Thursday, November 10, 2011

[Un]Discovers: Alexander James

Underwater photography, that is the area I have never explored and would love to get into it when I have spare time. In the mean time, I have recently discovered this talented photographer named Alexander James and he has created some amazing still life underwater series. Today, it is my honoured to bring you into his underwater world.

Hello Alexander, I am very glad that you can be the feature artist of the week on this blog. Would you mind to tell me what made you want to become a photographer? Were you under any formal training before your started this career path?
No formal training whatsoever, find yourself a technical wall and throw yourself at it - thats how I learnt.

Self taught is probably the best way to learn a skill and I think your works have reflected that. How will you describe your photography style? Is there a particular element that sets you apart from other photographers?
My personal works are always presented ‘as-shot’ without cropping or post production either traditional or digital; now I think that might set me apart a little these days. i love transparency film and its organic ability to concentrate only on what you choose, its a great way to distil elements out of a scene - now you are starting to get the name of the studio - Distil Ennui....

Ah now I know where your studio name came from. This is a cool concept. When I look at your portfolio, I notice you do shoot different kinds of subjects (people, still life objects, landscape etc..), which one do you think is the most challenging to shoot?
I love all areas, and it is usually directed by what is turning me on right now. i am always looking to shoot what you haven't seen before - otherwise what's the point - I am a photographer not a photocopier. plus if the series bombs it takes away the budget for the next art series; so its an important choice each and every time.

You are right, the photos you have shot are something I have never seen before. I know water is one of the main elements for some of your new works. What makes you want to use this natural element for your works? Is there a particular meaning behind it?
Exploring these themes through the introduction of water; for it acts as both nurturer and destroyer, it has the power to cleanse and reinvent, or to drown and disappear. Believing that drawing on water’s transient and destructive nature exposes the fragility of life, and the temporary nature of our existence.

I really like the concept behind it and I am hoping to see more master pieces from you shooting underwater in the future. Out of all the photos you have shot so far, if you could pick only 1 image to represent you as a photographer, which one would you choose? Why?
if I HAD to choose I would say Caligo Eurilochus, Untitled 4489. it took me three days to create this angelic image - things were very different from one side of the lens to the other on this shot - sheer magic.

That is definitely a very nice image and your hard work does pay off! Finally, if you could use another natural element (except water) to create a brand new series, what element and subject would you use? Why?
I want to work next with fire, but I think my neighbors are getting nervous....

Now it's time to know him on a more personal level.

Black or Green?

Rose or Sunflower?

Japan or UK?

Bagel or Baguette?

Spring or Fall?

Cat or Dog?

Coffee or Tea?

Water or Fire?

PC or Mac?

Digital or Film Photography?

Thank you so much to Alexander for answering some of my questions. I am looking forward to see more of his underwater works in the future. In the mean time, if you want to see more of his works, you can take visit his personal website. All photos are courtesy of Alexander James.

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