Ingrid Vekemans

Ingrid Vekemans

Nationalität: Belgien
 

Artist's Statement:

Durch meine Arbeit möchte ich die Schönheit, die Kraft, und auch das Geheimnisvolle der Natur in einer Weise zeigen, die alle diese Aspekte am besten beim Betrachter hervorruft. Dabei arbeite ich, je nach Sujet, sehr unterschiedlich. Meine Wildtierfotografie ist deutlich realistisch in ihrer Darstellungsweise. Sie zielt dabei immer darauf ab, zu erkennen, was das Wesen eines bestimmten Tieres ist. Bei dem Thema ‚Wald‘ hingegen arbeite ich eher expressionistisch; dort geht es für mich vor allem um die Schaffung einer Stimmung von Mysterium und Stille. Und in der Landschaftsfotografie benutze ich eher einen impressionistischen Gestus, wenn ich die Realität einer Landschaft in einer "malerischen" Weise fotografiere.

Vita:

Ingrid has always been fascinated by Africa, first going there in 1994.

Although this continent and its wildlife remain her main focus, in recent years she has become involved in nature photography closer to home. Based in Belgium, wildlife, woods and the small world are her favourite subjects, but landscape photography also takes her interest.

Interview:

1. WICH IS THE CENTRAL QUESTION IN YOUR LIFE AS A PHOTOGRAPHER?
To keep evolving to get the most out of my camera and trying to create something new.

2. WHO ARE THE PHOTOGRAPHERS / OR OTHER ARTISTS THAT INSPIRE YOU?
Originally this was Frans Lanting for wildlife photography. Since then there have been so many sources of inspiration as I have seen so many photographs it’s impossible to mention who were most inspiring. In the art of painting I have always loved the impressionists, starting with Monet, who stopped the mere registration of scenes but created an atmosphere that sometimes only gave a vague image of the truth. This has also inspired me in my photography of other elements of nature besides wildlife.

3. WHAT MAKES AN EXCELLENT PHOTOGRAPHER?
An excellent photographer is – literally – a photographer who excells – who makes special images sprouting from his own creativity and imagination, not by copying what has already been done. Of course he has to have the technical skills to execute his ideas perfectly with his camera.

4. WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART ABOUT DECIDING TO BECOME A FULL-TIME PHOTOGRAPHER?
It actually wasn’t hard as an opportunity came my way that felt right. To me it was a normal evolution.

5. WHAT MOTIVATES YOU IN YOUR WORK AND WHAT IS DEMOTIVATING?
Having good photos after coming home from a photo shoot or trip (internal motivation) and appreciation from anyone through whatever means (external motivation). Demotivation comes from the opposite, but I don’t get demotivated a lot.

6. WHAT ARE THE MOST PASSIONATE MOMENTS IN YOUR WORK?
The most passionate moments are those when I see exciting, surprising or tender moments with African wildlife. These can really move me.

7. WHAT ARE THE MAIN CHALLENGES IN YOUR WORK?
To keep evolving to get the most out of my camera and trying to create something new.

8. HOW DID YOU DEVELOP YOUR ARTISTRY?
Through always challenging myself further (see 1.), through reading, thinking and watching a lot and trying things out.

9. WHAT IS YOUR MAJOR PERSONAL LEARNING IN PHOTOGRAPHY THAT YOU WOULD CONVEY TO A "NOVICE"?
Look around you well and read a lot. Don’t try to master all branches of photography, but follow your gut feeling when it comes to choosing the branches that you feel the most attracted to. If you know a little bit of everything, you will seldom become very good at one thing. Follow workshops with photographers whose style appeals to you. They will give you a lot of tips in a very short time, that will always take you a step further. Try to be original. Have the guts to take risks and experiment. And make sure your photos are good quality; be hard on yourself in that respect.

10. WHICH ARE THE DRIVING FORCES FOR YOU PERSONALLY AND IN YOUR WORK?
What drives me is my love of nature and my desire to spend as much time in it as possible. Photography gives me that chance. Also I love to share with people what I have seen through my lens, whether that be a unique wildlife moment or a different view on a flower or a forest.

11. WHICH FEELINGS DETERMINE YOUR WORK WHEN OUT IN THE FIELD?
Feeling one with nature, being touched by nature and a creative state of mind.

12. ON WHICH CRITERIA DO YOU JUDGE YOUR OWN WORK AS SUCCESSFUL?
When I get compliments about my work, when work gets sold or awarded , when I get appreciated for workshops or lectures or when I get asked if my work can be published.

13. YOUR PHOTOGRAPHIC WORK AND THE BEAUTY OF OUR PLANET, NATURE: WHAT CONNECTION DO YOU SEE?
I capture what I see and refrain from extensive post-processing. No elements are added or removed, as that to me conflicts with the whole idea of nature photography. I get my pleasure out of what I create with my camera, so what I see is what the viewers of my work get – the beauty of nature as it is.

