Interview with Instagram Legend: @herbertschroer Part 2

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Herbert Schroer
IG Name: @herbertschroer
764 Photos
183 Followings
Living in Delft, The Netherlands. • @igersholland & @seemycity • iPhone 4 & 5 http://herbertschroer.com

Instagram has quite the photographic powerhouse brewing in the Netherlands. Mechanical engineer student Herbert Schoer is putting his Dutch country on the IG radar. Equipped with a storytelling eye, an array of honest editing styles, and an occasional whim of inventiveness, Schoer is sharing gorgeous photography everyday. Pulling inspiration from an intense music passion, — a single note on the piano can strum up discovery — he has been busily creating images on IG for over two years. Some of his best imagery comes from the coldest of days, where he braves the icy temps and showcases the snowy roads and trees of his home country. It’s easy to admire his use of the color white, because he captures it so accurately. Finally, his winning invention is the blended #fromwhereistand creations, where he combines two photos into a perspective paradox. He can manipulate the ground he walks on and  can turns steps into stratospheres. In his world, why shouldn’t you be able to stand on the clouds? He has planted himself firmly on a platform reserved for only those with super talent. This is Herbert Schroer, and he’s an Instagram legend.

 (Note: Some images below are Schroer’s DSLR work)

@herbertschroer DSLR 01


The People’s Choice | Handpicked questions from the Instagram community

What is your accuracy in taking beautiful photos? eg. from 10 shots of the same view or subject how many of the 10 are you satisfied? 10/10, 1/10? – @regin0

Well, at least my general accuracy nowadays is higher than it used to be. I used to basically shoot everything, but I’m more and more able to pre-curate what I’m shooting. I’ve especially gotten better at judging the quality of light. I know now that when I take a shot outside in the afternoon on a sunny day that the chances of me using that shot are quite small, due to the harsh light.

When talking about taking multiple photos of the same view the results differ. I mostly shoot with the native iPhone camera app with HDR on, and when I have the time I take about 3 to 5 shots. A couple on autofocus and a couple by tapping a certain area in my shot. Sometimes I also take it both in portrait and in landscape mode. So I end up with 6 to 10 shots of the same view. I’m never satisfied with all of them, since they’re made with some different settings. So let’s say 1 to 3 out of 10.

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Your pictures have a very nice and consistent tonal range, whether they are taken in sunlight, darkness or on a cloudy day. How do you achieve that? –  @wolfelix

Thank you very much! The most import (and easiest) thing is to only take photos in good light conditions. Most of my photos that are taken in sunlight are taken around sunset or sunrise. Around this time you get very soft light and this will also give you deeper colors. Other great light conditions are on rainy or overcast days, fog, and inside buildings with a lot of white or reflective surfaces.

What also has a very large impact on my color consistency is vsco cam. Looking at my color photos taken over the last couple of months, I think I’ve used vsco cam filter 4 on over 80% of those photos.

Have you experienced a real sense of connectedness with fellow IG -ers or have you had to sacrifice this for popularity – ie: too many comments to answer? – @carolyne46

It has changed some things. I used to thank everyone for their nice comments, but at one point it started to become so much work that I stopped doing that. I rather use that time looking at other people’s photos or edit new ones of my own. I still read all comments and truly appreciate all the nice things people are saying. I do still answer questions and react to the more special comments.

However, although I don’t respond to every comment I do experience a sense of connectedness with the people I follow myself. I don’t follow that many people because I want to be able to see all their photos, and most of those people I follow also follow me back. I do feel a real connection with most of them and I’ve also met a couple of them in real life now.

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What is your ambition in Photography, what subject is on your wishlist? – @carlijnw

Two years ago I didn’t even know I was able to do what I do now, so I don’t have any long cherished ambitions. For now I just want to have fun doing it, finish my study, and then see what it might bring. I have no ambition in becoming a wedding/party photographer, but if National Geographic would call and offer me a job….

A country that’s been at the top of my travel wish list for quite some years (ever since I saw the music documentary Heima by Sigur Rós) is Iceland. Now I’m into photography I want to go there even more. I hope I’ll be able to go this summer, but it’s by no means a sure thing.

