Colorado sports photographer Ned Cremin gives his thoughts on photography, competition, and capturing action in this CRAVE Magazine ƒ/8 exclusive interview.
ƒ/0.7: Describe your photography in 3 words
—My self therapy 🙂
ƒ/1: What are some of the biggest challenges with your type of photography?
Sport Action is fleeting. The moments that you are after happen within a fraction of a second and if you’re not well prepared, then these moments leave you. Lots of time goes into preparation. Getting to the right vantage point may take hiking through waist deep snow exposed to the elements or climbing over mountain crags with heavy gear. Photography, especially in action sports, is an increasingly more competitive field with a seemingly constant changing landscape, and it’s saturated with great photographers! That competitive playing field is the cocktail of adrenaline, drive and motivation progressing what everyone is doing. Overall, I think the most challenging aspect of photography is really just trusting yourself and your own vision.
ƒ/1.4: If you could shoot any subject and get paid to do it- what/who would it be?
Wow, what an open question. I would love to have been so many places in such great periods of time. Ahh, to dream! Yet, to be really self indulgent, I would have loved to spend a week with Bob Marley on his ’75 world tour. Yeah. Man. I was born too late!
ƒ/2: What makes what you do unique among photographers in your field?
Everyone in the world is unique. Some are behind cameras and some aren’t. We all try to interpret and to understand the world based on all the ongoing experiences we have had of it. Photographers look to connect with that which they find dear, interesting or special to them in each moment, in each experience. I guess the subtleties and sensitivities that drive me to connect within moments are unique to my upbringing; to my own story.
ƒ/2.8: Do you have any photographic heroes (alive or dead)?
I have many! My dad definitely got the most yardage out of disposable cameras as he chronicled the lives of 5 kids growing up! Huggy (Ryan Hughes), Photo Editor of Snowboarder Magazine, has had a great influence on how I approach snowboarding, skiing and any sport that involves aerials. He has a great sensitivity toward capturing the bigger picture, and he continues to do it in a slightly different angle than before or what most have done. I’ve learned much from his work. I also have had opportunities to work with him on several projects which allowed me to gather some insights along the way.
ƒ/4: How did you get started as a professional photographer?
I’ve always been fascinated with photos. Growing up we had several really cool Polaroid cameras that me and my brothers and sisters would play with … and break! So, we also had lots of cheap and disposable film cameras. My oldest sister Noreen took a photo class when she was in high school and used me as the subject for most of her assignments. She was really talented and had collections of slides from camping trips and of cool things. (I would stare at them for hours in front of a lamp, kind of like my own version of an old red plastic View-Master disc toy.) I became really intrigued how images in black and white look so great and different. I was big into skateboarding growing up and while in college, I got a couple of lucky shots that ended up getting published. From there, I just kept pointing the camera towards my life interests, using it as a passport to adventure.
ƒ/8: What advice would you have for someone entering into outdoor/sports photography?
I would say just shoot. Don’t overspend on the technical hype. Most of today’s cameras will do great and save that money for a plane ticket somewhere or to invest in lenses. It’s the places and moments you enter that will make your camera shine. Live your life with your camera as an extension of your eye to document the things you do, the places you visit and the adventures you make happen. Don’t do it if it’s not fun. Most importantly, avoid wearing black nor waste too much of your precious life in galleries!
For contact info and to check out more of Ned’s work: http://www.nedcremin.com/