© Stefan Schlumpf, Switzerland, 3rd Place, Professional, Landscape, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards
Stefan Schlumpf, born 1975 in Chur, Switzerland, is a multi-talented photographer with international experience across a range of genres, his work has appeared in international campaigns as well as various magazines worldwide. The series Hidden Landscapes was awarded 3rd place in the Landscape category of the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards. Stefan's career began as an action and extreme sports photographer, before diversifying into people, advertising and landscape images. Stefan is known for his very graphic, exceptionally aesthetic and reduced visual language.
Hi Stefan, tell us about your series Hidden Landscapes that was awarded 3rd place in the Landscape category of the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards
Hidden Landscape shows the people trying to fight against global warming.
Grey, melted snow and ice runs like silent tears. Crumbling, ancient ice crunches. Tired from the fight against the warmth, the glaciers take flight, fleeing from human ignorance. But there are also people who want to persuade them to stay, desperately asking for a last chance. Wrapping them in soft fleece, providing safety and peace beneath the insulating shield. Rebelling against the powerlessness from the impending effects of global warming.
The original idea, frightening, but also touching in a fascinating way. An exciting symbiosis for a short part of the journey that the glacier and fleece wander together. The fabric snuggles up to the ice, flows with it – in the photograph, a surreal harmony. For a brief moment, the ice is protected. But the fabric cannot resist the tugging glacier, it cannot stop the melting ice. Deep crevasses like open wounds.
The end of a journey together.
What inspired your minimalist aesthetic?
I love the reduced and silent. This kind of photography works as either portrait as well as landscape or fashion. I think a good image consists of reduction. My works are minimalist and often very graphic. I capture the magic and tranquility of nature with the intention of passing it on to you, the viewer. I provoke the observer. If you succumb to the challenge, you will recognize many facets and a very special type of beauty.
Could you tell us the story behind your latest photobook Silence?
Compiled in this photo-book are works which I have created over the past two or three years. On the one hand, ideas that have been running riot in my head – inspired by social issues, impressions of art, fashion and literature – develop to unfold visually into free and often extravagantly designed works.
Do you have any advice for photographers starting out?
Go out and shoot...I mean that is exactly what it is all about. Go out and have a look. Go out and shoot things you like or things you are interested in or the one which bothers you.
What projects are you currently working on?
First shoot - then talk! No, to be serious - I do have a couple of projects in my mind or already drawn in my sketchbook. There will be a continuation of the Hidden Landscape series. And there are two conceptual photo projects which I‘m working on it,but it‘s too early to talk about....maybe next year.