February Feature: Photographer - Jim Davis, AKA: @killerblackbird
This month, our February feature introduces you to Vermont photographer Jim Davis. We have admired Jim’s work for quite some time, so when he generously agreed to be interviewed for our feature, to say the least, we were very excited!
Renegade Motorsports (REMO): Jim, is it cold in Vermont?
Jim Davis (JD): *laughs* Yes, it is about 20 out right now.
REMO: That’s hypothermia cold! That’s bring out the ugly Christmas sweater cold!
JD: Yes it is. *laughs*
REMO: As much as I am sure our readers want to hear about my ugly reindeer sweater, shall we go ahead?
REMO: Your photos are pretty spectacular; do you have any formal training?
REMO: What sort of photography do you specialize in?
JD: I mainly shoot automotive, landscape, and some portraiture.
REMO: What or who got you started in photography?
JD: I always found automotive photography interesting. I bought a point-and-shoot digital camera about 13 years ago, and I always wanted to buy a better camera that was capable of higher quality images, longer exposures, and longer battery life. So that following year I started a new job, and I was able to afford better equipment. I would always shoot random things or my own vehicles until someone asked me to shoot their vehicle for them. I did that one shoot and it branched off from there.
REMO: How would you describe your style?
JD: I like to think it's unique. *laughs* I try not to emulate anyone’s style. It depends how I am feeling when I am editing and shooting as to what mood I give the photo. Sometimes I try to be consistent with every photo from a shoot, and other times I make every photo different. I also don’t use any off camera lighting; I like natural light as it gives a more genuine feel to the photo.
REMO: What equipment do you prefer to use?
JD: All but one of my lenses are primes. I just like a fixed focal length as opposed to a zoom. If I want to create a certain look, I know what each of my lenses will create, as opposed to standing in one spot and zooming in or out. I usually shoot with longer focal lengths and larger apertures.
REMO: I would be lying if I said I had any clue what you are talking about! *laughs* So I am just going to keep this thing moving. If you had to choose one lens, which one would it be and why? (I clearly had to research this question.)
JD: Tough question. I am quite fond of my Canon 200 f/2L IS; I would probably have to pick that one. It preforms amazingly in low light, it's very sharp, very consistent, and produces some amazing photos.
REMO: Mac or PC?
JD: Mac! My 7 year old iMac is still going strong. *laughs*
REMO: What is your favorite computer and/or editing accessory?
JD: I only use Photoshop; I don’t use anything else. I’ve tried Lightroom and can’t stand it. I’ve recently upgraded to Photoshop CC which I was against at first, but it's nice to always have the most up-to-date version being that it's cloud based.
REMO: What gives you ideas and inspires your imagery?
JD: I try to look at the vehicle and go with my first impressions of it. I shot a black GTR with black wheels once and my first impression was how evil it looked, so a quiet graveyard was very fitting for it. Other times I will not feel like shooting for weeks or even months; it's just one of those things where I have to be in the right mindset to make the image the way I envision it.
REMO: What has been your most memorable photoshoot?
JD: I’ve had a few. *laughs* I would say shooting a friend's Dodge Viper in an air hangar, and just last year shooting on the El Mirage Dry Lake Bed were probably the most memorable.
REMO: I can tell from the laugh you are trying to keep it PG13; we appreciate that. *laughs* If you could only do one last photoshoot, what would it be of?
JD: A Lamborghini LP670-SV in the desert.
REMO: We are going to wrap this one up! Thanks for your time, Jim. We appreciate having you. Cheers!
You can catch some more of Jim's work here: Jim Davis Flickr
Photographer: Jim Davis
Car: Honda S2000 Owner: Hector Levario
Location: El Mirage Lake Mojave Desert, California