Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Fascinating Talent

As I mentioned a few days ago, I do not wish to be the only source of information here in this blog.  There are so many amazing talents I have had the good fortune to come across over the last few years.  I wish to share them with you so you might be as inspired and challenged by their insight and wisdom as I have been.

Today I am interviewing my friend Jill....or borealnz as she is known on Flickr.  I have been admiring her images for quite some time now and she has kindly agreed to answer a few questions here.  
So, here we go.....

1.  How long have you been involved 
with photography?
If you mean photography as in taking photos, well I’ve been doing that since I was about 10, but photography as art; I’ve only been doing that for the past 4 or 5 years. 


2.  How long have you been doing the type of photographic work you do now?
I’ve been using textures for about four years –texturing was virtually unknown when I first started. 


3.  What or who most influenced you to change to your present pp style?
It was the work of Linda Plaisted (  That was the inspiration that made me start using textures.  Nowadays it’s Paul Grand ( and Flypaper Textures ( that are my main inspirations.


4.  What do you feel your images communicate now that they didn't before you went to your present style?
They’re definitely more painterly and rich and they often have a more illustrative look to them.


5.  What main idea do want to come across with your images?
Not so much an idea but a “look” and it depends on the image but on the whole I want atmosphere.

6.  Could you explain a little about your work-flow?
I always take Raw files, so my processing starts in Camera Raw. I process each image individually and often use some of the Raw presets I’ve created to get the toning that I want. That done, I open the photo in Photoshop and usually start with cropping an image square, then it’s just a matter of trying textures and blending modes until I come up with something I like or something that works with the particular image. I know my textures fairly well now so I have a fair idea what will work with a photo. 


7.  How did you learn to do the things you do in your pp work?
I’ve mostly learned how to do things by trial and error as there weren’t many others using textures when I started. Online tutorials and books have also been helpful.


8.  When you go out to shoot....roughly how many shots do you take?....and how many of those become a finale image? 

I’d probably take 20-30 maximum on a shoot, though of course this varies. Of those I may use 5 if I’m lucky or more if I’ve struck gold. With my “studio” type still-life of floral shots I take a few then check the photos on the computer to see which compositions/light works the best and then go back and take more. Strangely it’s often the photo that on the surface is perhaps the most unpromising of the shoot that I choose to work with, I guess this is because it’s “different” and I want to avoid the contrived look.

9.  Your work has a mixture of outdoor and macro shots. Do you have a favorite?
I think I prefer my indoor/studio shots at the moment because I like setting up a controlled shoot and even on cold damp days I can still take photos, but having said that, you can’t beat a stormy day on the beach for atmospheric photos :-) 


10.  What would you say is the main reason you decide to capture an image?
Hmm...not an easy one to answer. Perhaps it’s a need to share and then show it in an original or different way so I usually shoot with the thought of adding texture in the processing later.

If you have never had a chance to see more of Jill's work, please visit her site ( 

Also, take some time to look at her blog page...Flypaper Textures (  which she co-produces with another amazing artist, Paul Grand.  They have a wonderful and affordable selection of textures available for purchase with detailed tutorials of how to use them.

Well, that is about it.  I hope you have enjoyed this installment.  Keep shooting and never stop exploring.





  1. great interview. I have been a fan of Jill's work for a long time. She gets a lot of 'emotion' in her works, which is something I admire very much, and has a terrific sense of humour.

  2. Great interview. So nice to know a bit more about the person behind the lens. Gotta admit, she is the master of the single bloom!

  3. Really nice, John. I have always admired Jill's work.

  4. great interview..and I am a big fan of Jill's work and Flypaper Textures myself! ;-D

  5. Good questions, John. Great to know a little more about this artist, who I have admired since I started working with textures. Her work, be it landscape or still life, always has emotional impact, which is what I strive for in my images.