Photography August 17, 2014
Photographer of the Day: Daniel Batten
New Zealand born ADC Member brings his people-watching craft to New York
Photography Month keeps on going here on the ADC blog. We’ve been featuring a different photographer every weekday of the month, from professionals to hobbyists. One thing they have in common: they are all ADC Members, part of our globe-spanning creative community. We hope that you enjoy their work as much as they love creating it!
Brooklyn, NY, USA
How old were you when you took an interest in photography?
It probably wasn’t until I was 15 or 16. We had to start choosing elective classes, and I decided to try out the photography & design class as it looked like fun. The photography side of it ended up entirely revolving round shooting film and developing and printing in the darkroom. As soon as I saw my first image come to life in the developing trays, in the dim red light of the darkroom, I fell in love with it. The whole process had a certain magical feel to it. The fact you could capture a moment in time, and then bring it back to life and manipulate it through a chemical reaction, fascinated me. I continued with photography at University and came out with a degree in Photographic Design (with Honours).
“I guess my style is quite voyeuristic, in the sense that I try to document people and places from a perspective where I have little or no influence on them.”
What is your favorite thing to shoot?
I like to shoot people and places and interesting situations. I guess my style is quite voyeuristic, in the sense that I try to document people and places from a perspective where I have little or no influence on them. I document what I see as visually interesting. But my favourite thing? When it comes down to it how can you not like shooting people – we are such interesting creatures!
People are fascinated by other people, it’s as simple as that. I think humans are generally more drawn to imagery of other humans, even if they are only a tiny part of a broader landscape, it somehow adds a level of emotion to imagery that draws us in.
“People are fascinated by other people, it’s as simple as that. I think humans are generally more drawn to imagery of other humans, even if they are only a tiny part of a broader landscape, it somehow adds a level of emotion to imagery that draws us in.”
What is your favorite piece of equipment?
My love affair with film photography hasn’t changed over time. Hands down has to be my Pentax Spotmatic 35mm. I take that thing everywhere.
Which person most inspires your photographic passion? Which professional photographers do you look up to?
For three years while I was studying, I worked as assistant photographer to Steven Boniface. He is one of the top commercial photographers in New Zealand, and he taught me nearly everything I know in terms of practical photographic skill; composition, lighting, and direction. In regards to photographers that influence my particular style, I have always been big fans of Ryan McGinley and Phillip-Lorca diCorcia. Two photographers who capture absolutely stunning and candid portraits of people.
Tags: Daniel Batten, Photography Month