Creative Process // Konsta Punkka // James Whitlow Delano

Konsta Punkka

Creative processes vary hugely for different photographers. Each photographer will use the creative process in unique ways which suit their train of thought best. 

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As a wildlife and landscape photographer Konsta Punkka worked on perfecting his photography skills for over 6 years. Starting photography as a hobby he has successfully amassed a huge following and has now turned his passion into a career. He believes hugely in the art of patience when it comes to his photography as he spends most of his time revisiting areas constantly, building up relationships with wild animals. Pushing himself out of his comfort zone to perfect a shot is no secret of his, he once crawled for hours at the mouth of a cave in freezing temperatures to get a shot of a mouse he had been observing.

Equipent used:

  • Nikon D5S

  • Nikon D800

  • 50mm // 18-105mm

Konsta Punkkas creative process is mainly through the use of trial and error. He starts his days early - “most start with coffee” - with the aim to either focus on getting close to the animals or working on the perfect shot that may have taken months to get. He keeps his photos moody and dark, so usually sets off first thing in the morning or when the sun is setting to go and take pictures as the lighting at these times are helpful for the overall look.

He states “go and shoot every day and you’ll learn what works and what doesn’t” in an interview with Nikon - his preferred equipment choice. He uses his lenses in ways you wouldn’t expect, shorter lenses for wildlife instead of longer lenses as he has taken the time to gain trust and get close enough that a zoom won’t be needed. He does not usually use tripods as he tends to get low down to the ground and keeps everything relatively manual as he needs to keep his movement simple and manageable. His final shots are edited in his own unique way combining classic documentary photography with the commercial world, keeping his pictures dark and moody with twists of colour. He displays his photos through social media and on his personal website.

The process Konsta follows is based greatly around patience and planning ahead. He will set off early in the mornings with an idea of where he is going and what he plans to shoot (a fox he has been bonding with over a couple of months). He prefers the light to be softer and not too bright as this compliments his editing technique of lowering the exposure and making certain warm colours pop.

James Whitlow Delano

An American photo-journalist telling his story of culture, human rights and the environment though his photography.

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Since most of his work is mainly street photography, Delano tends to only carry 1 camera and 1 lens with him. He shoots with a 35mm lens as he feels this gives a more personal approach to the subject and believes this lens see’s the way our own eyes see. The subjects he chooses are ones that the ‘ordinary’ person can relate to and he wants people looking at his photographs to be put in the place and experiencing this pressure (the rainforest, a polluting factory or even a tsunami scene). He likes to cross boundaries and does whatever it takes to get a good photo - even risking going to jail, for example going into the no entry zone of Fukushima. He approaches his subjects depending on the situation. In an interview ‘Lessons in the Field’ he states ‘If I am face-to-face with someone, of course, I will ask. It doesn’t have to be “can I take your photo?” I could gesture, not verbally’. However, in other situations he would not ask as he feels like can be disruptive and unnatural - people become aware there is someone taking photographs and the photos are no longer ‘real’.

He travels all around the world (mainly the east) photographing stories and trying to get messages across to his viewers, mainly about climate change and the effects humans have on Earth and freak weather events. Some of his projects are edited to black and white - this gives a darker feeling to his images conveying serious topics. However, others are kept in colour, depending on the image this can help emphasise the story he is trying to tell.

Equipment used: (very simple, easy to carry)

  • Leica ‘M Series’

  • 35mm lens

He documents most of his work on his website, social media and exhibitions. One of his most recent exhibitions in Glasgow is ‘Everyday Climate Change’ which is run by photographers all over the world and documented on an Instagram page. Some of these photographs are now being exhibited traveling around many different countries. It is currently in Glasgow until November 4th.

Comparing both photographers, they have similarities and some differences. Both of their style of photography requires them to have lots of patience and to be willing to travel. Punkka focuses more on animals rather than humans, as Delano does, telling stories through the animals he shoots showing the audience how they live and the side of wildlife we don’t get to see. Both photographers use little equipment making it easier to travel and get shots quickly, meaning they don’t have bulky equipment wearing them down all the time. They are trying to tell a similar story through different techniques and showing the world in their own way, sending a message with each picture they take. Some differences may be that Punkka does not currently show his work in exhibitions and sticks to social media whereas Delano holds quite a lot of exhibitions showing his work. Their editing techniques are also quite different as Punkka edits his pictures much more as Delano keeps his quite raw.

References…

https://vimeo.com/104561607

http://blog.iamnikon.com/en_GB/wildlife/animal-whisperer-wildlife-photographer-konsta-punkka-brings-us-closer-to-finlands-wildlife-konsta-pukka/

https://theblog.adobe.com/the-style-spotlight-konsta-punkka/

http://www.goodnewsfinland.com/questions/10-questions-konsta-punkka/

https://www.adorama.com/alc/through-the-lens-s04e01-konsta-punkka

http://www.jameswhitlowdelano.com

http://www.gracelinks.org/media/pdf/James_Whitlow_Delano_Transcript.pdf