Interview: Photographer Benny Rytter (Denmark)
Interviews / Stories
The Dane in the middle of nowhere
I have recently passed half a life, this should, with a little luck, give me 50 more great years with photography. I picked up my first DSLR in 2006 (a Nikon D50) just as a hobby, photographing nature and specifically birds and I made some wedding photography on the side.
In 2009 I went full time pro, starting with weddings and portraits, during 2010 and 2011 my business went through a change to primarily servicing the business segment. I do business portraits, product shots, process photography, film making, food photography and sometimes photo reportage assignments.
All the time photography has also been my hobby when photographing wildlife. However I have always known that I some day would do nude-art photography, but I wanted to wait until I had some kind of idea of what I wanted with that genre.
Having participated in international contest photography since 2013 I have seen fantastic works by many photographers, I have always loved the way Helmuth Newton portrayed women. Early 2016 I had a talk with "Sean Archer" about focus and hard work, so the last 11 month I have been focusing very hard to develop images to my own liking and taste and- very importantly making loads of images.
The famous tennis player Björn Borg once said "Isn't it funny? the more I practice the more luck i get" - meaning good thing will eventually happen if you work hard enough for it and you have a bit of talent. I might not be the best in math calculating light, I might not be the best in doing advanced photoshop work - but I'm rather competent in composing an image, very dedicated, work every day, and I love what I do....that's the best I can do.
Photography is basically my life, I life from it, I live for it, it's my work it's my hobby it's my passion.
I don't have a specific "style" but I have preferred images I try to develop. The intense/sensual close-up portrait, the nudeart/akt photography inspired by classical painter styles that has no or little connection to the viewer and a combination of nudeart/fashionude - I always try and make images that can last for more than 24 hours.
My inspiration is found in result catalogues from competitions, I find inspiration on 500px, in paintings - I find inspiration in the model I work with, some of the lovely people I have had the fortune to photograph, have given a little of themselves, and that have added uniqueness to the images, an uniqueness I could not find anywhere, else than at this person.
I always have an idea of what I would love to make, but mostly it end up with something else where the original idea perhaps is 10-30% - but I'm never unprepared, I owe that to the people I work with.
I have, during the last 8 months, rebuild and tested my farm, so now I have 10-15 different scenes/location...at home, when prepared in advance I can move from one set to another in seconds giving the model and me a plentitude of options to create different looks. And of course I now arrange model shoots and workshops....it would we stupid not to.
I also life 2 minutes from a forest and only 25 minutes from 2 different seas. Depending on the weather and Idea I will use studio, nature and/or location if it is necessary.
Normally I'm not a "fan boy" regarding cameras, but in 2015 I, for the first time in my life, tried digital medium format (Hasselblad) and I looked into a whole new world. I ended up buying the new developed PhaseOneXF. Now I use the "Phase" for all my photography except reportage (It's too slow).
This has forced me to slow down, I have basically jumped back in time using a CCD sensor with very poor ISO performance but exceptional performance at ISO 50 and 100 and fantastic RAW files to work with, especially the skintones are great. Its worth every dime. I have managed to get at few different lenses making me able to shoot medium distance, close-up and almost wide angle - but medium format lenses do not come cheap
There is no bullet proof advice, for starting photographers, but my advice should be, don't work for free, don't works for references, and then focus. Lastly don't blame the market, the clients, your competitors when things don't work, that's a waste of time - you can't change that anyway.
I was fortunate to have a look at a couple of issues of Modellenland, and I find it is a great magazine it has a wide appeal and can be read by anyone who is into photography, no matter what role.