Intuitive Photography – The winning shot of the month May

Leipzig POP Student Natalia Quadt relies on her intuition when it comes to picking a motive. With a high-contrast black-and-white photo, the BA candidate has made it onto the cover of the Campus Calendar 2021 for the month May. In an interview, she talks about inspiration, aesthetics and the right moment to take the shot.

More than just taking a few pictures

Ever since she was a little girl, Natalia has loved to draw; that's how she discovered her main passion, graphic design. This year, she received her diploma in graphic design at the Deutsche POP in Leipzig and also took some photography courses. In June, she will go one step further with her BA (Hons) Graphic Design. During her photography courses, Natalia discovered a different kind of photography for herself, as she tells us: "I wanted to get away from the classic 'I'll take some pictures on vacation'. Now I understand the camera and the aesthetics." In her 1.5 years of training, she has discovered many aspects of photography for herself that she never knew about before: "my teacher showed me a different way of looking at photography. Now I feel much more confident in what I do," the May winner reveals.

Aesthetics can be found anywhere

The winning shot was taken during a late summer sunset last year; it was the last warm day. Summer is coming to an end, the harsh autumn is approaching - a melancholic mood lies in the air, which Natalia has skillfully captured in her photo. 

The May motive features a pair of dainty hands and feet, framed with dry flowers and stones. A striking, spiraling henna tattoo seems to draw the viewer's focus. The black-and-white tint, which Natalia later added in Lightroom, brings out the playful contrast between the different elements: light skin and dark background, cold, hard stone and warm, soft skin, the girl's youthful and petite appearance and the wilting flowers that are past their prime. Although the painting is marked by contrasts, these elements do not appear harsh, but stand out harmoniously.

Natalia has met many of her "muses", as she puts it, in her everyday life. "There are people I find beautiful in a certain way. They don't have to meet any beauty standards, but they have that certain something." She adds, "I like having shy people in front of my camera. Everything seems honest and pure; it's magical how people can open up through photography; and friendships are formed."

Trust your feeling and thake the shot

When it comes to choosing a motive, Natalia tends to work spontaneously and with feeling. 

"I'm not necessarily the professional who pays meticulous attention to composition and exposure, I'm more of an intuition photographer. I look at the complete mood, and when it feels right, I take the shot." 

she laughs. Natalia seems to have the right idea about when a moment is worth capturing. Still, she thinks that you never stop learning. Natalia tells us, for example, that her winning photo is actually just a section from a larger photo. In this picture, however, this particular section has appealed to her. She still sees herself as a beginner and hobby photographer, but can already give the following advice: "You should look more at the details when taking the picture, instead of cutting out a section later. But I learn something new every time!"

We congratulate Natalia on her feature and wish her all the best for the upcoming Bachelor start in June!

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