Katharina Jung from Germany is into photography for only about a year but she’s produces amazingly beautiful and thought-provoking images in a short span of time. Her imagination is extraordinary and she has been improving herself a lot with each her upload. Katharina is revealing the inner voices of her heart through her photos set in places and ambiance you never dreamed of going and things who have not imagined those ways. She possesses a raw beauty and innocence coupled with aesthetics that’s visible in very few photographers. The colours and light in her photos are wonderful so as the dark tones, emotions, and expressions. She’s an inspiring and beautiful with enormous creativity:
Hi Katharina, introduce yourself to our readers:
Hi, I’m Katharina. I am 20 years old and after a few movements I’ve settled in my hometown Hermeskeil, which is a small town in the South-west of Germany. I’m glad to be country bred girl. I love the direct connection with nature, woods, animals and with all the trimmings. After finishing my diploma, I started an apprenticeship as a media designer ending in June. Besides photography, I love to spend my time on travelling, with my lovely friends and my boyfriend.
I’m taking photos only since last spring. I am trying to keep the balance between work and hobby as I go out for shooting after my working-day. But I am mostly shooting during the weekends. Since 2 months I got a small but fine studio at home so that I am able to shoot even if it’s too dark outside or I am in need of a monotonous background. I would love to take a picture a day, but that’s not that simple. In January I started a 52-weeks project with many other photographers so I’ll be taking one picture a week for the whole year. But yeah, sometimes more and sometimes less.
Sometimes I simply need a “break” (that sound like it’s work but it’s definitely not). I mean, from time to time I only need fresh air - a small vacation from my passion. Small breaks make my photography even more appealing. Just recently I had the desire to get out, so I went on vacation. I could switch off and recharge my batteries. And man, that felt so good! After these little breaks, I crossed my fingers for new photos, my mind is full of ideas which just want to came out. So not only the work must be well balanced with the photography but also the business of photography itself.
At the moment I am focused on conceptual photography. My heart is pounding for this genre. But travel/documentary photography makes my heart beat faster, too. There is almost nothing better than having friends together after a great holiday to make photo-evenings, to remind and stick photo albums. Portrait photography is also one of my areas that interest me very much. And in the near future there is also my first wedding assignment- which i can’t wait and is a great opportunity for me.
Tell us about your camera, lenses, and accessories you use:
Until April I have photographed with a Canon EOS 600D and the Canon 50mm 1.8. But now - and I still can’t believe - I’m using a Canon 5D Mark II with the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens. I’m really not that technology fanatic and in my - and in many others‘- opinion I believe that it’s the eye that creates a photo and not the super-high-tech camera. But the right equipment can help you to facilitate implementation. I’m using Photoshop CS5.1. It’s obvious and I don’t make a secret of it, that almost all of my conceptual images are photo manipulations. They wouldn’t look the same without the manipulation. I rely on Photoshop for most of my pictures. You here more and more things like “Oh, these Photoshop artists…”, “they would be nothing without Photoshop…” or “a good pictures mustn’t be edited” and so on. Of course I do use Photoshop and of course I manipulate my images. And surely the pictures out-of-camera absolutely look different than the final one.
It would be incredibly epic if you could catch clouds or could fly with a huge chewing gum bubble. But unfortunately these images only exist in my dreams. And that’s what makes it so scary fun! I love that. I love elaborate photo composing as well as minimalist surreal art. But that doesn’t mean I “distort” each picture I take, sometimes a portrait need only a bit of editing. What I find admirable is when you have mastered it. It’s a very controversial issue since ever. However, I must say that I don’t like too much retouching. I’m tired of seeing fully retouched 25-year-old women who represents an anti-aging-cream. Retouching should still be transparent enough so that you recognize the human and emotion behind the photo.
Thank you! When emotions reach the viewer it is exactly the intention you have as a photographer and it is commendable. Dramatic portraits are one of my passions and I’m still learning to photograph them. If I want to photograph such a portrait I make sure that the emotions I want to capture are real. The expression in the eyes is half the battle. When I do self-portraits I try to communicate through my eyes. This is hard and it took me a long time to have my emotions under control. When I photograph a model I try to create a chilly atmosphere. We play together the emotions and that relaxes the mood immensely. If I want to look strange I bite firmly on my teeth. Because I do a lot of self-portraits I can pass on the experiences and tips I’ve collected. For example, I show the model or my friends to jump so that the hair fly the best. And then you’ll find a conclusion together.
The most image ideas come during my day dreams. Unfortunately, even in important situations, where I should focus on, for example when I’m driving my car. Once I drove back home from work and there was a truck beside me with a painted illustration of a man with a raven sitting on his head. Throughout the drive I couldn’t stop thinking about a man with many ravens that come out of his head. When I first got the basic idea, I automatically imagine what could make the picture look unique. If the idea is ready for the shooting, I search for location, models and so on. And to the actual shoot, the idea can change very much in the details.
