2012 was the last year that EK Waller will be a regular instructor here at Samy’s EDU and we are sad to see her go. EK is taking more time for her personal photography projects which includes traveling to exotic locals. She has taught thousands of students how to become better photographers and she is much beloved by our student base so I asked her a few questions about her future
Q: You told me that you want to spend more time focusing on making your mark in photography. What did you mean by that and where is that taking you in 2013?
For many years I passionately pursued advertising photography with food, product and people as specialties, and segued into teaching photography. As an artist, my heartfelt pursuit has always been Fine Art Photography, which means photography I shoot for myself as an artist, from my heart, with my own vision and technique. I am now pursuing this work, starting with photographs I took on a trip to Cuba last month, which was perhaps the most exhilarating shooting experience of my career!
I plan to continue shooting my personal work, resume exhibiting in galleries, create a new web site, and perhaps publish a book of my work.
Q: What was the best part about being a photo instructor
Teaching gives me a vehicle to share my knowledge of photography. The best part is when I demonstrate a technique, the students “get it” and are amazed at the outcome with their own shooting.
Q: Students may not know this but you are a into the Bluegrass festival circuit and take time off every year to pursue your musical interests. Are you working on a photo project around this music scene or do you just enjoy playing and listening to the music?
One of my great loves has been to shoot and design Music CD Covers because they allow me to be imaginative, often allowing me to use what I consider to be a fine art photograph. And since I play bluegrass mandolin and interact with a lot of musicians, I often have the good fortune to be asked to do their music cover art. I am working on one right now, which may use an image from the Cuba series.
Q: What was the number one misconception about photography that you had to correct for beginning students and what was the question most asked?
I don’t think it is as much misconceptions as lack of understanding and experience with things like shooting on manual mode, using exposure compensation in priority shooting modes, and understanding the significance and value of the raw file. I think the main joy and learning for the student is with the creative techniques I teach, especially with action and depth of field, which are the bread and butter of photography. And the joy for me is with the demos in class, where they get to actually produce the effects, for the first time.
EK About Cuba: The portraits from Cuba are very satisfying! It is easy to be authentic as the people are so relaxed and un-self-conscious. I found the Cuban people to be very accessible and with great passion for living, even with the meager possessions that they have. And the landscape, both in the city (Havana) and in country towns, was equally full of visually stimulating subject matter.