Artist photographer Marc Huybrighs' work is mainly focussed on abstract and architecture, although he always succeeds to create some mood by often using vibrant colours and gorgeous geometrics. Discover more about the man behind his images.
Briefly tell us about yourself, your hobbies and other jobs.
I was born in the summer of ‘65 as a Belgian citizen. I still live in Belgium in a town called Paal-Beringen (approx. 65 km east of Brussels) together with my wife and grown-up son and daughter. For my profession I work as a measurement and control technician in a multinational steel company. In my free time I play tennis, do swimming, cycling, gardening and more and more photography.
How has your history and life experiences affected your photography?
It’s only rather recent that I have been practising photography in the way that I photograph now. Until 2013 I only took family pictures on holidays and made albums afterwards of the pictures as a remembrance. First with point and shoot cameras and later on a bridge camera. In the spring of 2013 there was a turning point when I bought my first DSLR. I started to study the technology of the camera and also started to be interested in photography as art. I found a lot of knowledge in books/magazines and on the Internet. I also followed evening classes in photography for 2 years and joined several photo sharing sites where I posted my photos and admired all the other stunning images.
Which are your most important experiences that have influenced your art?
When I started posting photos on the sharing sites I mostly took landscape pictures and pictures I made from set-ups in my home-made studio (my photo “Hopefulness” is the door of this room).
It was for me a perfect way to learn how to control the light in the camera and learn to do the post processing afterwards.
But I was also interested in the category abstract and there I saw the work of Gilbert Claes and started to follow his work. In early 2015 Gilbert showed his work in an exhibition in my home town.
Of course I went to visit the exhibition and there I also met Gilbert… again. Little detail: when I was 11years old Gilbert was my teacher at school but I never met him since).
Gilbert gave me some very useful tips to make abstract work and how to enhance a picture. He also encouraged me to put my work on 1X. Since then my photography went in a new direction.
Describe your overall photographic vision.
For me the most important thing in a photograph is the first impression. That can be in all kinds of categories. From street, landscape, still life, portrait to abstract and architecture…. The first glimpse must attract your attention.
Why are you so drawn by architecture and abstract photography?
You can say it’s lines and light. I really like the graphic impact of all the different lines, shapes and colours in an image together with the influence of the light on the subjects.
The beauty of abstract photography is that you can create an image that looks different from the real world. You can use your imagination to create an image, as you would like it to see.
What is more important to you, the mood, /story behind your images or technical perfection?
For my pictures the technical aspect is very important and I will try to reach as high a level as possible for me. But a good picture must also have some mood to get impact on the viewer. Technical perfection is not enough.
Do you prepare carefully the locations where you are intending to photograph?
Let’s say I take my camera with me when I intend to go to places, which are interesting. Cities are always interesting because there is always something to photograph.
What gear do you use (camera, lenses, bag)?
I mostly used a Nikon D5100 and recently a D5300 in combination with a Tamron 17-50mm F2.8. It’s a all-round combination that’s easy to carry when I am walking around and it works fine for me.
Other gear I use:
-Lenses: Sigma 105mm F2.8 macro, Sigma 18-250mm F3.5 -6.3, Nikon 18-105mm F3.5 -5.6
-Several tripods from very small to travel to more heavier.
-A sling bag and a backpack
-Lee Filters: Big stopper, 0.9 ND soft grad
-Speedlight Nikon sb-700 and remote triggers.
What software do you use to process your images?
For post processing I use Lightroom CC and Photoshop CC. Sometimes I use additional NIK software.
Can you tell us something more about your workflow?
First I put the RAW photos on a HD and store them in a map named with date and location. I then Import the RAW files into lightroom where I make some basic adjustments as lightning and lens adjustments. Then I go to Photoshop where I straighten the lines and make my final composition and editing. Back to lightroom I do the fine-tuning and make the JPEG. Next I leave the picture for several hours in rest and look at the picture again with a clear mind. The first impression then is very important. If there are things that distract me I will adjust them until the picture is right for me.
What is your most important advice to a beginner in architecture and abstract photography and how do you get started?
As I also just started to do this kind of photography about 1,5 year ago I consider myself a beginner. I still have a long learning curve ahead. But if there’s one thing I‘ve learned it’s to choose your point of view very carefully when shooting your pictures. Observe your object very well and look at it from all different angles. You will be amazed in what you see. See how the lines are shifting when you change your point of view. When the lines are making a good composition you can push the camera button.
Who are your favourite photographers and more importantly, how has your appreciation of their work affected how you approach your own photography?
As I mentioned before Gilbert Claes encouraged me to show my pictures on 1X .He was also the first photographer I followed here. I can not deny that Gilbert had also a great influence on my work. Gilbert learned me to look at the world with a different eye.
Here on 1X there are several photographers whose work also has an influence on my own work. Maybe a short incomplete list:
Harry Verschelden, Luc Vangindertael, Greetje van Son, Henk van Maastricht, Huib Limberg,
Theo Luycx, Jeroen van de Wiel, Stefan Krebs, Hans-Wolfgang Hawerkamp, Wolfgang Mothes,
Jose C Lobato ,Delphine Devos, Edith Hoffman, Carla DLM, Jacqueline Hammer, Ben Goossens… and many more. I’m sure I’ve forgotten some.
They all have their own style and qualities. Looking at their work is very inspiring for me.
Is there any specific photo taken by another photographer that has inspired you a great deal and why?
“The window and the mirror” by Gilbert Claes
One evening I wanted to take sunset pictures of the artwork “reading between the lines” also called “ the See-through church”. At the artwork I also took pictures from the inside looking up. When I saw the pictures on my camera I recognized the lines and the window from the ‘the window and the mirror”. Then I knew the photo was taken here and it triggered me to go in this direction of my photography and to do something more with a photograph: Create images.
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?
For the moment I still have a full time job so my time for this hobby is limited but I like working with Photoshop very much. So I would like to improve my skills in Photoshop in the future.
Describe your favourite photograph taken by you and why it is special to you.
If I have to pick a picture out of my portfolio it is this one. It’s maybe not my most favourite one but the most special one for me. Because it is the picture where it all started with in the way I do photography for the moment. I took the picture when I was at the artwork “Reading between the lines” and one of my first pictures I used more advanced Photoshop to give the picture a personal touch. I was really excited when It became my first publication here on 1X . It encouraged me to go further in this way of editing a photograph.
Is there anything else you wish to add and what do you think about 1X as a home base for your work?
Mostly every day I look at the Front Page of 1X and see pictures of a very high standard, taken by the best photographers and made by real artists. I am honoured to be part of the 1X community and sometimes see my pictures on the front page.
Also a big thanks to Yvette Depaepe for making this interview possible.
Thanks for your interest.