Interviews

An Interview with Raico Rosenberg by Beata Moore

May 07, 2017 18:26

 
Raico Rosenberg was born and raised in Tenerife. Exploring the natural environment of the island from an early age helped him to create a unique bond with the amazing landscapes of Tenerife. Raico images are technically excellent and artistically inspiring; they perfectly encapsulate his distinctive vision and profound connection to nature.  He pushes the cameras limits with advanced techniques and keeps the post processing to the minimum. His exceptional skills have been noticed by international companies and he is at present sponsored by a number of photographic equipment manufacturers. This enables him to maintain a high level of quality of his landscape and nature photographs. Since 2012 Raico hosts photography workshops and seminars. He has also won awards at international photo contests, amongst them, the 1st place Glanzlichter in 2013.
 
 



1.What was your path to become a photographer?
I had a considerable fascination for photography as a kid but was shunted way from it by my parents as it was deemed an expensive hobby at the time. Growing up on a small Island like Tenerife also had its disadvantages, there was no real access to photography clubs or courses and as such photography became a mere speck on the horizon, something that seemed somewhat only available to a few privileged and lucky immortals at my young age.
In 2000 I was at college in the UK, on my way to University and actually wanted to study photography but the brainwashing from my peers to pursue a “proper job” and to take advantage of those 5 languages i can speak, combined with my naive thinking made me choose a BA in IT with Languages instead. Also, at the time digital photography was starting to roll in and I ignorantly though to myself “why learn analogue when digital is round the corner” -i still cringe at that ignorant thought.
It wasn't till 2008 that digital was affordable and i picked up my first camera, a Nikon D80. The learning curve was very steep, there was nobody to teach me and even during that time as information about digital landscape photography was still relatively spartan on the internet in comparison to nowadays.
I naturally took an interest in photographing Landscapes as growing up my parents didn't allow us to have a TV in the household, something I really despised as a child because during that period it made me feel different to everyone else but looking back it was a godsend... thanks to that I had an awesome childhood in the way that i spent most of my time outdoors instead of sitting at home wasting my time glued to the TV for example. Tenerife is the most varied of the canary islands and it was an awe-inspiring natural playground that inspires me even till today.
It was in 2013 that my work got noticed internationally and got my first sponsorship with Lucroit filter Holders and formatt-Hitech Filters. In photokina 2016 working with HitechI was approached by 3 legged thing, a great tripod manufacturer from the UK to become part of their Pro-team too. Since 2014 i hold workshops on the island.
 
2. Do you prefer to photograph close to home or do you find faraway places more inspiring? Are there any special places that inspire you the most to create new work?
The advantage to Tenerife is that being a relatively small island, everything is max. 1,5hrs drive away and many places are just around the corner from where I live. Although I get bored extremely quickly there is so much variety. On the other hand, there are some locations that I have visited so many times that conditions have to be exceptionally good for me to visit them. On the other hand its also a good challenge to shoot in your neighbourhood as its so easy to oversee things as a local. Regarding inspiration, its the sea where I feel it most as I grew up with it. I spent my younger years Surfing, spear-fishing, diving etc. so I know the ocean off by heart, how it moves, behaves etc. Its a special bond.
I certainly have been inspired by far-away places, most of all Iceland as the landscape has so much in common to Tenerife. I haven't visited it yet, apart from it being very expensive for me, but mostly because in my opinion it is so overshot and becoming extremely crowded in places. That mostly puts me off quite a bit. I am an outdoorsy type of person and like to explore on my own. I guess I’ve been spoilt by Tenerife as most places I shoot at, I’m on my own.

3. Are you a meticulous pre-planer or do you prefer creating images spontaneously? Do you revisit your favourite places many times to achieve the required result? Can you tell us more about your method of working?
Knowing your location is paramount but you've got to be careful not to over-plan. Let me explain why. I used to get frustrated and worried that I was mostly incapable to plan properly as I have ADHD (attention deficit disorder) so organisation was not my strong side. Over the years I realised that this wasn’t always a bad thing. Most of my favourite images have all come out from completely unplanned sessions. I feel that these images come out because there is no preconception of what they should look like, no worries what other people say for example and this freedom from inhibition helps things come from deeper within ones creative treasure chest. I firmly believe that in every photo we take, there is a hidden layer that speaks about ourselves. Just like body language, we don't notice immediately but subconsciously we know its there and are expressing it.
My favourite quote is by Ansel adams: “You don't make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.”

4. Terra Quantum displays themes and series portfolios; do you like working to the project/series/theme or find creating individual images more rewarding?
I would love to create a project but again, my stint of organisational skills and more importantly lack of funding is a major issue. Tenerife may be a beautiful place but living here also comes at a cost. Wages are terrible compared to northern Europe and there is literally zero appreciation for Art. For example, the culture of “support your local artist” is completely unknown here. In other countries you can at least make some sort of break even in your investment. There are almost no art fairs on the islands and artwork is very rarely purchased, often at ridiculously low prices.
Quantum Terra on the other hand offers an admirable opportunity to display high quality artwork to a huge audience.

5. Can you tell us a bit more about your chosen photograph – what is the story behind them, when/why/how they were created?
The first photo, a black and white shot that looks like a tree isin fact a local tabaiba plant (Euphorbia Balsamifera). Its one of my favourite images of all time, not just because I think it looks great but because its so important to me for a myriad of reasons. I actually shot this in late 2008 with my 10 megapixel Nikon D80, the year i started with a DSLR.
To me this shot highlights so many factors that are important in landscape photography… I had just started out and was devoid of any preconception of how things should be done, free of rules, no worries of the outcome. I just went out to shoot with my camera without a big plan, nor big expectations. I was worried about the technicalities but the fiery passion in my veins overran that stunt. I simply followed my instincts and went with what inspired me there and then. The plant at the time simply attracted my attention and I went with the flow. I didn't look at the back of camera and think “yes, this is exactly what I wanted” or that it was perhaps an ideal black and white shot. I went home and at some point imported the shot in lightroom 1.0, tinkered with it and again, no pressures. During this whole time from start to finish, unbeknown to myself, I had let my subconscious guide me. My body simply did the technical part, set up the camera, focus etc.. this shot came from deep within and recalling the shoot i remember vividly seeing that plant, standing out from the rest with its roots bursting out from the ground and its gnarly branches reaching out into the heavens in a majestic way. I think the shot represents this quite well. It was perhaps my most important lesson I learnt in landscape photography. Its a constant reminder to follow your heart. I had found a source of meditation.



6. Colour, b&w or both? How do you decide about the elimination or inclusion of colour and why. When do you decide about it - in the field or during the post processing?
Years ago I would just shoot in colour and every so often convert to black an white, being more obsessed how everyone else was shooting to display how the scene looked in its colourful glory.
In the last year I've really started to gravitate towards black and white, a more artistic approach in my view. I often shoot in black and white with custom profiles, this despite the fact that the RAW file is actually in colour. I thoroughly enjoy getting things right in camera as it becomes challenging for me.

