We featured photographer Simas Lin's work a while back and now we're back for seconds. He is a skilled and highly creative photographer who pushes the boundaries of his photographic work. We got in touch with him recently and we're more than excited to share with you his thoughts on photography, his creative process, and a few things in between. Enjoy!
Hello, Simas! Welcome to the Lomography Magazine! Tell us about how you discovered photography. How did you know that photography was for you?
I've discovered photography when I was 16 years old. Then I bought my first SLR camera at a flea market and started experimenting with analog processes. It lasted up until I left school for business studies since I thought business is much more perspective than photography. After two years of studying I once and for all understood photography is what I want to do.
How would you define photography?
Photography is a great tool to release your philosophy in a visual form.
What do you think is the best thing about photography?
Its therapeutic features. Both for photographer and viewer.
How do you prepare for a shoot?
It depends on what I shoot. Sometimes it may be a long and difficult preparation with lots of location scouting etc. and sometimes just a quick pass by snapshot. Both can turn into great photograph.
The most important preparation is conceptual, everything else follows organically.
What's your favorite subject?
There's no fundamentally favorite subject for me. The subject I like is the one I need for an idea to be expressed.
How do you stay creative?
I try to work as much as possible. It's such a banal saying, but it works.
What would you say are the most challenging things about photography in this day and age?
Obviously, it is a significance. We all have smartphones now, so we all became photographers. We can capture every single corner of our planet through satellites or Google street view, so we don't even need to get up from the sofa. Photography is soon to be renamed as 'digital record making.' That's generally what my recent project "Been There" is about.
We are in awe of your landscape shots. They are highly inventive, to say the least. What made you pursue that area of photography?
Thank you! Landscape was the first field that I genuinely explored, I guess because of its accessibility. It's just you, the landscape and a camera. No special effort or gear needed. And I've always tended to analyze the surroundings much more deeply than it's usual. I guess these two reasons merged.
Are there artists/photographers that influenced you heavily?
Everyone who's doing something original and unseen inspires me. When I first saw some new topographic works back in 2012 they greatly affected me.
What are the main things you consider before you hit the shutter?
Back when I was shooting film I was always thinking is it worth that 1/24 or 1/36 of a film, but now when shooting digital and having a huge shutter limits the only thing I consider is that really what I want to do.
How do you come up with concepts for your shoots? Some of your images look like they might belong in a movie set or fantasy film.
It differs. Sometimes a visual I see inspires and generates the idea as it happened with "Bus Stops" and some works are born out of simple wandering around like it is happening with "Random Visual Sounds."
How would you describe your style in five words?
Philosophical and aesthetic obsessive explorations.
In your opinion, what are the characteristics of a good photograph?
A good photo is the one that doesn't make you think whether it's good or bad.
What's your favorite photograph? Why?
At the moment I really like the image #3 from my newest project "Been There." It took a lot of time and effort to make it happen and I'm really proud of it.
Any artist/photographer out there that you follow?
I couldn't name the artist that I'm totally in love with, but there are plenty of projects that are inspiring masterpieces, i. e. 'Cathedral Of Pines' by Gregory Crewdson, 'Touching strangers' by Richard Renaldi, 'Vanity" by Murray Fredericks, "Transition' by Lauren Marsolier etc.
What would be your dream project?
It is always the one that I'm currently working on.
If you weren't a photographer, what would you be?
I've never thought about that because since the conscious age I've always wanted to become a photographer. I guess I'd be again a guy willing to become a photographer.
Any upcoming projects? Please talk about them.
Yes, I'm starting to work on a few new projects at the same time. I'm usually being called a landscape or architectural photographer and one of my newest projects will not fit in that definition anyhow. I'm making a photo series about people that have to wear uniforms at their work. It is about the false social and psychological effect that is produced by superficial attribute of our everyday life. I've been walking around with this concept in my head for over 4 years and now it's time for it to happen. It's a huge challenge for me as I'm really new to portrait photography.
How do you think people should handle success and failure?
Success is a result of patience when you fail, so better be patient.
What do you think matters more -- fresh ideas or flawless execution?
Fresh ideas with flawless execution - that's what everyone should strive for. But yes, a fresh idea with questionable execution is way better than a poor idea with flawless execution. The technical part of photography for me is as important as conceptual.
What does a perfect day look like for Simas Lin?
Waking up with a purified idea, grabbing a camera and leaving for an indefinite time.
Any last words for our readers?
Keep on wandering!