Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Andrew Vanover - Photographer & Filmmaker

Hello everyone, after last week we met Alexander Mijares, a painter from Miami, FL, this time we will present to you, for the first time on our blog, the profile of one photographer and filmmaker based out of Raleigh, North Carolina, Andrew Vanover. Now he works internationally with different organizations through love for the sake of love. Andrew is an active figure, as he said, "you will rarely ever find me sitting still". Some would diagnose it as a.d.d. but he likes to think of it as "I like to 'do' and 'be' rather than 'see'", maybe this is what caused him to become interested in taking photos of moving objects. 
 We had the opportunity to interview Andrew a few days ago. Here is our conversation, along with some of his photographs.

Name                    : Andrew Vanover
City/Country      : Raleigh, NC     
Email                     : av@andrewvanover.com 
Website               :  www.andrewvanover.com         
Twitter                 : @andrewvanover
Facebook            : Andrew | Vanover Photography

Interview with Andrew...
-       What is your current state of mind before we continue with the interview?
I am currently relaxed on my studio sofa, I am excited to be filling out a friendly interview.

-       Did you go to school to study photography?
No, I was originally an engineer but found myself skipping classes to take pictures or using photoshop during lectures. I later switched to a communication in media major just to get a piece of paper with my name on it and a fancy stamp.

-       How long have you been a photographer?
I have been a professional photographer for 2 years now, but before that I was taking pictures with anything that had a shutter in it. 

-       Describe your style of photography. What do you consider a successful image?
The style of photography directly based off of my elaborate imagination and dreams. The images I enjoy creating the most are composites focusing on a subject or scene that relates directly to something in my memories or experiences. The ‘simple’ answer would be: commercial photography composites with a realistic appeal to a dream driven environment. 

"Winter Dreams"

-       What is your favorite subject to photograph?
I enjoy shooting subjects that “do.” It dosen’t matter what they do, climb or sell cars, it just matters that there is an action behind the idea. 

 "Track Star"

-       What is your favorite place in the world to photograph?
My favorite place in the world to photograph is one that I have never been to. In my book there really is no getting lost, just exploring and with that comes taking pictures.

-       Can you tell us the true basis of your inspiration?
My inspiration comes from the people that I have met and the experiences with them that turn into memories that later become dreams from which I wake up from with an idea for a new image or series.

-       What equipment do you use (please include bodies, lenses, flashes, tripod, head)?
I use and love:
Body                          : 5d mark ii (battery grip)
Glass                         : 50mm 1.4, 35mm 1.4 L, 24mm 1.4 L
Strobes/lighting   : Paul C Buff. Einstein, Alien Bees B800s, Canon 580ex ii, Large   Ring-light
Soft Boxes            : Large Photek Octabanks, Paul Buff Octaboxes, anything that    diffuses light
Tripod                       : Manfrotto
Computers              : 27” iMac, 15” MBP
Software                  : Photoshop CS5.5, Capture One, LR4

-       What is your favorite lens and why?
My favorite lens is the 35mm 1.4L because with a full frame body it is close enough to a wide angle without a large amount of warping distortion.

-       What are your favorite photography gadgets/accessories (please be specific, perhaps even providing a link to the product or products)?
Honestly I don’t use a ton of gadgets or accessories because I like to keep the game simple and sweet, that’s also another reason why I only use prime lenses.

-       What is your position on post-processing? How far will you go in editing an image (cloning, selective adjustments, adding canvas, etc.)?
I think post-processing is an amazing tool as long has it is used realistically and effectively. I am in no way the best photoshopist out there but I do continue to learn new ways to make my images appear to be real and lively. I will go as far as it takes, as long as it keeps the image in the realm of believably realistic. 


-       Are you a Mac or PC lover?
I am a Mac lover.

-       Please describe your digital workflow, including the software you use and any third-party plug-ins?
I import my images from my camera to an external firewire hardrive which is organized in terms of projects and dates. I then pull those images into Capture One or Lightroom 4 depending on the project and organize and flag them in accordance to preferences which sometimes just means a portion of the image that I like for any number of reasons. I begin by throwing together a rough draft in photoshop to give myself a feel for what I am trying to achieve which is usually already in my head or on paper. After that I start to craft the final image with the background and build the image up to my subject using nondestructive editing methods such as smart objects and masks. I don’t really use any plug-ins just ones to allow photoshop to work with bigger file sizes efficiently.

-       How important is Photoshop in your final images?
Photoshop is my bread and butter.

-       Do you have any special post-processing tips you’d like to share?
Organize your junk using grouping and proper titles it will just make everything go a lot smoother especially if you are working with a team of individuals and retouchers. 

 "The Weather man"

-       What photographers (past and present) inspire you in your own photography?
There are many amazing photographers that I admire but if I had to steal from all of them this is what I would take: Dave Hill’s imaginative compositing skills, Chris Crimson’s realistic detail and color, Joey L’s lighting and rapping, Steven Taylor’s reputation and hair, Nick Radford’s swag with words, and Chase Jarvis’ connections. 

-       How important is an awesome website for your business?
Vital, your website is probably going to be your first impression on your target market. A slow loading or sloppy blog could be the end of your audiences’ attention span.

-       If not a photographer, I would have liked to be a scientist studying the great volcanos around the world. What would you have been?
I would have been Batman, but I heard Bruce Wayne already stole that position so I settled for Commercial Photographer.

-       Is there anything you would have done differently during your photographic career?
I would always have loved more time with my subjects to get to know them more on a friendship level. 

 "Children Heroes"

-       This is your space. Are there any trends or tendencies in photography today on which you care to comment?
I would just hope to encourage others to use their imagination and motivation rather than presets and stolen ideas to create what represents what they feel and see in their lives.

-       One more, if someone said ‘how can I be the next Andrew Vanover Photography’ What would you say?
Don’t be me, be you, so that I can be your friend. 

 "Catch me if you can"

At the end of our interview with Andrew, he excitedly told us that he will have one project in the near future. But unfortunately with our limited capacity of time and space, we will let you know about his interesting projects in the next post. But do not worry, we'll continue to update all information about Andrew's work just for you. So stay tuned! 

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