Interview with Ken Kornacki
I got to know Ken Kornacki’s photography through Tumblr and I got more and more intrigued by his work. So, when I got the opportunity to do interviews for the Lensblr network, I decided to seize the moment and get more insight on this talentedphotographer’s work. Luckily Ken kindly accepted to answer my questions.
How did you start with photography? And how long have you been studying it?
My uncle was in the army in the 1960s and would buy expensive cameras overseas. He’d give his hand-me-down cameras to my father and as a kid I liked playing with them. My favorite was my father’s Voigtlander. Sadly the strap broke and it fell in a urinal when we were at Disneyworld. I also messed around with movie cameras, making action movies with my GI Joes and airplane models. I got my first 35mm camera when I was in High School. I took photos for the school newspaper, but I didn’t know how cameras really worked. I was a film major in college and have been working with motion picture cameras ever since. My first job out of school was working with TomFerderbar, who was one of Ansel Adams’ original students. I learned everything important about photography from Tom.
How would you describe your photography in few words?
Portraits of things.
The subjects of your photos are generally urban landscape, details and architectural patterns. What does usually draw your attention and what do you think makes a photo special?
I have hungry eyes and I want to remember everything I see. This Tumblr blog is an exercise in shooting something new every day. So I take a different way to work, or get up early on the weekends to see something new and photograph it. I also intentionally avoid taking ‘tourism’ photos - photos of familiar things or places. So sometimes that means making abstract compositions. I don’t think that necessarily makes them special, but I only have myself to please. Unlike paying work…
Where do you get your inspiration? Do you have some favorite photographers or artists who affected your style?
Apart from Tom Ferderbar and Ansel Adams, most of my influences are from cinematography. Vittorio Storaro, Sven Nykvist, Janusz Kaminski, Vilmos Zsigmond, etc. I’m also deeply influenced by graphic design with names too numerous to mention.
I am really curious about the name of your blog: Aurum Design. Would you like to share the story linked to this name?
Aurum is the Latin word for gold, which is why it’s represented as Au on the periodic table. That’s the name of my motion design/visual effects studio and this was supposed to be the blog for the company, but I took it over for my personal work. Aurum Design (aurum-design.com) makes tv commercials and title sequences for film and television. My ‘real’ job is directing live action and visual effects for film & tv and designing the motion graphics to go with it.
Are you currently working on a project? Is there some challenge that you aim to achieve in your future career?
This blog is a personal challenge, because it’s easy to get lazy with paying work. That’s why most of my images are in portrait orientation. A film/tv camera is always in landscape orientation, so I’m forcing myself to do the opposite. There’s always a new and exciting challenge at work, but these photos are separate from that. If I can shoot every day for a year, then next year’s photos will be the ones that I want to take. Eventually, I’d like to shoot portraits and I have summer project in mind to do that.
Good luck with all your projects Ken and thanks a lot for your time!
If you are interested in knowing more about Kens work, you should check out the following links
Tumblr blog: aurum-design
An interview by Sara Tomiolo