IN THE MOOD FOR BEAUTY
IN CONVERSATION WITH GEORG REITER
Born in Salzburg, Austria, photographer Georg Reiter now lives in Vienna. His preferred genres are architecture and landscape photography, but he also does some lovely still life photography. He is always in search of symmetrical shapes, both in architecture and in landscape, and in all of it the mood of a scene is important to him. Even when photographing street scenes, his photographs have a highly aesthetic and yet natural feel. He works with contrast and light to bring out special features or moods. Nowadays he likes to explore a setting without a camera before returning to it to take the picture he has envisioned in his mind.
When did you start getting interested in photography?
It was in school, when I was 14 years old. We could decide between stenography and photography. I chose photography, as that was what I really wanted to do.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I am strolling around and always looking for moody scenes. I am not interested in capturing just a landscape, cityscape or architecture... I want to capture the mood surrounding that landscape or architecture.
Who are your favourite artists/photographers? Who has mostly influenced your style?
Michael Kenna from Great Britain. His long term exposures, his special style has influenced me the most. And there is one painter I really like, Lucian Freud. When I do portrait photography, it is his kind of style of portraits that influence me.
Has your style of shooting changed since you first started?
Yes, my style, and my kind of post-processing, all have changed since I started. In my early years of photographing, with my first analog camera, I used a lot of filters, especially red and yellow to make the photos more dramatic, with hard contrasts. And I just went out and took pictures. Now I go out first without a camera to look for a motive, and come back well prepared to take a photo according to my idea.
Where is your favourite place to shoot?
I really like the "Weinviertel"*, especially in the winter, when there is little snow. There are small hills, some tree rows for wind protection, and very small villages with old houses.
*a wine growing region in lower Austria
Do you think equipment is important in achieving your vision in your photography? What would you say to someone else just starting out?
Technical equipment is not so important to me, but I already love my wide angle lens. The most important feature for me is that the camera can be used in manual mode, so that I can determine how the photo will look.
What have been the positives and negatives of Instagram regarding your photography?
Instagram is important for me, because I see photos from very creative people. Some of these photos have influenced my style in the last years. The negative side of social media, not only Instagram, is the time you spend on it.
Have you ever been involved in the artistic world before photography?
Yes, the parents of some of my friends who grew up with me were writers, and some of these friends went to art school. I graduated from Oskar Kokoschka´s "Schule des Sehens" (School of Seeing).
Are there any special projects you are currently working on?
Yes, I am currently working on a project about the "Flaktürme von Wien"(flak towers of Vienna).
If I wasn't photographing what would I be doing?...
I really don't know, I never thought about it. I have always been taking photos.