Andris Apshenieks: Photographer of the week
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by Yvette Depaepe
Dear Andris, please tell us briefly about yourself, your hobbies and other jobs.
I love to show the beauty of the human body. Some people find my photographs were very technical. It may be true as my daily routine / work is related with system analysis, business rules and project management. I can apply those skills in my photo projects too.
What first attracted you to photography?
Example of how I paint with light, aiming to paint wings:
If the photo shoot happens on a natural location, I will check out the weather conditions and on which moment the sun will appear at its best. I always inspect how the location looks like and what can be done with the background.
For example, into underwater photo shoot:
As for a photo shoot with animals, we must understand each other very quickly as the scene is changing very fast.
Another essential thing is 'talking' to each other. It will save you from possible misunderstandings.
When the shutter died after few years, I bought a second-hand Nikon D200.
I like to work with prime lenses as I love to shoot during the golden hour or when there is very little light. My favourite lens for the studio is an 85mm lens, but outdoors my favourite is the 135mm lens. With those two lenses I can create the majority of my works. As I love interesting bokeh and sun flares, I also have a collection of some manual lenses.
This image was created with my 6 years old camera:
I’m post processing all my images in Adobe Photoshop. The basic adjustments like exposure, contrast, colour temperature, are done in Camera RAW. Final part is done in Photoshop, like colour adjustments, film grain, textures, black and white and sometimes some filters. I don't use any pre-set packs and Lightroom.
This work has been chosen as winner for a competition and was published in a calendar. Later on it was rewarded in photo contests and exhibitions.
Another image from my early light painting period with a story behind is
The model from this image – Julia Zu - noticed my work on the internet wanted to pose for me as to make her first steps into her model career. Unfortunately, she was only 17 and I never take pictures of under aged models. After a long conversation, I told her that when she reached the age of 18, we would have the photo shoot if she was still interested. After our first photo shoot, she gained a lot of confidence and started posing for more photographers. Nowadays, she is an international travelling model.
Some models who initially refused my offer to pose but reviewed my works later on, understand my aim for creative art. I'm always happy with long term collaborations.
This image is from a night photo shoot in the summer of 2018.
I would love to meet 1x member Aurimas Valevičius from Lithuania in person as he is great master.
Speaking about some very special persons, I have a huge admiration for the painter Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell. They are working with amazing models and put them in world of fantasies. Most Inspiring to me because I'm working on series with models and deer or other animals.
Are there any specific directions that you would like to take your photography in the future or any specific goals that you wish to achieve?
What is your most important advice to a beginner in Fine Nude Art Photography and how do you get started?
Get inspiration by checking the work of other photographers, by paintings and sculptures. Internet provides us an incredible amount of information. Watch movies, listen to music, read books. You never know what will inspire you and might give you some ideas.
Don’t focus on expensive gear. Once you will understand why you can’t make some pictures with your existing gear, you will know what gear you need. Remember that the colour of your camera strap doesn't make you create better photographs ;-)
Henri Cartier Bresson ever said: “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst”. Well, in the age of digital cameras we should say “Your first 100,000 photographs will be the worst'.
The journey of a Fine Art Photographer is not easy as a lot of people might treat you as being weird and you will definitely will meet prejudiced people but it is such an exciting journey. May the light be with you!
Some more works below – I hope you will like them.
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