365ers is a series of interviews with members from our fantastic community. The interviews were kindly carried out by Loni.
Steve has been a long time member of the site and is well known in the discussion boards for voicing his opinion and organising the awesome 365 London meetup. Thanks for doing the interview Steve!
Tell us a little about yourself.
I'm 29, equal parts massive nerd & huge petrolhead/gearhead, and like nothing more than captioning intricately setup photographs with controversial, grammatically-obtuse plays on words. Or play on words. Plays on word? I never know how those work. Anyway: yes. I like writing up interesting captions nearly as much as taking photos, and I live for the comment-banter that often happens on my shots. Fun fact: I think the internet should be a borderless sovereign entity. I'm not even joking (for once).
Apparently you enjoyed working on your project enough to keep going after you've finished a year. What's motivating you to keep going?
Well I'm only doing it as-and-when, so it's not taking that much motivation! That said, I'm sticking around mostly for the community; 365project.org is generally a nice place to hang out. Secondly, I still love getting inspiration for a shot, and then chasing after it (which it's now nice to be able to do when I feel like it, rather than be pressured by the "365" part of the core "project").
Do you have any formal training in photography?
None at all, unless reading about the "rules" of composition on various websites counts. The idea of going on some form of course is tempting, but not anything I've given any serious thought to as yet.
What camera(s) do you shoot with?
These days I'm almost exclusively using my Canon 550D, which I upgraded to from an old 450D after I decided I was really enjoying this old photography lark. I used my phone camera several times in the early days, but try and stick to the SLR as much as I can, because I enjoy RAW-tinkering in Lightroom probably as much as setting up and taking shots themselves.
What type of photography do you enjoy most?
Coming into this back at the start of 2010 I would've answered "macro stuff", but over the course of the year I've liked most the technical challenges of things I've tried to create. So, technical tinkering to get shots, and then writing them up on my blog. Oh, and toying with perspective. I reckon if I was good at it I'd love street photography more, but I'm not, so there we go. Maybe I just need to get out more?
Is there anything crazy you've done to get the photo you wanted?
Well there was strapping my 450D to the headrest in my car with CAT-5 cable, burning my finger was a bit daft, cutting faces out of citrus fruits probably counts as crazy, clambering over my sofa with a torch and colour caps was retarded, getting into and out of this many different clothes too, waving a torch around in a dark car park, leaving my car running with me stood several yards in front of it... none of them are particularly crazy though, like hanging off the side of a cliff or anything.
Do you remember the first photo you ever took? What was it?
No idea! I can just about remember the camera before my 450D (a Canon PoS and my first digital one), but not the cheap junk film one I had before, and certainly not anything I took with them. Sorry! The first time in memory that I tried using a camera "properly" was on a European road trip three summers back (bought my 450D specifically for the trip), if that's more interesting :)
Is there a photographer out there, pro or otherwise, that has influenced your photography?
Other than people on 365 whom I'll mention in Q10, nope. Couldn't even name any real world photographers!
What's your favourite photo from your project and why?
I narrowed it down to a shortlist of seven, but I don't think anyone will want to read seven different stories so I'll go with this for a few reasons. First there's nice geometrical properties going on. Then it was a nice technical setup I came up with to create the shot. Thirdly it just looks well nice. Fourth it got a pretty good reaction (for the small number of followers I had at the time) :)
Who do you like to follow on the 365Project?
There's a lot of people I follow for a lot of reasons, a few being: @artistmichelle for how rapidly she's become awesome, @louish for his amazing setups, @sarethephotos for some of the hella creative stuff she pulls off, @katiegc24 for the fun of the photos and wordsmith captions, @icywarm in general, @vaguelyartistic for his unique project, @azza_l for the light paintings, @indiannie_jones for calling me princess, @vikdaddy for being awesome, @rebcastillo77 @misschuff @taidster @amz87 @itszaiii and the many others I greatly look forward to comment conversations from and with. There's literally lots.
Is there a website you'd like to plug?
I occasionally post stuff up on my blog at http://25tolife.net but it's not something I put much effort into.
Would you like to comment on the "Alleged Teddy Bear" thing?
Hehe, the name change, yeah. Ahem... In the wake of the January 2011 London Meet a photo surfaced in which @rebcastillo77 observed me to have the likeness of "a teddy bear". Several other people agreed, so I decided I needed to react to these terrible accusations by adding the legend "this is not a teddy bear" to my profile photo, then changing my name too, just for good measure and/or amusement. How long the name'll stick around for I don't yet know...