Graeme MacPherson

Where are you from/based now?

I was born and raised in the Orange California area, about 20 minutes from Disneyland. Im currently in Bozeman Montana where my family moved in High School. I'm attending Montana State University for Engineering and graduate this spring. I'm probably not going to be in Bozeman much longer, though it is a great and beautiful place to live.

What is your background in Photography? What got you started?

I think it all started with shooting a ton of film back in high school and spending time in the darkroom. I would say that I have a lot of interest in art and science, so it was a natural progression for me to combine the two. The physics and chemistry are almost as good as the artistic aspect in my mind. I don't have any real formal training outside of high school.

What equipment do you use?

I have gone through more equipment than I care to recall, but right now I am shooting a Pentax 67 with a 55/105/165 kit. And a tripod.
If I had my druthers, I would also have a Mamiya 7ii with an 80mm, as well as a 4x5 field. I used to shoot a Canon A1 kit that I still own, but without access to a darkroom or a good Walgreens/Costco photo center, I feel like 35mm is a waste of time. Thats probably because sending film out for scanning and processing is such a chore up here, and I may as well shoot a bigger negative if I am going to spend the time and effort. On the whole, my phone has replaced my 35mm for "just for fun" shots.

What are your feelings on Film Vs Digital?

They are two different mediums at this point. I can't afford both, and I get better results with film given my subject matter. I could write an essay outlining great reasons to go either route, and point you towards stellar photographers that use either system. When it comes down to it, its really the image that matters, and that is a very personal choice. I'm not going to go shoot an indoor soccer match with a Horseman 8x10, just like I dont want to print an A0 sized landscape with a picture from my cell phone.

Film is getting harder to work with though, and I see switching to digital in the next few years. And I will be totally happy to do so when it makes sense. I feel that we are in the golden hour for film, and the light is starting to fade pretty fast.

Do you have a creative process? Are your shots planned or spontaneous?

I would say most of my shots are planned in the sense that I grab my camera and plan to go shoot. Or if I am going on a trip, I plan to bring my camera. I try to document what goes on around me when I can. If I am not carrying my camera and I ride my bike or drive my truck past something that I want to take a picture of, I usually make a note of it.
Lately, I have been taking pictures of things I like with my cell phone and put it on instagram. (*spam* @gmacmt) A lot of times if it gets good feedback, I will go back and shoot it with film.

Who or what inspires you?

Good feedback, probably. I absolutely shoot with an audience in mind. I have a lot of interesting and wonderful opportunities to meet people and go places in my life, and I want to share. Just like I want to see other peoples experiences and perspective on life.

The more I look at really good photographers, the more I want to go shoot. Surrounding myself by art not only improves my skills, but keeps me excited to carry around my heavy camera.

Is there a particular photographer, site, set of images or a photo book that you keep coming back to for inspiration?

There are so people out there who's work I really enjoy, and a lot of them have already been interviewed on this site. It is really flattering to be included with some of the people that I respect most in the photo world. Of the people not included on Kissing Eyes, I would recommend checking out the following:

Thats just the first few that come to mind. The last three are photo-documentarians. That is my favorite style.

Are you working on a project at the moment?

Right now i'm building an autonomous robotic submarine with a few really talented engineers. I am also building my website ( which should go up around the end of January.

I have a photo project in the works, its kind of my last hurrah in Montana. That's all I know about it right now though.


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