Saturday, July 16, 2011
PHOTOGRAPHER EXTROIDINAIRE ! .... MEET JESSE BRENNEMAN
Continuing with my effort to feature talented Ontario photographers amateur or professional, please meet Jesse Brenneman. I met Jesse a week ago today at the Lakefield Jazz Festival and Art Show. He and his wife were actually there to browse and listen to the jazz. They are from the Kitchener area of Ontario. We were talking and I discovered he is a photographer as well. We shared a few tips and some of our history. I was most impressed with his willingness to take some time out of his personal weekend to discuss photography so I asked if he would consider letting me do a feature...he said, 'yes'.
Here we go!...in Jesse's own words.
When did you first get interested in photography?
ABOUT 5 YEARS AGO, IN MY SECOND YEAR OF UNIVERSITY, WAS THE FIRST TIME I REALLY HAD ANY INTEREST IN TAKING PHOTOS.
What kind of camera was your first and what do you use now?
I STARTED WITH MY MOTHER’S FUJI A303 POINT-AND-SHOOT CAMERA, AND AFTER ABOUT A YEAR AND A HALF UPGRADED TO AN SLR. I AM NOW USING A CANON 40D.
What, in your opinion, are the advantages and disadvantages between ‘point and shoot’ and ‘DSLR’?
POINT-AND-SHOOT CAMERAS ARE GREAT FOR BEING COMPACT AND QUICK, AS WELL AS BEING FAR LESS COSTLY THAN SLR's. SO, I DON’T MIND TAKING MY POINT-AND-SHOOT CAMERA OUT IN A CANOE OR SOMWEHERE ELSE WHERE IT MIGHT GET WRECKED…I WOULDN’T DARE DO THAT WITH MY SLR. ON THE OTHER HAND, THE SLR OFFERS SO MUCH MORE DIVERSITY, ESPECIALLY IN LENSES AND FULL MANUAL CONTROLS, IN ORDER TO TAKE PHOTOS WITH MANY DIFFERENT MOODS AND EFFECTS. THE FAST FOCUSING IS A DEFINITE BENEFIT AS WELL.
What type of pictures do you tend to shoot the most?
I MOSTLY SHOOT LANDSCAPES AND ARCHITECTURE, AND REALLY LOVE TAKING THESE PHOTOS AT NIGHT. I ALSO LOVE TO TAKE PHOTOS OF PETS AND OTHER ANIMALS.
What type of art, photography etc. do you have in your own home?
AT THE MOMENT, MY WIFE AND I JUST HAVE FRAMED SETS OF PHOTOS FROM SOME OF OUR VACATIONS. BUT I HAVE PLENTY OF OLD MOVIE POSTERS STORED AWAY THAT I PLAN ON PUTTING UP WHEN WE HAVE MORE SPACE.
What is one tip you’ve learned that has improved your photography?
EXPERIMENTATION IS KEY. BEING COMPLETELY SELF-TAUGHT, I LEARNED QUICKLY THAT YOU JUST NEED TO TAKE LOADS OF PHOTOS TO LEARN THE SETTINGS AND CAPABILITIES OF YOUR CAMERA, AND TAKE EVEN MORE TO FIND COOL WAYS TO PUT THEM TO USE. ALSO EXPERIMENT WITH COMPOSITION. DON’T JUST TAKE THE ANGLE YOU FIRST THINK OF. TAKE MANY MORE…AND THEN MORE ON TOP OF THOSE…YOUR FIRST THOUGHT IS VERY RARELY YOUR FAVOURITE FROM THE SET.
When you do portrait work, what is your biggest challenge?
PORTRAITS ARE TOUGH FOR ME. I FIND THAT RELATING TO THE SUBJECT IS VERY HELPFUL, BUT IS NOT ALWAYS EASY TO DO IN A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME. UNDERSTANDING THE SUBJECT HELPS YOU TO LOOSEN THEM UP AND MAKE THE SHOOT FLOW EASILY AND MORE NATURALLY. BUT I FIND THIS DIFFICULT.
What type of photography is more difficult for you?
PORTRAITS. I FIND MOVING OBJECTS MORE DIFFICULT TO DEAL WITH, BUT THE CHALLENGE IS GREAT FUN WHEN I DO PORTRAIT SESSIONS
Is there a particular photo you just haven’t managed to shoot yet, but you really would like to get?
