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Sean K. Harp – For The Love

Introducing the fourth winner of 12 in our competition ‘For the Love’ with Kodak, Sean K. Harp!

Harp is a photojournalist working for the United States Army and is currently based out of Seoul, Korea. We were instantly drawn to Harp’s composition and choice of moment, in both his winning image and other photos. With a classic photojournalistic style and a brilliant eye for composing a scene, Harp’s photographs are intriguing and each with their own individual story to tell.

On the back of yet another month of brilliant entries, Harp’s image of the lone Korean soldier really stood out to us, with it’s perfect combination of colour and composition. A highly cinematic image in which the natural shapes of the clouds and greenery work in synergy with the man-made,  to create a perfect space for the soldier.

We had a chat with Harp to reveal the story behind his winning photo, what’s it like to work for the US Army and how he’s getting along with shooting film!

 

Instagram / Military Instagram 
To enter “For the Love” competition please click here.

 

 

 

 

Could you tell us the story behind your winning image?

Sean Harp

I am a photojournalist in the United States Army. I have been shooting digital for 10 years now. When I got stationed here in Korea, I got curious about shooting film. So I bought a Rollei 35s - I wanted a small camera that I can put it my pocket and snap photos here and there while on the job shooting with my digital cameras. This photo was shot during a Dutch Korean War Commemoration Ceremony, in Hoengseong, South Korea, May 17, 2017. The Korean Army soldier in this photo was the rifle team commander who was standing at the top of a hill awaiting his que to signal the rifle salute. I was looking for the right composition that looked good to me. Wanting to isolate the rifle team commander, I moved to the left and squatted down until the other rifle team members heads were out of the shot - blocked by the bushes.

© Sean K. Harp

What is your go to set up in terms of equipment and how do you go about framing your images?

Sean Harp

I typically carry a small shoulder slung bag with my Rollei 35s; my Canon A1 (with 24, 35, and a 50mm lenses and a cheap flash); and a few rolls of Kodak Ektar100 and TX400. I almost never set up anything. Shoot everything as it happens. The less the subjects know I'm there, the better.

Where do you find inspiration as a photographer?

Sean Harp

Inspiration is everywhere. If you keep your eyes open, you'll see scenes unfolding around you that inspire you to press the shutter and want to share with others. Also, thanks to Instagram and Pinterest you can easily spend hours just exploring all the talents of others. I get tons of inspiration admiring the work of others.

© Sean K. Harp

What is it about photography that made you want to do it as a career?

Sean Harp

Being a photographer is like being able to take part in a scavenger hunt. Just searching for interesting things and interesting ways to capture them. Also, if you're fortunate enough to get paid to do photography for a living, you're one of the truly lucky ones in this world. How many people can say they get paid to do something stimulating, artistic, and fun?

Digital or Analogue?

Sean Harp

Either. There are enjoyable aspects to both. When you learn the fundamentals of recording light and you understand the limitations and capabilities of the camera you have at your disposal, you'll be able to adjust and make interesting shots with a cell phone, a 35mm rangefinder, a big body DSLR, or a Hasselblad that you'd have to sell a kidney to buy.

© Sean K. Harp

In a couple of words how would you describe your approach?

Sean Harp

Nosey. Curious. Patient.

We know you haven't been shooting film that long yet, but do you have a favourite, and if so, why?

Sean Harp

I don't have a favorite film. Still new to the film game. Every time I drop off film for developing, I buy a handful of different types of films just to see what I can do with them.

© Sean K. Harp

Is there a particular lab you like to use?

Sean Harp

I use a lab tucked away in the Seoul neighborhood of Chungmuro called Fotomaru.

For the future photographers, what's the most important piece of advice you can pass on to them?

Sean Harp

I've been given tons of useful advice over the years. The best advice I've ever been given addresses the most basic 3 things when composing, and is what goes through my mind before I press the shutter… 1.) fill the frame 2.) control the background 3.) wait for a moment. Equally good advice is make sure you give a shit. Because, if you don't give a shit when you snap a photo, the viewers won't give a shit when they look at your photo.

© Sean K. Harp

What's next on the agenda?

Sean Harp

I don't know. I just won my first film photo contest. I hope I haven't peaked; I just got started. lol

What is it about film that made you want to use it?

Sean Harp

Film is intimidating. You can't just shoot in RAW and fix mistakes later. I started shooting film because I didn't want to feel like digital made me a lazy shooter. I’m learning to shoot film so that I learn light better. And in doing so, I'll become a wiser digital shooter.

© Sean K. Harp

Portra or Ektar?

Sean Harp

I have only shot Ektar. I just loaded my first roll of Porta a few days ago.

Is there anything else you would like to say to the readers of Film’s not Dead?

Sean Harp

Sup

© Sean K. Harp

Updated:July 20, 2017

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