Steven Brooks

Where are you from/based now?

I was born and raised in Washington State. My family moved around quite a bit when I was young, but I’ve called Seattle home for nearly 30 years.

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

My dad and older brother were into photography. When I was 14, my brother let me borrow his SLR. He gave me a quick lesson about the relationship between shutter speed, aperture, and film speed. Looking through the camera while pressing the depth of field preview button, turning the aperture ring and shutter dial together to keep the exposure needle in the middle... it was all fascinating to me, no film needed. That summer I saved up enough money cleaning parking lots to buy an SLR of my own and soon after, my dad and I built a darkroom in our garage. That’s really where my obsession with photography began.

What equipment do you use?

I use a combination of film and digital cameras. I’m currently using a Bronica SQ and an Olympus EP2 and I almost always have a very small digital camera nearby. Currently, it’s either a Leica DLUX 4 or a Sony RX100. I’m a big fan of “serious” compacts and am very excited about the emerging technology.

What are your feelings on film vs. digital?

I think they compliment each other well and I fully embrace the strengths they each offer. It really comes down to the image and the subject matter. Is the photograph interesting? That’s what matters. I will continue to shoot film until it’s no longer feasible, but when I move to an all digital workflow, I anticipate it being an easy transition. I believe the film vs. digital debate is fading and I think that’s a good thing.

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

I usually head to a specific area or location with an idea of the type of shots I’m looking for, but sometimes I get distracted and end of shooting something entirely different. Those end up being my favorite outings and my best pictures often come from them.

Who or what inspires you?

My inspiration comes from a variety of places, from books to movies to music. Of course, the work of other photographers is hugely influential. I’m a big fan of photo books and have a growing library of books from the likes of Robert Adams, Terry Falke, Peter Brown, and Alec Soth, but I’m also very inspired by lesser known photographers featured on sites like this one. I’m astounded by the talent I stumble upon while browsing the internet.

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

There are three books that never seem to make their way back to the shelf: The New West by Robert Adams, Observations in an Occupied Wilderness by Terry Falke and West of Last Chance by Peter Brown.

Are you currently working on a project at the moment?

I’ve actually been taking a break from photography the last few months to focus on other areas of my life. I started a new project last summer called “The Other Side”, which is a series taken entirely in Eastern Washington. The inspiration for the project came from a Carrie Brownstein essay on Washington State in the book “State by State, A Panoramic Portrait of America”. I plan to resume the project this spring.


1 comment:

  1. Super!
    I appreciated a lot all this shooting series.
    Thank you!

    Skender Kollcaku