March 22, 2020
Photography by Gabriel Sollberger
Interview by Karin Svadlenak Gomez
The world around us is filled with beauty, but often times it is hard to recognize this beauty in the everyday – that is until you meet Gabriel Sollberger. A photographer with an insatiable passion for light, Gabriel has dedicated his life to seeking out and capturing the extraordinary moments of the seemingly mundane. His profound eye has allowed him to reveal the hidden splendor within the often overlooked vistas of this world – elevating them to something truly remarkable and worth protecting.
Whether it’s a special angle, an unexpected juxtaposition, or a sense of solitude in an empty man-made landscape, Gabriel is committed to finding and immortalizing these special moments. His work has been described as captivating and awe-inspiring, and those who have seen it understand why some have said that he is ‘addicted to light’. To those unfamiliar with his work, Gabriel’s photographs may seem just like any other – banal, even. Yet, when viewed through the lens that Gabriel has crafted, these same photographs become something much more – a portal into a world of beauty and wonder that we may not have seen before.
Join us as we delve into the work of Gabriel Sollberger and explore the extraordinary moments of the seemingly mundane that he is so passionate about capturing.
“I think inspiration – for me – comes from different directions. It can be a truly beautiful, remote landscape, but it can also be a detail, unusual light in an otherwise familiar situation or a special constellation of trivial things or objects.”
IN CONVERSATION WITH GABRIEL SOLLBERGER
THE PICTORIAL LIST: Gabriel, do you remember when you first became interested in photography?
GABRIEL SOLLBERGER: My father used to take pictures of us kids when I was little. He had a (I assume, I can’t remember the model) decent camera and I still remember how fascinated I was by the fact that I could just turn the lens and things would move closer. I then got a compact film camera from my parents and happily snapped away, taking pictures of everything. I totally enjoyed being able to capture a moment and revisit it when I got the photos back. As much as I would like to say that this interest in photography persisted, I did not follow it up and it was only a couple years later when I picked up a camera again and have kept shooting ever since.
TPL: Do you have a different style of photographing today than when you first started?
GS: Definitely and I hope that it is still changing. It took me a long time to get an idea of what it is I’m actually looking for when I go out to shoot and I don’t think that this journey is over yet.
TPL: Where is your favourite place(s) to photograph?
GS: Definitely outside. Usually an area with little to no people, but with a clear human-made element. This is my comfort zone, but I try to leave this zone from time to time and force myself to do new things.
TPL: Do you have any favourite artists or photographers you would like to share with us?
GS: There are many, but to name just a few, I am very inspired by the new topographic movement ( Robert Adams, Bernd and Hilla Becher, others), Fan Ho, William Eggleston, Sebastiao Salgado or Nan Goldin.
TPL: Do you think equipment is important in achieving your vision in your photography? What would you say to someone just starting out?
GS: It depends. I’d love to say that gear doesn’t matter and in a lot of situations this is true. Still I love the dynamic range of newer cameras for landscape photography, especially since I like to go out with not too much additional equipment. I’m not so much the person who changes filters after every shot. If I had to give any advice, it would be “use a prime lens”. Not because I think that the image quality is always so much better compared to zoom lenses, it’s simply because when I used a 35mm lens for the first time, I learned so much about where I have to stand to compose my photo. Not being able to zoom really improved my images in a very short time.
We are proof that the heart is a risky fuel to burn. - from song: Ohia
TPL: Were you involved or still involved in any other artistic fields before photography?
GS: I play the piano and was always involved in different musical projects.
TPL: Are there any special projects you are currently working on that you would like to let everyone know about?
GS: I am working on a intermediate to long term project about my home town and region. I live quite far from there now and every time I go back I try to get some shots, aiming to document it from an outsider’s perspective.
TPL: "If I wasn't photographing what would I be doing?...
GS: I have quite demanding day job, which fortunately also involves a lot of creativity. Still, photography is my safe haven and I enjoy every minute of it."
Gabriel's photography is able to take topography to a new level and create something beautiful. His keen eye for the perfect angle of light and his skillful use of juxtaposition make Gabriel's work stand out. If you appreciate his art and would like to see more of his work, please follow him on Instagram.