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Chanipol Kusolcharttum aka Rockkhound is a freelance photographer that made a bold switch from working as a cabin crew member to a full-time content creator. He has refined his style after seven years of experiences worldwide, and photography-wise he has developed mainly three huge photography genres. Commercial work filled with very up-to-date visual trends and character, travelling lifestyle photography, and street photography. This last one was the one that caught our attention because there is something worthy of admiring about human solitude within the heavy speed in which the cities pulse. And that is what makes Rockkhound photographs so meaningful to us.
F. Watching your photographs is a visual delight, and we had the feeling that most of it fit under the category of “traveling photography”. How would you describe that match between photography and traveling?
R. Thank you. To me I’d prefer the term explore. I like to photograph what I explored. Exploring can be done anywhere. It can be a part of your hometown that you have never been. It can also be places you went and you revisit them with new eyes. Photography and traveling, to me, are experiences. I love taking photographs. It’s my job. What I do for a living. When I travel, work or pleasure. I always find sometimes to document each journey through my photographs.
F. Color is the main character in your photographs, how do you decide between warm and cold tonalities?
R. I like moody, contrasty, and cinematic feel. And I really spend more time taking photos in the night, or else, super early morning, or a super busy time. I rarely shoot sunsets. So I depend so much on the temperature and the expression of the original raw photograph. If it’s shot at night, it’s cold. If it’s shot in a nice sunny day, it’s warm. Can’t force the feeling.
F. There is a recurrent presence of buildings and transportation machines in your photographs. How would you describe our human existence in accordance with the stuff we build?
R. I felt the rush, the adrenaline, and I tried very hard to perfect those shots of cities, transports, and people. Maybe because I live in a city so I try to express my life, which is a very rushed, non-stop working life. When it comes to photographing nature like a forest or national parks. I don’t feel the rush at all. I feel peaceful. I don’t try to perfect those shot I think. As a human. I learn to perfect what can be perfected. I learn to understand the way, of what’s uncontrollable. Humans could build thousands of tall buildings. Nature still is the best creator.
F. How does your gear fit in your traveling lifestyle?
R. If I’m going on a trip. I pack my gear first. My gear gets the priority. When I was a cabin crew. I put my camera bag into my crew luggage. Nothing else. I brought 2 cameras and 3-4 lens just to be ready to shoot in any focal length. I’d say I travel to shoot. To take photographs. The type of clothes I wear have to support my movements. Now that I’m a photographer and filmmaker. I bring my hard case that carries 2 ado cameras and 4 lenses. A gimbal, and a drone with me every day.
F. What could you tell newcomers about gear?
R. I started my photography and filmmaking career 7 years ago with just a mobile phone that can take photographs on an app that you all know called Instagram. And not just me, but a lot of people that I met along the way. We all had that early stage where we all take photos with just a mobile phone and use tons and tons of app to edit our photos. I did it with just a phone for a while until I knew which styles I wanted to shoot. So I picked up my first DSLR. I thought with that DSLR and some lens, I’d never have to buy more gear again. Today I have so many great cameras and probably I own about 20 lenses. Cinema and still. I’d say gear is important and will help your work smoother if you use the right gear. But most importantly, you need to understand the nature of each type of work you want to achieve. You should learn the basics first. Maximize the gear you have. Then upgrade later. See what makes great work great. Break down the factors of the work that you like. Find out how you can achieve it. Then do it in your own styles.
Human existence above anything else and a moody aesthetic makes his work delightful to watch. We encourage you to inquire yourselves about why you do whichever photography you are doing today. This is a deep question that might find some empty echoes at first, but after a while you’ll understand your style and vision in a better way.