After a brief travel to Tuvalu's blog for an interview of mine, we return home to meet one of my preferred artists and one of my preferred persons on Ipernity. Ladies and gentlemen: Aref Nammari.
Nickname: Aref Nammari, I don't really have a nickname on 'nity. On f****r I used to go by the nickname "goplayer"--I like to play the ancient Chinese board game GO.
Real name: My real name is Aref Nammari. It is an Arabic name -- I am of Palestinian origin born in Jerusalem.
Age: In January I will be 52.
Website: I am in the process of building one. There isn't much in it now as it is still under construction. The URL is www.anammari.dnsalias.net
Town/nation: Currently i live in a small town in Colorado, USA the town is Longmont--about 45 miles north east of Denver.
Spoken languages: I am trinligual: Arabic, English and French. I am trying to learn Spanish.
Q. Tell us something about you and photography Q. What are your preferred subjects and techniques? Q. What's your equipment? A. My digital camera is a Canon EOS REBEL--18-55mm EF zoom, 100-300mm EF Canon zoom, 50mm f/1.8 prime. My film camera is a Contax 139 Quartz--50mm Zeiss and 28-80mm Tamron zoom. I don't have a scanner yet and so all the photos I have on 'nity are taken with the Rebel. I use a variety of software tools mostly PS CS2, GIMP, Corel Painter essential for drawing.
A. Well, I got interested in photography during my teen years. At the time I did not have access to a camera and this interest was translated to looking and studying photographs and reading about photography. When I went to college, I saved enough money to buy an enlarger and set up a darkroom and taught myself how to process film and print. For a while I was using cameras borrowed from friends--not enough money to buy one after the camera I had was stolen. I managed to save enough to later buy a used medium format camera--a Russian copy of the Hasselblad; Kiev 80. At the time I shot mostly street scenes and took little tiny steps into the realm of surrealism and conceptual photography. When I moved to the US, my dream and hope was to break into professional photography but the reality of life hit hard and I had to find a job in what I was trained for--electronics engineering. Family obligations, work and later kids did not leave much time for photography and I pretty much took a fifteen year hiatus from serious photographic work. A couple of years ago I finally cracked and succumbed to the digital age and bought a Canon DSLR, the EOS REBEL 300D. Since then I have been trying to catch up with all the lost time.
A. My prefered subject matter is surrealism, conceptual and experimental photography. For me photography is a vehicle to communicate emotions, feeling, thoughts and ideas. I like photographs which convey something. I am not into documentary photography but more into discovery. What I try to do is to capture what I feel is the essence of the subject I am photographing. I don't have any formal training other than a color printing class I took some years ago. I could care less about rules and established norms--my inclination is to question authority not to follow blindly.
My influences are varied but mostly fall in the surrealist and experimentalist categories. Some of my favorite photographers are Man Ray (my all time favorite), Jerry Uelsman and his wife Maggie Taylor, Edward Weston, Jan Saudek, Bill Brandt, just to name a few.
As for techniques I really enjoy creating fantasy worlds by combining different photographs: photo-montage, photo-collage, and photo-manipulation. I am not a purist in the sense that I do not insist on the image coming out of the camera in a perfect state ready for publication. That is a myth and does not exist except as an elitist tendency among some photographers. I don't know any photographer who does not spend countless hours working and fine tuning a print either in the computer or under the enlarger to make it correspond to what he or she has in mind. Photographs are made they are not taken. Having said that I do not mean that post processing can make transform a bad photograph into a good one. You have to have a good photograph to begin with. Post processing work simply makes a good photograph better. Q. Are you a professional photographer?
A. I am an amateur photgrapher because I do not and have not earned any money from my photographs. As I mentioned earlier I am currently working as an elctronics engineer at a research lab at the University of Colorado. I also hold a degree in theoretical and applied mathematics.
Q. What are your preferred subjects and techniques?
Q. What's your equipment?
A. My digital camera is a Canon EOS REBEL--18-55mm EF zoom, 100-300mm EF Canon zoom, 50mm f/1.8 prime.
My film camera is a Contax 139 Quartz--50mm Zeiss and 28-80mm Tamron zoom.
I don't have a scanner yet and so all the photos I have on 'nity are taken with the Rebel. I use a variety of software tools mostly PS CS2, GIMP, Corel Painter essential for drawing.
A. I started sharing my photos on f****r about two years ago, I think, I quit after they started censoring and moved to 'nity.
Q. Three preferred shots of yours?
A. This is a hard one, because my latest ones are always my preferred and favorite ones. If I must choose those would be my favorite ones
and because I don't follow rules here are some others:
Q. The three preferred photographers or bloggers on Ipernity (so I can interview them: it isn't a contest ;-) )
A. I don't want to offend anyone or to hurt anybody's feelings. I think there are a lot of talented artists at 'nity and I can't say that I am familiar with the work of all the members who share their work here. Choosing from among the photographers I am familiar with, the following are the ones who bring a unique vision and whose photographs I enjoy looking at time and time again
Q. What are the features you'd like to see implemented/improved on Ipernity?
A. I wish that there is a way that anonymous visitors can't download pictures or bookmark individual pictures--I don't know if this is possible at all. I really can't think of anything else right now.
I want to thank you and all those who have been supportive of my work and who through their kind words and urging provide encouragement and make this all seem worthwhile. I truly and sincerely appreciate your kindness, support and encouragement.
Thank you very much, Aref, for sharing your work and for your kind and helpful comments
Previous interview: Roberto Ballerini (yes: that's me on Tuvalu's blog)
Next interview: tobitobi