Spotlight Interview … Fine Art Photographer Ellen van Deelen


Fine Art Photographer Ellen van Deelen takes the Spotlight in this segment of James Robinson Photography Blog. Thank you Ellen for your participation. Where do you call home?

Ellen van Deelen: Hello James, I live in the south part of the Netherlands, Europe.

JRP: What led you to a photography? Do you have any formal training in your background?

Ellen van Deelen: I used to take photos since I was 10 years old. I loved all things that has to do with creativity, painting and drawing, and that’s maybe why I like photography. I don’t have any formal training.

JRP: Name some of the photographers that have inspired you and helped to shape your approach to photography?

Froppy1Wcopyright  Ellen van Deelen

Ellen van Deelen: Marina Cano has inspired me with her wildlife photography. To be honest, I am more inspired by painters. I love the work of Beatrix Potter, and I now try to edit my photos a bit in a vintage style.

JRP: In your opinion how important are personal projects in a photographer’s growth? Is that how the series of “Rat” photographs came into being?

Jimmy1aWcopyright  Ellen van Deelen

Ellen van Deelen: Projects are OK. I don’t really do projects. One day I had rats, and since I love taking animal photos, I started taking their photos. From there I went further, I didn’t realize how popular they would become. Now I try to combine my still life photos with my rats. You can call it a project, but it happens spontaneously. I also love macro-photography and portraits.

JRP: Do you maintain a studio or do you rent one when needed? How do you work?

Ellen van Deelen: No, I don’t have a studio. I work in my living room. I have 2 white sheets which I use all the time. Sometimes I use a lamp, flash or a reflector, and my tripod.

JRP: What would we find in your camera bag for a typical assignment?

Snooz1cWcopyright  Ellen van Deelen

Ellen van Deelen: My camera a Canon 5 D MarkIII. It depends on what subjects I take photos of. For my rat-photos I use my Canon 50mm 1.4 or my Canon 100mm 2.8 L macro lens. For portraits, my Sigma 24-70mm 2.8 lens.

JRP: What is your approach to lighting? Do you prefer artificial or available light? What are your most used light modifiers and why?

Snooz1DWcopyright  Ellen van Deelen

Ellen van Deelen: I have tried many things, like flash, daylight-lamp, soft-boxes. I prefer natural light.

JRP: Could you please describe your digital work flow and the software used?

Ellen van Deelen: Lately I do a lot of editing. I use Photoshop CS6 and I use NIK Color Efex pro filters. Sometimes I use Topaz adjust filters. Both are plug-ins for Photoshop. I like to work with textures too, and started using them in my Rat Photos. I love to make a photo look almost like a painting . I am still learning …. 🙂

JRP: As you look through the viewfinder what is the most critical moment in the capture of your image?

Ellen van Deelen: I think its important to see when the light is good, also since my rats are fast, I have to click sometimes before they act. I know them so well, that I almost know what their next move is. Often I have luck with the result.

JRP: If not photography what would you be doing with your time?

Ellen van Deelen: I love to dance, and started taking dancing lessons again.

JRP: What has been the best advice given to you by another photographer?

Ellen van Deelen: Best advice … some critique about my photos. I can’t remember exactly, but I love good and honest critique! I can learn from that.

JRP: What advice would you like to share with our readers?

The Quintet Wcopyright  Ellen van Deelen

Ellen van Deelen: It is best to take photos of subjects you like. I believe that provides the best photographs.

JRP: Thank you Ellen for sharing your thoughts and images with us. We wish you continued success. To view more of Ellen van Deelen’s photography please follow these links:


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