7. Do you find printing your images yourself as an integral part of image creation or do you use professional labs? How important is the choice of paper for you?
Again, another thing I´d love to do on my own but unfortunately high costs and virtually zero demand for printed artwork on the island pretty much killed most of this off. In the first few years i invested in a half decent Epson printer but the ultra-steep learning curve and extortionate costs put this idea at rest. A common problem was printer nozzles drying out because of the warmer and dryer weather here.
There is only 1 lab on the island I work with to produce satisfying quality. Again, not an easy task as you can't just send the pictures off to get printed, you really have to be onsite checking every step, often repeating the print to produce satisfactory results.
To me paper choice is crucial, not only the type of paper but also the quality. For example a top chef wouldn't serve his exquisite dishes on some cheap and tatty plates. My preference is archival cotton paper which 99% of the time is canson due to availability on the island.

8. Do you think that social media is killing photography or playing an important role in promoting your work? How involved are you in your online presence?
Social media has essentially exploded the reach beyond boundaries for photography in comparison to as little as a decade ago. This has had the added bonus that learning potential has skyrocketed for the masses. For myself, with the restraints of being on a small island in the middle of the atlantic, it really helps to get the word out and sources of inspiration multiply exponentially.
On the other hand I'm not the most sociable person in the world and the fact that it all happens in a distant world of cyberspace doesn't really help me. Due to my ADHD, my mind drifts a lot all over the place and as such I prefer the real world where I can focus best. Its mostly because of these constant distractions that my level of interaction on social media (which is so essential nowadays) is mediocre at best.
On a positive note, I guess my photography and that of many others wouldn't be where it is today and so like the supermarket chain Tesco in the UK, “every little helps” lol!

9. Do you have any plans for exhibitions, books or any interesting projects coming? Can you tell us a bit more about your artistic plans for the next couple of years?
One project I have is to thoroughly explore photographically all 7 of the canary islands. Over the years I have felt that most representative imagery I have seen of the islands had something missing and I want to make it a mission to capture this. I know most of them already so that helps a lot.
Another project is to write a book, there isn't much of a market as the island is small and most people visiting want postcard style shots; pictures of the beach, the resort etc. and my work is more of the artistic variety. I´d like it to be a physical book because otherwise the imagery would lose a lot of aesthetic value in my opinion. Nowadays with the predominance of the digital world it makes it even more difficult. A few local publishers I have spoken to have been very impressed by my work but skeptical of the reach due to the niche market.
An exhibition overseas would be a dream come true but again funding is an issue. Most times I've heard is that due to the economical crisis that funds for artists have long gone dry or abandoned. I´m still searching for opportunities, any suggestions always welcome! :-)

10. We are living on the most beautiful planet, yet it is over-burdened and over-polluted. As photography is an influential medium, do you use the power of your photographs to promote our Earth appreciation and environmental awareness? Any thoughts how photographers in general can become more involved in this important matter?
Absolutely, photography is a fantastic medium. I believe my images of Tenerife show how diverse the island is and at the same time how vulnerable the natural environment is. A photograph is a capture of a moment in time, lost for ever. By showing the natural beauty in all its glory we can highlight the precious natural landscapes we have left on this amazing planet!



      
 

An Interview with Hengki Koentjoro by Beata Moore

Mar 18, 2017 18:29

Born in Semarang, Central Java, Indonesia in 1963, Hengki Koentjoro is a Californian-educated fine art photographer. He graduated from Brooks Institute of Photography in 1991 majoring in Film/Video Production and minor in Black and White photography. He now lives in Jakarta and works as a videographer. Photography is his serious hobby. Hengki takes minimalistic photographs of the Southeast Asian landscapes. Some of his favourite locations are Java and Banten. He is driven by the desire to explore the mystical beauty of nature and to capture textures, lines and forms in perfect harmony. His images, complex, yet minimalist are very atmospheric and spiritual. Hengki’s work is widely published, he has taken part in countless exhibitions and received many awards, amongst them, Hasselblad Master 2014, 1st Place Winner in Landscapes/Nature category, IPA Photography Awards 2014 - 1st Place in Nature/Aerial Category, PX3 Paris Photo Competition 2015 – 1st Prize in Nature Category/Animal and PX3 Paris Photo Competition 2015 – 1st Prize in Nature Category/Water.

http://www.hengki-koentjoro.com



 
1. What was your path to become a photographer?
I was born in Semarang, Central Java, Indonesia on March 24th 1963, then proceeded to pursue further education in Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, California—an expedition that plunged me into the professional arena of video production and fine art photography. My Childhood introduction to camera on my 11th birthday is by now an earnest love affair that involves an elaborate choreography of composition, texture, shapes and lines.
Upon my return to Indonesia, I settle in Jakarta as a freelance videographer and video editor for nature documentaries and corporate profiles. Delving into what I believe to be the true purpose in life's journey of expression, I indulge in the art of black and white photography on the side. Exploring along the borderlines of light and shadow, yin and yang. Celebrating complexity in the minimalist. Diving into the spiritual in the physical.
 
2. Do you prefer to photograph close to home or do you find faraway places more inspiring? Are there any special places that inspire you the most to create new work?
The place is not really important to me, the reason why I photograph is to express myself thus everything come from the inside not the other way around, having said that, I love my country Indonesia, an archipelago nation with more than 13,ooo islands and it will need a lifelong effort to travel to all those islands. My very favourite place to go is the ocean, for some reason the huge and vast water give me peace of mind, serenity and it is the place to balance my sanity. It is a place for contemplation and meditation.




3. Are you a meticulous pre-planer or do you prefer creating images spontaneously? Do you revisit your favourite places many times to achieve the required result? Can you tell us more about your method of working?
Spontaneity is by far the best for me, I just let mother nature dictate my passion of photography and she always delivers and never lets me down. It all depends on the mood as well, so yes; I visit many places over and over again, as different mood yields different result. The process is quite abstract but I try to find nature with shapes, lines and form, sometimes also texture and details. Photography is a medium to express myself so I try to find subject matter that is close to my soul.

4. Terra Quantum displays themes and series portfolios; do you like working to the project/series/theme or find creating individual images more rewarding?
I just capture what is interesting to my eyes, after time I group them into category. They are both rewarding especially when everything I do comes from the soul. It is the most honest form of expression.

5. Can you tell us a bit more about your 2 chosen photographs – what is the story behind them, when/why/how they were created?
Minimalism reminds me of Haiku, a Japanese art form of simple illustration and a simple 3 lines of poem, it usually tells stories of nature specially the changing of the seasons, so in a way it is a celebration of our world in the most poetic and beautiful way. It affects me because it takes away the burden and stress of everyday life. It strips all the unnecessary things and just exposes the very origin of meaning in life. In minimalism less is more. Minimalism has that meditational element, deep contemplation, which I need to replenish once in a while.




 

6. Colour, b&w or both? How do you decide about the elimination or inclusion of colour and why. When do you decide about it - in the field or during the post processing?
BW is more pliable to me, it is easy to play with, it is rich with tonality and it gives that mystic and mystery feel to the overall ambiance. I love atmospheric photography and this medium is perfect expression to the spirit. BW goes straight to the soul, while colour will distract the core of the spirit. I do all post processing digitally, using software such as Adobe Lightroom and NIK silver efex Pro. The method I use is pretty much the same as the classical darkroom technique: dodging, burning, pulling and pushing. I’m creating atmospheric photography and try to create that certain nuances or ambiance of a surreal, hyper reality with deep thought of contemplation. 

