Simon Roppel - Switzerland
1. Simon, you started with photography in 2010. In just a few years you`ve been able to find an unique style and got pretty popular in the landscape photographer scene. Please describe your first steps. Did you remember a special moment when you realized that photography may get a huge part of your life?
I never wanted to copy someone’s style, so I tried to create something new and unique for myself. I think, it took me quite a while to achieve a result I was happy with. But now, I’m finally on a way I like. A big thing for me was the moment, when suddenly people showed up I didn’t know so far, speak to me out in the field, and telling me how they love my work and how much inspiration it gives to them.
2. You come from Switzerland. How strong is the influence of your home country on your work as a landscape photographer?
I’m lucky to be surrounded by so many picturesque areas. This really helped me to get more into Mountain photography and increase my love for this unique scenery.
3. Browsing through your portfolio means entering a world of beauty, grace and romance. Mountains seem to be your favorite subject. Why do you have such a strong connection to mountains? And how do you feel deep insight when you witness all this beauty, all by yourself, somewhere in the middle of nowhere?
I got this question a lot. And honestly… I can’t tell. It’s something you must witness for yourself. Being in the middle of nowhere. No distracting sound of other people, just you and THAT special moment which will maybe get stuck in your memories forever. Being out in the mountains, for me, means freedom…
4. You traveled several exciting locations like Patagonia, Iceland, Canada, New Zealand or the USA. Is there any country or region you love most? Why?
That’s hard to tell… Guess it’s Patagonia. I’ve been there in winter and had the whole area just for myself. I’ve barely seen any other person around then. It was quite challenging to shoot during this time because of extreme temperatures and strong winds. Camping wasn’t either, but at the end, when you have this shot of which you have always dreamed of, you know it was worth all the efforts… Maybe it’s something only a Photo nerd understands 😊
5. You enjoy being in the wilderness all by yourself. What do you think about the increasing number of photographers who travel remote places like hunters, willing to take the „big shot“ that already exists? Do you feel an obligation to serve as an example treating nature with care?
Hope I get the question right, There is nothing more important than show your respect to Mother Nature. I’m always getting angry and sad at the same time, when I see former remote areas. Devastated or even destroyed by tourists. This Is something we all can change by just doing a small step… LEAVE NO TRACE….
6. The whole photographic process is very complex. Preparation, working in the field, processing, printing and online activities. Which part of the process do you like most? And which one is the biggest effort?
Definitely the shooting part. Of course, you must pay attention to all steps you mentioned to be successful. But being out in the field is still the reason I’m doing this…
7. How do you think about the development of landscape photography depending modern elements like social networking? Do you think it could be able to change the role of photography as a form of art?
I think this has already started. Even I catch myself thinking of doing a composition which only works on Instagram. When I notice that, I really try to focus myself why am I doing this. And it’s still for me, and not the audience with their phones, spending 2 seconds with your work.
8. Who or what is your biggest source of inspiration? Do you have any photographic role models?
Guess for me, the work of Marc Adamus was always a big influence for me. From the beginning on, I was fascinated from his unique compositional skills, in terms of shooting and final output.
9. How important is creativity for yourself? And what do you think about the importance of creativity for human beings in general?
Creativity is very important to me. Unique artwork can only be created with creativity in the field and in post processing. Try something new, you have never seen before.
10. Final Question: This project is called "Vision and life". What do the terms "vision" and "life" mean for you, Simon?
It’s all about having a vision in your life. Something to work and have a passion for. Something which brings purpose to your life. Guess for me, Photography is that kind of thing, that helped me to travel the world and see our landscape with different eyes.