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Artist of the Week – Robert Aps

December 17, 2012 by · 1 comment

Read the interview of Yana Radilova with the Estonian photographer Robert Aps!

Robert Aps was born in Tallinn, Estonia in 1993. In addition to photography, he has been a freelancing journalist for many years. To this day, Robert has written over 150 articles in different magazines and newspapers regarding topics from health and nutrition to movies and celebrities. Among other activities, he has backpacked in South-East Asia, worked as a radio reporter, been active in the non-profit sector and done voluntary work at a citrus plantation in Sicily.


Photo by: ©Laura Lendla

First of all, could you tell me how you got involved in photography?

It all started five years ago, when I got a present from my parents for Christmas – an ordinary digital camera. After two months I went with my family to Athens, Greece, and I started experimenting. I took hundreds of photos and felt it was really engaging! In the beginning I was interested in nature photography, but afterwards I started focusing on pictures of people and macro photos. Always try something new – that’s my point of view!


What type of photography do you prefer now?

First of all, I’d like to make it clear that for me photography is not a work but rather a method of self-expression. It’s a way of capturing moments, collecting memories and making them last for a long time. A few years ago I was totally against Photoshop, thinking that each photo is a captured moment and it doesn’t need any changes. However, last summer I realized something new: I had the ideas for pictures in my mind but the camera never reproduced them in the same way. That’s why after taking a picture I edit it – not too much, but mainly the colors. I really like vivid photos with intense colors!


What is the meaning of the colors in your photos?

All moments bring different emotions and feelings, and colors are a way of representing them. When you just take a photo, colors are usually not so expressive. After you see the photo, you get the sense what colors you really want. Photography is a very good way of exploring intense living: in order to take a real photo, instead of sitting at home and looking at the window, you have to go out and engage with the environment! Sometimes you have to take risks and don’t miss chances.


Do you prefer B&W or colorful photos?

I don’t believe the saying that you can take a bad photo, make it B&W and it suddenly becomes something worth seeing. It’s just that sometimes monochrome photos carry more life and depth in them when compared to their colorful counterparts. Choosing between color and B&W is just intuition, which means that some solutions just feel right.

But when you look at your photos, do you feel in the same way as when you captured the moments?

No, I don`t. That’s why sometimes I retouch the photos and make the colors more intense. I think that an artist is never completely satisfied and never says “I have a great work!” Of course you always don’t have that idea of the perfect picture in your mind, for example the surrounding environment and nature can make a visual surprise which can be captured if you are quick enough. In these situations, I am still against not keeping the images the way they are.


Yes, but photography can’t be an endless process…

It can’t be an endless process, of course, but it’s a matter of exploring the concept. You also have to engage yourself in the photo and then it becomes a memory of your engagement.

I was also wondering if the opinion of other people about your photos is important for you…

No, because each person have a different interpretation of the pictures. Photography is first of all self-expression, not linked to other people. But if someone really likes your photos and gets happy, inspired or gifted with new ideas, of course it’s a good thing to show your photos to other people.


Do you think that in the future you would take money for photography?

Probably not. But if I have more opportunities to capture moments, I’ll definitely want to share them – because “sharing is caring”. Half of the process of photography is sharing.

Who has influenced you in your photographic works?

In the beginning I started with nature photos, and then I changed my style. The biggest change during my development in photography was last year in Sicily, Italy. I was working as a volunteer in a plantation and there I met a Portuguese girl who was also doing some photography, but not professionally. She really taught me how to be more creative in photography. So I would say that she was quite a big influence in the way I capture moments in photography.


Do you use the pictures of other photographers as a source of inspiration?

In the last year – maybe yes. But to be honest, in the past I didn’t take the ideas of others, so as not to be mainstream and remix original photos.

What about the theoretical basis? Do you think that it is needed for a good creator?

It depends. If you are a professional photographer, you need theoretical basis, because you have to follow specific rules. But if you are doing art, there are no rules. I think that real artists have this perception of life and they know how to put it into material things – for example a photo or a movie. In my opinion, everyone can be an artist but they have to find their own way. Some people are good at poetry, others at dancing, still others at photography. I wouldn’t say that everyone can be a poet, but everyone can be an artist – they just need to find their own passion.


Do you have a portfolio of your photography?

Yes, I just made a web page, there is a selection of my photos that can be seen and flipped through. Putting some of my works officially up was definitely a dream come true. When I get inspired or take some good shots, this portfolio will definitely be updated.

Visit the web page of Robert Aps:

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