Macro Photography Pro Charles Krebs on Developing Your Skills
To help get ready for our huge upcoming annual event, Photo Week 2015, we’re highlighting some of our favorite instructors who are part of the event.
We’re going to be sharing with you, everything from their tips and advice on how to make it in the photography business, how to frame perfect shots within their domains, how to create your unique style, and much more over the coming weeks.
Today, I got to chat with Charles Krebs, a first-time CreativeLive instructor, but by no means a newcomer to the world of photography. He has made quite a name for himself in his 35 years as a freelance photographer.
Over the years, Charles has done work for publications such as Smithsonian, Audubon, Time, Food and Wine, and Discover, to architectural interiors and exteriors for designers and architects. Most recently, his work has evolved to being heavily focused on using optical microscopes to capture astonishing images of micro subjects that most people would never otherwise witness. They’re seriously incredible.
Here’s our interview with Charles, focused on how his ever-changing interest in different photographic mediums has led him to where he is today.
Q. Your incredible close-up photos of insects are both fascinating and beautiful at the same time. Can you tell me why you got into microphotography?
Charles: “Nature close-up photography has always been one of the areas of photography that I found most satisfying. I’ve always enjoyed creating images that show people subjects that are all around them, but they never look at closely enough to see and appreciate.”
Q. Whose work do you most admire?
Charles: “There are many in a wide variety of photographic fields. But since I have been so heavily immersed in photomicrography for the past ten years, I’ll mention some members of this rather small community of photographers whose work I like very much.”
“These individuals combine high technical skills with a very artistic eye. Wim van Egmond, Charles Kazilek, Thomas Deerinck, Stefan Eberhard, and Shirley Owens would be a few. Unfortunately, outside of the world of photomicrography their images are not widely seen.”
Q. Tell me about the moment when you knew you made it as a photographer.
Charles: “My interest in photography grew during my college years. After college it became an all consuming avocation. I had contemplated going “full time” for several years. There was no specific moment, but a more gradual realization that as my skills developed this seemed a real possibility.”
“When I won a Natural History magazine photo competition, and saw one of my images on the cover it emboldened me to pursue this goal. When my subsequent forays to the editorial offices of various publications were productive and well received (this was long before the internet existed, magazines were KING!) I felt that I was on my way.”
Q. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Charles: “Enjoy your good images. But you can grow more quickly as a photographer from the images that are not completely successful… provided you take the time to study them and understand why they didn’t work as you expected.”
“In all photography the best images are made when the technical considerations become ‘second nature’ and you can then concentrate on the aesthetic aspects of the image. In this type of photography, proper technique and equipment are more complex and critical to success than in most photographic endeavors.”
“However the goal is the same, developing a sound foundation in the required technique so the bulk of your mental energy can be devoted to the artistic elements. This class will be devoted to presenting the basics of the techniques and hardware needed to photograph microscopic subjects. The creative aspects are then only limited to your imagination.”
For more of Charles’ experience in the business of photography and photomicrography, join us for the free live broadcast of Photo Week 2015 starting September 18th.
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