Monday, 19 July 2010

Derek O'Donnell

Derek O'Donnell
Toronto, Canada
work in progress: website

On a first glance, portraits dominate on your flickr. Do you have a special interest in them?

Portraiture is most definitely my main interest. It's not special really, photographing people is just what I end up doing most of the time.

Most of the persons in those portraits seem to be friends of yours. Do you ever catch yourself directing them to act in a specific way for a photo?

I rarely give direction when I shoot. I mostly just let them do what they want and I fire away.

The advantages and disadvantages of black/white photography?

Advantages to black and white are you don't have to worry about color balance stuff, skin usually looks fine straight off the neg or immediately after converting the image. At least I usually find I am happy with how it looks. I find black and white can sometimes save an image as well, something that may not have been that great in color takes on a totally different feel when it's black and white. Disadvantages might be that the film can be expensive to purchase and process. Also sometimes when I have BW film in my camera I find myself wishing that I could be shooting in color half way through a 36 exposure roll.

Are there any "ingredients" with which a photo will most probably turn out well?

I think that depends on who is going to be viewing the image. Ingredients might exist if you know your audience and what they like to see.

Which camera(s) do you use predominantly? Which for which purposes?

I use a few cameras. A Canon 40D, Canon EOS Elan 7E (which might be my favorite), a Canon rebel XT, A film Canon Rebel, and most recently I picked up a Canon 5D. Some of my photos have also been shot on other peoples cameras. The film bodies are what I carry with me most of the time, my "walk arounds". I have this intense fear of my expensive gear being stolen, so its all usually at home and hidden. The digitals are used for shoots where I'm using lights, have set up a session with someone, or there is a goal in mind when I go out shooting. Now that my older digital bodies have depreciated maybe I'll start taking them out...maybe.

You also have various commercial photos on your website. Do you enjoy this field of photography or is it more of economic interest?

I really enjoy commercial photography. Especially when I shoot products. It is a nice change from shooting people. You have a lot of time to really perfect things. Shooting commercially is something I love as well as the best job I have ever had.

Is there any job you would accept at once and without any hesitations?

Shooting anything involving motorcycles.

Does the economic site of a photographers profession ever spoil one's artistic enthusiasm? If so, how can one overcome this?

Yes, it totally does. Sometimes when I shoot personal stuff digitally I end up shooting as if I was being paid. I find myself worrying more about the histogram rather than if I am actually happy with what I'm getting. When I shoot film I art out a bit more. I don't have that constant worry about the image living up to professional standards. I'm just concerned that the photo will look cool and make me happy. I'm not sure I answered that correctly but something in there might make sense.

How much truth would you say is in a photograph?

This depends on the photographer and the photo. Every photo I shoot digitally gets retouched. So in that sense the photo is a lie. People can also be misrepresented by a photograph. Doing something they wouldn't normally do, or looking a certain way they might not normally look. And then they are trapped like that forever.

One branch of photography you would like to experiment in more in future?

Interior architecture. It's totally insane.

Be sure to take a look at his work! Mark that his website represents a work in progress, and also entails different traits of Derek's work, such as commercial photography.

1 comment:

Marinaa said...

megustan las fotos :)