Young Photographers interview: Colin Hill

Photos by Colin Hill
Posi+tive Magazine featured Colin Hill, a young american talent: have a look, the photos are really intresting.

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Biography
I’m Colin, an awkward, skinny, 17-year-old from Florida, USA. I sporadically take pictures, I constantly listen to music, and I occasionally wear cool things. I don’t know what I want to do with my life, but I like the way I live. The internet is my hobby, my passion, and my home, and the people I’ve met through it are my family. I love jellyfish.

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1) When did you discover that photography was something deep for you?
About year or so after I started pursuing photography as a hobby, I received a comment on flickr that said “this image made me cry.” The fact that something I had created somehow impacted someone else emotionally in such a poignant way…It really made me see that I could make a difference with my camera.

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2) Looking at your photos, it is clear how important the sunlight is to you. Can you describe what role it plays in your photos?
The sun interests me. In photographs it can produce brilliant flares, glares, starbursts, bokeh, etc—it can really bring a scene to life. These artifacts aren’t tangible, and for the most part aren’t even visible to the naked eye, yet are capable of being captured, manipulated, and used just like any other element in a photograph’s composition. This possibility makes the sun such an interesting and significant part of my work, to me.

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3) What do you think of the ongoing conflict between digital and film camera users?
I don’t think much of it. And besides, my opinion on the matter has no authority whatsoever, I’m just a hobbyist.

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4) What’s the best subject for you when you want to take a photo?
I am terrified of humans, but I love taking pictures of them. The way a human body moves, reacts to the cold, breathes, exerts itself, etc. The way sunlight glints off of one’s eye, or how one’s hair flows in the wind, or how water beads up and drips off of skin. The way clothes fit and wrinkle. The way some people are awkward, and the way others are confident, and how their body language will tell you which. I love to capture all of that. I have so many self-portraits because I want to take pictures of people, but I’m too afraid of people to find any models.

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5) Do you think that flickr has changed photography by providing young photographers with a convenient way to showcase their works?
Flickr has changed photography irreversibly for the younger generation. I would say that it probably wasn’t as much of an art site when it was first starting out, and I’m sure it had no where near as many hipster kids running around on the streets trying to populate its servers with flying glitter and triangles. These days, there is definitely a lot of incredible art on flickr, but there’s also quite a lot of trash. I can’t tell if flickr is about photography as an art, or if it’s just a place to get attention now. But then I guess most art is about getting attention.

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6) You are a very talented young photographer: Are you going to study photography ?
I will not pursue Photography as a major in University. I might take some photography electives, but there is very little money in the kind of pictures I would like to shoot. Photography, though a strong passion of mine, is more of a hobby than a future to me.

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13 comments

  1. -_- 9 years ago

    There is very little money in the pictures he wants to shoot, so he isn’t going to major in the subject? Major LOLs over here. There is a reason people major in painting, drawing, sculpture, and other forms of art. Everyone knows that an art-related degree may not make you a millionaire, but people still choose to indulge themselves in their art for the rest of their lives even if it means living paycheck to paycheck.

    I’m just so amused at this new generation of kids on the internet who are SUPPOSEDLY passionate about their ‘talent’ but they don’t even have the balls to LIVE for it or indulge themselves into what they do. It is just all about getting comments and publicity.

    Lastly, who gives a shit about ‘hipsters’ and their glitter and trash? The whole hipster stereotype/insult is old and nobody cares. Glitter and triangles have been around before you were born. Triangles have been apart of geometry which is way older than you and glitter was used in early civilizations.

    Can we please talk about how the subjects in his photos look so contrived? No really, taking a photo of yourself holding some vintage camera and then criticizing someone for having triangles in their photo is hypocritical and really kills your personality. The only reason these photos look good, is solely because of the editing. I could find 10 people on Flickr within 3 minutes who have way better personalities as artists that are reflected through the photos they have taken.

    Whatever.

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  2. Colin 9 years ago

    Dear you,
    my parents would never let me go to college for photography even if I wanted to (though I’ve considered it), and it would probably be a waste of my lifetime of private school education if I did. I’ll never stop pursuing it as a hobby and a passion. I don’t feel like I should have to want to make money at it.

    And

    I never said my work isn’t trash, because it most definitely is. The triangles and glitter comment? That was a joke. A good-natured joke, because it’s obvious I’m one of the biggest cliches on the Internet.

    And who are you, pretentious enough to pass judgement on someone else without even having the confidence to use your actual identity? Yeah, okay, I’m just SO hypocritical, okay.

    Try getting to know me. You seem to have forgotten that I’m a kid, who goes to high school and is stressed over exams and who loved the movie Avatar and needs to clean his bedroom; I’m a normal freaking kid. Why would you do something like this to me? ._.
    If I’ve ever wronged you in any way to deserve this, please contact me so we can rectify this. If I haven’t, then please, go watch Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs or play some pokemon or something; maybe you can wash some of that bitterness out of your system.

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  3. Andrea 9 years ago

    Well, I try to give my opinion to this discussion since I can say I’m a fan of Colin’s photos, not for their artistic meaning, but for the authenticity and freshness they express.

