Would you mind introducing yourself? My name is Adrian Schiefele, I am 28 years old and I am an outdoor enthusiast and visual creator. (Sidenote: That’s the title I gave to myself because I don’t want to call myself a photographer since I don’t make a living out of it) I was born in Regensburg, Germany – a lovely city in the south in Germany. I’ve moved together with my girlfriend a while ago and currently, I live in Eichstätt. I work as a Senior Art Director in a big IT company.
Adrian’s Instagram - @adrianschiefele
How would you describe your style of photography? I thought a lot about this question. I really did and I wish I could give you an artsy answer where I describe my style with some deep philosophy behind it. I simply can’t. I just love being outside regardless of the weather conditions and be one with nature. Sometimes I take photos that look good, sometimes I end up completely soaked by rain with pictures I better hide.
When did you first fall in love with taking photos? Already as a kid. As far as I can remember I was always surrounded by cameras. My father was and still is a passioned photographer and developed his own films in our basement back in the days. So the passion for taking pictures and framing moments was handed to me at a very young age. It was inevitable that I would follow his footsteps one day. I received my first camera at age 7 and annoyed our cats and my whole family with it. (At this point: Thanks Mom, Thanks Dad!) At the age of 17, I bought my first DLSR and discovered the world of the more serious kind of photography combined with photo editing. I read a lot of books and stuff on the internet, played around with shutter, lenses, long exposure, shitty HDR’s (like everyone did!) and so on. I simply had fun and took my camera through its paces. Time went by and I discovered new things I could do in nature like mountain biking, running - just sports and general. Taking photos was more of a mobile phone, taking a snapshot thing. But 2 years ago I felt the need of going back and take photography more serious. I took my old camera off the shelf, went shooting and quickly realized that today's technology has come a long way and it was time for an upgrade. So I bought a new camera and started shooting serious again!
Do you have a favourite photography related memory, whether it be in front or behind the camera? I think hiking uphill next to the Saentis (a famous Swiss mountain) together with my dad was a pretty incredible experience. Getting up in the middle of the night, driving 4 hours to a different country and climbing to the top of a mountain while everyone was still sleeping and seeing the sunrise was mindblowing. The mixture between the pure exhaustion in your feet, the beautiful scenery all around you, and no humans as far as the eye can see, is life in it's purest form to me.
What inspires your photography? Just being in nature actually. I believe our roots as humans will always be connected to nature no matter how far technology drives us apart. For me, the purpose of spending time in nature with a modern piece of technology comes from to the deep down need to spend time in nature in general. Sounds weird at first but let me explain. I like being out in nature like most people do when you ask them. But only a few people actually spend time walking around in the forests or go hiking. I personally need a purpose, here comes my camera in play. Evening walks? Let me grab my camera. A walk in the woods? Let me grab my camera. The hunt for the perfect pictures comes secondary but I can’t lie: It’s like fuel for my mind and the justification for me getting up at 4 am, standing in the rain or freezing my ass off.
What kind of camera do you use? I use a Fujifilm X-T2. As far as lenses go I use the Fujinon 16mm F1.4 for landscapes, the Fujinon 27mm F2.8 for documentary work and my Fujinon 50-140mm F2.8 for all things, where I need a closer look or want to isolate something.
What's your editing process like? I start with Lightroom and for all detail related aspects like sharpening or bumping up the contrast in a specific area, I go over to Photoshop. Recently I thought about switching to Capture One since Fuji and Adobe don’t like each other that much but I am one lazy old man and it takes a lot of willpower for me to make the switch over to a new piece of software and new process. We will see how this will turn out.
Are there any tips you would like to give to anyone out there who would love to create similar style photos to yours? Don’t follow trends. Do not expect a certain style coming out of lightroom presets you just bought. They can help you but each photo needs his own work and it’s own thoughts. It took me a long time to get there. Getting inspiration is fine, be inspired by somebody too. But always remember what YOU love about photography, not somebody else. It may sound like a talk your mother gave you a hundred times before but It is true. Try to find yourself and have fun doing what you love: Taking photos.
Who are some of your favourite photographers? That’s a tough one. Steve McCurry is definitely on the list, even he is not even a landscape photographer but his compositions are so good. Every one of his photos is just pure art, so he deserves to be on the list. Talking about landscapes I would say Elia Locardi and Andy Mumford. And I love Chris Burkhart a lot! I think they all represent the more modern side of photography and still stick to elements of classic photography.
Are there any photographers here on Instagram that you wish more people knew about? There are quite a few! I realized I get the most inspired by people that don’t exactly do my style of photography, because it leads me to get out of my creative zone. So here are a few I think you will love.
Roger Sieber - Roger is a true artist. I once sent him a message and asked him how he gets such good colours. Later in that conversation, he told me, his photos are all taken with film and he scans and edits every picture and that’s why they have this true and rich look. I felt really dumb for a few seconds, haha.
Shawn Tang - Another which comes to my mind is Shawn Tang. His sense of colours is inspiring. All his pictures look so simple but it really shows the craftsmanship and eye of a real photographer.
Reuben Wu - Reuben always gives me the feeling that he’s living and working on a different planet and has completely different possibilities like the rest of us. It’s crazy. Reuben, where do you live?!
What would be your number one dream destination for a photography adventure? I would love to visit British Columbia, Canada one day! It looks like my cup of tea. Rough nature, huge rocks and mood for days! In 2012 I travelled across New Zealand and I would definitely to go back there and revisit everything with a more photography based plan in my mind.
Which time of year is your favourite for taking photographs? I think every season has its pros and cons but If I had to choose just one it would be probably spring. You don’t have to get up that early to get the sunset shots, the trees are filled with leaves and it isn’t freezing cold. Despite all the hard conditions you have to put yourself through as a landscape photographer I am still a princess that chooses the easiest way possible If I have the chance to do so, haha.
The coolest place you've ever been? French Pass, New Zealand! It looks like a showcase out of a landscape simulator. The kind of landscape you wouldn’t believe was possible to find. Huge, green mountains rising into the sky and falling straight into the ocean. It’s nature in its purest and most beautiful form. Other worth noting places would be Whitsundays, Australia and Milford Sound in New Zealand. The last one is an all-time classic.
Do you have any upcoming photography trips/sessions that you would like to share? Unfortunately not really. There are so many on my list right now. I will try to go to Iceland for a few days soon, let’s see how that works out. But I really do suck at planning and actually going somewhere. Not the best habit for a landscape photographer, haha.
Anything extra you would like to share? Buy my Lightroom Preset Pack!!!!!! I’m just kidding! Have fun taking pictures, always be curios, be kind to each other and respect mother nature. If you have any questions or just want to have a little talk, hit me up on instagram! Thank you Russell and Hippo for having me. This was fun! Cheers!