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Interview with Johannes Heuckeroth

Published by Jen Tse · August 23rd 2011

Every day we see stunning photos from our peers in the 500px community, but not often do we turn the lens back upon the photographer. The Portrait series focuses on remarkable 500px users who may have something to teach us about their field of photography. This week's feature is Johannes Heuckeroth.

Tell us a little about yourself, Johannes.

Hi, my name is Johannes, I am a 26-year old guy from Germany. I am currently studying design (graphic design and interaction design) and I love photography. 

How did you get into architecture and landscape photography?

I am fascinated by nature, no matter if in real life, photography or a motion picture. So when I started photography in 2007 the first thing I wanted to shoot was nature. Capturing the beauty of life seemed to be a meaningful target. An another aspect is the freedom and silence you can find in nature. Standing alone on top of a mountain, waiting for the sunset—I love this.

Architecture is the second big theme in my pictures. I can't tell you how it started—maybe I was a little tired of natural landscapes and wanted to experience the human-built ones. I am highly addicted to aesthetics, so I wanted to photograph contemporary architecture.  
What gear do you shoot with? What’s your setup like?

I am using a Canon 5D Mark II, and in most cases, the 17-40 f/4. If necessary, I use a tripod. 

The locations you choose to capture are stunning. How do you find them?

Browsing through the web helps a lot. I am keeping my eyes open, and I always have a list of architecture spots I want to visit in the future. I like doing a lot of research before I visit my target so I can focus on my subject when I am there. To find interesting architecture spots, I can recommend MiMoa.

Your post-processing really makes these photos—which programs do you use? How long do you spend editing a photo? Any techniques you'd like to share?

Post-processing is a very important part of my work. Knowing your skills and the possibilities of post-processing helps a lot, because when you are at the scene, you can focus on your subject. 

I am using Lightroom for RAW developing and Photoshop for finishing the pictures. The time I need to work on a photo varies, with the average time being 1-2 hours. Some extreme examples from my 500px stream include this photo, which was very work-intense (choosing the right pictures, stitching, and so on). It took about 8 hours all in all.

This one was easier, it only took about 5-10 minutes.

I don't use any filters, actions or presets—every picture gets its own processing. There are no special techniques I use. Most things are done with the standard tools in Photoshop/Lightroom. 

If you could travel anywhere in the world to shoot architecture or landscapes, where would you go?

Oh, difficult question. There are so many awesome spots. For landscapes, I definitely want to visit Iceland—an unbelievable country. Also Patagonia would be wonderful. For architecture: I've seen a lot of great photos from Dubai. To me it seems like an El Dorado for architecture photographs. Also I want to visit and shoot every building built by Zaha Hadid. I love her work. 

What challenges have you experienced while shooting or processing?

Every new subject is a unique challenge: finding the right perspective, the right way to shoot it, finding the right way to process it. I can't give you any specific situation. 
Which photographers or artists inspire you the most?

I am getting great inspiration from photographers like Thomas Birke or Jens Fersterra, who shoot urban scenes in megacities. 

What advice do you have for photographers who might want to try architecture and landscape photography?

Take your camera and do it. Get inspired by quality work from great photographers like those I mentioned above. Familiarize yourself with techniques, so you don't have to think about it and you can focus on your subject. 

For more of Johannes' photography, check out his 500px page and his website.

Login or sign up to comment on this post.

Andrey Ospishchev  over 3 years ago
Thank you! I read with interest!
Awesome Account
Daniela Duncan  over 3 years ago
Striking images - great interview :)

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