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HomeInterview: Photographer Kurt Manley
Interview: Photographer Kurt Manley
Posted on: Thursday, June 21 2012 |
Kurt Manley is a local photographer, BAVC student, and avid cloud appreciator. We caught up with him for a quick Q&A about his journey into photography and how he balances film vs. digital.
Q: How did you get started as a photographer?
A: Completely by chance. I visited a good friend in LA for a weekend and he got called into work for the entire time I was there. I borrowed his old 1970's Pentax SLR (which I had no idea how to use) bought some film and went around LA taking pictures all weekend. Not one of the photos turned out well but the experience had me hooked. I got it in my head that I had to learn photography after that.
What drew you to photography?
Many things. The ability to express myself and share with others. Being able to go anywhere by myself and have something to do that brings me completely out of my world and into the lives of others. Plus there is always something to learn, you can spend years perfecting a technique or facet of photography only to be completely humbled when you try a new process.
Why did you make the transition from film to digital?
I didn't! I still shoot film all the time. I use them both, every day. Mostly but not always it's film and the darkroom for my personal work and digital for client work.
Wow, what I have learned at BAVC has affected me a lot! I actually won my first class at BAVC after entering a photo into the 5 Blocks show. At that time I was shooting mostly film and doing all my printing in the darkroom. The techniques I learned in Photoshop: Introduction gave me a lot of confidence in the digital realm. I already had the skills with the camera but learning the post-processing side kind of broke digital photography open for me. I started looking for small commercial jobs after that. Now my freelance business is really starting to grow!
Where do you see your photography headed?
This is the first year where I am actually trying to market myself for freelance work full-time. I am also working on a couple of personal projects, one focusing on the Bay Area's working class and another that I'm still figuring out the direction on but am very excited about.
Who are some of your favorite photographers?
Pieter Hugo, Christian Patterson, Todd Hido, Chris McCaw, Richard Misrach
Of all the photos you have taken, what's your favorite?
It changes with the weather, today it might be this one:
See more of Kurt's photography online at kurtmanley.com.
-- Zoë Banks, BAVC Marketing Manager