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MV63

Interview with Maie Vaks

Interviews

19 February 2016

Posted by Sally Hart

Hi Maie! Tell us about yourself in two sentences - who are you?

I am a self-taught photographer, still learning a lot every day. I see it as a journey that never ends. I love traveling but even a traveler needs a fixed point in the world, and for me that is Stockholm, Sweden.

QWhat's the weirdest situation you've found yourself in while taking a photograph?

AWhen I was in Gambia, in a small fishing village, our guide told us that the locals consider the camera lens to be an evil omen, “the evil eye” as they called it. You could really tell this was true whenever they saw a camera which always caused a little turmoil, with hand gestures and shouting. I had to be really stealthy and quick in order to catch interesting moments while not offending anyone. It was during one of these hectic moments that I managed to take “Hands Holding Catch of Fish”. The shot was taken in a hurry and I was not even sure I had gotten the shot until after I left the area.

QWhat do you shoot on? What's your favourite set up?

AI'm an observer and interested in capturing details in context. I love street photography, so my goal is always to capture raw emotions and moments, wherever I am. I mainly shoot with a Canon EOS 7D and change between 4 different lenses. For street photography I feel most comfortable with a normal zoom such as a Canon EFS 15-85mm IS USM lens. I also enjoy capturing photos with a lot of bokeh and for that I usually use my Sigma DG 70-300mm zoom lens. It is difficult to say which one is the favourite since I use them in different situations. I am thinking about upgrading to a smaller, more agile mirrorless camera.

QWhat's your number one tip for an aspiring photographer?

AIt is good to know a lot of photography techniques, about light and image composition. I'm sure that even skilled photographers want to be better in their cause. But we're all different and we see the images and the world differently. The writer writes, the photographer takes pictures.
Try to tell your story through your pictures!

'My favourite photo is probably the 'Old Railway Station'. It’s a place I often walk by, full of nostalgia. This particular time everything just felt right and I managed to capt... Read more

'My favourite photo is probably the 'Old Railway Station'. It’s a place I often walk by, full of nostalgia. This particular time everything just felt right and I managed to capture that in this photo.</br>It was an early misty morning and I was on my morning walk. While crossing the train tracks I noticed the light, light through the fog. I instantly saw that it was a special light on the rails. Fortunately, I had the camera with me. The train was not coming, so I had little time to take pictures. I took 4 but I only liked one of them.</br> This one!' Read less

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'This picture is taken in Gambia, Tanji Fishing Village, a very popular tourist destination for experiencing a real touch of Africa. I managed to take a lot of pictures but as m... Read more

'This picture is taken in Gambia, Tanji Fishing Village, a very popular tourist destination for experiencing a real touch of Africa. I managed to take a lot of pictures but as mentioned, I had some difficulties to take this picture.' Read less

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'Flooding in central Vietnam. Unfortunately, it rains a lot almost every autumn there. It was a scary and at the same time an exciting experience to see this up close with your ... Read more

'Flooding in central Vietnam. Unfortunately, it rains a lot almost every autumn there. It was a scary and at the same time an exciting experience to see this up close with your own eyes. You could clearly see how the water level rises in old town of Hoi An while the locals continued their lives as usual. I stood in the middle of the street and met this vision with my camera. A real moment as a still life picture.' Read less

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'This picture is taken in Gambia, in the hotel area. They had an extremely rhythmic show, called 'Jolas' dance almost every night. Women were moving very wildly and dynamically ... Read more

'This picture is taken in Gambia, in the hotel area. They had an extremely rhythmic show, called 'Jolas' dance almost every night. Women were moving very wildly and dynamically to the accompaniment of drums. I went close to the performers, sat near the stage and just started to take pictures. It was a big pleasure and I did not forget to give them extra tips.' Read less

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'During a quite short visit to one of the fish shops in a Stockholm suburb I managed to catch when the Koi fish in the aquarium were being fed. It really was a question of survi... Read more

'During a quite short visit to one of the fish shops in a Stockholm suburb I managed to catch when the Koi fish in the aquarium were being fed. It really was a question of survival. Some were stronger and cleverer. Fortunately, the shop had a lot of extra light around the aquarium so I took this picture with my phone.' Read less

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'One of the evenings performers in Gambia was a fire-eater. I was looking at the show through the camera´s eye and took pictures at the same time. In this picture you can almost... Read more

'One of the evenings performers in Gambia was a fire-eater. I was looking at the show through the camera´s eye and took pictures at the same time. In this picture you can almost feel the flames because I was really close to him, sitting near the stage. After the show, everybody started to dance and this 'fire-eater' asked me up for a dance, and I accepted. The smell of smoke and fuel was still around him.' Read less

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'This picture is taken in Beijing. I was interested in and photographed everything. Close to Silver Ingot Bridge I saw two rickshaw drivers playing chess during their rest break... Read more

'This picture is taken in Beijing. I was interested in and photographed everything. Close to Silver Ingot Bridge I saw two rickshaw drivers playing chess during their rest break. They did not take any notice of me even though I was quite close to them when I took this close-up pic.' Read less

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'This picture is also taken in Beijing. It was quite easy to take street photos there because everybody takes pictures all the time, everywhere. I was very excited when I saw th... Read more

'This picture is also taken in Beijing. It was quite easy to take street photos there because everybody takes pictures all the time, everywhere. I was very excited when I saw this cycling lady with her dog in the bicycle basket approaching from afar. Waited a little and got it!' Read less

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