Thursday, April 22, 2010

Tiny happy people: Q&A with Toni Hafkenscheid

Toni Hafkenscheid is a well-known Toronto photographer, one of those people whose images I've seen a lot but of whom I often wondered "how do they interpret or think about their own work?"

With shows currently on in Vancouver and Toronto, Hafkenscheid indulged my questions about his practice, which uses a lot of tilt-shift technique. The results are in today's National Post Q&A. An excerpt:

Q Does it bother you that a lot of people these days do tilt-shift on a computer, rather than in a camera?

A Not really. Sure, tilt-shift's pretty easy to do in Photoshop. But to me, it's all about driving the whole day and getting excited about sunlight hitting a scene at a certain angle. It's all about following the light. The tilt-shift is just my comfort level now. Granted, two months ago I threw out my home darkroom. You just can't get the chemicals for it anymore. But I still shoot analog, then scan to digital.

Q A lot of artists hire you to photograph their artwork. Do you ever think you'd like to work in another art form?

A No. I really just want to be a photographer. Realizing I was good at photography when I was 24 was, like, my saviour. I enjoy looking at other kinds of art, but the only time I feel I can say anything about art is when it's photography. One of the other jobs I sometimes get is shooting high-end interiors. Like a fancy model suite at Bay and Cumberland-- there's all this gorgeous furniture and a beautiful view. It's still kind of in a dream world, like my other work.

Image of Toni Hafkenscheid's Hell's Gate from Gallery Jones

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