“To make an interesting photograph you have to focus on not capturing things that don’t help the image”
Reason behind taking up Photography
I think originally, I picked up a camera because I liked it as an object. It is lovely and mechanical. Lenses really are things of beauty.
I would say that with my ‘littlefolk’ images, my style is really about trying to look differently at things, to show a new perspective on things you have seen before. Overall, no matter what I am photographing one of the first thing in my mind when framing or editing is excluding everything that isn’t necessary to make the visual point of the photograph. Unlike in painting or 3d rendering where you have to consciously put every element in a scene, the default in photography will have everything already there, so to make an interesting photograph you have to focus on not capturing things that don’t help the image. Shallow depth of field and environmental effects like fog are two easy ways of simplifying things but a lot is done in composition too.
Hard to choose just one, but this photo has a pretty good story. It wasn’t so bad for me, but my sister had it pretty bad. We were exploring this area of woods we had not been to before, and came across an abandoned building. I am not sure what it was, but there were these gigantic furnaces in there, and the photo was taken inside one of them. It wasn’t so bad for me, there was enough space to crawl around and almost stand up, but I had the idea of a photo with hands coming through the grate in the floor. Turns out that grate went down into the ash dump, which was a much smaller space than the oven itself. Anyway, not sure why but Aliza agreed to go in there for the photo. That was a pretty crazy photo experience.
My usual kit is going to be my Sony a7s with Nikkor AIS 50mm f1.4, Samyang 85mm f1.4, Voigtlander 15mm f4.5 and possibly my Lensbaby as well. This all miraculously fits in a tiny bag about 12in by 5in by 5in. Last thing is going to by my tripod, which is a MeFoto roadtrip.
I am inspired by a lot of photographers, many of which I can count as friends. Ben Zank, Joel Robison, Lizzy Gadd, Lauren Withrow, Jimmy Chin to name a few. As for motivation, well creation really is its own reward. There is nothing better than completing something you are proud of.
Keeping yourself updated
I follow lots of photographers, and I read some photography blogs. I don’t know that I really do keep up to date with the photography community though.
Future career goals
No idea. really. I love photography, but I don’t really know if I can make a career out of it. I also really like video and scientific applications of imaging. We shall see.
Advice for aspiring photographers
The most important thing for photographers is to remember to start a project with a deadline. Do a 365 days project (one photo everyday for a year) or something like it, just the act of having to take so many photos will improve your skillset dramatically.
To see more of Zev’s work, click here