Tuesday, February 15, 2011
I have something very special for you guys.
Most of us have seen his photos.
Many of us have heard of his name.
Some of us have seen him sneaking around with his camera and backpack.
But only a few of us really know the man behind the lens.
Here's an opportunity to pick the brain of talented, popular and well-respected professional photographer/videographer: Karel Chladek.
- Karel Chladek isn't a very common name, where are you (family) from?
Czech background, born in Montreal though.
- I have seen you around with your camera for no more than roughly 2 years now. How old are you, and at what age did you start getting into nightlife photography specifically? Remember the first event you covered?
I am 19 at the moment. Nightlife came into the scene when I went to my first event, Tiga Live @ Terrasse Bonsecours. Evidently I had to do it again.
- When did you first start expressing interest in photography?
Summer 2009, started with drifting events, learned it all by trial & error.
- Are you currently in school? What are/were you studying in? Have you ever taken classes in photography/cinema?
I am currently in my first year of Photography at Cegep du Vieux-Montreal. I have already completed a Creative Arts DEC at Champlain College, which were my first steps towards holding my first camera.
- What camera + lens do you use?
A couple things that work for me. But if you must know, to make the videos and most of the albums I use the 5D Mark II, and a 40D. For lenses, I have gathered a couple but realized that for nightlife, I prefer my 50mm F/1.8 and my 24mm F/1.8.
- How did you end up in 'electro' shows? What kind of music do you listen to?
Ended up in it because I enjoyed it all my life, I live electronically, dnb, dubstep, trash, progressive, house, electronic, acid. They all have their advantages.
- Favorite track/artist/band at the moment?
At this very minute, Russ Chimes, it’s inspiring!
- What is your favorite venue as a photographer? And when you're not shooting?
As much as I enjoyed Velvet, the Belmont has a charm which is hard to resist.
- Do you drink on the job?
Hmm, holding a beer and a camera doesn’t work.
- Not only are you a fantastic photographer, but you now also put out incredible videos. How did that happen?
I always had ideas of capturing live footage, but could never put them into solid material because of the equipment I had. I get inspired easily when seeing creative videos and I knew I could do my part if the equipment allowed me to it. Once the 5DII came into my hands, the ideas just kept flowing and creation led.
- You recently started a new project: WAREHOUSE. Please tell us about it.
ware-house.tv is my personal automotive media project. It will be in effect in the beginning of the summer 2011. Featuring daily car sightings, creative videos, event coverage and personal car shootings.
- Are motorsports/automobiles a personal or professional interest?
It is currently a personal interest which I always had along with nightlife.
- Where do you see your career at in a few years (as a photographer/videographer)? What do you hope to accomplish? Do you have any specific professional ambitions?
Easiest way to say it is, to create for clients who enjoy my work for what it is. It might be videography or photography, those are just ways I express myself. Opportunities are my ambition!
- You seem like a busy man. Are you? How many events do you cover in an average week?
Every week I go for 1 event minimum but can lead to 2-3 easily.
- It seems on some nights that there are more photographers on stage than there are people on the dancefloor. What's your take on that? In your opinion, is having so many "photographers" a good or bad thing?
Don’t photograph because it gets you on stage. If the amount of photographers on stage do it for the right reasons, then I can’t say is bad, as long as they can acknowledge the fact that they’re there to photograph.
- What does Karel Chladek look for when working? What constitutes a good photo?
You said it, I look. It’s what a lot do not do. They wait till they get a subject to photograph. Go get that subject yourself, look for it! To me a good photograph has a working composition, it may only be streaks of light but as long as my eye sees a full working composition from edge to edge it will be in my final album.
- Describe yourself in one word.
- Pepsi or Coca-Cola?
Soda, what’s that?
- Which photographer and/or film-maker do you look up to?
Hmm, how’s none? I enjoy so many things out there that do inspire me but currently I do not look up to anyone just yet.
- What is karistreet.com? Who is that beautiful subject in your photos?
Karistreet.com is a personal project I have started with my girlfriend. It will deliver a weekly media dose of fashion/nightlife and travel content. And that beautiful subject, if you must know, is my girlfriend, which I am very proud of.
- You are evidently a man of many talents and interests. Besides photography and videography, what do you like to do? What else would you say you are good at?
Well as I take part in the electronic scene frequently, DJ’ing is a hobby I have always enjoyed at home and at friends. Design/Drawing and Driving (Yeah Driving) are also other interests.
- Do you dance while working?
The beat better be damn good.
- What is the craziest moment you've ever captured with your camera?
You decide, with the things I’ve seen, crazy is an understatement.
- And finally, what should we expect from Karel Chladek in 2011?
I’d say a lot of what was mentioned before. Stay tuned for updates on karistreet.com, ware-house.tv (in the summer), as well as many future event videos and albums (I don’t think I will ever stop that!). There are so many talented artists coming to and from Montreal this year, I’ll be there to capture it!