Anton shares his journey as a photographer, the importance of imagining the how you would like the image to look like, and how he ended up with a ton (more than 15k) of favourite photos on Flickr.
Leigh Lim: Hi Anton! Thanks for taking the time to do a Q&A. In your photostream I noticed that your photos alternate between coloured and black & white. Do you find yourself shooting purely in Black and White for a time, then find that you want to go for colour?
Anton Zabermach: If we’re talking about my choice, it does depend on how I’m feeling that day. If it were up to someone else, I am okay with them going with colour or B&W.
LL: Can you give a quick summary in terms of how you got to where you are with Photography?
AZ: First, the encouragement and healthy criticism from loved ones, secondly, the wish to create something new and something that won’t be similar to other peoples work. Thirdly and then – technical boring stuff 🙂
You can perfectly master the technical part of the process and successfully apply knowledge into practice, but if you have no distinguishing vision in your mind – that won’t work.
LL: If you were to put together a ‘learning plan’ or practice pack for someone who has never consciously paid attention when taking photos before, so they could have the capacity to capture photographs at your level and skill. What would it look like?
AZ: There are tons of different learning plans and I won’t create anything new here. My advise is not to shoot thoughtlessly, you should try to imagine the final photograph in your mind, after all alterations have been done (software filters etc), you should think “will that photograph be interesting for anyone?” If so – you can capture that moment. If not – well, suggest why and try to change something to meet that goal.
LL: Favourite time of the day to photograph? Do you plan when you take photos?
AZ: I don’t usually think if it’s the best or worst time for the photoshoot. I probably won’t be shooting if it’s freezing outside, in all other circumstances – why not? You should know what you want, and then decide the time of day – whether it will be morning or evening, sunny weather or cloudy one and so on. My Nikon FE2 is always on hand and also a pair of lenses (24mm and 50mm or 50mm and 135mm or 35mm and 85mm) and a couple of film rolls of course.
LL: Are you learning something specific at the moment?
AZ: Of course! I learn from my own mistakes 🙂
LL: What’s your go-to set-up?
AZ: Well, actually I don’t have any specific set-ups either.
LL: Do you have a piece of equipment (or software) that you thought was a good buy at that time, but you eventually didn’t use it as much as you hoped?
AZ: I have been wanting to buy a medium format camera. Bronica, for example. I rarely use digital camera, but there are some situations when I can’t use anything else (i.e. commercial photoshoots which I do not post on my Flickr photostream).
As for useless stuff – I do not keep it, but actually I can’t remember anything I previously brought after awhile it dawned on me “why I had made that stupid purchase?”
LL: Have you been always mindful of ergonomics each time you shoot?
AZ: Actually before your question I didn’t even think of ergonomics and all that healthy stuff you are asking about 🙂
LL: Equipment Maintenance and Storage?
AZ: The main thing is not to drop your cameras or lenses, all other things are survivable.
LL: Do you keep prints of your photos?
AZ: I used to print my photographs the time I was just starting, now I don’t see any need for that – digital copies are enough. I have got an old photo enlarger but it needs to be repaired, so if I repair it someday probably I will be printing my photographs again.
LL: Do you find yourself browsing other photographers’ work quite often?
AZ: I always browse other photographers’ works if I have spare time. All photos which I tagged as favourites are just photos about which I liked the colour or composition, idea or realisation or something else or all that together. These 11000 favourited photos should not be considered as 11000 masterpieces, they are just photographs which caught my [eye].
LL: Do you have a regular schedule of uploading photos on Flickr?
AZ: I always have something to share. I post about 3-4 photos per day, but if I don’t have enough time for that, I don’t mind.
LL: Is there a topic that would get you talking endlessly?
AZ: Politics and stupid jokes 🙂
LL: Are you a big listener of music?
AZ: I listen to music a bit more often than an average listener and I don’t care if other people listen to the same artists. There are some bands, just to understand my taste: Led Zeppelin, Queen, Porcupine Tree, Morcheeba, The Jam, Infected Mushroom. The list is long, actually. Also I can listen to any album of Lunatic Soul for infinity. And I’ve got some friends who are musicians, I make photos for them from time to time.
LL: Where do you go for inspiration?
AZ: I look at my environment. I Feel inspired by the air, people, city, rain, sun and so on.
LL: What’s your view about social media?
AZ: I rarely interact on social media. Though I have profiles on Flickr, Twitter, and Facebook — I just view photos and read news.
LL: Do you currently post at any Forums?
AZ: I post to some groups on Facebook. Just found these groups, joined and started to post – that’s all.
LL: What would you do when you need cheering up?
AZ: I just walk around and enjoy the city
LL: Would you be open to collaborating with other artists?
AZ: It depends on the type of collaboration. If it seems interesting for me (even if it’s not profitable) – than yes, why not.
LL: Are you interested in technology?
AZ: Not really. I use open-source software, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. I use Darktable and GIMP for work with photos.
LL: If you were asked to pick from the photos you have, which ones would be your favourite?
AZ: They are all favourites and I have something to tell about each of them. I think I haven’t done my best shot yet.
LL: What do you find is the best way to connect with your audience?
AZ: I prefer live small-scale conversations.
* Anton Zabermach is a photographer. You can see more of his photos on Flickr.
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