Jo Fober talks about his experiences of being an architectural photographer

Jo Fober talks about his experiences of being an architectural photographer

Jo Fober of talks about his experiences of being a photographer and how he turned to architectural photography. His work has been published and widely exhibited.

“Hi, my name is Jo Fober, 54 years old and working as a photographer for the past 15 years. I originally started as a fashion photography and gradually moved to architectural photography over the years. I didn’t study photography, this I learnt by assisting photographers and being part of TPW in Italy. This is where I worked with Andreas Bitesnich and gained far more knowledge in photography than I could have done through academic studies.”

“My first exhibition took place during Photokina 2014 in cooperation with Cologne photo scene. This was followed by a largely successful group exhibition during January 2017 at the Kaune Contemporary Gallery in Cologne, which in turn paved the way for my first solo exhibition around June 2017 called URBAN PLAYGROUNDS at the very same gallery. My work was also presented at ART Cologne in 2017 and 2018.

Since 2016, my works in architectural photography are being published periodically in Qvest magazines – the Paris, Cologne, New York City and Vienna editions so far. Three of those publications even made it to the magazine cover.

My first book by ‘Bachem Verlag’ will be released this summer.”

How did you decide that architectural photography was your passion?

“Moving over to architectural photography wasn’t actually an active decision. In 2012 The Victor Hasselblad Magazine published a number of my images and as the feedback I received was extremely positive I changed over from fashion to architectural photography.”

What made you decide to choose a Cambo camera system?

“The demands on my Hasselblad HTS based equipment quickly outgrew its capabilities, so I needed to move to a more professional camera system that would stand up to the rigours of being used regularly on-location. The final decision was made between Alpa and Cambo.

Both brands are perfectly up to the task, however the kind and flexible support received from Cambo just scored the final points. Additionally, the Phase One team based in Cologne is within close distance to me and I can get good support from them as well.”

Which camera and lenses did you choose?

“My model of choice is the WIDE RS 1200, since it’s compact and handy. In conjunction with Rodenstock objectives, I can get more shifting capability than my work actually requires. Based on the advice from both Cambo and Phase One, I chose the Rodenstock 32mm HW-W Digaron lens and 90mm lens with the Cambo Tilt/Swing panel. 

Since using the Rodenstock 90mm lens, I’ve also found it’s perfect for food, product and architectural detail photography.”

How do you operate and which digital camera back do you use?

“Currently I’m using the iPhone focus adapter which works very well. Although I’m interested to try the loupe system, however the live focus function on digital backs have improved, so I will be considering my options.

I shoot with a Phase One digital back. To start with I chose the IQ180 the upgraded to the IQ380 with an 80MP CCD sensor. Now I’m eager to upgrade to the 100MP CMOS sensor – this does have better live focus, so it may help with my shooting process.

Stitching shots is part of the game when shooting as an architectural photographer. This capability was paramount when choosing the right camera. The lenses I chose have a wide enough image circle so I can apply the required movement for stitching.”

So you’ve pretty much covered the main camera, lenses and components you use for architectural photography. What else do you carry in your kitbag?

“Obviously I carry the Cambo kit which I’ve had for 3 and a half years. It works just like it did on the first day – it’s a great bit of kit.

In the past, I used only medium format cameras from Hasselblad, but those are no match for the equipment I am using now. You can stitch and shift the viewing angle – this is wonderful.

I started out with Hasselblad, because I’ve used the Phase One Back on a Hasselblad camera. However, two years ago I changed over to PhaseOne XF Camera body and I love this one, too. 

Most of the time both cameras are inside my kitbag; Cambo with 2 Rodenstock lenses, 32mm and 90mm T/S. PhaseOne XF Body with IQ380, 55mm, 80mm and 120mm lenses. I also carry a range of Lee Filters, a digital rangefinder for working interiors and a laptop. Plus, one Profoto B1 flash.”

Thanks for the feedback Jo and we look forward to meeting you at your exhibition starting week.

Gallerie Kaune

Here is the English translation;

American Spirit  

In times of new, uncertain perspectives, we are looking back at a country whose culture and support have had a significant and positive influence on Western Europe over many years. A country that has shown controversial images to the world since there were photographic works, but has always been a destination that has produced and thus extensively fulfilled desires and dreams.

With the photographic works of George Holz, Mark Arbeit, Todd Hido, Peter Granser, Jo Fober and Peter Fürst, the facets of people, opinions and landscapes are mirrored.

For further advice about Cambo cameras and lens choice contact your local Cambo dealer or Cambo Fotografische  technical sales.

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