February 8, 2013

David Winge's interview

" The first time I added the art nude to my landscape photography it was as if I had added a soul, they took on a life and became much more than the sum of each. I was looking over the images after a photo shoot, I could hardly believe my own eyes and the beauty I had captured." David Winge

Art Model Rebel Smith

David Winge and Karen
by Bill Helm

David, I know you begin very young and that you're a self-taught photographer. But how did come this extraordinary passion ? I'm sure you remember your first experience...

For a long time I've been a frustrated artist, I could never paint or draw as I never could find the way to transfer what I saw onto paper. Photography solved that problem and allowed me the freedom to compose.

"Down To My Last Teardrop"
Art Model Pearl

As I grew into doing more and more with photography I would read all the books and articles I could find, I tried many different techniques and worked in all aspects from shooting to developing and printing images.

My passion for photography has always been, I enjoyed sharing the places and scenes I would capture, I loved landscapes and candid photographs of people on the street. But the first time I do remember well, the first time I added the art nude to my landscape photography it was as if I had added a soul, they took on a life and became much more than the sum of each. I was looking over the images after a photo shoot, I could hardly believe my own eyes and the beauty I had captured.

At first I didn't believe what I saw, I stared at those photographs for a long time, it was a rush of inspiration and ideas that just started to flow though my mind, at that instant I felt I had found my calling.

"The Light In The Doorway"
Art Model Amy

The Revelation ! What a wonderful moment in a life... Who are the photographers who have a special meaning for you ?

William Mortensen and Edward Weston come to mind immediately. Edward's use of light was amazing, I've seen work that he most likely shot in early afternoon, quite stark and just amazing. William Mortensen, another genius in photography who I like for many reasons, his whimsical work is fantastic and his desert images are absolute favorites, but he was also ahead of his time and the photographic purists of the day disliked him, to the point Ansel Adams once called him the devil. Even after Mortensen's death Mr. Adams tried to keep his work out of the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona.

Also looking over this site, Univers d'Artistes, there is so much amazing talent here, I spend hours reading the insights and viewing the amazing images, it's an honor as well as humbling to be included among such a group and I want to thank you so much.

Art Model Charlotte

"Eternity's Sunrise"
Art Model Conundra

Art Model Rebel Smith

Thank you to you ! You're the artist, I'm just the scribe.
That said, many people talk about you as a Master, but you're talking of photography as a full time hobby. So it's not your every day job ?

I would hardly think of myself as a Master, unless it is in regards to the effort and work I put into creating photographs, I take it seriously because it is so much fun and so rewarding.

There is amazing joy in the doing, pushing yourself to turn the ideas and concepts into a reality, the collaboration with other artists, and all the memories and photos we create, I would do nothing else if I could.

I found this out about myself too late in life, now I have too many obligations to chase this dream, but that isn't to say I'm not trying, I just need to remain realistic however. Should the opportunity arise where I received a commission or some type of support I would love to do this full time, but it must be in art as I'm not cut out to shoot weddings, children or boxes of breakfast cereal to pay the bills.

"San Pedro"
Art Model Rebel Smith

Maybe late, but you found it, with success. How could you explain your so deep passion for the desert landscapes ?

This was born in the early 90's after I moved to southern California. For a couple of years my sister and I would go out and spend weekends in the desert. She loved the desert plants and would buy books about them and learn all their names. I would bring my camera and photograph them, along with landscapes, I feel at peace out there, I feel safe out there and I feel better physically out there.

I'm not sure if this is due to the climate or the solitude or both, the remote desert is where I am most at home.

Art Model Erzsebet

Do you plan every details of your shootings or is there a large part of improvisation ?

It is mainly improvisation and dependent upon what we may find out there. I will have some ideas in mind mainly regarding locations I want to use along with some ideas for emotion and poses, I try to explain as best I can what I am after as far as imagery.

Although I am but half of the equation, the models bring their own poses and emotions to the photo shoot as well and I feel many of the best images are a full collaboration of ideas. At times not much more is needed but to introduce a location to the model and allow them the freedom to explore, to discover. I will offer direction when I feel I can enhance the images.

Otherwise I only use my perspective and sense of composition to capture what is before me.

Mission Santa Clara, California

Except nude art, is there another genre you enjoy ?

Desert landscapes and historical sites & locations. I did a series on the 21 California missions I called my "Mission mission". I get great many wonderful comments from school children who are using the photos and information for their reports. It's wonderful ! But it is difficult to compare to being out in nature.

There was one time I was in a remote area of Joshua Tree with Model Jade and we were waiting for the sunrise. It was so quiet and surreal. I asked her if she was feeling the inspiration of just being there and she said she was. I could see it in her eyes. Ever since transitioning to working with art nude models, landscapes just aren't the same without them.

"Golden Morning"
Art Model Pearl

I know your wonderful respect for the models you're working with. Some words about them ?

I cannot say enough. Without them I would be taking photographs of flowers and rocks.

