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10 questions for photographer: Roger & Paula Berk

10 questions for photographer: Roger & Paula Berk

Can you introduce yourself little? 

We are Roger & Paula Berk, a husband and wife photography team based in the Netherlands.

Roger started taken pictures at the age of 16 and bought a Canon A1 camera with no autofocus lens based on film. He started to capture beauty around the Netherlands and when traveling abroad. Roger has worked in the ID industry for over 25 years to capturing portrait images.

With over 35 years of camera experience Roger has developed an eye for capturing images in the studio or out in the field.

Paula has experience in fashion photography and enjoys taking food, street and nature photos. She is also, the marketing brain of it all. She is the social media guru and a freelance graphic designer.

For us travel photography is the most challenging and rewarding form of photography. Every capture is unique, every trip a new adventure, every encounter a new friendship, every culture a new experience. We capture the beauty, essence and diversity from around the world.

With the ability to capture those moments is a gift and we love sharing that gift with others. As a husband and wife team, photography has always been a major part of our lives. Photography has been our hobby and our life-long passion.

Our travels take us all over the world, and this is reflected in our photos.

 

What is favorite photographic topic of Roger & Paula Berk?

We both enjoy taking pictures of city architecture, food and landscapes. When we’re in exotic places we also, like to mingle amongst the locals and capture them in their own environment.

Rotterdam by Roger & Paula berk

Are you full time professional photographers?

At the moment we are professional amateurs in the industry with a passion of taking unique pictures.

 

Is it complicated to become a professional photographer in the Netherlands?

In the Netherlands there is a lot of competition. Cameras became inexpensive and people with cellphone think they can make similar captures with their phones. LOL… We as photographers know that is not true.  In order to standout you need to work hard, invest a lot of time, learn every day of your mistakes, admit them and try again to become better. In addition to following the latest news of equipment and techniques, we work hard to get the best out of the images we take.

fripito-final-wilhelminapier-2447

We met at Photokina. How do you feel the photo industry is moving to?

The Photokina is great show to see where the standard of photography is headed to in the future. Having well-known brands and up and coming brands showing their new lenses, improved cameras and accessories all under one roof. It’s exciting that these manufacturers keep on improving the quality and speed of their products.

We imagine in the future that cameras will become lighter and mirror less with improved speed. Full frame and even medium format with an amazing dynamic-range connected to your smart phone and be able to share with social media immediate gratification.

 

You travelled a lot. What is your favorite photo place worldwide?

We have been fortunate enough to have travelled to more than 370 cities around the world. Images relating city and architecture, Dubai and Singapore are the most outstanding places to shoot. In regards to people we were most intrigued by Afghanistan and India (in both of these countries people are the most receptive to let their picture taken and smile).

What is your favorite camera or lens?

The camera I use at the moment is the Nikon D810 with a 14 – 24  mm f/2.8. The two together are an amazing set which takes amazing 70 MB images. All the images we take are in RAW and then processed with the computer. We like to keep the images as original as possible.

 

Is there any dream photography job or destination for you?

One of the places we really like to see and is on our bucket list is the ancient ruins of Petra in Jordan. We never had the chance to go there but, we will.

Do you sell stock photography? Where and why?

We mostly sell our images on 500PX. We enjoy this site because we are able to engage with other photographers and measure the appreciation of our skill set.

 

Why did you choose to become a Fripito author?

Fripito is a great idea. There’s been so many times when going into the city; trying to figure out a good place to go to take pictures. Only to realize that we missed out on multiple photo opportunities. Fripito is a great solution. We are able to choose the best locations prepared by local photographers which save us more time to explore, to take more photos of the city when we visit.

 

Do you want see more pictures from Roger & Paula? Download they photo travel guide of Rotterdam.

 

 

 

 

 

10 Qustions for: Leonardo Paris (Brasil)

10 Qustions for: Leonardo Paris (Brasil)

Leonardo Paris is young talented photographer from Brazil. We met first time at Prague,  when he was working on photo job for client. We started cooperation and the result is great photo guide for Rio de Janeiro. Here is 10 questions and answers about photography in Brazil and Leonardo himself.

How did you start with photography?

Well, when I was only eight, I used to take my mom’s camera to take landscape photos. I liked the surroundings. But in that time it was all about film cameras. We had to buy the film, pay to reveal…not impossible for the family photos, but quite unaffordable for landscape photos taken by a boy.
So, in 2004, when I was a statistics   intern in a school, I had the oportunity to work at the weekends and holidays. I earned R$100,00 by each weekend and during fifteen weekends I saved the money  to buy a Sony P92, a huge 5.0 megapixel camera in that time. It was such a compact camera and I took advantage of this feature carrying it on my pocket while strolling around in Rio. I had not to buy and reveal films any more and the results were instantaneous, like a polaroid. Perfect. What a great revolution. That’s how everything started.

