Never Edit: Best Single Photo Finalist of 2022 exibart street contest

Dear Never Edit,
First of all, congratulations! You are one of the 10 finalists of the third exibart street contest in Best Single Photo category. Can you tell us something about yourself and about the finalist picture?

The finalist picture was taken in Lagos, Portugal – I was there only for one day, and walked around with my camera as I usually do. It made me smile when I saw the three ladies sitting there, they were so similar and so immersed in watching the scene. I could just imagine what they were saying to each other. I loved the scene as I so often see older people all alone, and these three certainly had fun together.

How would you define your photographic style?

It’s usually candid and spontaneous, I also love the use of flash as it produces more contrast.

Have you ever studied at a photography school or are you a self-taught artist?

I am self-taught but I have taken some street photography workshops, and from each of them I have learned at least one thing that has moved me forward.

Who are the Masters of Photography who inspired you most in your photographic works?

I get my inspiration from many sources, I think it works more on a subconscious level than actually studying the works of the masters. It can be anything really, a scene from a film, an advertisement, a photo in a magazine, a painting in a gallery – you can feel if something “works” and then you try to find out why, how it was done, and how you can try to incorporate that in your own work.

Do you ever do Street Photography with your smartphone?

Not really, the few times I tried I wasn’t satisfied with the results.

“When I started publishing photos on social media, I created the pseudonym “Never Edit” as I believed a photo should be good “as is”, without any artificial treatment – especially as this is so often overdone. Later I learned that it’s part of the creative process to correct minor things…. Really, I should change my alias to “Sometimes Edit” but I think it doesn’t sound as good.”

Analog and digital photography. Do you see these as alternatives to one another or the same thing?

I don’t see them as the same thing as even the process of taking the photo analog is very different, you shoot less, you are more selective, and without live preview you really have to know what you’re doing.

Black and white and color. Two different worlds. You decided to go color. Why? Do you ever shoot in Black and white?

I always shoot in colour and only every now then I might convert a photo to black and white. I’ve always loved color, in the past when I was drawing or sewing, and now in photography.

Do you think Street Photography has a more documentary or more artistic value?

I think the best photos are a combination of both.

When you take photos, do you ever have a theme/project in mind?

I’m open for whatever comes my way, restricting myself to a theme or project would feel to me as just that, a “restriction”, and when I take photos I want to feel free… However, there are certain, let’s call them ideas, I’m drawn to, and they will likely end up in a project one day.

Do you think there are ethical limits in street photography? Do you think it’s possible to shoot everything and everybody? What is your approach in street photography?

Everybody needs to define their own ethical limits and only do what they are comfortable with. There are a lot of sights on the streets that are not very pretty but part of reality. I took many photos of homeless people on a recent trip to New York as I think this situation should be addressed, but do I really want to publsih them? I don’t know…

What kind of equipment do you use and what role, in your opinion, does equipment have in street photography?

I use a point-and-shoot camera which is the Canon G7X. It’s small enough to carry it with me all the time and it does everything I need.
I cannot see how a different camera would help me take better photos.
My opinion is that equipment is overrated. These days most cameras can be used for street photography, the differences are marginal.

If you had to choose one lens that you would have to be using for the rest of your life, which one would that be and why?

It would be the one I have now which is a 24-100 mm zoom lens. I use 24 mm for street photography and zoom for travel photos or other stuff.

“I am self-taught but I have taken some street photography workshops, and from each of them I have learned at least one thing that has moved me forward.”

After shooting, what actions do you take in terms of processing and editing?
(by the way, why is your name Never Edit?)

After shooting I upload the photos to my PC and then only look at them a while later, sometimes months or even years. If I then see something I think is good, I might crop/straighten it a little or adjust the exposure. I would never do anything drastic like remove objects or insert sun rays and stuff like that.

When I started publishing photos on social media, I created the pseudonym “Never Edit” as I believed a photo should be good “as is”, without any artificial treatment – especially as this is so often overdone. Later I learned that it’s part of the creative process to correct minor things…. Really, I should change my alias to “Sometimes Edit” but I think it doesn’t sound as good 😉

Are you currently working on any project?

I’m not consciously working on any project but over time I found that I’ve taken more photos on certain themes than on others so I put these in a special folder and one day might create a project from them.

Which are your favorite photography books?

I don’t have any photography books, but I have made my own collection of photos I love which I look at again and again to learn how to achieve something similar.

Is there a country or a city that you like to photograph more than others?

I love big busy cities like Cairo, Jerusalem, New York and Istanbul, especially when there is a large diversity of characters, culture, and religion.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting to do street photography?

The same advice I give to myself constantly… follow your heart, not the trends. Shoot what interests you. Listen to critique, even if it hurts. Have a camera with you when you go out and be ready. Invest in travel, not in gear. Acknowledge your weaknesses and work on them, take classes or workshops. Only compete with yourself, not with others.

Thank you!

NEVER EDIT BIOGRAPHY

“Watching people has fascinated me since childhood… the variety of their looks, behaviour, expressions, and emotions. I tried to memorize what I saw, using my eyes as camera and my brain as hard disk. When I first heard of street photography a couple of years ago, it felt like I found “home”. Saving that split second forever not only in my memory but as a photograph is what I’ve become addicted to.

When I go out, I have nothing specific in mind, I just shoot whatever I find interesting, and I prefer the candid spontaneous shot anytime over picture-perfect or posed photos.

Living in Germany, I feel restricted by the laws and the lack of good light, so I travel to other countries as often as possible to pursue my passion.”

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