Interview with Gim Liu on Photography Trends

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© Gim Liu.
Gim Liu.


Country: United Kingdom

Photography Genres: Long Exposure, Creative, Night, Travel and Experimental

Fave Camera Brand: Canon


What’s in your camera bag?

I would have my Canon 7D Mark II with a standard 18-55mm kit lens and my sturdy Hama tripod in my camera bag as standard. The rest of the gear depends on what kind of long-exposure photos I will be shooting.

Nevertheless, I would have a light source with me, which would be either a set of string lights or sparklers or a torch or steel wool. Also, if I am shooting on my own, I would have my wireless Canon remote with me so I can set the shutter myself from a distance to take photos.

Are there any specific equipment or gear innovations that you believe will have a significant impact on the industry in 2024?

I guess this depends on your area of photography. I have not come across or discovered any new equipment or gear innovations that will have a significant impact on the industry in 2024.

Long-exposure photography and its subcategories have been established for many years, and the blueprint for taking the photos is pretty much set in stone. Any gear that is new to the game is likely related to the light sources used to create photos. Furthermore, if you discover anything, please let me know, and I will be sure to give it a go!

Where do you get the latest news on new gear? Where do you usually buy new gear?

I don’t receive news on new gear. If I do buy new gear, I simply get it from either eBay or Facebook’s marketplace.

How is photography making the world a better place in 2024?

Photography already does and continues to make the world a better place in many ways, such as helping connect the world, telling stories, being the voice of history, and assisting in capturing moods, feelings, and emotions.

For me, above all, the most significant way it makes the world a better place is that it is a powerful tool for self-expression. This relates to my own philosophy of photography as I perceive it like art and poetry. Along with capturing moments, it can and should be used to express yourself.

The beauty of photography is that you are restricted only by your own imagination and creativity. This satisfies my desire to be creative and consequently makes me happy.

To be honest, I really do not know. However, I hope that my discipline in photography, which is rather niche, gains popularity and people dive into exploring the fascinating world of long-exposure photography.

long exposure.
© Gim Liu.

If you could pick a photography mentor in 2024, who would you pick? Why?

Personally, I would not even want a mentor in photography. I am self-taught, picked up skills myself, and developed my methods.

I would much rather collaborate with photographers in my field and beyond to create interesting photos and, at the same time, exchange ideas and methods.

Furthermore, rather than pick or have a mentor, I prefer to look to and draw inspiration from people whom I have great respect for, aspire to be like and find highly influential.

The unavoidable question: How do you see the use of artificial intelligence or machine learning impacting photography in 2024?

I am unsure but the rise in its use and the way they are being used in different fields suggest that it could possibly end up having a large influence on it. Specifically related to artificial intelligence in photography, I am personally not a fan nor a supporter of it.

I think the human side of photography of actually being there when/where the photo was taken or where someone actually created the photo is what makes the photo special.

We are the ones who put substance and life into photography, and AI-generated work lacks creativity, originality and authenticity, which are the fundamentals of my work.

Unfortunately, I do not have any photography- related books or resources that I refer to whatsoever and, therefore, do not have any to list for the readers of this question. Perhaps this is something I should look to for self-improvement as a photographer, which would help make a positive impact on my career in 2024. I will keep an eye out for the answers to this question from other photographers in this trend report to see what theirs are and take a look at them!

What is your go-to method for overcoming creative block and finding inspiration in 2024?

I have several methods for overcoming creative blocks when getting stuck while working on a project. I find that the main and most successful way that works is to take a break from what I am working on. A short break for just a few hours or a few days does the trick for me. This enables me to come back to it with a fresh and clear head to pick up where I left off.

Some examples of what I would do are go for a walk, listen to music, or sit in silence and play with fidget toys while thinking about and analyzing what must be done. I believe this is very important when working on anything in life and not just in photography.

If you could give one piece of advice to a beginner in photography, what would it be?

The journey as a photographer is a lengthy & challenging one. Whilst some doors get closed, other doors open. With that being said, it would be quite difficult to offer just one single piece of advice to a beginner in photography.

Nevertheless, knowing the following four difficulties I had during my journey so far would be useful in helping you with yours. The four difficulties I have had were:

  1. Problem keeping up with uploading regularly on social media, which negatively impacts your following
  2. Ideas not working that took a lot of time planning and attempting
  3. Getting hate and negativity from old associates
  4. Getting the door shut from photography entities when approaching them
light painting.
© Gim Liu.

