Beatrix Argoseputro is an Auckland based photographic artist who loves to document different environments and the life within. Beatrix took up photography after being given a camera for her 40th birthday and has been highly active in the craft ever since. We talked to Beatrix about her shooting style her use of colour and scouting locations.
Tell us a bit about yourself, how you got started in photography and and what you like to shoot.
I’m an Auckland based photographer. One day, I would love to be able to call myself a travel photographer, but right now, a more accurate description for myself would be someone who travels with her camera.
I started doing photography back in late 2016, after having bought myself a proper camera as an early 40th birthday present. For almost an entire year, I took images with the bare essentials, 1 body, 1 kit lens, 1 memory card and a camera strap.
Since a very young age, I had always been fond of things such as cinematic movies, abstract works of art and travelling to places I’ve never been before. These experiences have greatly influenced my style of photography. I capture anything and everything that caught my eye and had a story to tell.
This is the first image (above) that I was particularly proud of. I captured this image with my camera propped precariously on a rock (I didn’t have a tripod at the time).
You shoot a range of subjects with a focus on the philosophy of minimalism. Tell us a bit about how you apply minimalist principles to your work.
I thought about this question for a long time and honestly, I’m not sure how to answer this. I don’t normally go out and purposely plan to do minimalism. A lot of the time, certain weather/lighting condition just happened to be perfect for these kinds of images.
The key for me, is finding the right subject and make sure the image is all about the subject and that nothing detracts the eyes from the subject.
You use a mix of colour and Black and white. What compels you to use one or the other?
Colour, or lack thereof is a vital part of my composition. Most of the time, I visualise the image in my head before I even click the shutter button.
There are 2 common scenarios for when I use black and white.
The first is when I see colour as a distraction, visualising the image in monochrome and shooting with that in mind.
The second is when the scene is naturally unsaturated and the image becomes its true representation.
The rest of the time, I use colour to represent the mood, the place, and the moment in time.
There is a mix of both long and short exposures in your landscape work. How do you decide which is the right technique to use when shooting these places?
I find creating long exposure images tedious work (requiring the use of a tripod, filters, test shots to find the correct exposure, etc.). The situation where I incorporate long exposure is if, and only if, it really adds something to the image.
When shooting elements such as cloud/s or water, I consider what kind of texture will work best overall. If streaky clouds or silly smooth water would make the image stand out, then I will use a long exposure.
Tell us about some of the different ways you approach subjects that are still as opposed to subjects that are constantly moving.
For still subjects, I anticipate how varying lighting impacts the elements, wait patiently, and adjust according to the changing light. Nature unfortunately doesn't put on a show according to our planning and timing.
On the other hand, for subjects on the move such as a human or animal, my approach is tailored more towards the subject. I observe first, trying to find patterns in their behaviour. Anticipating action, I attempt to capture the right moment. In these situations I have to always be at the ready.
You seem to have developed an almost dream like aesthetic. Tell us how you came to visualise the way you see the world through the lens.
When I arrive to a location, I don’t start shooting straight away. I like to walk around first, take note of things that caught my attention.
I like finding textures, layers, reflections, symmetry, and any unique elements of nature. The combinations of these usually bring out that dreamy painting like aesthetic.
Any important lessons you’ve learned along your photographic journey?
When I was new to photography, exploring various genres helped me improve and develop certain styles. I practiced at every opportunity I had, even though my lack of experience resulted in countless failures.
In my first year, I focused on my travel photography and getting to know my camera. Having limited gear in the beginning actually taught me to be more creative.
In my second year, I challenged myself with shooting a single theme for a whole month - be it street photography, landscape, city-scape, black and white, minimalism, astro etc.
From doing landscape, I learnt how to integrate colour and contrast into any composition. I also learnt how light and shadow, if captured properly, can add interest to an image.
From doing street photography, I trained myself to think of compositions on the spot, to capture moments that lasted a split second, and to add human elements within my images.
I've recently explored wildlife photography. I learnt a new technique (back button focusing) that I'm now using in my street photography.
Each experiment enriched my techniques and perspectives on how to create an image.
Which part of photography do you like best ie. Shooting, editing or something else?
Scouring a location, working to find that special composition and chasing the right moment (sometimes fleeting lights) is the best part of doing photography.
I still have a lot to learn as far as editing is concerned. As a result, I don't find much enjoyment in being stuck behind my computer for hours. However, I do acknowledge that it's a necessary part of producing a final output which I will be proud of.
How important is social media and how does it affect the way you create?
I mainly used social media to showcase my work and to connect with similar minded people. I love meeting up and shooting with other photographers who I have respect for. I always learn something new, every single time.
I also do a lot of location research by looking up local photographers and sometimes reach out to them through social media if I’m ever in their area.
I don’t create with growing a social media following as my main objective. I create with the intention to grow as a photographer.
What things do you do outside of photography that informs your creativity?
Travelling to new places, experiencing new culture, and getting involved with other artistic communities. Recently I took part in a project for a theatre and got a behind the scene glimpse of the creativity involved in producing a play from start to end.
What’s your dream project?
To be commissioned by a tourism board to explore their country/region and tell the story of the people, culture, and place in an authentic way.
Gear Talk…What are you shooting with?
I travel quite a lot, portability is a huge consideration for me. The Fuji APS-C system has been great for my style of photography.
My setup for travel/landscape:
Fuji XH1 + XT2
Fuji 16-55mm / 18-55mm (depending on the trip)
My lens setup for street photography :
My setup for wildlife:
Find more of Beatrix's work:
Instagram | @b.34.trix