Leonardo Paris - Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro. Photo by Leonardo Paris

What is you favorite photographic topic of Leonardo Paris?

Beauty (lol). Beauty moves me. Ok, I know that the question is about themes. Above all, the landscapes are my favorite. But the nude and sports photography brings huge interest. Its a pitty that I can not devote myself into learning (and saving money to buy the appropriate equipaments ) and practicing these themes. Time is also a constraint.

Are you full time professional photographer?

No – part time, and that’s just the reason I have no time. Unfortunately, professionally speaking, photography is a very (or was at that time ) restrictive activity due to the high costs. A 70-200mm, 2.8 canon lens costs R$ 10.000,00. Its ridiculous. A full frame camera – not the best – is between 8 and 10k. Its a lot. And even if you have the equipment, until the ‘engine’ starts you need a sponsor. And I just didnt think it was fair to convince my parents to spend such a money. So I’ve decided to go alone and do what was possible.

Leonardo Paris - Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro. Photo by Leonardo Paris

Is it complicated do photography for living at Brasil?

I dont think so. Its a matter of accessing the right target audience through the many free and high available marketing channels you have today. And of course, if you want to earn high, you have to be the best or to bring a lot of quality. You have to invest, go to courses and practice to be always updated, delivering what people want.

Many traveling photographers ask about safety in Brasil. What is real situation?

In general, as many touristic areas are located in the south zone, the overall safety level is good, but even here I avoid to carry my camera on hand. Its different than most cities in the world, where you can shoot freely and very unaffraid. Of course danger is present in many places and forms around the globe, but what worries about Rio is the general sense of unpredictability of these events. For tourists, my best advice is to always carry the camera inside their bags while not shooting and keep eyes wide open when in city center.

Leonardo Paris - Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro. Photo by Leonardo Paris

Can you recommend 3 must see photo locations in Brasil?

Choose just three is a pitty because the list is huge. But of course that coming here and don’t visiting Rio is like not visiting Brazil at all. Iguaçu Falls and Chapada dos Veadeiros is also beautiful.

What is your favorite camera or lens?

My current, discontinued Canon T2i (lol). Of course it is outdated but it was the one that brought quality to my photos, the one that helped me to capture beautiful family moments and since 2011, when I bought it, has never failed or broke.

Is there any dream photography job or destination for you?

Ohh yes. This is the best question to be answered. Its so good to dream, dont you think? Let me fly now… . If I had a full frame camera with a 70-200mm together with my current set of lenses, wich include a sigma 10-20mm, I would choose from these two:

1) travel the world, trying to depict its beauty and its reality. The beauty because we are failing on our unsustainable way of developing and people have to know what is being lost; the reality because we are loosing many people – specially children – to wars, drugs and misery in its all faces and I dont realize people around me worrying about these matters;

or

2) I would like to follow the day to day and the competitions of any team or athlete in an Olympic cycle to then tell the various stories behind the medals – or failures – about them.
The chance to capture ” that moment ” in wich the athlete executes the perfect movement, their pain, their trainning sessions, their glory…and bring it to the general audience is also a dream.

Leonardo Paris - Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro. Photo by Leonardo Paris

Do you see any difference between South American and US photography today?

This one I wouldnt know since Im not that deep into either photography knowledge. But what I ve seen so far is that both achieved a high level quality, but the american photography (commercial or not) is much more dependent on the product, on the perfect set than the brazilian. Maybe we are more creative on directing models, for example. But this is very personal, a perception between NY and Rio streets, not from academy or studies in the field.

Why did you choose become Fripito author?

Because I wanted to show my work and to be the first in Brazil – and in Rio – to be featured in the app. I always felt the need to show ‘my’ Rio to the people. And Fripito is all about getting to know, seeing and going to far, beautiful places. Fripito opens doors, gives you access with clear, safe directions and tips that is done by people who loves photography and take it very seriously.

In the other hand, when you travel, of course you want to bring photos that capture those incredible views you see just in front of your eyes, so why not to get the advice in your pocket? Why not to join everything together?

Do you want see more photos from Leonardo Paris or do you need travel guide for Rio de Janeiro made for photographers? Then download Fripito for iOS or Android and check Rio de Janeiro guide by Leonardo Paris.

