New Zealand-based photographer and designer Andrew Smith of Cuba Gallery recently took a trip to Europe and came back with some exquisite shots. Using his Nikon D3 camera, Smith carefully composes his photos and then uses Adobe Lightroom 3 in post-production to take them to the next level. His photos throughout Italy are quite amazing in that they're able to transport us to another time and place, kind of like we've stepped into a classic movie or a stunningly surreal dream.
I caught up with Andrew to ask him a few questions about his new work. Read that short interview, below, after enjoying his incredible photos.
Q: Can you tell me about your recent trip to Europe? What did you hope to capture?
A: My trip to Europe was purely a vacation, photography is what I do to relax. My goal with photography is always to turn everyday objects or scenes into pieces art. I felt like I achieved this on my trip.
Q: Can you please describe your style? I noticed a cinematic feel to them...
A: All my images have a graphic feel to them, I really see myself as a designer with a camera as opposed to a photographer.
Q: Which photo of your Europe series is your favorite and why?
A: I seem to keep coming back to the small series I did in Venice. My favorite would be the night scene taken from the Rialto Bridge (first photo in this post). It is often hard to capture the true atmosphere of a place, but this image sums up Venice perfectly for me.
Q: Can you give us a story behind that photo?
A: Sadly, my grandmother passed away while I was traveling, this image accompanied the message I sent to be read at the funeral in New Zealand. To me, this image not only captured the romance of Venice, but also summed up the excitement and surreal experience of traveling to new places. My grandmother did a lot of travel and often reminisced of her time in different countries. She would have loved this image.
Q: How important is light, tone, mood or composition to your work?
A: As a designer, these aspects of an image are crucial, to me all of these things are great tools to help create an intriguing and eye-catching image. In many cases, I will accentuate one aspect of an image to create something special. This may include adding more dramatic lighting to the scene to enhance the mood, or perhaps cleaning up the composition to make it more striking.
Q: Any tips you'd give to aspiring photographers?
A: Think about what type of images you want to take, keep that in the back of your mind when you are shooting, processing and selecting the final shots. When I take an image I always ask myself “how can I make this into a piece of art or design?” This changes my thinking and lets me see things in a different way.