Please welcome Photojournalist and Fine Art Photographer Mario Gerth to James Robinson Photography Blog. Thank you Mario for taking this time with us. Where do you call home Mario?
Mario Gerth: My home … it´s me. I feel at home and grounded in my body. This gives me the opportunity to travel to any place in the world and feel at home immediately. I have seen 77 countries in this world and never felt strange. Feeling at peace in myself is my secret to feeling home in any place.
JRP: How did your interest in photography start? Was there any formal training in your background?
Mario Gerth: I’ve never went for classes. I studied photography by myself. My journeys teach me. Other photographers pictures and the esthetic and beauty of life are great teachers for me as well.
JRP: Who are some of the photographers that have influenced your work?
Mario Gerth: I love the work of Reni Riefenstahl for her African work. James Nachtwey for his documentary style, and of course Salgado for his long-term projects. Now I concentrate myself on one continent. So all kind of work related to Africa is inspiring to me, whether its music, drawings, sculptures or photography.
JRP: How did you develop your vision and technique early in your career?
Mario Gerth: I don’t know if there is any technique for vision and beauty. It’s something beyond what we can learn from books or in classes. The head has to discover the extreme beauty of nature or a face if you shoot a portrait. It has to touch someone’s soul and their feelings. Something should happen with your mood if you look at a picture. It must have the power to change you. The technique of your camera is easy and just a matter of ISO, Exposure, Zoom and some space on your memory card.
JRP: What would we find in your camera bag for a typical photo shoot?
Mario Gerth: There is no typical photo shoot for me. Depending on the trip I pack as little as I can. I want to be light and simple. Most of the time I only carry one body and one lens, a few memory cards and 3 batteries.
JRP: What are your most often used light modifiers?
Mario Gerth: To tell the truth I can´t handle a flash properly and use it in a way it can help me. So I only trust natural light. I carefully watch clouds, light, shades, sun reflections, and the temperature of light. It gives me all opportunity’s to create whatever I can imagine.
JRP: Please describe your digital work flow and the software you use? In your opinion what must one do to adequately master the image processing of their craft?
Mario Gerth: Most of my time I study my images I made a while ago and try to put them together in a story I want to tell. All single images have to fit perfectly together to one set. In the same time I think of whether they should be color or BW to highlight the whole character of the issue. There is little I do with software.
JRP: What do you feel is the most critical moment in the capture of your images?
Mario Gerth: For me there is no critical moment … there is fun and pleasure. I set my mind free of critical moments or stress in order to create. A creative mind needs space.
JRP: If not photography what would Mario Gerth be doing with his time?
Mario Gerth: I’m a banker and photographer. If I am not taking photos I talk seriously about life insurance and loans. If I am not at a table with my clients at the bank I am somewhere taking photos.
JRP: What has been the best advice given to you by another photographer?
Mario Gerth: Bring yourself to the same level of what you are photographing. If you photograph nature, become a part of it, if you photograph a tribe, learn the language. If you photograph on the street become a street boy.
JRP: Thank you Mario for sharing this time with us. It has been a pleasure and we wish you continued success.
Mario Gerth: Thanks James.
JRP: To view more of Mario Gerth’s photography please follow these links: