Interview with Gerald Berghammer
#1 Please introduce yourself:
My name is Gerald Berghammer, I was born in 1975 in Upper Austria. I founded Silverfineart.com two years ago together with my partner Ina Forstinger. I currently live and work in Vienna, Austria.
#2 How did you get interested in photography?
I have been interested in engineering ever since I was a child, so it was a logical step to pursue this passion as a career. In my previous job as a Field Service Engineer I got to travel extensively, but also privately I have always been an avid traveller.
In order to capture my experiences, I decided to buy a digital camera. I started out with travel, portrait, animal and, of course, landscape photography, which I developed a great passion for.
#3 Do you have an artistic/photographic background?
When I started taking photos 10 years ago, I was an absolute newcomer to the field. I then trained at a school for artistic photography and two years ago, I obtained my masters certificate. Since then, I have been working as a freelance artistic photographer and dedicate myself exclusively to analogue photography.
#4 Which artist/photographer inspired your art?
My biggest role model has always been Ansel Adams. His incredible knowledge and artwork remain unrivalled. He was a perfectionist, especially in terms of technique. Striving for perfectionism is something that is engrained within me as well and that’s why I value his work so much. His books have been a source of inspiration and knowledge for me for a long time.
#5 How much preparation do you put into taking a photograph? Are you planning every step or is it always spontaneous?
Everything starts with travel planning … country, route, best time to travel, everything has to be prepared carefully. Even before you set off, there is a lot to take into consideration, but once you get there things tend to turn out completely differently anyway. They say that good things come to those who wait, and that’s very true for landscape photography. Everything has to be spot on from a technical perspective, that’s a prerequisite. But then, if the light is just right, you have to be able to move “quickly”. My partner Ina and I work with three different cameras in three different formats (4x5inch, 6x6cm, 6x17cm) and we always try to find just the perfect angle, so it does often take longer to create a new image.
#6 What fascinates you in places that you shoot?
We mostly work in places by the sea and locations that are pretty much devoid of people, at least during our shoot. We choose our travel destinations and times to make sure we can work in peace and quiet. This combination makes photography a tremendously calming experience. This peacefulness is further enhanced by the long exposure times. So It’s possible that that the perfect image happens only – or already – at four o’clock in the morning.
We are not put off by the freezing cold or extremely windy conditions – for us, only the result counts: a perfect picture!
#7 We can see your photographs only in black and white, why have you chosen to present them in this form?
Photographing on black and white negative film brings tranquillity to the images. Today’s world is colourful, shrill, loud and fast-paced. My artwork is meant to be a stark contrast to that. Colours would only distract the viewer from the essence of the picture.
#8 Could you please tell us something about your technique and creating process?
We photograph in 4x5inch, 6x6cm and 6x17cm formats on Kodak T-Max. I develop all pictures carefully by hand – a process that I have optimised to achieve the best possible quality in my negatives. The negatives are then scanned with a Hasselblad Imacon and edited in Photoshop. Finally, the pictures are printed in limited edition as Premium Art Pigment Print on Hahnemühle paper.
We will soon have our own studio and want to do our own printing. Eventually, we also want to do passepartout and make our own frames – proper HANDICRAFT!
#9 Could you tell our readers how to reach such excellent results in photography?
The most important things are curiousness, ambition, a willingness to learn new things and true passion! Only if you are prepared to invest a lot will you achieve constant results. It’s also important to find your own style. The viewer should immediately recognize the artist’s “photographic signature” and this is an aspect we hope achieve with Silverfineart.com.
#10 What do you do in your life besides photography?
Photography has always been a big hobby of mine and I have finally been able to turn it into my profession. There isn’t really anything I like doing more and it is a big advantage that my partner and I share this passion. In fact, not a day goes by that doesn’t involve photography … and that’s a good thing.
Photography is my passion and my profession!
#11 What future plans do you have? What projects would you like to accomplish?
In September, we will travel to Scotland, followed perhaps by a city tour. I am also getting back into nude photography – perhaps combining it with landscape? Who knows …
There are also other projects on the horizon, such as a photo exhibition and our own studio. I look forward to all the future challenges, experiences and adventures that this interesting profession entails – there’s never a dull moment in photography.
Gerald Berghammer Official Website: