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Interview: David Niddrie

David Niddrie

How long have you been photographing?

“I have been photographing since I was a young lad, but more seriously since 2000 when I graduated from the Photojournalism program at SAIT in Calgary. Since then I’ve made my photography passion into my career. I have albums of photos from my youth, all taken with my boxy little Kodak, including Expo86, camping on the Island, Stampede parades and all that.”

What inspired you to get into photography?

“My grandfather tirelessly documented all aspects of his life with the family, their travels, city and home life. He had an amazing collection of Super8 films and album after album of photography. My parents also took a lot of photos while growing up – they had a Pentax Spotmatic they used to shoot with, until I got my hands on it in my early 20s! Seemed natural as I was constantly surrounded by photos…a trip to the lab on Lonsdale was often a highlight of visits with my grandparents.”

Describe your photography in three words.

“Bold. Abstract. Reality. Sometimes all three at once, sometimes just one or another.”

What is your favorite lens?

“I use a 17-40mm f4L as my standard…love the wide angle with a full frame.”

What is your favorite camera?

“Tough call! I use my Canon 5dmkII for most of my work, but I get a lot of pleasure using my Konica Hexar for film projects. And that old Pentax I spoke of is still in my bag – mainly for infrared and other experimental film techniques. It really depends on the situation and the look I am going for.”

Where do you get your inspiration from?

“Artistically, I’m inspired by the wilderness – both my impression of it and the distinct patterns & relationships found within. I try to find similar feelings in the urban settings I spend so much time in. Music is a huge inspiration for my work, especially in post production – I take pieces of songs, lyrics and try to translate these atmospherics into the picture. Personally, a lot of my friends create, so I get a lot out of those close relationships and collaborations. And it wouldn’t be near as fun without the unwavering support from my partner Sandra who always lights a creative fire and accompanies my into the woods, dark alleys, etc…”

Could you describe the process or idea behind your favorite picture that was in one of our shows?(above)

“A photo from my urban series, “Puddle Dynamics”, was featured in the 2010 Winter Salon. This is the kind of work I really love to shoot in the city – deep contrast, lots of saturation, ambiguity of scale and a hefty dose of surrealism. I love making a mundane scene into something unexpected and blurring the lines between reality and abstract expression. If people are questioning what the photo is and how it was done, I’m happy.”

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