    The matter here seems to be the definition of ‘art’ and ‘talent’, but I think there’s no need to over-impose these two words to the work of a young and passionate boy who uses photography as a way to let his personality come out. He’s just a boy trying to find a personal and intimate way to use a medium: you can say there are tons of boys which try to do the same, sometimes with better results, but at the end who cares?
    I think we must always protect feelings hidden into images.
    You can say Colin is, in some ways, still immature; you can also say he should better focus on something more definite; it’s true. But his passion is clear, and his skill too.
    Internet and new technologies have changed the way to see and do photography, maybe they facilitated the way to have access to it: today a lot of young boys and girls use images and photos to better exteriorize their character. This is good, since it can bring them near visual art.
    No one is born with definite abilities, but everyone must find his way to approach his target. At the end, maybe Colin and those million of boys and girls won’t become professional photographers, but this is not the problem: they would anyhow confront themselves with this noble field.
    In this specific case, Colin has the ability to play with focus and colors, doing portraits with a gleeful halo. He portrays himself and others with a particular attention for contrast’s and colors’ dynamic: the way to perfection probably is still long, but he can say he’s walking on it.
    Is it a problem for you if he won’t continue with photography? Does he have a demand to be called ‘artist’? I read his interview, and he never uses this word. He say he’s “an hobbyist”, and that’s all: if photography let him be happy and satisfied, why should we destroy it?

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  4. ? 9 years ago

    You, dear first commenter, lack proper balls.

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  5. B 9 years ago

    I’m more in line with -_- but without the vitriol.

    I just don’t understand why this is featured here. These photos look like they were all taken with a Digital Rebel and processed to give that vintage film look. It is entirely contrived, it’s everywhere on flickr, and it doesn’t do anything at all for the subjects in any of these photos.

    The digital processing here is a detractor, and leaves a feeling that the photos themselves aren’t good enough so we need a trick or two to make them more interesting.

    As for the “glitter and triangles” comment, Colin, in that paragraph it sounds like you’re saying that style is trash. But -_- has a point, that your photos are largely just a variation on that style, so I’m not sure what you’re trying to say of your own work… are your proud of it or not?

    I think it’s fine not to go to school for photography. I’m not sure I understand your reasoning, Colin, but that’s fine, you’re young, you have lots of time to figure things out. I would say you should probably consider an arts major more carefully if you do find yourself pulled to the arts. The best advice would be to talk to people who have graduated in the programs you’re looking at; you’ll probably find that most of them don’t get a job in the field they expected. I feel sorry if your parents have convinced you that you need to go into a program for the money, but everyone has their own path.

    Then again, college isn’t even for everyone.

    But, back to my first point, I don’t really understand why these photos are featured here. This is not to knock Colin; he seems to be having fun and I see a lot of experimentation and improvement in his work over the course of his flickr stream. Again, he’s young, and who knows what he’ll come up with in the future. But no, these photos are not interesting, they are not unique, and there are a lot of people doing the same thing with better results (or getting better results without resorting to cheap processing tricks). I also think his self description makes him sound like a Michael Cera character but that’s neither here nor there.

    Good luck Colin, hope you continue to enjoy the hobby. It sounds like you are reliant on your parents right now, if they are deciding what you can and can’t study, and I’m guessing (but could be wrong) that they’ve funded your equipment and your access to subjects like Japan and Europe. It will be interesting to see what you’ll produce once you have some independence.

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  6. Giacomo Cosua 9 years ago

    Colin works are here because i liked it, and i think that our magazine mission it’s also to give an opportunity to young people to show their works. So if you don’t understand, maybe you didn’t get our magazine idea.

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  7. B 9 years ago

    fair enough, it is your blog.

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  8. Colin 9 years ago

    In all fairness, these are not the pictures that I would have chosen to feature if I had actually had the time to go and pick them myself. Most of these pictures really don’t do anything for me.

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  9. I like his work.

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  10. allie 9 years ago

    i like them, i think they show freedom in a sense, hearing your parents aren’t allowing you to do certain things with your life is sad, i think its good you have photography as a sort of release, and I don’t think anyone can fault that.

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  11. John Troxel 9 years ago

    you know, really, let’s grow up here. To the anonymous & to “B”..grow up and have some respect. To Colin, don’t defend that these photographs are not your best…they show stuff about you, they show creativity. Really it makes me laugh that you all seem to be the experts on what makes a photograph original, and tastefully done…this is very immature, and the fact that you would choose to do something like this HERE is quite sad to me.

    Congratulations on the feature, Colin!

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  12. Agi 9 years ago

    Colin;
    I love your photographs and I share your akwardness towards people; I also understand your predicament concerning photography and making it into a career. You’ve created a beautiful hobby and no matter what silly comments people may express themselves with, you should continue whatever you are doing. The real problem is turning a passion into a job, because hobbies allow you to do what you do without the economic pressures. You’ve defintely inspired me into taking further steps into photography, and I’ve only just read this article! Congratulations, and best of luck!

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  13. Alyssa 8 years ago

    stop hating on him, guys. =/

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