Interview with:
Bruce Walker

Cover of Volume 10

Where are you born and when?

Vancouver BC, Canada in 1956

Where do you live?

Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

When and how do you start your path in photography?

I was given a Kodak Brownie folding 120 film camera as a young teenager around 1970 or so. I taught myself to develop the roll negatives and used a friend’s darkroom to do some printing. I continued with a Praktica LTL 35mm camera for some years.

Who were the three photographers that inspired you at the beginning and who are the three ones that inspire you now?
Please add links to the pages where the images are shown.

In the beginning, very hard to say, but very likely Helmut Newton was one. https://helmut-newton-foundation.org/en/helmut-newton/

I was also much inspired by all the Playboy photographers and especially Alexas Urba who shot the famous Marilyn Cole first full frontal centerfold. https://www.playboy.com/read/marilyn-cole-1

Now I am inspired by a huge number of greats, but none more than Vincent Peters https://www.artsy.net/artist/vincent-peters, Marc Lagrange https://www.artsy.net/artist/marc-lagrange, and still Helmut Newton https://www.artsy.net/artist/helmut-newton.

Did you go to a school or are you a self-taught?

I am entirely self-taught.

Do you make photography as a living?

No, it’s always been a hobby and lately a passion.

What do you like in photography, what is your motivation?

I like that photography provides me with a natural creative voice that just seems to completely suit my temperament. My motivation is a bit mysterious to me, but I constantly strive to better myself and to create images that match what my imagination suggests to me.

What do you want to express or arouse in those who watch your images?

My target audience is me, so I must first make work that satisfies me. I want to capture and express what I consider beautiful and unusual in the world. I would like to make the audience -- starting with me -- pause in their endless, restless scrolling through images and pause for a second and deeper look.

What are your preferred moment(s) in the creation process?

The peak for me is creating in the studio. When all the elements are brought together by the days or weeks of planning and organization. When the creative forces are unleashed and interact to produce the raw material. This are the most magical moments.

What are your three most representative images, and why?
Please add links to the pages where the images are shown.

A tough one! I have very few images that capture me in a definitive way, especially as I am constantly reinventing myself and trying new things. But these three recent ones might give you a good overview. They cover my love of the cinematic and dramatic, of black and white, and of contrast.

https://portfolio.brucemwalker.com/index/I00007TNAlYT5NiE
https://portfolio.brucemwalker.com/index/I00005ItTE5CRHBA
https://portfolio.brucemwalker.com/index/I00000xTtQTJ6hMk

What equipment and/or techniques do you use?

It is not a matter of brands/lenses, it is mostly about analog/digital, preferred light (natural/flash), how much post-production, etc.

I started out analog, but embraced digital fully in the late 1990’s. Just lately I am beginning to toy with analog again, so watch for that development, so to speak.

I am happiest with light that I have some control over, and that’s usually studio lighting in a studio. I often include ambient light in the mix, and in the last year I have begun to use entirely constant light in a big way. But I have used everything from handheld lasers and flashlights to big strobes to powerful COB LED lights. I’m fascinated with trying anything that emits photons. I have yet to light with fireflies -- look out little bugs!

I am kind of all over the place with post-production. I went through a regrettable phase of over-processing skin, but I have matured since. I use post work to strengthen my images’ intent, and I’m don’t feel tied down by anyone’s reality but my own.

How and why your work as changed since you started?

I figure it is both changed and unchanged since I started. Certainly it is technically improved, but now I feel I am expressing myself better. All of my work to date is practice work and I’m sure that will be the case for many years to come. But more and more I see my vision maturing and becoming clearer.

What do you think about the fact that nowadays photography is mostly enjoyed on the Internet?

On the one hand it is potentially reaching a larger audience, but in so doing a great deal of excellent work is buried under an avalanche of the just okay. What I miss is the moderation and influence of the book and magazine. Curators and editors are invaluable in that they cut the crap and bring us images of note.

I am glad that books don’t appear to be a dying medium (yet). I still love seeing photos printed large in well produced art photo-books. Nothing really beats holding these lovely objects in our hands.

What hugely disappoints me every single day is the dominance of Instagram in photography. The images are so small the medium really only suits subjects you can see, like portraits or food. And the nature of the “Community Standards” of course means the suppression of much art.

Why did you decide to join the nudeartzine project?

I value any opportunity to have my portfolio examined by an editor because it gives me great feedback. And getting a kick in the backside to write a bio and be interviewed causes me to introspect -- also a very valuable exercise. Plus of course I love for my work to be seen by more like-minded folks.

Would you have an insight or advice to give to whomever is watching your work and wants to learn photography?

Experiment a lot. Always be willing to try new things. Please yourself first and foremost. Do try and ignore social media Likes as the empty calories they are. That’s hard, I know.

Use workshops and clubs to get a leg up, but leave them behind as soon as you are able. They can be helpful in the beginning but will hobble you in the long run.

What are your plans in the future?

More! Better! Onward! Upward!

On what page our readers can find more of your work?

The work that I feel generally represents my best is here: https://portfolio.brucemwalker.com/

Other links including my Flickr where I post experiments, work-in-progress and more “out there” work is here: https://linktr.ee/bruce.walker

Would you like to add something else?

Thank you for doing this, Ugo. I really appreciate it and I’m sure so do a huge number of fans of this type of art.

Last updated 12/04/2021 03:04:54

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