Thursday, January 24, 2013

Tomas Eriksson - Fine Art Photographer From Sweden

Tomas Eriksson is a fine art photographer from the town of Gävle, which is in Sweden.  He is very enthusiastic about his wife and children, and I know that his focus is on his family above all.  He is a marketing coordinator for a leading industrial welding and piping company in Sweden.

For him, photography is a cure for the stresses of life.  Being in the field with the camera makes him forget those everyday problems we all face.  I must say that his cure is most excellent.

Everyday life provides plenty of inspiration and motivation.  Without question, life's many experiences, both the positive and the negative, have affected Tomas as a person and as a photographer.

As I mentioned by way of introduction, Tomas is from Gävle.  In fact, he has lived there his entire life.  It is an industrial city by the Baltic Sea and near the River Dalälven.  As can be seen in so many of his photographs, this region provides a lot of inspiration and photographic opportunities.

He is fascinated by industrial buildings as well as old buildings.

I asked Tomas about his vision and dream.  This is what he told me:

"My vision and dream when it comes to photography is to develop my photography style.  I have started the walk, but this path contains a lot of slippery rocks...hopefully I will get to the end without losing my grip too many times.  I know this sounds cryptic, but I come from a country where fine art photography is rather unknown."

Sweden, according to Tomas, has a long and strong tradition of nature and documentary style photography.  It is expected that a photographer should do very little post processing work.  That type of conservative thinking is not a principle followed by Tomas, fortunately.  I will quote him directly as he speaks to this subject; his comments about the photographer Nick Brandt is insightful:

"Personally, I want to see a finished photographic work where it is obvious that the photographer has put his or her soul into the whole process.  I want to feel something, I want the photo to speak to me and I want the photo to give me the opportunity to get carried away in my own thoughts and fantasies. Nick Brandt's photos give me all this as do so many other great photographers out there. I do not care if Nick lives his life in Photoshop; it is the outcome, the final photo that matters to me."

There came a point in the maturation process of life that Tomas realized that he needed to be his own master.  Fine art photography lets him be in charge of the entire photographic process from dreaming and conceiving to printing the finished product.  The maturation of Tomas was not without pain, however, it was important for him to not be constrained by the given rules or the status quo.

If the dodging and burning the sky will produce the desired results in a composition, then he will dodge and burn the sky.  If adding texture completes the image, then texture will be added.  On the other hand, it is important for him to for the original scenery to be honest and not brought in from another image or created from scratch.

Tomas shoots in RAW mode.  In Camera RAW he makes adjustments to the white balance, and occasionally will make black and white conversions.  In addition to the techniques mentioned previously, he will also work with HDR.

Being so close to water, he spends much time photographing water using long exposures.  The exposure time can be from 30 seconds to three minutes.  He uses a tripod during long exposures.  Additionally, he will select from ND400, ND64, ND8 and gradual ND filters that he always carries.

In the not too distant past, Tomas worked with a number of other photographers in a fund-raising event in Bari, Italy to raise funds for children suffering from cystic fibrosis.  I have a lot of respect for this man.

To see more of his fantastic fine art photography, please visit Tomas Eriksson Photography.

All photographs posted in this article:  © Tomas Eriksson.

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