14. ASSUMING YOU WOULD HAVE 15 MINUTES ON A TV BROADCAST AND PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD COULD LISTEN AND UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU WERE SAYING, WHAT WOULD BE THE CORE OF YOUR MESSAGE TO THE PEOPLE?
It would be that if people want to keep enjoying being in nature or photographing nature or watching nature photographs or videos, they should respect nature and actively protect it. So many aspects of nature and so many animal species are threatened or mistreated that it’s no option to turn away from it… get involved through your actions and what you preach.



At Work:

»What drives me is my love of nature and my desire to spend as much time in it as possible. Photography gives me that chance. Also I love to share with people what I have seen through my lens, whether that be a unique wildlife moment or a different view on a flower or a forest.«

 

Awards:

- 2016 | Grand Prix in Festival International Nature Namur Photo Contest
- 2016 | 'Battle Of Giants' wins a Highlight in the category 'World Of Mammals' in the Glanzlichter Photo Contest
- 2016 | Highly Honouring in category "Mammals of Africa" for ‘Battle Of Giants’ in Nature’s Best Africa Photography
- 2015 | Honorable Mentions in National Wildlife Federation 2015 Photo Contest
- 2015 | Highly Commended in Travel Photographer Of The Year 2015
- 2015 | 3d Prize in Melvita Nature Images Awards 2015
- 2015 | 1st Prize in International Photography Awards 2015 + Honorable Mentions
- 2015 | Silver Medal in Narava 2015 Photo Competition
- 2014 | Honorable Mention in NPN Editor's Pick Awards 2014
- 2014 | 3rd Prize in Melvita Nature Images Awards 2014
- 2014 | Honorable Mention in Montphoto 2014 Contest
- 2014 | 3rd Prize in International Photography Awards 2014 + Honorable Mention
- 2013 | 1st Prize in Memorial Maria Luisa 2013 + Highly Commended
- 2013 | Honorable Mention in NPN Editor's Pick Awards 2013
- 2013 | 3rd Prize in International Photography Awards 2013 + Honorable Mentions
- 2011 | Highly Commended in Memorial Maria Luisa 2011
- 2011 | Highly Commended in Burrard-Lucas Wildlife Photo Contest 2011
- 2011 | Honorable Mention in Narava 2011 Photo Competition
- 2010 | Special Mention in Oasis Photo Contest 2010
- 2010 | 2nd Prize in the Oasis International Photo Contest 2010
- 2010 | Honorable Mention in NPN Editor's Pick Awards 2010
- 2010 | Highly Commended in Burrard-Lucas Wildlife Photo Contest 2010
- 2010 | 1st Prize in Nature's Best Photography Windland Smith Rice International Awards 2010



Presse:

Her awards, news and publications pages offer a lot of scrolling material: Ingrid travels, gives workshops and lectures and also goes and wins awards. A busy lady indeed. And a versatile one at that. Her sincere interest and dedication shows in her photography. Ingrid clearly studies animal behaviour thoroughly which enables her to capture special moments and to take photos that distinguish themselves. With apparent great ease she moves around the very big and the very small, from dew drop to elephant, or from faraway exotic places to the nature around the corner. She is most known for her Africa photography, but let her play with macro photography and atmosphere and she also pulls that off very well. Ingrid doesn’t shy away from either width or depth, resulting in a wonderfully extensive and tidy portfolio. NATUURFOTOGRAFIE.NL

Pure photography and animals in their natural habitat the way you never saw them before. HET NIEUWSBLAD

The mantelpiece of Flemish nature photographer Ingrid Vekemans must be cram-full with trophies. She has strung together awards in leading international nature photography competitions like Memorial Maria Luisa, Oasis Photo Contest, Nature’s Best Windland Smith Rice Awards, International Photography Awards, NARAVA International Contest of Photography, Melvita Nature Images Awards, MontPhoto Contest,... Though Ingrid spends a lot of her time in Belgium’s most beautiful nature reserves, her eyes only really start to sparkle when she talks about Africa. Without a shadow of a doubt the wildlife of this continent is her biggest passion. However Ingrid also developed into a versatile photographer close to home. In home base Belgium wildlife, the forest and the macro world are her favourite subjects, but she also embraces landscape photography. LANDSCHAP MAGAZINE

For photographers who love wildlife a safari with Ingrid is highly recommended. GEERT, PHOTO SAFARI PARTICIPANT

This was my 12th safari and the last two - with Ingrid - were without a doubt the best of all. The biggest plus is called INGRID: her perpetual good mood, her patience, her organizational skills, her knowledge of both photography and animals, and her clear explanations make a very good safari into a super experience! The moments when you're with her discussing your pictures are very instructive and the quality of my photos is still improving (if I may say so - very modestly - myself). Next year is already booked. MIEKE, PHOTO SAFARI PARTICIPANT

Ingrid is the perfect tour guide. Not only does she know the beautiful nature of Africa as if it were her own backyard, she never stops spotting great photo opportunities. She knows how to convey her expertise and knowledge of photography to everyone. Thanks to her endless patience answering all our questions and her continuous feedback about our pictures, we all felt during the trip that our level improved day by day. Anyone who loves both nature and photography cannot find a better formula to combine both in one journey. ERIC, PHOTO SAFARI PARTICIPANT

