One on One featuring landscape photographer Felix Inden
Born and raised for his first 5 years in Costa Da Morte, Galicia, Spain, a professional landscape photographer tells me everything about his photography and passion in life. From a photographic spark in Paris to a dream job with Game of Thrones. Read it all, in my One on One segment with Felix Inden.
Home and Childhood
“Home for me is where my family is and at the moment that´s Köln (Cologne) in Germany.”
Felix grew in different places during his childhood, born and raised in Spain, he moved to Concepcion, Chile. He tells “I think here it was that my love for nature started to get built, as I travelled a lot through the majestic national parks of South America with my parents in our little VW van.” Although 6 years later he moved back to Germany and has been living in Köln ever since.
Getting started, learning curves and genre
Wife Maria was already into photography long before Felix was. He explains how a boring walk in Paris got him the photography bug; “it was a short trip to Paris with her, I simply got super bored of being walking around with her (taking pictures all the day) and thought:
Why don´t I try to learn how to take pictures with her old Pentax Ist Dl? The rest is history...”
Felix’s learning curve with photography has been “100% autodidactic” He bought every book about photography and consumed as many tutorials as he could. Meanwhile his passion for landscape photography has been his main genre in photography and he has been doing it for over 5 years now; “I also do a lot of architecture photography as it´s easier to get jobs in that genre, but my heart beats for landscapes”
How would you describe your photography style?
“Tough one!” he exclaims, “I try to let my imagery live, create a kind of emotional reaction to my images”
“The viewer should be forced to look at the image for some longer than just the typical fraction of a second. I focus on interesting light moods and on thought out compositions including a foreground, middle ground and background. For this I often break the so called “rule” of photography- the result is all I care for.”
Importance of Post Production
When I asked Felix about the importance of post production in his work, he explained, although he could take pictures without giving much post processing, he also added, how it has made things fun while making an important point about styles; “I love the creative freedom that postproduction gives you nowadays. I also think that processing is important to shape your own style, as nowadays everybody can buy the same gear and learn how to use it- but almost everybody has a unique workflow to deal with those files.”
Above is a before and after post processing image showing a glimpse of Felix's workflow.
Talking about that;
What is your workflow like?
"My workflow can be summarised as follows:
Find a composition, refine the composition and hope for the elements to align.
Take the captures and keep thinking about potential flaws that I might have forgotten.
When I arrive at my cabin or the place where I sleep, I double backup the files and recharge the used batteries.
All my processing get’s done at home on my 2 screens setup and I don´t like to process shots on the road. All I post while out there shooting are behind the scenes images and snaps taken with my phone camera.
My processing basically consists of the following steps:
Shooting the Northern Lights
To shoot northern lights, Felix recommends the region of Nordland in Northern Norway, Iceland or Lappland in Finalnd. “Abisko in Sweden is also a great place to photograph this fantastic natural phenomenon.”
“The settings vary depending on the movement of the northern lights. If it stands still and is pretty weak, you can expose up to 30“- but if the lights get stronger and start to dance, the exposure has to be shorter in order to keep some textures. All this while shooting at an aperture of f2.8 with ISO around 1000-3600 most of the time.
What gives you ideas and inspires you to create such great imagery?
“Most of the time it´s the surrounding nature or the music that I might be listening to. Also documentaries, movies and books which I read. Game of Thrones has been a constant source of inspiration actually :D “
Your Dream Destination Assignment
"Going to one of the places where it´s way too expensive or dangerous to go on my own.
Let it be Antartica, South Georgia and the Sandwich Islands, Bhutan, Afghanistan and many other places on this planet where it is just hard to go and take pictures at the moment."
Your Favourite Image and its Creation
“Chasing Light is one of my recent favourites.
I shot it 3 weeks ago at Utakleiv, one of the greatest beaches of the Lofoten Archipelago in Northern Norway.”
Furthermore Felix explains a quirky story about the location and a beautiful composition of the entire scene;
“I didn't just want a colourful sky, but a distinct light show on the mountain in the backdrop called Skolmen.
Also I wanted to shoot the exact puddle where I once destroyed a very expensive set of gear, but I wanted to have it with some nice motion blur of the receding waves. So with as many factors that had to align, I was of course super happy that I finally took this image.
The composition was pretty straight forward, shot at 14mm trying to find a foreground that kind of “picks up the view” and then pulls it through the image to let it then explore the great and dramatic arctic lightshow.”
Industry now and 5 years later...
“Oh... the photography industry...
It´s a very quickly developing industry with an incredible amount of new players entering the game every day- that makes it move very fast and incredibly fun!
In 5 years it will most likely be still developing with the same speed and I can´t predict anything else than that it will still be an amazing industry to be a part of."
A photographer who inspires you?
“Many photographers inspire me. Actually way to many to name them all here.
There have to be named Hans Strand, Ben Horne, Sebastião Salgado, Ragnar Axelsson, August Sander, Theo Boosboom, Stian Klo, Arild Heitmann and many more…”
Is there anything you would have done differently during your photographic career?
“I think not, I believe that things come together at some point, if you just let them flow. Ok I wouldn't leave my D800 with 14-24 attached standing on the edge of a puddle in the middle of some gale force winds again... that way I learned how easy it is to ruin 5k of gear though, so maybe it was good in the end!”
You have learned the most from?
“My parents and from living this life with an open mind and interest in things I don´t know.”
Something you’re still learning?
“We never stop learning, so I will always be learning something. At the moment I´m learning how it is to be a father- something very fun and exhausting to learn...”
What photographic ambitions have you not yet achieved?
I am only a little drop of water in the big ocean of photography; so there are many things that I still want to do. Way too much to name them all here! Stay tuned!
What would you like to be doing in 5 years from now?
“Basically the same thing as I am doing now, combining my family life with being out there in the wind, looking for new memories to bring home”
If you could build your dream home anywhere on this planet?
“Well that´s easy for me, if I could (and if my wife would think the same way), I would be living in one of the gorgeous little towns of the Lofoten Archipelago in Northern Norway.“
And finally, what advice do you have for somebody who wants to pursue photography?
“Believe in yourself, don´t do things only to get recognition, but because it´s your passion. Don´t focus on things that others do, but work on yourself instead.
Last not least: be nice and don´t get caught up in criticising others...”
Here are some gorgeous photographs by Felix Inden.
Get to know Felix Inden more:
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