#1 Please introduce yourself
Thanks a lot for that possibility!
My name is Ronny Behnert, photographer based in Berlin. I was was born in Luckenwalde, a small city in the south of Berlin, Germany. Since 1989 I am living and working in Berlin but during this time I had my second home in Frankfurt am Main and on the island of Sylt too, where I spent two years. I have been actively working on photography since January 2007 and founded in 2010 my project “Håggard Photography”. Meanwhile I am working for various newspapers and magazines.
#2 How did you get interested in photography?
I always was an optical person and started drawing comics when I was younger, but one day I stopped and never continued again. After a few years I borrowed the camera of a friend of mine and went through the city where I took my first photos. That’s how I started to develop a new passion in my life.
#3 Which artist/photographer inspired your art?
I would say many photographers inspired myself, but Josef Hoflehner, Michael Levin, Hiroshi Sugimoto and Irene Kung inspired me most. I adore their creative and personal view on our planet, and I awalys felt their passion for photography when I visited their exhibitions.
#4 How much preparation do you put into taking a photograph?
Depends on where I am or which city I will visit. In my hometown Berlin, I am waiting a long time to get the perfect light and weather to shoot. I have the possibility to wait, so I can create a photo as I want to show it. When I visit an unknown city, I just choose the places in a tourist guide, which I want to shoot, hope that the weather is good enough and try to give my best to take the photo. In general I am very relaxed in other cities so take photos even when the light isnt that perfect.
#5 Which places have been your favourite shooting sites so far and why?
Definetly Iceland with it´s amazing landscapes. I have never seen a country like this before, full of myths, passion, nature and friendly people. I have been there almost three weeks in 2011 and always want to go back to shoot this unbelievable landscapes again how I see the world today after three years, or more.
#6 Photographs with such long exposure make the world look really desolate and lonely. Why have you chosen to present your works in such a form?
That’s the fact, I try to change my visible environment into an unvisible world, which you can only see through a nd-filter. I never know how the photo will look during the moment when I press the button and the time I have to wait until I see my photo on the display. Sometimes it´s a big surprise and only when I am completely satisfied, I use it for my post processing.
#7 Could you please tell us something about your technique and creating process?
I mostly do long exposure photography in Black & White and I always try to develop my style. In general I try to take my photos in a very neutral light during a dark and cloudy day, so I can set the light in my photos as I like it. I work with different cameras, digital and traditional. Most of the time I work with my digital camera to implement my ideas, which is much more interesting with a digital file. Sometimes, if I want to take my photos in a traditional style and I have enough time, I use my old Kiev 88 or my Polaroid-Camera. If I have a bigger collection of my polaroids, I wold love to exhibit them, to surprise the viewer with a completely new style of “Håggard Photography”. The post-processing is a time-consuming process, because I try to separate different parts of my photo to work on it on a selected level. I always print my photos on Hahnemühle FineArt Pearl, one of the finest papers, which is available. It´s a very strong and exquisite, high-end product in pure white with an elegant pearl gloss. I mostly offer open editied prints. Only a few selected photos, which means a lot for me and my passion, are available in a special limited edition.
#8 What do you do in your life besides photography?
Photography is a passion and a huge part of my life. I work with it and it´s my hobby. Beside of working with photos a do some other small jobs, like writing articles for some german magazines, etc.
#9 What future plans do you have? What projects would you like to accomplish?
At the moment I have two special projects in my mind. The first series will show some morbid photographs in Berlin and for the second series I have to work in different landscapes, to create my vision of a kind of romantic landscape as I see it. In both series I will work with long exposures, but I don’t want to reveal too much.
Ronny Behnert portfolio: