Interview with Zixiong Jin
BIFA 2023 Winner, 1st Place, Professional Science category, “Solar Eternity”
Q: Can you briefly tell us about your background and what inspired you to pursue photography?
Of course, my name is Zixiong Jin and I come from China but currently live in New York, United States as a professional photographer. I came to the United States after high school and went through college in the US, while I was majoring in Business Marketing, Photography stepped into my life and helped me a lot in the past to express my emotions and witness a lot of journeys. So after college, I decided to change my major to photography in New York City to pursue my dream and a career as a photographer. During COVID-19, I chose to start a long-term photographic project related to astrophotography which led me to the world of the nebulas and galaxies.
Q: What drove you to submit your work to the BIFA competition and your thoughts on how winning this competition impacted your artistic journey?
I had a series of images that won some other awards from other competitions, and through that journey, I found so much great photographic work out there in those competitions, so I naturally started to find other competitions to participate in while enjoying and learning from many other photographers’ works.
Q: Could you describe any challenges you faced while capturing this moment (winning image/s)?
I would say some of the challenges when I capture these celestial targets are the technical issues and environmental conditions. For astrophotography, there are so many variables when it comes to technical issues because everything is controlled via a computer in order to achieve precise results, and those variables exist in each program and software that I have to test out one by one, sometimes it could take more than 10 hours to find one simple solution to the technical error. There are also many occasions where the weather is just not working, such as the wildfire and clouds in the air could always cause the end of my capture session.
Q: What, in your opinion, are the most important factors in creating great images?
In my opinion, thoughts and ideas are the most important factors because the techniques are only fundamental skills that were aimed at visualizing artists’ visions and ideas.
Q: What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of photography?
For me, it’s the same as the last question, ideas. Photography, as a medium, how can we use it to show what we see and what’s in our mind that sometimes can’t be seen by other people whom we would like to share with?
Q: What motivates and drives your photography?
It’s an undying passion of mine that keeps motivating me to create and illustrate photos in my own words and ideas and share and discuss my work with other people so I can always learn something new throughout the journey of visual creation. Also, it brings me peace when I can focus on creating and crafting my photos and lighting, the process amazes me every single time.
Q: What’s next for you in your career as a photographer?
I sent my equipment to an observatory in Texas, USA last year to continue to collect data to create more stunning images of nebulas and galaxies. In the next few years, I will be working on a project that combines astrophotography and macro photography and I am very excited about it!