Continuing our series of interviews with masters of photography, here are a few words from Michael Reichmann, founder of the famous website The Luminous Landscape. Previous interviews were very long so we have kept this one as short as humanly possible while still conveying meaning 😉 Thank you Michael!
[Pascal] I think your early professional years where not as a photographer. What made you change and spend the following 40 years making photographs for a living?
[Michael Reichmann] After university I started my career as a photographer, working as a photojournalist. I then worked for a major television network and also in the motion picture industry. After about 10 years I went into the business side of the communications industry, returning to doing photography about 20 years later; teaching and writing.
[Pascal] Who are your influences?
[Michael] Ernst Hass, Joseph Suskind, Elliot Porter, Paul Caponigro.
[Pascal] You do not like imposing a fixed style to all locations and prefer to let it speak for itself. Can you elaborate?
[Michael] My style of working is to discover the subject. I try and let it speak for itself.
[Pascal] What does it take to become a great travel photographer? Any recommendations for the aspiring artist?
[Michael] Success in any type of photography takes not just talent, but also time. I believe in the 10,000 hour rule, which says that it take that long (about 5 years of full-time work) to master anything. This is how long people train to become doctors, lawyers, professors, airline pilots, etc. Mastering photography is no different.
[Pascal] When you are going to visit a new location, how do you prepare for the shoot?
[Michael] I try and avoid researching locations beforehand, other than for basic travel planning. I like to see somewhere new with fresh eyes.
[Pascal] You discuss gear more openly than other artists. Is it your opinion that the gear we use affects the way we see and photograph?
[Michael] The gear that photographers use is a critical part of the “craft” of photography. Photographers need to master both their art and their craft.
[Pascal] Now that the required gear is available to pros and amateurs alike, what makes the difference between the high quality 30 inch gallery print and the holiday snapshot?
[Michael] The eye of the photographer.
[Pascal] Your retrospective book is available soon and you will be asking for donations for your non-profit. Can you tell us more ?
[Michael] The Luminous Endowment for Photographers will be a not-for-profit entity whose purpose will be to provide financial assistance to fine art photographers world-wide. My Retrospective book will be made available to people who make donations. More details to come this summer.
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