Roswitha Schleicher-Schwarz is a most inspiring artist photographer. Her work is painterly beautiful. To her, it is not important to reflect reality but rather primordial to take the viewers with her into her own imaginative world full of emotions. Digital image processing allows her to convey what she felt the moment she pushed the shutter and to share it with us.
Look by yourself and get immersed in a moody journey through this interview.
How has your history affected your photography, dear Roswhitha?
When my children grew up, I started painting with watercolours. I'm an autodidact and always worked early morning. My paintings were influenced by Gustav Klimt, Franz von Stuck and Ernst Fuchs.
In 2007 I put aside the paint brush and bought an SLR camera. I learned the camera techniques and image editing by myself too and started shooting landscapes, fauna and flora.
From the very beginning, just discovering the photographic world, I always tried to give my images a painterly look.
Soon I got interested in street photography too. I chose days with covered skies, rain or fog.
The most important to me was the composition and the position of people. I always carefully framed my photographs - a bit larger - as I needed it to be able to straighten the converging lines.
I never use a tripod and use an aperture between 2,8 and 4.0. Photo techniques don't play a major rule to me.
Can you tell us something about your work flow?
Most of my images are made out of one single photo. I save them in the 1x category 'mood'.
Sometimes, when I feel people are missing, than I add them pedestrians from other photos. If so, I save them in the 1x category 'creative edit'.
I always soften or blur the background and darken the people so that they cannot be recognized. Sometimes I add patterns or lens flares from other photos out of my rich archives. I keep it well organised and it only contains photos taken by myself such as patterns, lens flares, rain drops, ice crystals, structures and so on.
The conversion to BW happens with the Nik analogue filters. I prefer them especially because of the possibility to darken the borders (vignetting). Every step of the conversion is important, like the chosen amount of grain (460 to 480) and the pattern filter is very useful to give the picture a dirty look.
What is more important to you: the mood or the technical perfection?
I know from many photographers that they are proud to say that they did not do any digital manipulation to the image. I can sympathize with this intention and of course I understand that photographers want to spend as less time as possible at the computer. My own approach is different. I enjoy digital imaging. The photo is only the raw material I work with until it expresses my feeling which is different from reality. My intention is to lead the viewer into my world and imagination. The results are moody and painterly.
What gear do you use and what software to process your images?
I use Canon cameras (5D Mark II and Mark IV and 7D) and
Canon lenses (50 mm 1,2 / 100 mm 2,8 / 24 – 70 mm 2,8 / 100 – 400 mm 5,6 and Lensbaby).
I work with Photoshop CC and Nik filters for the processing of my photos.
Briefly tell us about yourself and other hobbies and jobs
I am member of the Board of Fotoclub Blende1 in Munich. We organize every kind of shoots like still life photography, food photography, street photography, landscape photography, fauna & flora photography, portrait photography with models and special locations.
I worked as an assistant of CEO – the biggest German applied research Company and I'm retired since this year.
I am business interpreter for English, French and Spanish and of course I like to travel.
My friend is musician in a rock band. Music plays a big role in my life and is often a theme for my work.