Verena Popp-Hackner und Georg Popp

Verena Popp-Hackner und Georg Popp


Nationalität: Österreich
 

Veröffentlichungen:

- | Aufnahmen
Bilder von Verena und Georg erscheinen mit großer Regelmäßigkeit in zahlreichen Magazinen. Teils in Form einzelner Abbildungen aus dem Archiv (Stock) oder als komplette Bild/Text – Beiträge.  

- | Bücher
Es werden jährlich viele Bilder von Verena und Georg in verschiedensten Büchern oder Kalendern verwendet.
Ein Bildband, der exklusiv ihre Arbeiten präsentiert, ist nun erschienen:

„Wildnis in Österreich – Die Nationalparks“, Verlag Styria

Vita:

We - Verena Popp-Hackner and  Georg Popp -  are professional landscape photographers. While we are based in Vienna/Austria, running our own (rights managed) image library and a small but fine gallery, our photographic “backyard” includes the rest of the planet as well.

Our work has been widely published around the world, in magazines, calendars, advertisements, books and much more. Authors of six coffee-table photo books (“National Parks of Austria”, “New Zealand Journey” a.o.), our fine prints have been displayed in Vienna, Rome, Washington D.C., Seattle, London, Banff and other cities.

We use large format cameras almost exclusively for our landscape work, shooting on 4x5” sheet film, to provide clients with the maximum of print-sharpness and details and unsurpassed clarity and depth of focus..

Interview:

1. WICH IS THE CENTRAL QUESTION IN YOUR LIFE AS A PHOTOGRAPHER?
To keep a balance between everything we do in life. Being photographers, parents, business people, travellers & adventurers or artists. In order to be successful in so many different ways over a long period of time, you have to find some sort of lifestyle that will let you fit in all these variables. Sometimes it means taking a backseat in one way but a step forward in another. Sometimes it’s landscape photography, sometimes it’s family-life that has to be top priority.

2. WHO ARE THE PHOTOGRAPHERS / OR OTHER ARTISTS THAT INSPIRE YOU?
We always looked up at the work of David Muench, for it was probably him and Carr Clifton that inspired us most to travel and shoot landscape photographs. Austrian photographer Lois Lammerhuber must be named too. But there are many others also.

3. WHAT MAKES AN EXCELLENT PHOTOGRAPHER?
It’s relatively easy to make one or a few excellent photographs. An excellent photographer is, in our opinion, one who keeps impressing, surprising and inspiring people with his body of work and photo-projects for a long period of time.

4. WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART ABOUT DECIDING TO BECOME A FULL-TIME PHOTOGRAPHER?
The decision was made easily. We were always on the move, traveling and having adventures of some sort, always on (very) small budgets. We always knew, we were not made to work in an office from 8 to 5. We never thought about the difficulties of making a living from it, we just did it.

5. WHAT MOTIVATES YOU IN YOUR WORK AND WHAT IS DEMOTIVATING?
To keep traveling, to have an exciting, creative lifestyle is a never-ending fulfilment for us. We arrived on a point in life, were we can pretty much point our fingers on any given point on the globe and are able to go there on a photo trip the next day. We are in this business for almost 20 years now and it has served us very well. To be free and independent is a huge luxury. We were also lucky but we worked very, very hard to get there. At the same time, we treat this luxury as a responsibility. Only very few people are able to that and it would be a terrible waste, if wouldn’t keep taking advantage of it. It’s just up to us. So we can’t be lazy or demotivated about our work. Sometimes requests, formal work, telephone calls, emails and the like get a little out of hand and can tire you down. Scanning film can be tiresome, too. But we always have another trip coming up, another plan for a project in our brains – so we can handle this.

6. WHAT ARE THE MOST PASSIONATE MOMENTS IN YOUR WORK?
For one, to have found a certain place/composition, were you immediately know it’s special. And all you have to do is wait for the light or time of day or weather to turn right. As landscape photographers we are good in waiting. And second, to come back from a great morning shoot, having gotten up in the cold and return to your tent or camper and enjoy a coffee in the warming sun. That’s hard to beat.

7. WHAT ARE THE MAIN CHALLENGES IN YOUR WORK?
Some of that is answered in point 1: To be able to maintain a good balance between all mandatory stuff you have to do in life. But once we are out on a photo trip, there is hardly any challenge – it’s all pure pleasure. The rougher the going the better it is.

