Amy Kubik, who lives in Nelsonville, will exhibit her photography at The Current offices beginning with an open house from 4 to 7 p.m. on Friday (June 4).
Did you always have a “photographer’s eye”?
I had years of fine art training, beginning in high school, so I understood composition and color, but not the technical aspects. My first camera was a Nikon, and so is my second, a D500, which I chose because it shoots fast, and I wanted to shoot sports. I took up photography because things were tough in my life in that point and I wanted to capture the joy of my children being young. I spent a lot of time on creativelive.com, which would show classes for free for one day before they started charging. I’d set my alarm, watch and practice. Once in a while a photographer would let me be the second camera at a wedding, which was like being taken on a bike to the top of a hill and told to let go. Over time, you develop a style and consistency. You’re always improving and changing what you want to say. I still feel I have a ton to learn. I consider myself a nurse practitioner, but I want to be a surgeon.
What’s the biggest mistake people make with point-and-shoots?
Not understanding lens distortion. Phone cameras are on the wide side and distort faces. If you have a camera that you can set manually and you don’t learn the basics of setting things manually, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Go online to sites such as phlearn.com or even YouTube. Then you have to practice, like anything else.
Why are lenses important?
It’s the quality of the glass; you can see the difference in the color, the crispness, the sharpness, plus you can tell a story with a variety of lenses. They say to start with a 50 [millimeter], but it certainly opens up your opportunities when you have different focal lengths.
What do you aim to capture in portraits?
I want my subjects to see themselves in a new way that they cannot un-see. I was a make-up artist for 20 years, and people would point out their perceived flaws. I’m no different — I’m a horrible subject. It’s about making the person see themself in the positive way I want them to feel. I want people to say: “You know, that was actually fun and I feel better about myself after the experience.” That’s my goal.
What about this area resonates for you?
Growing up, my mom, who’s an artist, would bring me here. I chose Cold Spring as a home knowing I would feel comfortable here as an artist.