compagnon for inspiration – Part 10:
Ethan Lee

The compagnon artists are pros, semi-pros or amateurs,
they come from different corners of the world
and might actually call an entirely different place their homebase.
They all shared some insights on themselves and their work in a little interview with compagnon. And there is something else they all have in common: They are immensely talented and enjoy the service of a personal compagnon.

This March we have a guest who couldn't be more international. His work is incredibly versatile. If you have ever gazed fondly at a picture of
some stunning livingroom of a penthouse,
chances are it was done by our

"compagnon for inspiration" - Part 10

Ethan Lee


Short Intro

Ethan was born in Taiwan in 1985, today he lives and works in London as an Interior photographer. But even his work outside of this genre has managed to raise eyebrows as he won the Nikon Photo Contest before. As we asked Ethan about his passion for photography and where it came from he quoted the French author Guy de Maupassant who openly hated the Eiffel tower describing it as an eyesore on his home, Paris. Still he visited the restaurant in the tower for lunch every single day. When he was asked why he chose to do that he claimed it was the only place where you wouldn't have to see the structure. That way Ethan made clear he rather stays behind the camera than leaping in front of the lens. At least he is here today... compagnon: Ethan, it's great to have you. You came to our attention with a shot of your compagnon backpack in London. There was a DSLR in the shot. Does that mean you're shooting digital?

Ethan Lee: Hi, great to be here. Yeah, it does. I do property photography in London at the moment. This is a fast paced industry. We tend to give the edited photos to clients within 24 hours usually. As a result, it's not quite possible to use analog cameras. Plus cameras now have an amazing dynamic range, that really helps a lot!
I still do keep two film cameras though, but I use them only when I do the film exchange project.

24724824206_e7cb677f5f_ocompagnon: As you are working indoors a lot in property work, does it matter for your photography what time of day it is?

Ethan Lee: If you're asking me as an artist, I do have a preference: Foggy nights. I like to wander around, especially in those conditions. The light can be shaped in amazing ways, the world looks unreal... Only the cold air reminds me that everything in front of me is not a dream. Imagination can flow with the mist in the air. One of my favorite pictures was shot in a night just like that.

6838587716_d45425db32_ocompagnon: Say you could only take a single camera and one single lens on a short trip. Which one will it be and why?

Ethan Lee: Honestly, I'm pretty sure I'd grab my Leica M9p with a 50mm Summicron. I love street photography, shooting on the streets of different countries has always been a great deal of fun for me. With this camera I can shoot without getting too much attention and you don't need to think too much while using it. Only thing you really need to do is enjoy.

21044951171_1eb262accd_ocompagnon: As you have a compagnon backpack you could take a lot more along if you wanted. What do you carry while traveling?

Ethan Lee: If it's an outright photo trip, I will bring a DSLR with a Nikon 70-200mm, a 58mm f1.4 and a 35mm f2 prime. These lenses can cover almost 95% of my topics. If we're talking about more like a work journey, I would bring my 14-24mm and a 24mm tilt-shift lens.

16436488411_392d0a7299_ocompagnon: Your work has gathered appreciation in a wide variety of photography genres. You've proven you can manage with all kinds of surroundings. As you probably learned a lot about yourself in the process, we're curious to know if you have some advice for hobby photographers on how to take better pictures?

Ethan Lee: Always be curious. That's essential. Always have your camera with you and never put on the lens cap until you get home.

17720183736_c90c4898db_ocompagnon: That sounds fairly straight forward. Everyone will probably manage that. How about the origin of your passion for photography?

Ethan Lee: I take photos when I feel down or when I feel lonely. It feels like having an emotional exit or outlet. I couldn't stop doing it even if I wanted to. It's addicting. And I'm very happy that way.

18891005766_04e9ea1639_ocompagnon: We won't hope for you to be extra sad in the future so your art keeping happening. *laughs* What do you dream about achieving? And ambitions on your mind?

Ethan Lee: I think I would like to do some volunteer work for some NGO. Using my images to show the world what's happening on the other side of the globe. Creating photos that are worth thousand words. If my work can bring a meaningful, positive impact that way, I'd be happy.



All images in this feature were provided by Ethan Lee. All rights are reserved to Ethan Lee. See more of Ethan's work on his website or on flickr

This interview is also available in a German version.

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