8. HOW DID YOU DEVELOP YOUR ARTISTRY?
To a certain degree it probably came from viewing the work of certain photographers. But most of all, to go out and take the photographs, that “speak” to you. Not the ones we felt are good “sellers”. Over time, you develop your own style. You can’t force that.

9. WHAT IS YOUR MAJOR PERSONAL LEARNING IN PHOTOGRAPHY THAT YOU WOULD CONVEY TO A "NOVICE"?
Work/think in photo-projects, not in single pretty pictures.

10. WHICH ARE THE DRIVING FORCES FOR YOU PERSONALLY AND IN YOUR WORK?
We always said, our main driving force is not the photography itself but the inner urge to go out on ex-tended adventurous travels. You either have that or you don’t. That’s the background where we come from, even before taking our first photographs. To sea-kayak out in the wild in Alaska and meet a pack of orcas, scare a Grizzly away from your tent site, catch a salmon for dinner - to live through stuff like that, while being able to say, you are “at work” is just great!
The core of our work is not driven by environmental concerns. A lot of our work is used by environmental groups or organization afterwards. We ourselves have a hard time believing, any of the work we do has enough impact. Not in a wide sense anyway. But we know, a number of people view our prints as some sort of “windows” into a world, they will never get to see. And to know these places are out there, makes them somewhat more optimistic in their concerns and attempts to live a more sustainable life or to care more about parts of the earth, that is often too far away for most to care about.
On a creative basis, we always strive to find fresh views of previously not well known places. Places that have been photographed a lot and are “en vogue” with fellow photographers usually rank fairly low in our list. To surprise people with landscapes, they didn’t know exist, even without any photographic or creative tricks is more suiting for our kind of work. So once we get a hint of an exciting place somewhere, we start ticking

11. WHICH FEELINGS DETERMINE YOUR WORK WHEN OUT IN THE FIELD?
A lot. From fear, cold, hunger, tiredness to excitement and – probably most of all – curiosity. we both can never stop until we know what’s around the next corner… One feeling, that seems to miss while we are in the field is satisfaction. We both just don’t seem to ever be satisfied. That might come from working with 4x5” analogue film – we never know the results until weeks later! So there are the constant questions: “What can you do better? What can you improve?”

12. ON WHICH CRITERIA DO YOU JUDGE YOUR OWN WORK AS SUCCESSFUL?
We have to like it ourselves. It has to come out, the way we wanted it to, when framing the shot. One criteria we always had with our images as fine prints is, we want people to look at them longer than just a few fleeting seconds. We want to make photographs that are worth looking at them for a long period of time and not only once but over and over again. In our modern times, with an overflow of pretty images on the web and availability on social media and all sorts of devices, that is asking a lot!

13. YOUR PHOTOGRAPHIC WORK AND THE BEAUTY OF OUR PLANET, NATURE: WHAT CONNECTION DO YOU SEE?
Often our planet is received as being visually “covered”, as to be “conquered” so to speak. But it isn’t. Make no mistake; it’s still a vast planet out there, with large regions, still to be discovered by photographers. With wildlife or plants or natural events yet to be seen or been documented. And even the places you thought you knew are often full of surprises. Nature is not some sort of sanctuary; it is what is happening everyday, everynight, with humans or without. That’s our mindset and that is – hopefully – what’s coming through in much of our work.

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?
We would probably have decline that offer as there is no general wisdom to be gained in 15 minutes, not that we could offer some anyways. We’re not interested in playing God. On the other hand, we would tell them to go to Facebook and like our page, so we can get 7 billion Likes – that would be pretty cool… (just joking, of course…)

At Work:

»Often our planet is received as being visually “covered”, as to be “conquered” so to speak. But it isn’t. Make no mistake; it’s still a vast planet out there, with large regions, still to be discovered by photographers. With wildlife or plants or natural events yet to be seen or been documented. And even the places you thought you knew are often full of surprises. Nature is not some sort of sanctuary; it is what is happening everyday, everynight, with humans or without. That’s our mindset and that is – hopefully – what’s coming through in much of our work«.

Alle Werke von Verena Popp-Hackner und Georg Popp