Andreas is another great find on 500px. I’m also really happy to have found him because not only is his landscape photography amazing but I also think his profile pic is pretty cool.
Tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Andreas and I’m a 40-year-old nature/landscape photography enthusiast located in Styria, a lovely part of Austria. I mainly work as graphic designer and illustrator doing artwork for the board game industry. Besides that, whenever I find time, I get out into nature with my gear and spent some time away from all the buzz. So far photography still plays a secondary role in my business life but I’m heading for a more professional route.
What made you get into photography?
Hmmm. Not an easy question to answer as photography always was a “come and go” for me. I had my first camera when I was a child and remember having had great fun snapping pictures of everything around me. But back then this was just fun I guess. Later in my high school years a friend of mine who worked in a photography store and had access to lots of equipment brought me back into photography and I got my first analog SLR and two lenses. At that point I took photography more serious and started to experiment a little more. When my college years came, I drifted more towards graphic design and 3D work and put my camera aside. That lasted for quite a while until digital photography became accessible. A collegue at work who already owned a DSLR started my interest in photography again and I immediately bought a Canon 350D. That was about 5 years ago and sice then I’m hooked. I rediscovered my affection for nature and spent more and more (money and) time on photography.
How did you get started?
I guess this answer is already answered above. Considering where I am now and what I like about photography most, the start was like 5 years ago when I entered digital photography. Before then I had some fun times but hardly any images from then are preserved. So with my DSLR I started to walk around nature around where I live and looked a little closer to what is interesting and what might be worth taking an image off. With time I went to more interesting places and my “style” as well as technical skills improved.
What sort of photography do you mainly do?
I almost exclusively focus (hehe) on landscape photography. This choice combines both photography and the experience of solitude and freedom. Within landscape photography, I like to be in gorges and the mountains and today many of my trips are heading for these places.
What gear are you using?
In my digital era I’ve always been a Canon shooter starting with the 350D and now having ended with the 5D Mark II, which is a wonderful piece of technology. Along that I have a bunch of lenses, filters and other bits of equipment. You can find a complete list on my website if you’re interested. Inspired by fellow nature photographers I also started shooting large format (4×5″) recently. I own a Tachihara field camera and two lenses so far.
Whats your favourite lens and why?
That’s an easy one – my Zeiss Vario Sonnar 35-70mm f/3.4. It’s a lens for the Contax system and I use it on my Canon via an adapter. Of course it’s completely manual but in landscape photography there’s no need to chase mountains and trees. It’s an awesome lens with great color rendition and contrast. You can get if off of Ebay then and now for quite reasonable prices considering the quality you get.
How are you marketing yourself?
Too little too bad I fear. Here is Austria the market isn’t too big and you have to approach people to get assignments. Only very few requests come from people who found me over the internet. To get my pictures out I post them in several online galleries and forums. I also participate in contests which then and now is successful and brings me some publicity. But making myself a little better known is one of my plans for the near future.
Whats your favourite photo you have taken?
For quite a while it has been my Mostnica gorge photo with the orange swirl of leaves in the water. But actually I have a new favorite for a few days now. It was shot in another gorge here in Austria and turned out great. It captures the mystery and power of the gorge so well. The color rendition due to the long exposure is just amazing.
Advice for new photographers looking to go pro?
I can’t suggest what people could do to go “pro” business-wise as I myself still am on that path and don’t have enough experience to share knowledge about it. But I can share some advice on how to go “pro” as far as shooting experience goes. The most important thing is do get out and take images – lots of them. You learn so much from your own mistakes and successes, which is worth more than any workshop or book. Another great thing is to browse the internet, examine images and think about what makes them work and what doesn’t. The ingredients to great images are very subtle and often hard to figure out. Once you realize what the clue to a good shot is, you’ve taken one further step in the right direction.