If you’ve been following my blog for long enough or at least on social media you will have noticed how much I appreciate street art. There’s just something about it that has always fascinated me, something that started years ago when I still lived in Lisbon. It’s not like I’m an expert, but I know when something catches my eye or appeals to my sensibilities.
Street art, old buildings, markets and people. Brick Lane, Spitalfields, Hoxton. That is all.
I’m inaugurating a new feature – “Ask a…” anything you like. This time we are asking photographers about what some perceive as an annoying question. The idea is to ask pertinent questions and have someone with a particular occupation answer as honestly as they can. If it’s controversial, even better. We all need a bit of controversy every now and then, no? If you have any pertinent question you’d like to see answered by anyone, drop me a line in the comments, I’ll get it answered for you!
Do you hate it when people ask you for camera recommendations?
Yes. Mostly because they don’t tell you what they want to use it for. Or, they say “which camera will let me take the best pictures?” Or you see people running around with digital SLR’s all set on auto. What a waste of money.
What annoys me is the assumption behind that question. Because there are still a lot of people out there thinking that it’s the camera that makes the photo. As for the question itself, there are hundreds of new cameras coming out every year and I’m no gear geek, so it’s usually hard for me to answer to such a question.
It doesn’t annoy me, at all, when people are interested in photography or have a problem to solve. We can talk it over and I can give them my two cents. It doesn’t bother me when they’re just trying to be pleasant and make conversation. I now get that. It does annoy me when “What camera should I get?” is immediately followed up by comments like “What’s the point? it will be obsolete in six months.” Or “But don’t real photographers use film, anyway?” (So why did you ask?) Or, “It’s the photographer not the camera.” (Indeed) Or they begin to regurgitate reviews and test reports. (IOTW, they have a camera porn habit.) I tend to agree with everything they say, it’s less work. One day, if I’m in a lousy mood, I’ll ask to see some photos.
Jesse Dart is a fellow travel enthusiast and a keen photographer. He is originally from the US but he currently lives in London with his wife. In the meantime, he as travelled and lived and several different countries and always takes his camera along the way. As soon as I saw his photos I knew I had to do a little feature on the blog and share his beautiful images with my blogger friends. I was drawn mainly to the beautiful texture on the landscape and architecture photos, that can only be achieved by shooting film. Thank you Jesse for sharing your adventures with us and agreeing to this interview!
What has been the favourite place you’ve ever been to?
A hard question to answer for sure, but probably most recently the Istrian Peninsula of Croatia which is really one of the most relaxed and completly Mediterranean places I’ve been to. Apart from there, Tasmania is so remote, so peaceful and tranquil and has some of the most beautiful and empty beaches I’ve ever seen. Not to mention amazing seafood and wine.
What is your dream destination that you would like to photograph?
I’ve been dreaming about Bali for awhile, and Southeast Asia. I’m fascinated by the colors, the contrasts, the light. I think it’s a part of the world that is still exotic and mystical.
Why do you prefer film over digital?
I learned on film from the very beginning, and after a brief stint into digital, I decided to go back to the beginning. What I like about film, apart from the obvious texture you get, the grain and resolution is the fact that it is still mysterious. Even if you’re the best photographer in the world when you shoot on film, you still don’t know exactly what each image will look like. Digital has taken this away from us and in the process a piece of the artistic aspect, I feel. For me, film is the medium that I connect with, that I feel not only represents who I am, but where I believe I can capture the image, feeling and emotion that I want.
I see you have a variety of themes on your portfolio, what’s your favourite subject?
I think of myself in someways as a reportage type of photographer, and try to focus on those types of subjects. I also like portraits, but in an informal setting, not in a studio. Travel also takes up a lot of my portfolio, and I’m constantly inspired by meeting and seeing new people, cultures and locations. I’ve tried my hand a a few different subjects like food, but I’ve found that I keep coming back to people, travel and architecture.
If you could pick a favourite place in London, what would it be?
I used to work near to the Leighton House Museum and in the summer months they have an amazing garden behind the house which is open and free to enter. I used to eat lunch there, and it was quiet, peaceful and usually empty. Full of huge trees, flowers, herbs and plants it is one of the best places in central London for a respite from the crowds, noise and urban landscape. Apart from that, I really like that London has so much green space, I’m constantly drawn to the parks all over town.
You can find more of Jesse Dart’s work here.