ISSUE #1 INTERVIEW
how long have you been DOING photography FOR? What was it that first sparked your interest?
JW: I first started making photos about 25 years ago. In school we had a class that included black and white photography. Shooting photos was fun, developing film is ok, but the magic, the thing that got me hooked was watching a photo print appear from white paper when you put it in the chemistry in a dark room.
Have you always shot film since? Or do you use digital as well?
JW: I shoot mostly digital now because I’m impatient and I enjoy pushing files in post processing. I still shoot film but not as often. I’m interested in shooting more medium format in the future.
You mentioned about your black and white photography class, yet your photos have such vibrant colours IN THEM - What was it that made you interested in using these strong colours?
JW: I think I have a natural inclination to vivid colours. I try so hard to make subtle photos, but It always ends up saturated and bold. I’m not really sure why I’m this way. It might be the same reason we all like flowers and sunsets. The colours draw our attention compared to the grey of everything else.
What camera / lens do you use? Do you take any other equipment with you when you shoot?
JW: I shoot most of my photos with a Fuji XT3. For most of my daytime photos I really like the 23mm f2. Almost all of my night-time photos are shot with the 15-55 2.8 and a tripod. I have been experimenting with diffusion filters recently and use that sometimes as well.
Have any photographers informed your ideas / styling? What elements of their work inspired you the most?
JW: I try to be inspired by mediums other than photography. I’m sure I soak up lots of little bits from endlessly scrolling on Instagram, but I feel like I end up being unoriginal when I’m looking at other peoples photographs too much. I like to be inspired by the feeling in photographs but not the content.
I’m very inspired by the paintings and drawings of Edward Hopper. The sense of three dimensional space and light that he creates is something I try to achieve with my photos.
I also am inspired by the sculptures of Donald Judd. Similar to the three dimensionality of Hopper’s work, Judd’s use of space and negative space is inspiring. If I can convey the volume of the negative space in my photos like this I would be very happy.
How have you kept your creative energy up throughout lockdown?
JW: I think the pandemic has actually helped me make better photos. I normally shoot by myself, and I prefer scenes without anyone in them. With almost nothing else to do with my free time, I’ve been able to go out and shoot as often as I want. It’s been much easier to focus on making photos because there really isn’t anything else to do.
What’s next for you? Any plans for your work in the future?
JW: I think my goals for my photography are two fold:
I want to make sure to keep experimenting and trying new things. Making sure I’m not stuck making the same kind of images because they have worked well in the past.
The second thing I want to do is to pick a couple of ideas or concepts that I’m enjoying and really fully explore them and create a more cohesive collection of work around those ideas. I think working towards a small gallery show or photo book will be a good goal to keep in mind with that work.