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It's all about the journey
Photographer records decades of change
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We're interviewing Hans Strand in a couple of days time and we'd like you to submit a few questions for us to ask. Just drop us an email, tweet or facebook post or add a comment to this news item.
Question for the interview:
After looking at your stunning images of Iceland from the air, I want to ask you what were the main challenges you found on shooting from the air ? You normally do landscape work from the ground, so how much did you have to adapt for your landscape shots from the air ?
Hi Joao, I have several challenges shooting from the air:
A physical problem of getting air sick. I am using a plaster behind my ear (Scopoderm) to reduce the effects, but sometimes it does not help.
The technical problems are motion blurr from too much shakings due to wind or turbulence.
Positioning problems of the airplane. Sometimes it is very difficult to get to the right position from where you want to take the picture. I try to conduct the pilot by giving him accurate instructions. Still it does not work sometimes, this due to strong winds.
I don´t see the composition itself so difficult. I work quickly like a clay pigeon shooter and I try not to have strong composition elements far out in the corners or near the edges. I find the shooting like standing at the end of a conveyor belt with the landscapes coming towards me. It is incredibly intense.
I’d like to know which photographers inspire you and why. If there’s time to answer another one, I’d be interested in your thoughts re the image quality of the D800 versus the medium format back you use. Thanks, Michael
Hi Mike, There have been a series of inspiring photographers since I started. In the beginning it was David Muench, then I discovered Eliot Porter who I still find very interesting. His photography is so free from sensation and urge to impress. Which I think is a general problem in landscape photography. It is too much flexing of biceps e.g. too many views in “hallelujah light”. I find intimate landscapes far more interesting than great ones.
I must say that I really love my new Nikon D800E. It has moved the boundaries for 35mm digital photography. In combination with the best lenses the gap to medium format is not very big. There is still a small gap though. The colour rendition is more brilliant on medium format. Probably due to the 16 bit colour depth. The larger format also gives it an edge in terms of sharpness.
I love your work, by the way, though I’ve yet to see it in printed form. I agree about ‘too much flexing of the biceps’. I wonder whether medium format will survive – I have a feeling that unless more competitively priced backs with proper live view become available soon (which I have a feeling may happen in the case of one manufacturer- well – perhaps not the price bit!), or without other dramatic innovation, then the vast R&D of Nikon, Canon and Sony will mean that their businesses cannot survive over the long term.
Yes, medium format will have a tough future. Though there are still people (including myself) who think it is worth the extra cost to get an extra edge. The difference is more obvious when you make large prints. A one meter wide print from medium format will convince you about the difference.
Hans – I meant to send in a question but have been a bit manic so didn’t manage to do so. However happy to see you’ve answered it here as I was interested to know whether you had a preference for intimate landscapes over the grander views. I absolutely love your work – immaculate use of colour and form and you seem to achieve such incredible depth to your images. I also really enjoy the ambiguity of so many of them. The second one above being a classic example of this. I saw your work in print a few years ago when you were featured in Outdoor Photography but would love to see it in a gallery one day. I’m also glad to hear you speak so highly of the D800E – I am really enjoying the results that this camera can produce… I look forward to hearing the interview, Lizzie
Thanks for the questions from everybody on facebook, twitter and here – the interview has been done and we’re busy transcribing and working out Icelandic name spellings as we speak!
Hans – apologies for the late post. Just to say that I really enjoyed the interview – thank you. Michael
Hi Michael, It is never late for such a nice post. :-)
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