Recently I’ve made a study of successful images in major competition. The elements that are emphasised more than ever are light and mood, and by light, I mean strong dark images with searing light that tells a story. Combine this of course with outstanding composition and attention to detail, and it all combines for images that inspire me to grow and develop as a photographer.
- CJ Chilvers
"On your deathbed, will you regret not having made a few extra bucks on your photography? It’s more likely you will regret not creating more art…. If you photograph what you love to photograph, without regard for money, you’ll create better images, which could lead to the possibility of money. Just don’t count on the money."
There’s nothing clever about getting your expensive gear swamped and destroyed by a rogue wave or even worse risking personal injury. Buy a longer lens, stand back and enjoy the ocean and all its beauty.
When seascaping I love locations where movement of water is the key element. As the ocean surges it allows you to explore and feel that sense of being one with nature. I’m often shooting around ½ a second and seeking that magic moment when it all gels and you capture a frame that you hope will speak to someone or just be a way for you to transport yourself back to that special moment in time.
Walter Mitty: When are you going to take it?
Sean O'Connell: Sometimes I don’t. If I like a moment, for me, personally, I don’t like to have the distraction of the camera. I just want to stay in it.
Walter Mitty: Stay in it?
Sean O'Connell: Yeah. Right there. Right here.
- Annie Leibovitz
"Nature is so powerful, so strong. Capturing its essence is not easy - your work becomes a dance with light and the weather. It takes you to a place within yourself."
I’m a minimalist when it comes to photography. At any given shoot I try to take one lens. I find it inspires my creativity and forces me to think outside the box. Currently, I am shooting with a 70-300 lens after a dedicated time with two prime lenses (35 and 85). I’m fascinated by this longer length for landscapes and the opportunities it is providing.
My current gear
Nisi 6 stop CPL combo screw in filter
‘The design of a camera shouldn’t be evaluated on day one. The mark of a great design is a camera that looks better after years of hard use because it hits a sweet spot for its user between constraint and utility. CJ Chilvers
Influences and Inspirations
When I think about people that have and continue to influence my photography, I’m always drawn to artists that make me think and dream about where I’d like to head in the future.
- Tommy Ingberg
"And it was there. Deep down in my own personal abyss I found what art is to me. As a sort of therapy I started creating pictures. I stopped trying to make what I thought was “art” or “good photography” to others and made pictures just for me, because I needed to. I stopped caring about what other people might think of my work and stopped playing it safe."