TIFA 2023 Interview with Christian Kleiman
1st Place winner in Special, Professional, “Planets of A Tiny Prince”
Q: Can you briefly tell us about your background and what inspired you to pursue photography?
My approach to photography started back in 2006 when I was testing new ways to offer something different to my clients. At that time, I was working as a skipper operating a parasailing powerboat at a Nautical Sports Centre, my own company that I have been managing since 1995.
Many tests and tryouts were needed before I could launch my “Flying Camera”. This original system I built from scratch was composed of a camera fixed on a radio-controlled pan-tilt platform and was hung on a small parachute that could lift all the equipment in the air. Thanks to the aerodynamics of the parasail and my experience of flying people up in the air, and again after many tryouts, I was able to take amazing shots.
This episode lasted until 2010 when I decided that it was time to leave the water after 15 years of full dedication to my nautical career, because I had experienced another passion; “Aerial Photography”.
By transitioning to a professional career, I polished my skills in both aerial and 360 panoramic photography, and by merging these techniques, I pioneered the creation of 360 aerial panoramic photos, which at that time in 2012, only a select few photographers worldwide were exploring this unique combination. Coming from a nautical background, I evolved in an environment surrounded by the sea. Always aware of the complete scene, as far as the eyes can see. This has marked an extraordinary influence in the way I represent my creations which are based on images where you can “see it all”.
Q: What drove you to submit your work to the TIFA competition and your thoughts on how winning this competition impacted your artistic journey?
Since 2018, I participate every year in prestigious International Photographic Competitions amongst other top photographers worldwide. At these International Photographic Contests, my artwork is judged by an experienced professional panel of judges with a high degree in the field of Visual Arts.
Winning at the 2023 Tokyo International Foto Awards confirms that my work is validated by the best, and it’s a testimony of accomplishment in my career as an Artist. I feel honored, proud, and humbled in receiving this 1st Place Winner.
Q: Could you describe any challenges you faced while capturing this moment (winning image/s)?
I can’t think of any challenge while capturing Tiny Prince. Everything was pleasant during our stay at the Fiji Islands. Maybe the fact that I had the images for a long time without knowing how to title them and what their caption would be. Suddenly, one day I saw it all clear.
Q: What, in your opinion, are the most important factors in creating great images?
That’s a great question as it brings up a lot to answer. Long story short: All my equipment, my skills, and the locations to where I go, serve only one purpose; the dance of my soul. My mind just sets up everything together and serves it to my soul. If my soul feels good then Mind & Soul work together.
A great outcome will follow from this.
Q: What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of photography?
At what level? How many levels are there? Every phase presents its own set of challenges. Unity between the mind and the soul poses a challenge.
Q: What motivates and drives your photography?
Fascinated by the creative expression that is awaiting to be revealed, I would like to share my concept about a location and suggest that each place has its own landmark. My vision strives in provoking an awakening to see the world differently by changing our perception.
Q: What’s next for you in your career as a photographer?
For short term; as I’m now based in the United Arab Emirates, I’m working on a new Series of Tiny Planets.
Mid term; Tiny Prince will have two more series of nine images each. The combination of the three Series will ultimately result in a great photo-story.
Long Term; the opening of my own dedicated Gallery.
Thank you for your time in reading my interview 🙂
You can find me at:
X (twitter): CKleimanArt