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This week it’s photographer Colm Henry.
What is Instagram for you?
It’s the only social media platform I post on now. I like the way it’s all good-natured on Instagram – I think the fact that it’s visual cuts out a lot of the bullshit associated with other social media platforms.
I’m a full-time musician and mostly play ‘for’ other people – in a supporting role to singers or instrumentalists. Instagram has evolved into a means of expression for me – I don’t have anyone else to consider or anything to sell on there so I just post what I like when I like. It’s made me realise that I have more to say visually than musically, at the moment anyway.
Why/when did you decide to start sharing your work on there?
My first post was at a friends wedding in October – amid the table centre-piece at the meal they had a sign inviting guests to share photos from the day on Instagram using a particular hashtag. I didn’t have a grand plan to share anything after that but I haven’t stopped posting since then.
How would you describe your style?
I wouldn’t say I set out with a particular style in mind – Up to recently I used only my phone to take all of the shots so that has its own restrictions and undoubtedly influenced my style. For example the zoom on my phone is pretty bad so I ended up not being able to take close-up shots of people – so I took a lot of ‘tiny people’ shots instead – huge expansive beach scenes with a person walking their dog in the distance.
I like the minimalist approach in photos too – I try to have as much space as I can around the particular focus of a given photo. In saying that, minimalism goes out the window if I’m abroad or in a new place – my photos seem to be crammed full of everything. I come home again and my photos get less chaotic after a few days.
I love living beside the sea – such a great sense of space – lends itself to lots of photos with the same sense of space – that’s my intention anyway. I’d like to experiment more with video and creating soundtracks to go with the visuals in the future.
What materials/equipment do you mainly work with?
Nearly all my shots are taken with my phone – Sony Xperia Z5 Compact – not state of the art or up to date by any means but it has a 23MP camera. I have a Canon gathering dust at home but I like the immediacy of being able to take out my phone without any fuss if I see something that appeals to me.
I recently bought a GoPro Karma drone – it’s given me a new lease of life in terms of being able to capture new perspectives on places I pass by everyday. It naturally brings up issues of privacy for some people to see this thing flying over them with a camera attached – two crashes and a near miss with a rock from a disgruntled Connemara farmer later, I’m slowly getting the hang of it.
Who has been or currently is an influence on you?
I don’t think I could name a particular person. I’m sure I’m influenced by a lot of what I see without even realising it. I like photographers who can make me see something in a different way – photos that have a completely different take on a well-photographed place. Recently I’ve been following a lot of artists who use really vibrant colours so maybe I’ll head in that direction myself in the future- who knows.
What are your must-follow accounts on Instagram?
The colours in West of Ireland landscapes can get a bit monotonous on relentless rainy days so I follow a lot of artists accounts who use bright colours – like @okudart or @shaneomalleyart. I like the quirky, vibrant video content posted on @witenry. I follow design accounts and minimalist accounts and accounts of people living in very different surroundings to my own – @javsonlee in Singapore for example.