Martina Stutz loves to show the beauty and diversity of nature in her work. Her favourite subjects are trees, flowers and landscapes. Martina likes to experiment with double, multiple of or long exposures. She also has a charming personality succeeding to express her talent through her fine art images. They are all are pure poetry and take us with her on a magical journey. Read and see it by yourself in this interview...
Briefly tell us about yourself, your hobbies and other jobs, dear Martina.
First, I'd like to thank you for inviting me to an interview, dear Yvette. I am honoured.
I was born and raised on the Lower Rhine. I am married and have an adult son.
My profession is physiotherapist and photography is my passion.
How has your history and life experiences affected your photography?
Which are your most important experiences that have influenced your art?
I love nature with its beauty and harmony of shapes, structures and colours. I am fascinated by atmospheric moments that I want to capture. In doing so, I do not want to portray nature in a documentary way, but to awaken feelings and visions while looking at it.
I have always been inspired by other photographers and try to interpret and learn their perspectives and techniques.
What first attracted you to photography?
Because photography fascinated me already in my youth, my dad gave me his old camera, a Voigtländer Vito B. As I had to adjust everything manually on this camera, I learned to observe the light and to assess its effect. In addition, I learned the interaction of aperture and exposure. Immediately I was fascinated by the possibility of capturing unforgettable moments and moods.
Describe your overall photographic vision.
When I take photos, I can forget everything around me, photography helps me to switch off, I can lose myself in it. I enjoy a lot nature which always gives me nice experiences. The images has to be essentially straight out of the camera because I do not like spending to much time processing and editing.
Why are you so drawn by moody creatively edited photography?
My motivation is to show my own view on nature.
I do not want to present nature in a documentary way, but to create feelings, visions and fantasies.
What is more important to you, the mood/story behind your images or the technical perfection?
In my opinion all aspects are important. Mastering the equipment and understanding the rules of composition is just as important as the mood and the story. So you have more possibilities. The mood affects the observer, makes him looking at my picture more attentively and makes him feeling my feelings and motivations for the subject.
What generally is your relationship to your subject matter beyond being an observer?
I like to be alone in nature, choosing my motives and then calmly composing my picture.
For me, trees have a personality, their growth, shapes and structures tell something about their history.
When I experiment with multiple or long exposures I like the play with colours, forms and structures as well as the effect of transparencies and abstraction.
Do you prepare carefully the locations where you are intending to photograph?
When I'm travelling, I do search the locations on the forehand, which time of the day the light is the best, etc.. At home I drive spontaneously through the landscape in search of suitable motives.
I always take my equipment with me, but often I go back later to shoot when the light and mood are better.
What gear do you use (camera, lenses, bag)?
My photos are taken with my Canon 5D Mark IV
I use Sigma and Canon lenses with focal lengths of 14 to 200 mm.
Further more my Tripod Novoflex, Lee filters, Little and Big Stopper, Polarizing filter and a Kata bag.
What software do you use to process your images?
Because I photograph exclusively in raw data format (RAW) I use Lightroom 6 for my image editing. Such editing is essentially limited to optimizing the photos.
Can you tell us something more about your work flow?
I optimize my images in terms of clarity, dynamics, contrasts and colour saturation. I delete or clone away annoying elements like dust spots or things that distract too much from the main Subject. Lightroom 6 is installed on my laptop where my images are stored and secured.
What is your most important advice to a beginner in creatively edited photography and how do you get started?
I am usually inspired by the moment and like to experiment with long or multiple exposures. I choose the number of exposures in the camera and try different exposures and settings focused and on-focused.
I move with the camera all around a tree for example and just try it out…
Who are your favourite photographers and more importantly, how has your appreciation of their work affected how you approach your own photography?
Is there any specific photo taken by another photographer that has inspired you a lot and why?
My favourite photographers are Pep Ventosa and Nel Talen. I was inspired by their tree impressions. I am also a big fan of Raymond Hoffmann, his images of Iceland fascinate me again and again. Larry Deng and David Martín Castán show us beautiful landscapes in a fantastic way.
Mandy Disher, Jacky Parker, Heidi Westum, Christl Deckx and Thierry Dufour all inspire me with their wonderful floral macros.
There are so many excellent photographers here on 1x that I could enumerate many others whose works I like a lot.
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?
Photography is so versatile and there is so much more to learn for me to improve myself and to get know other categories of photography. In addition wildlife photography, architecture, portrait photography fascinates me and my desire is to learn more about that.
Describe your favourite photograph taken by you and why it is special to you?
One of my favourite photographs is "Dreamy spring", because it is my first image from my tree series, which satisfied me. I like the dreamy mood, this image reminds me of the pleasant rest on this spring morning when I was all alone with the cherry trees at the lake of my home town Wesel.
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 platform I know. Long before I became a member here, I was inspired by the amazing work of excellent photographers in this forum. That is what helped me to improve my work. It is an enrichment and a great motivation to share my passion with so many magnificent photographers.
Thanks a lot to all who follow me and support me with constructive comments regularly.
Special thanks to Yvette for her great work and invitation to this interview.