As a winner Best of the Best Award from Hiii Photography I was asked for small interview about my photographic process.
1. Could you please introduce yourself first?
My name is David Heger. I am 45 and I live in the Czech Republic. I was introduced to photography quite early – at the age of ten I got my first camera as a birthday present (a twin-lens reflex camera). I have been taking pictures ever since, pausing only occasionally. A great experience for me was a period when I worked as a props producer and a camera man in an animation studio of Hafan Film. For several following years I made experiments with black-and-white photo-pictures. This technique was based on coating canvas directly with silver photographic emulsion, light exposure and subsequent development of the entire picture using wet, chemical process. Recently, I have focused on creating coloured photographs.
2. Where do you live? Do you think location affects creativity?
Several years ago, I moved with my family from Prague to a countryside, to a picturesque region with many hills, river meanders, meadow fringes and mysterious hiding places. It is predominantly the local nature which inspires me to take more pictures. A magnificent view appears behind every corner here. The only thing left is to come up with a story to be integrated instinctively into the countryside.
3. Could you please talk about the creative process of your winning work "Girl on the Walk with Daddy"?
The photo Girl on the Walk with Daddy originated in one autumn windy afternoon when the wind lifted up and carried along in the sky dry leaves, pieces of grass and careless walkers with their umbrellas. A landscape with a figure of a little girl clutching a string served as a foundation. The flying figure with the umbrella was taken separately in a studio.
4. What gives you ideas and inspires you to create such amazing imagery?
I do not know myself how the ideas are born in my head but I know that most of them are born while travelling on the bus. I am sitting alone on the seat, looking at the countryside and thinking of what story might take place here. Back at home I sketch the idea in my sketchbook and I let it ripen. The ideas which can be brought to life (those requiring not too many people, animals or excessively large props) are turned to photographs with help of my friends.
5. Are there any people or events that have great influence upon you?
I believe that it is important for any photographer to observe works of others, to find the best in them, transferring them to one’s own poetics and reusing it. This does not mean, however, that one should copy works of others. Everyone must follow his own path.
6. How do you keep yourself motivated and your photography fresh?
Self-motivation is a really important feature of any artist. I think that it can be summarized in several points:
a) you must really enjoy your work
b) do not expect to become rich immediately through art
c) do not compare yourself with others
d) follow your path (and do not let others talk you out of it)
7. What type of cameras do you shoot with?
I take pictures using an amazing analogue camera Zenza Bronica SQA (6x6 cm) and black-and-white film Ilford FP4+. I process the picture in a digital format after having scanned it using Nikon ED9000 scanner.
8. What is your favourite photography accessory, other than your camera?
I do not use any special equipment but the bedrock for my work is a good tripod suitable for all conditions, including water. I use Manfrotto.
9. How important is Photoshop in your final images?
Photo editing software plays a really important role in processing my pictures. I cannot imagine my work without using it. On the other hand, I intentionally use black-and-white analogue film as the source of the picture. First, because I like to choose the colours myself, and second, because it gives the photo a semblance of traditional photograph.
10. What’s next for you?
What is next for me? I will keep going by bus and absorbing inspiration from nature. I would like to organize an exhibition in some decent gallery, but above all, I would be glad if people continue enjoying my photos at least as much as they do today.