Gustav Davidsson's portfolio is one wonderful poetic journey. Always in search for a particular mood, his images evoke emotions and feelings of loneliness, joy, calm or melancholy. Soulful works that touch the viewers in the deepest of their soul. To achieve this goal, Gustav is especially drawn to creative editing.
Enjoy this interview and immerse yourself in the world of the most sensitive artist Gustav is.
Briefly tell us about yourself, your hobbies and other jobs.
I am 35 years old and live in Gothenburg on west coast of Sweden. Photography and outdoor activities like hiking in the mountains are my passions in life. The best thing is when I can combine those two. I am also an avid angler, fishing for pike and perch in the swedish lakes. On a professional level, I work as a mechanical engineer.
How has your history and life experiences affected your photography?
I have always had a great love for nature and animals. Hiking in the forest or in the mountains inspired me to try and capture the beauty of nature. Later I discovered that I could express myself through photos. I have never been really comfortable expressing myself verbally or in text.
Which are your most important experiences that has influenced your art?
Looking at photos from great photographers at 1x and at other photo sites and in magazines. I find endless inspiration in this.
What first attracted you to photography?
Capturing the beauty of nature, but I have also always admired art in various forms and wished that I could create my own works of art. Since I’m not very good at painting, I started taking photos with a compact camera. Finding compositions and experimenting with different camera settings attracted me. I also liked the fact that you could see the result immediately. I took mostly macro and landscape images in the beginning. In 2009, I bought my first DSLR camera, and when I discovered Photoshop I had the tools I needed to create more artistic photos.
Describe your overall photographic vision.
First of all, I want my photos to have a certain atmosphere to them. I think those photos will have a greater chance of being remembered. I strive to make photos that touch people and that evoke emotions. It can, for example be feelings of loneliness, joy, calm or melancholy. I’m especially drawn to the creative aspect of this process.
Your work is very diversified but you have your own style, whatever the subject is.
What is more important to you, the mood,/story behind your images or the technical perfection?
The mood is most important for me. I think mood is essential to all great photos regardless of style. I definitely appreciate technical perfection and I think that certain photos require this, at least to some degree.
Do you prepare carefully the locations where you are intending to photograph?
Spontaneity is very important to me when it comes to photography. My favorite thing is to just walk around with my camera and look for interesting compositions, situations or light conditions. I rarely prepare anything more than choosing a location and looking at the weather forecast.
What gear do you use (camera, lenses, bag)?
I use a Canon 5dMarkII with various prime and zoom lenses. A favourite is my Lensbaby. I really like the creative aspect and the endless possibilities you get when taking photos using Lensbabys.
What software do you use to process your images?
Lightroom and Photoshop. I particularly like the Nic filters which I often use when I edit my monochrome photos.
Can you tell us something more about your work flow?
Every photo is a different process for me. For landscapes I usually only make smaller adjustments. For creative edits photos, the basic steps are some adjustment in Lightroom before I open the photo in PS. This is where the process really start. The RAW file from the camera works like a sketch on a canvas for me. I use layers and filters to try and create the vision that I had when I took the photo.
What is your most important advice to a beginner in Photography and how do you get started?
Learn the basics of your camera and the general composition “rules”. Look at good photos from different genres for inspiration. Feedback from other photographers is one of the best ways to improve. The critique section on 1x is excellent for example. Try to find your own passion within photography and have fun.
Who are your favourite photographers and more importantly, how has your appreciation of their work affected how you approach your own photography?
All photographers that touch me with their photos. I can honestly say that I appreciate great photos regardless of genre. A whole new world of photography opened up to me when I first joined the 1x community a couple of years ago. I like the photos of Laura Mexia, Marianne Siff Kusk, Jørgen Feldstedt, Jacqueline van Bijnen, Teru, Nel Talen, Delphine Devos and many many others.
Are there any specific directions that you would like to take your photography in the future or any specific goals that you wish to achieve?
Right now I hope to find more time to take photos. I will certainly continue to create moody creative edit images. It feels like I’m only in the beginning of this process and I want to evolve within this genre because it is so fun. But since I really like most styles of photography, I will experiment with different genres.
Describe your favourite photograph taken by you and why it is special to you?
I have no particular favorite, but one of my favorite photos is presented below. It was taken by moving the camera during the exposure. I like the simplicity and the mood.
Is there anything else you wish to add and what do you think about 1X as a home base for your work?
1x is the best photo site for me. The diversity and the quality of the photos is great. All styles of photography get the exposure they deserve, not only the most popular ones.
Lastly, I would like to thank all the member and the crew for making it such a good place.
A special thanks to Yvette for the invitation to this interview.
Good light to all of you!