Dima Shapira is 27 years old photographer. He was born in Russia and was very athletic kid who loved swimming, skiing and mathematics. At the age of 15 Dima emigrated to Israel and due to the lack of snow in Israel, he moved to BMX and rollerblades instead of the ski. At the age of 18 Dima went to the army and had been serving there for 3 years as a paratrooper. Afterwards he went to study 3D graphics. He had never worked with it but it was fun. Then Dima studied color processing and at the same time he self-learned photography. Now he’s working at a snowboarding shop and in his spare time Dima is snowboarding, taking fashion pictures as he wants to be a fashion photographer. And also sometimes he takes sports and landscapes pictures. Additionally Dima wants to learn how to take photos of stars. We met with Dima and asked him some questions about photography and what inspired him to be a photographer. It was a great pleasure for us to take interview with Dima Shapira and we are glad to share it with you. Thank you for reading and as you know sharing is caring;)
AP: Dima, tell us about your first photos. What did they look like?
DS: I took my first photos at the age of 8 with my father’s old Zenit camera and I didn’t touch another camera up until the age of 16. At the age of 16 I took photos with one of my class mate’s camera from time to time when I was at high school. I took photos of everything, mostly it was nonsense pictures and now I can’t look at them without laughing, although I had some great pictures that made me enthusiastic for a couple of years. I started to take photography seriously only when I served at the army; I was inspired by the photos that I saw at National Geographic magazine took by journalists from all over the world.
AP: Do you have any formal education in photography or were you self-taught?
DS: Although I studied 3D graphics and color processing and I’m self-taught. At the very beginning, when I just got involved into photography I thought that I knew everything and there was nothing to learn, but soon enough I understood that I didn’t know it all. So I started to read articles on the Internet, learned some techniques and researched what every single part in the camera supposed to do. For a long time I thought that the most expensive tools are always the best, but after a while I realized that even with a simple 20$ camera you can make a great work! I always looked for the way to combine lighting in my photos. Right now I prefer to take photos at the sunrise time and combine the light of the sun as a backlight in photography.
AP: What genre are your photos?
DS: I tried shooting fashion, extreme sports, landscapes, astrophotography and concerts. I had difficulties with studio sessions as I used to shoot outside and used natural light as the main light source. Also I had some difficulties at the first concerts where I took pictures at, and the most difficult thing is to think about an idea for fashion session, as you need to think about the location, clothes and a lot of other elements that are involved. My favorite genres are fashion because I like beautiful ladies. And extreme sports are my second biggest passion.
AP: How would you describe your photography?
DS: At this point I wouldn’t say that my work is unique and unusual, as I’m still searching for my way in photography. Right now, I’m trying to explain to myself something through photography more than I try to tell something to others. I would describe my photography as amateur and confused, but I’m sure that soon enough I will find my style, my own area, or I will keep searching for my whole life.
AP: What kind of equipment and techniques do you use to create your photos?
DS: I use a wide variety of equipment.
- Cameras: Canon 20D and Canon 5D MKII.
- Lenses: 50mm f/1.8, 70-200mm f/2.8, 24-105mm f/4.
- Flashes: Canon Speedlite 580II and a studio flash – Bowens Gemini.
- Monfrotto Tripod, Burton Focus Backpack.
- 3 in 1 reflector from a local store, Pocket Wizard miniTT1 and flexTT5.
- Datacolor, Spyder Checkr, Color Calibration tool.
- MacBook Pro 15”.
- Wacom Intous 4.
- Adobe Lightroom 3.
- Adobe Photoshop CS5.
AP: What is the most grandiose project you had to work on?
DS: I never had one yet, up until now I photographed mostly small things and a huge part of them were personal. But as for responsibility I photographed Matisyahu’s concert & Heineken Festival 2010 where were invited and had a concert The Drums, LCD Soundsystem and P.I.L. as well.
AP: Would you consider yourself as an expert in photography?
DS: No, I am not an expert. I am still in the learning process and I want to learn new things. And of course I am very enthusiastic to become an expert in what I do. But now photography is not my main source of income, but I definitely want it to be my main activity and profession.
AP: What is the formula for success in your activity?
DS: I do not have a formula, as I do not describe myself as a successful. I do participate in photography contests and I am working with other known photographers in Israel, and for now I do not have any achievements that I would be happy to share.
AP: Is there someone who supports you in your creativity?
DS: My main support comes from my family, and sometimes from my friends. All of my exposure is only on the Internet; my profiles and my portfolio are in social networks. I think that the essential part of my creativity is my imagination, but maybe I am wrong.
AP: Would you like to wish something to your readers and AstrumPeople?
DS: Yes of course, keep doing the things you love and only them! And also do not give up even if someone tells you that you are not good at what you do, because somewhere there will be always someone who will love your work!
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