Uncovering Artists Through Windows Themes - Steve Coleman

"Wow!" was all we could say after we saw some of Steve Coleman's photos. Impressive colors and original perspectives are two characteristics of his photography that made us want to promote his work. We gathered a few of Steve Coleman's photos into a theme for Windows 7 & Windows 8, to share with all our readers. Also, we have a great interview with Steve, so that you get to know both the artist and his work.

Introducing Steve Coleman

Born in the UK but settled in the Czech Republic, Steve Coleman is an English teacher and translator with a wonderful self-taught passion: photography. Steve's work is surprising: photos taken in the Prague metro that resemble scenes from Sci-Fi movies, landscapes with vivid colors, street images taken from original angles, dramatic pictures of flowers... I could continue this attempt of describing Steve's work but I'm afraid I'll never find the right words and I should let the images speak for themselves. Before sharing some of Steve's work wrapped up in a Windows theme, let's find out more about him in a short interview:

How did you start taking photos?

I started twenty years ago, when I inherited my dad's film camera, a Ricoh. I always enjoyed taking photos, but it wasn't until I got my first digital in 2004 that it became a real passion.

Even though you are self-taught, you surely must read books, magazines, websites. From where & how do you learn more about photography?

Actually, I don't really read books on photography, subscribe to any magazines, or visit any photography websites other than Flickr. To be honest, I'm not very interested in the technical side of things. I mostly learn by trial, error and lots of experimentation. It's true that I do get a lot of inspiration from other photographers - I often see a photo on Flickr and think "Wow, I have to try that!".

How would you describe your style?

Hmmm, that's a difficult one. Over the top, maybe. I'm not sure that I have a particular style of my own, I just know what I like and what appeals to me. I generally try to produce images that are dramatic and visually striking, and I suppose I do tend to focus on certain things: dusk scenes, long exposures, curved lines, perspective, and the like. I'm a sucker for anything symmetrical, shiny, or reflective.

How do you balance your daily job with your passion for photography?

Quite easily. I work for myself as a freelance teacher and translator so the hours are very flexible. If I see storm clouds coming, I can usually drop everything and head out with my camera. I'm very lucky in that respect.

Are there any photography or editing techniques you use often?

Most of my pictures use the HDR technique (high dynamic range), which involves layering a number of exposures to try to get the best balance of light and dark. I also use various filters and plugins in Photoshop.

What photo gear and applications do you use?

I'm a dedicated Nikon man and have been for around 10 years now. My first DSLR was the Nikon D50, followed by the D300, and now I use the Nikon D700. My favourite lens is the Sigma 12-24 mm for those ultra-wide shots, though I also use the Nikon 70-300, the 24-85, and the classic 50mm to get that sweet bokeh. My flash unit is a Nikon Speedlight SB900. As for applications, I use Adobe Lightroom for importing and cataloguing my shots, and Adobe Photoshop to liven them up a bit.

How much time do you spend post-processing pictures vs. taking them?

Thankfully I spend a lot more time shooting than editing the images. I take a lot of photos and then go through and choose the best ones, just like everybody else. Depending on the picture, I generally spend about 10 or 15 minutes editing to get the result I want.

Do you think a bad photograph can be fixed using photo-editing software?

No, definitely not. The picture has to stand on its own merits, and editing should only be used to refine it or to lend it a certain atmosphere. Sadly HDR has been given a bad name by some people who believe that garish colours and exaggerated detail can save a mediocre shot.

Enjoy Steve Coleman's Work Through a Windows Theme - Download Links

We have asked Steve to share some of his favourite photos with us and we have created a theme for Windows 7 and Windows 8 that gathers some the his photography subjects: architecture, Prague's underground, flowers and landscapes. Download and install the theme to fully enjoy Steve's work.

The Windows 7 theme can be downloaded from here. The Windows 8 theme can be downloaded from here.

COPYRIGHT: Steve Coleman. If you plan to use the pictures included in this theme for something other than your desktop backgrounds, you need written permission from their author.

Follow Steve's Work

If you enjoyed the work Steve Coleman shared with us, you can find more of his photos on his Flickr account or on Steve's website.

We thank Steve for collaborating with us! Not only that he shared some of his best work with us, but he was very prompt and kind in answering all of our questions and emails.