Can you tell us more about yourself? What is your background and how did you get started in photography?
I’m a student and photographer in the San Francisco bay area in California. My photographic beginnings came from my parents, who are both wonderful people and amazing photographers. I started to seriously become interested in photography in high school, but unfortunately there were no photo classes at my school, and I was forced to teach myself with some help from my parents, mainly my father, who supplied me with my first real camera.
What is it about photography that you love?
Everything about it! The thought that goes into the creation of an image, the interaction between the subject and myself, the Zen feeling of being in nature and waiting for the perfectly beautiful moment, and having the wonderful privilege of being able to capture an instant in time, the satisfying sound of a camera shutter…I love it all!
How does photography influence your life? How does the people/scenery you capture influence you as a photographer?
Being a photographer, to me is a constant learning experience. I learn things from my subjects, and feel inspired by the places I go and the people I meet, which I think helps me to become a better person. Also, each photo is a memory of what I’ve experienced and seen, and what I love. There’s always a reason behind each picture, no matter how significant or miniscule.
What are your favorite subjects to shoot?
I really enjoy shooting just about everything, but lately (like the last year or so) I’ve been on a pretty big landscape kick, and have been loving the amount of travel that all of that entails. Another one of my favourite subjects is street photography, I love candid expressions and decisive moments. Astrophotography is something that I would love to get in to, but serious imagery in that field is currently a bit beyond my budget unfortunately.
What was your big break?
If you could say I’ve had a big break, it would be when Behance featured my Unrealistic Scenes project on their photographyserved.com website at the beginning of the year. I got quite a bit of attention from that, and maybe that’s even why I’m being interviewed!
What tools/apps do you usually use in manipulating your photographs?
I primarily use Adobe Lightroom, which I’ve found can do just about everything I need except for compositing, for which I use Photoshop CS5.
Do you have a particular style or theme that you maintain in all your works?
I try and retain maximum possible realism in all of my work, unless the project I’m working on specifically has a style contract that calls for something else. I try to recreate what my eye sees without using “traditional” HDR or similar techniques. I tend to favour wide lenses and big scenes.
Are there any new medium or techniques that you’re exploring now?
Nothing too exciting at the moment, just refining some printing techniques, and I’m always trying slightly different ways of blending images in photoshop.
Are you working on any new series ?
Aside from continuing my Unrealistic Scenes series, which I plan to do for the forseeable future, I’ve completed a few pieces from a series that I’ve started that is rooted in ideas of enlightenment and the sometimes-questionable paths that people might choose to pursue it. The series is inspired by popular culture, such as the music of Tool and King Crimson, and the Hyperion Cantos novels by Dan Simmons, to name just a few things. I’m currently on vacation though, so it’ll be a little while before you start to see more images from it! Im taking a well-deserved break!
Can you share some tips and tricks you use or any advice in getting magnificent photographs?
Take inspiration from everything, and write down ideas when you have them so you can build on them later. Get as much as you can done in camera, don’t be afraid to invest time and production into a shoot, you will save lots of time in post work, and your images will be better for it!
More Information about Nathan Spotts
Behance Portfolio: http://www.behance.net/nathanspotts