AUGUST 2016 MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: NICO KAISER

A ROUND OF APPLAUSE FOR THE WINNER OF VPW’S “Vienna 1010 in Black & White” PHOTO WALK, NICO KAISER!

Our congratulations go out to Nico Kaiser, who won VPW’s “Vienna 1010 in Black & White” August Photo Walk competition, with a shot of a woman feeding a pigeon at the Vienna Volksgarten. As always, to celebrate this victory, we invite the winner of our contest to give us an interview. It gives us all a chance to get to know them a little better, and perhaps learn a thing or two from them.

VPW PHOTO WALK WINNER INTERVIEW: NICO KAISER

First of all, thank you very much for your votes! It’s a great honour to win this VPW Contest, the first one I ever participated in!

I was born in Munich, Germany and have been living in Vienna for four months now. However I had been spending many, many weekends in Vienna over the past seven years, before finally moving here. I work as a Software Developer for a Munich-based financial company, doing backend and database things with really cool technology.

Vienna is such a great place to live in, with so many great spots, interesting buildings, nice people and so much culture and history. Compared to Munich, Vienna feels so much larger, and more city-like. What I really do miss about Munich, though, are the Bavarian pretzels („Brezn“): they aren’ts as good anywhere else! And of course, nothing compares to the original Oktoberfest! But, ultimately, I love both cities. Currently there is no place I’d rather live than Vienna; it is the most livable city in the world for a reason. Privately, I enjoy travelling, and performing & listening to music (jazz, classical or world music). Speaking of music: I have played the accordion for over 25 years now, and just recently started to learn the bandoneon! Performing in different groups and orchestras has allowed me to meet really great people and participate in concert tours in some pretty amazing countries.

As a child I received a compact film camera and carried it around with me everywhere. When digital cameras became better and more affordable, I worked after school until I could afford a 3 megapixel camera, and some years later a DSLR. Photography always allowed me to record and share memories of events I participated in, and I hope to pass on some of the emotions.

Even though I try to think before taking a picture, the biggest challenge for me remains the culling process: choosing which photos I want to use for a story, and which I should delete.

There are many important elements to taking a great photo, and I’m still beginning learn them. I’m sure that a crucial one is, quite simply: do interesting things, meet interesting people, and visit interesting places. Find something special, maybe unusual, to show your viewer, or look at something familiar in a new way. Make the best of the equipment you have, and do not listen to people who want to sell you the latest and “greatest” gear. Upgrade only if you reach a limit, and feel you cannot work around it.

I love landscape and travel photography, I love sunsets and sunrises (though I hate getting up early), and I’d definitely like to enhance my portrait photography skills. So if anyone wants to be my model, drop me a line! I don’t subscribe to any particular tricks or styles, and try to keep natural colours in post-processing (though I do tend to exaggerate bokeh usage when shooting using fast lenses).

My current camera is the Sony α7, mostly with Zeiss lenses (50mm, 85mm, and if I don’t know what to expect I just use the 24-70mm).

From time to time I shoot some rolls of analogue film (Portra 400 or TRI-X) with an old and entirely manual SLR camera. There is something magical about it, colours and tones often look great without any post-processing needed. (The „1010 in Black & White“ pictures are shot on TRI-X film, developed and scanned by cyberlab, no further digital processing)

In order to educate myself I just look at lots and lots of pictures. Instagram, Flickr, and 500px are all great sources of inspiration, as well as some photo podcasts (happyshooting.de being the best, oldest and most entertaining one).

Vienna Photo Walk is awesome! I stumbled upon the organization while looking for photography events, and have already met really nice people during the first few walks. There seem to be many people who do photography in that „semi-professional“ way, and VPW is great for sharing ideas, inspiration and experience.

 

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Credit: Nico Kaiser / kaiser.photo
Instagram handle: @nico
Online platform: https://kaiser.photo

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