Can you share a specific tool, technology, or software that has revolutionized your workflow and significantly enhanced your creative process as a photographer?

Yes, I certainly can, and there are four particular software programs that have helped me revolutionize my workflow, which significantly enhanced my creative process. These four software programs are Lightroom, Inkscape, Gimp and Sony Vegas.

Inkscape – this program transformed me significantly. It is a free and open-source vector graphics editor, which became essential to me when it came to creating content relating to my photography rather than the photos coming from my photography. This includes when it came to making my website and creating my debut publication.

Any thoughts on the relationship of NFT and photography?

I am not very familiar with NFT and find it somewhat confusing, so it would be difficult to give my opinion on it. I do know that it is relatively new, and there is a lot of excitement around using technology to sell digital art. If it is another place where photographers can sell work to make money, then it must be a good thing!

What is your biggest strength and your biggest weakness as a photographer in 2024?

My biggest strength is my creative thinking. Just to give you an idea of my photography, when I try to come up with an idea of what to shoot, it must have the potential to result in at least one of the following:

  • Create the illusion/impression of movement
  • Bring a static object to life in some way
  • Produce an image that is unique and unusual in appearance
  • Will have qualities that intrigue and captivate

My biggest weakness is being a perfectionist, which causes me problems because trying to get a near-perfect shot takes a lot of time. Sometimes, I take the same photo 20+ times to get one I am completely satisfied with, whereas others may settle for an outcome well before that.

The beauty of photography is that you are restricted only by your own imagination and creativity.

Gim Liu

What is the biggest challenge in your photography genre in 2024? What are the solutions?

Year in and year out, the biggest challenge is always the same. The challenge is always to come up with ideas for new photos that are intriguing and captivating for the viewer, which I have not seen or done before.

The solution for this is simple: a lengthy brainstorm where a lot of thinking outside the box occurs.

What is the most important factor to consider when choosing a photography niche or specialization in 2024?

There are a lot of factors to consider here. You should ask yourself the following set of questions to help you make decisions:

1. What would you be doing it for? Fun or money? If it’s for fun, will it hold your interest? If for money, can you make a plan and make money from it?

2. Would you genuinely enjoy this specialization?

3. Can you foresee yourself in this long term?

4. Will it help you grow not just as a photographer but as a person, too?

5. Does it have many doors that can be opened in the industry for you?

image by gim liu.
© Gim Liu.

Is there anything else you would like to add or any final thoughts you would like to share about your artistic journey, inspirations, or the impact you hope to make through your photography?

Simply to inspire creativity in others.

  • Favourite photography digital tool in 2024
    — Lightroom
  • Which social media platform do you use the most as a photographer?
    — Instagram
  • Will you use or experiment with NFT in 2024?
    — No
  • Do you think the always-improving cameras on smartphones will result in less work for professional photographers in 2024?
    — No
  • Can you name one unconventional location or setting that photographers shouldexplore to create memorable images?
    — Abandoned places
  • What is your motto for 2024?
    — “Imagine. Explore. Create.”
  • Name one unconventional location or setting that photographers should explore to create memorable images.
    — Anyone who you look up to or who inspires you.
  • Which photography trend will dominate the industry in 2024?
    — Hopefully light painting.
  • Three must-have photography gadgets or tools for aspiring photographers?
    — Tripod, wireless camera remote and ND filter.
  • Which online platform or marketplace is currently the best for photographers to sell their work and reach a wider audience?
    — Instagram
  • One underrated photography technique that can instantly enhance a photographer’s portfolio.
    — Long-exposure photography
  • Which photography conference, workshop, event, exhibition, etc., would you recommend to photographers in 2024?
    — DK

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Perrin lives as a nomad in Canada and spends his time shooting landscape photography while exploring the wilderness. Throughout his career, Perrin has been a wedding, portrait, and product photographer. However, his passion always leads him back to the outdoors, where he teaches people how to photograph and interact with the natural world.
Perrin lives as a nomad in Canada and spends his time shooting landscape photography while exploring the wilderness. Throughout his career, Perrin has been a wedding, portrait, and product photographer. However, his passion always leads him back to the outdoors, where he teaches people how to photograph and interact with the natural world.

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