Q&A

-How did you first become interested in photography?

At the age of 25 I exposed to light and later on developed my first black-and-white 35 mm film. This was the beginning of my career as a photographer. The following years were filled with self-taught technical training. The most important factor I learned about was the Zone System by Ansel Adams. I prefer to use a spot meter, even for my digital work. As a student in Vienna, I lived just around the corner of the city library, where I borrowed a lot of books by well-known photographers such as Ansel Adams, Paul Strand, Robert Mapplethorpe, Werner Bischof, Edward Weston. In fact, these photographers decisively shaped my field of vision and my creative expression.


-What is your typical camera setup on a shoot?

Out in the field I work with a tripod and a view camera. I see no difference between analogue and digital photography. The Linhof Techno is the ideal tool for the digital sensor. Usually I use three different lenses from Schneider and Rodenstock, a wide angle, a standard lens and a telephoto lens. For studio work I use my old Hasselblad V with the excellent Zeiss lenses and the Phase One back too.


-How would you best describe your own style of photography?

I think, my style can still be seen under the influence of the American landscape photographers, although I am trying very hard to find my own style, especially in the way to look on things. I want to provide a more abstract interpretation of landscapes. I am fascinated by shapes, lines, light and shadows and their correlations. I hate boring horizontal lines. In technical terms I focus, that my pictures turn out to be pin-sharp and sparklingly brilliant and that even very large prints show all the details in a high definition. Regarding to the composition I keep my eyes on the corners and edges of the images and on the correlations between the individual elements. Style: Group f/64 in the digital age.


-Do you consider your photography to be documentary, commercial or art based?

My landscape photography is definitely art based, my portrait work more commercial.


-What is your post-production workflow like?

 The RAW files are developed in Capture One and exported to TIFF files. Further processing is done in Photoshop. All images are converted in NIK Silver Effex to black-and-white files and are optimized for contrast, brightness and tonality. All this is done in several levels. Finally, I get a very good black-and-white image. If I want to print the image in colour, I bring the brightness values back to the colour image and adjust this effect with the layer opacity.


-What is your dream project?

 A good four-wheel off-road vehicle and several months of spare time to go around the Black Sea and spend days and even weeks at interesting places waiting for the right light and the right moment to take portraits, landscape and documentary photographs.


-In your opinion, what makes a truly great landscape photograph?

 1. Light, light and light. 2. Timing. 3. Location scouting. 4. To be at the right place at the right moment. 4. Patience. Sometimes rapid responses. 5. To be familiar with the equipment.


-Is there a philosophy behind all of your photography?

 I have been reflecting on this question very often, but did not find a satisfying answer yet. There is the pleasure of photography of course, but on the other hand there is a lot more hidden behind.


-Where does your inspiration come from?

 It comes from my longing for peace, order and the exceptional.


-What was the best career advice you were ever given?

 “Don’t show how high are the mountains”, said Bruce Barnbaum during the course of a workshop in the Dunes of Death Valley. In his opinion a photograph has to raise questions rather than to give answers. These words were the key for me to show more courage in abstractions.