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    Steve Roe Captures Futuristic Neon Tone Images In The Heart Of Korea

    Steve Roe Captures Futuristic Neon Tone Images In The Heart Of Korea

    Steve Roe is an internationally acclaimed street and fashion photographer from Seoul, South Korea, renowned for his vibrant, futuristic, neon photography.

    His unique cyberpunk and neon-noir style has been sought after by notable brands like Apple and Prada, and featured by major platforms like the BBC and National Geographic, as well as published on the covers of renowned Cyberpunk novels, The Neuromancer Trilogy by William Gibson. Recently, Steve’s work has been shown in Rome, Tokyo, and Toronto, and on a New York Times Square Billboard.

    We interviewed Steve about his upbringing, how he landed in Seoul, picking up photography, favorite inspirations, and more!

    Where do you consider your artistic home? Is there a city, country or neighborhood that inspired you to get into photography? 

    I’m originally from Leicester, in the UK, but since 2016 South Korea has been my home. I have taken photos in a few cities but Seoul is where I shoot the most. The city is so fun to explore and has a lot to offer. 

    What brought you into photography? 

    I picked up a camera for my backpacking trip just for personal use. I started taking photos all day and every day and being in new environments grew my love for it, before I knew it I became obsessed with photography and the rush that I feel when I know I’ve got a good shot. 

    Which camera do you use? 

    I use the Sony A7RIV and have a Canon AE-1 for film but I don’t do that too often. 

    How would you describe your photography style? 

    I would describe it as neon night photography, often with cyberpunk themes. 

    What time of day do your prefer to shoot, night or day? 

    The night, but lately I’ve had a few projects based during the day and that has been really refreshing and has made me realise that I do need to mix things up and try different genres of photography as I believe that could improve my work as a whole. 

    What interests you most about South Korea? 

    The streets. There’s a nice blend of modern and traditional throughout Seoul, and you can easily wander and explore endlessly through the dense and narrow alleys. Seoul is also very safe so you feel at ease whilst exploring the city. Once it starts raining too, the streets transform and light up reflecting the neon lights, it can be mesmerising. 

    The Fox Magazine is all about inspiration, what/who inspires you the most?

    I always look to other photographers throughout history for inspiration. Despite being nowhere near my style Robert Capa and his story have always been a big inspiration. Lately, I’ve found a lot of inspiration from games, especially with how realistic they look on the PS5. Games these days often have a photography function built in so you can even practice whilst gaming. As you can imagine, Cyberpunk 2077 is a great example of this for me. 

    What’s something people would be surprised to learn about you?

    I took a photography class during college and hated it. I didn’t enjoy it at all, so I’m as surprised as anyone that I have become a professional photographer.

    What are the elements that make a photograph beautiful? 

    I think it can be boiled down to composition, subject and colour/tone. The composition is easy on the eye and pleasant to look at. The subject is striking and can possibly convey a story. The colours/tones all complement one another and are visually appealing. 

    What are you trying to translate in your work to those who see your photographs?

    I try and transport them to a futuristic world and hopefully ignite their imagination. 

    What are some photography secrets that you can share with our readers?

    If you are going to start taking photography seriously then that means you need to take business seriously, it also means you need to devote just as much time to the business as you do to your photography. I will also add that editing, and uploading to social media do not count as business. 

    If you had to choose one lens to use forever, which one would it be and why?

    I would choose my Sony 24-70GM lens, it’s versatile and very reliable. 

    What’s your best advice for aspiring photographers? 

    Often the best piece of advice is just shoot, so I will add something else which is to try and find a mentor or someone to bounce ideas off. This can help you learn quickly and find direction in your work. 

    What photography or art related motto, quote or words to live by helps keep you inspired? 

    This isn’t exactly photography-related, however, I use it often for myself with my photography business and that is to know your worth. I’ve said no to business and jobs because it didn’t feel right or they didn’t offer enough, this helps me stay happy with the work that I do and photography remains a fulfilling career.

    Connect With Steve!

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