Photography has many forms, snapshooter, image taker and photographer. Choose yours and develop it. If you need help, just Ask me anything :).

JhanSiraj
Mar 12, 2018

Photography is an art form, split into technical and artistic. One without the other cannot work. I have been a photographer for over 30 years and have worked in many genres and locations. I am an Avante-Garde photographer mainly concentrating on people, but commercially this has to be a compromise. Photography starts at its base learning and never ends, its learning for life. Just when you think you know everything, you realise you know nothing. With the right guidence and a shield from the commercial hijacking of the art, you can explore and experience your inner sight, bringing it to life through your toolbox of light capturing equipment, planning and passion.

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www.jhansiraj.com

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What is one mythical place or fictional person you would like to photograph and why?
Mar 19, 11:26AM EDT0
What intrigues you most about being behind the camera rather than in front of it?
Mar 18, 4:23PM EDT0
How much research do you do as a photographer before shooting a theme and what type of effect does this research have on both the photographer and the photograph?
Mar 15, 6:54PM EDT0

Hi, research is important. The location, the clothes, the theme, and also the originality of the image are all important. I check for the location first, and look to match it with the image in my head. This is not always possible but sometimes it works out better. Or sometimes I already have the location and an image has built up around it over time. But the clothing research is very important. Pence all this is done the model is next. Sometimes I already know who I will use but sometimes you have to shelve the idea until the right person comes along. I always check similar images to be sure my mind has not subconsciously copied it air based my image too much on it. Then, it is shoot time. The weather is checked and a prayer for it to be correct :). So research is very important.

thank you.

Mar 16, 3:10AM EDT0

What are the businesses outside of your studio photography business? Workshops, Strategy Avenue. What was the motivation behind these?

Mar 14, 10:15AM EDT0

Hi, at the moment we don’t do workshops but we will be starting for the summer. There is no other businesses outside the studio and services. 

Thank you

Mar 14, 10:54AM EDT0
How do you feel about the transition from film to digital?
Mar 14, 8:50AM EDT0

Hi, film photography is superb, it is like vynal records, it has an edge. But digital is now very cool, as long as you keep within the realms of photography and not visual or digital art. There is a fine line. Photography is recording light, so unless that has been recorded then adding is not photography. Manipulation has been around since the beginning of photography so this does not bother me, it is normal. Everything I do in the digital darkroom I can do in a normal traditional darkroom, and if I cannot I do not do it. So for me I have no problem, it is just another tool for the job, but always remember the job is photography and not cheap tricks to get a fix of attention. Effects are cheap and tacky, good composition, construction, subject and most important, light, is what matters and that is the art and lasting quality of an image. 

thankyou.

Mar 14, 10:00AM EDT0
What are some of the biggest lessons you have learned along the way?
Mar 13, 3:26PM EDT0

Hi, there are many lessons you

learn on the road. Probably there are three that stand out more than others.

1, light is by far the most important thing in photography. The rest is all about your taste and not what you are told to like and want.

2, there are many many many people who are so insecure they lie to themselves. I always try to be honest not only with others but very much with myself. Self criticism makes you better whilst dillusion just takes you backward and bitter. Be brave, be a warrior, never be a coward. The greatest cowards are those who cannot be honest with themselves.

3, always go with your eye. Don’t try to be someone else, be yourself. It is what makes art. Appreciate others, borrow from others, but always make it your own in your own way. You are different, if you have to try them you are ignoring your nature. Just go with it. If the audience do not like it, then it is simply the wrong audience. Find your audience and feed them your imagination.

thank you

thank you.

Mar 13, 4:55PM EDT0
What's your photographic style? How did you develop your style?
Mar 13, 9:21AM EDT0

Hi, style is something that develops, you just let it happen. When you try to have a style it tends to be plasticy. So, you just go with the flow and see where it takes you. Your style is difficult for you to judge, this is something that is generally determined by the viewer.

Thank you.

Mar 13, 11:46AM EDT0
What is your best business tip for established photographers?
Mar 13, 9:21AM EDT0

Hi, business tip for established photographers?. If you are established business will come.

Mar 13, 11:44AM EDT0
What is the difference between a snap shooter and an image taker?
Mar 12, 4:07PM EDT0

Hi, ok.

a snapshooter has no particular training or concept of exposure and composition, basically points and shoots. This is a great form and some people are very good at it. 

A picture taker basicaly copies what is  in front of them without using an interpretation created in their imagination. This can be anything from landscapes to people to objects etc. They record what is there with technical ability and using rules. This is another great form and again some people know this and use this ability to create some wonderful renditions. 

A photographer creates the image. They plan and create a view from what is there based on how they interpret this in their mind. When they see a person, for instance, they see them differently to real life and then bring this to life. They understand light, technical and artistic concepts but follow no rules. It is what it is when they first see it.

Knowing where you are with this helps you excel at it, trying to be one of the others when your not just creates confusion and mundane images that are kind of neither here nor there. 

