Tristan Zhou lives in downtown Seattle and is a talented self-taught photographer, filmmaker and cat lover. He’s very passionate about what he loves and takes things seriously. “I'll always try my best. I'm also a multi-cultural person so I'm very open to different minds and cultures.” On how to create these stunning images, where symmetry and lightning are his main focus, this is what he had to say: “I mastered the skills of photography by browsing other creatives' works and trying it myself. I used to major in photography when I was in collage for two years until I transferred my major to filmmaking. I always pay attention to the lighting since it's one of the most important elements to make your photo look great. I also try to play with different color contrast to make my image more cinematic.”
As a street photographer, the world is your playground. So, when we asked him to reveal his favorite place to photograph, it wasn’t really an easy decision for him: “This is a tough question but it would be Japan. I was born in Tokyo, Japan and lived there for 11 years. So, it's a special place for me.” He loves photography that is both cinematic and storytelling. Besides that, he also has a keen eye for detail and an interesting point of view. “They are both very important since visual art photography not only has to look good but also needs to be meaningful.”
“I once shot an orange pagoda with reflection on the ground at night in Suzhou, China. The shot turned out so well that it went viral. I always make shot plans before I explore places and go shoot, but this shot was not planned at all. It was a cold rainy night and I was browsing the park in Suzhou. I was very upset since I couldn't get the shots I wanted during the day and it was raining at night. Then I encountered this pagoda and I thought it would be cool to have a reflection of it on the ground and I looked down, and there it was! So, I quickly took out my camera and snapped this unexpected shot.”
“Social media made a lot of changes to photography, in a good way. It's very easy to share your photography work right now and it is so important. Art is all about creating and sharing, and right now it is the best time to get started into photography if anyone is interested in it. A smartphone is capable of almost everything a starter needs: shoot, edit, and share.”
So, what does Tristan Zhou do when he’s not photographing you say? “Brainstorming many different ideas and exploring cities to find unique perspectives. And I love watching films. Not only the storytelling of the films attracts but also the cinematography. I want my image to look as cinematic as possible.” Therefore his motto in life is the very accurate phrase: "Create and explore."