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Name: Mark Olwick
Location: Seattle (USA)
Website: Mark Olwick Photography
1. How would you describe your photographic style?
My goals are twofold: 1. To create photos that capture the emotion and essence of a scene. 2. I want people to look at my photos and know that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to duplicate. I hate boring photos that anyone could take.
2. What inspires you in your work?
While I love looking at the great art created by other photographers that I admire, my inspiration comes from an inside drive to create. There’s not a day goes by that I don’t think about photography and art. It’s a need rather than a hobby. Looking at painters like Vermeer and trying to figure out how they captured light insipires me tremendously.
3. Where is or would be your dream photography location/shoot?
Where is or would be your dream photography location/shoot? This is a tough one as I absolutely love to travel and have many places on my “bucket list”. I just returned from Africa where I used my Holga camera for both landscapes and wildlife photography, something that isn’t done much at all. I’d love to continue to push the boundaries of the type of photography that can be done with a Holga camera. You can see my Africa Holga gallery on my website (Mark Olwick Photography).
4. How long have you been using a Holga camera?
More than 10 years.
5. What do you like about using a Holga camera?
I like that there are virtually no controls other than focus. It allows me to be totally in the moment creatively, and that sets it above any electronic marvel. The dream like quality of the images is wonderful, plus I can get great sunflares from the plastic lens.
6. What films do you prefer using and why?
My favorite film is Fuji Neopan 120 400, but they recently discontinued it. I’m currently experimenting with replacements. My other favorite film is Efke IR 820 Aura for infrared. Stunning film that gives ink-black skies and a great glow from the infrared bright areas.
7. What are your thoughts on the way Photography is progressing? (HDR, digital, web)
Honestly, I don’t really care about gear in the sense that many people do. Sometimes brand loyalty turns into an almost religious fervor, which is ridiculous. Cameras are just tools and all that matters is the final print (not a web page). If I’m going for a particular look that can only be done with a Canon 5D Mark II with a 17mm tilt/shift lens, then that’s what I’ll use. If it’s a Hasselblad, then I’ll use that. For the majority of my work, the Holga camera is what comes closest to the vision of the final shot in my head, so that’s what I use. I think too many people spend way too much time pixel peeping on DP Review or browsing B&H catalogs and not enough time out shooting. That’s the most worrisome thing.
8. What kind of work/projects do you have lined up for the next 12 months?
Continue to travel and use the Holga camera in unconventional situations. I”ll be one of the featured photographers in a 3 month show of my Holga work at the Oasis Gallery in Seattle starting in April 2011. I have a few different series in work, plus some ideas for books in the future – nothing I can share yet though.
9. Do you have any tips for aspiring photographers?
Study art, not just photographers, then just shoot all the time. Analyze photos or paintings you admire and try to figure out how they did it. Study light. Shoot some more. Forget about what everyone else thinks about your work – as long as you’re happy with what you’re shooting the right audience will find you.
We’d like to thank Mark Olwick for taking time to share his thoughts on Photography and Holga’s with HolgaDirect and wish him all the success in his future work!
***AS A SPECIAL PRIZE *** – Mark is very kind to offer his Fantastic Fine Art Holga print, ‘Epiphany’ (seen in this article) which is valued at USD 500 to be given away as a Prize for one lucky reader! Once this interview article has been tweeted about 50 times we will choose a random person from those 50. So don’t forget to click the Tweet button next to the top of this page.
The HolgaDirect Team
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