I REALLY, REALLY WANT TO DO SOME SUPER-LONG EXPOSURES OF THE SKY AT NIGHT TO GET “STAR TRAILS,” BUT JUST HAVEN’T HAD THE TIME LATELY TO GO PULL IT OFF
Who influenced your love of photography?
MY WIFE’S FATHER IS A VIDEOGRAPHER, AND SEEING HIS WORK WAS A LARGE INSPIRATION, AND MY BEST FRIEND WAS ALWAYS FOOLING AROUND WITH HIS CAMERA, AND WAS ANOTHER SOURCE OF INSPIRATION AND KNOWLEDGE
Name one photographer you admire living or dead and why.
ACTUALLY, MY BEST FRIEND HIN FAN. HE HAS BEEN MY MAIN SOURCE OF MOTIVATION AND KNOWLEDGE IN THE WORLD OF PHOTOGRAPHY. HIS PHOTOS ARE ALWAYS SO UNIQUE, AND EVERY TIME I SEE UPDATED PHOTOS ON HIS FLICKR PAGE, I AM INSPIRED TO GO OUT AND TAKE SOME MORE PHOTOS OF MY OWN.
Which shot, up until now, are you most proud of?
One tip you could give a relatively new photographer…
ONE TIP I TRY TO GIVE PEOPLE IS TO EXPERIMENT WITH EXPOSURE. IT IS NOT ALWAYS NECESSARY STICK TO THE “RULES” THAT YOU MIGHT HEAR ABOUT. TRY FUNKY ANGLES AND TRY DIFFERENT WAYS OF FRAMING A SUBJECT. DON’T RELY TOO HEAVILY ON PHOTOSHOP. IT IS A GREAT TOOL FOR TOUCHING UP AN IMAGE, BUT LEARN THE ART OF COMPOSITION, BECAUSE PHOTOSHOP CAN’T HELP WITH COMPOSITION
How do you use social media to grow your photography business….
CURRENTLY, I ONLY USE FLICKR. I HAVE BEEN AT SCHOOL FOR THE PAST FEW YEARS, AND TIME HAS NOT BEEN IN ABUNDANCE. BUT, FLICKR HAS BEEN A GREAT WAY OF SHARING MY WORK AND GETTING MY NAME OUT THERE VIA GROUPS
What shot has eluded you so far?
THE MOON.I REALLY WANT TO TAKE SOME GREAT CLOSE-UPS OF THE MOON, BUT HAVEN’T YET.
What is your ultimate goal as a photographer?
MY GOAL, FROM THE VERY BEGINNING, WAS TO LEARN HOW TO USE A CAMERA WELL ENOUGH THAT I COULD PUT SOME PHOTOS ON MY WALLS WITHOUT HAVING TO BUY ART. IT TURNED INTO AN OBSESSION TO CONTINUE TO GET BETTER PHOTOS. NOW MY GOAL IS TO CAPTURE PHOTOS ON MY TRAVELS THAT MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY WANT TO HANG ON THEIR WALLS…AND HOPEFULLY SELL SOME OF THOSE PHOTOS AS ART!
What awards or acknowledgements have you received thus far, if any?
I HAVE ATTACHED ANOTHER PHOTO (A TREE LANDSCAPE) WHICH HAS WON AWARDS IN THE LANDSCAPE AND OVERALL CATEGORIES IN THE GLEN MORRIS LIBRARY PHOTO CONTEST AND WHICH WON FIRST PLACE IN THE LANDSCAPE CATEGORY, AS WELL AS THE “BEST-IN-SHOW” AWARD IN THE 2010 KITCHENER PUBLIC LIBRARY AMATEUR PHOTO CONTEST.
THE FINAL ATTACHED PHOTO RECEIVED THIRD PLACE IN THE ARCHITECTURE CATEGORY IN THE 2011 KITCHENER PUBLIC LIBRARY AMATEUR PHOTO CONTEST.
On a personal note, I'd like to thank Jesse and I have no doubt that his name will be recognized by many in the future.....amazing work!
If you wish to see more of Jesse's photography go to:
Below are a few of my favourites he sent......please enjoy!
If you like Jesse's work and want to comment or get in touch with him, you can email him at jmb.photo at yahoo.ca