FeedMuse has interviewed Steffen Faisst, a photographer whose pictures open our eyes for the beauty of water with focus on amazing compositions capturing fragments of small waves.
FeedMuse: Steffen, I was immediately captured by your photos on Twitter (www.twitter.com/Faisst_Photo). The theme of my journal is inspiration. And there is so much inspiration in your artworks! I can imagine how much work you’ve done to achieve such a great quality and artistic expression of the photos. When did you start taking pictures? And how it became your passion?
Steffen: Thank you for the compliment! I started to take photos as a teenager, when I got a camera and a textbook as a birthday gift, capturing family, and taking vacation pictures. Later, being a biology student, I concentrated on macro photography of local orchids and insects. And I am still mainly interested in close-up nature photography. There are so many small details out there that escape our attention, and being outdoors together with my camera makes me more attentive and explorative.
Almost 10 years ago, I had a walk at a lakeside. Eventually, I could see some interesting reflections on the water, but couldn’t figure out what they looked like due to the constant movement of the water surface. I decided to take some photographs, freezing the moment, just to see what I couldn’t see – and the result was mind-blowing. It is still one of my favorite photographs, called “spring dance”. This was the moment when my passion for water photography started. Still today I get surprised and excited when looking to the captures of a shooting session. And as long as this persists, my passion for water photography continues.
Last year, I started to share my pictures with the public through social media and exhibitions, and I am very happy to experience the positive feedback that I am receiving.
FeedMuse: As far as I can see from the web you are a biologist and still work in this field, too? Did your job help you to meet yourself as a photographer of nature and then water?
Steffen: As a scientist, you learn to explore the details, and you learn to be persistent and to try over and over again. Hence, my focus on details and the willingness to take photographs of the same motif again and again – until I am satisfied with the result – may very well be a result of my education. And being interested in Nature made me probably choose biology for my studies and nature for my photography.
FeedMuse: Where do you take photos? Is it Denmark only? For example, Sea of Fog http://www.water-photography.dk/collages.html.
Steffen: I take photographs wherever I happen to be. I capture sunsets, landscapes, flowers, cities, architecture, … whatever I see. However, I do not share these “other” photographs, since there are so many fantastic photographers out there doing the same and doing it better. However, I started to use some of these captures to combine them with my water photographs. This is kind of a creative process, putting water into another context, and I just enjoy playing with colors, motifs, and meaning.
FeedMuse: Your series of works “Tree faces” is an interesting theme. What can you tell about it?
Steffen: I started this series before I begun with water photography, and I still continue adding captures. Basically, it is the same concept: looking to details, taking them out of context and giving them a new meaning. When I hike through a forest (or walk in a park), I see faces on all the trunks, and document them in my photography. I think it is a funny series, and I do have a tree portrait gallery at the walls of my staircase at home.
FeedMuse: What I like most of all in your photos is harmonious compositional balance. It’s a pleasure to look at your artworks. Maybe water is a mysterious thing, that has its power even through photography?
Steffen: Yes, water is a mysterious thing, and for me it gets even more mysterious when I see forms and structures in my photographs that cannot be seen when walking at the beach and just looking to it. My aim is to show this beauty to the beholder, not necessarily as a documentary photographer, but rather composing fine art as an artist would do. I try to create wall art for everybody’s homes, even for those that normally wouldn’t consider photography as home decoration.
FeedMuse: Yes, I agree with you. It’s a pleasure to look at such photos both at home and in any office. And I’m sure they will catch the eye of any guest. And what are these artworks for you? What is photography for you?
Steffen: Photography became for me a necessity, almost as important as the air to breathe. I feel kind of amputated if I do not have a camera at hand. Every moment, I may see something worth capturing, and this may be something I saw every day for many years, but which suddenly captures my attention. Last week, for example, I smoked while the sun was going down, and I suddenly realized the beauty of the smoke. I took a number of pictures, one more beautiful as the other – even a bad habitude can create something awesome, given the right time and light. Just imagine I wouldn’t have had my camera within reach at this golden moment.
FeedMuse: Water photos look like fantasy worlds. I’m sure fantasy artists can be inspired by them endlessly. Would you like architects to learn more from nature, from your photos, for example? Or your works are more intended for meditation?
Steffen: Water has a symbolic meaning in various religions and traditions, probably because it can give and take life. Water is also a powerful tool for meditation and can be used in the context of mindfulness. Thus, I hope that my photographs not only are decorative wall art, but also can put peoples mind at ease.
FeedMuse: Steffen, thanks for this very interesting interview and for the photos, that you share with us at FeedMuse and at your website and social media!