The SHOOT ‘Spirit of Tango’ Photography Competition welcomes Nicola Selby to the Panel of Judges in 2017. Recognised and published worldwide, Nicola’s work as a fine art photographer shows her passion for finding the movement and expression of dance and is fuelled by many years training as a professional dancer herself. We are delighted to have Nicola join us on this year’s shoot:

 

THE SHOOT

 

What genre or style to you mainly shoot?
In the main I shoot dance photography, this also expands into theatre and live performance work, also due to the nature of my client’s I also photograph headshots. I have a particular fondness of contemporary dance, it’s so free and can be both dynamic and soft.

 

How would you describe your photography style?
My style has evolved over time, initially it was all about the dynamic art of capturing movement but now I concentrate much more on the story and the narrative that reflects the dancers movements.

 

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in a small village near Southport, in the Northwest of England. I was very lucky to be surrounded by fields and nature. Southport has a wonderful community of young artists which helped shaped the artist I am today.

 

How long have you been a professional photographer?
I will be in my tenth year now.

 

What did you do before you were a professional photographer?
From the age of two I trained as a dancer, then at the age of 18 I was involved in a serious road traffic accident that had a huge impact on my career. After that I changed direction and studied law. I had a successful legal career and enjoyed much success but at the age of 30 I was struck with meningitis. I changed direction again and started to study photography, so its been an eventful journey but has got me to the right place eventually.

 

Tangofolly Shoot Spirit of Tango Photography Competition Judge Nicola Selby
Nicola Selby Studio, 2015

 

Whats the best part about being a photographer?
There are so many! I have a little girl who is only three Photography has given me the opportunity to arrange my work around my family life and not the other way around. I meet so many interesting and diverse characters in my job, that every job is different. The dancers constantly inspire me to keep creating new works. One of the most interesting things to come out of photographing dancers is that also get to choreograph pieces of movement, short snippets of time rather that a full piece, but its another dynamic of being a dance photographer, you are not just there to take the photo, you are also there to collaborate and create the overall image.

 

How do you keep yourself motivated and your photography fresh?
I would say a couple of years ago my motivation slipped, babies and sleepless nights can do that to you. Now I am back in full swing and really enjoying my work. I make sure that I don’t take on more than I can handle and do the jobs that are good for me. You need to learn to say no to some jobs, and do the ones that make you feel good about your work, and keep you feeling energised. Im always trying to think of new concepts, but also avoiding the fads of photography and keeping my images timeless.

 

Tangofolly Shoot Spirit of Tango Photography Competition Judge Nicola Selby
Nicola Selby Studio, 2015

 

Who or what inspires you in your work?
To begin with Lois Greenfield a dance photographer from New York was a huge inspiration for my work. I wouldn’t say that any particular person or artist now inspires my work, but I get inspiration from everywhere, in fact I have too much inspiration and not enough time!

 

What do you look for behind the lens, that is, what catches your eye and compels you take the shot?
I look for that moment of energy or that spark. The moment the dancer forgets a camera is there and just lets go and moves in the moment without any awareness.

 

What type of cameras do you shoot with?
I use a Canon 5d mk iiii and a Hasselblad h4d32

 

And for editing images?
I work a lot with lightroom. I use a minimal amount of photoshop.

 

Tangofolly Shoot Spirit of Tango Photography Competition Judge Nicola Selby
Nicola Selby Studio, 2015

 

What is your favourite accessory, other than your camera?
I love my broncolor para 222. It creates a beautiful light on the dancer.

 

Mac or PC?
Definitely Mac.

 

The hardest part of your job?
I miss working with work colleagues, I meet so many wonderful people in this line of work, but the relationships in the main are fleeting.

 

What piece of kit would you most like to get but don’t have yet?
Broncolor Staro.

 

Tangofolly Shoot Spirit of Tango Photography Competition Judge Nicola Selby
Nicola Selby Studio, 2015

 

If not a photographer what would you have been?
I would have opened a flower shop.

 

Something you’re still learning?
I’m learning all about the business side of photography, taking a photograph is almost the easy part, marketing, working out your value, promoting yourself etc all takes time.

 

What advice do you have for photographers just starting out?
I would advise to find an area of photography that you love and show a flair for, and stick to it, and really develop your craft. Having a niche can make progress slow to begin with but then you secure longevity in your field by having a true understanding of your subject.

 

What do you think is the greatest challenge for a tango photographer?
Capturing the story and emotion behind the steps.

 

What would you like to get out of the Tangofolly Project?
Being involved with other artists who all share the same passion for photography and dance. A better understanding of tango and its form.

 

Learn more about Nicola Selby via www.nicolaselby.com

The SHOOT ‘Spirit of Tango’ Photography Project welcomes Bob Komar to the Panel of Judges 2017. As a Commercial & Portrait Photographer from London, UK, Bob Komar has been shooting portraiture and related ‘people’ photography since childhood. He has spent 20 years specialising in the automotive industry; cars, bikes, trucks for advertisements, brochures and film (moving imagery).

 

THE SHOOT

 

Where did you grow up?
Hopefully never..London from conception.

 

How long have you been a professional photographer?
All my life..

