Part of what makes CreativeMornings Austin special is the ability to share the experience with people who couldn’t be there in person. We rely on talented volunteer photographers to document the event.
So it’s our pleasure to get to know Patrick Lu, a writer, computer scientist, blogger, and – oh, yeah – photographer for this March’s CreativeMornings/Austin.
1. It seems like you use your blog betterwithpesto.com to combine several interests, with photography, writing, travel, and food among them. Do you think having passions outside of photography makes you a better photographer? Why?
I believe photography is about conveying emotions from the photographer to the viewer. In order to take a good photo, which displays such emotions and feeling, a photographer needs to invest time in his subjects. I liked taking pictures of food, and through a stroke of luck, some of the best chefs in town went to the same pub where I’m a regular (Draught House Pub). So I got to know them, hang out with them, and dive farther into their world. I use all the helpful hints I learn from these service industry folk and apply them to travel and dining in other places. A camera is a fantastic tool for diving further into your passions.
2. What are your impressions of CreativeMornings?
This was my first time, and so far I think it’s an amazing event. It seems to draw in most of Austin’s most energetic and creative people. The subjects of talks are tasteful and exciting. I can’t wait to go to more. Coffee and tacos are a plus too.
3. Why is Austin a great place to be a creative person?
I would describe Austin a wide and open canvas. Most people you meet have moved here recently and are trying to start something. This creates an amazing sense of energy and humility since we’re all on equal footing.
What I find amazing are these “loops” in local business relationships. If you take the restaurant Qui for example, their produce is sourced locally, they had woodwork done by Griffon Ramsey on the East Side, their bike racks were made from Windmill Bikes on Manor, and their plates were made by Keith Kreeger over on Springdale.
4. How does a computer science major at UT become such a prolific photographer?
I worked for the campus newspaper, The Daily Texan, and it opened my eyes to all of the wonderful people, locations, and events that spanned outside the bounds of campus. For anyone interested in photography, UT has a lot of amazing resources such as the Magnum archives at the Harry Ransom Center, and Eli Reed, the head of the photojournalism department.
With just a bike you can get from campus to downtown in 10 minutes. Park it anywhere, walk around, and bike back. That’s how I got the proposal photo that blew up on reddit.
5. You also teach photography? Tell us more.
I’m using the classroom to start some local photography classes and workshops. I’ve already had one and it was awesome (with a tough class featuring Josh Baer), so I’m doing more. The next ones are on April 5 and 6 (this upcoming weekend). Please checkout http://snapfocus.photography (yes, .photography is a new domain).
You can see the rest of his photos from CreativeMornings here.