January 4, 2010

F.W. Scharpf's interview



" The expression that I most like to capture is that of an emotional relationship with the particular natural setting. But that presupposes a model who feels herself as a part of, and who is responding to, the nature within which she is moving." F.W. Scharpf










"Natalia on the Rocks"
Art Model Natalia

















Art Model Anna








Dear Fritz, could you tell us how did your passion for photography begin ?

As a child, I had wanted to be a painter or a sculptor, or both. I did a lot of drawing, watercolours, wood carving and clay modelling. But when I reached fourteen, I had saved enough to buy my first camera. From then on, it was photography for me.






"Graceful"
Art Model Katy T





How did you get into nude art photography ?

During my long life I did take nude pictures of a girl friend now and then, to be shared only between two of us.

Since I was always eager to study the work of other photographers (my collection of photo books fills a dozen feet of my book shelves), I also came to admire much of their nude work. But my own work was (and still is mainly) in landscapes and nature photography, and I never thought I would do nude photography with models myself. In any case, my job as a professor and director of a research institute did not leave me much time to explore new territories.








"Candace again"
Art Model Candace






So you didn't learn your art at school ?

As a boy, I got rudimentary training in darkroom work at the GYA center in my home town ─ GYA being a program set up by the American occupation forces for the re-education of German kids. Much later (in 1965), I attended a Summer workshop conducted by Ansel Adams in the Yosemite Valley. Apart from that, I am self taught.


How long could you be far from your camera ?

That depends on my professional work. When I am neither writing, nor teaching, nor lecturing or attending conferences, the camera is always within reach.


Who are your favorite photographers ?

Edward Weston and Brett Weston, Aaron Siskind, August Sander, Karl Blossfeldt, Robert Mapplethorpe, Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, Jeanloup Sieff...









"Maria J3"

Art Model Maria





How long did it take to find your own style ? How do you define it ?

In nude photography ? I knew what I wanted after Flagstaff. How do I define it ? That is very difficult for me to say.


What I am after is a (symbiotic or antagonistic) relationship between the female figure and her natural environment, all contained within the frame of a strong formal composition.










"Exposed"
Art Model Yvonne










That's clear... Nature is your favorite theme, isn't it ?

Strong forms in nature. Micro patterns in a strong macro structure.










"Look out"
Art Model Yvonne










I don't think, after checking your sites, that your photography is mostly about nudes...

By no means. But it is the field that I have explored most seriously over the last two years.








"KatL 13"
Art Model Kat Love





Do you plan every details of your shots or do you improvise from the beginning to the end ?

Neither of these.


Shootings are a process of discovery, where I keep an eye on the setting and the composition, but respond to what the model is offering on her own.


In post processing, I experiment, seeking to achieve the strongest and clearest expression of what I had originally seen (and that the RAW image will allow). I often work for hours on various interpretations of a single image.


Do you feel particularly inspired by a type of location ?

I like rocks, forests, lakes, the seaside.


What are your preferences, indoor, outdoor, lights, bw, color ?...

Outdoors, definitely. Natural daylight. B&W generally, but some images are simply better in color.










"KatL 2"
Art Model Kat Love










"Shame"
Art Model Isabella












"Isabella Location 6"
Art Model Isabella





Some words about your models ?


For me, the model is a co-equal partner in the creation of an image.


The best see modelling not as a somewhat dubious job to earn some money nor as an opportunity for indulging their exhibitionism, but as a way to pursue their own artistic aspirations expressed through their poses.


The expression that I most like to capture is that of an emotional relationship with the particular natural setting.


But that presupposes a model who feels herself as a part of, and who is responding to, the nature within which she is moving. Where that is so, no directions by the photographer are needed ─ just an ability to recognize and capture what is happening. Where the model does not have that rapport with her environment, directions may help to create an image, but its artificiality will show.










"KatL - 15"
Art Model Kat Love












"Candace bw 3a"
Art Model Candace




A shooting that you particularly liked ?

Everything came together in the two days I was privileged to work with Kat Love last Summer.


And how do you feel at the end of a shooting ?

Usually both, exhausted and exhilarated.


Have you a special project, some challenges you're dreaming about in a near future ?

I will have a business trip to Australia next summer, and I would love to explore some of the amazing settings on the Australian coast line with some of the amazing models with whom our Australian colleagues have been working.









"Rock Nymph"
Art Model Natalia






It's such an inspiring country !... Maybe have you scheduled your next exhibition ?

So far, I had four exhibitions of landscapes and abstracts. Another one is coming up next Spring. But I have not yet explored opportunities to exhibit my nude work.


I hope you'll plan it soon. Besides shooting, have you another passion ?

Well, I have a professional commitment to research and writing in the social sciences, which I continue to like. And I love my companion who supports me in my life and work, even though she refuses to be my model.


A message to send ?

Find out what it is that you really want to express in your work.



Thanks a lot for your time, Fritz !










"KatL 11"
Art Model Kat Love







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