Interview with Adrian Davis
#1 Please introduce yourself:
My name is Adrian Davis and was born in Washington, D.C. and lived in the D.C./Northern Virginia region for 28 years.
I currently live in Loveland, Colorado with my wife and 1 year old daughter.
#2 How did you get interested in photography?
Both of my parents were very involved in photography and printing in the darkroom throughout my childhood years. I was surrounded with cameras, lenses, enlargers and photography books! I never took any personal interest in taking pictures until my 16th birthday, when my Mother gave me her Nikkormat 35mm camera and a roll of Tri-X.
#3 Do you have an artistic/photographic background?
There was certainly an influence on me from the photographs my parents took while I was young, and I was always fascinated by the darkroom equipment and process. The first formal training I received was in community college, just after high school. I was particularly drawn to large format capture and silver gelatin print making, which I practiced for 12 years.
#4 Which artist/photographer inspired your art?
So many photographers and images have inspired me over the years! I poured through the books my parents had which lined several shelves in our home. Adams, Weston, White, Caponigro and other early Masters of the craft were all influential. In the early 1990’s I started looking at the works by Michael Kenna and Chip Forelli. Other contemporary photographers I’ve greatly admired over the years are William Neill, Frans Lanting, Roman Loranc and Ryuijie.
#5 How much preparation do you put into taking a photograph? Are you planning every step or is it always spontaneous?
As of 2007 I am now shooting all digital and there is definitely more spontaneity when photographing. I’m a big fan “pre-visualization” though, and am always thinking about the final print when composing an image I find interesting. I tend to think more about places or subjects I’d like to capture, and then make an effort to get to those spots. For me, photography boils down to experiencing a place in person, recording it with the camera and then making a final print to my personal taste. I’ve taken images that required 20 hours of travel by car with a specific destination, and others where I simply rolled down the car window and took one shot with the car still running!
#6 What fascinates you in places that you shoot?
I’m very fond of coastal areas and water, both for the personal enjoyment of being there and the photographic imagery. Most of the places that would “fascinate” me, I’ve not had the opportunity to visit, yet! Like New Zealand and the Philippines; those locations are high on the wish list.
#7 We can see your photographs only in black and white, why have you chosen to present them in this form?
Actually, brown and white! I like color images too, but for personal, fine art work, I prefer monochrome with a slight warm tone. I print exclusively on Hahnemuhle Torchon, which is a highly textured surface. I like to think of, and refer to my prints as, “Neo-Vintage” as they looked slightly dated but use a modern, digital process. On many occasions I’ve been asked if my prints are Platinum on textured papers! I get a big kick when asked this question by the viewer!
#8 Could you please tell us something about your technique and creating process?
I shoot with a Canon 5DII DSLR currently and use the fixed 35MM f/2.0 or 100mm f/2.0 lenses only. Both are non-L series. Post processing is done with Photoshop CS3 using a Mac with calibrated monitor. Print output is via the Epson 9880 on Torchon watercolor paper. I personally process and print my own work and offer print sizes of 12×12″, 16×16″ and 30×30″ with a maximum edition of 40 prints.
#9 Could you tell our readers how to reach such excellent results in photography?
“Practice makes perfect!” I’ve now been practicing this craft for 26 years, and finally feel I have a personal style that I can pursue and grow with. Within the last 2 years, I’ve gained professional gallery representation with my work, and this certainly provides the drive to create new work, for myself and a larger audience.
#10 What do you do in your life besides photography?
For over 10 years I worked in a photography retail environment, doing everything from management and sales to film processing. The last 5 years I’ve been self employed and work from a home based studio doing art reproduction work for other artists and some hardcover book publishing through my business www.e6stock.com
#11 What future plans do you have? What projects would you like to accomplish?
An ongoing project for me is to photograph the Potomac River, which runs from the mountains of West Virginia, through Washington, D.C. and on to the Chesapeake Bay. Hopefully the finalization of this body of work will yield a book and regional exhibitions. Other than that, I’d like to travel to chosen destinations within the U.S.A. and “do my thing!”
Adrian Davis Official Website: