INTERVIEW // Photographer Jing Huang

An interview from some years ago, still a great read.

Jing Huang, born in Guangzhou and now a resident of Shenzhen, China, was just named as the recipient this year’s Leica Oskar Barnack Newcomer Award. His self-selected portfolio of 12 black-and-white fine art images shot with his beloved Leica M4-P were chosen from over 2,000 entries. His favorite image in the group: “The picture of a kitten walking along a fallen tree branch, which makes me imagine a journey to an unknown destination.” A graduate in Photography and Digital Art from the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, Huang’s provocative and often whimsically surreal images convey a sense of the magical in outwardly ordinary scenes. “Perhaps we all have that sense of magic deep in our hearts,” says Huang prophetically.  “All that is necessary to release the passion of this inner magic is a tool which, to me, is a camera.” What follows is the underlying story of that passion expressed by Jing Huang.

Q: You mention that you see the world from “an Oriental point of view” and your photographs, especially those of plant life, do seem to have an Asian sensibility. Do you think you have been influenced by traditional Chinese art and can you say something more about how your culture speaks through your images?

A: Absolutely I am much inspired by our own culture heritage, both philosophy and arts. Chinese express emotions through metaphor. That is a very common syntax for Chinese poetry. I like this implicit way of story telling.


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INTERVIEW // A conversation with Ryan Muirhead

I stumbled onto this great interview over at ....ENJOY


I think I knew really shortly after I look my first picture, to be kind of cliché. It was such an out of the blue experience; I had never done anything artistic before. I was going through a really hard time and a friend asked me to take a photo for them and I just did it, and a whole bunch of emotional content I hadn’t seen coming out worked its way into the picture.

I think my friend recognized it before I did because she had it printed out and started showing it to people and saying ‘Ryan made this.’ I was on the set of a movie, and the director of photography saw it said that it felt like something. As though I was communicating something. I can honestly say that that wasn’t even my intention. Just from that kind of feedback it hit me really fast like ‘You do have something to get out that you haven’t had the means to get out before’ and I think it just snowballed.

I shot something later that day and the next day. I ordered a DSLR a few days after that and honestly it hasn’t been more than a couple of days that I have gone without shooting since that happened about 8 years ago.


Home for me is Portland, Oregon. I moved there from Utah about two years ago. And work is a really funny definition. Work would be where I shoot from. I don’t really take any shoots for money. All my money is from teaching and print sales. So where I work is my everyday life wherever I end up, either teaching or traveling, so work is kind of everywhere. There is no start and no stop to it I guess.


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PHOTOGRAPHER // Alasdair Mclellan

BoF talks to photographer Alasdair McLellan about his personal and professional path, from DJing and taking pictures of friends in the South Yorkshire village where he grew up to shooting covers for Vogue.

ONDON, United Kingdom — Alasdair McLellan is sitting in the corner of Bar Bruno in London’s Soho with a cup of strong milky tea. It’s an old-fashioned sanctuary from the neighbourhood’s self-aware cafés and stage-managed members' clubs. “It’s a locals’ place,” says McLellan, who prefers the casual setting to the table originally booked by his assistant at the upscale Charlotte Street Hotel.

The attention McLellan pays to the mise-en-scène of the interview offers an insight into his photographic style, which refers to early years spent growing up in the mining villages of South Yorkshire (where he took pictures of friends messing about and DJ’d in the local youth club), but nonetheless reflects a consciously created world. The same might be said of his outfit. “It probably looks like something you could pick up at the market in Doncaster,” he says of his zip-up, cropped houndstooth jacket, which turns out to be Prada Autumn-Winter 2013.

But McLellan is not some hokum pretender and both his artistic voice and heart are still closely bound to his northern adolescence. “I remember getting a camera, I think it was a Halina, for my thirteenth birthday and thinking, ‘Oh this is quite good.’ I took it everywhere. I took it to school. And I remember my mate and his girlfriend and my girlfriend all came to my house and I started taking pictures of everyone and I realised it was quite good fun. The girls liked Bros [a British band popular in the late 1980s and early 1990s] and they did my hair like Matt Goss and Jason Donovan and took pictures of it. We were listening to everything in the Top 40 at the time.”

His initial enthusiasm for photography became more serious when he decided to study it at school. “For my GCSE, again I took pictures of my friends, but it was more of a sitting. I think we were trying to recreate posters she had on her wall of Madonna — it was a Herb Ritts image. I shot it on black and white film, which I think is pretty cool for a 16-year-old. I remember watching the Ritts’s video with Madonna and the Pet Shop Boys videos and thinking, 'That looks really appealing.What is that? What kind of job is that?'"



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