Friday, April 1, 2011

Artist Interview: Chris Lowery

What is your name: Chris Lowery

Do you have a formal art education or are you a self taught artist:
I have a masters in film production from AFI, The American Film Institute, but my emphasis was producing so I didn't really get any time in behind the camera during school.  AFI really helped me to concentrate on storytelling no matter what the subject might be so that has definitely carried over into my photography.  My technical knowledge of shooting has all come from trial and error. 

What is the style of your pieces: I am really inspired by the ocean and surf travel so those elements are definitely reoccurring themes in a lot of my work.  For my book 365 Surf Days,, I tried to convey all the different aspects of what it is like to be an average surfer on a daily basis so almost all of those images are based on realty or real life experiences.  I also love to shoot candids as well as beautiful landscapes.  I try to not mess with my images too much in photoshop so I definitely try to shoot with that in mind.

What is the medium in which you work: Still photography.  I typically shoot digital when I am capturing action stuff but still like to mix it up with film every once in while.  My go to camera is a Canon 7D because it allows me to switch back and forth between stills and video very quickly while being fairly light weight.  I keep a Canon G10 in my truck at all times and have gotten so many great spur of the moment shots with it.  Digital is great for shooting from the water because it allows you to stay out so much longer as well as allowing you to experiment in so many different ways with immediate feedback.  Before digital everybody had to swim back into the beach after 36 shots to change film, not an easy process at a lot of spots.  The swim out to one of my favorite surf breaks to shoot typically takes about 20 minutes depending on the current, I can't imagine doing that 5 times in a row for a handful of decent shots.  I also have a variety of other cameras in different formats that I love to use depending on the location and subject.  I recently took a road trip from East Texas back out to my home in San Diego and shot with a plastic Holga medium format film camera I converted to shoot 35mm.

What started you on your path as an artist:  Traveling to some amazing places and hoping to be able to share those experiences.

What is one of the most important things that art has brought to your life: Helping to understand different peoples perspectives.

What is your favorite genre of art besides the one you work in: Motion Picture because it truly is a collaborative art that combines so many elements, sight, sound and story.

Do you have art showings, and if so what are they typically like:  Fun and not too surf and beach art.

Do you have a certain set of clothes you make art in:
A wetsuit and in the middle of Winter a really, really good wetsuit.  Neck deep in 50 degree water in January can be a little discouraging.

What has been the most frustrating part of being an artist?
Trying to figure out how to make a little money doing it.

What is your favorite sandwich of all time: Favorite sandwich, hmm?  I think I'll go for a good fish taco instead.

Has this year brought about any changes in your work, and if so what are they: The only changes I have experienced this year have been adding and working with new/better equipment.  Camera gear can get outrageously expensive so it has been a really long process building up a solid package.  I am definitely planning on experimenting more with my printing process and trying some new techniques with it.

Who is your favorite artist alive or dead:
Bob Marley for all his positive, inspirational words and music.

What is the most moving piece of artwork that you have seen in person: The Grand Canyon

Do you have any animals, and what do they think of your work:
No animals but I am hoping to adopt a rescue pup very soon.

Do you have any upcoming exhibitions you would like to share with us: I am hoping to do a couple more local exhibitions for 365 Surf Days here in San Diego at some smaller local venues.  I am still selling a collection of all my shots from last year in my book 365 Surf Days that can be previewed and purchased through the publishers site  I am also doing an ongoing extension of my photo blog that can be found on Facebook under the artist name Swell Shot, check it out!

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