by Editor Yvette Depaepe
aRRO's images all show what a creative mind he has. He doesn't have a specific style, likes to experiment with different types of photography but always tries the best combinations of lines, shapes and colours. He considers digital photography as the ultimate art by using photo editing tools to create mind-blowing illusions.
Let's take a ride in his fantasy world and discover more about the man behind his images.
Briefly tell us about yourself, your hobbies and other jobs.
To begin with, I would like to thank you Yvette and 1X for choosing me for this interview. My name is Arek (aRRO is my nickname), I am 33 years old, self-taught photographer based in Leeds UK for almost ten years. I love to travel and explore new places which gives me excellent inspiration for my passion for photography. My other hobbies are music, movies, snowboarding, football, classic cars.
How has your history and life experiences affected your photography?
I started with my interest in photography in late 2008, when I bought myself a Canon 550D with 18-55mm lens. From my first journey with DSLR, after one day I brought back home more than 300 JPEG’s with default settings. After one year my shutter actuation was more than 10K. For me it was a hard and long way to learn about photography. My main sources of knowledge was internet, books and my own experience. I switched to full frame 5DMKII in 2010, started to shooting in RAW and editing images step by step from tutorials and later on from my personal practice. Since this time I started to think about photographed frames, that's why my shutter button was not used as many times as before :)
Why are you so drawn by creatively edited and abstract photography?
It’s strongly depends on photograph, but I like combination of lines, shapes and most important is all about colours. I think nowadays digital photography is a form of art. Photographers are using photo editing tools to create a mind-blowing illusions.
Which are your most important experiences that has influenced your art?
Music, movies or even TV adverts could give me a great source of motivation. Huge boost of motivation is also travelling meeting new people places and cultures. The city where I currently live also create an opportunity to put my photography skills on next level. City of Leeds which has a wide range of architectural styles and notable buildings and skyscrapers.
How would you describe your style?
I love experimenting with different types of photography, I don’t have one specified style of my works. Strong graphical impact in abstract photography, or blurred chaotic visions of cities this is my way forward.
What is more important to you, the mood,/story behind in your images or the technical perfection?
I think it depends strongly on the photograph I am currently working on. Each photo is different. Abstract or architecture details for me has to be in technical perfection, that's why first of all I am working on composition, removing chromatic aberration, lens correction, correcting white balance and noise reduction.
However, in my gallery you can also find pictures where the most important thing for me is mood. In this case I am using combination of multi exposure technique, motion blur techniques to add chaotic view of the captured scene.
Do you prepare carefully the locations where you are intending to photograph?
When we are going out, me and my wife for a holiday, we are trying to prepare for a trip, where to go, what to visit. Usually we are spending most of a time exploring a city, rather then laying down on a beach.
What gear do you use (camera, lenses, bag)?
I am using a Canon5D MarkII, EF17-40mm f/4.0L USM (perfect wide-angle lens, great for POV shoots), EF85mm f/1.8 USM (portrait lens, excellent for an abstract photography), ND400 9-stop filter and finally at the end…no tripod, yes you are right, no tripod!, sometimes it’s a huge disadvantage but I’m using a “natural tripods” actually almost everything which keeps my camera without any movement for few seconds :)
What software do you use to process your images?
Camera RAW+CS, NIK Collection.
Can you tell us something more about your work flow?
I keep my all files on HDD all organised in separate catalogues, classified by year, date and name. Also I have a hundreds of textures and additional elements which I can use in creatively edited works. Backup on USB.
What is your most important advice to a beginner in creatively edited photography?
The main advise is knowledge about your DSLR in general. For architecture and abstract photography look for a good light and shadow play, always prepare your locations, use right lenses, shoot in RAW. Another important advise in creatively edited photography is knowledge of editing software. Sometimes my photos are made from a blank canvas, I have a vision in my head what I want to achieve adding elements to my project, mixing textures and blending layers step by step I am trying to achieve it. Obviously sometimes you can fail but the most important thing is knowledge. It’s good to be critical with you own work in order to make a progress.
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?
I treats photography as one of my hobbies, I still learning a lot, and i hope this will improve my skills in the future.
Describe your favourite photograph taken by you and why it is special to you?
One of my favourites is a picture made in London and edited using a multi-exposure technique. It is special for me, because it’s one of my first images published on 1X.
What do you think about 1X as a home base for your work?
In my opinion 1X is the best source of inspiration for me and wonderful community of high-talented photographers. 1X gives me motivation to improve my skills.