A little late due the DUB photogallery from Aaron Zwaal but another month gone by so it is time for yet another Gallery. This time we ask Dutch photographer Dennis Katinas for his photo collection of which he is most proud of. Dennis calls himself a cycling photographer, in his bio he says that it wasn’t after his failed cycling career that he truly became interested in photography.
Dennis Katinas: ’I can even say it saved me, it gave me some sense of identity again and I totally loved it.’
So it did not came as a surprise when Dennis send over 15 pictures that all included bicycles in there.
Ladies and gentleman check out the Gallery by Dennis Katinas:
1. Let’s start with a small introduction: where are you from, age, years of shooting and what got you interested in shooting photos?
Hello there! Here is my not so “small” introduction haha. I was born in Heerenveen, The Netherlands, speed skating capitol of the world and grew up in Katlijk, a small village with 500 inhabitants where life was simple and sweet, playing in the forest. Later I moved to Julianadorp for a year, Heerenveen for longer and after that student city Groningen, the most great city I know, best vibe ever! I currently live in Alkmaar, half an hour from Amsterdam, which is also pretty sweet since I love hanging out in Amsterdam. I’m 28 years old and I have been shooting for about five years now. I always had a fascination for photography and cycling. As a kid I was always playing with throw away film cams and watching for the best opportunity to snatch the SLR of my father, or his roadbike which was located on the wall in our shed next to his shotgun (he’s an Ozzie mate!). He had been a professional athlete as well, but he’s a rock star now. He’s calling himself Gus The Broken and he has a sweet song on youtube with Mr. Oss, check it out and show him some love haha.
Anyway, he had a custom road bike build for him and during my childhood I was always asking to go out and ride on that thing, but he didn’t want me to do it and end up in the road cycling scene with all it’s injustice and dope issues. But at the end I got to ride his bike and I was hooked. I was still riding my BMX at that age, in the woods, building small pumptracks and jumps with my brother Kevin. We had no clue there was something like a BMX scene, but that’s how it go’s in a small village.
After some while my parents separated and we moved to julianadorp with my mother. My brother dropped his speed skating career and I dropped roadriding and we both bought a cross country mountain bike and started competing and OWNED the local scene haha, my brother won about everything in his category and I did podiums all the time. Then I found a way to a road bike, a big store wanted to sponsor us, but it was unsure if we would stay in julianadorp, so those guys lend me a old roadbike first so I could manage. I was hooked again and my first competition I got third place in the sprint with a chain that was skipping and changing gears, so gnarly. I even ended up going to a special school for three years where they combine normal education and road cycling training. I won a few small races and I got to ride international races but then fucked up by training with plates of lead in my shoes for getting a faster legritme haha, I got heavily over trained and fucked up my knee and a few doctors shot some hormones in my knee and that made it complete fucked. So from 20 to 30 hours riding a week I went to zero, no sugar. Those we’re crazy times at cycling school, students were even selling laxation tablets as dope to each other in school. The guys using it were claiming it worked really well except it made them shit a lot.
My brother at the other hand started jumping small objects with his full suspension mtb and it wasn’t long before he started riding dirt jumps.
That was the moment photography came into my life. I was no more able to ride myself and it was just so sick what my brother did and I was always very protective towards him so I kind off wanted to be there with him all the time and photography was a good way to document his life.
It was all about love for him and cycling and photography made it cool.
Slowly I recognized his skills, the force was strong in this one, so I got a bit more casual about it and I even started doing dirt jumps. We even build a huge bike park together with friends in Heerenveen. But I soon learn I had even less control in air than a dead piece of wood. So I was soon back shooting again, and everyone appreciated that, since I do have good feeling for timing, angles and that stuff. I still ride pumptracks if I have time and still have love for the road as well.
2. How can you describe your style and what do you like to shoot the most?
Well I love to shoot in as many styles as possible, but my main style is a flashy, vibrant, in your face style that’s perfect for editorial and commercial use. It grew like that, I was always trying to reproduce the best images in magazines. But now I also do other styles, but here I show you my main style, it was a difficult choice. What I love to shoot the most is freestyle BMX and MTB, dirt, park and street. But I do shoot roadcycling and cross country as well but mostly paid work.
