Meet the Member: Creative Photography with Eva Petro

"Before I die" by Eva Petro

Eva, tell us about yourself and your journey so far with photography...

I've been interested in photography for many years but this intensified when digital came on the scene. I've been a member of a couple of photographic clubs for a while now, and I find this is a very helpful learning experience, particularly with entering salons (which is something quite new to me).

I particularly like abstract, impressionist and animal photography and I'm always looking out for unusual and striking patterns. I like having my phone with me as I never know when I might come across something worthwhile. I also love creating Photoshop composites, which takes me away from pure photography and towards digital art. I'm currently doing an incredible online Photoshop Artistry course by Sebastian Michaels, which has taught me so much about creative techniques. It's a medium I can lose myself in for hours.

"Letters in the wind" by Eva Petro

Tell us about some of your photo experimentations...

The oil and water experiments were from an article in Digital Photography magazine (fantastic for creative ideas/techniques). You basically combine oil and water in a flat glass dish placed on top of a colourful base (coloured paper, fabric or whatever looks good), light it from underneath, stir the mixture, and then snap away in manual mode using a macro lens. No two images are ever the same and you can do such a lot to make them really stand out in post processing (cropping, changing colours, filters etc). I've done about a 100 and am blown away by the results.

The bowl of light was an experimental evening at our club. The coordinator set up a number of stations using a variety of stands and wine glasses and LED lights of various kinds and colours. All lights were then switched off and someone moved the LEDs around the setups creating some amazing light effects. It took a bit of experimenting with shutter speeds and focal lengths to get it right but once the technique was mastered it was great fun. Again, no two shots were ever quite the same - in fact, the variety of images from everyone was incredible. Again you can do a lot of post processing to make them even better but mostly, for me, it only took a few small tweaks.

"Life begins" by Eva Petro

What inspires you?

There is no particular photographer who inspires me though I have heard some wonderful speakers who do amazing things. I guess what inspires me is that they all started from nothing, persevered and found their style (which I'm in the process of finding). I find my inspiration by just looking around me, from magazine articles. When I'm in creative mode with digital art I get into a wonderful zone where things often just click together.

What tips/advice would you give to other photographers?

Have faith in yourself. If you go through a low patch when you feel you're not succeeding, just stick with it and try and find something new to photograph. There are so many ideas in magazines when you don't even need to leave home.

View more of Eva's work and follow her on Excio

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New Zealand, Wellington