7. Do you find printing your images yourself as an integral part of image creation or do you use professional labs? How important is the choice of paper for you?
I let the professional do the printing for me, they are very competent and have a lot of experience; in my opinion printing is a completely different ball game. Paper wise, I choose what the gallery and museum use worldwide, that is the Hahnemuhle Baryta Rag paper which is in my opinion the best for Black and White printing.

8. Do you think that social media is killing photography or playing an important role in promoting your work? How involved are you in your online presence?
I think social media is helping photography; before the internet all my photographs were stored in a dusty storage, now I have the opportunity to share them and have critique from the outside world. Also, taking part in competitions is easier thus making the exposure so much easier. Many people see my works including those who are in the photography industry and because of that, galleries from all over the world represents me; my prints are sold thru them so I can concentrate only on making images. I upload many photographs and I join many social media as well as photo sharing available only through the online medium. I try to upload one photo a day. The Internet has given me the extra incentive or energy to pursue my passion, photography.




9. Do you have any plans for exhibitions, books or any interesting projects coming? Can you tell us a bit more about your artistic plans for the next couple of years?
So far I have published 3 books.  I’m finishing another book about the effect of global warming, of rising of the sea level in the north coast of Java Island. It will take probably 2 to 3 years to complete; I need to compare the before and after on some of the location affected by the sea level. 

10. We are living on the most beautiful planet, yet it is over-burdened and over-polluted. As photography is an influential medium, do you use the power of your photographs to promote our Earth appreciation and environmental awareness? Any thoughts how photographers in general can become more involved in this important matter?
Yes indeed, I try to convey the message of beauty through photography and Mother Nature is the subject. Through my ongoing project, I spread the words about global warming and the destruction that has effected the community that live on the coastal area.






 

An Interview with Charlotte Gibb by Beata Moore

Jan 14, 2017 11:46

Charlotte Gibb is a landscape photographer based in Northern California. Her keen eye for capturing a moment in nature is rooted firmly in her passion for the outdoors, especially Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Charlotte studied graphic design and earned her BFA from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. She has exhibited her work in several solo shows throughout California. Charlotte has won a couple of photography contests and became a new judge in 2016 USA Landscape Photographer of the Year. Frequently symbolic, her images strive to communicate the sublime beauty of the natural world with an eye oriented towards the subtle and sometimes overlooked elements of nature.
 

 
1. What was your path to become a photographer?
The path that led me to where I am today with my photography career is rather circuitous. I started out studying journalism, photojournalism and photography during my first two years of college. I spent a lot of time in the the darkroom and was the photo editor for my college paper my first year, then editor-in-chief the second year. Then I went to work for our city’s newspaper between semesters — my first “real” job, — and I was miserable. At this point, it became perfectly clear to me that I was not destined for the profession of journalism. Some people are born to it, but alas I was not one of them. I needed to switch directions and I did some serious soul-searching. I decided to go to art school instead, having some talent in the area of design. I spent some happy years after graduating from college working as an art director, and then building my own graphic design business. I still dabbled in photography, but I didn’t have time to pursue it seriously. I sold my darkroom and settled down with my husband, raising our kids, and building my career as a graphic artist. But what caused me to go back to my roots in the photographic arts was a nagging question in the back of my mind: what if I had pursued photography instead? And the answer to that question came back to me like an echo: why not find out now? The timing was good. I had sold my design business, the kids were off at college, and my creative mind was restless. I’ve always been an avid outdoors person, and so I began trying to make meaningful photographs of nature. My first attempts were clumsy and artless, but I kept at it, eventually making peace with my tripod and getting out consistently to create new work. The transition from my old darkroom techniques to the digital darkroom was an easy one for me because of my background in design, which demanded a similar skill set, and I slowly started to note improvement in my work. To date, I’m still not able to dedicate myself full-time to photography, but every year that passes, I’m able to dive deeper into the craft. 
 
2. Do you prefer to photograph close to home or do you find faraway places more inspiring? Are there any special places that inspire you the most to create new work?
New places often inspire fresh ideas, certainly, but I’ve noticed that my best work is made in locations that are familiar to me because I naturally experiment more, having made all of the obvious compositions in the first few trips. For example, I spend a lot of time in Yosemite National Park, where one can easily locate the tripod holes for all the famous photographs. However, the challenge for me is to try to express something different about the place outside the obvious, and that’s where real creativity begins to happen and my most meaningful work is made.
 
 
3. Are you a meticulous pre-planer or do you prefer creating images spontaneously? Do you revisit your favourite places many times to achieve the required result? Can you tell us more about your method of working?
I suppose I’m a little of both — strategic and spontaneous. If I have a specific composition or idea that I want to express, then, yes, I will plan to make sure I’ve checked conditions and picked my moment in order to optimize the chances of achieving my goal. However, more often than not, I will form a general idea about photographing a location around a certain time of year, schedule it, then just see what nature has in store for me. I like to be open to what is around me and I try to express the essence of the feel of that place in that moment. When I first arrive on a scene, I don’t even get my camera out of the bag, but rather just walk around, taking in the landscape, making note of whatever catches my eye. I bring my curiosity first to a scene, and then my camera. Even if I am photographing a place that is very familiar to me, and perhaps I’ve photographed it many times, the seasons and the light will be different. That’s what interests me. The change. As I mentioned in your previous question, yes, I do revisit my favorite places, but not necessarily to achieve any predefined required result. I go to Yosemite National Park specifically because of my deep affection for the place. For me, what is integral to my work is having an authentic connection to the subject. It would be difficult to make meaningful photographs in a place to which I cannot connect emotionally on some level.



 
4. Terra Quantum displays themes and series portfolios; do you like working to the project/series/theme or find creating individual images more rewarding? 
These days, I prefer to work on a specific subject matter, and then dive deeply into it artistically. I find this approach much more satisfying than making individual images, allowing me to stretch out creatively through exploration and experimentation. Although a single image can tell a story, I find a series of related images more compelling.   

 
5. Can you tell us a bit more about your 2 chosen photographs – what is the story behind them, when/why/how they were created?
Certainly! My first image is titled “Portal.” During a trip to Arches National Park in Utah, a rare Spring storm had saturated the region the day before, which left nothing but puddles in a rock-bottom creek bed. The puddles reflected the monument in the background with a pink, sunrise sky, which was by itself striking, but I found that by zeroing in on just the puddles, the scene took on quite a different feel, as though one might step into a pool and fall through into another dimension. Technically, this photograph proved challenging to make. With the camera low to the ground, the focal distance was too great to keep the entire image in focus from near-field to the back edge. The final result is actually a compilation of six images, focus-stacked manually in Photoshop so that the image is tack-sharp, front to back. 



 
The second image, “Eastern Sierra Enchantment,” is one that I made in the mountains of California in late October, long after the peak of the Fall color had passed. I have photographed this canyon with its meandering creek many times because of the abundance of Aspen groves and the beautiful bounce light there. In the Fall, Aspens put on quite a color show and photographers flock to this area. I actually prefer to photograph Aspens when they are a bit past their peak because it allows the bones of the trees to show through, giving the composition structure and form. This image was made with a single exposure, which proved challenging because of the high contrast values in the scene — the foreground was in bright, morning sun, and the forest was still in shadow. It was a very cold early morning, and there was still frost on the grasses, which was creating some specular highlights. I was able to knock those down with a polarizing filter. I had originally composed the scene to include the entire trees, their tops catching the first bits of light from the rising sun, but instead decided to focus on the most interesting part of the scene — the bare trunks and the bits of color still clinging to their bare branches. 

