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Featured Photographer Interview – Red Ognita

Red Ognita is a Filipino fine-art photographer based in China. His trademark black and white fine art images have been exhibited in various websites and art galleries.

As Red shares some insights of his work and thought process to create his artwork, you can admire his gallery in his website www.ognita.com.

Forbidden - Red Ognita Photography


DT: What subjects and genre are you specializing in?
RO: I am inclined in Black and White photographs. Landscapes in particular.

DT: How do you define your photography style and signature?
RO: That’s difficult to narrow down. I believe that consistency is the key in defining one’s work but having said that, I also believe that photography as an art form that should evolve as the photographer goes through different experiences. I think that there is an inherent danger in placing yourself in the shelves of definition. I just do what I do and I will leave the task of “tagging” to the people who views my work.

Red Ognita Photography

DT: Which one photographic piece of equipment would you say is the most critical for you?
RO: I shoot with the final print in mind. The print shows the most subtle imperfections made at the time of the exposure  including unwanted blur, so a tripod ranks high on my list of important equipment. Aside from the camera itself, the tripod is critical in my creation process.

DT: Do you have a favorite lens?
RO: While it remains true that it is not the tool that define our work, it wouldn’t hurt to have the appropriate tool that can help us deliver the results with the greatest of ease. It just makes life easier to use the best tool available for the job and I try to get the best lens I can afford. In terms of focal range, I do not have a favourite, I will use what is necessary but if I am to assess my shots, most of it falls around the mid-range.

Red Ognita Photography

DT: Can you briefly describe your processing workflow?
RO: My creative process starts before I hold the camera and a big part of it is the post-processing. I shoot RAW and make most adjustments in Adobe Camera Raw (ACR). The processed RAW files are transferred to Photoshop for further refinements.

I save a .PSD master file to retain the highest image quality possible with all adjustment layers intact wherein I can just extract a file for a target output media.

Red Ognita Photography

For some, the post processing stage is where the creativity begins. The fieldwork is only gathering of raw materials. For others, it works on both ends. In any case, we must understand that post-processing is an integral part of our creative process.


DT: What inspires you most?
RO: I’m inspired by many things. Being constantly in a gallery is inspiring, seeing something beautiful is inspiring or just being somewhere you haven’t been before. But there’s one characteristic that really moves me instantly, accomplishing greatness.  When I read stories of people who made it despite all the adversities that they have faced, when they pushed through when everybody said they cannot, when they toiled night and day for the things they’re passionate about and losing most, if not all, there is to them, and succeeding in the end… it  just makes me feel so humbled and inspired at the same time.


DT: How do you decide on location or subject?
RO: I’m always drawn to the calmness of vast open areas. I like to photograph in certain weather conditions such as the early morning mist or dusk.  I do not aim to make an exact record as everyone sees it. I like my images to suggest rather than to describe.

I find it interesting that when one cannot clearly see, imagination comes to play. When it’s a geographical challenge, I resort to technique using long exposures to lessen what I consider distractions.

Red Ognita Photography

Red Ognita Photography

The aesthetic choice I make limits my options in many cases, but I spend a lot of time researching places where photographers of the old went to make their photographs. I would like to think that I’m making my own interpretations based on their influences. Sometimes, it’s just an exploration. I head out somewhere ready to be surprised or  go home empty-handed.

DT: Which ONE photograph that you’ve created that you’ll consider as your favorite and why?
RO: Some of my images is a part of a larger body. There are times that an image would not stand alone. It’s like storyboard. Anyway, Having said that, I am going for the triptych. It’s my first successful one and a single image that can stand on its own. But I haven’t seen this on print yet so, I’m not sure LOL.

Beidahe - Red Ognita Photography


DT: What’s your current project?
RO: I am currently completing a body of work  for my upcoming exhibit in November where I will show Beijing through my eyes.

Red Ognita Photography
DT: Please provide our readers three quick tips to be successful in your field and genre.
RO: With an earth-ful of knowledge and endless sea of wisdom, I consider myself young and unworthy to give out an advice. I can only share the things I have realised along the road. Everybody has their own definition of success, so the first step is:

  1. Know what success means to you.
  2. Aim higher. If you miss the moon, you’ll land on the stars.
  3. Always remember that success is a an effect. It is a by-product. The goal is to be happy in what we are doing, and everything else will follow.

Thank you David for this opportunity.

DT: Thank you, Red for sharing your insights and vision to our readers. Folks, to know more about Red and his stunning photographs, please visit:

Red Ognita Photography
www.ognita.com – Portfolio

http://sigawbeijing.wordpress.com/ – Blog

Red Ognita Photography

P.S.
Red What a cool name that is for a visual artist, don’t you agree?
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