Interview with Joel Tjintjelaar - Part 2

This is the second part of an in-depth interview with the international award-winning B&W fine art architecture and landscaper photographer Joel Tjintjelaar, who talks about photography, fine art and.. the power of sharing! The first part can be found here.

Which photographers have the greatest impact on your work?
I cannot name one photographer only since there were several photographers representing a different niche in photography that inspired me.

For B&W landscape photography, I obviously can't avoid Ansel Adams. My B&W processing techniques are largely based on Adams' views on how a good B&W photograph should look like: covering a large tonal range with deep blacks and bright whites and a richness of tones in between. For more contemporary B&W landscape photography I've been inspired by the works of Michael Levin and Cole Thompson.

But although most people know me of my landscape and architecture photography I've been heavily influenced by classic B&W portrait and editorial photographers like Yusuf Karsh, Irving Penn, Richard Avedon and Helmut Newton.

I love portrait photography, I probably love it more than landscape photography and actually portrait photography was my first love. So we've come to the rather strange conclusion that I'm an architecture and landscape photographer who fell in love with photography after seeing the timeless portraits of the great portraiture photographers but was inspired by the great landscape photographers. I'll be working on a new portfolio of B&W portraits by the way…

Joel Tjintjelaar

Where do you find inspiration? 
For photography, I find inspiration in the great portrait photographers and landscape photographers I've mentioned earlier in this interview.

For the need to express my creativity I find inspiration in anything that moves me: music, visual art and every other art form or thing of beauty that cross my path.

But I think that music, in particular, evokes my deepest emotions and intrinsic creativity: I love to listen to music when working on a photo.

Joel Tjintjelaar

How do you continually challenge yourself? Does it become harder the better you become?
It is hard to become better but it isn’t hard to continually challenge yourself even when others consider you to be performing at a high level. I’m a perfectionist and I want a photo to be perfectly aligned with my vision. That doesn’t mean however that a photo is a perfect or a great shot, it’s merely perfectly aligned with my subjective vision. My subjective vision is a continuously changing artistic state of mind, stimulated and influenced by my life’s experiences and the ever-changing world we live in.

Since my artistic vision is a dynamic and ever-changing concept my challenge at all times would be to match that inner vision with the visible end-result - it’s not a matter of getting better or improving in the eyes of an art juror or my audience, it’s all a matter of creating something that’s perfectly aligned with your vision at any given moment regardless if anyone else thinks it’s crap.

Digital or analogue?
I prefer to shoot digital since it’s more convenient than analogue, but I will be doing some analogue work as well combined with digital post-processing.

Canon or Nikon?
I shoot Canon, but I have no problem at all with Nikon. It’s just that I have Canon specific equipment that keeps me from switching brands.

Flickr, 500px or Google+?
I use all three of them but prefer to use Google+ recently: it’s a great social networking site with a huge and ever-growing photography community.

MAC or PC?
What is a PC? :)

Any competitions worth attending?
As for the competitions I can surely recommend entering the following competitions:
 International Photography Awards (IPA)
Many great fine-art photographers have entered this competition and have won awards. It is one of the major international photography competitions in the world. I have won 2nd place in 2010 in the architecture category and 1st place this year, also in the architecture category. Furthermore a few honourable mentions.
 PX3 Prix de la Photographie Paris
Similar to the IPA awards.
 Black and White spider awards
Entirely focused on black and white fine-art photography.
 Sony World Photography Awards (SWPA)
I think this relatively new competition will be one of the major competitions within a few years. The exposure I received for being shortlisted for Landscape photographer of the year in 2010 gave me more exposure than my 1st place at the IPA2011.

What should we expect from Joel in the future? Any upcoming projects?
Yes, I’m working on a continuation of my Frozen Music architectural series. I’ve won 1st place at the IPA 2011 with the first series of Frozen Music and plan to expand this theme with Frozen Music series 2, 3, etc.

Frozen Music 1 can be considered the prelude, just like in a real musical composition.

One of the Frozen Music series will consist of city skylines only, another will be entirely focused on architectural night photography and one important piece will be a series of New York City architecture. I will be seriously working on portraiture as well.

Furthermore I’m organising workshops with renowned fine-art photographers for next year. If everything works out well, then fine-art photographer Cole Thompson will kick off this series of international fine-art workshops in Amsterdam in the first quarter of 2012.

Any tips for young photographers?
Find your own vision. Expensive cameras or photo-shop skills are not as important as finding your own vision. Stick to that vision, explore and trust your vision, even if that means that others won’t like your work.

For more info on Joel Tjintjelaar, his work, tutorials on B&W long exposure photography, interviews with renowned photographers and workshops, check or follow Joel on Google+ or Flickr.

The first part of the interview with Joel Tjintjelaar can be found here.

Joel Tjintjelaar

Joel Tjintjelaar

Joel Tjintjelaar

Joel Tjintjelaar

Joel Tjintjelaar

Joel Tjintjelaar

Joel Tjintjelaar

Joel Tjintjelaar

Joel Tjintjelaar

Joel Tjintjelaar Joel Tjintjelaar


Charalampos Sergios


Charalampos Sergios

Sergios is a co-founder of IamExpat. His main interests include online communities and long exposure photography.

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