Staab Franz is a very creative photographer and his work is varied. Franz always looks for original compositions and creative perspectives. He loves still life photography but doesn't want to be put in that specific box. Architecture and landscape photography also make him happy. Let's have a look on his images and learn more about Franz through this interview.
I want to thank the editorial team for introducing me to the public through this interview and really feel honoured.
Briefly tell us about yourself, your hobbies and other jobs.
My name is Franz (not Staab ;-)) and I am 66 years old. Having worked as an aerospace engineer for over 40 years, I am now in a well-deserved retirement phase. I am married and have three adult children. In addition to photography, painting, model flying and music are among my other hobbies. I am very active in sports, riding regularly race bike tours, where I occasionally discover my motives.
How have your history and life experiences affected your photography?
Actually, I'm a mess, totally messy and hectic, but I need the chaos around me, as well as the opposite in photography. There I find the rest. My creative hobbies, painting and playing music, help me finding the necessary rest and harmony, too. The precision I achieved in my profession, in which ideas or creativity where essential, is now for 100% in my photography.
Which are your most important experiences that have influenced your art?
I noticed very early that I could draw very well, especially in perspective views. I continued to educate myself independently in the creation of oil and watercolour paintings, which helped me for in photography also.
What first attracted you to photography?
My passion for photography started during my apprenticeship with Dad's roll film camera. When I was a little boy I was always impressed by his photo album, in which he had "frozen" the most beautiful moments and so I wanted to try it myself. I made several attempts to photograph. Relationships about shutter speed and aperture, I taught myself from textbooks. With the first self-earned money, I bought a DSLR (PENTAX ME). During this time I discovered black and white photography and I developed my B & W films in the parental "darkroom" (laundry).
Describe your overall photographic vision.
I love colours, shapes, repeats and eye-catchers that should be in the Golden Ratio. At the same time the motto: "Less is more" applies to me.
You have your very own style but your work is very diversified. Can you explain why this is?
I do not necessarily want to be put in a box. I want to perform wide-spread and not just being reduced to my beloved still life. Also architecture shots and landscapes make me happy. I like to play with light, perspective, depth of field and other parameters.
What is more important to you, the mood/story behind your images or the technical perfection?
The story is more important to me than the mood..
In my still life I try to photograph and combine everyday objects that surround us in life but rarely seen together. That expresses my personal style. Maybe I want to shock the viewer?
What generally is your relationship to your subject matter beyond being an observer?
In the picture of the peas, I would like to point out that food replacements (pills) are not the healthiest kind of nutrition.
Do you prepare carefully the locations where you are intending to photograph?
It is usually very fast, like with the octopus tentacle. My wife served supper and I spotted these ever-curling arms of the squid, clamping everything.
I grabbed the most beautiful and put it on the glass table in the living room. It always gets interesting and I often surprise myself with the idea that suddenly pops out, like the combination of the arm of the squid wit a spring onion. And thus emerged this in several competitions award-winning image, for which the family dinner had to be postponed for an hour to the chagrin of everybody.
What gear do you use (camera, lenses, bag)?
Mostly I use the NIKONs for the still lifes and when I'm travelling I use a LEICA M. BTW, I still own a converted camera for Infrared photography, a NIKON d70s.
What software do you use to process your images?
I only produce in RAW and edit it with PS CC, I also like to use the filters of NIK-Collection. I secure, label and manage the recordings in LR6.
Can you tell us something more about your work flow?
Like many photographers, I optimize my images in terms of alignment, clarity, dynamics, contrast and colour saturation. I clean up items like dust spots or other things that bother me.
What is your most important advice to a beginner in Photography and how do you get started?
If course, the beginner should master the camera, not the other way around.
As Helmut Newton's saying that "the first 10000 images are for the garbage can”, is only partially true.
I think you can learn from it and when you are talented, you learn it pretty fast, but others need a few years to master the so-called "photographic view". The recognition of the essence, the determination of the detail and the perspective and the statement of the image, are important. Maybe good forums that point out a beginner with targeted criticism are helpful.
Who are your favourite photographers and more importantly, how has your appreciation of their work affected how you approach your own photography?
I admire the German painter and photo designer Harald Mante. I have some books from him. His views correspond to what I am trying to visualize in my 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?
No, I do not have any direction. I hope, I will continue with my creativity and ideas.
Describe your favourite photograph taken by you and why it is special to you?
“Easter is coming” is my favourite photo. The idea how I'll do it, like all my pictures, I had roughly in my head. When I painted the egg carton black and bought "immaculate" eggs, time was coming to take pictures. The light was good so I took the pictures on the terrace. The beheaded egg centric-ally aligned, then as a candy to me, the feather around. Since all eggs were stamped, I had to remove these markings. I was amazed how big the response and how much the members liked it. I am grateful that this picture often is selected for Easter collection.
Is there anything else you wish to add and what do you think about 1X as a home base for your work?
Before I became a member of 1X, I already was looking often on the site and got plenty of inspiration. I never thought that my work would find such an appeal. I thank all my photo friends and followers for their constant attention.
1x helped me to look at my photographic work as Art. It's definitely an asset and motivates me to share my passion with so many great photographers.
Big thanks to Yvette too for her motivational support and invitation for this interview.