Having a passion for photography is one thing, but being able to transfer that passion onto others, is an even greater gift. LIESBETH, PHOTO SAFARI PARTICIPANT

The safari was, in all respects and at all times, a success. Ingrid’s knowledge of the area, the wildlife and photography is impressive. Her availability and her concern for the group was also much appreciated. She taught us that nature photography is not just about shooting a portrait of an animal and then leaving, but that patience and observation are an integral part of it. LUC, PHOTO SAFARI PARTICIPANT

I had expected that Africa would get to me, but not to this extent… the passion for Africa that Ingrid feels, radiates off her and it encourages everyone to even more enthusiasm. ANN, PHOTO SAFARI PARTICIPANT

During this wonderful workshop we were encouraged to move away from pure photography right into art. GEERT, WORKSHOP PARTICIPANT

It is very clear that Ingrid explores a workshop location thoroughly in advance. She lead us straight to the good spots – no time was wasted having to search for them. Ingrid’s explanations are crystal clear – no theories of physics. She shares her know how in a spontaneous and informal manner. She makes time for each individual and every question is answered in a clear and practical way. Conclusion: I am looking forward to a next workshop. For sure. MARIE-JEANNE, WORKSHOP PARTICIPANT





Projekt: Mosi Oa Tunya

Bei diesem Projekt hatte ich mich entschlossen, den Sonnenuntergang an den Victoria-Fällen einmal ganz anders zu zeigen als auf den vielen Fotos, die ich selbst schon dazu gesehen hatte. Sie sollten auch nicht unbedingt erkennbar die ‚Victoria-Fälle‘ zeigen, sondern viel mehr. Ich brachte drei Tage damit zu, die Fotos zu machen, die ich am Ende haben wollte: Atmosphäre, Hitze, Licht und diesen Wasserdunst, mit dem das Licht so faszinierend spielt.

Die Serie heißt Mosi Oa Tunya, was "Der donnernde Dunst" bedeutet, und was der örtliche Name der Wasserfälle ist. Dieser "Dunst" ist auch das eigentliche Thema meiner Serie; er ist wie ein Schleier, hinter dem die Geheimnisse und die Stille der Natur für mich liegen.

An diesen drei Tagen war ich immer pünktlich genau gegenüber der Stelle, wo der Sonnenuntergang dann stattfand. So konnte ich durch das Licht den Wechsel der Farben kontinuierlich sehen, genauso wie den sich verändernden Einstrahlwinkel der Sonne im Wasser. Ich habe für diese Arbeit eine Vielzahl von Objektiven verwendet, um dieses Projekt mit einer gewissen Vielfältigkeit zu versehen.

Projekt: Animal Essence

Bei meiner Tierfotografie versuche ich, das Wesen eines Tieres zu erfassen. Das ist gar nicht so einfach. Bei manchen Tieren geschieht es durch den Ausdruck ihres Gesichtes oder durch ihre Handlungen. Beim Leoparden könnte man von Anmut sprechen, beim Elefanten von gütiger Intelligenz, die eilige Fortbewegung, das Rennen könnte es bei den großen Herden sein, Kraft beim Flusspferd usw. Meine Bilder sollen nur dieses Wesen zeigen und nichts anderes, keine dokumentarischen Einzelheiten. Das erreiche ich am besten, indem dieses Tier dann den ganzen Platz im Bild ausfüllt; so wird der Betrachter auch nicht von dieser wesentlichen Botschaft abgelenkt.

Ich habe ganz oft diese Absicht, wenn ich Wildtieren begegne. Aber es gibt nur sehr selten echte Chancen dafür. Man weiß natürlich einiges und hat seine Erfahrung, und daher versucht man solche Sachen zu planen -aber in der Realität verlangen bestimmte Situationen dann oft schnelles Denken und Handeln, sobald sich dieses reine Wesen zeigt. Das sind sehr flüchtige Momente.

Projekt: The Presence in the Woods

Wenn ich durch den Wald gehe, dann stellt sich bei mir immer ein Gefühl ein, als ob dort noch etwas anderes wäre außer mir, dass ich da nicht alleine bin. So, als gäbe es irgendwo da drin ein dunkles Geheimnis oder sogar als würde sich etwas Bedrohliches dort verstecken. Genau dieses Gefühl von Bedrohung und Geheimnis möchte ich erfassen. Und dafür benutze ich ganz verschiedene Techniken.

Genau aus diesem Grunde bin ich immer in den Wald gegangen um zu fotografieren und ich werde es bestimmt noch lange tun. Es ist einfach spannend. Die Wälder haben mich auch nie enttäuscht, wenn es darum ging, neue Bilder für dieses Projekt zu finden. Es unterscheidet sich von vielen anderen Arbeiten zum Thema ‚Wald‘ sicherlich darin, dass ich den Wald mit meiner Kamera nicht aufzeichne, wie er sie sich dem bloßen Auge präsentiert, sondern eher so, wie er sich einem eindrucksfähigen Gehirn darstellt.