4 yrs old PC pushed to da max with 2 GB Ram with two new Dell 19" monitors & a new Mac 17" ProBook ( lucky me )

Software : I use Picasa & CS2 every day and I'm in the process of learning Vue 6 Esprit , Ultra Fractal 3 and when I grow up Maya

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

In digital photography their is no such thing as one item , ( that is why its so freaking expensive ) but if you really want an answer it's my Spider2PRO monitor Calibrator , how can you work on your photos if your monitors are not calibrated ???


5. How do you decide on locations and subjects?

I don't , i do not have a car , so i shoot what I see in my every day life , but thanks to my Flickr contacts Secret Samba & Nino for taking on shoots with them ;o)


6. What are your favorite subjects to photograph?

I'm not sure , really depends on my mood , i love light & shadows , anything I find beautiful at that moment , but i really love capturing that Angelic je ne sais quoi look from animals and humans

Healing Power... a ...~ Touching Photo ~

My Special Light


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

In one word Passion , I use to have three jobs , I was a telephone Tech. during the day and a New York State Firefighter , Fire instructor and Paramedic ( AEMT-I ) at night , and since I got force into retirement because of an accident , i had to replace all that passion , with a passion , so photography , photoshop & Flickr Flickr & Flickr , did I say Flickr ? Seriously Flickr has changed my life....

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

The million dollar question ,,,,,, OK I'm proud of what I do , I'm excited of what I need to learn ,, but the one thing that i have not yet captured , is the unknown , the what i don't know that i don't know




9. What other artists have influenced your work?

Norman Rockwell , and many others , but N. Rockwell is my #1 influence since I am a kid , my Grand Father used to receive the Saturday evening post , National Geographic , Life mag etc....

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

Oh I love drums ( I'm a Rocker ) but a talent I think i have is teaching , eventually i would love to give classes on Photoshop but I'm not ready yet , i still need to learn so much more


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

Yes I did and it was really great , and since I have unlimited long distance telephones calls in North America , I talk to a dozen of them on the phone , so much better and faster than e-mails to exchange information , I cant wait to meet them in person ,


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

Oh yes , Share your knowledge , your tricks , your techniques , it will attract photographers just like you and practice , practice practice , for example learning photoshop is like learning guitar , three years ago with Photoshop 7.0 i was going bling bling bling , today i write my own songs with CS2

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

OMG the impossible question !! OK , lets say I'm going to the moon for a year and I can bring only one photo ? Well it would be a photo that would have to help me with my inner self ,,,

The Spirit Inside


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

I would change Explore , I cant stand making Front page with a photo i worked twelve hours on and on top of me on that page is a hamburger and below is
the content of somebodies pocket or a cheap pair of boobs

Thanks to Johny for sharing his wonderful shots and a few bits of his inner world with us.

www.flickr.com/photos/johnydaystudio/

Angela Lobefaro aka angie_real

05 October, 2007

Interview with my Flickr friend David (Bratan)



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

I was 13 years old when I get my first camera, a Miranda RE II. With a friend of mine, we had our own little laboratory to develop our black and white shots. We used to shoot a lot at this period. My second period in photography was when I was about 25 years old and began a collection of antics cameras. Here I discover the Leica camera and bought an M6. It was like a revelation with such fantastic camera and I shooted during about 3 years old yards in Paris (windows and doors especially).
Then, due to crazy busy life, I stopped photography. I came back to this old passion less than 2 years ago, when a friend of mine told me about flickr. I bought my first digital camera.

And yes, I am self taught.

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

I have 2 lens, a 18-200mm and a 10-20mm, but don't have preferences. In fact, it depends of what I want to shoot, or what effect I need...

3. What equipment and software do you use?

I have a Nikon D80, with 2 lenses, a 18-200mm Nikon and a 10-20mm Sigma. I also have a SB 800 Nikon flash.
I have also alays in my pocket a small Panasonic Lumix LX2.

Concerning softwares, I work especially with Photoshop.
For HDR, I work with Photomatix.
For creating backgrounds in my photo montages, I work with a 3D software, which name is VUE, version Esprit.

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

I think everything is important, but I like very much my small camera, even if I don't use it so often. But it is important for me to know that it is with me, in case of... :-)

5. How do you decide on locations and subjects?

I never know what I will shoot. It can can everything, because I need a lot of different subjects for my photomontages.

6. What are your favorite subjects to photograph?

I always had a preference for architecture.
I am also fan of night shots.

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

Difficult question, as I never feel inspirated. But I like the idea that I still try to create something new or different.

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

Nude; I am really interested by this art and hope to begin soon.

9. What other artists have influenced your work?

If you mean famous artists, nobody.
If you mean on flickr, a lot of people, because there is a such interesting and inspiring variety of works there.

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

What a difficult question! :-)
Concerning photography, I don't consider that I am talented. Maybe I have some imagination, but most of all, I have a big patience to learn and improve my skills, and I am very meticulous.

Concerning other talents, I have no idea...

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

Yes, I met some flickr friends, and it always was a very good experience, because we share the same passion.

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

Never be afraid to do. I am for the idea of learning by doing.
With the big possibilities of new technologies and softwares, you can experiment so much and find new own ways.
My advice : work a lot.

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

My preferred is a photo montage, "stairways to heaven", because it was the most simple creation I did and I was never able to do such thing a second time. I can precise that it was one of my first photo montage, without big knowledge of photoshop at this period.


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

I think flickr is a very good tool and I like it as it is.

These are the photos that David (Bratan) want to show us:

1) The Pyramid of the Louvre in Paris



2) Small is beautiful...;-)



3) Deep purple



Thanks to David for his kind and timely reply ;-) and for showing us his World
made of hilarious, terrific , eclectics, never banal visions and finally to be a good friend and a supportive Flickr member.

taken in March '07

www.flickr.com/photos/bratan/

04 October, 2007