Special Interview with Zeno Petersen

Special Interview with Zeno Petersen

– The road –

IMG_0085Zeno Petersen, a South-African Cinematographer, been working in the industry for the past 12 years.
Making his name as director of photography on shows like the award winning jacob’s cross and various awards winning music videos. Among his many projects you can find many short films and music video for cat stevens, miriam makeba, jonas kwangwa, wickhead and many more.
We are very honored to have a special interview with such an amazing photographer.

Hello Zeno, Thank you for the Interview, Please interduce yourself to our readers,
Hi ,thanks, As you know, my name is Zeno Petersen or as most people know me @zenography and I’m a Southerner-African Cinematographer, photographer and instagramer. I’ve been in the film industry for the last 15 years shooting films, tv series and music videos. Photography and Instagram is what I would call my hobbies.
-How did you become a director of photography in so many TV series?
I started working in the film industry at a very young age and with experience comes lots of work. I’ve been employed by a fantastic if not one of the best Production companies in South-Africa called The Bomb Shelter.
-Tell us about the “boxing”series
The new series I’m busy shooting is called “The Road”. It’s about a Production studio shooting a series set in the 50’s of this country. It deals with what happened in a small town called Sophia-town. The boxing was a big part of that town and the everyday environments and lifestyle of the citizens.
-What type of photography do you enjoy most? I love the portraits. I love capturing people and emotion.
-Tell us about the challenging part of working as a director of photography
The most challenging part must be the hours and keeping the show looking good over a span of a year.
-What kind of tools do you use for post processing? Explain your work flow.
My workflow consist of me shooting either on my iPhone or my Fujifilm X-T1. When I’m done shooting, I do all my editing on my iPhone or iPad at home. I use Snapseed for all my editing.
-Among your works, which one is your favorite? I can’t name a favorite, I don’t think I’ve captured it yet. Every day comes with its special moments and pictures.
-Did you go to school to learn photography?
No, I didn’t. I studied film and cinematography and with that came the knowledge of photography. I studied for four years at AFDA (South-African film and drama school) and finished with a BA honors degree in film and Cinematography.
-How long have you been a professional photographer?
I don’t consider myself a professional yet. When I have my first exhibition I might call myself that, but till then it’s still my hobby.
-Give three words that describe your photographic style? How did you develop your current style?
Emotive, Unique and Striking. It came with time and patience and just crafting my style and way of looking at the world.
-What is the most challenging part about being a photographer for you?
Finding that moment, finding the right light and connection with your subject and audience .
-What type of cameras do you shoot with?
In the film industry I shoot with high end production cameras. For my photography I use a Fujifilm X-T1 and my iPhone 6splus.
-What is your favorite photography accessory, other than your camera?
My mirror. I carry around a small mirror to create different effects in camera.
-What was your scariest moment as a photographer?
Not knowing what I’m going to shoot tomorrow. That fear of losing your eye and not being able to capture something emotive.
-What is your best photography tip for our readers?
Look for the light. Take your time before you shoot. Study your subject and make a connection with them.
-If you had to choose one lens which one would it be and why?
It will have to be my 56mm. I just love the sharpness and smoothness and the detail it captures
-What is your most used Photoshop tool, plug-in, action set etc.?
Don’t use photoshop. Never have and probably never will.
-How do you get the person that is in front of the camera just the way you want?
I simply just ask people. I find that it’s the easiest and best way to do it. After they agree I try and keep my direction as simple as I can. I make them feel comfortable and at ease.

Read the full article on Lens Magazine Issue #17 -“The Wild Side”


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