 

What did you do before you were a professional photographer?
Think I wore short trousers..

 

Bianco Vrcan Tango Dancer
Portraiture, London

 

Whats the best part about being a photographer?
Enjoying the magic.

 

How do you keep yourself motivated and your photography fresh?
The pursuit of self worth… pursuit of knowledge… pursuit of money… pursuit of a hot bath.

 


Commercial, Aston Martin, London

 

Who or what inspires you in your work?
An old grand master.. A fresh engaging face… a soul.. boredom… earth, wind and fire.

 

What do you look for behind the lens, that is, what catches your eye and compels you take the shot?
That magic.. That ‘je ne sais pas’.

 

What type of cameras do you shoot with?
I have catholic tastes in cameras. I did purchase, on leaving college, a ‘brace’ of Leica M3s circa1949/51. The rest can go to a favoured charity. These will go to my single minded identitical twin grandsons who, at present, are a pain in the rear but not without spirit.

 


Portraiture, London

 

What is your favourite accessory, other than your camera?
A vehicle I can sleep in.

 

Mac or PC?
What is a PC?

 

The hardest part of your job?
When the euphoria subsides. When you are offered the job, and then the realisation of how you’re actually going to do it for the stupid price you’ve just agreed to do it for..!

 

What piece of kit would you most like to get but don’t have yet?
If you havent got it, hire it!

 


Portraiture, London

 

If not a photographer what would you have been?
An Architect. A Gardener? But definately… A Football Manager…there…I said it!

 

Something you’re still learning?
How to juggle!

 

What advice do you have for photographers just starting out?
Dont give up. Buy a suit! You never know. The Queen might ring!

 

drums boy portraiture bob komar
Portraiture, London

 

What do you think is the greatest challenge for a tango photographer?
Not getting average pictures. Because, you control the camera and nothing else. How do you break that rule? And there is the answer…

 

What would you like to get out of the Tangofolly Project?
New faces. New people. New ideas. My favoured dance. And dinner?

Pui Hang Miles hails from Kent, United Kingdom. As a wildlife photographer Pui Hang says it’s all about capturing emotion.

 

THE SHOOT

 

Where did you grow up?
Surrey, UK.

 

How long have you been a professional photographer?
I would never call myself a professional photographer. I have however, been doing photography for just over 4 years.

 

What did you do before you were a professional photographer?
I managed people before I got into photography.

 

Whats the best part about being a photographer?
Learning about our natural world and meeting like minded people.

 

How do you keep yourself motivated and your photography fresh?
How can you not be motivated when living on such an amazing planet with so much wonder to capture? My interest in wildlife and its conservation, fuels my motivation, which in turn pushes me to find new ways to depict what I see so I can share it with a wider audience.

 


‘Ele Love’ – I love this image because it captures an intimate and tender moment between an elephant calf and it’s slightly older sister. It’s especially poignant today because elephants are seriously endangered and if we don’t take action now, wild elephants will be extinct as early as 2025.

 

Who or what inspires you in your work?
My husband (also a wildlife photographer) who sees things with completely different eyes and the wildlife I see all around me. Their ability to adapt and survive in the face of adversity inspires me, commands my respect and demands that I tell their story in my images.

 

What do you look for behind the lens, that is, what catches your eye and compels you take the shot?
Something different that no one else has captured. Something of their behaviour that shows off their nature. It has to tell a story as, an image with no story, has no soul.

 

What type of cameras do you shoot with?
Canon 1Dx. I’ve always shot with Canon but the 1Dx is the only camera I’ve owned that has survived the extreme weather conditions I frequently find myself shooting in. Example. Back in February, I went to Japan as I wanted to photograph the Steller Sea Eagles on drift ice. I had 2 cameras on tripods – a Canon 60D and my 1Dx. It was -40 with the wind chill on the drift ice and the 60D packed up within 5 minutes. My 1Dx kept shooting for the 3 hours we were out although I did have to frequently chip the thin ice off my dial in order to check my images!

 

What is your favourite accessory, other than your camera?
My iPad.

 

What is your favourite editing accessory?
Aperture. Although I will be migrating to Lightroom soon.

 

Mac or PC?
Do they still make PCs???

 


‘I think I need a shave’ – I just love the expression on this Snow Monkey’s face – it’s so expressive! This was taken in Japan earlier this year. The pool is a hot spring where the macaques go to for their “onsen” after a hard day foraging and playing in the snow.

 

The hardest part of your job?
Packing. I loathe packing. Whether it’s for a trip within the UK or abroad, packing is the bane of my life! The camera gear is easy but how much clothing I should take is always an issue, especially if it is a cold weather trip as I need to be able to move. When dressed like a michelin man, it’s not easy.

 

What piece of kit would you most like to get but don’t have yet?
If you’d asked me that last week, I would have said the Canon 200-400mm with built in 1.4x extender. However, that arrived just the other day :-)

 

If not a photographer what would you have been?
Piano teacher. Since taking up photography, my piano has been severely neglected!

 

Something you’re still learning?
How to pack well.

