Colin Bates - Interview

I follow a lot of photographers on popular photo sharing site Flickr. One that has always stood out to me is local photog Colin Bates. For me, its his minimalist B&W images that really stand out. They always look so effortless, so well-composed. Colin has a style you just recognise right away, a signature  if you will, but he’s not just limited to B&W, producing great work across a variety of genres. Here’s what he had to say.

1. What draws you to minimalist black and white photography?

Just the pure simplicity. As the saying goes, sometimes less is more.


2. What are three photographic tips or tricks you wish you’d known about five years ago?

- Always make sure your horizon is straight.
- Knowing what ND grad filters are and how to use them.
- How to open Photoshop, let alone use it.


3. What photographers do you look up to?

That is a hard one, as there are so many talented photographers out there. You only have to look at Flickr or 500px. But I would say some stand-outs would be:
- Peter Eastway: His landscape work and post-processing really appeals to me, so much that I purchased his masterclass workshop. Money well spent.
- Christian Fletcher: An amazing landscape photographer, and his Photoshop skills are brilliant.
- Brent Pearson: His seascape work is fantastic which inspired me to contact him for a private lesson.
- Andy Brown: A master of the B&W long exposure. His minimalistic work is just breathtaking.
- Ian Bramham: Creates some amazing images in colour and B&W. A class act indeed.


4. Where are your favourite spots to shoot and why?

I absolutely love shooting the NSW south coast. This coastline and countryside holds a special place in my heart. I still remember my first sunrise shoot at the Glasshouse rocks in Narooma. It was just before first light when I walked onto Cemetery beach and saw these two huge rocks. I felt a real presence and it still sends a shiver down my spine. As the Blue Mountains is right on my doorstep, this is another place I enjoy taking the time to explore, discover and shoot. It just has so much to offer – from the windblown peaks to the gorgeous waterfalls, canyons and rainforests.


5. What can we expect from Colin Bates in 2013?

2013 is shaping up to be a good year with quite a few plans and ideas on the go. Some adventures planned so far are a two-week shooting fest in New Zealand’s South Island, Hill End in the Autumn, as well as a trip to Lightning Ridge and Tasmania.
I am also planning on advancing my skills in natural light portraiture as well as strobist work and upgrading to the Nikon D800E.


To see more of Colin’s work, visit his Flickr page here.