 
6. Colour, b&w or both? How do you decide about the elimination or inclusion of colour and why. When do you decide about it - in the field or during the post processing?
I have a strong affection for black and white photography because of my early work in journalism and consequent darkroom work. I still “see” in black and white, but I now lean strongly toward color. Occasionally, I will create a composition, knowing that the end result will be expressed in black in white, but more often I make those decisions in the post-processing stage. The decision to render an image in black and white vs. color depends on a number of factors. I first consider if the color in the image is adding anything to the composition or to the expression of the idea. If there is not a compelling reason to keep it, then I try converting it to black and white. Color can also detract from some compositions, making it overall confusing to the eye, in which case removing color can create an image with more impact. 
 
7. Do you find printing your images yourself as an integral part of image creation or do you use professional labs? How important is the choice of paper for you?
I consider the print to be the final expression of my art, and therefore I do almost all of my own printing. I start by making a small 8”x10” print, at which point I refine color and details. I may make a dozen of these, editing, refining, and reprinting until I’m pretty happy with the results. Then I make a larger print, do any final adjustments, and reprint it until I’m satisfied with the result. If that is my final size, then I stop there. In the occasion that I need to make a print larger than what my printer can handle, there is a local professional lab that owns the big brother of my printer, so once I’ve gotten my print exactly how I want it to look on my printer, I can give my smaller proof with all my settings to the lab and they can make an identical larger print for me. As for paper choice, I’ve experimented with several papers and settled on a fine art smooth paper because I prefer the softer tones and less intense blacks that define my work.
 
8. Do you think that social media is killing photography or playing an important role in promoting your work? How involved are you in your online presence?
This is a big question. Social media has certainly played a role in the commoditization of the stock photography business and in the devaluation of photojournalism. Instagram has been largely credited with fueling the popular photography movement, dulling audience perception between what is considered “professional” and what is “amateur” photography. Photography is increasingly becoming a popular hobby for millions of people, due in part to the ease of sharing images on the Internet. But, social media has also given professional photographers access to a broader audience, allowing them to connect directly with consumers, some of whom are amateur photographers.  Many of these amateur photographers have never touched a professional-quality camera in their lives, but they are now discovering a passion for photography and they want to learn more about making better images, creating demand for on-line tutorials, workshops and e-books. That is just one example of how one professional photographer might see an obstacle while another sees an opportunity. So, no, social media has not killed the entire profession of photography, but, yes, it has severely compromised a couple of key sectors. Professional photographers have had to adapt to changing industry norms before, and we are seeing that again now. Using social media in order to promote one’s work and increase targeted reach is a huge part of that. 
As for my own online presence, I maintain my own website, several social channels, and a blog. I enjoy getting to know my audience and learn about their lives and passions. Although I engage and stay connected to my followers and listen to what they have to say about my work, I try not to be swayed into making images I think will please them, but rather I concentrate on making images that please me. 
 
9. Do you have any plans for exhibitions, books or any interesting projects coming? Can you tell us a bit more about your artistic plans for the next couple of years? 
I am preparing now for a 2017 solo exhibit, “Mother Earth: a photographic exploration of the natural world through a woman’s eyes”, which will be installed at the Viewpoint Photographic Arts Center in Sacramento, California in September. I’m also collaborating with Visual Wilderness on making a series of photography tutorials. As for the next couple of years, I haven’t thought that far ahead, honestly. For the moment, I’m focusing on my work, taking on projects that interest me and seeing where that takes me.
 
10. We are living on the most beautiful planet, yet it is over-burdened and over-polluted. As photography is an influential medium, do you use the power of your photographs to promote our Earth appreciation and environmental awareness? Any thoughts how photographers in general can become more involved in this important matter?
The environment is a great concern to me and should be a great concern to everyone living on this planet. Can a photograph persuade people to think differently about the environment? Certainly. Using photography to tell a visual story about our planet can be powerful and persuasive, so, as photographers, if we want to make a difference, we can seek out and create projects that send an environmental message. I routinely donate my work to causes that promote conservation and environmentalism and I encourage other photographers to do the same.

                


http://charlottegibb.com/

An Interview with Theo Bosboom by Beata Moore

Oct 24, 2016 14:12

Theo Bosboom is a Dutch professional photographer with a great passion for nature. In 2003 he made his first pictures of landscapes and wildlife during a long trip to Namibia and Tanzania. In the years that followed, photography soon became more than a hobby and in 2013 Theo become a full time photographer. Theo’s main focus is on landscapes, verging on the abstract. He is regarded as a creative photographer with a strong eye for detail and composition. Theo’s photographs are regularly published in leading magazines such as National Geographic (Dutch edition), BBC Wildlife magazine, Geo, Outdoor Photography and Naturfoto. His first book, Iceland Pure, which he published in 2012, was warmly received by both press and public. Theo’s second book, Dreams of Wilderness was published in 2015. His images have been recognised in competitions such as Wildlife Photographer of the Year and the International Photography Awards. Theo regularly leads photography tours to Iceland and the Asturias region of Spain and runs workshops.

 

 
1. What was your path to become a photographer?
Although I have been interested in photography since I was a kid, it was only in 2003 that I really started with photography.
After secondary school I studied international and civil law and after some years of temporary jobs and a lot of travelling I started as a lawyer at a big law firm in Arnhem, the Netherlands, in the field of IT-law, internet law and copyright law. It was an interesting job and enjoyed it.
In 2003 I took a two months break from work to visit Namibia and Tanzania. It was my first trip with a ‘real’ camera (a simple analogue SLR from Canon) and I spent a lot of time taking pictures. I discovered that – contrary to the popular belief that you don’t really see anything when you look through your viewfinder the whole trip – I discovered all kind of things that I had never noticed before. Like the direction of the light and all kind of details in the landscape. It opened my eyes and from that moment I was hooked for photography.
In the years that followed, photography became more and more important to me and I spent more and more time on it. My pictures started to get noticed, I started to win awards at international competitions and got nice publications and presentations. At one stage, I found out I was getting stuck. My career as a lawyer had also developed, so I became a partner and got more responsibilities. This also meant of course less time for photography. When I also became a father in 2010 I got the feeling that I didn’t have time for anything anymore. My frustration as a photographer grew steadily, because I had so many plans for pictures and projects and I simply didn’t have the time to go out and execute them. So I knew the point had come to take a decision: I had to bury my ambitions as a photographer and make it just a hobby again or I had to jump into the deep and go for it. After a couple of restless weeks with a lot of thinking, calculating and talking, I decided to follow my heart and jump into the deep. Since January 1st, 2013, I am a fulltime professional photographer and I am still very happy I took the plunge.


