“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” -Ansel Adams

Monday, August 1, 2011

August '11 Featured Photographer

July '11 Photographer: Corinne Schwarz      Flickr Screen Name: corinne.schwarz
Age: 33Flickr Member Since: June 2007

The Corinne.Schwarz interview...
Eyes of Gold by corinne.schwarz
Eyes of Gold, a photo by corinne.schwarz on Flickr.
1: How would you describe your skill level in photography?
A: I know "always learning" isn't technically a skill level, but that's what I'm going to answer with. Every time I get to the point where I feel that I'm on top of everything, I find myself learning about something else. I'm constantly being made aware of new ways to do things and think about things.
2: In the last 6 months what aspect of your art do you feel has improved the greatest?
A:  In the last 6 months I started using Adobe Lightroom instead of Photoshop, started focusing on keeping my ISO down, and started shooting RAW. Those three things have made a world of difference. (all of these were done per the suggestion of people in the SEMIDP group)
3: Have you attended schooling/training for photography or are you self taught?
A: One day I found myself without work. I had a friend who worked in a photo lab, and he got me a job developing film. After a month or two of that, I weaseled my way into a small studio inside of Target, as a manager #based on previous retail management experience#. I did much better at the photography part of that job, so I asked to be put into one of the large portrait studios as a photographer. I quit that job to work as a photographers assistant for a local lady, because I figured I'd learn more about how to use a camera, but it was horrible. I spent my time driving her son around town #soccer practice, band, etc#... After she fired me by telling me she hated me, I got the out of her studio and I got out of photography, all together.
So, basically, I've learned the details of film processing. I've learned studio lighting, posing, and portraiture. I've learned how to be very quiet and not disturb a bratty photographer. I never learned about f. stops and shutter speeds through any of this. All the studio work was so structured #cameras had fixed focal lengths and locks on them to keep them set at f16#, that all you had to do was know how to pose and focus.
Sparkling in the Sun by corinne.schwarz
Sparkling in the Sun, a photo by corinne.schwarz on Flickr.
4: When did your hobby/career in photography start?
A: I started loving photography when I was a kid. I remember watching my dad use his camera, turn the dials and adjust the tripod, and thinking that he was the most amazing person on earth. Photography, for me, is full of contrasts; it is both the tough engineer and the enlightened lover.
5: Who or what influenced you to become a photographer
A: My dad and my love of the moment.
6: Do you believe in the expression “A picture is worth 1,000 words?"
A: Yes, I do believe it to be true. When you look at a picture, you get to exactly see the moment. You have every detail before you. Could 1,000 words leave you with that same level of understanding?
7: Do you have a favorite photograph?
A: Afghan Girl by Steve McCurry.
8: Do you have a favorite photographer
A: I have a lot on Flickr... Ansonredford, Mjo, Ipsy, yyellowbird, andrew evans., mskimmaree, vincent ribbers.
9: Do you think that society would be different if photography was never invented?
A: Maybe not a lot. Information would be harder to convey accurately. I mean, look how hard it is for them to do it WITH photography!... but I digress.
10: Do you think that a person must possess talent to capture emotion and expression in a picture?
A: Yes. Or considerable luck.
Church of God by corinne.schwarz
Church of God, a photo by corinne.schwarz on Flickr.
11: Do you have a special style in your photographs that can single you out like strokes in a painting?
A: Well, I have always wondered this... and a few times over the past few months people have told me that they always recognize my pictures, and how I have a "style". Well, let me say- that is the BEST COMPLIMENT one can give.
12: What makes a good photographer in your opinion?
A: Someone who can see beneath the top layer of life. Observant.
13: What do you enjoy most photographing?
A: I love photographing people. I love catching them at their best moment and being able to show their beauty. However, I hate how "aware" people are of a camera, and I stress myself out by trying to be inconspicuous.

14: In your opinion, what makes photography an art?
A: Not everyone can "see" like a photographer. They see light, texture, shapes. Not everyone can arrange these elements into something that invokes emotions in others.
15: What motivates you to do what you do?
A: Getting better.
Work Flag by corinne.schwarz
Work Flag, a photo by corinne.schwarz on Flickr.
16: What weak points, if any, do you feel you poses in photography?
A: I'm too shy with people, and it limits me. I'd love to do more portraits, but I feel intrusive. When I did it professionally, it didn't feel like this. Because that was my job and this is my art.
17: What do you shoot with?
A: Just got a Canon XS to replace my 10D. The 10D was 8 years old, and less than 7 megapixels, so it was time to go. I can't say that the XS is significantly better, though.
18: Favorite lens?
A: I like my Sigma 18-50 F/3.5-5.6. Mainly because I do a lot of landscapes, but it's also cool because I can get more in the frame.
19: Do you prefer color photographs or black and white?
A: Color, typically.
20: What do you feel influences your photography?
A: The weather and the light.
21: What are your thoughts on Flickr’s explore?
A: I think it's nice to get on Explore because it opens you up for more views, which is always cool. I don't think it says much about the photograph, though. It just means you got the right hits from the right people who said the right kinds of things in the comments section.
22: Have you had any photographs achieve explore status?
A: Yes, My first Explore, I didn't even realize it had been explored until probably a year after the fact.
tiny toes by corinne.schwarz
tiny toes, a photo by corinne.schwarz on Flickr.
Center of the Universe by corinne.schwarz
And third:
Long Cloud by corinne.schwarz
Long Cloud, a photo by corinne.schwarz on Flickr.
23: Why do you feel these photos made Explore over your other photos?
A: I really have no idea why these particular photographs made it to Explore. I like them all, particularly the mountains and moon shot, but there are other pictures that I've uploaded that got largely ignored, so... it's beyond me. I know there's a algorithym for how pictures make it on Explore, but I'll be damned if I can figure out to how manipulate it in my favor!
24: Do you feel that your photos achieving Explore has done anything for your art?
A: No.

25: Coke or Pepsi?
I don't drink much pop, it burns my mouth! (whatever, its true. Stupid carbonation.)
26: Have you always lived in Michigan?
A: Yes, I have. I've travelled a lot (Egypt twice, Rome, Mexico, all over the US, including Hawaii), but that was before I really had this photography stuff figured out, so I don't have many great pictures from it.
27: Do you feel that Michigan offers anything special to photography?
A: The seasons, obviously. There is constant change when you look around outside. By the time I was tired of snow/ice/white photographs, it started to get green, etc...
Centered Tree by corinne.schwarz
Centered Tree, a photo by corinne.schwarz on Flickr.
A note from the interviewer:
<> <>
I hope you've enjoyed the interview with Southeast Michigan Digital Photography photographer Corinne Schwarz. Make sure you take in the full sampling of Corinne's work by viewing her photo stream on Flickr.
Special thanks to Corinne for all she does and brings to the Southeast Michigan Digital Photography group.
corinne.schwarz - View my most interesting photos on Flickriver

Be sure to check back for news regarding the Southeast Michigan Digital Photography Group and their monthly featured photographers.