Feature Photographer Interview: Steve Rosset

Steve Rosset

Ladies and gentlemen from all realms of travel and photography, it is my genuine pleasure to introduce you to Steve Rosset, a world traveler whose characteristic photographs are always riveting and intriguing.  Steve and I crossed paths on Flickr back in 2009 and have been following each other’s work ever since.  We are hoping to meet later this summer in Vancouver and take the city by storm (or by camera, rather)!

Personally, I am always fascinated by how Steve’s photography brings the world into one’s own home when viewing his images:  from the summits of the Andes, and the glistening skyscrapers of Dubai, to the crowded street markets of Istanbul. Without further ado, please enjoy this profile of one of my favorite photographers!

CITY & COUNTRY OF RESIDENCE:  Vernon, Canada

OFFICIAL WEBSITE:  www.steverosset.com

FLICKR WEBSITE:  www.flickr.com/photos/golden009/

TIA:  What are your favorite subject matter or matters to photograph?

Steve:  Natural landscapes, cityscapes, architecture, urban street scenes, twilight and night-time long exposures & travel situations…candid people shots & exotic places.

TIA:  Please share some of your favorite locations that you have photographed previously.

Steve:  The urban splendour of Vancouver, Sydney, Singapore, Berlin and Dubai. The varied African landscapes of South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Tanzania. The raw beauty of the Canadian Rockies. The people and lively street scenes of India. The postcard perfect winters of British Columbia, Canada. The arid and majestic Australian Outback. The charming towns of Montenegro.

TIA:   Which places would you love to photograph in the future?

Steve:  Hong Kong and New York City…two iconic cities I’ve yet to discover and have been on my list of places to visit for over a decade. Also would love to travel to Argentina and Chile and re-visit Peru with my SLR. Other places on my list include Iceland, the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Costa Rica and re-visit the great cities of Western Europe like Paris, Rome, Berlin and London.

TIA:   How did you discover your passion for photography?

Steve:  I’ve always enjoyed photography, but only really discovered the vast opportunities quite recently when I bought my first SLR in 2007.  That year basically catapulted my interest into a full blown hobby and sometimes obsession. However, I think photography originated as a passion when I was 19 on my first solo backpacking trip through Europe.  I shot with a basic film camera, but loved exploring the amazing cities of Europe on foot.  Looking back, those photos are quite basic, but there was something magical about being able to capture my experiences on film. I think, more than photography, I realized I loved exploring the different places around the world. Photography, at that time, seemed to be a by-product of those experiences, but it was definitely something that lingered as I worked my way through university.

The image below is one of Steve’s all-time personal favorite photographs. (TIA just “faved” it on Flickr)!

“Beauty at the Water’s Edge” / Vancouver, Canada

TIA:  Please tell us about one of your all-time favorite photographs!

Steve:   This one’s easy! Beauty at the Water’s Edge. It was an unexpected success and my first photo explored on Flickr. 100% straight out of the camera with no editing, it surprised me with the vast opportunities of long exposure nighttime shots. I remember sitting in that spot for well over an hour waiting for the perfect moment when the rain stopped and the water became mirror smooth. That photo encouraged many more nighttime adventures in Vancouver, although I was never quite able to match that quality of that original photo. It did, however, result in some amazing twilight and nighttime photo shots from urban scenes around the world. To me, shooting in the night was like crafting a painting. You have to have a lot of patience to wait it out and sit out in the cold. To date, those long exposures are the most rewarding for me.

TIA Which aspects of photography do you find challenging or frustrating?

Steve:  I don’t consider myself to be overly technical, although I do enjoy the challenge about learning new software and hardware. The most frustrating aspect to me is the technical challenges with off-camera lighting and the vast resources required to shoot professional grade portraiture. That is something I’ve had on my list for years, but have only recently started exploring. The challenge for me is to find the time to shoot really great photos. While it is true that I’ve spent months backpacking throughout the world, oftentimes photography takes a back seat. The majority of the time, I travel with my girlfriend, so I don’t have unlimited opportunities to sit in one place waiting for the light to be correct, even though she’s been fantastic at supporting my hobby and has given me plenty of grace when those magic moments arrive. I try to find a balance so that the photography doesn’t engulf the experience side of traveling.

TIA:  What do you believe are the key ingredients for a fantastic photograph, Steve?

Steve:   I think most great photos are a matter of timing. Light is so important!  Get that right and the potential is unlimited. Of course, doing your homework with advance site visits, and constantly changing your frame of view also help tremendously. For me, the key is often to keep shooting, and never giving up, because that next great photo could be just around the corner!

TIA:  What or who motivates your photography?

Steve:  The motivation, for me, comes from the feedback I get from friends, family, and all my flickr followers. All these people have been instrumental in keeping me motivated to share adventures from around the world. Of course, motivation comes internally as well. There’s nothing like the high you get from capturing a special moment when everything falls into place. When I first got into my SLR, I focused on stock photography for three years. I had some success and I was building a nice monthly revenue stream. That provided motivation at the beginning, but I soon realized that the art of it was more important to me. Again I have to go back to Flickr for my major source of inspiration. The quality and diversity of photography is just astonishing. Keeps me on my toes all the time. It’s also been fantastic to connect with other photographers from around the world. The digital revolution has been amazing for photography and I’m always thrilled when people request to use my photos for their blogs and journals.

TIA:   Steve, is there anything you would like to mention that wasn’t asked?

Steve:  The only thing I would like to add is that photography has been a life changing experience for me. I strongly encourage anyone who has an interest in the field to continue learning and going out to capture those amazing moments. While the initial and continuing financial investments may be steep, I feel like it is one of the best ways to explore your inner creativity. To me, there is nothing more inspiring than to see the amazing array of photos being captured in the distant places around the world.  Tosin, I would personally like to thank you for selecting me to participate in this interview. I’m a huge fan of your work. The dedication and inspiration that goes into your work is self-evident. I’ve never seen such a remarkable collection of urban and low light photography anywhere. It is also hugely inspiring that you have decided to take the leap and turn your passion into your work. I am sure you will have tremendous success and continue to inspire people around the globe.

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