Tell us a little bit about yourself:
BEHIND THE LENS
25 years young. Resident of Weimar, Germany. Student at the Bauhaus University, freelance photographer, and videographer.
Likes: Life How long have you been shooting photos?
I started in 2006 with a heavily used old “Medion
” camera from 2003 which was a huge pile of crap with a shutter delay of nearly two seconds. It was an annoying piece of gear but somehow it started my love for photos and it kept the flame burning until I could afford to buy my first DSLR three years later. Do you ride yourself? How does this affect your images?
Of course! Riding was the reason why I started shooting photos in the first place. It started out just documenting what my friends and I did on our bikes. And like the riding, it progressed over the years. Do you shoot anything else besides mountain biking?
I try to shoot as many different genres as I can, I shoot skateboard and BMX quite often. I like pretty much everything photography has to offer. Were you self-taught of have you had any formal training?
I learned pretty much everything on my own. You can find so many good tutorials on the web and, if not, I always had somebody to help me out. Last year I got accepted at the Bauhaus University in Weimar and it is pretty sweet too. I guess everybody has to find his own way of learning something. You’re a fulltime student. Is it difficult balancing school and photography?
Since I study something photo/video related it´s not so hard. The real challenge is to do well in school and progress as a freelancer which is a fulltime job on its own more or less. Compared to BC or Switzerland, Germany is relatively flat. Is that why you shoot so much street?
No, I would not say this, we might not have the biggest mountains but there is still a very big downhill community. I just find it more exciting to shoot urban environments because of their diversity. Last year I spent the summer filming the European Downhill Cup for IXS and Red Bull and I liked it very much. I was able to hop on a big bike a couple times and learned a lot more about this kind of riding. You shoot more self-portraits than most. Is this because it’s hard finding riders to shoot?
The selfcounter photos are a little hard to explain. It started because I wanted some photos of me riding and I don’t like to keep my friends from riding. So when I take these kind of photos there is generally somebody riding with me.
I also like the mindset of going out there alone, finding something, making it ridable and then trying to do what I imagined it to be in my head. When you end up with a good photo, it is a special kind of feeling that you don’t get when you just take out your camera and snap a photo of somebody else. What kind of camera do you use? What lenses?
I am currently working with a Canon 5d Mark II and Canon lenses: 14mm, 24mm T/S, 16-35mm, 50mm, 85mm, and a 70-200mm. Is there any other gear that you use frequently?
I have a very basic flash setup with Phottix triggers and some old Canon flashes as slaves. They work pretty good but I enjoy working with natural light more. One of the best features of a DSLR is the ability to shoot photos and video – which you do. Do you see yourself more as a photographer or filmmaker?
Oh yeah it is a dream come true for me. I never had much money and if those hybrid cameras didn’t exist I would not be able to shoot video today. Most of the video guys moved back to video cameras with large sensors but I cannot really see myself doing the same. The opportunity to have one tool that can do both and is super compact and lightweight is just too exiting. When people ask me what I do I mostly say I am a photographer but in the last two years I’ve had more and more video work. Have you ever shot on film? If yes, do you miss it?
I started shooting when digital had already overtaken the market. When I started studying at the University I got a little bit into shooting film and I really like the mindset behind it. Seeing the picture as something valuable and not “spray and pray” is what I try to do. There are days where I only shoot ten photos and it feels really good. What photo are you most proud of? Why?
I am not really sure about it but I think it might be the shot of my friend Maik on an abandoned skyscraper. It was such a hard shot to get and we got in big trouble for being up there. On the other hand we got a story in a BMX magazine and won an international film/photo festival. And there are very few flatland BMX POD’s on Pinkbike so that was really cool too. Which photographers/filmmakers inspire you?
There are so many: Ian Hylands, James Nachtwey, Joe Simon, Casey Neistat, Ale Di Lullo, Walter Pieringer, Richard Mosse, Oliviero Toscani, Sterling Lorence, and Steve McCurry, just to name a few… Who are your main clients?
Always changing but I have worked for pretty much every German MTB and a few BMX magazines. Other than that I do a lot of documentary and commercial work for smaller companies. Hopefully there will be more international work in the future because I love traveling and exploring new countries. Anything else we should know about you?
I am still searching for a company who would like a different kind of team rider that does not wants to do the latest and greatest tricks but is more about style and creativity on his bike.
Pinkbike // Airik
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