J David Deal | Interview with a Road Warrior
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Interview with a Road Warrior

Interview with a Road Warrior

A student of mine, Christopher Jaramillo, approached me about doing an interview for one of his classes.  I really liked the questions and found they made me consider things that I usually take for granted. I thought I would share them in this forum. Thanks Christopher!

What inspired you to photograph the things you did for your Road Warriors show at the Runnels Gallery?
I love the American landscape. Whether its eastern New Mexico or the coast of Maine, every landscape has something to offer. Sometimes you have to wait for it, but when you do, occasionally, there is a reward. I also like to photograph the artifacts that come with the different landscapes… grain elevators, abandoned buildings, plants, signs…things that give you a sense of place.

What made you want to present your work for everyone to see?
The director of the gallery had seen some of our photos through Social Media and asked if Assistant Professor Shelly Short and I would put together a show for the gallery.

How do you mentally prepare yourself before capturing your photos? Is there a mental process you do first?
What i try to do is to look at scenes like I’ve never seen them before, even if I’ve seen them a thousand times. I just try to be open visually without making assumptions or pre-determinations.

Have any other photographers influenced you in the way you take photos?
I am constantly looking at other photographers work and trying to put myself in their shoes to see if I can figure out why they shot something a particular way. What was influencing the decisions they were making. I try not to concern myself with the techniques or equipment they use. Its more about the creative aspects of their work that I am interested in.

What exactly do you want your photos to say, and how do you ensure they say just that?
I would love it if people would view my work and realize that there’s something interesting and beautiful in the ordinary.

What sort of camera equipment or software do you use to finalize your photos?
I use an Olympus OMD-EM1, Lightroom to process the RAW files, and then my iPhone and an app called Hipstamatic. Hipstamatic allows you lots of combinations and adjustments to develop your own filters specific to each individual shot.

Which do you prefer when it comes to your pictures? Digital (DSLR) or old school film, or both? Why?
I actually do prefer digital over film. Digital allows me to take more chances and shoot more often without the cost of film and printing.

What motivates you to take photos whenever you travel?
I guess its my form of souvenir gathering, capturing a moment. Better for me to take photos than buy snow globes or magnets.

What advice would you have for an aspiring photographer who is new to the field?
Look at everything as a potential photo! Find photographers that you like and follow their work. These days its so easy to contact professionals… talk to them. See if they will look at your work…ask for advice.

What advice would you give to someone who is trying to present their work in a similar gallery but is unsure how?
If you see a gallery you would like to show in, go talk to the manager and ask them how they like to be approached for shows, then follow through!