Hello earthlings! Our photographer misterQM is a frequent traveler and so his Photocase portfolio bursts with great travel photos. Recently, he even embarked on an extraterrestrial expedition. The output of this adventure is a series of space photos called “We Come In Peace!” (We are huge fans!). In this interview, we talked with him about photography, inspiration and shooting on Mars. Ready for takeoff in 3…2…1!
A photo by misterQM
Hi misterQM! Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get interested in photography?
For me, photography is a creative compensation. From very early on, I was fascinated by capturing moments. It all started with my parents. When I was a kid, they took me along all over the world and I’m very grateful for that. This was when I observed my father sweeping through the landscaped to capture everything for the family album. At this time still with focusing on the essentials, thanks to the good old 36 photos film.
Then came digital photography and with that the perceived rapid development of new camera models. This provided a great opportunity for me. Because every time, my father bought a new camera, I got hold on the old one and took snaps. And it really was just “taking snaps” back then. An unfocused snapping. The turning point really came with Photocase. I stumbled upon the platform by chance. Because of Free Credit Monday, to be precise. One day I thought to myself: Why not start giving something back in order to get a photo. After about 600 photos, all great in my eyes but consequently rejected by the Photocase photo editors, my ambition was awakened.
How did you come up with the idea for your space series?
Don’t expect a crazy story here. I try to stay creative and bang my head on the table twice every morning. One time is not enough and 3 times isn’t supposed to be good for you from what I heard.
The idea came to me directly at the place. I took the photos on the Canary Islands, on Fuerteventura to be precise. The island is full of surprises. When I flew there for the first time, shortly before landing, I thought to myself: what an ugly island. Very dull and with one of those Spanish concrete building complexes every now and then. But there are also very beautiful and remote places on the island and exactly on one of those I stood when I came up with the idea. It felt almost like standing on Mars and this was the moment the idea was born. The idea is the one thing, the realization is another. Luckily I came to the Island together with some very good friends of mine for surfing, who are as crazy as I am. Now I only had to get them wrapped up…
So how did you turn your idea into reality?
With spontaneous people, you don’t need a lot of preparation time. The idea was born and I said: “We have to go to the supermarket.” We bought some tin foil and a first aid kid with 50 band-aids (they didn’t have any tape at the store) and than we took the car back to the remote place. I’m not 100% sure, but I think I didn’t say what would happen next up until we were back at the place…
So the space suit is made of ordinary tin foil?
Yes, good old tin foil from the supermarket.
The only thing that I underestimated was the temperature. When the sun was gone, it got quite chilly. And the tin foil didn’t help much against the wind. I can only say again: thanks and Chapeau to the model!
Which camera and photo equipment did you use?
I had a tripod with me (although it’s often quite annoying to carry it around). My camera is a Canon EOS 5D Mark II and I used a Canon 24-70mm lense plus a simple flashlight for “painting”. What else? Good sneakers and endurance, because I ran countless times through the image and never stood still so that I wouldn’t be seen in the final photo. All that while constantly painting into the nothing with the flashlight and try not to fall on my nose in the Mars rocks.
All photos had an exposure time of approx. 20 seconds and the model was flashed at the beginning of the period of exposure.
Thanks misterQM! This way to his user profile.