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There are so many incredible images on 500px but we want to know more about the photographers, and stories, behind them. Our Portrait series interviews a talented photographer each week, allowing us to discover more about living life through a lens.
This week's interview is with photographer Jens about his photo project 'Nadir's Big Chance'.
What is Nadir’s Big Chance Project?
Nadir is a fun project. I started with some shots just for experimenting with some ideas and inspirations and as the amount of photos increased it had to become a 'project' and needed a name. But it's still supposed to be fun... especially for me.
Who or what inspired the project?
Easy: Slinkachu. I went through his Little People in the City in a book store one day (without buying it) and thought that it was a really cool, idea. I forgot about it, some weeks later I bought my first figures, forgot about them and several months later I shot the first pictures. Shortly after that I bought his book.
What camera and lens do you use for the photographs?
I use a Canon EOS 550D. The first pics were shot with the Canon 50 mm f2.5 macro lens, since the end of last year I shoot with the Canon 24-70 mm f2.8 lens.
Do you need any other photography equipment for the project such as a tripod or lighting?
Most of the photos are taken with tripod as I usually do several test shots to figure out a good angle, light and depth of field. Besides that I use very lo-fi equipment self-made of anything that lies around in my apartment and up to three simple led-flashlights, hand, or teeth, held.
Where do you get your miniature model people?
My miniature people are made for model train sets, scale H0 (1:87). I buy them in toy shops, specialized model train shops or online. I think these figures are not as easily available in any country. Model trains maybe seem to be a German kind of thing.
How do you come up with the ideas for the images?
Different ways. Sometimes ideas just come up in my mind, not sure why. Then I try to find suitable figures - if I do not already have them in my little black box - and think about how to create the scenery for the idea. Sometimes this takes a matter of minutes but some ideas I have had on my list for weeks or months. Sometimes I buy the figures first and know exactly where they belong as soon as I see them. I get inspired by other miniature photographers but usually never copy a great idea that I've seen; it develops and transforms in my head to something new.
Out of the entire series, which is your favourite and why?
Hard to say. Usually always the last one that I've shot. One of my all time favourites must be "Won't Get Fooled Again" as it was one of my very first ideas and convinced me that this nonsense is real fun. And I really like "We're Not Supposed to be Lovers". Not only for being my last picture but because I think it really caught the mood it was supposed to and it has a special personal meaning for me.
What’s next for you with photography? Have you another project in mind when you leave the miniature men behind?
I always did a lot of travel and architecture photography and I love good street photography. I do have one or two ideas in mind for other projects, but nothing really thought out and serious yet. Besides the miniatures I just take pictures.
Thanks to Jens for being interviewed and to you for reading. Feel free to leave a comment below, feedback is awesome!