3. Who or what inspires you in your personal life and in your pictures?
Oh man, lately just about everything, but I’m getting it from so many places that I forget to do shoots haha. For all of you who know me on facebook, sorry for all that stuff.
At the moment I’m really into buddhist philosophy and buddhist science with a little religion as well. Practicing meditation is a huge part of this, it’s amazing what it does with you, a short meditation deepens you’re view on life in many ways.
Besides that I try to get a holistic view of what is going on in our world, the good, the bad…. just everything that shapes the world and earth we love so much. Most of us love the good stuff, but many don’t really realize that politics and economics influences all that, that’s why it’s important for me to get involved in that arena a little bit. I’m trying to find my place in that. It takes a lot of energy from me so I kind of got to the point I want to drop the negative and go out and shoot more, because it has been a while since I’ve done consistent shooting to be honest.
People who motivate me as an artist… really everyone, not only in the creative sector. But the photographer who influenced me the most is Olli Oilinki, a skateboard photographer from Finland, check him out on Flickr! His photos are the best and still motivate me to do better when I see them.
But besides that, I talk a lot with Aaron Zwaal about photography, trying to motivate each other and mostly talking about very random stuff. But I get motivated by everyone really, to many names to name, Syo his photos have a great feel to it (thanks for asking me to do this interview), Stay Gold, Orlando Haak, Tom Lammerse and many international photographers and artist as well like Mike Giant, Stephen Wiltshire, Shepard Fairey and many others.
4. What’s the best part of being a photographer?
Being in contact with life to start with. It just totally takes my mind away from all the other stuff that’s going on, it really feels like riding bikes to me, it’s a trip, I forget time and I forget to eat and just flow.
I love making and collecting sick photos as well and just the whole vibe in freestyle BMX and MTB is amazing. Getting paid and having publications world wide and working with companies is also a pretty sweet recognition.
5. What’s your current setup?
I’ve just switched from Nikon to Canon. Although there is not much difference between those brands I’ve always been impressed with the stuff Canon makes and I actually started out shooting with Canon. I’ve also been introduced to Dutch department of Canon by a friend of mine and they are keeping an eye on me. I hope one day to work with them. I use a Canon eos 5d Mark ii, EF 15mm f/2.8 fisheye (FISH IS BOSS), EF 20mm f/2.8, EF 35mm f/2.0 and a EF 50mm f/1.4. All fixed lenses, although I’m saving some cash to get myself a EF 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II. I also have 4 Pocket Wizard multi max transceivers, 1x Flex TT 5, five Nikon sb-28 flashes, two Propac pb 820 battery-packs, and the biggest Low Pro backpack I could get from them. Ill leave all the small stuff out of the equation for you’re comfort. Oh, I also have a Nikon D70s with a 50mm f/1.8 G lens laying around, can’t let that one go somehow.
6. Any advise for all the photographers out there starting out?
Don’t look at rules and advice of other people too much, it’s great to get advice and inspiration, but this should all go into you’re mind to make something unique of it. If you haven’t got a strong vision about you’re own style, just go out and enjoy the discovery of it and don’t think to much about rules. The rule of thirds is one thing I never use consciously, I just shoot however I want to shoot it try new stuff, that’s how you find new angles, a personal style and money laying on the ground. You wont find easy money in other places as a photographer so also learn to appreciate that haha. Just have fun doing it and always carry your cam and know to adjust that sucker blindfolded. Enjoy enjoy enjoy!
7. Where can people check more of your work?
Currently the best place to check my work out is: http://cargocollective.com/denniskatinas
8. Who shall we feature in the next ‘Art gallery’?
Let’s check out what Orlando Haak is going to show us. He is also very involved in the dutch scene and I know he can shoot sick photos. And Olli Oilinki, would be cool to hear more from him since you don’t find much info about him.