Sunday, July 10, 2011

Feature Interview - 365 Days: Brian Oldham

My next interview is with the amazing Brian Oldham who is deep in the thick of his 365 Project.

Day ten

1. Fill me in on your background, where are you from and how did you get in to photography?

I was born and raised in Southern California, just outside of Los Angeles. I've always enjoyed creating art, but had never really thought about taking pictures until November of 2010 when I decided I wanted to try out photography!

Day twelve

2. What made you decide to start a 365?

I began my 365 project after I came across a link on facebook to Rosie Hardy's photostream; her pictures made me see photography as an art for the first time. I wondered if it was something I might like, and after looking through her and Alex Stoddards' 365's for days, I saw the improvements they made in their pictures as their projects progressed. I realized how good they had gotten after such a short time, and decided that I would start my own 365 in hopes of learning about photography and building up my skill as I went along.

keep it together
Day seventeen

3. What is your process when taking your 365 from getting ideas to editing?

I have a hard time trying to come up with ideas for a picture if I actively think about it, so when I'm hit with random inspiration I'm always sure to write down any ideas I get. When I find time to take the actual picture, I go out in my car full of props and awkwardly shoot myself in weird poses. A lot of the time I need someone to come with me to press the shutter, because it's all too often that I'm half-buried or covered in glue. After I'm satisfied with the original shot, I always make sure to take a background shot and any other pictures of the location I might need to do a square expansion. Then, I spend a painful 3-5 hours editing the picture.

The Weatherman [Explore]
Day twentyone

4. What are your tools of the trade?

Well, my camera is recently deceased, but most of my pictures were shot with a Rebel T1i and a 50mm 1.4

Day twentythree

5. Why do you think people are drawn to starting and following 365's?

I think that a lot of people see the challenges self-portraiture presents, and recognize the 365 as a pretty direct way to improve in their photography.

Day twentyeight

6. What is your least favorite 365 shot you've taken so far and why?

It's a picture that I've since deleted from flickr, but it was one of myself jumping in the air above a bunch of trees. It was so bad.

Day thirtyone

7. What is your favorite 365 shot you've taken so far and why?

Probably this one:

I'm not really even sure why I like it, but I was really happy with how it came out.

I actually enjoyed having all of the little stars on my face too... I even kept them glued on my face for like an hour. haha.

Day thirtyfive

8. What is your favorite 365 shot taken by another photographer?

Agh, this is so hard!!! I really don't know, probably something of Alex Stoddard's or Lissy Elle's

A Storm on the Horizon
Day fourtyone

9. What are some of your favorite things :)?

I could not live without my kindle, my pet dog, and apple juice (only the "Langers" brand).

Day fourtythree

10. What is your best tip to taking a striking photo?

Never give up! I absolutely hated my photo, "a diffusion of being", until I finished editing it. I almost gave up mid-shoot from being so uncomfortable with the petals glued all over my body, but even if you're not happy with how a picture comes out, just keep trying and you'll eventually get the outcome you're looking for.

a diffusion of being
Day seventyfour

11. Your 365 seem to incorporate your surroundings and the elements, is this a big part of your style?

I don't really think I have much of a style, but I really enjoy shooting in nature and trying to incorporate it into my pictures.

Day fourtyseven

12. What do you do when you feel like giving it all up?

Give myself a break. I don't want to push myself too far to the point where I don't even enjoy taking pictures anymore, so if I ever feel overwhelmed or like giving up my project, I take a day off when necessary.

at least i'm pretty
Day fourtyfour

13. Who's 365 has been the most inspiring to you?

Probably Alex Stoddard's or Lissy Elle's

For a Rainy Day
Day fiftytwo

14. What are some of your favorite films, books and musicians?

I really like the book "The Perks of Being Wallflower" and one of my favorite bands has always been The Postal Service.

blue skies ahead
Day fiftyfive

15. What has been your biggest achievement so far with your photography and 365?

I haven't achieved much with it, but I am so thankful for the features I've had and all of the crazy support I've gotten from the Flickr community.

throw it to the wind
Day fiftyeight

16. Do you think it’s hard to be original within the 365 project? How do you keep your ideas original and fresh?

Definitely, I really struggle with being original. I try not to look at other peoples' pictures for too long or I start to think of picture ideas just like theirs, so I try keep my obsessive viewings to a minimum.

Day sixty

17. Which 365 shot was the most difficult to capture?

This one for sure! I was almost swept off the top of the waterfall to my death too many times to count.

Day seventyfive

18. Do you often change a lot of the original photo in Photoshop?

The only time I really change anything is if it's a manipulated image, and even then I only take parts of other pictures from that days shoot (like butterflies I was holding up or flower petals I threw in the wind). I usually just focus on the curves/saturation/contrast etc.

a growth of small proportions
Day sixtyfour

19. Do you think you have an original style that is you own?

Nope. I feel like my pictures are all over the place and totally lack any similarity... oh well, maybe someday.

new perceptions
Day sixtyseven

20. What is your favorite time of year to take photos?

Even though everyone else hates it, I loved taking pictures in the winter months. Mind you, everyone else is probably freezing... but where I live, it's a jolly temperature and 90% of the time I have cloud cover!

Day sixtyeight

21. If you could photograph any person alive or dead who would it be and why?

Zoe Deschanel. I just love her.

Day seventytwo

22. Give us the skinny, what's the next big project you've got coming up?

I'm just trying to properly finish my 365, hah, I wish I had the time to plan other projects!

Day seventythree

23. Which actor would play you in the film of your life?

I like Joseph Gordon-Levitt, even though he doesn't resemble or act like me at all.

a waiting game
Day seventysix

24. What did you want to grow up to be when you were a kid?

When I was about 5 I really wanted to be a gardener. I always thought that they had the coolest job.

Day seventyseven

Questions asked by followers:

1. At what point in the project did taking a daily photograph become effortless?

I still find it excruciating! I'm not sure that "effortless" will ever be a part of my vocabulary as far as my 365 goes.

2. Has your own creativity improved by undertaking the project?

It's become a lot easier to throw together concepts at the last minute, and looking back on earlier images I feel like my ideas have become more sophisticated.

3. What do you do on days in which you suffer from creative blocks and lack of inspiration?

Usually I'll sit in my room and be upset with myself until I can pull myself together enough to go look for an inspiring prop.

4. If you could be any type of horse, what horse would you be?

This one:

5. How did the chicken cross the road?

It did not.

6. Would you prefer to be an ewok or a gun gun?

Ewok, 100%.

Day seventyeight

YAY!! Thank you Brian!!!

Brian is still in the early stages of is 365 so everyone who reads this can now follow his journey, don't say I never give you anything :)

See more of Brian's work on his Flickr

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