Bio | Mike Sperlak
I'm Mike. You're probably here because you've seen my images somewhere around the web or in the real world, and have decided to pay a visit. If that's not the reason, I think you should stay anyway. I mean, what could be the harm in doing that? Anyway, I love creating images. I say create, because I rarely ever finish a shot S.O.O.C. (That's a fancy term for straight out of camera.) I like to liberally apply photoshop in large (and small) brushstrokes all over my original image to transform it into my own vision. That's right, my vision. My vision is different than what a small complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor can read. This is why I feel images need to transcend the limitations of a single exposure or split second of time. I like to create multiple exposures and blend them together on my computer, whether by HDR or manual stitching, to create the perfect exposure. I like to just leave my shutter open and see something you will never be able to see with just your eyes. I want a photograph to convey not only a visual reproduction of a scene, I want to convey a sense of time, a powerful feeling, or a combination of many things. This is what I strive for in my art.
I grew up in Cape May Court House, New Jersey. No, that isn't the courthouse in Cape May. It's a couple miles up the road, in a town with the court house that does serve Cape May. Hence, Cape May Court House. It's in Middle Township, which is just North of Lower Township and just South of Upper Township. Go figure. I live with my awesome fiancee, Mary Kate, and our two puppies, Lila and Daphne. It's nice having two little puppies and someone you love get excited when you finally get home from shooting. Growing up I always loved taking hikes, and although it is very flat and wet here, there are still a lot of cool places. I live in a unique place where the sun rises and sets over large bodies of water and is always in sight as it is so flat. My father says the clouds here are our mountains, because of the way the clouds form over the Delaware Bay, so we get a lot of large, interesting clouds. I agree. My father, Stan Sperlak, is also an awesome artist. He paints with pastels and teaches workshops on them (among life and other things), and you can see his work over at his website, StanSperlak.com. It was he who showed me how to use my first camera.
After a couple of days of shooting castles and sheep (with my camera) in Scotland, I began to wonder why my pictures sucked and his were so cool. I was then told that I did in fact suck and was using the wrong settings. From then on I learned how to shoot in manual, TV, AV, you know, all the fun modes. This helped tremendously, as I learned proper techniques early instead of relying on auto mode. It's like golf, where if you learn the right way first you save yourself a lot of headache and embarrassment. I guess. I'm still terrible at golf. Now, I love using creative techniques like long exposure, HDR, Off Camera Flash, Exposure Fusion, Time Lapse, Panoramas, astrophotography, and light painting, among others. I love to push my art to new levels and places and quickly fall into new techniques. I enjoy reading and researching camera technology and theory and I'm always learning new tricks. I feel to truly master your camera you need to know mechanically how it works. Now you know and knowing is half the battle!
You can check out some of my work hanging in Gail Pierson Gallery in Cape May and Beacon Shortwave Gallery in Stone Harbor. You can also find me in my home gallery, Crow Creek Studio in Cape May Court House. Or if you don't feel like getting up you can just stay where you are and keep clicking around the site!