The next talented individual we managed to catch up with is a man by the name of Eric Palmer. He is an extremely talented photographer and videographer based in Cape Town, who’s passion for alternative sports is second to none. Having come across him when doing a feature on one of the local Joburg BMX riders, we decided to have a word with him to find out how his journey has been thus far, this is what he had to say:
MA: Tell us about your journey to where you are today, a little background in how you started out in photography?
I started playing around with a little Sony handycam on rolling sessions a few years ago & just as I was about to buy myself a better video camera a family friend offered me a spare Nikon D70 with a few accessories and that was it. My first shoot was a downhill race near my house and I have been so hooked ever since. I didn’t think anything other than action would interest me, but as I got more into it I found I enjoy shooting anything and enjoy the challenges of taking something new on.
MA: Are there any influences that have got you to where you are today?
Yes, a bit of a strange mix. My mom is a photographer, so I learned/inherited the technical and creative side from her. My dad is an ecologist, which meant I grew up around animals and nature, so photographing it was inevitable. My passion has been rollerblading since I was 10, so that’s where the action side comes in.
MA: Photography has many different facets to it, what part of the industry do you fall into?
I think I fall into a few categories. Action is my main passion, but I shoot anything that comes my way. I shoot Landscape, Macro, Portraits, Product, Weddings, Architectural, Food, Abstract and whatever else comes my way. Photography is about light and composition, that doesn’t change no matter what I shoot. There are obviously differences, but it keeps it fresh, I couldn’t only shoot one thing for the rest of my life.
MA: How would you describe your style of photography?
That’s really hard for me, it varies, but I usually end up going for something contrasty and punchy. Depends largely on the subject, but I find I get drawn to things that work with dramatic lighting and hard contrast.
MA: To date, what has been your best/biggest achievement as a photographer?
I’d have to say getting a Cape Town Scene Report in RideBMX, when I heard they were keen to run an entire article I was so amped! Having my friends and photos in one of the best BMX mags in the world is the best feeling!
MA: We came across you when we saw the amazing shot you had of Paul Sonderlund. Who has been the raddest athlete to shoot and what made it so memorable?
That is a no brainer, Malcolm Peters and I work together a lot. The man can do any trick, any way you like, so when I find a spot that needs a certain trick, it doesn’t take long till it’s done. There are many more, but whenever I shoot with Greg Illingworth it’s a treat and the Godfather of Gums, Wayne Reiche always finds something interesting to shred , I always enjoy a day with him.
MA: I believe that you are also involved in filming and editing, how did that come about?
Like I mentioned earlier, I started filming with a little handycam years ago. I never really put much effort into the filming though, just set the camera up on a tripod and skated , then filmed a bit when I wasn’t skating. I really enjoyed making videos and wanted to take it further, but stills kinda snuck in and took over my life. Now that SLR’s have video I’m back on it and really enjoying it again. I had a bit of a gap so getting used to all the technical stuff with HD on the scene now has been good. I thought I forgot everything I’d learned in Premiere until I started again, so I am feeling at home again.
MA: When you leave the house, what is the one thing you will never forget behind?
Haha, I have a list! I’m not a phone person, but without it I feel stuck. If it was only one thing, I guess that would be it.
MA: Are you working on any projects that we might be interested in?
I’ve just finished the 3rd edit with Malcolm and I shot for a skate tour here in CT with Technique and True Bearings, keep an eye out for the article in Session.
MA: Where would you like to be in 5 years time, career wise?
I’d be really keen to travel more and solely make a living off shooting.
MA: If you could do a photo shoot with anyone on earth, who would you like to shoot?
As soon as I hear these kinds of questions my mind goes blank. There are way too many awesome humans out there that I’d like to work with to narrow it down to one.
MA: Where can people follow you?
BMX site: http://bmeggs.webgarden.com/