Our “Inspiration Feeder” presents to you short interviews with interesting visual artists from around the globe. Today in focus: Wolf Ademeit.
How old are you?
I’ll be 67 years old soon. I had hoped to become wise in my old age, but I’m just getting older.
Where do you come from?
I come from Germany and currently live in Duisburg, a city in the Ruhr area.
How long have you been doing photography?
My interest in photography was already awakened in childhood when my father showed me how to develop black and white pictures. For me it was like a miracle that a picture suddenly appeared on a previously white sheet of paper. I really started with photography during my training as a lithographer where I had contact to professional photographers and found a very good mentor. So I learned the discipline needed to master analog black and white photography from the negative to the print.
How would you define your style?
This is a difficult question. My style is rather technical. For testing a new lens I visited a zoo in 2007. I noticed a calendar that was offered in the zoo shop. I was appalled by the artistic and technical quality. At this moment I decided to make something of my own, hopefully better. Since I come from the technical lithographic corner I decided to do it in black and white with a black background. The whole attention of the observer should concentrate exclusively on the animal as a species or individual to show the beauty and grace of the animals. I hope I succeeded with my ANIMALS series and my style is now used by many other photographers. BTW the photo of the Kodiak is one of the first I took on this first zoo visit for this series. The sheer mass of the animal can be shown very nicely with the picture-filling bear.
How long do you think it took you to find your personal style of shooting?
As described above, it was a technical decision that I implemented photographically. If you know what you want, everything is technically clear. It is much more important to take interesting photos that fit the style. So I take photos directly targeted to this style. Some photographers who copy my style simply apply it to existing pictures. This often looks wrong.
What would you say is the thing that most inspires you? / What is your main source of inspiration?
This is probably the most frequently asked question. The answer is ‘everything’. Like every photographer I look at many pictures. Sometimes a picture attracts my attention and inspires me. In my youth I drew a lot. For me, the rules that apply to painting also apply to photography. Painting is therefore certainly my greatest source of inspiration. Maybe this is the reason why so many artists all over the world use my photos as templates for their own artwork – many without my permission. Some courses for artists obviously use them very often. Maybe it’s because of the idealized representation of the animals I use for the ANIMALS series. Again and again participants send me photos of their artwork taken during the workshops.
You can find more about Wolf Ademeit here: