From Publisher: We would like to invite you to enjoy interview with very inspiring photographer. Stefan Forster talks about his passion for landscape photography and "light hunting" project in Island.
My first contact with a camera I had, was at the age of 12. I never wanted to become a photographer, but I always wanted to stay out in the nature. When my friends were playing inside I was always hiking in the forest and enjoying the fresh air. Then I got my first camera and from that moment I got a possibility to save what I saw. With the age of 19 I shot one of the first digital photos of a ball lightning. With the money I earned from this fascinating shot I bought my first digital SLR camera.
Compared to painting photography is fast - and this is what I need. I’m not that kind of photographer who waits in the same place for hours until the light is perfect. I’m always on the run, I never sit, I’m not made for waiting - I’m made for hunting. Hunting the light. That’s why my first movie is called „Light hunter“. My photography friends often call me restless.
Uff - there are so many of these. In the last 10 years I was on 112 photography trips all around the world and right now I’m on photography „mission“ for over 6 month a year. As a photography teacher and guide I’m on photography tour with customers 5-8 times a year. The moments I love the most are when I guide the photographers in the perfect moment to the perfect place. And of course I just love being alone and don’t talk to anyone for days. This is why I love my job so much. I don’t have to talk all day long. Just observing the clouds and hunting sunbeams and rare moments - this is my passion.
I usually carry 2 camera bodies (Nikon D810) with me. The lenses which I always carry with me are: Nikkor 14-24mm F2.8 including Polarizer, Nikkor 24-70mm F2.8, the new Nikkor 80-400mm, 16mm F2.8 Fisheye, 8 batteries, 2 liters of water, power bars, pullover, light down jacket, mobile phone with spare batterie, flashlight, Iridium satellite phone,… My bag hast usually a wight of 30-40lbs.
In 2017 I’m realizing a plan I had for years. As the biggest fan of off-road cars and driving I’ve ordered a unique expedition off-roader with bed, shower, kitchen, air lockers, 48cm ground clearance,… The basis is a new toyota - even though after the modification it will not be recognizable anymore. In May 2017 my car will be shipped to Canada and my great photography voyage will start. Canada, Alaska, USA, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina - when ever possible off road and in the right moment at the right place. I’m still looking for sponsors for this amazing trip.
1. Buy a reliable alarm clock and always get up earlier than others.
2. Never trust the weather forecast. The most amazing light comes when bad weather is predicted.
3. Don’t copy the image style other photographers and don’t fall into the technology mania.
My first philosophy is of course not to wait for a moment - search and hunt it. Then I always try to get different perspectives. For this I bought a huge 30lbs Octocopter which is capable to carry my Nikon D810 on a radius of 2’000 Meters around me. Second tool is my folding kayak which allows me different perspectives on sea.
As a typical Landscape photographer I enjoying being alone and shoot for my own so much that I would always choose solitude in front of commonality. Since I’ve started I never tried to orientate on the work of other photographers. That’s why I don’t really know many of my colleagues. I’m a typical lone wolf - and I enjoy it.
Since 10 months a famous movie crew from Switzerland is producing the first „Light hunter“ movie about myself and Iceland. The target of this movie is to get the people an insight view of the real life of a photographer. People always think that being a landscape photographer is the easiest and most fantastic job on earth. Well it is, but this movie series will also show the people the downsides of this job. During 10 days a team of camera men pursued me at every track trough Iceland. This movie will be a mixture of amazing video footage and documentary about a photographer. The first movie trailer: https://vimeo.com/114799250 - The movie will be published in Fall 2015 in German, English and French.
My post processing is very easy. I use Adobe Lightroom for about 80% of my post and Photoshop CC for the rest. My principle is easy. Don’t manipulate photographs. When the sunset was not colorful I don’t fake it in Lightroom - to be honest - I know no one who is capable doing this without photographers can see the scam. What I do in Lightroom is in principle bringing the histogram from the very left to the very right. For this I use the controller „black, white, shadows,...“ and the graduation filters. I don’t give me more than 2 minutes time for the processing of a picture.
Thanks Stefan for taking the time to do this interview. We are happy to welcome you on board among other photographers.
Your photography is very valuable in this community and very beneficial for our readers.