“Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… It remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.” — Aaron Siskind
Photography is more than the photograph. Photography is art, a feeling, creation, a moment captured in time, where words are not needed and the image speaks a silent language that is understood through time, place and people, it’s timeless. Gypset has the pleasure of getting close and personal to the art, feeling and creation of Chris Ecker as seen through his glass eye in “All Night”.
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
In Austria I grew up not knowing that my grandfather was a pretty famous portrait photographer in his country back the days. A cousin of mine living in London told me so but that was when I was 36. Now I am 42 but I always was somehow addicted to taking pictures to mainly keep memory of a special moment or to create a special moment. I can remember taking black & white shots of the endless fields behind my other grandma’s farm in Austria at the age of 16. I lost the negatives but still have the prints. These days I am shooting fashion and portraits for local fashion labels, magazines and model agencies next to my free work. I have plans to do a series of landscapes on film but that is another story…
How and when did you discover you passion for photography?
My father bought a small Canon Canonette in 1972 when I was born. My father is a terrible photographer with shots out of focus doing everything wrong you can imagine so I can remember that finally I was taking family pictures and landscapes at the age of ten or so. I still have this cam which has its place next to my office mac. I even used it when a friend of mine had the opening of his first solo photography exhibition.
How would you describe your style?
I never have the intention to get the “wow-effect” out of Photoshop – I am somehow very old fashioned so to my opinion the impression has to be a result of good photography. I never spend more than average 15 minutes on post-production for each shot. People should spend more time on good photography and less on post-production. I am a photographer not a photoshopper! Get the fascination out of what you have in front of your cam and post-production will become less important and you will get evergreens – here in black & white.
Can you walk us through the actual process that you use to set up a series?
Concerning the series you are publishing we wanted to tell a story with a series of pictures concentrating on substantial shots. So Sophie Andersen, the Stylist in this work, and me were doing a very small storyboard but with enough room for me shooting the story. Most important the team understood the concept and everybody became a part of turning the concept into a result which reflects the plan.
Color vs. Black and White. Why one over the other, and is the photographic process different?
I think in black & white from the beginning on. Not everything works in black & white but I have developed a sense for the use of b&w. I would never shot a colorful sunset in b&w but I would prefer a b&w fashion shooting in the grey fog on a beach. Black & White photography needs black & white conditions and black & white it’s not black & white – you have the grey scale from dark black to bright white so it is up to your b&w style, how you set you cam or flash to get the b&w result you want to see. White or grey skin – high or low contrast? It is up to the b&w photographer!
We know that each of us has someone or something, which inspires our life and work. Can you tell us the true basis of your inspiration?
F.E. since spring I am reading Macel Proust´s Swann’s Way so I will do a free work based on the concept that I am shooting with the eyes and memories of a sleeping dreamer – getting this idea into fashion photography. I am not sure if it will work but it is worth a try. Music videos, art, galleries, other photographers, my environment – it is almost everything which surrounds me.
How do you relate to the Gypset Identity?
We met on Instagram so I was on Gypset Magazine online for a while, I liked the infotainment with a strong relation to art, and this is how I see most of my work, too.
What advice do you have for somebody who wants to pursue photography?
Be inspired but never copy, find you own style. Be passionate and never give up.
“My work is my Statement” Thank you and greetings from Austria, Chris
Chris’ work can be seen in magazines, prints, online. Check out his website www.chrisecker.com