"Say It Anyway"
Art Model Karen

One thing I have noticed also, and this is with everyone I've worked with, please forgive my generality, but art nude models as a group seem to me to be well above average in intelligence.

"Sharp Whisper"
Art Model Kat Love

I feel this translates into self awareness.

Very rarely I have found difficult to convey an idea during a photo shoot, and many times I have been surprised at some of the ideas conveyed to me. And unless I simply can't do the shot being suggested I almost always try shooting a model's concept, and quite frankly they are some of my best work.

Direction is very dependent on level of experience. At every level I will sometimes make minor adjustments to a pose, hands, feet or direction of the look. But there absolutely have been times my direction was not needed, I just did my best to capture what I saw.

If I had the time and the space available here I would list every model and tell you about them. I owe everything to them.

"Finding Beautiful Country"
Art Model Jade

With who are dreaming to work ? Models or photographers...

Several names come to my mind, but I really have had the opportunity to work with some phenomenal people already.

I have been extremely fortunate and blessed with the people I've met.

"I Want To Believe"
Art Model Nora

There are a handful of people I would really love to meet and work with, who's work I only am able to see online : Rachel Lovitt and Aislinn Eire in Washington (US), Kristin from Essex (UK), Mahée from Canada and Nikki in Pennsylvania (US).

If given the chance I would take a trip to OZ to meet Andre Jaf, Darren Phillips, Scott James Prebble and Ari, hoping some of that amazing talent would rub off on me. And two models from there that blow my mind, White Peach and Nikki. This list could go on and on !

It means a long trip ! Now, a difficult question : could you choose your own favourite photo ?

I like various images for various reasons and it is very difficult to choose just one, not only does every picture tell a story but there is a story behind every picture.
I could choose a favorite of each model easily, not only from the beauty in the image but the story which lead to creating it.

I'm not sure if many photographers feel this way, but I find more often than what is my favorite image is not well liked by the people who watch my work. And vice versa.

What I may feel is not my best work is sometimes the most commented on favorably. I would like to think my best photo may be in the future, however I am particularly smitten by "Splendor".

Art Model Lady Nymphadora

"The easy"
Art Model Pearl

What is your actual project ? Have you some challenges you're dreaming about ?

I have several including a road trip I would like to take to a ghost town in central Nevada. I am also going to continue to shoot in my favorite deserts and take a weekend trip or two to Death Valley and Anza Borrego.

If anyone reading this would like to go camping and shoot for 2 days in the desert feel free to email me !

I am hoping to take a few beginning photographers, and models too, out for a photo shoot and some adventure in the very beautiful areas I call home. And who knows, perhaps someone will feel the passion for it like I do.

"Rock Me"
Art Model Rebel Smith

The message is sent ! When and where will be your next exhibition ?

I am working toward this, I have never done one yet.

I believe you already have published a book, "“Desert Nudes". Is there a new one to come ?

I am dearly trying to. I have a book finished and I gave it to a local graphic designer a couple of months ago to edit and compile. Because of various issues I am now in search of someone else to do this. I have tried to do it myself but I have never published before, not only am I unfamiliar with the format I don't have the tools needed to publish. If anyone reading this would like to offer their services !...

"By The Light Of Day"
Art Model Pearl

What is your best way to promote your work ?

I am quite inadequate at promotion and even less so at business, I only want to take photos. But if you find something that works Chris I hope you share with me the secret.

What I have done is joined many online forums and social networking sites. I write bulletins and announcements. Beyond this I am simply at a loss of what else I should do. Also working full time only leaves me a few precious hours each week to edit images.

You're probably inadequate at your own promotion like a large majority of artists... But, yes I/we have some ideas in progress. I'll let you know on time. Talking about that, where can we purchase your prints ?

I have some selected prints available worldwide at RedBubble.

"Steel Skies"
Art Model Rebel Smith

Is there a question nobody ask you and you would like to answer ?

I can't think of one, but I would like to say thank you Chris, for all your hard work putting this together, and your passion in keeping it alive. This is a very valuable resource and a shining example of the best in art nude photography. I'm so thankful I found this calling, this passion, and as you said to me, I am glad to not be alone.

Once again, thank you !... Any message you'd like to leave our readers ?

There are all kinds of roads to follow, life is a highway. With any luck there will come a time when each of us figures out what we are most passionate about. Then follow your heart, do the right thing and never let anyone tell you it can't be done.

That's the simple truth, and so good to hear. Thanks a lot David, it was a immense pleasure.


unbearable lightness said...

What a wonderful interview, Chris, and a wonderful gallery. I had seen most of these images individually, but to see them all assembled is quite breathtaking.

I recently "discovered" David, and my first thought was "Edward Weston." There is a purity here that does evoke his nude in nature exploration. I have missed that sense of naturalness in much of the work I see today. What I like in David's is that blending of the woman's form and curves and lines into the landscape.

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