"I'm all about, thinking outside the box!"... (Scott Wyden Kivowitz.)
This is a late post for my Photography : "Live and Uncut" show. Things sort of happened over the weekend which basically turned my world upside down... I go into this in a little more detail on my Tumblr blog.
Anyhow Scott Wyden Kivowitz hails from New Jersey, another New York photographer who joined the list of masters in The Arcanum 6 months ago. He has a diverse website that covers his photography, his thoughts on photography and his teachings.
Scott was studying Musical Recording in High School when he decided to switch the 'major' to photography. Where have I heard that before? Isn't it amazing how many musicians start making photographs to the point of photography of switching their career and becoming photographers. Scott got into photography initially, whilst taking photographs of his band and other bands at College concerts.
Photography really stated to kick in then, as Scott visited and worked at a local camera store to learn everything that he could about photography. His first camera was owned by his father (A Fuji!). Both his Father and Grandfather were keen photographers. His first camera he bought was the Nikon N80 (F80 in the UK). He has been a keen Nikon user ever since although his first digital camera was a Kodak but had a Nikon mount. He now shoots with a Nikon D810. He has tried the Sony A7 and A7ii mirror-less cameras but has returned both! In his opinion they failed on several issues high grain, and not being able to work with high bit editing in Lightroom being the two main reasons. We had a great conversation on this topic. Scott makes some very relevant points on this system, some worth noting if you are thinking of buying into the Sony system - it might just be NOT for you. We both can't understand though the reason for the big two (Nikon and Canon) not being involved in the mirror-less market more than they are at this time. Scott made reference to a blog he wrote on his idea of the prefect Nikon mirror-less not necessarily to be a small camera, he calls it the 'Nikon Mx'! My point as I've blogged before is that the Nikon Series 1 and the Nikon Em are the same size I still don't understand why Nikon can't make a camera that size and with a full frame sensor.
I think he should try the Fuji's but then I am biased as you know...
From there we moved to the screen share and to look at Scott's images which covers all aspects/genres of images from street, to portraits and landscapes. His street photography at his own admittance is not the typical style. Mainly because he is not that comfortable getting in close but preferring to take a landscape style shot of the street life and activities... His landscapes are well composed and from the selection we talked about I think you can see where Scott is more comfortable. His editing is all done in Lightroom and he said that with the dynamic range from today's sensors, LR has the ability to make some stunning edits to your images almost, in some cases, HDR like from a single image rather than 3, 5 or 7 bracketed images.
In his workshops he brings a classroom setting and takes it to the location. He spends time going through a pre location presentation of particular topic's, then off out-an-about shooting, with him, creating a one-on-one time with the student as they shoot through the day. He has now started the Vision Path where he offers projects and challenges to students with a timed tutorial, so that the student is kept going forward at a regular pace. Also asking them to write down and set their goals... We talk about the concept of "Innate Ability" (something that I have blogged about - here's the link) and whether a photography style and art can be taught.. He writes Ebook for Flatbooks and Peach-pit and intends writing a physical book which so far has been turned down by one publisher, but he intends to stick with the project, with no time scale or deadline, then he'll pitch it again maybe self-publish at a last resort! I'll be looking out for that book...
His involvement in The Arcanum is relatively new in terms of the time that The Arcanum has been going. But he spoke volumes on the way that it works and that it is a unique way of learning about photography and added to this, the main thing, of making friends through out the world! Although it must be said that Scotts Cohort is generally from a close knit area of the US, allowing the chance of his students to meet up in a regular way.
His favourite photographers are Robert Frank (Street photography at its best and projects such as taking shots every three steps) and Lee Friedlander, with his projects, of his own shadow in the frame. Both photographers he studied in his photo major at High School. Both photographers to him are without equal and he learnt so much from them.
A final tip fromScott. If you don't feel like going out to take photographs! Go out for a 3 mile walk with your camera and photograph what ever you like. You might only take one photography but that doesnt matter. But, think of the positives that can be achieved here. Fresh air, exercise and the opportunity of maybe getting that one image that sparks your interest or starts a project...
If you're out shooting this week.... - "Leave your camera bag at home"
The all important links...
Photography : "Live and Uncut" on You Tube
Photography Live and Uncut on iTunes Episodes 1-7 (so far)