Craig Parker: Beyond reality
Sometimes I wake up and look for my notebook. I have to write down my dreams, the best inspiration possible. But then my notebook is always somewhere under a pile of book and the moment that I find it my dreams have vanished somewhere in my head. And one day, I found the pictures of Craig Parker, and they remember me of some dreams and also some great movies that stay forever in your mind. If you ever want to take some time off from your daily routine I recommend you to step into Craig world.
Can you shortly introduce yourself and how you started photography?
My name’s Craig Parker and I pretty much started photography when I was studying graphic design. It was part of the course which we did for 2 years, but I only really got back into it about 2 years ago.
Do you think it’s important to have good technical skills to be a good photographer?
I suppose that depends on what you define as technical skills. If it’s being able to know your correct aperture settings for any kind of shot or being able to setup your camera or lens to accommodate a shoot, I suppose so, yes. It’s good to get a sense of the basics at least, but this can be learnt in a day of playing around with any kind of camera really. If you’re able to push an image further via the likes of a darkroom or software such as photoshop, that’s certainly a feather in your cap as well. I still believe that you really just need a good idea, a sense of lighting and composition to be good. And practice.
How would you describe your work and how do you choose the subject and places you will photograph?
It’s funny to look at what one shoots and then be able to sort of package it in a style or description, but we’re all guilty of evolving some kind of ‘style’ ultimately, aren’t we? I think, for the most part, the subject matter that I shoot are probably more a result of what’s available to me than anything else. I don’t tend to spend a lot of time organizing, which makes shooting a landscape, or something a little more surreal, easier for me.
What are you trying to capture through photography?
I’m happy if I’ve managed to convey a little of the context I was seeing in a situation.
To the viewer of your work what feeling or impression would you like leave?
Sometimes I’m happy if the ‘feeling’ or idea of what I was seeing is communicated. On another level, I get as pleased if there’s a positive response just on the technicality of an execution.
What material (camera and light) do you use?
I rarely use any extra lights unless on a paying job of sorts. It’s primarily budget-defined at any constant so I’m a fan of bending natural light at the best of times. I migrated from a Pentax film camera to a little Sony Cybershot until I pretty much destroyed it and then settled on a Canon 350D.
Right now are you working on a specific subject? If yes can you tell us more about?
I’ve been on and off with a series of mine called: Obstaculum. It’s become, for the most part, a labour of love for me. This is mainly owing to the fact that it’s an opportunity for me to combine a few of the other mediums I enjoy working in. This includes 3D as well as photography and compositing. I wanted to fully realize some of the ideas I have jotted down in a little book a carry around with me. I use it for any kinds of ideas or thoughts that could fuel inspiration further down the line. The idea with this series is the loose concept of the real and surreal boundaries that either define our perceptions, define our choices and ultimately ourselves.
What are your main inspirations?
I’m a fan of artists all-round. Whether they’re spectacular writers, brilliant painters, fantastic musicians or excellent filmmakers. I love graphic novels mainly because I’m a very visual person and I can get lost just studying a panel or page. I love movies and have a ridiculous collection of films that are as inspiring for me. Weird and strange books play a big factor as well. I’m a fan of collecting things that are rare and virtually unheard of.
What do you look for in other photographers work?
I look for freshness. Yes, it’s hard to not use all the tools available to us and there’s pretty much no escaping that, but when it’s crafted into something that catches my attention and goes in directions I would never have considered myself, I’m sold.
If you could invite 3 photographers or artist at a dinner who would it be and why?
There are plenty of famous photographers and artists around the world I would absolutely love to meet but they wouldn’t know me from a bar of soap. I feel that, through experiencing their work, I have come to know a part of them that has already connected with me. I could drop names but they would really be influences at this point more than people I would be willing or ready to meet. In all honesty, there are some amazing photographers that I have met already on a site like Flickr or Altphotos that I would absolutely love to have dinner with. This is mainly because I’ve gotten to know them to a degree already.