TIFA 2023 Interview with Adam Neuba
1st Place winner in Special, Non-Professional, “When Nature Meets Technics”
Q: Can you briefly tell us about your background and what inspired you to pursue photography?
I am natural scientist, self-taught photographer, and artist from Paderborn in Germany. My photographic journey began about 15 years ago, when my daughter was born. Naturally, I took lots of photos and found joy in photography. For a long while I was more of an ‘occasional snapper’ with no particular focus, and I tried out lots of genres. A bit of landscape photography here, a spot of architecture there, until, finally, the close-up photography awakened my enthusiasm. In contrast to conventional close-up photography, where pictures are often taken of subjects from nature amid their realistic surroundings, I create fictitious compositions using elements from nature and manmade technology.
Q: What drove you to submit your work to the TIFA competition and your thoughts on how winning this competition impacted your artistic journey?
If you look around the photo competitions, tifa is a benchmark when it comes to creative ideas, the quality of the images and prestige. It makes me very proud to be one of the winners and it is a satisfying acknowledgement of the hard work and time invested in realizing new images.
Q: Could you describe any challenges you faced while capturing this moment (winning image/s)?
I started the project “When Nature meets Technics ” about 4 years ago. The focus here is on small creatures from nature, which are brought together with industrially produced elements (often made of stainless steel). I try to present this ‘nature versus technology’ contrast to the beholder and dissolve it photographically at the same time, so that the ultimate result of every composition is an aesthetically harmonious unity. To achieve this, I use mainly the structures, shapes and colour of the selected elements which, in combining perspective, the right light, plus a minimalist presentation, yield an emotionally engaging overall piece. The clarity and order of the subjects with defined lines and shapes often play a special role in the process. The setting with the right light is therefore a decisive factor. Working with live insects and stainless steel also requires new creative ideas and strategies to achieve the desired image.
Q: What, in your opinion, are the most important factors in creating great images?
I think it’s primarily about the creative idea. After all, a photo competition is ultimately also a competition for the best photographic idea and, of course, its realization. It’s not enough to simply take excellent photos. A good idea requires dedication, time, and a critical examination of the subject so that people are just as convinced of the idea as you are.
Q: What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of photography?
For me, the greatest challenge in photography is to capture and hold on to the right moment. When working with insects, the position of the body, the legs and even the antennae play a major role in the overall impression and mood of the image. But I am also fascinated by the creative and challenging work with light and the unique effect of this medium on a well thought-out, minimalist motif.
Q: What motivates and drives your photography?
As a scientist and chemist, I always feel the urge to discover and design new molecules. The drive to creatively develop new things and realize them as tangible, visual objects comes from within me and always pushes me forward.
Q: What’s next for you in your career as a photographer?
As a hobby photographer, I have no defined goals. Photography is like the “undiscovered country” for me, where I can let off steam creatively with a lot of joy. I am happy when I can inspire and fascinate people with my pictures. For the future, I plan to continue working experimentally to develop further exciting projects.