An interview with Neil Johnson
What is your favorite part about being a photographer?
I like using photography as a "time machine" to freeze a moment in time for a hundred years, go back in time to relive a moment, extend time to reveal an image that is not evident to the eye.
What is most complicated shot you ever taken and what made it so?
April, 1995: A dinner party scene with eight people and a dog for a 3D ghost story-haunted house children's book. All the people, dog and food were ghosts, the table, furniture and room were not. It had to be shot in middle of the night because I didn't want daylight streaming in the big window. The 3D effect was created with stereo photography. With the ghosts (green gels) separate from the setting and with the stereo double image, this meant the single image was really FOUR images (a double-exposure shot with two cameras.) The single image took four hours to set up and shoot in the middle of the night.
I would never attempt the above again and the models (including Bill Joyce) would certainly NOT want to take part. It was shot on film and would have taken MUCH less time if it had been made with digital technology! Lessons learned.
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When do you feel most successful as an artists? Why?
When a viewer brings their uniquely personal history to an image created by and deeply personal to me, and the image sparks memories or emotions in the viewer that stops them, holds them and stays with them.