„Photography forces a response in me. I feel I can be indifferent to a lot of art, because it either holds little relevance to me or has a creative distance from reality. I find it very curious that we can be drawn into a good photograph, but yet if the frame of the photographer’s eye were taken away, the vision would be lost in the noise of the surrounding elements of the scene. That is what fascinates me about photography.“
Darran K Roper
For Darran K Roper photography means a creative interaction with his surroundings. He believes: When you are seeing through your desire to create something, everything holds a little more interest. This ability gets lost over time, says Darran, and photography is a means of reawakening it.
Darran goes on and explains: „The task of finding statements separated from the everyday, is the single goal of street photography. A side effect of street photography is, you begin to see the marvel of the everyday, no moment or place can be discounted. Your mind and senses harmonize to show you where moments may reside, where the light may be favorable and how a situation may change. When I am on a walk, I am free, there is nothing, except this search for a statement that I may, or may not find.“
In this interview, Darran explains what street photography means to him and he talks about his moments of doubts regarding the quality of his own work. This is something most photographers are likely to experience at some point. It’s the moment when it’s time to step up and take your craft to the next level. Darran also talks about that and shares how he pushed himself to grow as an image maker.
Q&A with Darran K Roper
- Favourite photograph – by whom and why? Alex Webb – „Hati donkey photo“. There are so many. I picked this one, though a complex photograph; it’s composition, palette and strength in subject all stand out in such an immediate way. It also has a classic art feel to it, and wouldn’t look out of place between paintings by Michelangelo.
- Favourite inspirational quote about photography (or life in general)? Hokusai Katsushika springs to mind. I like the way writings about him come over with humility and energy. He viewed himself as an unfinished canvas, that only completes itself very late in the journey. Isn’t that how our lives should be? „If heaven had granted me five more years, I could have become a real painter.“
- Favorite book: „Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance“* by Rober M. Pirsig. I like thought provoking books, finding meaning in things is so enticing to me. Basically it’s a philosophical novel, a true story. It’s written in first person, three stories in one really. The present Pirsig travels across America on a road-trip with his son – during the journey there is an inner dialogue of his past, a battle with his former self (after a mental breakdown and electro therapy changed him); Lot’s of rational enquiry, the meaning of quality, how to approach the maintenance of a motorcycle and such. The motorcycle maintenance stuff could be appreciated by anyone who approaches anything with care and complete attention. A thinkers book.
- Favourite photographer – why? Alex Webb*. Where to start.
- One contemporary photographer you’ve recently discovered? David Guttenfelder. Awesome photographer, very excited to find his work.
- Favorite photography gadget? Sorry I don’t have one, besides a camera.
- Favorite song for the road? Why? „Overgrown“* by James Blake. Truth is, I have James Blake on a few photowalk playlists, but days later, I always review my work starting with this track for the last few years. I like unresolved arrangements with some dissonance a bit melancholic in mood. I find here is where connections are made.
Listen to the Gate7-Playlist on Spotify and discover the favorite songs of my podcast guests. It’s the perfect soundtrack for the road.
- What’s in you camera bag? Used to carry a Fuji and Nikon camera’s just carry the one now on a photowalk so that’s around my neck Fuji X 100F*. In my bag there are bits and pieces. Business cards, for those uncomfortable situations when someone get’s uperty. Headphones. An inspirational book, the Phaidon books are a good size. When I am phased if things aren’t working, I get a coffee and enter one of the books, usually when I come out I’m amped. Spare batteries.
Images from Darran K Roper
Darran: „A few days before this walk I imagined parts of this frame in a dream. The man performing Kung-fu in the background was clearly part of my dream the woman in the foreground was not so vivid. The man in the background performs Kung Fu, a kata he has no doubt performed many times, each time edging toward perfection. I photographed him for about 3 minutes, through the corners of my eye I see a young woman walking toward me, attempting to light a cigarette, dressed primly in a long wool mac. I take several steps backward, and allows her to enter the frame. This was a single take.“
Darran: „Cities can be overcrowded yet lonely places, we jostle and glide through them, between places of stone to other places of stone. The forms here tell that story, ghostly figures moving through, only their shadows touching. The sloaping walkways of the walls enforce this notional journey between distant places of stone in the background and the city streets.
The photo kind of worked for me because of the repeated black of the figures and their shadows. For me the rhythm of the movement in the frame works it could always be better though, and that is just something you have to face as a street photographer.“
Darran K Roper works as a software developer in Reading, England.
In his free time he roams the streets with his camera looking for the marvel of everyday moments.
If you enjoyed this conversation, you can listen to more episodes in English on this podcast:
- Valérie Jardin: „Street Photography – Creative Vision Behind The Lens“
- RE Casper: „StreetPX: „The Street Is Like A Theater“
- Rinzi Ruiz: „Street Zen – Or Photography As A Meditative Practice“
- Dimitris Makrygiannakis: „Remembering Life Through Photography“
- Marc Fairhurst: „Why Did You Take That Shot?“
- Dmitry Stepanenko: „Heavy Colour“ Street Photography
- Dyanne Wilson: „Chasing The Northern Lights in Yellowknife“
- Jason Koxvold: „KNIVES“ – Left Behind In Rural America
- Luc Kordas: „Loneliness In New York City“
- Soumya Shankar Ghosal: Meeting Steve McCurry On The Streets Of Kolkata
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