What do you think about too many young people shooting the same kind of images and where do you find your place among them?
Okay. That’s a really interesting question. Every day I discover so many new talented artists since I’m interested in fine-art/conceptual photography. There are always new admirable picture on ideas that i haven’t imagined before. But a lot many photos are ideas that have been repeated many times. So, it’s hard to create something breathtaking. But each image is different from the other. Everyone has got his/her own interpretation. Some ideas are getting repeated a lot but their execution is mostly different. Very rarely you’ll find two pictures look exactly the same and it’s so exciting to see how different photographers implement the ideas to the same topic.
Everyone is an artist and every day, new born - no matter how old you are. It’s important to trust your feelings to give them space and to show them. And photography is a wonderful thing to deal with your own feelings. Maybe it’s heartbreak, fear of loss, oppression- the photographer communicates with the viewer. I can say that I’m trying to convert my emotions into images. And that helps me a lot to deal with them. Through photography I have become stronger. It’s important to have something that makes us strong. I’m still trying to grow and develop myself. I’m still looking for my own personal style. I think I’m not good enough to say that my pictures stand off from others.
Tell us about your part of the world as it’s seen in your images:
The special thing about my home is that we have it all. There are forests, lakes, fields, we have valleys, rivers and rocks. There are so many possibilities here! Not just for taking pictures, but also for hiking, swimming, camping and just relaxing. I also love that I’m near to some magical lost places. I like to take pictures when it’s cloudy and stormy - and fortunately (yes, I’m serious the weather is often like that. As much as I adore the sun, I’m happy to have lousy weather while photographing! If I had planned a photo-shoot on the weekend and on Saturday morning I look out the window and the sun is shining I’m annoyed! My boyfriend then laughs and say that I’m totally out of the world- but I’m okay with that 😀
Since I’m taking photos some things are really more intense than before. When I see a flock of birds fly past, I want to scan every single bird to see how it moves. When I drive by a fallen tree, it’s not only a fallen tree for me. I’ve always been a daydreamer and always looking after my surroundings but through the photography it’s even more intense. I almost always think about what I could photograph and how. But I must say that it’s sometimes very exhausting. I’m thinking too much and too much at the same time. And I often forget things that I shouldn’t forget. There really should be a stand-by switch in heads.
How’s your experience with models and people you work with:
When I photograph strangers, first we meet, talk and drink a cup of tea or anything and discuss what I imagine. I want to know people and I want to know what they absolutely don’t like in front of the camera. Then I show my sketches and give tips how to embody different emotions. Afterwards we go to the location and first make some test shots. I often say that I have to test the settings and tell some story that comes to my mind and taking picture when it’s not noticed. These are often the most beautiful pictures. It’s funny, when you can honestly laughing at the camera it’s so simple to show strange emotions like sadness and anger.
My goals in photography aren’t precisely defined. I take everything as it comes because it will be right. I will continue to pursue my passion, but I won’t force anything on me. Of course I want to get better. I want to learn so much, especially filming. My personal goals among others are my exam as a media designer in May. And finally I want to travel to New Zealand in November.
Tell us what inspires and motivated you:
I’m inspired by many things. For example, when I travel in a foreign land and meet new people. Sometimes there is also a certain song, a lyric, poem, an experience or just through my dreams. I have a huge list of artists who I really admire. These include Brooke Shaden, Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison, Rosie Hardy, Salvador Dali, the music of London Grammar, monthly mix sets by Christian Lauries, movies by Tim Burton and many more and the list is constantly growing.
Yes, I’d say if you have found you passion, follow as long as it makes you happy. Be open for criticism, but don’t be swayed by it. When I started I’ve often heard things like “Ahhh you’re going to take some more Emo-Pictures” and so on. This is fatal, because I just started and it irritated me. Just at your beginning you can hear the negative feedback louder than the positives. Don’t compare you with other artists. Eventually I came to a stage where I’ve only seen the great and creative work of other artists. I have deleted all my pictures. I put myself under pressure just because I saw that wonderful work from photographers who are a long time in the business and compare them to my own skills. And what came out of it? Nothing. Nothing at all. I’ve just lost my nerves and energy.
There will always be people who don’t like you art, there will always be people who don’t like my picture. And I’m absolutely okay with that. My attitude for photography have changed very quickly. I have many dreams, that’s what motivates me. But I stopped to put me under pressure. I take everything as it comes, it will be good. Everything takes time to grow. Creativity needs space to grow. Don’t try to be better than the rest. Just be the best version of you that you can be.