2. Do you prefer to take photos close to home or do you find faraway places more inspiring?
I love to photograph close to home, because it makes it a lot easier to be at the right place at the right time and it enables me to work on long term projects. Having said that, I must admit it can sometimes be hard to be a landscape or nature photographer in the Netherlands, because we do not have any extensive and spectacular areas of wilderness left. This means you have to work a bit harder and maybe be more creative to make something out of it. This is what I tried in my latest photo book Dreams of wilderness that is covering nature in The Netherlands and Belgium.
In my foreign travels I have focussed on Iceland for many years, simply because it fulfilled all my photographic desires. It is a country that will keep inspiring me, although I have been there many times already. When I am there I feel closer to nature than I do anywhere else. It is as if I experience nature more intensely here. Iceland gets under my skin, moves me, and overwhelms me. Time and time again.
Of course I am not the only one that is inspired by Iceland, so since last year I have been starting to travel to other countries to for photo projects.


3. Are you a meticulous pre-planer or do you prefer creating images spontaneously?
I think if there was a scale from meticulous pre-planner on the one side and spontaneous creator on the other side, that I used to be completely on the spontaneous side. The last years I have moved a bit towards the middle. I now see the benefits of planning ahead. But I don’t want to lose my spontaneity because I feel it is one of my strengths as a photographer.



4. Terra Quantum displays themes and series portfolios; do you like working to the project or find creating individual images more rewarding? 
Nowadays I am working mainly on projects, for several reasons. I like working on a certain subject for a longer period, it gives me motivation and inspiration and also focus. The last thing is very important, because sometimes there are so many options for photographs that you could start to panic. Furthermore I think as a professional photographer it is much easier to get attention for photo stories or projects than for a collection of single images without much coherence..


5. Can you tell us a bit more about your 2 chosen photographs – what is the story behind them, when/why/how they were created?   
 


Fish-eye view for some time I have been fascinated by the dynamics of underwater landscapes in small mountain streams and brooks. In a small brook in the Netherlands (Leuvenumse beek) I found a small waterfall, just under a couple of beautiful autumn trees. I got into the water with my underwaterhousing and experimented with half over half under images, with the bubbles of the waterfall combined with the autumn landscape above the surface. I consider this as one of the best pictures from my project ‘the journey of the autumn leaves’ and it is an example of the type of pictures that I try to take, giving a new and surprising view of nature. It is also special to me because it was the runner up in the creative visions category of wildlife photographer of the year in 2013, so it has been seen by millions of people all over the world.



Lava field in blizzard – this is also a typical image for me I guess, it was taken in Iceland, in winter, it shows details in the landscape and it is pretty graphical. The image was taken in the winter of 2010 in the North of Iceland, close to the geothermal fields of Krafla. It was bitter cold and it was storming and snowing the whole day. Unless it is totally irresponsible, I like to go out on days like this, because they often provide me with opportunities for unique photographs. Usually there are not many other people out there.


6. What is your favourite lens/camera/equipment and how this choice affects your photography?
I like to work with a full frame camera (for me nowadays a Canon 5DS-R) and I often photograph with my 70-200 telezoom lens. I guess this lens fits very well to how I look at landscapes and details in landscapes and it enables me to show only the parts of the landscape that interest me. When I am using a wide angle lens, I often find that there is too much on the picture and that not every element is contributing to what I want to show.


7. Do you find printing your images yourself as an integral part of image creation or do you use professional labs? 
Until now, I haven’t printed my own work yet. I have some good addresses that usually deliver very good quality. I would like to learn it though one day, as I believe you can give an extra personal touch to a picture if you print it yourself.


8. Do you think that social media is killing photography or playing an important role in promoting your work? 
Probably both! There is no denying that social media and internet have changed the business of photography completely and that the value of pictures has reduced dramatically. Maybe it is good that I haven’t been around in the golden years, when it was easy to make a living just out of stock photography. When I started as a professional photographer I knew that the market had changed completely and that I should use the opportunities that internet and social media provide to promote my work. And it is interesting to find out what works and what doesn’t.


9. Do you have any plans for exhibitions, books or any interesting projects for 2016 and 2017?
I just started working on a new book project about coastal landscapes in Europe, that will take me to Scotland and Spain later this year. It is a bit too early to describe it here in detail, but I am very excited about it.
 Furthermore I will probably focus a bit more on the relationship between man and nature, for me a fascinating and important subject.


10. We are living on the most beautiful planet, yet it is over-burdened and over-polluted. As photography is an influential medium, do you use the power of your photographs to promote our Earth appreciation and environmental awareness?
Yes I do. Although I don’t consider myself as a conservationist photographer, I do recognize the power of photography and hope that my pictures contribute to more appreciation for nature and thereby also to the conservation of nature. My main way of doing this is showing people the surprising details of nature, that are on everybody’s doorstep but are often overlooked.
 


www.theobosboom.nl
 

An Interview with Hans Strand by Beata Moore

Sep 17, 2016 09:22

 


An interview with Hans Strand by Beata Moore

Hans Strand is a Swedish photographer specializing in aerial photography, spectacular vistas, as well as more intimate landscapes. He lives and works near Stockholm, Sweden. After a nine year career in mechanical engineering he decided to become a full time landscape photographer. Hans travels all over the world to capture his images; he is famed for his work on the wilderness of Iceland and Arctic Countries but also on rainforests and deserts. Hans has a strong connection to nature and its details. Small elements of nature, so often overlooked by many, in his images take centre stage. He masterfully turns the surrounding natural chaos into a perfectly organised visual treats. Hans received several awards for his photography, among them Hasselblad Master 2008 and he has published many books. He also lectures on photography internationally.
 

 
1. What was your path to become a photographer?
I started very late in my life. I never had any plans of becoming a photographer when I was young. I educated myself to become an engineer. At the same time I graduated from university of technology in Stockholm in 1981, I bought my first camera, this at the age of 25. Almost at once, when looking through the viewfinder, I found a connection with the landscape in front of me. This connection is still there after 35 years. It took me 9 years of passionate hobby photography before I took the decisive step to become a full time professional landscape photographer in 1990. Looking in the rear mirror I must say that it was a lot easier to earn your income in 1990 than today. Internet has ruined the business for thousands of photographers. Clients are happy with the free or nearly free images they can get from internet and this strikes back on the photographers.


2. Do you prefer to take photos close to home or do you find faraway places more inspiring? Are there any special places that inspire you the most to create new work?  
I have a strong believe that the best photographs are made close to your home. This since you have better knowledge of the place and can benefit from special weather conditions. I have a sacred swamp forest I visit several times per year and there I can observe how life is emerging and decaying. I find this very inspiring. As you know I have also a very special relation with Iceland. I have been there 26 times over 21 years and I hope I will be able to return as long as I able to make new photographs. It is such a fantastic place on earth.


3. Are you a meticulous pre-planer or do you prefer creating images spontaneously? Do you revisit your favourite places many times to achieve the required result? Can you tell us more about your method of working?  
I plan a lot and then when it comes to the time for the shooting I often do something completely different from what I have planned. I find it interesting to study topographic maps and Google Earth before I go somewhere. I also tend to go to the same places over and over again, trying to squeeze out some new juice.


4. Terra Quantum displays themes and series portfolios; do you like working to the project/series/theme or find creating individual images more rewarding? 
I always work on certain subject matters. It can be water, stone, trees etc. I find this more inspiring than hunting for sensational moments. With rising age I am no longer looking for spectacular sunsets. I find a day of good grey weather the best light for my kind of photography.


5. Can you tell us a bit more about your 2 chosen photographs – what is the story behind them, when/why/how they were created?   
 


