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Interview with:

Frank C. 'Chip' Etier, Sr. [fcetier] 


PHOTOGRAPHY
Do you have an online gallery where one can view your photos?
A new site online, VENTUREGALLERIES.COM -- a site focused on travel photography will feature my work. Watch for the new site in early July 2011 !! www.royalflamingoworks.com www.etierphotography.com wwwetier.zenfolio.com I also have a blog here: http://etierphotography.blogspot.com/ June 2011 - We just purchased a building in Canton, NC that will become a studio and gift shop. Located 0.8 mile from Interstate 40 West (from Asheville towards Tennessee). Watch for grand opening announcement later this fall. When in Gatlinburg, TN you can see my work in person at the Smoky Mountain Arts and Crafts store in the arts community. In addition to my photography, you can follow my writing at: http://www.examiner.com/history-in-san-francisco/chip-etier
For how long have you done photography? How did you begin?
Please read the bio on my website at: www.royalflamingoworks.com Here is my artist's statement: ďIíve got a head full of ideas that are driving me insane.Ē Bob Dylan said it and Iíve been living it. One of my ideas is the possibility that my work will become recognized. I have devoted my time behind the lens to exposing the extraordinary in the ordinary, whether it is found in the lines of an old face or a workbench covered with scraps. Although Iím inclined to express myself in black and white, a large segment of my work is in color. I began selling my work in 2007. It is available under the name of "Etier Photography" and also through the studio I share with my wife, Royal Flamingo Works, LLC. We incorporated last year. I began as an amateur when I was the family "shutterbug" and shot everybody. Over time, the hobby began to get critical raves from professionals, educators, and students of the arts, so I went pro.
What has been your education as a photographer?
Studied art at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, LA in the 60's. I learned photography on my own.
Please list any exhibitions in which you have participated.
Western Carolina University Summer Exhibition 2008
What is your favourite type of photography?
"Travel photography" as well as any black and white photos.
What do you try to express through your photography?
My photography is a journal of the places I visit and the people I meet. The subject matter reflects my interest in a wide variety of subjects. My photographs represent my life and my life has value. Therefore I do not negotiate my prices.
How do you choose your subjects?
Anything that appeals to me. Whether it is a pile of junk on an old workbench or children holding hands. I'm as interested in the glamor/runway model as I am the punk/gothic woman. I've been told that I see things through my viewfinder that others don't see. In the last year or so, my attention, and my lens, have been focused on travel photography.
What type of preparation do you do before undertaking the photo session?
Who's paying for this session? Let's get the financials out of the way so I can be creative! Equipment check. The mundane things like charging batteries, preparing flash cards, selecting which camera(s) and lens. Review a list of goals for the shoot and particular shots I want of the subject. When I'm using a model, I plan shots that will take advantage of that particular model's best features.
Do you normally photograph with a purpose already in mind, or do you let yourself go with the flow?
I expect to "go with the flow" while remembering a few pre-established goals.
Canon, Nikon, Fuji, Sigma, Olympus, Sony, Pentax...which do you place your bets on and why?
Canon. Canon manufactures their entire product. Canon products are not a compilation of parts from other manufacturers. They have an impressive range of products, prices, and accessories all with the common denominator of quality. It has been rare that I needed to avail myself of their service department and when I have, it has been first class.
Describe your current equipment: cameras, lenses, computers, accessories...
Canon I have three digital cameras and a wide variety of lens. My lens range from macro to telescopic. I use Bogen-Manfrotto tripods and monopods. Dell XPS desktop Windows 7
What software and plug-ins do you use to retouch and manage your photos?
First, I work hard to get it right in the camera. I review my work in Lightroom2 and make final edits in Paintshop Pro. I'm a "purist" and strive for as few edits as possible. Most of my post production work is in minor corrections of color and light and then cropping.
What measures do you take to protect your work against Internet piracy?
I post small files and watermark them. Acquired the services of "Myfreecopyright" recently. My enemies tremble with fear at the mention of my lawyer's name.
Are you a good salesperson of your work? In what should you improve?
I like to think I am. I enjoy a noticeable presence on the web. Google "etier" or "fcetier" and you'll find me everywhere! Prospective customers need to know that they are working with a multidimensional artist, so, since October of 2009 I've been a contributor to the online magazine, Blogcritics.org. I recently began submitting articles to Hubpages.com and I'm an active blogger with my personal blog: http://etierphotography.blogspot.com/ I'm on Facebook, Twitter, Model Mayhem, and several other sites. There is not a facet of photography or sales in which I cannot improve.
Which past masters of photography do you most admire?
It's a long list, but we can start with Ansel Adams. William Eggleston, Stephen Shore and Joel Sternfeld have been major influences particularly in choosing subject matter and composition. Scott Kelby and Brian Petersen provided resources (mainly through their books) that have helped me greatly in my effort to learn photography on my own.
Are technology and digital retouching reducing the gap between professionals and amateurs?
No. If the image isn't right in the camera, no amount of post production can save it.
Do you consider yourself more technical or more artistic?
Artistic -- poetic even. Some of the admirers of my work say that I'm a poet with a camera.
What have you learned about the art of framing and composition?
I learned that the rule of thirds applies both vertically and horizontally. I like the idea of the power points. It's obvious when an image does not follow the rule. It jumps right out at you! It's good to know the traditional rules so you can use your "artistic license" to choose when to break them!
How does one develop the instinct of knowing when to press the shutter release button?
With digital equipment that's easy. You just take LOTS of photos!
When should one use film, and when should one use digital?
I quit using film in 2003.
Does photography have the recognition that it should have in contemporary art museums?
Yes.
Is there any particular technique that you could share?
I prefer black and white. So there will always be a color file available, I shoot everything in color and later convert to black and white.
 

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[fcetier]
Frank C. 'Chip' Etier, Sr.
Canton, NC USA


[fcetier] Frank C. 'Chip' Etier, Sr.
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