Each month the Renderosity community votes on the Renderosity Artist Of The Month [AOM] ... August's AOM is Mark Laurie [photogmark]!
Who is 'photogmark' and how did you come by this member name?
Photogmark is Mark Laurie of Inner Spirit Photography. The Photogmark name came about when I signed up for sites that already had "Mark" taken, so I thought a more descriptive user name would help. If you do a Google search on "photogmark," most of the links that pop up are to me.
How long have you been working in photography?
Inner Spirit Photography came into existence in 1980. I borrowed my wife’s camera a few years earlier, so about 1978 would be ground zero for me. I guess that puts it around 32-34 years. My focus from the beginning was female portraiture, mostly nudes with mixes of glamour and boudoir.
Do you have any traditional art experience?
No, I guess that was why I turned to the camera. Although, as I think about it, in my profession I came up through the old traditional skill set of the darkroom, chemicals and film. I used to roll my own film into 35mm canisters to get constant film stock. My first camera was a screw-on fixed lens, Pentax, if I recall right. I was all self taught since there was not much in my field back in the day.
What are you currently working on?
My Revealing Venus – Tuscany, Italy project is the biggest on the project table right now. I am uploading many of the images into my Renderosity gallery as we finalize them. I took nearly 3,000 images after the initial edit. Each year I have photographers join me in Italy to photograph models in incredible places. This year they shut down a heritage castle for us, along with a vineyard, and so on. We are already planning the next one, May 2012.
What software/equipment do you use and why?
My camera gear is Canon, Mark 3 1ds. My lens is the 2.8 70-200 zoom, along with 24 to 70, a wide-angle zoom and a macro lens. The studio lights are Profoto with the usual mix of softboxes, beauty dishes, grids and strip lights. On my Mac we have Photoshop CS5, with nik, onone and topaz plugins. The camera I got as a gift. Jan, my wife, bought me a D30 camera to play in the digital field. When we shifted from the Mamiya rz67 to digital, I already had lenses, so the Canon path was the way. It’s been a great system. I have been using Photoshop since it first came out, before that it was an odd mix of digital software.
What do you think your best piece of work is and why?
That is a hard one. I think “Faded Rose” would be one. It is the working with blending of layers to a concept. People still comment on it and are drawn to it. It has the old faded image, and then having a bald woman in the image makes it even more unusual.
Who, or what, inspires you?
Well, a lot of the Renderosity work is very inspiring, from point of view angles, to artwork montages. I am a bit like a sponge - I don’t turn to one person or source for ideas, rather it will be an image or often my model or client, and the interaction with my client or model is what takes me places. Later, when I have selected images to work on, I go by instinct, so very often the image will win.
What do you enjoy most about photography?
It’s a reflection of my lifestyle; I get to explore beauty, meet very cool people, and travel. It’s constantly growing and expanding ideas. It’s also very fast moving - you see your results so quickly. It’s an incredible way to make a living!
How has this online community (Renderosity) enhanced your work, relationships, and learning?
It’s been fantastic. The members inspired me a few years back to setup a personal challenge of putting up an art-worked image a day, which I did for over 3 years. My clients who allow me to post their images have greatly enjoyed the comments from the members. Many have asked if they could be posted here, which is a huge comment about the community, since my work is all nudes here.
I have also done very cool collaborations with Renderosity members “callad” and “bkhook,” which was exciting. The special effects brushes, backgrounds and wings have been an incredible addition to my artwork. A few of the members have collaborated with me on some fantasy projects.
The members have been great, giving me advice and help in fine-tuning some of my skills and concepts.
Do you have any parting comments, or advice for other artists?
Experiment; find ways to get inspired, but, most importantly, post creations. Don’t worry how good they are, they will get better. We all started some place. Do what you love, express yourself.
To all the artists of Renderosity, thank you for posting, your work pretty much starts my day. There are some incredible images here.
We invite you to have a further look at photogmark's Renderosity Gallery!
Be sure to also visit:
**Have a tutorial, animation, demo reel, or MarketPlace product to demo and share with the community? Consider posting your clips to Renderosity's Video Center!**
Artist of the Month is highlighting a talented Renderosity artist that has been nominated by mods and admins, and voted by the community. Recognition is given to this member for their collection of works for that year.
Since we only select one AOM per month, it is not about their works for that particular month. Instead, it is about highlighting a talented artist's works for that year, and they are recognized during that month.
To learn more about Renderosity's Artist Of The Month [AOM] award, and to view our past AOM's, please visit the AOM page, which can also be found on the sidebar under Highlights.