What if you asked the Flickrverse the same five questions? And, what if the last question invited the interviewee to suggest the subject of the next interview? Well, you’d end up with a string of pearls, previously undiscovered wonders of the deep (at least by the majority of us).
It only seemed right to kick off this new FlickrBlog feature by interviewing a favourite of Team Flickr: lomokev (aka Kevin Meredith).
Kevin’s a remarkable photographer with a keen eye and a raucous sense of humour. He’s also got an instructional photography book coming out next month (Hot Shots: How to Refresh Your Photos) in the UK that will also be published here in the US by Chronicle Books next year.
So, without any further ado, 5 Questions for Kevin Meredith:
1. We know it’s a tough question, but if you had to pick just one camera to shoot with from now until the end of time, what would that be?
Kevin: No offense, but considering my Flickr name that’s a bit of a silly question! I would of course have to pick the LOMO LC-A, because you don’t have to think about what you doing, all you have to do is hold the shutter button until the exposure is finished. Another big plus with the LC-A is that it is still very user-friendly no matter how intoxicated you get! Choosing the LC-A means a lot because I do actually own lots of other cameras including a Canon EOS 5D which might surprise some people.
2. A (possibly) tough question… Tell us your favourite photos on Flickr, and why you like them. First, favourites from your photostream?
Kevin: Tricky… There have been quite a few faves of mine in the last 4 years. I keep a set of about 210 photos that are my faves. These differ massively from my most viewed/faved/commented photos — even when you take away the ones with naughty tags. If I’m forced to pick one and it’s not going to be “London Cycling“, it would be “maybe, maybe not” for 3 reasons: All the people in the shot are close friends, Sue was pregnant when this shot was taken and swam all though her pregnancy, and now Nick (in the middle) takes his son swimming twice a week. It’s also a happy accident. I was trying to get the 3 of them looking out to sea, but as I took the shot, Sue turned away in fear of the mighty sea and her husband put a reassuring arm on her hip. Also — and this was not intentional, nor was it photoshopped heavily — it looks a little like a film set somehow, because of the light and film (Agfa Ultra), the sky has a matte look. When I picked it up from the lab, I was just like, wow!
And from other Flickr members?
Kevin: I think I looked though at least 100 pages of my faves to come up with these two. Again, very hard. My first choice is not a photo but a video from Clive Andrews and it sums up what video on Flickr is meant to be. As a still image, it would work really well, but as any Brighton resident can tell you, there’s nothing like watching the starlings at dusk above the old pier. Also, it was shot at sunset, so it’s going to be an instant winner with a lot of people. ;-)
Second choice is BombDog’s “switch stance” which is a bit of a Flickr dinosaur and a classic. I do believe it was used as one of the images in the first set of Flickr front page images. (Is the current set the third round?) I think there are a lot of new Flickr members that would never have seen this shot, so it’s worth digging it up so new eyes can gaze upon its glory.
3. What’s one tip that you would share with someone who’s just picking up a camera?
Kevin: One of things I notice newbies doing is checking the screen every time they take a shot to see if it’s any good, then reshooting to try and improve on what they have done. This isn’t the way I learned to shoot, so I’ve turned off the function that shows your picture after shooting it.
Just take pictures! Go out and shoot 72 photos (that’s the equivalent of 2 rolls of 35mm film). Take a picture and move on. Only review the photos when you get home, on the bigger screen of your computer. You might see nice little details that you wouldn’t notice on your tiny LCD screen.
I think people have become used to the instant gratification of digital, but need to
get away from that so they can get on with the business of taking photos. It’s important to try not to get hung up if things don’t appear to be working quite right — you might be pleasantly surprised.
It’s a bit like when Luke turned off his targeting computer as he flew along the Death Star’s trench. You’ve just got to trust in the Force! Either that, or get blown up in a blaze of glory!
4. When we interview peeps for employment here at Team Flickr, we always ask: “Kittens, babies, sunsets or flowers? Pick one.”
Kevin: You asked me that back in 2006 when you interviewed me for Blink of an Eye. You’re not going to trick me into giving a direct answer! Here’s my question for you: is the baby firing the kitten out of a cannon into the sun? If yes, then all of them. If not, none of the above.
5. Which Flickr member should we ask these 5 questions of next?
Kevin: sgoralnick! If there’s anything going down in New York, chances are Steph will be there and have the photos to prove it. Unless of course, she is away, which is highly likely because she seems to spend half her life on holiday, shooting at all hours. You need to check out her shots of Iceland — they’re incredible. Also, she’s doing great things with Flickr vidoe and she just went to Burning Man and got some wild shots. I’m very jealous.
Heather: Thank you, Kevin. I was hoping to illustrate the fourth question, but alas, the Flickrverse is short on babies firing kittens out of a cannons into the sun. Please stay tuned for the next installment of 5 Questions when we interview sgoralnick.