Unrad shared some of the coolest collages we’ve ever seen. In addition to his, well rad artwork he filled us in on the firsts behind each piece.
“[The first one] is inspired by a first date I had. We had gone to an art gallery in Santa Monica, California and she would put her hands on her hips a lot, especially when looking at artwork. That was almost two years ago. We are still together, and one day we were talking about that day of the gallery, and it made me think of how she would place her hands on her hips. I made this as soon as I got home that night.
The demon children one is my first collage using repetition of shapes.”
It seemed fitting with this month’s theme to interview one of the first photographers that made me interested in photography: Rodney Smith. His balance of realism and romanticism is always perfectly composed in black and white. In a world of digital photography he stands nearly alone in his passion for film; in fact he only shoots film and has an enthusiasm for the technical side of photography. Still, in his own words he’s “old school with a twist;” his photographs are neither modern or retro, but rather timeless.
ATOMY: What was the subject on your first roll of film?
SMITH: It depends on whether you mean the first roll when I decided to be a professional, or the first roll I took when I decided I would be interested in photography. The first roll I took with the thoughts of being a professional was in my Photography 1 class at Yale University. There is still a picture in that roll that I still like to this day 45 years later. When I was 16 I took some film in Mexico, and those pictures were probably my first introduction to photography.
ATOMY: What was your first camera?
SMITH: It was a Kodak Retna Reflex with a Schneider 50mm lens.
ATOMY: Your pictures, particularly the black & white ones, often have a vintage feel to them–would you consider yourself nostalgic?
SMITH: I think anyone who has reached my age has to be somewhat nostalgic for an earlier time.
ATOMY: Your photographs often have a surrealistic or even humorous touch to them–what’s something that makes you laugh?
SMITH: Our place, our standing, which is quite small, in a very large world is quite humorous. Over and over again, we try to be large, grandiose and full of ourselves when in fact for the most part we are quite humbled by the world. This relationship is full of humor.
ATOMY: Thank you Mr. Smith for the interview! More of Rodney Smith’s work can be found at his website and you can enjoy his personal stories on his blog.
a brief introduction: Hengki Koentjoro is a fine art photographer based in Jakarta who specializes in black and white photography, both underwater and on land. Each of his photographs has a striking and almost surreal quality. In his “aquanaut” series divers shot from below almost look like explorers of other planets.
THE ATOMY: What draws you to capture the sea?
HENGKI KOENTJORO: The ocean posses a calming effect. This is essential for city dweller that need to gain sanity. I also life in Indonesia, a country of archipelago dubbed as the biggest on earth. We have around 14.000 islands and rich marine biodiversity to match. Many avid diver consider the Eastern part of Indonesia as the last frontier for diving.
A: We love the timeless quality of your black and white images, but do you ever shoot in color?
HENGKI: Yes, I always shoot in color as original and then convert to BW during post production. This is where the art of digital darkroom start, this is where we try to create atmosphere in order to achieve a certain mood that stir the emotion.
A: Your underwater shots are surreal; how long do you have to be submerged to capture those moments?
HENGKI: We got to follow the rule of save diving first, there are some strict guideline that must be obeyed before we got lost in creating photograph. Never dive alone always with at least a buddy at all time. Safety is our priority. Having said that, moment under the water is unpredictable so you have to keep your concentration at all time and be ready to capture the moment when it comes.
A: What do you feel when you’re shooting?
HENGKI: I cant let my feeling take control completely, I rely also on the surrounding environment specially lighting and composition. With this pristine condition usually the mood comes and more good moments can be detected easily. Sometimes you acted on a scene other you reacted. I keep my option open and never search for specific things, if the moment is there then I’ll cherish it and I won’t complain otherwise.
A: Have you ever seen a mermaid?
HENGKI: I have never seen one but I saw the next close to it, a Dugong/ manatees.