January 9, 2008

Melinda Shine's interview

" My work is about freedom and the beauty of nature combined with the beauty of the human body. I like to try to capture a feeling of adventure." Melinda

"Are You There God ?"

"If Only..."

Dear Melinda, how did you get into photography ?

My passion for photography was a gradual realization. I got a digital camera (a cheap one) for Christmas in 2004 and started taking pictures of every bug, flower and animal I came across. It wasn’t until 2006 that I realized that I loved taking photos so much that it was worth buying a nice camera. It became an obsession after that- always looking for “perfect shots”, and when I don’t have my camera with me I end up regretting it !

Where did you learn your art ?

I am mostly self-taught at the moment. When I got my new camera a year ago I checked out some books from the library and did a bit of reading. The truth is though that I have been so busy with work and other things that I truly have not had the time to learn more technical stuff and hone my craft. I am looking forward to taking some classes and studying more in the coming months, as I will have some time off to do so.

"Peek a boo"

How long could you be far from your camera ?

Not long. I keep it with me as often as possible. The occasions I have left it home always haunt me- if I had just had my camera I could have taken this picture of… always something I want to photograph !

"The Ocean Will Claim"

Like me ! There is always something to write... Who are your favorite photographers ?

I am so new to this field that most of my inspiration so far has been from photographers on deviantArt. I really admire the work of many of the artists on DA, but I especially appreciate the ones who have taken time to comment on my work and offer their advice and encouragement. A few of my favorites are Warren B, Andre J and F.W. Scharpf. The list goes on though…

Great photographers ! Could you talk us about your style ?

My style is like me - carefree, spur of the moment and reckless. It just comes naturally. I love adventure, daring and extreme locations. I see the wildness of the outdoors and it speaks to my spirit. My heart roams in the wilderness, and my body follows as frequently as possible. So do my photos- 99% of my photos - are outdoors.

"Scanning the Horizen"

"Washed Ashore"

So your photography is not only about nudes ?

No, I take lots of nature shots as well. Macros of plants, insects and spiders. Portraits of wildlife and landscapes. Nude photography is very new to me. I was inspired by the nudes on DA and by (of course) the call of the wild !

"A Soft Touch"

What is your way to proceed ?

Most (but not all) of my photos are self-shot with a timer. It is a really fun process for me.

I spend days at a time wandering in the mountains or exploring the beach and I keep my eye out for unusual scenery. When I am in a good location I just “see” nudes everywhere I look. So I set up my camera, sometimes on a tree stump or rock, sometimes on a flexible tripod, and take some shots. It is pretty funny. I have 12 seconds to make it to my chosen spot- so I really have to sprint ! Then I look at how it turned out, and reshoot it with adjustments to my positioning or the camera settings if needed.

Not so easy... It clearly seems you have a great preference for outdoor and color shootings ?

I definitely prefer outdoor shots. I love the work I have seen of other artists done in studios or indoors, but I leave that type of work to them (the masters !). For me my work is about freedom and the beauty of nature combined with the beauty of the human body. I like to try to capture a feeling of adventure. I don’t know how to do that indoors.

I mostly take color because that is what I am used to. I see things in color - all the vivid blues and greens of the outdoors. I would like to do more black and white work as well but I need to learn more about it. I am looking forward to expanding my knowledge and abilities.


Some words about your models ? I know you have a favorite one...

My models are mostly me… ;) I have one wonderful friend who went on a backpacking trip with me and agreed to model for and with me. She is feisty, silly and not afraid of the mud. She modeled for me for the fun of it though and didn’t want me to post more than 2 or 3 photos of her. Maybe when I learn more and progress I will advertise and find more people to work with. This is still very new to me, so I haven’t fully considered all the possibilities.

"It Takes but a Leap"

"Tell me Sister Water"

How do you feel at the end of a shooting ?

I feel exhilarated and excited about viewing the products after a shoot. Most of my shoots are done while I am backpacking - so sometimes it is several days before I am able to process them. I spend anywhere from 2 to 9 days at a time out in the mountains. During that time I shoot every chance I can get at as many locations as possible.

Have you some challenges you're dreaming about ?

I think it will be a challenge for me to sit down and learn all the technical aspects of photography. So far I am just learning by trial and error. I know there is a lot of information out there, and I want to learn more. The problem is I am not so good at sitting still to study that long ! ;)

"Along the Line"

Do you plan an exhibition ?

I do not have any exhibitions lined up, but when I return home from traveling I plan on making contact with the galleries in my hometown in California. I would love to be able to exhibit my work- it would be very exciting for me to take such a step.

Perfect !... Keep us informed. A message to send ?

I never imagined that I would be taking nude art photographs, let alone that I would be the model in the photos ! DeviantArt has been such a great start for me. I have found so much support, advice and encouragement there. I am excited that you have opened up this new community as well, I feel like my circle of inspiration and support is expanded by it. So thank you !

Thank you Melinda ! Keep going on and come back soon !...

"Nature's Pedestal"

Melinda Shine ©

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