Interview of Steve Day
by Jack Savage
1. Welcome Steve to the Influx Gallery family. Tell us a little bit about yourself and where you are from?
Hello and thank you Influx Gallery for giving me this opportunity to present my work. I was born and raised in Melbourne Australia and currently live in an inner suburb of Melbourne with my wife and 21-year-old son. We enjoy travelling both in Australia and overseas always taking my camera gear with me. I consider myself a part time photographic artist and balance this with my main career as an IT professional.
2. Were your family supportive of you deciding to become an artist?
Growing up and until recently I was always a hobby photographer and did not really have ambitions to become an artist. It has been a long gradual journey of learning and discovering new skills and my wife and son have been fully supportive along the way, often waiting impatiently on the sidelines when we are travelling while I am trying to get the best shot. Now to consider myself an artist who has gained international recognition has taken some getting used to and is quite humbling.
3. Was there anything specific that you can remember that made you want to become an artist?
There was no specific event that made me want to become an artist it was more a gradual realisation there was an artist inside me. I always had an interest in photography and architecture, so it was natural for these interests to combine and become a major influence in the direction my photography took. I entered a local photography competition in 2017 and was a finalist with my first attempt. I then entered some international competitions and started receiving honourable mentions. A photographer friend also guided and encouraged me which led me to exhibit my work in a solo exhibition in Melbourne in late 2018. It was at this point I realised that I had become an artist.
4. Did your schooling or work affect your creative development in any way?
While my schooling did not have a direct influence on my creative development, I do remember back in college as a teenager spending long hours doing perspective drawings of cities and skyscrapers. This has obviously had an influence on my creative development and passion for photographing architecture and urban spaces.
5. When did you first discover photography?
I got my first camera when I was around 9 or 10 years old and always have a camera with me when travelling. It was about 2013 that I started taking my photography hobby seriously and spent time learning more about photography while also studying the work of other photographers in more depth.
6. Your use of monochromatic shadows and light is unique ad breath-taking. Can you tell us a little about your process, without giving away too many secrets?
There are no real secrets, I use various techniques I have learnt over time combining and adapting them to my needs. While out and about I typically shoot buildings and architectural features that catch my eye, it might be the shape, the lighting, or a certain perspective. Often if the conditions are right,
I will do long exposure photography. I spend considerable time with Photoshop making precise selections for targeted adjustments. I make tonal and selective contrast adjustments to emphasise or de-emphasise certain elements to give me the light and shadows I desire.
7. Where do you get your inspirations and influences from?
I am mostly inspired by seeing amazing architecture. My major influences are photographers such as Julia Anna Gospodarou, Joel Tjintjelaar and Denis Ramos. I also greatly admire the Australian artist Jeffrey Smart and am inspired by his amazing work.
8. You have acuminated some very prestigious international photography awards. So far in your career what would you consider your biggest win?
I would consider my biggest win to be first place in the ND Awards Architecture Cityscapes category in 2020. As an international award, it feels incredibly special to win amongst so many talented photographers.
9. What do you consider the most wonderful location you have photographed?
The most wonderful location I have photographed would have to be New York City. I spent a week on my own wandering the streets exploring and photographing the city. It was a dream for architectural photography and the most productive and successful period of my artistic career so far.
10. Tell us about your favourite exposure style
Primarily black and white and long exposure styles are my favourites. I have experimented with multiple exposures and would like to try more of this in the future, and I am considering doing more conceptual type work when I feel the right inspiration.
11. What camera were you shooting with?
I have been shooting with a Nikon D750 for a while and have recently started shooting with a Fujifilm X-S10.
12. What were the first digital cameras you used?
The first digital camera I had was a Kodak in around 2003. My first DSLR was a Nikon D3100 which piqued my interest in photography and led me deeper on my creative journey.
13. Are you very hands on with the post processing of digital files?
Yes, I follow the Ansel Adams school of thinking that “you don’t just take photos - you make photos.”
I shoot in RAW and use Adobe Lightroom for organising my images and for image clean-up, perspective corrections and minor exposure adjustments. My work involves quite substantial post processing in Photoshop to achieve the look I envisage. This can take many hours over several days or weeks with long periods of contemplation before considering an image finished. Sometimes post processing will take the image in different directions as I experiment in Photoshop and it’s not unusual for me to look at the result and wonder how I got there.
14. Do you have an all-time favourite camera/lens combination?
I am not really a photography gear nerd and have just the right equipment to get the job done, although there is always something on my wish list. My favourite camera lens combination is what I am currently shooting with which is a Nikon D750 camera and a Tamron 24-70mm lens.
15. Thanks a lot for your time and interest. You can include any other details you want to talk about here.
I would like to thank Influx Gallery team for having faith in my work and giving me this opportunity to present my work to a new audience. Many thanks.