Now for another interview, with a good friend of mine, based in Belgium: Cole Sale. His work already has a very identifiable and beautiful “look” to it – something I’m trying to pull together and define in my own work (a goal for 2017?)…
How did you get into photography? What was your first camera?
Photography just kind of… happened. It’s not something that I had always wanted to pursue, it just snuck up on me one day when I was conversing with my mother (@swearish) and she showed me her 1976 Nikon F2. It seems to have quite the history. Originally it belonged to my grandfather and was passed down to my mother. It now rests in my hands and is certainly being used well! The F2 was my first real camera, though now I also use a few others, including a digital Nikon D610 (unfortunately, shooting film is an expensive hobby as a broke student!)
Do you have any major photography influences?
There are many photographers that inspire me. Most of these are not that well known, mostly discovered by chance through Instagram or Facebook. One such photographer is Ryan Muirhead, known best for his stunning portraiture and especially for shooting the female form. Another of my favourite photographers is Poland-based Nishe. Her beautiful images are packed with emotion and explore feelings melancholia, sadness and many other themes that inspire me.
What themes do you follow in your photography, if any? What do you feel unites your work?
I haven’t been shooting for long, but I tend to lean towards a dark, soft and moody style. I would like my images to convey a feeling when you see them. I haven’t found my own style yet, and it might take a while to do so, but until I do, I’m going to experiment with as many different styles as I possibly can.
Which camera setup is your favourite, and why?
When I was given the Nikon F2 it came with two beautiful Nikkor lenses: a beautiful 55mm f/1.2 beast accompanied by a 105mm f/2.5. Having these two covers pretty much anything I’d want to do. I mostly use the 55 f/1.2 since it is a little smaller and generally easier to use when snapping shots on the go. It also performs well in low light, so it’s an excuse to take it to concerts more often!
Among your work, which is your favourite shot and why?
I’m terrible at choosing favourites in most things, unfortunately. This rings true with most -if not all- of my work so far. I have a few images that I really like though, these mostly consist of images with strong memories and emotions attached to them. One such is of Elisa, a very dear friend of mine, shot in Brussels whilst we were together. There are a few other photographs that really strike a chord, one of my father pruning one of the many rose bushes in our back garden, another is of my best friend of many years, Raf, playing ukelele or lounging with my cousin Ava in London.
Is there a technique or subject you’d like to explore, that you haven’t yet?
So far I’ve mostly shot what is readily available to me and generally not too difficult. Living in the countryside this mostly consists of flowers, plants in our garden and nature in general. I have few portraits under my belt as of yet, since I find it difficult to shoot people. I’m planning on changing that by shooting more faces and bodies and portraying both the male and female form and it’s vulnerability and strength. If I have the chance (and more importantly, the space) I would also love to start developing my own film.
What are your photography plans for 2017?
In the coming year I want to focus on those portraits and shooting more in general. I’m going to try and get out of my comfort zone and shoot things I wouldn’t normally shoot, such as portraits and maybe even some sports, architecture and street photography. Film sure isn’t dead yet!
Thanks very much Cole – I know the expense of buying and developing film (don’t we all!). Get yourself some black and white chems in the January sales and have a go – you won’t regret it. The dog might not like the smell though!
More of Cole’s work can be viewed on Instagram here. I’m really enjoying these interviews, I’m lucky to have so many talented friends! There is always space for more, get in touch if you’d like to contribute, beginners and veterans alike.