Welcome to the 12th edition of the Featured Photographer monthly post. Please meet Randall Collis, also known with artist name as Dalo Collis. I have been following his blog for years and admiring his photography and writing. I am sure some of readers have been familiar with Randall’s photography at Global Sojurn Photography. But, do you know what has inspired his works? Let’s find out through my interview with him on the following post.
If there were one thing you would want the readers to know about you, what would it be?
The one thing would be the best advice I could ever give in addition to working hard: contemplate everything around you and dream.
I daydream all the time, not random daydreams, but dreams with a purpose. About work, life, a specific scene I’d like to shoot. These daydreams may never come to fruition, but they plant a seed.
I love to dream. To be honest, this drives people around me crazy.
When did you get into photography and who/what inspired you to do it?
I caught the photography bug when I was nine years old; my Grandma gave me a point-and-shoot camera for Christmas. Inspiration came from my Dad and his Canon AE-1. He’d treat us to slide shows every so often, and they were the best. My older sister, Sandi, also inspired me as she started serious photography in college and as her little brother, I remember being confused wondering how could ‘my sister’ be so good.
What is in your bag (the camera, lens, accessories) when planning to take images?
Two key items: Canon 5D Mark-III and a 24-70mm f/2.8 lens, an ideal partnership. If I carry additional lenses: Canon’s 70-200mm f/2.8 and the very heavy, but artistic, 85mm f/1.2.
I’ve also become a recent user of the mirror-less system. Canon does not have a viable option here for me, so I bought a Sony Alpha 7R. Along with their 35mm f/2.8 lens, it is lightweight, compact, and packs a nice punch. Due to a lot of travel, it is my most used set-up this year.
A Manfrotto tripod and various filters round out my bag.
You combined photography and philosophy to present your art, as you stated: “there will also be occasions when the mood strikes that philosophy via photography will be combined”. How do you define such occasions during the process?
If I can engage emotionally with what I am shooting, I become part of the scene. This allows me a freedom to empathize, to be creative without having to think too much about what it is I am doing. Every scene is different, and for me, every scene has its own culture. Being open-minded, therefore, is very important. Most of us were raised within one culture, often formed by our hometown or neighborhood. The world is made up of what seems to be an infinite number of cultures, and this is where the excitement lies.
Many people fear differences the same way they fear change, believing it is safer to remain at status quo rather than to accept the risk of change. However, the risk is a perfect spice for life and adding change is a gift to create something special. In photography, the same truth applies. Embracing change is part of my philosophy and bleeds into all I do. When I get in a philosophical mood during a shoot, I am on an equal plane with the scene and my photography can capture the emotion and evoke a response I would otherwise be unable to create. I fail at it often, but when it comes together, boom, I feel a sense of peace.
To find such a mood, I often repeat a line my sister wrote in my journal before I took off overseas for the first time: “Take it slow, keep it simple.” Perfect for photography and life.
Is it the wisdom that is inspiring your photography or is it the photography that makes the existing wisdom enriched?
Continue reading at Indah’s Dive Travel and Photography.