Belinda Greb is a fine art photographer specializing in nature and landscapes. Her keen eye for beauty caught my attention a few months ago, so I'm happy she accepted to answer my questions.
Cendrine Marrouat: What inspired you to become a photographer? Any particular story?
Belinda Greb: I was sensitive to nature's beauty, and as a child I loved art museums and nature. I loved the idea of being able to capture that beauty.
I took a photography class in high school, but the camera I planned on using (my dad's old Leica) was broken so I had to drop out before I was able to learn anything. Still I got a camera as soon as I started working and loved taking pictures.
But, it was only after many years when I got my first digital camera that I really began to teach myself how to take better pictures as the results were more immediate and there was a digital record of what I was doing or not doing (camera settings). It helped me become more conscious with my process.
CM: What is your favorite subject to photograph?
BG: Definitely animals or wildlife.
I started out photographing mostly landscapes. But, three or four years ago, when I really began to try to improve my skills by becoming more immersed in taking pictures, I realized that when photographing animals or processing those images, I was in my special zone.
I always had a dog and sometimes a cat too, so my love for animals has always been there. Photography has enabled me to learn so much more about animals as there is the experience of being able to observe them while taking and also processing the photographs. Often I will see things on my computer screen that I hadn't noticed before in the field, and my connection to the subject deepens.
CM: What makes a good photo?
BG: Whether I'm looking at my own photographs or others', I want to be moved. That can either be through beauty or feeling the subject's presence or character. I believe technical ability should be a tool versus the end result. I want the end result to be feeling.
CM: What is the photo you prefer in your portfolio? Why?
BG: I don't have just one favorite, but there are definite favorites.
One is Brotherly Love, which shows the tender relation between two Pryor mustangs that are brothers. I used textures on that particular photograph.
Another favorite is The Ibis Ignores the High Drama at the Pond - and I just love the drama between the various birds and also the bright colors of the scene.
CM: Any photographer you admire?
BG: Strangely, I think I've been more influenced by painters than by photographers (Pre-raphelites and impressionists). But as for photographers, I like Art Wolfe, Ansel Adams, Joe McDonald, National Geographic.
CM: What piece of advice would you give photographers who are starting with online promotion?
BG: Find a balance for yourself and try to maintain as much authenticity as possible. It eats up a lot of my time and I always feel like I'm not doing enough. I am no expert. But I feel more comfortable on certain platforms than others and thus put more effort onto those with a lighter touch on the rest.
CM: Anything else you would like to share?
BG: Be patient with yourself - and don't lose your love for photography by trying to reach perfection or comparing yourself with others. In wildlife photography, I will never be able to compete with those who are stronger, younger, richer ($10,000 lenses) or just better, but I can bring my own vision and sensibilities to my work.