Mark Dempster has continued to wow us with his incredible urban and industrial styled photography. From abandoned warehouses to gorgeous lit cityscapes, Mark’s work presents stunning vibrant colours and exceptional sharpness. This year, Mark took home the Grand Prize at our 2017 Photo Contest Exhibit for his photo City Lights.
We can’t get enough of Mark’s incredible work here at GTA Photography. We took some time to get to know him a little more and what sparked his interest in photography.
When and how did you fall in love with photography?
When I first moved to the city of Toronto. I fell in love with the streets, the energy, the colours from the graffiti, the people and found myself inspired and wanting to capture it in photos.I started taking pictures with my cell phone ( which was nothing special at the time, a flip phone) Then 2 years ago, my wife decided to cash in her Aeroplan points to buy me a DSLR for Christmas. I had no idea how to use one, so I started watching videos on Youtube and in books, but from that point on I was hooked!
How would you define your photography style?
I would say I am still trying to find my style, it’s all still very new. But right now I am really in to the streets, very moody, gritty, real people, candid shots – just trying to capture moments and real life. I am still trying to learn new styles of photography while I find my own style.
What was your most memorable photoshoot or photograph?
The first time I went to Detroit, last February. I was going there for a photo tour. I left Toronto at 2 in the morning on a winter night, driving by myself for 4 hours to get there with no idea what to expect. I was there for 6-8 hours taking pictures, visiting abandoned churches, schools, libraries, and auto factories. I got to see the streets of Detroit that looked apocalyptic, so different from Toronto. I have been hooked on the abandoned buildings ever since and have been back to Detroit 5 times since last February.
Which piece of gear (lens, tripod etc.) is your favourite?
My favourite is my new tripod I got from the GTA Photography contest.
What’s your next photography purchase?
I would love to get a full frame camera (future purchase) but likely the next piece I will buy is an ND Filter to do some daytime long exposure shots.
What advice would you give to amateur photographers?
I still feel like an amateur photographer myself, but taking courses from the GTA Photography helps make the learning curve a little faster, so I would definitely recommend them take some courses. The biggest thing is you just have to get out there and take the pictures and learn as you go. Don’t be afraid to be a beginner and get outside your comfort zone.
What workshops/courses have been your favourites and why?
I would say the 4 day intensive course just made everything I learned on my own come together to make more sense and give me more confidence in knowing what to do! I also took an epoxy resin workshops which was great, my plan for 2018 is to start selling some pieces with epoxy resin.
Just so we can find out a bit more about the person behind the lens, could you tell us…
- What’s your favourite building to photograph in the city? The Linseed Oil Factory near Sorauren park. It’s an abandoned factory, it’s pretty cool to explore and you can get some great city shots. I don’t think there is many buildings like this left in Toronto. It’s full of graffiti and when you are in it, it doesn’t even feel like you are in the city of Toronto.
- Where’s your dream vacation destination? Either Hong Kong or India. The people, culture, landscape.
- What’s your favourite movie? Basketball Diaries
- What you would do if you won the lottery? I would take my family on vacation! I would also take care of my parents, brother and get that new camera!
- What you got for your last birthday? My wife usually buys me clothes.