Inside this issue
Huibo Hou, is a landscape photographer based in San Diego, California. Her interest in photography started back in 1999 as a hobbyist while working in the wireless communication industry. Landscape photography, especially in black and white, became the art medium that she is passionate about. She uses it as her creative outlet to express how she observes, interprets, and connects with nature.
In 2012 I paused by my local river and everything changed. I’ve moved away from what many expect photographs to be: my images deconstruct the literal and reimagine the subjective, reflecting the curiosity that water has inspired in my practice. Water has been my conduit: it has sharpened my vision, given me permission to experiment and continues to introduce me to new ways of seeing.
For this issue, we’ve chosen to talk to U.S. based Huibo Hou. For many years she has been passionate about landscape photography despite her circumstances allowing little or no time for it. I suspect others would have given up or moved on to other things.
Huibo has a particular love of black and white which she feels gives her greater creative freedom. She does however work in colour and although we’ve only included a limited number of these images, I was impressed by their delicacy in contrast with her bolder and more graphic monochromatic images.
Huibo has progressed from a pre-conception of what images might be found to a more open and intuitive way of working which it can be argued has been accelerated by the travel restrictions associated with the pandemic, allowing a closer and more personal focus to develop.
Would you like to start by telling readers a little about yourself – where you grew up, what early interests you had, and what you went on to study and do for work?
I grew up in mainland China. I moved to the U.S. in 1995 to pursue my graduate degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Two years later I decided to drop out of my PhD program and moved to San Diego, California, to work for a wireless communication company as an engineer in mobile device chip design. After working for the same company for almost 21 years, I decided to take a long break. Now I am a full-time mom and a part-time landscape photographer.
How and when did you become interested in photography? Did anything, in particular, prompt you to become serious about it?
Yes, there was one particular trip that prompted me to seriously think about how I could take better pictures. In summer 1998, shortly after I moved to San Diego, my parents came to visit me from China. I took them on a road trip and proudly showed them the iconic places such as Yosemite, Grand Canyon etc. The scenery was obviously very impressive but most of my photos were not. They didn’t do justice to what we saw, and I was disappointed. At that time, naturally, I blamed everything on my point-and-shoot camera. After doing some research, I purchased my first SLR, hoping to improve the quality of my pictures.