This week we are hitting the west coast to feature our member Robert Zimiga of Robert Zimiga Photography of Glendale, California. Robert has found his true calling in photography and he credits his years in the tv and film industry as helping him hone his craft. He also thinks his background and upbringing helped him develop his true appreciation for life, love and photography.
Robert explains, “I come from a culturally diverse family.I pretty much grew up everywhere. I lived in North Carolina, Spain, South America, South Dakota, California, and been to almost every state in America. I grew up partially a military brat, packing up and moving to just about everywhere. I have 2 parts of my life that have stuck with me the most. I lived in Spain for 4 years at Zaragoza Airbase in Spain. During that time I was able learn a great deal about the Spanish Culture, and learn the language. I even went to bullfighting classes, hung out with matadors, and ran with the bulls. I fell in love with the country and it’s still in my heart till this day. I am a Lakota Sioux from South Dakota. My family is respected on the reservation and off. I grew up learning the importance of family. Our family is very open and loving to everyone no matter, race, culture, sexual orientation, or religion…we accept everyone…in the Lakota way we believe Mitakuye Oyasin…it means ‘we are all related.’ I believe my Mexican, Native American, Irish heritage is a blessing because I am able to relate to just about everyone. I love learning new cultures and ways of life and I think knowledge of each culture, language, and other ways of life make a well rounded person. It makes your eyes wider,your ears open more, and your heart stronger.”
I asked Robert what inspires him. He replied, “My inspiration I would have to say Ansel Adams, and My best friend thats no longer with us Gary Graver he was the Director of Photography for Orson Wells. He taught me how to frame and the process of a moving image. Everything to him was 2nd nature he LOVED everything about filmmaking. He loved working with filmmakers and photographers. I directed 3 short films where he was my DP and his experience and patience taught me a lot. He was incredible the way he would make things work on a budget. Gary was a Naval combat photographer so he knew how to think on his feet. I think a little bit of that rubbed off on me. He was and still to this day is my biggest inspiration.”
I asked Robert if he could go back in time and give himself some advice, what would it be? He answered, “ I would have to say..for me to have more faith in my abilities..I think we as “artists” tend to be our own worst critic. I use to spend time pixel peeping and looking at every single pixel but Ive learned that was a waste of time . It can get ya down when a shot isn’t 100% perfect. No one’s shot is 100% perfect no matter who takes it, especially to themselves. Remember, we don’t do art for our own viewing its for OTHER people to enjoy. Just enjoy the process.”
So I had to know what Robert’s favorite image of his was and why. He answered, ” The Badlands picture because right behind where I took the shot is my dad’s land on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation. My dad always wanted a piece of land close to the badlands and now he has it. He wants to one day build his own place out there. I’m hoping one day to be able to afford to help him to build that place. That place is called Red Shirt Table.”
Inside Robert’s camera bag, you’ll find he keeps it simple. He packs a Canon along with two lenses and lots of adapters, wireless triggers, speedlights and gel packs. He keeps it simple to focus on what matters the most, his subject matter.
Thank you Robert for sharing your beautiful work with us. If you would like to see more of his work you can check out his facebook page HERE.
We know a lot of you have taken advantage of our 8×8-14 page photo book $9.99 sale and we want to reward you! You can now win THIS iPad 2 (16GB) just by sharing the photo books you designed and purchased during this sale with us on our Facebook page. (you will need to be a fan of Adoramapix) Simply share (you can either embed your photo books or copy and paste your photo book link) your 8×8 photo book with us on our facebook page and we’ll assign you a number. Submit your entries before July 2nd, 2012 at 11:59 pm EST and you could win it. The more times you enter the more chances you have of winning. We will assign you a number and then we will choose a winner Monday, July 3rd, 2012 by placing the numbers in a Random Generator. The 8×8-14 page photo book $9.99 sale has been extended until July 2, 2012. Code for photo books: px8810 and for our 8×8-14 page Leather Lux books photo books it’s $29.99 code: px8810l.
Need help on figuring out how to share your photo book. Here is a sample picture for you.
