Friday, 18 March 2011

interview with a photographer: Pavel Humpolec

He's photography story starts in autumn of 2005 When He have bought his first camera and start shooting.
Present at the biggest competitions of all types of dogs sports With amazing photos that are worth more than a few videos ...
Pavel is well-know in Czech rep. And Europe , I think he doesn't need a big introduction.
To know him better just read the interview :)

First of all some warm up questions
Do you play guitar?
No. I tried it when I was really young. It was a warm summer and I
wanted to interest all girls around me. Well, I played horrible and
please don't ask me about the girls :-)

The last time you've weighed on a balance, you were satisfied ?
No, I wasn't! I was 17 years old, I was going to the gym every day and
I was still really, really thin!

When you take pictures you bring along more than a camera ?
Usually I take also my eyes and hands. And the rest of my body too.
And very rarely I take also some ideas of what I want to shoot.

Ok ,get it over here and start with the interview
Could you tell our readers a little about yourself
My horoscope is scorpio.
Or do you want to know more? :-)
My name is Pavel Humpolec and I was born in Prague. I am IT guy with
almost no knowledge about IT. I spent my childhood near computers and
I was scared by all dogs. My first occupation was a web developer. And
then the world has changed. I was that stupid that I bought a camera
only because some of my colleagues bought them too.

Tell me how you started in the dog sports photography
My friend visited my city and the only place where I could met her was
on an agility competition
(, so I
took my camera with me to take some pictures of she and her dogs.
That's all. After the event I have been to more and more dogs events
with better and better camera, lenses and with more and more friends.
People with dogs are really friendly when they recognize that you are
taking pictures for free :-)

How do you describe your photographic style?
Luck? I am not sure that I have something such as my own style. I
usually turn on the camera and try out to take some nice new pictures.
My first years were only about "grrr, how can I set up my camera to
have a nice and sharp picture?". Today I know I never can gain a full
control over the camera, so I am trying to spend more time thinking
about the composition. In the next years I will probably recognize
that I cannot gain full control over the composition and.. I don't
know. Maybe I will call the inability of property use of camera and
the low knowledge of composition to be my photographic style? :-)

Or what I can say - today I am bored by the same pictures all over
again and again. Ok, this is a picture of a flying dog. And what?
There are a billion pictures of flying dogs. So sometimes I am trying
to take picture of something new - at least new for me.

What kind of equipment do you use?
I have two Canon DSLRs - one is only my old body and I am using it as
a backup body. I have 4 lens with range from 17mm to 300mm and I am
enjoying to use them all :-)
I have a flesh and a teleconvertor, but I am not used to use them a
lot. Only when it is really necessary.

In general, during a session, how many pics would you say you take to find
"the right one"?
A lot. Really a lot. Last year ( I
saved 5427 pictures on my external disk, but I have only 64 pictures
in my selection and I cannot say about all of those 64 pictures that
they are "the right one". And of course - I have a lot more pictures
on my memory cards right after the shooting... But there were a few
events when almost every picture was the right one - that photo events
make me really happy.

Who are your inspirations (past/present)?
I am not sure I have any. There is one really very good dog
photographer in Czech Republic - Tomáš Seeman ( I was
always jealous about the technical quality of his pictures. But I am
not sure that there is anybody who is inspiration for the content of
my pictures.

Are you a self taught photographer or did you have a mentor that showed you the ropes?
I am self taught photographer and that is the only alibi for me why I
have needed so long time to produce some satisfactory pictures :-)

What is your relationship with dogs?
I love them. I used to hate them my whole childhood due to some bad
experiences, but when I found the dog sport community, I fall in love
with them.

Of all the gear you’ve ever used, what’s your favorite?
It is hard to say. Maybe borrowed 16-35/2.8, but... I am enjoying all
my lenses - from the wide range to the long range.
From my already sold gear I have been in love with Tokina 12-24.

The last thing you do before you start shooting and the first thing you do
after the photo session?
I am checking the memory card and battery status. I lost all one
dogfrisbee event only because I forgot my memory cards at home.
And the first after the photo sessions? Usually dinner or bath :-)

Where do you shoot your most beautiful shoots of 2010 ?
On my friend marriage
(, with my friend on a
private photo session in Prague
( and on the
Agility World Cup in Rieden

Which are yours most beautiful moments in photography?
When you know that you have a great picture before you check in on the
LCD of your camera.
Plans for the future ?
I am planning in my job, so I am trying to not plan my personal life :-)

Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview! Do you have
anything else you would like to add?
Listen to Jean McCollister. Czech beer is really awesome and you are
all welcome on all competitions in Czech Republic, so you can buy your
own czech beer!



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