Casey 3 Photo

Urban Landscape/Photo Journalist/Fine Art Photographer

Monthly Archives: April 2011

MTPWSY: Leah Selk

  • Who are you?
    I am Leah Selk

    Are you schooled or self-taught?
    My dad attempted to teach me how to use his Pentax Spotmatic II in my pre-teen years, but that didn’t last long. I started off as self-taught in regards to darkroom by learning how to develop my poorly exposed negatives (like I said, Dad attempted, but wasn’t very successful) in the dusty Columneetza darkroom learning from whatever old material or books I could find there (the darkroom and equipment hadn’t been used since the 70’s per the dates on the chemicals). I’ve been schooled since then.

    When did you first pick up a camera and the moment you just knew?
    These were separate occasions. My father had attempted to teach me at an earlier age – I didn’t put the camera down, but I also didn’t take anything about it seriously. It wasn’t until I took a photo class as part of the Fine Arts program at Camosun College in Victoria that I started to realize what the camera was actually capable of and it sucked me in – enough so that I pretty much gave up the drawing and painting that took me to Camosun in the first place and entered the photography program at Concordia University in Montreal to complete my Bachelors.

    What type of photography do you specialize in and why?
    Fine Art photography, because the camera is a way for me to express myself as an artist. This usually comes through via self-portraits and staged scenes amongst natural landscapes, and anything to do with nostalgia. I also found that I was drawing from my photos, so decided to put more into creating the photo as the final product.

    Favorite lens?

     Mamiya RB 50mm. It’s so sexy. Holga lenses also rock, if you’re in to unpredictability.

    Who are your influences? And if you had one question to ask them, it would be ….. ?

    Influences would be Bob Preston (Camosun College photo tech), Raymonde April and Marisa Portolese (professors at Concordia University), a few peers (Sara A. Tremblay, Daniela Ansovini, Daniel Barney, Meera Margaret Singh, Celia Perrin Sidarous, Louis Perreault). Big Wigs: Cindy Sherman, Bill Brandt, Jeff Wall. Question: Can I take your picture in a uniquely individual staged setting?

    You ideal Gig? 

    I don’t do no stinkin’ gigs…

    If there is any advice, whether it be camera or business related, it would be ….

    Don’t give up on film.
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I’m Back? Re35.net — what’s the punchline here?

If you know me personally, you know I love to joke and I take jokes towards myself in stride. I have my friend John to thank for that. But this morning I was going through my Twitter news feed and caught something retweeted by a much respected celebrity photographer, that I just had to take a look. Re35.net is a website promoting a revolutionary product that uses ‘digital’ cartridges that can be used in 35mm cameras, thus transforming your analog camera into a digital one. I have to admit, it looked legit — based on everything I’ve been reading about in terms of photographic advancements, this had to be the real deal. After some Facebook conversing with a friend and fellow photographer who was skeptical about it, I decided to research this ‘Re35.net’ and within seconds I was taken to Photoblogger.com and my fears were realized. It turns out a German Ad Agency have been running this ad for a little while now. So haha, the jokes on us. But wait? Is it even funny? I love jokes as much as the next person, but how can this be funny? It appears they went through great lengths to create a prototype of the cartridge, external and internal, create a website, a domain and everything else. But to pull the rug out from under us and say “It was all a joke!!” is where they lose me. I mean, it’s not like they said they found a cure for AID’s, but I’m just wondering what the punchline is?

Craig Cardiff at the Limelight Theater

MTPWSY: Kate McLaren

Who are you?

Kate McLaren

Schooled or self-taught?

I learned retouching in school and that definitely helped me make up for what I lacked in technical skills and equipment. I’ve gradually bridged that gap by some assisting but mostly it’s amazing what you can teach yourself online. There are so many great resources out there.

When did you first pick up a camera and the moment you just knew?

It’s been a long process. My dad writes books on archival marine photography, so growing up, I’d always been exposed to a lot of really interesting imagery and had a strong appreciation for great pictures instilled in me. Although he’s a fairly burly sea captain, he’s been known to steal my Vogue Magazines from time to time! I honestly didn’t do too much in high school aside from a few run of the mill angsty teen goth shoots in Ross Bay Cemetery. After high school, I attended Emily Carr and went on to graduate from Capilano University’s design and illustration program with a view to becoming a graphic designer. I’d started taking photos at Cap mainly so I could hone my retouching skills, but it wasn’t till after graduation when my dad bought me my first DSLR that I really decided it was something I couldn’t live without.

What type of photography do you specialize in and why?

I specialize in portraiture and fashion. My mother is a phenomenal portrait artist and I think that is where I got my fascination with portraying people. She has this amazing way of getting to know her each of her subjects and capturing their personalities on canvas and if you’re good, you can do the same thing on film. While I appreciate architectural and nature photography when it is well executed, I personally feel that nothing is more interesting and beautiful than the human form. I’ve always been a fashion junkie and the theatrics/fantasy of it all has always intrigued me – it’s all about building an illusion and I love that. I’ve also become a bit of a drag queen specialist -not something I really planned on, but I happen to know a lot of fabulous queens personally and no one has better make up or more glamourous wardrobes.

Favorite lens and why?

Equipment comes second to my interest in the subject. I’ve never really liked talking about it although I recently upgraded and love, love, love my new baby.

Who are your influences? And if you had one question to ask them, it would be ….. ?

My influences vary greatly, ranging from Hedi Slimane’s stark black + whites to David LaChapelle’s saturated grotesque fantasy creations and even to a lot of the amazing emerging talent on flickr is incredibly inspiring. I would probably ask LaChapelle what Amanda Lepore is like on set.

Ideal gig would be ….

Shooting Amanda Lepore….for Italian Vogue

If there is any advice, whether it be camera or business related, it would be ….

The only way to grow as a photographer, or as anything else for that matter, is to jump in the deep end – to put yourself in uncomfortable situations and force yourself to rise to the occasion.

    To see more of Kate’s work, visit www.kate-mclaren.com