I’m excited about this interview because i’ve been trying to get a few more auto photographers on RAW. There are a few coming but Marcus was able to get me his interview and pictures very quickly. I came across Marcus on 500px, you know the new flickr for us creative types 🙂 Anyway it was a long shot but I emailed him and the rest is history. Enjoy!
Tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a 29 year old, passionate freelance photographer/graphic designer, based in Sweden, and founder of eastandsthlm. And together with a couple of close friends I run a site for people who are young at heart and are passionate about motorsports as a lifestyle; the coalition of syndromes – alive.se
But to be honest, I’m not really a “car guy”, I don’t see the fun in them like all of my friends do. I’m a bike person really. MX, motard, supermoto, flattrackers, café racers, bobbers and fighters. I love bikes!
What made you get into photography?
Extreme sports have always gone hand in hand with video and still photography, and coming from a youth where everyone were either skateboarding or riding bmx, I started out shooting it, with a pretty shitty 70’s analog SLR. Never left the shutter priority-mode.
As I studied media at the time, I got a chance to properly learn about the technical aspects of photography, as well as darkroom development techniques.
No PS, the coolest thing you could do back then was to double expose the film and boost the red channel for contrast. Ah those were the days…
How did you get started?
My interest in photography took a more serious turn after seeing some shots from Easton Chang, Wunn Ruji and Seagram Pearce. These guys are incredible at their profession and were a great source of inspiration. They’ve also made a big imprint on my post processing techniques.
We have some amazingly talented automotive photographers here in sweden too – Dejan Sokolovski, Oskar Bakke, and Martin Persson to name a few.
So the competion over here is very tough, but at the end of the day, we’re all friends and give each other constuctive critisism and feedback. It’s a great community and we’re all glad for each others progress.
What sort of photography do you mainly do?
Mostly automotive stuff, but also some products, headshots and editorial.
What gear are you using?
Nikon D3s & Nikon D90
Nikkor 50mm 1.4g
Nikkor 50mm 1.8d
Nikkor 105mm 2.8 macro
Sigma 10-20mm wide angle
I really love these prime lenses. so crisp in a smooth kind of way.
Yes, I’m a Nikon guy! But i dont get the “war” between Canon and Nikon, I think they’re pretty similar in performance, just choose the one that fits best in your hand. And don’t listen to “Nikon this, Canon that”-type of dudes.
My first DSLR was a Sony A100 (Sonys first crop sensor DSLR), and I was pretty disappointed with the ISO performance. Anything over 200 made the image collapse.. Oh bummer.
So i bought a D90, a fair bit better in the ISO performance department, but honestly, I bought it because it looked good, really.
If you’re going to buy a fairly expensive camera, don’t look too much at the technical mumbo jumbo, choose the dopest looking one!
If its expensive, it’s good enough.
The D3s is a serious ISO-monster though, as every upper grade full format body probably is. Haven’t tried a Canon out though, just asuming.
3x Vivitar 285Hv for portable use, these bastards are the bomb!
Triggered with Phottix Atlas transcievers. Really impressed by the reach and reliability of these, was about time someone stepped up to the same league as the industrial standard pw’s.
3x Visico Intelligent LR 400ws for studio use.
And also every little thing that’s a “must have” in a creative studio – softboxes, reflectors, grids, snoots, gels, skateboards and a coke fridge.
24″ tricked out iMac for editing pictures.
15″ Macbook Pro for shooting tethered on location. You should never trust your cameras LCD when checking your exposure, and if you don’t have a laptop at hand, use the cameras histo’ instead.
For software i use Lightroom 3 and PS CS5.
Typical workflow would be: Import to Lightroom, edit raw file, exposure, colour temp, and correct the ugly artifacts like distorsion and vignetting.
Spit out, open in CS5, and do some more harcore editing. Clone stamp and colour balance are my all time favorites.
Whats your favourite lens and why?
I’m in love with how crisp and accurate the 50mm 1.4g prime is. But I have never seen a nicer bokeh than the one my 105mm macro produces, great for portraits.
How are you marketing yourself?
Through social medias and eye-to-eye marketing – it’s important to talk to people.
I believe that a genuine, nice, “down to earth”-type of guy with great shots will be remembered, rather than one amazing douchebag.
And make sure to only have your personal favourites in your portfolio, images you’re not proud of will not rock anyone else’s boat either.
Whats your favourite photo you have taken?
Hard to choose one really, the CBR rig shot is so technically advanced, and that’s why I really like it. But even “back to basics”-kind of shots, with all ambient lighting, are good because of their simplicity.
Advice for new photographers looking to go pro?
The first thing i always tell people who just bought themselves a nice DSLR is to be brave enough to leave the auto mode. Once your’re familiar with manual settings, its basically up to your own creativity and imagination.
There’s really no need for external lighting and gizmo’s to make a good shot. Take a look at Andrew Thompson for example ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/visualechos/ ), no specific gear, just a camera and a very good eye for composition and tonal relationships.
Browse discussion boards, look at other inspirational photographers, read tutorials, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Look at behind the scenes videos and take in as much info as you can.
You can even learn a lot in post processing by looking at those awesome “before and after” shots.
Make sure to be seen by a lot of people. And make sure to have an easy to navigate-type of portfolio, making sure that it can be seen by all browsers including mobile ones.
And one thing that’s better than handing out business cards to everyone and their moms, be a nice guy.
At last, don’t showcase all your shots, kill your darlings, choose only your favourites. Less is more, cliché.