You can share any sale photo book you made starting June 1st, 2012 through today. Still need more help on figuring out how to embed your photo book — no problem here is a video tutorial.
Any questions/concerns? Please feel free to contact email@example.com.
Only books designed and bought during the June 8×8 -14 page 2012 sale will be eligible. If you ordered more than one photo book of the same design, please note that this only counts as one on our wall.
2012 Regular Contest Rules and Regulations apply. You can see full details HERE.
This coming Sunday is Father’s Day and I thought it would be perfect if we featured a member who was not only a great photographer, but a great father. This week we put the spotlight on Jay Wilson of Jay B. Wilson Photography of New York City.
I asked Jay how he started out in photography. He answered, ” I developed a love for photography, as many did, back in junior high school with the standard Photography 101 art class – the borrowed Pentax K1000, the dark room, the weekly exercises in shadow and reflection. My love for it really took off when my family visited the U.K. for six weeks in 1984 – I only remember the year because our English butcher would crank “Born in the U.S.A.” and sing along. I love taking photographs of ruined castles like Kenilworth – and loved how their facades changed so dramatically as the light changed. I also loved wildlife and sports photography, often hauling my SLR to Fenway Park and out into the woods to stalk waterfowl.
I didn’t really go professional until 2005, when I began selling prints of New York City online. It’s evolved since then to include a few exhibits in Westchester County, where I live, as well as portrait, commercial, and event work. Currently, I’m also selling matted prints of NYC down at The Fulton Stall Market by the Seaport, which is a great way to meet visitors from all over the world, many of whom share our passion for photography.”
I always like to ask photographers, what inspires them? When I asked Jay, he said, “I fell in love with New York when I moved here in 1996, and the city has been my inspiration since day one. I love the variety of photographic opportunity the city gives us – from the best street photography in the world, to the architecture, the parks, the daily drama of life in Gotham. I primarily focus on architecture, and try to find new perspectives and compositions on landmarks like The Flatiron Building or Chrysler Building, but I also really enjoy finding those hidden gems – the faded signages, the urban decay, the notes of serenity the otherwise rough and tumble streets.”
He continued, “ More recently, after the birth of my daughter five years ago, I began photographing my kids obsessively. It got to the point, when she was about three, that she was so sick of being photographed that it turned into a game – me stalking her with a camera like Ron Galella, her ducking behind tables and cribs to hide. It could have gone either way, but I’m happy to say that now she loves taking photos and videos with her own camera – a Kodak PlaySport I picked up at Adorama, which she particularly loves because she can take it in the pool. I love it because it’s virtually indestructible. Although my two-year-old son hasn’t started shooting, he loves looking at photos on Instagram, 500px, and in my Photoshop organizer.”
I also asked Jay what his favorite image is to date. He replied, ” That’s tough, and probably changes week by week when it comes to photographs of my kids, but in terms of the New York City work, I’d have to say ‘The Gathering’ a photograph I made in Grand Central Terminal. I walk through the Terminal a couple of times every day as I commute, and the place never ceases to leave me in awe.”
Inside Jay’s camera bag you’ll find a Pentax K7 body, Pentax 50mm 1.4 prime, Pentax 18-70mm kit, Tamron 70-300mm telephoto zoom, a Gorillapod, a couple of speedlights, a BlackRapid camera strap and of course, a ton of SD cards.
I asked Jay if he could go back in time and give himself some photography advice when he was first starting out .. what would it be? He answered, “I wish I had started doing professional work sooner. I work fulltime in advertising, so that was a constraint, but more than that, I don’t think I had the confidence, nor the venues, early on to show my work to others. Social media has certainly changed all that, and I love the instantaneous feedback you can get from others on platforms like Instagram and Twitter. I particularly love 500px, which is a wonderful forum for professional and advanced amateur photogs – the work there is truly spectacular, and challenges me to continue to push to the next level.”
Thank you Jay, your work is also very inspirational. If you would like to see more of Jay’s work you can stalk his amazing work at the following locations:
500px Site: http://500px.com/JayBWilson