For some reason people want to be the latter, a photographer. But this is an organic process. If you have it you have it and if you don’t you don’t. It is nothing to show off about if you do, as this is something that is naturally given not worked for. So all are as valid as the other and all very cool when done properly without confusion of identity.

so,

a snapshooter has no technical or artistic ability. But they love shooting that moment.

a picture taker has technical ability, but lacks artistic ability. But they take care to capture a great image of what is there. 

a photographer has technical and artistic ability. They like to create, which is very cool. However, having this does not always mean they choose wisely. Sometimes it is easy to add artistic input when a straight image would ah e worked better. So they are susceptible to overthinking. With this under control they create original images of what is there taken from their minds eye and imagination.

hope this explains it in a concise way. Read ‘Reality Check photography’ on I Books for a clearer understanding. Author, Alicia Tonelero.

thank you.

Last edited @ Mar 12, 6:25PM EDT.
Mar 12, 5:27PM EDT0
What motivates you to continue taking pictures economically, politically, intellectually or emotionally?
Mar 12, 3:47PM EDT0

Hi, quite simply a natural drive. It is not for any other reason. I love it, I love bringing my minds eye into reality and working with people. Nothing more.

thank you.

Mar 12, 5:15PM EDT0
Of all the locations you have worked in, which one is your favourite?
Mar 12, 2:00PM EDT0

Oh goodness. There are so many with so many possibilities. If I had to choose one I would say Northern Bohemia, Czech Republic. It is just awesome there and the seasons change reliably so you can really plan ahead. I really like that area.

Thank you.

Last edited @ Mar 12, 2:41PM EDT.
Mar 12, 2:16PM EDT1
What do you think about photo editors like photoshop? What role do they play in photography?
Mar 12, 1:14PM EDT0

Hi, photo editor programs are just the new darkrooms. The only issue with them is when they are trying to automate image production with silly effects. But actually, everything I do with software I could do in a darkroom. So for me it is nothing out of the ordinary. I don’t mind them. Like cameras though they try to supplement sales by automating and giving users who want to bs their way through things to have a platform to do so temporarily. I really don’t see this as a good thing at all. It is like splashing paint on a canvas and having a machine paint a picture for you and then you taking credit for it. Or, more relivant, a singer who cannot sing and processes their voice via software, so they can say they sing. It is not helping, just confusing viewers and customers. For me it is tricking / duping people. I don’t like this. There is enough talent in the world to provide quality, so this mentality is just wrong. It also entices people who would spend their time better in another genre to pause on one which will not fulfil their talents in other areas. Sometimes you cannot be what you want to be but you can be what your meant to be. Art is not only for creation it is for the enjoyment of viewing. These tricks are marketing things that tend to be counterproductive.

So yes software is necessary for digital, but I really don’t like commercialism hijacking them and taking advantage. When people want attention and then get it by using automation that falsely makes them look good, they tend to stay and enjoy it. But it is false and not healthy, because they begin to believe it. Then they are confronted or the effects get boring and then they are lost. A little like a drug, getting high, then having to come down to reality. In the middle they have lost time finding what they really are talented at and really truly interested in. Time is the most important thing in a humans life, but this means nothing to money that corporations prioritise. 

thank you.

Last edited @ Mar 12, 1:50PM EDT.
Mar 12, 1:42PM EDT0
In your free time, what kind of pictures do you like to shoot and which ones do you avoid?
Mar 12, 12:37PM EDT0

Hi, this is a tough question. I used to take landscapes and macro, but since working professionally I tend to avoid using my camera outside of this. This is not because of boredom but to avoid burnout. In free time I don’t worry about taking images I instead allow my energy and enthusiasm to recharge, so when I get back to the camera i am refreshed mentally and my imagination is full of ideas. It is difficult to stop, but I have to stay fresh.  This also helps to avoid repetitiveness. I do have a camera with me 24/7, so if something special came along I would be ready. Spontaneity can be amazing, but you have to wait and be sure it is worth it. This you know immediately, but getting out of the habit of shooting for the sake of shooting takes time. Having one great image is far better than having hundreds of mundane images. Having said this, my free time is spent reading, learning and looking at other photographic work. This is enjoyable and refills the mind. I live photography, photographs and photographing, so it works well for me :).

thank you.

Last edited @ Mar 12, 12:48PM EDT.
Mar 12, 12:44PM EDT0
Is setting image area as DX on a FX camera the same as using a DX len on a FX camera?
Mar 12, 12:01PM EDT0

Hi, I believe these are Nikon terms. And, yes the same would apply. Other manufacturers do this too, and on my camera setting my full from to cropped takes it to aps sized frame, effectively changing the length of my lens too. I would think it is the same with Nikon, but to be sure I would google it and ask the Nikon community of users or just have a look at your manual.

thank you.

