No I didn’t interview myself! Come on now! I was interviewed by shawhouse as the current featured artist with A Photographer’s Craft. I thought I would brag and post the interview 😉
Interview of photographer Karri Klawiter by Shawhouse
Every once in a great while one encounters an artist whose body of work reveals such surpassing clarity, focus and sophistication that the images should not merely be referred to as “Art,” but as “Arthur.” I recently cyber-sat down with Karri Klawiter to discuss her Arthur… Luckily, Ms. Klawiter agreed to the interview before reading my questions.
How long have you been practicing photography?
Art has been a part of my life since I can remember. Doodling as a child, late in high school I discovered I could paint, and now as an adult I’ve moved to photography. I really started practicing photography in January 2008. Before that, I dabbled a little bit here and there with a 35 mm, but nothing serious, and not very often because of the whole processing film thing. I would make one roll of film last months. Every shot I took was planned out, because I would only take one. My husband bought me a digital SLR for Christmas this past year, and that has seriously opened the world to me. I love my new camera, and with it being digital, I can take as many as I want! Then Photoshop entered my world in April….ah…life will never be the same!
What was your first camera, and how have you progressed with respect to photographic equipment?
My first camera was one of those long, flat, black and blue, 110 film Kodak cameras. Remember those? Do they even sell 110 anymore? I loved that thing. I would carry it around everywhere when I was little. But I tell you what, I think don’t the pictures were ever in focus, much less had the subject fully visible. I couldn’t tell you what cameras I’ve had after that and before my first SLR.
My husband came home one day with a Canon Rebel SLR he picked up at a pawn shop. The intention was that he was going to take up photography as a hobby. He read the manual from front to cover (yes, he actually read the whole thing), played with it a bit, took it on a hiking trip, took 10 rolls of film worth of pictures, packed it away, and never touched it again. I would pull it occasionally, for holidays and such, but it really didn’t get much use till last summer.
For some reason I can’t remember now, I was taking a lot of flower pictures, and they were actually turning out nice! (My pictures never turned out growing up, I always had a secret passion for photography, but never thought I was any good at it.) That summer I used a whopping 3 rolls of film! Hey, that’s the most I had ever used. But to be fair, I also had a cheap little digital camera that I was using constantly too. That cheap little digital camera died after my 2 yr old dropped it. So I started dropping hints to my husband about getting a Canon Rebel Digital SLR. My biggest argument was that we already had filters and lenses that were interchangable with it, so why would we buy another cheap digital that will barely get used. His argument was that I already had an SLR that worked perfectly fine. Much to my surprise, the very last present I opened Christmas morning (I must add here, that I was deeply depressed by then, I thought he took the hint, but it wasn’t looking good) was my digital SLR! I cried and cried. Such a stupid thing to cry about huh?
So…my photographic equipment is still limited, but it does include: Canon EOS Digital Rebel Xti, Canon EF-S 18-55mm lens, Canon EF 35-80 mm lens, Canon EF 100-300mm zoom lens, 3 (1x, 2x, 4x) zoom filters (I really want a macro lens), and various other filters.
Do you have a favorite image in your own gallery? What is it, and why is it your favorite?
I think my favorite image is “Abandoned.” I am not really sure why. It really isn’t anything special, but I love it all the same.
Have you ever done anything extreme to get that “ultimate shot” – or have you traveled anywhere remote to take photographs?
I haven’t really done anything extreme, yet. But I did get chased off private property for taking pictures of an old school house. Honestly, I did not know it was private property, it wasn’t marked, it sat on the side of the road and there were 3 fences and a good 10 acres between it and the next house. Man was the owner mad! By the way, that old school house is the one in “School House Rot” and “School of Time Past.”
Which image from my body of work has most inspired you? Take as long as you need.
Oh sure, this question you say take as long as you need, could have used that on the camera question! It is a hard question too.
I think it would be “Lost” though. I woke up one morning, realizing that day was a deadline for a competition I wanted to enter, but I didn’t have anything to submit. I started going through all those old pictures saved on the computer I never did anything with. You know, the rejects. I came across one that was already merged into HDR of a tree. Very boring, I know. At that time, things weren’t going very great in life; I was in a dark mood. So I thought, hey, what would it look like in black in white?
That started the snowball effect. I took all that recessed dark depression and anger, and put it into the image. When I first thought it was done, it still didn’t feel right, until I added the girl. I guess she symbolized me, because I was feeling quite lost at the time. Creating it really made me feel better. Isn’t art a great stress reliever? I submitted, thinking there is no way this picture is going to win, it doesn’t have the feel any of the other entries did. It won. I was shocked and happy; I even did a little dance of joy.
Wonderful story. Truly inspiring… .But, I was referring to my body of work. Take as long as –
What was your name again?
Ed. Note – The interview resumed the next afternoon.
Have you got your own website, if so what is the url and how long have you had it?
Film or Digital?
Digital! Hands down digital! You can take as many pictures as you want, and get rid of those you don’t with just a click of a button. No wasted film!
JPEG or RAW?
I’ve tried RAW, truly, but JPEG seems to work best for me. I can’t explain it. Everyone says ALWAYS use RAW, especially with HDR images, but for me RAW images merged into HDR end up with a lot of noise. I must be doing something wrong…
For here or to go?
Unfortunately, to go. Two young children, a husband, school, and other responsibilities, I rarely get to say for here.
Are you a member of Gift of Art where all proceeds from art sales go to cancer research? What would you say to help promote the charity account?
I think the art speaks for itself. It is an amazing collection, plus the proceeds go to help research cancer. Why would you buy art elsewhere? Yes, I am a member, and I am not just saying this to promote my work. It really is an amazing thing they are doing. I was honored to donate a couple of my most popular works. We all know someone in which cancer has affected their lives, if not lost a loved one to it. It is an unbiased killer. It doesn’t care what color your skin is, if you are a child or 120 years old. We need all the help we can get to fight it. Someday there will be a cure.
What is your favorite subject to photograph (and why)?
That is a hard one. My subjects change like the wind, but if I had to pick one (and it is probably because of withdrawal, haven’t been able to get to any recently) it would be dilapidated, abandoned buildings. They have such character and history. How many families have lived in this house? Where they happy? What did it look like new? How many people over so many years stood in this spot, or looking out that window? I find it all so fascinating. Of course I also love genealogy, so there you go!
What is your favorite Andrew Lloyd Webber musical (and why do you have a favorite Andrew Lloyd Webber musical?)
Who? I’m gonna have to Google this one! Hey, I’m just a small town country girl!
Is there anything you would like to add about the Photographers Craft group or anything else?
The Photographer’s Craft is a wonderful group of amazing photographers. Not only do they have talent, but they have the heart to go with it. Just look at The Gift of Art.
You going to eat those fries?