 


‘Take Away Lunch’ – I love this image because it’s captured a moment in time – a kingfisher emerging from the river with a fish in it’s mouth. The movement in the wings and the water drops convey the speed at which this bird streaked out of the water. Not an easy shot to capture.

 

What advice do you have for photographers just starting out?
Keep taking pictures. Don’t be disheartened if someone doesn’t like your image. There is no such thing as a bad image – if you are happy and like the image you have taken, then it is good. Also, if you see someone with a better camera than you, don’t think they are a better photographer. That’s like saying Leonardo da Vinci was a great painter because he had amazing paintbrushes.

 

What do you think is the greatest challenge for a tango photographer?
Getting sharp motion images in low light conditions. However, this challenge is not limited to tango photography. Knowing how to use the camera you have in your hand will help enormously.

 

What would you like to get out of the Tangofolly Project?
Meeting like-minded photographers, sharing tips and tricks. No matter how much you think you know, there’s always something to learn. And if I can inspire people to come on one of our trips, so much the better!

Hailing from Surrey, United Kingdom, Olaf Willoughby is a admired and respected Documentary and Fine Art Photographer.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in leafy Surrey (UK). But far more importantly, my Mother is Italian and both my parents are musicians. That has given me my lifelong fascination with creativity

How long have you been a professional photographer?

I’ve been shooting paid assignments for 10 years.

How would you describe your style?

I try to capture the ebb and flow of energy around us, whether that is in the street, in the studio or in the landscape. The energy is where the storytelling and the creativity begins.

Before professional photography?

A mixture of drumming at night and marketing consultant by day. It was a strange life :)

What’s the best part?

Breathing in the fresh air of creativity and (sometimes) seeing your work improve.

How do you keep yourself motivated and your photography fresh?

I’ve never had a problem with motivation. As I teach creative photography and am co-founder of a very successful Facebook and website group called, The Leica Meet, I’m surrounded by the challenge of very high quality work. Freshness is all about seeing anew and that comes from the sense of play so important in art. As they say, ‘If your waste bin isn’t full you’re not trying hard enough

Who or what inspires you in your work?

Inspiration is everywhere! I already referred to Michael Ackermann. Also check out Santiago Vanegas (conceptual), Sean Kernan (writes as brilliantly as he shoots) and John Paul Caponigro (equally at home talking about art history or layer masking in Photoshop). And it doesn’t only come from the rock stars. I interview photographers for The Leica Blog and on May 21 I’m featuring Guiseppe di Santis, an amateur shooter whose b&w folio of the Palio horse race in Sienna is wonderful.

What do you look for behind the lens? What catches your eye and compels you take the shot?

I ask myself constantly, ‘Is it alive?’ We’re back to energy. Sometimes the most beautifully composed and technically executed image is dead. Look at the work of Michael Ackermann, particularly End Time City for rough edgy work that bubbles with life and emotion.

 

Olaf Willoughby Photographer 2014
‘Hanoi Hustle’ – Downtown Hanoi, Vietnam, 2014

 

What type of cameras do you shoot with?

Leica. I’ve been through the Nikon Canon phase. I’ve struggled through the Antarctic with a rucksack full of giant lenses and finally I feel I’ve come home. For me the Leica, although it is expensive, offers the best image quality: weight ratio on the market. It isn’t for everyone or for all occasions but it is unobtrusive and pushes you to make, not take the image

What is your favourite accessory, other than your camera?

Power bars.

What is your favourite editing accessory?

Lightroom 5. It gets better with every iteration and now has a ton of retouching power in addition to its digital asset management benefits.

Mac or PC?

You can’t be serious! Mac or…. what was that other thing?

 

Olaf Willoughby Photographer 2014
‘Jump for Joy’ – Tea Plantation, Vietnam, 2014

 

The hardest part of your job?

Patience and planning. I like to get on with it. Yet often in photography the best option is to think about your shot first and plan it. What is the best angle, will I then have something awkward in the background, how long will I have for the shot…etc. Then have the patience to wait for the plan to work.

What piece of kit would you most like to get but don’t have yet?

The Leica Noctilux lens. It has a maximum aperture of f0.95 which means it is great in low light and has beautiful soft out of focus areas. It is truly outstanding. The only issue is that it costs about the same as a small saloon car

If not a photographer what would you have been?

Drummer. I spent my ‘formative’ years drumming in jazz clubs around London. Thank heavens I switched I might not have made it this far….

Something you’re still learning?

The lotus position.

 

Olaf Willoughby Photographer 2014
‘Crowded Fishmarket’ – Hanoi, Vietnam, 2014

 

What advice do you have for photographers just starting out?

Carry a camera. Shoot with it constantly. Sounds stupid doesn’t it? But too many people think they have to go somewhere exotic before they can get a good picture. The real challenge is to make a great image out of ordinary material. Just like tango – practice, practice…

What do you think is the greatest challenge for a tango photographer?

The combination of motion and low light levels is a challenge for any photographer. You need to know how to get the best out of your camera.

What would you like to get out of the Tangofolly Project?

Inspiration. As I said earlier, it comes from many sources and I’m looking forward to see what I can learn from the competition entrants – and also what advice I can offer that can help others.