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Seedsman Photo Cup: Meet the Judges – Devin Stein

With the Seedsman Photo Cup Spring Prize Draw just a few days away, we thought we would introduce to you our third judge, who will be selecting the best entries into the competition so far.

Alongside Paul Stanford, Curtis Taylor and a host of other industry influencers, Devin Stein, a photographer from Seattle, will be on the judging panel of the Photo Cup.

An emerging talent in the industry, Devin – who runs his own company STEINFARM Photography – was selected by Seedsman for his talents with the camera, especially through his minimalist approach to high-quality images.

Tell us a little bit about your background?

I was born in Fullerton, Ca and moved to Bremerton, Wa when I was 8. I spent my formative years in the PNW and definitely consider myself a full-blooded Northwesterner.

Bremerton, WA. – Devin’s home town

Once the temperature starts hitting 80+ I start to melt! I come from a very supportive family that has helped me achieve the creative goals I set out for myself at an early age.

What came first – your love of photography or cannabis?

My love of photography definitely superseded my love for cannabis.

I have always had a fascination with mind altering substances, but I made a conscious decision to get through high school without using any. I didn’t try cannabis for the first time until I was about 20 years old!

One of Devin’s many canna-shots

Ironically, I haven’t stopped smoking much over the last 11 years since then.

In some ways, photography has been a vehicle for me to “legitimize” the stigma that follows being as obsessed about cannabis as I am. In other words, I’ve definitely been using photography as a means to perpetuate my habitual cannabis use!

Can you explain why and how Steinfarm started?

Originally, my creative endeavours stemmed from music. I was obsessed with The Beatles and how they shaped perception in their recordings.

I started Steinfarm Studios sometime in 2006 with a self-produced album while taking classes to become an audio engineer and working on recordings for others bands.

When the grind of the music industry finally took its toll on me, I re-branded as STEINFARM to offer photography and design services around 2009.

I have always had a creative bug inside of me and it all has seemed to stem from an obsession with perception…the portrayal and manipulation of a subject to skew or shape the perception of that subject is ultimately the muse of my creativity.

Photography has been the vehicle I decided to purchase to get me where I want to go.

Do you think Seattle is becoming a hub for cannabis in the States?

Unfortunately, I think Seattle really missed its chance to be a leader in the forefront of recreational cannabis in the United States.

Don’t get me wrong, it is still, in my opinion, a hub in the sense that it is one of a handful of states that anyone 21+ can purchase, carry and consume cannabis products, but I believe that the regulations we face in this state have detrimental effects on the industry and it’s sad to say that no one seems to be trying to change anything.

Seattle Hempfest – the city’s most popular celebration of cannabis each year

We have had 2 of the best extract processors shutter and relocate out of state over the past year which has caused a stark contrast in the product available on shelves today vs. only 1 year ago.

Not to mention, states like Colorado, and Oregon who are evolving with the changes in the public’s perception of cannabis, are definitely pulling away from the pack in terms of creating a hub for people to travel to for a “cannabis experience”.

What will you be looking at from a photography perspective when judging the Seedsman Photo Cup?

First and foremost, I will be looking for technical ability. This is not limited to just in-camera ability, but the use of post-processing to enhance the image is something I will be looking at as well.

Secondly, the composition of the frame. This one is huge…good composition can make a mundane photo a good one.

What advice do you have for those who want to enter the Cup but don’t have professional standard equipment to hand?

I’ve been shooting for over 10 years, mostly as a macro photographer and I just bought my first automatic rail system a few months ago!

“Professional” equipment isn’t quite as specialized or inaccessible as it may have been in yesteryear’s. The biggest piece of advice I can give is to keep practicing AND keep improving! You can’t win if you don’t play!

Devin Stein

Devin is one of a number of high-profile influencers who will be judging the winners of the Seedsman Photo Cup 2019.

To get involved, simply head to the Seedsman Photo Cup page and upload your entries now!

Cultivation information, and media is given for those of our clients who live in countries where cannabis cultivation is decriminalised or legal, or to those that operate within a licensed model. We encourage all readers to be aware of their local laws and to ensure they do not break them.


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