As part of our long running 365ers series, this week we have an interview with Jaydee, a long time member of the site who's unique surreal photos have amazed me since the day he started.
Tell us a bit about yourself...
You have been a member for quite some time now - what made you decide to take on the 365 project? And what kept you going after you completed your first year?A known friend from Facebook joined 365, was keen and consistent on his projects... My curiosity got me and so I asked him what it is and what it does. He pointed out that rather than writing /posting a blog, I pick or create a picture (a day) that I think would best project a story. It interests me, and so I challenge myself. Thought I had nothing to lose, so I gave it try, and it was fun!Initially, I thought I just have to finish my 1-year project. That was my goal - to me that is already an accomplishment. But saying goodbye was the hardest part, after putting my heart so much into it...I decided to continue or stay.Posting is like expressing your day-to-day life in a very "dramatic way". That's my two cents.
Did you have much photography experience before you started? I took Fine Arts Major in Advertising in college and photography was one of the courses integrated to it. Back then all I had was a classic digital camera; I knew the basic fundamentals of settings, exposures, lightings etc. Then the DSLR was introduced. Everything to it - the change to photographic technology, I must say, was overwhelming - however I pursued to learn. I got my first DSLR canon 450D in 2007 followed by macro lens few years after.
How did the project expand your knowledge, or teach you new things?It expanded my knowledge and enthusiasm in PHOTOSHOP in a big way. The hunger to learn more and participate in the challenge was the turning point in my photography journey. I think being “IN” the project and having constant followers or contacts (i.e. photography friends) has helped one's venture as you get to share, at the same time, pick ideas and learn from the threads where everyone contributes for inspiration.In regards to how will I expand my knowledge? I partly depend on online tutorials. They are reliable and readily available.
What kind of camera did you use when you started, what do you use now and would you recommend them?I started with Olympus digital camera, then had my very first DSLR canon 450D. Eventually I upgraded my lens to Canon 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM. I'm planning to get a wider lens but will stick to Canon. I'm a solid Canon user. My iPhone 4s is also quite useful. With its amazing apps, it is possible to take beautiful photo close to quality of digital camera or DSLR.
And post production? - what would you recommend?The magic of Photoshop combined with patience - the result, EVERYTHING!Don't be afraid to play around. The colour, contrast, saturation etc. of an image are a very personal thing. It all depends on the effect you want to achieve. Many of your images have an ethereal quality about them - is this the style of photography you enjoy producing the most?I love photography and anything to do with photography. I'm fascinated by incredible and surreal images and creating mesmerizing effects for viewers that would make them believe that they are from a different world or fantasy.
What do you feel you got out of the project? - confidence, skills, enthusiasm etc.I've learned a lot from this project. I get to perfect my skills in Photoshop; I gained more friends; but most of all, I learn to challenge myself even further and never stop expressing myself through images.Through 365 Project, I gained myself publicity with the quality of images and took inspiration from my followers who appreciate my work all throughout.
And, according to your followers what were your most popular shots?This shot http://365project.org/gavincci/365/2011-07-08 was by far my most popular one; It Was nominated in the top 20's , had 712 viewers, 91 comments, and 52 favourites. I had fun doing it. I can describe it as unexpected, unplanned not well-thought, but proud to say it came out outstanding and unique to viewers.
Do you have any advice for budding 365ers?My advice: Don't compare yourself to everyone else. Your style will define itself if you stay true to yourself and shoot what you love.Also, practice makes better... I mean “GOOD” practice makes better!!! So learn your camera and do not rush. There is nothing worse than practicing the wrong things for hours at end!!! And most of all HAVE FUN!!
And finally... What next? What do you think you will be doing in 5 years time?Hmmm I don't know... As long as there are brilliant subjects to take. There are vast ideas out there - they never run out - and I will always be there with my (RECCA) camera, ready to capture the moments. Motivation is what got me started into this and if that shaped into a habit, then I'll keep going.