A brief interview with photographer Richard Diaz…
How do you feel about all the photography craze?
It makes everyone a “photographer” so to speak. Everyone having a camera in there hand makes every one a photographer but the picture doesn’t make them a photographer. You have to look at it from a journalist point of view, getting a picture on the spot is every photographers dream. Its more accessible, its not bad. People should consider it more of a hobby than professionalism, but it was bound to happen. It just forces professional photographers to be more creative, you have to evolve with the times because anyone can do your job, it may not all be good but its still an image. When photography went from film to digital everyone said it wasn’t real photography, I started with digital so now the people who are phone photographers are where I was when I started.
Photography has become a popular art because it seems very easy to make an amazing image with the new technology like instagram and filter apps out the ying yang but does it take away the zing in the photograph?
Its flooded, all the effects you can do with pics, Ive used the apps, I don’t necessarily like using the filters but its fun because you make great pictures on the go. Its the same thing when you run out with your DSLR and come home to light room you can tweak the pictures a little bit with playing with the colors, but I don’t like the pictures that are over produced on the phone because the filters are so saturated. Its like giving away your secrets. Its not to creative. Before the filters came out I remember trying to get these effects naturally or through photoshop. If a picture is awesome you’ll see that the picture is awesome, its going to tell a story. You have to look past the filter and just look at the picture.
What if your 90 year old grandfather got a more expensive camera than you would he produce better pictures than you?
HEll no! haha It doesn’t matter the camera at all, Its more about the composition of the picture rather the camera your using, a picture thats gonna grab you and pull you in. Your stealing a moment in time and you can do that with the cheapest camera or the most expensive camera.
Do you think people are taking advantage of photographers by offering them unpaid work and repaying them with “experience” and “training” and an “updated portfolio”?
Yea, they know that the market is so flooded for people claiming to be photographers, if your not going to do it someone else will. If you take amazing photos and you believe in your work than you shouldn’t give it away for free. If your just starting out and want some great pictures and want some experiences than sure its fine but if your experienced than what do you have to gain, you should profit off of your own photos since they’re probably gonna profit off of your photos.
If someone really likes and respects your work than they’ll composite you for that.
Even if digital photography makes it easier for the average joe to take high quality pictures there will still be people out there that understand and appreciate good photography that are willing to pay.
How can you tell the difference between amateur photography and professional photography?
You can see techniques or that they waited for a particular moment, your able to see that some thought went into the picture. You look through the view finder and your putting together the whole photo and seeing a whole story happening in that little box, rather it be certain line or people or a scenario, you wait for the symmetry before hitting the button. A pro is more patient and waiting for the right moment and you can see that in the picture.
Are their any jobs left right now for photographers?
Who knows maybe not, I don’t know. I’m sure there still are but you might have to create your own jobs, market your self and make your self different. Create a market for your photography, your style and then sell that.
Evolving or going away? Should photographers stay optimistic about their future?
Jobs are definitely going away. The weather channel and Chicago Sun Times have let all they’re photographer go. If your a journalist photographer then the jobs are scarce because theres always people on the scene with a camera, everything is always live. But I think if your doing it from more of a art stand point like portraits, landscapes, street photography..you create your own jobs. Doing it as a hobby or an artistic place you can market your self, but through a company good luck unless your working for advertisements, fashion, music photography etc. then thats where the jobs are. Freelance is the key.
For people that just took an interest in photography due to all of the readily available equipment and are truly passionate about the photography movement, what do you suggest to them before jumping into it and making it a career? any tips or suggestions? Job security?
I think if your going to go into it thinking your going to be making a crazy amount of money your going to be disappointed, you have to get super creative and study. Don’t go into it looking for job security go into it because you love it and wanna be creative. Be patient, as you find your style then you can make money, keep evolving and trying different things. Be different.
Who are some of your favorite photographers?
Chase Jarvis, Zack Arias
What inspires you?
People inspire me, street photography, people doing they’re every day things, people living their lives. You see the story of strangers and how every one is so tied together and more alike than they think, getting people to look at things from a different point of view, letting someone into their lives through a picture.
What makes you happiest and unhappiest about all of the new photography equipment/devices?
I love technology, gadgets, new software, seeing where things are going. The equipment is more affordable and things that were out of reach are more accessible now. Capturing real live events all over the world and your able to share really quickly, it opens peoples eyes, stuff that you weren’t able to see now you can, your more connected. Not just photos videos too, people are doing amazing things now because of all the cool video technology out there.
unhappy, you have people that have a lot of money and afford all this equipment and are not as creative and are not using them to their potential just because you have it doesn’t mean you know how to use it.
You know what I think about professional photography? Its like being a musician, you learn the trade because your passionate about it and if your lucky you get noticed and every one loves your work and wants more but if you never make it big you should always do it because love it. Its not like going to college and learning a trade and not finding a job, it is another form of being the typical starving artist. Do what you love but do not quit your day job unless photography becomes your day job, then go for it!
This is an amazing idea, old railway tracks turned into a green park. A quick brief history rundown, the railways were built between 1929 and 1934 as a solution to eliminating rail traffic along the city streets on Manhattan’s West Side by introducing a new elevated railway -now called the High Line- The railway gave efficient access to upper floor loading docks of warehouses, factories and storage facilities. Also once called the “Life line of New York” because it was carrying so many freight trains filled with dairy, fresh produce and meat. The last train rode the track in 1980.
After years of abandonment nature began to take its course filling the railways with grass and wildlife. Demolition talk was in the works until a non-profit group lead by Mayor Bloomberg and New York Citys council decided to turn it into a open pubic park.
The Sky Line is great for photographers as you get the wonderful natural beauty of some thing old and historic with a unique modern twist of the ever growing urban gardens here in NYC. I would suggest going during sunset or sunrise, the sun will reflect luminous light off of the surrounding buildings and give the Hudson a gorgeous glow. The park allows you to sit and reflect on the busy city that never sleeps without getting hit by a car. Theres places to sit and relax as well as food and drink vendors all up and down the board walk and did I mention theres some amazing street performers as well.
If you decide to go visit the futuristic well designed park it is located between West 30th and West 34th Streets to the South and North and 10th and 12th Avenues to the East and the West section,it extends one mile beyond the northern terminus of the park at West 30th Street.
There are several entrances and exits along the board walk, so skip the busy streets when getting around Chelsea and enjoy a more relaxing walk down 10th avenue by taking the High Line.
Enjoy my pictures!