10 questions for Brian Wood-Koiwa

10 questions for Brian Wood-Koiwa

Brian Wood-Koiwa is author of Tokyo guide in our app. We asked him for short interview and here is 10 answers from him. We love urban photography and clean simplicity of Brian’s photos.

1. Can you introduce yourself little?

I am an American expat living in Tokyo, Japan. I’ve travelled around the world in my 20s and I have now settled down in Tokyo and have been living here for the past 14 years with my husband who is a Japanese citizen. I grew up in rural Pennsylvania in the US and living in the beautiful city of Boston before moving to Japan in 2000. I have not lived in the States since then and experience a bit of culture shock every time I visit the States (which is not often). I have lived in diverse locations such as the Republic of Congo as a Peace Corps Volunteer to southern Thailand as a science teacher in an English immersion program at at public junior/senior high school. I did not get into photography until around 2010, so I do not really have any photographs of my previous adventures – just a few snapshots here and there (and of course this was all pre-digital). I wish I were into photography then. I would have images of my experiences during a train robbery in the rainforests of the Congo and after the bombing of the US embassy in Nairobi, Kenya that occurred the same time I was visiting there.

2. What is you favorite photographic topic?

I love anything urban. I love cities, so street, architectural, and urban landscapes are what appeal to me. I tend to veer more to black and white, but I am not afread of and appreciate colour.

 

3. Are you full time professional photographer?

No, I am not…yet. I hope to be. My husband and I started a small business earlier this year centered around my photography for selling fine-art prints that I print in my little studio in our apartment and my seasonal photo-essay magazine UrbanWeird Photo. I also offer customized guided photo walking tours around the city (UrbanWeird Photo Explorations). All can be found at http://urbanweirdphotography.com.

Dinner in Yurakucho, Tokyo
Dinner in Yurakucho, Tokyo

4. Can you compare photographers life in US and Japan?

I cannot really, since I was never a photographer when living in the States. However, I do not think it is much different. There is a rich history of photography here in Japan just as there is in the US, especially when it comes to street photography.

 

5. Is it complicated to take street photography in Japan?

It is not really complicated.  As I said just above, Japan has a rich history of street photography, and people appreciate photography as an art form because of it. You just have to be considerate as you do in the US or other parts of the world. Japan in general is not a very confrontational society, so if a person does not appreciate you taking photos, he/she will most likely just give you a stern side glance or just say “no”; this is especially so in big cities like Tokyo.

 

6. Can you recommend 3 must see photo locations to visit in Japan?

The first is Tokyo. It is the largest metropolitan area in the world, so there is something for every kind of photographer. Another is Kita-Kamakura (North Kamakura) about an hour train ride south from central Tokyo. There are main accessible temples that have been there for centuries dotted along a road that leads to the downtown of Kamakura. It is much quieter than the downtown part and the temples all have unique qualities. Finally, there is the ole gal herself, Mt. Fuji. Fuji can be seen from central Tokyo (about 90 km west of the city) on a clear day. Since she is so close, it is not difficult to take a day trip out to see the iconic volcano.

Torii at Nezu Shrine in Central Tokyo
Torii at Nezu Shrine in Central Tokyo

7. What is your favorite camera or lens?

Well, I just switched camera systems a month ago and I am loving my new Fujifilm X-Pro2 – a great camera for urban photography – well, any kind of photography, really. It is not too big and not too small. The hybrid rangefinder/EVF is very useful. There is just a ‘je ne sais quoi’ quality to it. I use the excellent Fujinon 35mm (50mm full-frame equivalent) f2 lens. I have the Leica M-mount adaptor Fujifilm makes, so I can use my husband’s Leica 28, 50, and 90mm lenses as well.

 

8. Is there any dream photography job or destination for you?

My dream job is to be a fine-art photographer; to show in galleries and to have published photo books.

 

9. Do you see any difference between Japan and US photography today?

I cannot really speak for the entire country of Japan, but Tokyo photography tends to be a bit grittier; harkening back to the film days (which is having a resurgence). Also, not being afraid to combine things that may not be obvious to combine. e.g., combining the urban grit of Tokyo and the sublimeness of traditional japan which is still very evident in the city.

Looking down at Shibuya Crossing at Shibuya Station
Looking down at Shibuya Crossing at Shibuya Station

10. Why did you choose become Fripito author?

I Chose to become a Fripito author because I liked the combination of travel guide and serious photography – that it is geared toward photographer/photography enthusiasts. It also complements my UrbanWeird Photo Exploration photo walks.

 

Do you want see more Brian’s photos and enjoy great Tokyo tips? Download Fripito for iOS or Android and choose Tokyo guide!