Hans is a digital imaging expert, he mostly works with professional photographers, providing large-format printing and digital imaging service through his business. He is also a skilled photographer, he started out in Vienna in the 70's, with a camera, some lenses and his parents bathroom as a darkroom.
Where are you based?
In Auckland, on the North Shore.
How long have you been a photographer?
Since the mid-1970s in Vienna, starting with a Minolta, three lenses and a darkroom (my parent's bathroom).
Tell us a little about your style of photography and what you do at Digital Image NZ.
I mostly work with professional photographers, doing their large-format printing and looking after their digital imaging needs. When behind the camera I like to take pictures of people in action, animals, and anything to do with nature.
What gear do you use?
I used to be a Minolta fan, but came on board with Canon when I switched to digital eight years ago. At that time Canon was way ahead.
What is/has been your greatest challenge as a photographer?
Wedding photography. I've only done three weddings, one in Africa and two in New Zealand. I found them pretty stressful. I suppose you'd get used to it if you did one every week.
What do you feel has been your greatest photographic achievement to date?
That would have to be when I shot the new Town Hall organ in Auckland. I spent two hours in the interior of the organ, amongst the 5291 pipes. Not even the heritage Town Hall photographer was allowed in there.
What do you think are the most important things to consider when it comes to post-production and digital file-handling?
I could write a whole book on that topic. But one very important skill is to be able to sift through the hundreds of images we tend to bring home, nail down the keepers and make sure that they will be available for the next fifty years. When needed, they must be on screen within a minute.
With specialised digital imaging in mind, what thought processes would you go through in making an image?
I only shoot in Raw. You don't need to worry about colour temperature, not even the precise exposure. Your mind can concentrate on creating the image as you see it, as you want it. But then I usually spend more time in Adobe Camera Raw than I should.
If not involved in digital imaging, where would you see yourself?
Running my two other businesses, studying for a PhD, family time, music.
If the chance arose, who or what would you most like to photograph?
I spent 17 years in Africa. I wish I could repeat all the photography I did there with my new 5D Mark III.
What tips or advice do you have for budding photographers?
Grab any opportunity to improve your business and marketing skills. Look at what other people are doing, but don't be afraid of developing your own style. Don't worry about the hardware.
Has the advent of digital been beneficial or detrimental to professional photographers?
I love digital. But more importantly, if photography is your bread and butter, you first and foremost need to be a good businessman/woman. I personally can't see why people cling on to film. It's the same with the old LP records vs. CD/mp3 in the music world. Some people like the nostalgic feeling, or perhaps they mistake the distortions coming with the analog media for a fuller sound. But yes, if you shoot digital without proper care and planning, and with the thought "I'll just delete the bad ones" in mind, then it's not a good thing.
Are you a fan of using flash in your own photography?
Why would I upgrade to a 5D Mark III if I use flash? Well, occasionally I do use flash, but only for lighting shadows in sunlight, or for macro photography.
If you can change one thing about the world, what would it be?
That's easy- get rid of every single weapon designed to kill people (including those computer games).
What do you do to get away from the grind/to de-stress when things get too hectic?
Sit down at the piano and play Bach. Or, watch a good movie with my family.
Who has been your greatest influence / role model?
National Geographic magazine - their people and nature photography is superb and should be a great inspiration to anybody.
Visit Hans website for digital imaging and printing needs