.meet a member
Today, I would like to introduce you to Bassem Tamimi a.k.a. *batmantoo
, who is a member of
If you've wondered about his DeviantART name, he says: 'About my alias, well, batman was taken. Batman was always my alias way back when the Internet was still not called that yet. And, no, I am not a granddad yet
Bassem has his own little company and works as a systems analyst and software engineer. Although photography is one of his passions it will remain a hobby for him. He has earned some money from his photography during his university years, but none since. 'I sometimes dream about taking on a career as a photojournalist… at least do that for a while.
Bassem has a degree in Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science and ended up in the Computer World. But while he was studying at university he took a Photography class, where he learned all the basics, such as developing his films or enlarging his prints. 'I learned to use a camera from my father. I picked up the basics of photography from physics class and dedicated books. Developing an eye for composition and subjects needed practice, though.
After graduating from university, the frequency of his photographic activity decreased and he only took photos during vacations. Although he would continue to update his equipment for years ('I even bought one of the first digital consumer cameras
'), he had stopped honing his skills. Just three years ago he has begun becoming more active in Photography again and he has been working on improving his skills since.
When I asked him what inspires him, I received my favourite reply, being a film fanatic myself: 'I am a total film buff! I wanted to study film direction, but circumstances did not allow. My initial inspiration comes from movie makers. Artists like Orson Welles, David Lean, Akira Kurosawa, Jean-Luc Godard and John Ford, to name but a very few great film makers, who first fascinated me with their movies, then again with their story telling skills, and then again with their vision, and again and again on so many levels. They all have at least one thing in common though: they know how to tell a story in a single frame. I won't ever have their budgets, but I could at least try shooting a few story telling frames.
Cinema, photography and dance are Bassem's favourite forms of art. Although there are many artists he could name in each of these art forms, if he had
to reduce it to one name, he would say Wes Anderson when it comes to cinema, Jiří Kylián when it comes to dance and Henri Cartier-Bresson in Photography. ' These three artists have such a wonderful and very human sense of humor, that allows for tragedy to be part of their storytelling and thus relate a broad spectrum of life. Their art to me is inspiring, makes me think, touches my heart, makes me smile, and enriches the canvas of life… and most of all it is painted with love.
Equipment-wise, Bassem used to work with a Nikon FE2 and a Nikkor 35mm, and 85 mm lens during his analogue days. Today, he uses a Canon 5D Mark III with a Canon EF 24 - 70mm 1:2.8 L USM and his iPhone. He feels that he has gathered a well-rounded kit that will last him for a while. For post-processing and organization he uses Apple Aperture.
Since Bassem Tamimi is a street photographer it is not surprising that his photos are taken at the spur of the moment: 'I am a city cowboy always ready to draw… if it's not my DSLR (which I almost always have around) it's my iPhone.
' But he also enjoys shooting landscapes of both nature and cities, as well as architecture, sometimes going into abstract and/or surreal. Bassem has never
done a studio photoshoot. Even when he has shot some artistic friends for their portfolio or as a documentation of their performance his approach was always photojournalistic or street-ish.
Bassem always shoots everything in colour and then converts the images to black-and-white during post-processing. Staying true to the nature of street photography he only increases the contrast or sharpens the images a bit, but doesn't edit them any further. When it comes to other types of photography he likes to experiment and go for all kinds of effects. He also likes to collaborate in post-processing.
When asked about what he tries to express with his art, he replied: 'I like to try my hand at all kinds of photography. When I shoot street I try and tell a story (in most cases). When I shoot nature I am trying to capture moods and allow the viewer to use my shot as a scenery for their own story… I try to be naive. When I shoot architecture I try to let it speak to me and reveal it's character. When I shoot abstract I try to capture the beauty in details.
DeviantART has been a wonderful environment for him to improve his skills and he finds it a great place to be. He loves the community, enjoys the work by the many talented people and is very happy to have made some friends. 'I have learned so much here and know that I will learn so much more!
Closing words: 'I would like to thank all at the #BlackWhitePhotos for your efforts in maintaining this wonderful and rich group!
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