What do you consider to be the biggest influences in mobile photography over the last few years and what would you like to see in the future? – @frankearly

I think there are two really big influences:
1) Photos taken by mobile phone cameras have become pleasant to look at.
2) Social media, and especially Instagram.

In the future I hope to see mobile phone cameras get better and better, and I’m quite sure that will happen. Also some manual aperture control would be nice.

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Life Questions:

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Going skiing on a sunny day with fresh snow in a beautiful snowy mountain landscape together with friends and family without a care in the world.

What is your greatest fear?

Having to live without having full control over your mind and body. My mother passed away in 2006 due to a stroke. I think she was “lucky” to have died that same day instead of having to spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair or worse. If you’ve seen the film Amour by Michael Haneke you might understand what I’m talking about.

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What is your greatest extravagance?

Concert tickets, cd’s and musical instruments.

On what occasion do you lie?

When I don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings.

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What do you dislike most about your appearance?

I’ve had a bicycle accident about two years ago and that left me with a scar between my eyebrows and one under my left eye. You don’t really see it in low light, but in bright light it’s quite obvious.

Which living person do you most despise?

Not really one person, but anyone who makes a lot of money off other people’s faith and gullibility. I’m talking about people like mediums, faith healers and also lots of companies.

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What is the quality you most like in a man?

Someone who doesn’t take himself too seriously.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?

I think the same goes here; someone who doesn’t take herself too seriously. Funny, kind, humble…

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Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

In my head: f*ck it. That mostly means I’m going to do something I wasn’t planning on doing in the first place.

On Instagram: awesome, cool, beautiful, etc…

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

Since I don’t have a girlfriend at the moment I think I’ll go with music. Also my father and my brother mean a lot to me.

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When and where were you the happiest?

During my skiing holidays, though traveling in general makes me very happy.

Which talent would you most like to have?

Having the courage to stand on a stage and play music in front of other people. I also would like to be able to sing.

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If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I would like to be a bit taller. I’m 1,78m, for a Dutchman (the tallest people in the world) that’s relatively short. At concerts I’m mostly looking at the backs of other people’s heads. When I was in China in 2011 I felt quite tall though.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

That will probably happen at the end of this year when I finish my study and I can call myself Master of Science.

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What is your most treasured possession?

Physically: my iPhone.

Non-physically: the memories I have of my mother.

What do you most value in your friends?

The fact that even if I haven’t seen some of them for a while (my friends from high school live all across the country), when we meet it just feels like we saw each other the day before.

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What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Not wanting to live anymore.

What is your favorite occupation?

Photographing and making music.

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What is your most marked characteristic?

I don’t really know.

Who are your favorite writers?

I don’t read a lot of books. I have quite a short attention span and I’m always thinking about so many things at the same time that finishing a book takes me ages. I started the book House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski over a year ago and I’m still not even halfway. Instagram also has a major part in this.

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What is your favorite film?

Can’t say just one film. A couple of my favorites are: The Fountain, Lost in Translation, Survive Style 5+, Adams Apples, Into the Wild and every film by Wes Anderson.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?

I guess that would have to be some really smart and handsome scientist or something. Haha. No, I genuinely have no idea.

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Who are your heroes in real life?

My parents, who allowed me to have a carefree childhood. Also my grandpa (who passed away in 2006); he was one of the kindest, most heartwarming people I’ve ever known.

What is your greatest regret?

Not having discovered photography at an earlier age.

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What is your motto?

Like Spinvis, one of my favorite Dutch artists, sings in his song Kom Terug: “Reis ver, drink wijn, denk na, lach hard, duik diep, kom terug.”
It English it means “Travel far, drink wine, think, laugh hard, dive deep, come back.”

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  1. Stephen says:

    As always a great interview (well done, Nick!) but he does strike me as being rather full of himself… For someone who has only been taking photos of fields and the same canal for about a year, a little perspective wouldn’t hurt. Hopefully it’s an age thing (we’ve all reached a certain arrogance peak in our early twenties), and it will wear off in time (one of the gifts of age). He has a lot of potential but I really think a little humility would open his horizons and make him a better photographer.

  2. Michele says:

    Gosh, I just love these interviews! I learn so much. Thank you. :)

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