1. What makes a good photo for you?
I think a good photo for is one that captures me in one way or the other. One that I would like to hang to my wall. Which is actually something that I always ask myself before pressing the shutter: could this be something that I would like to see on my wall?
And if it’s one that I didn’t took myself, one that makes me wish I did, and one that makes me wonder how it had been done, be it in the field or in post. Something that I can learn from.
2. What do you not like in photography at all?
Nothing. I just like everything about it. I like it because for me it’s a perfect symbiosis of art, adventure (in one way or the other), gear and technology.
3. Which book helped you most in the development of your photography?
That’s a difficult question. I have quite a few book here in my shelf and when I started out I borrowed quite a few different books from the library, Understanding Exposure by Bryan Petterson was one them which got me started. Michael Freeman’s “The Photographer’s Eye” was/is also very inspiring and helpful.
At the moment I prefer to read more “real” photo books. Publications by Joe Cornish, David Ward and David Noton and come to mind. Also I find the books by David DuChemin very interesting and there’s plenty of very useful e-books available recently which I like.
4. Which internetlink would you advice other photographers?
There are so many great sites on the internet now, that it’s really hard to pick one single page. As I’m mainly into landscapes my favourite places would Luminious Landscapes and the one which recently came up which I enjoy very much, Great British Landscapes. It is organized by Tim Parkin together with Joe Cornish. This side has both free and paid content. They are now at issue number five and so far I have enjoyed every issue of it.
6. What was your most intense photographic experience?
That’s a little bit difficult to answer. Maybe it was when I cracked into the ice at around minus 17 degrees while looking for a nice location. I had no car then and had to drive roughly 10km on the bike to visit a friend for dry clothes. That kind of got cold and frustrating as I witnessed a beautiful sunset just on my way to get dry clothes. Either way, I obviously survived but it took at least a day before I felt warm again. Nothing that I would like to do again.
Other than that, maybe the storm that I have been confronted with during my last trip to Norway. It was a very heavy storm on my first day, and on the best spots it was impossible to take an image, there was no chance the tripod would have hold the camera then. Even the trunk of my car got damaged then when I tried to open it to get something to eat out of it. Luckily it calmed down during the night, but the conditions were surely dramatic then.
7. What is your favourite tool/equipment when you are taking photos?
The cliche answer would be ‘my eyes’ or my camera but I would say it’s my trusted, 14 year old Toyota. Without it I wouldn’t have been able to have visit all those wonderful locations around here in Scandinavia. Eyes or camera wouldn’t have helped me at all at home.
More on the gear side I would say it’s my filter kit, I just prefer to get as much right in camera as possible. Sure, I could blend exposures, but if I can avoid this extra step, I do that.
8. Who is your favourite photographer/ your photographic idol?
There are many photographers which I like and I discover new ones almost on a daily basis. One who has had and still has very big influence on me is definitely David Noton. Also I enjoy Joe Cornish very much. He has a wonderful eye for composition and his images always make try to something different.
And there’s a lot of photographers that I got to know via blogs, Twitter or media like this. David Baker, Tristan Campbell, Peter O’Donnell, Dav Thomas, Stewart Smith, Tim Parkin, Tim Smalley are names that come to my mind.
9. What is in your fridge at the moment?
I guess mainly milk for my coffee, some yogurt and not a single roll of film.
10. What is your favourite music/ your favourite musician?
I make my living with teaching and playing music and have it around me the biggest amount of time during a day. Most of the time I’m happy when I don’t have to listen music once I’m off work. But my favourite music would be Jazz or more precise BeBop and Cool Jazz, like the music of Charlie Parker, Chet Baker and the early Art Pepper maybe.
11. What advice would you give to an ambitious photographer?
Well… take a lot of pictures and aim high. Find yourself someone to really admire and try to learn from his or her work and try to reverse engineer what the photographer has done.
Also make many mistakes and learn from them. I guess you once have to shoot a wonderful scene, maybe get even “THE” image only to realize at home that the ISO was still set to 3200 (or worse), to not do that again.
If he or she is into landscape photography it’s best to try to make a trip to the locations you would like to photograph. If budget permits that is of course.
More infos: svenseebeck.com
This is a great interview and has given me some fresh insights into a prolific photographers mind. Thanks for the inspiration!
Kerstenbeck Photographic Art
@Erik: You are fast… 🙂
Hi Olaf, thanks for the interview! Very interesting, and immensely beautiful pictures – I am rethinking my travel plans for this year again 😉
Thanks also to Sven for the link to the landscapegb.com, I hadn’t seen that before – subscribed! (as well as Sven’s blog – P.S. Olaf – I think you might have missed linking to Sven’s page. He is easy to google though.)
thx christof, shame on me. Sorry Sven… There it is…