Interview with photographer #1: Felix Mittermeier (Germany, landscape and nature photography)84LENS
When did you first become interested in photography? What sparked it and when did you decide that it was what you were going to do? Tell us your story 😉
The first interest in photography came already as a small child, at that time I simply took some pictures with the camera of my parents from time to time. Then I got my first compact camera as a present and took pictures with it all the time.
Of course this didn’t produce any results worth seeing, but maybe it was an exercise for later. Then the time with the first mobile phone began and since this also had a camera, I photographed almost exclusively with it, since one had it always with itself and it was simply more comfortable.
But after a few years I finally realized that there was very little room for creativity if there wasn’t even a manual mode and you were forced to shoot with automatic. That’s why I bought the new Sony alpha 6300 and started with a 30mm lens as fixed focal length, because it seemed to me to be a good all-rounder. Gradually two new lenses were added and that would bring us to the current status of the equipment.
One of the most important findings, however, was that for the final result the camera itself is not the most important thing, but rather the way the image is structured, the time and thus the lighting mood and finally the post-processing.
Were you formally educated in photography, or are you self taught?
I never learned photography professionally, it was always just a hobby. On the one hand through books, but on the other hand most of my experience came in the end through trying out and many YouTube tutorials, because these usually deal much more specifically with a topic than is the case with books.
What is your ways of income from photography? Do you sell your photos on microstock sites? What else?
Because I am not doing it for business I am not forced to make money with my photos. So I do get some donations from time to time but this is not the primary target as it is just fun to me.
What else do you do besides photography? 😉
Besides photography I like going south in the alps for hiking and stuff like that. There is nothing comparable than standing on the top of a mountain at sunset and getting the feeling of freedom.
What mistakes did you make when you started taking pictures?
When starting taking pictures the first mistakes were often to completely oversaturate the colors because it looked nice to me in the first moment but after seeing it again and again you get to a point where you start liking more decent colors again. This is the reason why I always try not to have any colors in the photo which are way to punchy.
Which photo are you currently most proud of? Tell us a story about this photo please.
A photo I am a bit proud of is the following shoot of Neuschwanstein castle at a beautiful sunset. The funny thing about it was that I was alone at this place while shooting because there was no official hiking trail or something like that. In contrast to this silence the so called Marienbrücke is the most famous view point and there are so many people you have to wait until you are allowed to enter it.
Waiting for a view which has been photographed for so many times that it gets quite boring.
Who have you learned the most from?
The most learnings I got from the German photographer Stephan Wiesner on his YouTube channel due to its very informative content.
Do you take part in any photo contests? Tell us about your experience, if you have.
I also tried taking part in some photo contests but due to the fact that the jury doesn’t know all the details and emotions about it, it is often difficult which one is better over another and therefore you often get results which are disappointing for you. That is the reason why I recommend to only take part in such challenges if your photos look really similar to the winning ones of the last year.
Favourite photography book?
My favourite photography book so far was the picture book of the German Roamers collective. Every single photo gives you an amazing feeling because the dusty mood.
To what degree do you retouch your photos, Photoshop? Lightroom? Aperture? Anything that you like to do in your photos in particular, such as add certain curves?
My editing process is done Lightroom, Photoshop and sometimes Affinity Photo. At first I totally remove any pre-contrast so that the photo looks really flat and after that I create heavy midtones contrast with luminance masks. This leads to a balanced looking photo with details in lights and shadows.
Thanks a lot Felix! I wish you the most juicy shots!