I wanted to catch up with Light Painting Photographer Timo Rehpenning who recently won the Gold Metal for the above image in the category of “Night Images and Artificial Light” at the Trierenberg Super Circuit. Tim says “This is a win for all light painters” bringing more recognition of our art form at the largest photography contest in the world. Read on for all the details…
LPP ∇ Hey Tim Congratulations on your big win at the Trierenberg Super Circuit! It so great to see a Light Painter getting recognized at such a large event. Can you tell me a little more about yourself and how you got into Light Painting.
TR ∇ I have owned a dslr since 2008, until I got hooked up upon Light Painting I shot the usual, regular stuff most likely every beginner in photography shoots – plants, family (kids), all sorts of animals and insects, and so on ;-). After I paused from worklife because of a burn out and depression I tried to do photography a little more seriously and that was the time I stumpled over the works of Jan Leonardo Wöllert and other light painters. I just wondered “how the hell do they do that! A little later I had my first attempts with whoolspins after some tries and some fails, voila I had my first whoolie orbs done, that actually had a proper shape. Lots of experiments with different led lights followed. But it was not enough – I generally wanted to get deeper into photography. The best thing to do seemed to me to join in a local photo club. As it turned out later, I picked one of the most successful clubs in germany.
None of my clubmates had any expierence with Light Painting before and they were a bit skeptical about the images I showed them. In Dec. 2013 I got lucky and one of my images were picked for the LPWA Exhibition in Paris – I guess it was from that moment, people at the club took Light Painting a bit more serious.
LPP ∇ How did you become involved in the contest, did you find out about it through the club?
TR ∇ On regular club meetings there is much discussion about pictures and wether they would might work in contests, on that occassion I first heard about huge contests like “Al Thani”, “Hipa” and of course “Trierenberg Super Circuit”. Some of my clubmates seem to believe in the stuff I did and in early 2014 they convinced me to join a contest called German International Photo Cup, compared to Trierenberg it is a rather small one. I didn’t expect any of my Pictures to be good enough to actually compete but one of them got me my first gold medal and I was hooked. I submitted pictures to other contest and got at least several images accepted and at “Hipa” one of my images even made it to the last judging round.
You got to know, we’re talking about contests that are mostly about classic photography themes like Portrait, Landscape, Architecture, Nature.
Trierenberg however is a bit different, the people behind it are looking for images a bit more artistic than in other contests. That (besides beeing curious) was the main reason I sent in 14 images. The Contest is split into several, so called salons with categories like night photography, nature, nudes, portrait, digital art and so on… That got me a total of 30 acceptances, which alone is a huge honor in such a big contest. There was a total of 110,000 pictures from 110 countries that were submitted, which makes trierenberg truly the world biggest contest – one reason it is often refered to be the oscar of photography!
LPP ∇ Did you make the image specifically for this contest?
TR ∇ Actually no! After the exhibition in paris I got a call from a local TV station – they asked me about an interview and I created this image for that occasion.
LPP ∇ How did you find out you won?
TR ∇ At the end of the judging phase every particpant gets a notification via e-mail, which tells which picture got accepted. I however got an e-mail wich said I was one of the winners – awarded with the gold medal in the category “Nightlight and artificial light”! I was invited to the gala of photography in Linz. Don’t ask how many times I had to read that email until I finally realized I wasn’t dreaming!
LPP ∇ What did you win?
TR ∇ Loads of money? “laughing” Well no, I got a nice metal, that looks great in my display cabinet.
Only the winners of the “Grand prize” get some cash, but for that you have to have your pictures ranked at the top in all salons and different categories as well. I didn’t drive all the way to linz (from the place I live its about 650 km by car) only to get this medal, it was an awesome event and I had the chance to see really great pictures in each category, meet some fantastic people (and all of them crazy about photography, and many traveled half around the globe to join the gala – some of them came all the way from China and Australia) I made some new contacts.
The way I see it – The gold medal I just got is not only a medal for me, its for all Light Painters, the ones that got me into this kind of Art, the ones that pushed me and it is also for Dennis Calvert (thanks once more, mate!!) who developed the technique I used to create my winning picture.
LPP ∇ Congratulations again its a awesome image and a win for all of us, and thank you for taking the time to answer some questions!
TR ∇ Thank you.