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Chris Friel Interview

Chris Friel is a British colour­blind painter who bought a camera in 2006 and has not painted since....
image taken be Chris Friel

Why do you take photographs?

It fulfils some sort of desire to create ­ and I was never a very good painter!

How do you get inspired?

By going for long walks and taking a lot of photos, and by looking at the work of others.

When do you get your best ideas?

Late at night when I should be asleep.

image taken be Chris Friel

What have been your greatest challenges and achievements?

Trying to shoot colour portraits while being red­green colour­ blind is a challenge! I'm still waiting for a great achievement

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by being a creative person?

Children and a day job seem to be good antidotes to any pretentions of being a creative person.

Do you ever give yourself assignments?

Each series of photos is a sort of self­imposed assignment.

What are your creative methods for creating images?

I use a combination of tilt­shift lenses, long exposures, camera movement and multiple exposures. I useanything to interpret a scene rather than just replicate it.

Do you have any advice about creative process?

Study the work of as many other artists as possible. Take 500 photos a day for five years, force yourselfto post one a day on any social media, and then reassess the situation.

image taken be Chris Friel

Which artist's work/life/career has inspired you the most?

Howard Hodgkin, for the beauty of his paintings and his single mindedness over 60 years.

Criticism ­ do you see it as a friend or foe?

Any feedback, whether good or bad, means at least you have elicited a response.

What is your advice for handling criticism?

Ignore it ­ Howard Hodgkin did!

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Drink less and don't try to become a photographer at the age of 46.

Something very few people know about you?

I have worked in 150 countries but still have 46 countries in the world left to visit...

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