Cotton Carrier: Where do you call home?
Adrian Yu: While my attachment for Toronto is growing by the day, Vancouver will always be my tried and true home.
CC: How long have you taken photographs unprofessionally and professionally?
AYI have been engaged with photography as a hobby for almost three years but I have recently invested time into avenues of photography apart from city and landscape such as architecture, portrait, and product photography. The title of professional photographer is quite convoluted and in my opinion is unrelated to your skill and identity.
CC: How would you define your style as a photographer?
AY: I would characterize my style as a dichotomy of gloomy and romantic. Your style is a reflection of the way you see the world around you and I often get this feeling when observing the world.
CC: Have you ever gone to photography school?
AY: I have never gone to school for photography and I believe most individuals do not need to.
Adrian Yu taking his camera out using our CCS Strapshot System.
CC: Where is your favorite place or thing to shoot?
AY: My favorite place to shoot is Stanley Park in Vancouver due to its sheer versatility in terms of photography. It offers beautiful landscapes at all scales, great angles of the city, even opportunities for nature and portrait photography.
CC: What Camera(s) / Lenses do you use?
AY: My current setup is based around a Sony a7 IV, lenses include the Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 and Sigma 100-400mm f4. I will still use my old Canon SL2 from time to time as a second camera.
CC: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to get “The Shot”?
AY: In the summer of 2021 I imagined a shot of Lions Gate Bridge in Vancouver framed by trees and complemented by a foreground of smooth water flowing through rocks. To execute this composition, I had to step barefoot into the water and navigate the rocks to reach the middle of the river where the rock formations were ideal.
CC: Who has inspired you as a photographer?
AY: I can not name a single name but the vast community of photographers on Instagram and YouTube has influenced me greatly. Being able to see all kinds of work from individuals with different outlooks is incredibly inspiring. On the flip side, it can also overwhelm you and make your work seem diminutive. The goal is to achieve a healthy balance between your attitude towards your own work and the work of others.
CC: What advice would you tell an aspiring photographer?
AY: Think about the work that inspires you and try to understand its resonance. Make sense of your fascination with photography and dedicate yourself to achieving it through your own work. There will be lots of trial and – not error – but iteration. The individuals you look up to are constantly improving and so should you.
CC: Can you share a photographic resource you personally use?
AY: Engage with creatives in your local community. Nowadays there are plenty of fantastic communities on Instagram, Facebook, Discord, etc. Spend time with people who share similar interests and engage in their dialogue, it is the best way to learn.
CC: How has photography shaped your day to day?
AY: Photography has entirely shifted the way I see the world. The various details and nuances of the physical world are fascinating. But more importantly, I have grown a deep appreciation of the spirit of the world around me and it has helped me think critically.
CC: Where has photography taken you, and made you experience?
AY: Photography has become a way of understanding and appreciating the world. As a form of critical observation, it is second to none. Photography has taken me from the depths of the city to the towering heights of skyscrapers to the blissful Rockies. It is perhaps the best guide that exists for exploring the world around you.
CC: Any exciting photographic events coming up you’d like to share?
AY: My local community Streets of Vancity is one of the best to do it. The people are incredibly inviting and helpful. The community is active and vibrant, with regular events that suit all kinds of creatives.
CC: Anything else you’d like to add?
AY: Photography in fact has little to do with the camera. If we understand it as an act of seeing, collecting, and manipulating to produce work, you are forever perfecting the art of seeing. In fact, I would say the camera is something that works against you and you being able to capture what you see. The craft should be as natural as possible, so use tools that make themselves invisible and the process seamless. Having used Cotton Carrier’s G3 Strapshot, unsponsored and unforced I can say the product has made my process more natural. Being able to hike, climb, and run without worrying about my camera has been invaluable when exploring dynamic environments.