You have a wide range of truly original series, from Animal Haircuts to the Power of Books. What are your favorite series? Tells us a bit about them and their concepts.
Your portrait and landscape photography is also beautiful. It is different from your other creations in that it relies less on digital tools. Tell us about this other facet of your work.
The Hair Cuts Series was a commissioned work, it’s not my idea, but I can tell you about the process. I had the idea to use real paint brushes in different sizes for the haircuts. The photos were shot by photographer Andreas Franke in his studio in Vienna. Because everything was shot in the same conditions, the photos matched perfectly together. I only needed to slightly adjust the colors and work on the transitions.
I enjoy taking pictures of my surroundings, especially of nature. Sometimes there are perfect matches between light and subject. Also, there is some post production behind most of them. I especially love images where the post processing is not obvious at all.
The Power of Books is one of my oldest personal projects. I was a student back then and except for the fire (Stockimage) I shot everything at home with one small speed light and my 3-megapixel digital camera. It was very, very exciting. Unfortunately I don’t have much time for personal projects lately.
What is the secret for an image to be unforgettable? I don’t think that there is a secret. People are different and they experience images in various ways. In the past I would use graphic, or violent, or sexual content combined with very impactful execution to achieve this but now, as said earlier, my goal is to try to stay subtle and still get there.
Safdar Jang, Study 1 Delhi, India, 2006 © Michael Kenna
client: nike creative director: joe stitzlein
Some of your works are done in collaboration. What are the dynamics and unique features of collaborative work? Actually most of my present work is done in collaboration with either a photographer, a CGI artist, or both and sometimes many other professionals. My favorite process is when I can discuss and influence the production along with all other professionals right from the beginning. Usually bad or moderate results are achieved when already final photos are passed to me for postproduction. I realize that very few photographers and producers are aware of the postproduction process and either underestimate it or sometimes expect that it can cause miracles. I have worked for the past 10 years with Andreas Franke and his team at Staudinger + Franke, which is a local creative photo studio, with clients all over the world. It is a perfect match and synergy during the whole process. With them, I always had the chance to be creative and to realize my creative ideas. client: braun 67
agency: impact bbdo middle east
retouching: mladen penev
Some of your creations are commissioned by leading brands. How it is to work for such clients and how much freedom do you have? What opportunities it opens in terms of reaching a massive audience? I had the opportunity to work on some productions in the U.S. for brands like Nike, Pepsi and VISA. It was impressive how many people work on just one image. The great thing about it was that the advertising agency and clients were always open for creative input and suggestion from my side. In general I’m very surprised that too many productions don’t dare to give their opinion and input toward the agencies and clients. In many cases the presentation drafts and sketches were made with a lot of pressure and in short time, neglecting basic perspective lighting or even storyline rules. Directly following these directions inevitably leads to misunderstanding or bad visuals. I always try to give my input, experience, and ideas regarding the execution and production process. Gifted © Johnson Tsang