An Interview with Andrew George by Beata Moore

Andrew George was born in Nijmegen, the Netherlands and as a child, he was fascinated by photography of his father. Later in life he became captivated by nature and landscapes. Driven by the need to capture all the surrounding beauty, he gained all the technical knowledge as well as experience and developed into a versatile photographer. Creative freedom is important to him, his images are characterised by stillness and sometimes almost a surreal feel.

1. What was your path to become a photographer?
I was travelling from a young age to see and discover the world we live in. I came across many beautiful landscapes during my journeys. I wanted to share these moments with my family and friends so I bought a camera. Soon I’ve discovered the power and fun of photography and it became a passion.

2. Do you prefer to photograph close to home or do you find faraway places more inspiring? Are there any special places that inspire you the most to create new work? 
I love both actually. Close to home you can go back easily and photograph your subject and/or landscape over and over again in different conditions. Everyday is different so you will find new inspiration anywhere, even close to home. Far away is a great break from the daily routine and offers new inspiration, it also provides other possibilities you can’t find close to home. I don’t have a particular special place. It’s all about the moment where things come together.

3. Are you a meticulous pre-planer or do you prefer creating images spontaneously? Do you revisit your favourite places many times to achieve the required result? Can you tell us more about your method of working? 
I often plan a trip to a place I’ve visited before and know what subjects and/or type of landscape I can find there. Sometimes I go out for something specific under certain weather conditions, but I always keep an open mind if something other crosses my path. Yet it needs to have more potential than I’ve planned for. Sometimes I also choose a place without any plan. It really depends on my mood and goals. Again I use both methods.

4. Terra Quantum displays themes and series portfolios; do you like working to the project/series/theme or find creating individual images more rewarding? 
I work on everything from projects to themes, but also individual images. I don’t prefer one to the other.

5. Can you tell us a bit more about one chosen photograph – what is the story behind it, when/why/how it was created? 
This photograph was taken on the last night before the early flight home from Iceland. I was close to the airport in B&B, but the aurora forecast was very good for this night. Staying at the B&B was not an option for me. I was thinking what would be the best place without any city lights, but not too far away, as I needed to be on time to catch the morning flight. As I knew the area well, I have decided to drive for half an hour to get to the mountains and a lake. Past the first hills and the city lights were not visible any more. I waited at the foot of the mountain and saw the moon rise just behind it. The light of the moon revealed the pure white snow on the mountain. After a while, a first glimpse of aurora became visible. It was perfect. The aurora was dancing behind the mountain and the moon added a lot to the scene. It was very serene and magical.

6. Colour, b&w or both? How do you decide about the elimination or inclusion of colour and why. When do you decide about it - in the field or during the post processing? 
Both. In some photos I want to enhance the mood, lines, structures, contrast, textures. That usually works better without colour, as colour distracts from these elements. I usually decide about it in the field.

7. Do you find printing your images yourself as an integral part of image creation or do you use professional labs? How important is the choice of paper for you? 
I use professional labs, because the equipment I need to print are too expensive and I print a lot on large formats. The choice of paper is very important to make the photo work best in it’s own unique way.

8. Do you think that social media is killing photography or playing an important role in promoting your work? How involved are you in your online presence? 
I wouldn’t know why it would be killing photography. Photography is very personal. I like to share my photos. Why wouldn’t you share your photos and stories as a photographer? In social media you can reach a lot of people so it’s also important to promote your photography in this type of media.

9. Do you have any plans for exhibitions, books or any interesting projects coming? Can you tell us a bit more about your artistic plans for the next couple of years? 
I don’t plan ahead a lot. It’s important to me to be creative, without too many goals or obligations. I go through some kind of “phases” in photography. Lately I like to photograph more “simple” subjects/landscapes in an artistic way. Photography is part of my personal feelings and mood, so there is not a lot of planning involved.

10. We are living on the most beautiful planet, yet it is over-burdened and over-polluted. As photography is an influential medium, do you use the power of your photographs to promote our Earth appreciation and environmental awareness? Any thoughts how photographers in general can become more involved in this important matter? 
Of course I hope to create awareness through my photography in general. It is great to see that my daughter already learns from me some good examples. Anyone has its own story or reason and these days there are a lot of photographers who contribute in their own way. I think that people know what is going on in the world and photography plays an important role in the environmental awareness. The only thing you can do is to do your best for any environment, but in the end, action is also needed from the governments. Unfortunately, it is a complex matter and all cannot be solved through photography only. Still, we can keep trying.

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