Chris Skopec is an architect by training, a graphic designer by day and a moonlighting photographer when he finds the time. He's a hobbyist, and his real love is nature photography.
“I can just go out there on my own, keep my headphones on and photograph whatever I find that looks good,” Skopec says. “Just kind of keep to myself and enjoy the time out.”
Skopec's photo on the cover of CityBeat this week is called “Exclusive Circle of Friends.” It's a well-lit, nicely composed piece he did for a circle-and-square-themed competition put on by an online photo forum. He wanted to do something more than finding a preexisting geometric shape in architecture or nature, so he found the most willing subjects he could—a few plastic G.I. Joe action figures given to him as a gag gift a few years ago—and got the shot.
“I'm kind of a shy person,” Skopec admits. “So, photographing people is, I guess, putting myself out there more than say, posing these little action figures.”
Skopec bought his camera on a whim a few years ago and he's been falling deeper in love with photography ever since. He thinks he gets his passion from his dad, who used to be into photography back in the days of film.
“I really found it annoying back then because we'd go out on these excursions and he would take his time and set up his tripod and try and take the photo and wait for the perfect light,” Skopec says. “As a 10-year-old kid, I just wanted to keep going and get on to the next thing. But as I'm growing up, it really appeals to me now, so maybe I got a little bit of it from him. At the time, I didn't realize it.”
A quick scan through Skopec's website (chrisskopec.com) reveals lots of beautiful photos of mostly landscapes in and around San Diego County. There are just a few of the more whimsical action-figure shots in his portfolio so far.
“I always intended a larger series,” Skopec explains, “but I've got notebooks full of ideas—photographically or design-wise—that I want to get to, and I can't seem to cross them off fast enough before I add a bunch of new ideas. So, it's still in the back of my mind, but I haven't gotten to it yet.”