Interview with Brandt Campbell

by Friday, March 16, 2012
First of all, tell us something about your upcoming work. What are you into at the moment?
What I’m into changes constantly. I am about to begin a new project I’ve been thinking about for a while called Atheists. The project will entail shooting portraits of anyone who is either openly atheist or willing to make such a public statement with their name and photo being published under the project. Being an atheist myself, I want to do this to shed some light on the fact that we are the most distrusted group of people in America (Even above rapists! Watch here) – and for no good reason. Atheists are subjected to this sort of prejudice that leads people to assume that atheists are evil, amoral sociopaths. That is so wrong! We are just as capable of genuine love as any religious person, and I want to express that to all people. Call it a coming-out party for atheists.
Tell us a little bit about yourself: where is home, and how long have you been a photographer?
I live in Denver, Colorado in the United States but I hope to call the Pacific Northwest or Europe my home someday. I’ve been seriously pursuing photography for just over 2 years.
How has your work evolved over the years from when you where beginning?
Oh has it evolved! Most of my first photos lacked narrative and interesting processing. While my work has become considerably more complex and interesting (in my opinion), there is always more room to grow.
Who’s the first photographer that comes to your mind in a second?
Xavier Jamonet. I first discovered his work on DeviantArt and envy him for all the beautiful places and landscapes he has such easy access to living in Europe. His photos are gorgeous!
What type of assignment are you attracted to most?
I like a challenge, because overcoming a challenge successfully is so rewarding.
Do you rely on lighting (natural, or artificial), or do you rely on dark-room/computer manipulation?
I do have a certain post-processing technique I use to give my portraits and street photos their signature look, but natural light plays the biggest role in my work. I never use anything but available, natural light.
If PS, how important is Photoshop in your final images?
Photoshop play the biggest role in my portrait work when I need to touch up blemishes or stray hairs. While somewhat important to producing my signature toning in my Cinemascapes series, it plays a lesser role in my other work.
What type of camera do you shoot with?
I’ve been using a Canon EOS Rebel T1i for a year and a half. However, I am finally taking the leap to a serious upgrade this week as I am purchasing a Canon 5D Mark II. I’m pretty excited!
Which one item of equipment would you say is the most important to you?
That’s a tough one to answer, because my equipment all have a sort of symbiotic relationship to each other. I could not do what I do without my lenses, camera body, or computer. They’re all equally important.
Do you have a favorite walk around lens?
My 50mm is by far my favorite walk-around lens. It’s fantastic for portraits as well as street photos / Cinemascapes.
Something you’ve always wanted to do, but have yet to.
One thing I’ve wanted to do for a long time is visit and photograph Lower Antelope Canyon in Arizona, which I am doing in April! The biggest thing on my bucket list, though, is traveling all over Europe to see and photograph the many beautiful places there.
Something you want the world to know about you.
I am an atheist and I don’t bite! I promise! Being openly atheist is becoming increasingly important to me as atheism is part of my identity, and I’d like other atheists who haven’t “come out” yet to know they have a friend in me even if their family and friends shun them for their [lack of] beliefs. I’ve experienced that firsthand.
Something that annoys or frustrates you about people.
Ignorance and bigotry. I don’t understand why some people think they should have a say in how other people live their lives. I believe everyone should be free to do as they please as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else.
Your idea about social networks.
I have a love-hate relationship with them. I love the networking and exposure aspect of them, but I detest that they’ve become a platform for narcissists. Narcissists think the whole world cares about every little thing they do and say, and websites like Facebook only amplify that. Narcissists are easy to spot though – they frequently post about the mundane things, like announcing they’ve just brushed their teeth.
What’s overrated/underrated today?
Macs and iPhones are overrated. They may have been the best at one time, but that time has long past. Windows is not the crappy, buggy operating system that it was 10 years ago. Windows 7 and 8 are quite fantastic, actually. Most of the people I know who think Macs are vastly superior have not used a PC since Windows 95, so they can’t even speak from experience. The cult following that Apple has also kind of creeps me out and reminds me of scientology. Yikes.

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