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Through the Lens: Karen van Til

By April 14, 2016 No Comments

A series interviewing photographers in Raglan. (Email info@raglanchronicle.co.nz if you would like to be profiled as part of this series.)

This week the Chronicle caught up with local photographer Karin van Til.

Tell us a little about how you started with photography?

Already from a young age I was often running around with a camera. The decision to go study photography was quite logical for me.

I moved to the Hague (Netherlands), to attend Photography at the Royal Academy of Arts, where I learned the craft of photographer in the traditional way. Shooting on film and developing & printing in the darkroom, computers and Photoshop weren’t used yet.

During these four years we also got two and a half year internship with a professional photographer, whom you chose for his/her style. After graduating most of us first started with working as assistant for established photographers. In my opinion these first few years were the most important practice to get ready for the ‘real world’ and also lots of fun!

What equipment do you use? Do you like shooting in digital or…?

I use various types of cameras, depending on the project. When I shoot for a magazine, I use my SLR digital Nikon.

But my favourite camera is a medium format film camera, my Hasselblad.

An other camera I still have and use is a Sinar 4×5” view camera. This asks for a completely different way of photographing, it’s much more technical. And my SX70 Polaroid camera has sort of become a collectors item now, you can’t beat the old Polaroid style.

What are some of your favourite things to shoot?

My favourite work is actually more a mix of portraits and documentary photography. I love the unexpected and working on real stories.

The last few years I’ve moved more to shooting landscapes and stills as well.

Last five photos you shot?

Apart from the snapshots on my iPhone….  my last photos I took was an early morning shoot in Mangonui harbour, where the fishermen were getting ready.

Are there any photographers or artists that you are inspired by?

Yep definitely. My all time favorite photographer is Anton Corbijn. He became famous in the late ’80s as a music/portrait photographer in Europe. He is a Dutch guy and still shoots on film. His style is very raw and gentle at the same time. He’s a master in telling a whole story about a person in one image, often with a deeper layer.

I always tried to copy his darkroom film/print techniques back in the days.

Now he’s world famous and a film director too.

Other are: Marcel van der Vlugt, Mario Testino, Sally Mann, Annie Leibovitz,  Peter Lindbergh and Stephan Vanfleteren.

How would you describe your style?

It’s hard to describe my own style … I would say “esthetic and pure” .

Have you got any funny photo shoot experiences?

One special commercial shoot I remember, was with a model on a camel on a Dutch beach by sunset, for an international engineering company. It had to look like we were in Morocco. As a treat to keep Charlie the camel happy during the shoot, he drank Coca-Cola from a bottle with a straw. The shoot went very smoothly, so it worked.

The story behind your cover photo:

I chose this photo because this is Raglan for me, definitely the sea playing the most important role. It’s dramatic, quiet and beautiful, all in one….

How can people contact you?

Mobile: 021 846786

Email:  info@karinvantil.com

Website: www.karinvantil.com

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