Shit is Riehl...
Hey man I really dig you work. I'm just starting to get into photography my self. I was wondering what steps you took to go from just shooting whatever to consciously taking pictures and how did you make that step forward? What got you into photography and do you have any recommendations when learning? Thank you!
Firstly, thank you for the kind words. It’s an honor.
I first started taking photos back in the mid 90’s to sell vintage pre WW2 era bicycles and parts when eBay first popped up. I knew to use the meter needle and that was about it. I didn’t really understand the science so much. I’d get prints and scan them, then post the image to my listings. Then the camera I was borrowing left with my roommate and I dabbled with a couple yard sale polaroid land cameras before moving on to whatever pocket digital camera seemed serviceable for snapshots. I always wanted more, but I never felt like a could afford it.
So, I still can’t afford it. But when I had the ability to do so a few years ago I got something nicer than I knew what to do with, understanding that I’d be another hipster on a fixed gear with a film camera if I didn’t respect what I had and learn to use it properly. There are no auto white balance, focus, exposure, etc. to help you along(or cheat the learning process as far as I am concerned). I even relied on the Sunny 16 Rule as my primary means of judging exposure in daytime conditions, and I still use it to gauge how my readings are even though I like to meter all the time(did I mention that I still can’t afford photography?). Anyone can snap a shutter and just hope for a miracle, and I think that’s where I was before taking it seriously. IF you want to do something, really want to, you will find a way. And you’ll pour yourself into it. There’s a wealth of info out there for almost anything we want to learn. The rest is up to the person behind the controls.
And I suppose I got my interest in photography from skateboarding. That something so small and trivial to the vast majority of society had such talented photographers out there documenting the sport(ahem, way of life) was inspiring. Sitting in the barber’s chair as a kid reading RC Modeler, Popular Science, Motor Trend, and the like, I’d never really see much artistic input as with any of the skate mags. I know some very good and successful photographers from back in the day, and they’re were all just friends that I skated with, so it’s kinda nuts to see all of them making it and doing what they love for a living. I think honestly that was a deterrent at the time, even though ultimately it is inspiring. I mean, I seriously knew five other people who were shooting and going somewhere with it. Why did I think I should toss my hat in? I was content living vicariously through them. Besides,(and especially with instagram) the sea is overflowing with photos and photographers these days.
But at some point it changes. At some point, you don’t just want to shoot. You need to. You will starve yourself to afford it. Because there is only one Damian Riehl, and only one Kahil Cezanne capturing versions of what he sees. That’s where I’m at. I know this is longwinded, but I took a while to get back to ya, so you got the long version. It’s fun to actually write out the reasons why I love shooting anyway.
So that’s it. Have fun out there shooting.
Damien My name is Andrew, a fellow courier in Providence RI. Would love to have a print of your photo of the track drops. If there ever available let me know. Ride safe my man! Best regards, Andrew
Yeah, dude! I think that would be awesome to have this shot of my work bike end up in the hands of another messenger. I just reopened my online store. It’s printed on a very matte paper. If you’d like a different finish or specific size, just let me know.