JRP: While searching the galleries on PhotoNet.com I came across the beautiful work of Rina H. Her gallery consists of portraiture, still life, and fine art images of outstanding quality. Her “eye” is well defined.
Thank you Rina for sharing your thoughts with the readers of JRP Blog.
Rina H: Hello James, it is a pleasure for me to talk to you and the readers of JRP blog.
JRP: Rina where do you call home?
Rina H: I was born in Hamburg, Germany and this is where I still live.
JRP: Rina how did you become involved in photography? Do you have any formal training?
Rina H: In 1999 I came in contact with a digital camera. My company bought a little Olympus to document claims. I was instantly fascinated by the quick availability of the pictures. Later I got my first camera a Canon Powershot in 2000.
I just started taking pictures. Snapshots, you know all the usual pictures. Later I took my first still life images. I am self taught.
JRP: What equipment would I find in your camera bag?
Rina H: A Nikon D300 ( replacement for a D50 ), Nikkor 50mm f1.8, Tokina 12-24mm, Tokina 100mm f2.8. A Nikon SB800 flash.
Recently I got an old Nikon F 75 film camera along with a Nikkor 24mm. I am also interested in analog photography.
JRP: What editing software do you use in your workflow?
Rina H: Photoshop CS and Capture NX.
JRP: Are there any other artists or photographers you look to for inspiration?
Rina H: Oh yes, I started maybe 4 or 5 years ago looking at photography on the internet. I also became member of some international forums like Photo.Net and Photosig.
By looking at works of other photographers, reading, and later also writing comments I learned a lot. This is inspirational of course but I think our daily living and our own experience is the most important inspiration.
Beside my bed you will find a pile of books about photography and photographers. I also visit shows and exhibitions.
JRP: What influences your portrait work? Do you use available light exclusively or are you using any supplemental lighting?
Rina H: I might be influenced by some old painters. Available light is my preference. I like to use light AND shadow to get natural results or to achieve a certain expression. Recently I bought a studio flash with a softbox for working during the long dark winter time here.
Mastering flash lights is an art and can produce very good results. I am still learning.
JRP: Your work with flowers is inspirational. How did you get started photographing flowers, and how do you approach them as subject matter?
Rina H: Well, I simply like flowers and beautiful things. Flowers are a good subject to train on photographically. They do not move ( at least not inside ) and they are very patient.
Very early I discovered my interest in withering flowers, especially tulips which are my favorite flowers.
I like to show the beauty of the “unspectacular”, the ordinary things around us.
I normally take my flower pictures and stills spontaneously. I use what is around me, I arrange and just make pictures. Out of the gut, as we say in German.
JRP: How do you achieve the color in your workflow? It has a defining impact on your work.
Rina H: Colors are touching, I can feel them, they are emotional. They can comfort and caress. It has been proved that colors have an influence of our feelings.
Often I intensify or modify the colors of my photographs until I get a certain result. I use the soft light brush for example on certain areas in the picture, sometimes I manipulate the colors in the lab mode. Just a tad and carefully. Sometimes I use de-saturation or I re-color a photo according to my particular idea. Do not forget the impact light has on color. Sometimes there is no need for intensification or manipulation.
JRP: In your opinion what is most important to you, technique or vision?
Rina H: It is important to remain honest, doing what one is interested in regardless of what others might say or want. Realizing the pictures one have in mind, pictures that need some preparation for example.
Technique is the least although not to be neglected. It is more fun and easier getting good results if you master your camera.
JRP: What has been the best advice given to you from another photographer?
Rina H: I have been exchanging mails for the last three years with an American who has become a kind of tutor for me. He wrote to me that I should put my heart into what I love to do, and not to make the technique the center of my effort. Nevertheless, about technical matters to use the RAW format.
JRP: What advice would you offer to a photographer starting out?
Rina H: Doing what you want to do, be curious, be patient. Do not give up quickly. There will be times that you think your work is not good. You might not be satisfied with your results … keep on shooting. I know this from experience. Look at the work of other photographers and ask for advice.
JRP: Thank you again Rina for sharing your thoughts and photography with us. It has been a pleasure talking with you.
Rina H: I would like to thank you James for your interest in my work and your kind invitation.
JRP: To view Rina’s impressive photographs please go to these links: