I suppose like anyone who is making a living in the arts, much of my time is spent doing the annoying but necessary administration and marketing stuff. Aside from that, I’m usually found sitting behind a screen with an Adobe product on it, most typically, Photoshop, Lightroom, After Effects or Premiere.
What inspired you most to become a Photographer? Why did you pursue this as a career?
I think with anything that someone has a passion for, it’s very difficult to actually define why. I suppose this is because it’s born out of emotion rather than logical reasoning. I love working with creative imagery, it’s the only work that makes me truly happy and that doesn’t actually feel like a chore.
What do you think is the biggest obstacle to pursuing a career in the creative fields?
I think that these days, to be successful in creative fields there are three things that you need. Most obviously, you need a creative spirit, but on top of that, you need a technical sort of mind to utilise the tools that are necessary for expressing that creativity and the business savvy to actually make a decent income. Without doubt, for me at least, the third of these things is my biggest obstacle.
With all the new versions of Photoshop and Lightroom what changes do you personally feel are the most exciting or brilliant?
I like the way that Adobe is recognizing a need to create algorithms that work out exactly what the artist is trying to achieve and do the donkey work for us to allow us to get on with the fun creative stuff – ‘content aware’ algorithms are probably the best example of these.
What Photographers & Photoshop artists do you follow, and why do they stand out from others in your opinion?
I try to be as self-inspired as possible, I like my inspiration to come from within. I like to play the guitar, but when I first started learning I spent ages listening to my favorite players and trying to learn from them, this turned me into a player who spits out musical clichés left, right and centre – a habit that I’m really struggling to shake off. So my approach with visual art is to try to avoid falling into the same trap, therefore, there’s not many photographers who I would say I actively follow. That said, I really appreciate artists who twist reality, people like Dali and Escher – of course, they never laid their hands on a copy of Photoshop but that doesn’t make their contributions any less valid.
What social networks do you like most? Which present good examples of Photoshop & Photography the best?
Without a doubt, Facebook – just ordinary people sharing their passion. The range of work we see on your PS and LR group is enormous and reliably demonstrates that you don’t have to be a household name to be an enormously gifted artists.
What is your prediction of the evolution of social networks? How do you think these networks will showcase artists and Photographers better in the future?
I am optimistic that social networks will help to give real talent the exposure and boost that it needs. When I lived in London some twenty years ago, it would annoy me that I would routinely hear outstanding musical talent busking on the underground only to then switch on the TV or radio and hear the monotonous drivel that the record labels, radio DJs and marketing agencies would spoon feed the masses. In recent years, I’ve seen signs that this might be changing with the likes of Youtube providing a platform where the people are increasingly having more of a say over what should become successful rather than the musical big-wigs making decisions based on who has the most marketable face or whatever. I’m hopeful that social media will eventually prove to have a similar effect upon all forms of art.
What predictions do you have for the future of Photoshop and Lightroom?
With Lightroom, I tend to use that largely as a catalogue system and it that regard, it perfectly suits my needs already. With Photoshop, I’d love to see more of the features I’ve used a lot in After Effects become available within Photoshop, things like 3D extrusion, the way in which you can add lights, manipulate camera angles and add reflection and shadow properties to objects that you create. Although After Effects is designed as an animation package, I’ve been known to use it in the creation of still images too simply because of the manipulation choices it provides. To have the ability to incorporate those elements with photographic images on the Photoshop platform would be a very exciting development in my opinion.