The first one is an aerial from Iceland. Shot from helicopter in June 2013. The light conditions were exceptional with diffused sunlight, resulting in images with very soft character and pastel colours. Another bonus was the patchy landscape, still partly covered with snow stained by volcanic ash. I have flown over the highlands maybe 15 times and never have I had this soft and at the same time dramatic light. The technical quality is also extraordinary, shot with a Hasselblad digital 50MP camera and maybe their best lens, the HC50mm II. This image can be printed 2 m wide and still be scrutinised from a half a meter distance.




The second image is the total opposite. A quiet landscape, where I actually have my soul. It was shot just 1 km from my home in the south of Stockholm. Almost every autumn there are a few days of dense mist. This shot was made on my Birthday November 29th 2009. Although it might look like a complete chaos. It was very carefully composed and if you spend some time analyse the image you will find the geometry and the backbone of the composition. Images like this one might be a bit hard to digest at first, but in the long run they will have a longer life than something which is just beautiful and powerful.


6. Colour, b&w or both? How do you decide about the elimination or inclusion of colour and why. When do you decide about it - in the field or during the post processing?  
As I have said many times before, if it had not been for the sake of making my living out of landscape photography, I would have stuck to b&w. I find it so much more interesting than colour. I like the freedom in b&w. You can play around a lot with the contrast without making the photograph looking kitschy. If you do the same in colour it does not work. I also have a big problem with the green colour. I have never seen it coming out the way I see it with my eyes. Hopefully I can move more and more over to b&w since the interest for prints is increasing. The reason I have become a colour photographer is that I started making my business from stock photography through Getty and Corbis. Now the stock marked have dropped to infinite levels and I have been forced to find new outlets for my work.


7. Do you find printing your images yourself as an integral part of image creation or do you use professional labs? How important is the choice of paper for you? 
I used to print b&w during the film days, but now I use a professional lab for all my printing. I always have control of the result though and the guy who is doing my prints knows exactly what I want. I simply don´t have space for a large printer in my small office.


8. Do you think that social media is killing photography or playing an important role in promoting your work? How involved are you in your online presence? 
It is a mix of everything and it gives you an idea of the common taste, but at the same time it can be devastating for your own development as a photographer. Sadly the common taste is on a very naive level. The more colour and sensation, the more ”Likes” from the crowd. The good side of social media is that it has made photography every mans hobby. Never before have so many people been taking pictures. Hopefully the common taste will mature with time and allow more subjective kind of photography.


9. Do you have any plans for exhibitions, books or any interesting projects coming? Can you tell us a bit more about your artistic plans for the next couple of years?
I will have an exhibition next year on ”Chaos”. I am also currently working on several parallel book projects. The books will come out one by one as they materialise. I am also teaching workshops with my danish collegaue Better-Moments and this is running very well.

10. We are living on the most beautiful planet, yet it is over-burdened and over-polluted. As photography is an influential medium, do you use the power of your photographs to promote our Earth appreciation and environmental awareness? Any thoughts how photographers in general can become more involved in this important matter? 
I try to do so during my talks. I have noticed how the ”ice rivers” on Iceland are decreasing and even drying out. This due to global warming. The glaciers in Europe are retracting with 50-100 meters per year and in 50 years from now we might not have any glaciers. I am also giving away lots of my work for free to organisations working with environmental issues.








See more on Hans Website

An Interview with Dino Lupani by Beata Moore

Jul 10, 2016 10:04



Born in Casale Monferrato in the North West Italy, where he lives and works as a lawyer, Dino Lupani is a self-taught photographer passionate about nature and landscapes. His thorough observations of seasons, weather and tides lead to great understanding of the environment and as a result, the creation of images that stir the soul. Dino loves photographing extreme weather, especially storms and lightning; the distinctive light of such events, combined with an interesting composition results in very powerful photographs.  The use of polarizing filters, neutral density and graduated neutral density filters allows him to minimise the post production. Many of his images are converted to black and white, but the reality is never changed. Some of his best knows series are: Monte Rosa, Silences, Evanescens on Snow.


 
1. What was your path to become a photographer?
I started, like many of us, with documentary photos that were for me a reminder of the places I went to, and the events I observed. I have always been fascinated by the weather, and often in my images I include cumulonimbus clouds, thunderstorm and lightning.

2. Do you prefer to take photos close to home or do you find faraway places more inspiring? Are there any special places that inspire you the most to create new work?  
It is indifferent for me, because in every place there is beauty. One must know how to look at the scene and how to interpret it with photographic eye and passion.

3. Are you a meticulous pre-planer or do you prefer creating images spontaneously? Do you revisit your favourite places many times to achieve the required result? Can you tell us more about your method of working?  
Sky and clouds are the main protagonists of my photos. Therefore, when I see a subject and an interesting composition, I go back to that place when the sky is right, to get the picture I imagined. I plan projects, but I also like to improvise. I go hunting landscapes only when the weather forecast and Doppler radar map assure me of an interesting sky.

4. Terra Quantum displays themes and series portfolios; do you like working to the project/series/theme or find creating individual images more rewarding? 
I'm interested in both methods of working and have no preference about it.

5. Can you tell us a bit more about your 2 chosen photographs – what is the story behind them, when/why/how they were created?   
 


This image is from the series "Wet POV". I'm particularly passionate about it, as the final result was very unpredictable.  All shots in the series were taken with a camera in a waterproof case while I was swimming in the Tyrrhenian Sea. Framing and composition were difficult as I was at the mercy of the waves; I had to put much effort into it, nevertheless it was great fun.




This image, “Monte Rosa East Face” is a long exposure in daylight, with ND110 filter. The high mountains of the massif of Monte Rosa (4634 m - 15,203 ft) in northern Italy were battered by the violent winds. This combined with high altitude created a spectacular motion of the clouds.  The exposures in this series were all under 120 seconds and they were enhanced by the hard light of the mountain environment.

6. Colour, b&w or both? How do you decide about the elimination or inclusion of colour and why. When do you decide about it - in the field or during the post processing?  
My photography is based on shapes, volumes and proportions (or better "disproportions"). This is why I think in my case, colours can be distracting. Therefore, I previsualize my images in b&w already in the research stage.

7. Do you find printing your images yourself as an integral part of image creation or do you use professional labs? How important is the choice of paper for you? 
I rely on professionals, who also recommend to me the most suitable type of paper.

8. Do you think that social media is killing photography or playing an important role in promoting your work? How involved are you in your online presence? 
Social media are an opportunity for visibility and sharing your work, even outside of the world of photography. I believe that signature fine art photography can coexist seamlessly with the souvenir photos taken with the smart phones.

9. Do you have any plans for exhibitions, books or any interesting projects coming? Can you tell us a bit more about your artistic plans for the next couple of years?
I am working on two solo exhibitions and plan to get involved in some international photographic community but, at the time, photography is not my profession, so I have no long-term projects.

10. We are living on the most beautiful planet, yet it is over-burdened and over-polluted. As photography is an influential medium, do you use the power of your photographs to promote our Earth appreciation and environmental awareness? Any thoughts how photographers in general can become more involved in this important matter? 
Photography surely can help people to understand that the environment in which we live is not only beautiful, but also complex, delicate and irreplaceable.  Unfortunately, many people do not appreciate it, simply because they are not able to comprehend it. Therefore, the beauty and fragility shown in photographs can become a tool helping to see this important aspect.





