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Culture

Interview with Bob Pixel

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Rise Africa: Are you a self taught photographer or did you have a mentor that showed you the ropes?
Bob Pixel: I studied graphic designing for my 1st degree in KNUST and photography was one of the subjects you had to pass before getting the degree. That’s how I developed the interest and acquired the knowledge for it.

RA: Do you have a special style in your photographs that can single you out?
BP: Personally I don’t think so. Quite a number of people think my lighting is unique but I just think it’s because of how I approach every shoot.

Rise Africa: Which one item of equipment would you say is the most important to you?
BP: I wouldn’t call it an ‘equipment’ but the most important part is my eye.

Rise Africa: Do you rely on lighting (natural, or artificial), or do you rely on dark-room/computer manipulation?
BP: It depends on the subject being shot. If it’s for say, advertising and the image requires lighting; I input that. If I have to provide my own lighting, I do that as well.

RA: What is the one lasting impression you want to leave in your photos?
BP:There are two fronts to my photography; commercial and personal. If it’s for commercial my ultimate goal is to satisfy the customer. If it’s personal, it’s a desire to express myself.

RA: What inspires you?
BP: That’s a difficult one. Everything inspires me. From cloud formations to striking colours. Everything.

RA: Before you publish your work, do you have it critiqued by someone else, or do you just go with what your instinct?
BP: I do a lot of self critique. I don’t expect to please everyone, sometimes I put my work out to invoke feelings.

RA: In general, during a session, how many photos would you say you take to find “the right one”?
BP: If all the gear is in place I expect to take 15-20 pictures to get ‘the one’. However if the model is not co-operative it can take a while.

RA: In your opinion, what makes photography an art?
BP: Loads of people believe in photography more than art. People perceive art to be abstract; for example, an artist painting an idea straight from his head. Photography is very much of an art because it is planned. Perfection of a photo is achieved from several factors. The setting of the photograph, the positioning of the model or object etc.

RA: Do you think that a person must possess talent to capture emotion and expression in a picture?
BP: I don’t think so. Some great photographs have been shot by people who happened to be at the right place, at the right time. Skill is an added advantage, but you don’t need to be ‘talented’ to take a great picture.

RA: Do you think that society would be different if photography was never invented?
BP: Definitely! Photography has been important in documenting history and even as viable sources of evidence. It is a way of telling stories.

RA: Do you have a favorite photograph?
BP: Unfortunately. I don’t. I’m in love with too many of them

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