Each Monday, we’ll highlight one indie photographer whose body of work deserves special recognition. Please enjoy their photography here, and make it a point to enjoy the rest of their work on their website.
This week the Indie Spotlight shines on Yoni Kiper of Tel-Aviv, Israel. In trying to classify Yoni’s style, words like ‘diverse’ or ‘experimental’ come to mind. His works vary between abstract and figurative images, staged shots as well as spontaneous. Yoni loves capturing mysterious, eerie or abandoned places and lost or deserted objects, making the energy of the atmoshpere the subject of the shot. Emphasizing textures and contrast, mixed with experimental lighting, Yoni likes his images to raise questions rather than answer them.
Yoni uses two different cameras depending on the nature of the shot. When shooting staged photos, or in dark abandoned buildings he uses his Canon 500D with the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens. He finds this lens suitable for closeups as well as wide angle shots, producing well focused, low noise images even in low lighting situations. For spontaneous shots in good natural lighting he often uses his Samsung Galaxy-S mobile phone camera which produces good detail, contrast and vivid colors. He uses both often and does not prefer one or the other, the choice is based more on the shot.
It all begins with lighting. When shooting outdoors, depending on his vision of the shot, Yoni will choose the time of day that best serves his vision. The natural light of the afternoon works best for his more dramatic images, creating a haunting atmosphere. When setting up staged shots, often indoors, he will mix natural and artificial lighting and play with the angles until satisfied with the shot. Composition is always important. When shooting in visually messy locations with many objects and textures, Yoni seeks the lines and shapes that will call a chaotic scene into some sort of order. Taking multiple shots of a scene allows options in chosing the best final image. Using Adobe Photoshop, Yoni boosts contrast and levels, saturating some parts of the image while desaturating others. He sometimes merges and blends two shots into one to create an entirely new image. When editing mobile phone shots, one of his choice apps is ‘Pics Art.’
Tips, Tricks and Techniques:
Once while sitting on a bus stopped in traffic, Yoni took advantage of an opportunity for a spontaneous shot of a strange structure nearby. Holding his camera steady a few centimeters from the bus windowpane, he took his shots. When reviewing the images at home he discovered the intruiging effects of shooting through the bus window. He noticed a range of different tones were produced as well as a ‘smart blur‘ type of effect caused by dirt or stains on the glass that were not in focus. This caused some random darkening in the shot making it a bit more abstract. Since that time Yoni sometimes shoots from a few centimeters behind a glass or window as a light and color filter.
Yoni believes that in order to create more interesting images, one needs to be attentive to it’s needs in the editing process and to let it speak for itself. It can be fun to burn some edges while dodging other parts, but it is equally important to know when to stop and just leave it be.
Yoni finds inspiration in the way that Christopher Payne presents industrial and neglected places. He says Christopher’s works have a strong feel, displaying great contrasts and textures, clever compositions and an overall well crafted look. Another source of inspiration for Yoni is the works of Klea McKenna. He is inspired by the way she manipulates light, creating fascinating abstract images full of color, movement and life with her original and innovative methods.
In the future, Yoni would also like to explore the world of portrait photographyand he would like to have people participate more often in scenes that he shoots. With his passion for abandoned places, Yoni would like to take it to the next level by shooting in some ancient terrain such as the ruins of a long forgotten city. He is curious to see what emotions would arise in him while in such a place and how they might effect his images.
Check out more of Yoni’s work at http://instacanv.as/yonikiper.
Dave is a musician, photographer and writer from Nazareth, PA. He works in the computer networking field but his passions lie in his music and photography. He can often be found leaving home with his bass guitar and his camera bag on his shoulder. Dave enjoys shooting landscapes and wildlife but would prefer combine his crafts and be a concert photographer.