Some of the finest blue tints and gorgeous brown tones on Instagram are available through the work of @toblr. Tobi's plethora of landscape photography oozes with a certain cinematic quality leaving us longing for more images which, when pieced together, form a delicate framework for those things that define his passion as a photographer and style as a creator. Tobi was ever so kind in lending us his thoughts and feelings and in describing how those two things are intertwined in his imagery. Read along to learn more!
I’m Tobi. I’m 23 years old and from Bavaria in Germany. I learned Graphic Design and Web Development here at an ad agency and now I’m designing and developing websites with love. This couldn’t have been better for me to get such a perfect job. I love the work and my colleagues. But, of course, there’s the question: How did I came to photography? I installed Instagram some years ago. I think it was around 2011. First it was just a plattform to share some impressions of my life with my girlfriend, but after some time, it worked out to show people my passion for photography. After I started here at the agency I got the opportunity to take shots with our Canon 5D Mark II and now Mark IV, so this gave me more time to unterstand what photography means to me: to have the perfect shot of a moment to remember it by for the rest of my life.
WHAT KEEPS YOU INTERESTED IN PHOTOGRAPHY AND DESIGN?
I think for me it has been Instagram and traveling. I'm following some inspiring and very talented people out there who have awesome ideas which I want to learn from and experiment with. The best example was my trip to the US last year. There are several people from LA, Vegas and San Francisco I'm following on Instagram and I’ve always wanted to visit those cities. My dad planned a road trip with a friend from Phoenix, AZ to San Francisco, CA and so did I! It was an awesome feeling to stand in places that I only knew from pictures. I'm a little bit sad that I couldn't take the 5D Mark II with me, but I think some of the shots that I took with my iPhone show my love for this country regardless.
WHEN YOU ARE OUT SHOOTING HOW MUCH OF IT IS INSTINCTUAL VERSUS PLANNED?
Well, sometimes I see a motive on the web and I think, “I have to take this shot too!” But mostly it’s completely instinctual. I go out there, watch the nature and various subjects and take a photo. Or two. Or three. Or twenty and then search for the best one. I’m often trying to get other perspectives like most of the people out there who love photography. Sometimes I’m laying on the ground or standing in some bushes just to have some grass in front of my lense or hanging from a tree for a different perspective. That sounds weird but often this is essential to me for a perfect picture.
WHAT DOES YOUR EDITING PROCESS GENERALLY LOOK LIKE?
First of all, I look through all of the pictures I’ve taken. After I found a good one, I open it in Adobe Lightroom where I complete some small, general edits such as cropping the picture, changing the contrast a bit and so on. After that, I go into the Mextures app and search for complementary filters to use. This can sometimes take a while because I don't like to use certain filters as favorites. Why? That's simple: I always want to create a different look on my pictures. Sure, there's a general aesthetic to all of them but I really like to try something new each time.
After that, I save the photo and then go into Photos to look at it more closely. Once I feel good about the image I’ll upload it to my Instagram feed.
HOW SPECIFICALLY DO YOU USE MEXTURES IN THAT PROCESS?
Mextures is my app for creating fantastic and colorful effects on my shots. There are so much filters, gradients and possibilities that no other app has. There are so many combinations for so many different styles of images that you will always find a perfect match!
WHAT HAVE YOU FOUND TO BE YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE IN DEVELOPING YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY?
My biggest challenge… that's a good question. There were several problems at once. First of all there was the time. Maybe this is a challenge that most people have to deal with when photography is their hobby and not their job. I had to find free time to go out and walk or drive around my country to find the scenes that I wanted to photograph.
The second challenge is to sort the shots. I often have this problem where I take a picture, think it's awesome, and then after I’ve imported it I see that I don't like it anymore. But then again, when I show the pictures to my friends they love them, so maybe I shouldn't look at my photos for so long.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE PIECE TO CREATE SO FAR?
I took this one on my first day in Iceland. We were on the beach at Vík and the moment I looked at the screen of my Canon I knew that this was the picture which would define my entire vacation. There are birds, you can see some cliffs in the background, there’s water, waves and the black beach with a beautiful sunset. There’s everything that is Iceland to me.
WHO ARE THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE MOST INSPIRED YOUR WORK?
When I installed Instagram in 2012, I always felt like this was my photography platform. I first followed some of my Twitter friends like @gillyberlin who is now one of my favorite followings. I often get ideas from people like @craighowes, @benjaminhardman and @bryanadamc. These are the best of the best and I love the shifting of colors, landscapes and the blur effects.
Dig into more of Tobi’s imagery right here!