 

An Interview with Cole Thompson by Beata Moore

Jun 26, 2016 15:20


Cole Thompson is a photographer based in Colorado, USA. His early inspiration comes from photographs created by Adams, Weston and Bullocks. He started photography in 1968 working with SLR and medium format cameras and developing the images in the darkroom. Self thought and fascinated with classical black and white images, Cole converted to digital in 2004. He is best known for his long exposures. Not earning his living from photographic work allows him to follow his artistic vision without any compromises. He likes working with the series of images. Some of the best known portfolios are Harbinger, The Lone Man, Monoliths, The Ghosts of Auschwitz; each of them tells a powerful story. Despite that his work has been shown in many exhibitions and published in numerous publications, he believes that the most important is how he feels about the art that he creates.
 




1. What was your path to become a photographer?
When I was 14 years old and living in Rochester NY (the birthplace of Kodak) I was out hiking with a friend when we stumbled upon an old house that George Eastman had once owned. This piqued my interest and I decided to read his biography. 
I was fascinated by the story of modern photography and before I had finished the book, before I had ever taken a photograph or had seen an image come up in the darkroom, I knew that I was destined to be a photographer. I know that sounds unbelievable, but that's how I felt. 
And so for the next ten years I immersed myself in photography. I am self-taught: I have never taken a class or workshop. I learned by reading and doing, experimenting and making mistakes. 

2. Do you prefer to photograph close to home or do you find faraway places more inspiring? Are there any special places that inspire you the most to create new work?
I believe there are great images everywhere, even in our own back yards. Once I put together a slideshow of all the images I had created within a couple of miles of my home, and it was surprising as to how many there were. 
But having said that, I do find that it's easier for me to see freshly when I'm in a new location. I think that's because it's easier for me to leave behind my daily routine, responsibilities and duties when I'm away from home. 
But I do not need an exotic place or an iconic photo location. I can find something worthy of photographing in any location, no matter how seemingly dull or mundane. 
My inspiration comes mostly when I can focus on just one thing; creating. And I find that getting away allows me to do that. 

3. Are you a meticulous pre-planer or do you prefer creating images spontaneously? Do you revisit your favourite places many times to achieve the required result? Can you tell us more about your method of working?
I never plan anything other than my arrival and departure date. I do not plan a route or I do not make any hotel reservations. I do not research the sites and I do not look at any other photographers work from the area. 
To be able to take this approach I must travel during the low season in order to miss the tourists and find accommodations each night. 
For example I travelled to Iceland at the end of September when all the tourists had gone home. I simply drove about without plan or preconceived idea, turning left or right as my eye dictated. 
I like to visit new places rather than revisit, but if I'm inspired to create a portfolio on a particular subject or place, I will return again and again until that Passion has spent itself. 
For example I've been going to Death Valley every winter for years as I work on my Dunes of Nude series. I'll stop going when I tire of the series. 

4. Terra Quantum displays themes and series portfolios; do you like working to the project/series/theme or find creating individual images more rewarding? 
For years I only worked on creating single images and resisted working on a series. And while I created some nice images, they were all one hit wonders and my work had no cohesiveness. 
And then a few years ago I decided to submit my work to LensWork. I read the submission guidelines and Brooks Jensen was very clear: do not send us your greatest hits! Send 15 or more images on the same subject or theme. 
But, I said to myself, he's not seen MY greatest hits! And off they went. 
Well, in very short order they returned my submission with a note that said: pick one image and send me 15 more like it! That was the kick in the pants that I needed and propelled me to create my first portfolio "Grain Silos." 
I'm not sure why I had resisted for so long, but I quickly was hooked and enjoyed having a purpose and exploring a subject deeply. 
Now I hate it when I complete a project and wander about aimlessly, hoping I'll see something that inspires the next one. 

5. Can you tell us a bit more about your 2 chosen photographs – what is the story behind them, when/why/how they were created?
These two images are part of my “Ancient Stones” project that is still in progress.  I have created most of the images in Joshua Tree, but there are other locations as well.
This portfolio shares a quality with several of my other series, such as Fountainhead, Grain Silos, Monoliths and Moai, Sitting for Portrait. I tend to think of these inanimate subjects as being alive and I relate to them as conscious beings.
And when I first saw these stones in Joshua Tree, it seemed to me that they were these ancient creatures who moved so slowly that they seemed inanimate to us. But in reality, they are alive and watching us. Smiling as they see us scramble about like ants, full of self-importance.
They sit for thousands of years, watching us and being amused.
These are two of my favorites from the series.



This is Ancient Stones No. 23 and it was created in the Alabama Hills in California.
I don’t believe in telling the viewer what the images mean, but rather leaving that to the viewer to decide.




This is Ancient Stones No. 12 and this was created at Joshua Tree, in California. It is my current favorite from the series.

6. Do you find printing your images yourself as an integral part of image creation or do you use professional labs? How important is the choice of paper for you?
I feel the printing process is a part of the creative process and my job is not complete until I've printed my work and signed it. 
Paper is important, but not really that important in the big scheme of things. I print on two surfaces: Hahnemuhle Photo Rag 308 and Epson Exhibition Fiber. 
I'm certain there are many, many papers out there that are just as good and that I'd be equally happy with. Perhaps there are even some that might be better in some small way…but I don't believe that they would improve my work in any appreciable way. My work must stand on its own merits and while a poor paper might detract from my image, a great paper cannot take a mediocre image and make it better. Only the image can do that. 
So no, I want a good paper but I am not a fanatic on a quest to find the "perfect" paper. It does not exist!
 
7. What are the biggest challenges nowadays for a full time photographer and how do you adjust your approach to achieve the maximum marketing potential?
I would not know, I am not a full-time photographer! I am an amateur, as defined by one who was self-taught, does not earn their living from their art and creates out of love.
I’ve always held a full time job to pay the bills and pursued my art for myself and for the love of creating. I purposely chose not to try to earn a living from my photography because I was convinced, even at the wise old age of 17, that if I photographed for a living that I’d lose my passion for it. It would become just a “job.”
I have no regrets for having made that decision. Certainly there are disadvantages to the path I chose, mainly not having enough time, but I’ve been able to retain my passion for photography.
 
8. Do you think that social media is killing photography or playing an important role in promoting your work? How involved are you in your online presence?
I think that social media is changing things, and who is to say if that is good or bad? But is that a good thing or a bad thing? I don’t know.
I do know that social media makes it easier for me to reach a huge audience from around the world, and that is exciting! I’ve never been a fan of the “gallery system” and so now I am master of my fate and captain of my soul. I'm glad for that.
I maintain a website, a blog and I post one image a day on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Flickr, Instagram, Tumblr, Fotoblur and Pinterest. It takes me about 15 minutes each day to do that and my goal is to expose new people to my work and drive them to my website.
 