Mar 12, 12:37PM EDT0
Do you use social media to promote your work?
Mar 12, 9:08AM EDT0

Hi Ivana, i think social media is one of those things where you have to use it but does not really help so much. It is so saturated. But, it does give a good platform to show you are active and the new work you are doing, rather than being stale. So, yes certainly. It is very time consuming, but this is part of the workflow now.

Thank you.

Mar 12, 9:27AM EDT0
What is the message you would like to impart with your photographs, and how do you get your photographs to fulfil that aim?
Mar 12, 7:53AM EDT0

Hi, there are many messages, but mainly, be yourself and do not be afraid to be yourself and show your vision. Be honest with yourself and this way you will become unique. No matter who likes or dislikes your work, you have the satisfaction of knowing that it was you. This deos not mean you cannot borrow and be influenced, it just means you dont have to please everyone all the time.

Planning based on knowledge and self criticism is the only way to fullfil and image in your mind. 

Thank you.

Mar 12, 8:48AM EDT0
What do you think is the difference between a professional photographer and any other hobby photographer?
Mar 12, 7:43AM EDT0

Hi, this is a question with many answers. The only difference is one make a living from photography and the other does not. 

As for knowledge etc, well these days there are may people making money from photography who know very little, but allow the camera to do the work and are happy to bs the customer.

A pro will usually know exactly what is happening. They use equipment as tools, whereas many amatures just hope the equipment will do it for them. 

However, a hobbyist can be equally as advanced as a pro, maybe not as experienced, but as good, and in the same way a pro these days can be pretty useless. 

It is a pity, because good photographers put their heart and soul into the genre only to be lost in the sea of bullshit artists. but this is life.

So, to ask what is the difference, well one makes money and the other does not, but this is now a grey area when once it used to be black and white.

The only way around this is self criticism and self honesty, but many are happy to pretend.

I love mountain biking, and i have done it many years. i am pretty good. But, compared to a pro level rider i am nothing. To the casual onlooker i could easily pretend to be a pro, but i am not. Even if i had the training and time, i just do not have their ability, so i just enjoy riding. In photography this has become misty, as some people are happy to pretend. 

I was on Facebook last night and a girl wanted to know how her copyrigtht logo looked?, after stating that she is very new to photography. This is the grey area. She knows nothing about being a photographer, yet she is putting logo's and copyright on images that, first dont need them as they are technically nowhere near pro quality, and secondly she is trying to look professional when she knows nothing about the profession. Again, this is like me advertising myself as a lawyer, when i know nothing about it other than watching a movie or tv program. Its crazy. 

Thank you.

Last edited @ Mar 12, 9:01AM EDT.
Mar 12, 8:59AM EDT0
Which editing software do you usually use and why do you particularly prefer it?
Mar 12, 7:18AM EDT0

Hi, i use Photoshop and camera Raw, but only because i know it and have used it for many years. There are many alternatives nbow and as long as you know the software they are great.

I use Photoshop 6 and have tried the new version, but found it had nothing that improved upon my version 6. Camera Raw is probably the most underrated software and comes with Photoshop, it is just as powerful as Lightroom and has all of the same functionality, but lightroom does have a more user freindly interface if learning from the beginning.

Good software matters, so any good software will do the job, just learn it. 

Thank you.

Mar 12, 8:47AM EDT0
What, in your opinion, is most important to consider while shooting portrait pictures?
Mar 12, 5:29AM EDT0

Hi, well this is really down to what the portrait is being used for.  There are different types of portrait, some are more passport pictures but higher quality whilst others portray something about the sitter.

i don’t really care about the passport type, which the main consideration would be lighting. But, for a real portrait then it is always the sitter. They are the most important element. Knowing something about them and encapsulating this in the image is so important and takes it from the passport type to a real portrayal. So simply the person you are shooting is the most important thing and knowing them. This does not mean you have to get everything about them in one portrait, people are complicated creatures, so choose a relevant part of their lives to concentrate on. Sometimes to portray a single person at any certain time in their life can take many portraits of them to build a rounded story. But, ofcourse, writhin a week this could all change or another piece of their jigsaw may need adding. 

Portraiture is a wonderful thing, and possibly the toughest way to portray someone is by a camera. It is why that challenge appeals to so many. Remember also, two photographers will see different things, so it really opens up a book of blank pages to be filled. Brilliant. 

One final thing to consider, is it to please them or you?. To please them is to portray them as they want or see themselves. This is a copy, what picture takers do. A photographer has to write his own story based on his/her opinion and this is not always welcome by a sitter who disagrees. There is a wonderful saying, every time you take a portrait, you lose a friend.:)))), but this is the life of a true portrait photographer :).

thank you

Mar 12, 6:13AM EDT0
What exactly does an avant garde photographer do?
Mar 11, 1:48PM EDT0

Hi Hasan, well avante-grade is a posh word for experimental really. It can also mean out of the normal I suppose. But it is when a person looks for something more, a different slant that may or may not appeal to a wider audience. If you want to know more then look at masters. Man Ray would be a great start. 

Thank you

Mar 11, 2:06PM EDT0
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