9. Do you have any plans for exhibitions, books or any interesting projects coming? Can you tell us a bit more about your artistic plans for the next couple of years? 
I speak and exhibit only when invited. I currently have no book plans, but continually toss the idea around. However, I think the book market has been greatly impacted by the internet and I'm not sure what the role of photography books are in the future. Time will tell.
It is a shame because as good as an image can look on a screen, there is nothing like holding a print in your hands and admiring it. I do feel a little sorry for the current generations who have never really had that opportunity. It’s fun to see their reactions when they do see and handle a real print, it’s a revelation.
I will be speaking, exhibiting and holding a workshop in Portland this October. Plans are being made for that right how. And I do open my home gallery to the public for the Fort Collins Studio Tour this June 24, 25 and 26.
I’ve recently completed my Dunes of Nude series and have submitted that to LensWork, a publication that I respect and admire. They just recently published my “Moai, Sitting for Portrait” series from Easter Island and I'm always so pleased to have my work reproduced there. They do such fine printing, it’s actually better than most photo books that I’ve seen!
So what photo project is next? I generally do not know until it presents itself to me, and that usually happens in a moment of inspiration. I do have one project that I’ve been thinking about for years, but those usually go nowhere for me. The ones I’ve pursued to date are those that just grab me and say: GO FOR IT!
I am working on a long term project entitled “Isolated” and I’ll continue to work on that as images present themselves to me.
 
10. We are living on the most beautiful planet, yet it is over-burdened and over-polluted. As photography is an influential medium, do you use the power of your photographs to promote our Earth appreciation and environmental awareness? Any thoughts how photographers in general can become more involved in this important matter?
No, I guess I fall into the Ansel Adams camp on this issue. I admire those who use their art to influence others for causes they feel strongly about, but that is not me. I do not want to politicize my or try to influence others with it.
My job as an artist, as I see it, is to create images that I love. With that, my job is complete. What others think of my images is none of my business. And what my images mean, well I think that is best left to the viewer to decide.

More on his website 










An Interview with Alexandre Deschaumes by Beata Moore

Jun 26, 2016 15:19

Alexandre Deschaumes is a French evocative landscape photographer. He is based in French Alps, between Chamonix, Annecy & Geneva. Alexandre’s interest in photography started in 2003; he is a self-taught photographer. His inspiration comes from the surrounding nature of Alps as well as many travels to wilder, faraway places. His photography is not only about great vistas but also about abstracts and nature details, he is however best known for his Alps extreme weather shots and atmospheric landscapes of Iceland. Alexandre’s attraction to wilderness and dramatic light combined with the dedication to the craft allows him to create outstanding images showing the ethereal beauty of places taken on his many solitary trips. His photographs have been shown at many exhibitions in France and in 2012 Alexandre co-directed the documentary film “The Quest for Inspiration” that won several prizes. He also runs successful photographic trips to Patagonia and Iceland and he is on the Open Jury Panel of Epson International Pano Awards 2016.



1. What was your path to become a photographer?
This was a very long process. Initially it started in childhood, when unfathomable fears, frustration and some kind of loneliness forced me to use my imagination to start developing my own world. My further transformation was about music – I improvised and composed when I was 16 years old. Later on, when I was twenty, in 2002, the photography followed.  I turned professional around 2008 when I started to sell pictures and lead workshops.

2. Do you prefer to photograph close to home or do you find faraway places more inspiring? Are there any special places that inspire you the most to create new work?
I like both. There are some very inspiring places I live in French, near Chamonix - sixt - Annecy, but I also often travel to the mountains of Patagonia, where I organize photographic workshops. I am most inspired when I am surprised or enthralled by the subject; mysterious forests and dramatic mountain shapes always catches my attention.

3. Are you a meticulous pre-planer or do you prefer creating images spontaneously? Do you revisit your favourite places many times to achieve the required result? Can you tell us more about your method of working?
I like to explore many faces of a subject or location. Visiting again and again the same places allows me to gain an indepth knowledge and feel of it. At the same time, spontaneity and beeing surprise by new vistas is very important to me. new view points I often go off roads and follow less known paths. Often when I intensly look for a special shot, I don’t find it. Magic happens when I least expected it and when I react instinctively to a view in front of me.

4. Terra Quantum displays themes and series portfolios; do you like working to the project/series/theme or find creating individual images more rewarding?
I prefer working on series of images. The cohesive body of work seems to me more important than one impressive shot. Portfolios allow me to show the uniformity of my approach.
 
5. Can you tell us a bit more about your 2 chosen photographs – what is the story behind them, when/why/how they were created?



Through this picture, I wanted to show the feel of mystery (somewhat ghostly) that I experience sometimes when I am in the mountains. It is a mixed feeling of immeasurable dimensions combined with a dose of reality. Often these sensations reflect my own fathomless fears and dreams. In this image, I also wanted to bring to the attention of the viewers the scale of the mountains as well as the amazing textures of the rock and clouds. This image was taken in Torres Del Paine National Park, Patagonia, Chile during the workshop in April 2014. I used here 300 mm F2.8 L II lens; the image was created by stitching 12 vertical images.




This image was taken in the same place and the same year in Patagonia. What I felt while taking it is really difficult to describe, but it lead to more of an abstract, because of the lack of sharp areas and no clear view of a subject. I saw a form of chaos, the birth of something.  A shaft of light through the clouds created a perfect play of shadows and light.

6. Colour, b&w or both? What do you prefer and how do you decide about the elimination or inclusion of colour and why. When do you decide about it - in the field or during the post processing?
I do both, color and b&w. The choice depends on the feeling of a place. I like muted underexposed tones as they help to create this special atmosphere I am always looking for.
 
7. Do you find printing your images yourself as an integral part of image creation or do you use professional labs? How important is the choice of paper for you?
I use a professional lab close to where I live. It is useful, as I can check test prints before printing big images. For large prints I use Digigraphie Epson printer. Paper choice is very important indeed. I love matte papers, especially Epson Hotpress Bright White.
 
8. Do you think that social media is killing photography or playing an important role in promoting your work? How involved are you in your online presence? 
I think it's both. Being present on social media suits my personality. I like the fact that I have my own space, but I don’t impose my presence on others. People can visit if they are inspired.  I concentrate on my work and communicate with others with honesty and simplicity. I think It's important to be visible, but at the same time not to be too aggressive. One needs to remember that social media represents life - there are many who take advantage without any principles; there are those who bother people with their annoying advertising, those who pay to be seen. All that because for some people photography is only business, for others, it is all about ego. It takes a lot of time and patience to find true hidden talents. So often we are snowed under and asphyxiated with fashionable pictures, with no real talent or individuality, as there are many who are good at marketing but not so good artistically. 
 
9. Do you have any plans for exhibitions, books or any interesting projects coming? Can you tell us a bit more about your artistic plans for the next couple of years?
I have many exhibitions planned for this year:
17th to 20th November 2016 at Festival de Montier en Der
29th to 30th September 2016 and 1st to 2nd October at Festival de Vourles
23rd to 25th September 2016 at Invité d'honneur festival de Barr
5th July to 26th August 2016 at Maison du Haut Rhone, Seyssel
I am also preparing a book, which hopefully will be published in September.
Later on in a year, I am planning some new travels and workshops.
 
10. We are living on the most beautiful planet, yet it is over-burdened and over-polluted. As photography is an influential medium, do you use the power of your photographs to promote our Earth appreciation and environmental awareness? Any thoughts how photographers in general can become more involved in this important matter? 
I don't really use my work in this way; for me it is more about the dreamy escape, the mystery and other evocative inner emotions. Still, my photography involves some wild landscapes, so I hope it also plays an environmental role to some extent.