NEW KDHamptons Featured Artist: Photographer Stefan Radtke
One of the things Hamptonites love most about living on Long Island are the incredible sunsets and sunrises we get to enjoy every day. KDHamptons recently discovered an incredible photographer who captures them like nobody else, Stefan Radtke, and we want to share his work with our readers. Stefan shares, “In my previous career I was actually a partner and executive in two entertainment companies where I was involved in financing, licensing and marketing of over 1,500 Hollywood films. After having lived in Berlin, Munich, London and Milan I moved to New York in 2002 to reinvent myself. “It was always a dream of mine to live in New York. Career-wise it led me to studying photography at the International Center of Photography (ICP) in NYC, being mentored by famed photographers such as Amy Arbus and Mark Seliger.
Stefan shares, “After I moved to the states, East Hampton was my first summer vacation trip. It is a very serene and inspirational place, and I have enjoyed coming back ever since. The Hamptons will play a big roll in my next fine art series. It’s a magical place with incredible light.” Learn more about Stefan and his work in this NEW KDHamptons Featured Artist Diary, below:
KDHamptons: How would you describe your photography?
Stefan Radtke: My art photography is contrasting my portrait photography where I mainly photograph business leaders, celebrities, athletes or musicians for magazines and advertisers. My photography artwork is inspired by my film background, the style of abstract expressionists and the color palettes of local landscapes. I am giving the audience room to interpret my photographs. Instead of actively telling a story, I let the audience take the photographs as an inspiration for their own stories.
KDHamptons: What inspires your photography?
Stefan: My inspiration is my film background, abstract expressionism and my goal to find beauty in our often hectic lives. My images are about letting go of conventions and the classic rules of photography. They are an exploration of what is possible. In my early photography career I had the opportunity to study under the famed photographer Amy Arbus, whose advice was: “Try to let go.” My artwork has been very much inspired by that advice. It is about allowing things to happen and being in the moment to create something new.
KDHamptons: Please tell us about your current works.
Stefan: My current bodies of work are abstracted views of local East-Coast landscapes. They are visions of local color and emotions. I currently live in Rye, New York with my wife and two children. My work is being collected in the US, Australia and Europe. My commercial work has been published in various magazines in the US and Europe.
KDHamptons: Do you prefer working on commercial & editorial projects or your fine art photography?
Stefan: For about 8 years I have been working as a photographer in New York for editorial and commercial clients. I photograph people for magazines and advertising clients and those sets can be intense. Normally we have around 5-8 people on set, but recently I had a shoot where I had to direct over 100 people. My serene fine art photography work gives me an opportunity to pause, to reflect and to breathe again. You could say, my art photography is my meditation. It helps me to stay centered.
KDHamptons: Where did you shoot these Long Sound images?
Stefan: The images were shot over several months in 2014 and 2015 around sunrise from a vantage point in Rye, NY looking East over the Long Island Sound. You have to be up and out early to catch such light and the serenity that accompanies it. The opportunity for those images only last for a few minutes every day before the bright sunlight signals the beginning of the daily grind.
KDHamptons: How do you achieve the almost digital look to your images ?
Stefan: When we learn about photography we first learn about appropriate shutter speeds and a steady camera. Actually we don’t even have to know about it since our cameras come with a lazy Auto Mode. But the Auto Mode can only create canned results, which is fine for a lot of applications. My images are everything but automatic. I use long exposure techniques and a moving camera to create my fine art work. I also have to modify my lenses to reduce the amount of light that can enter the camera. The “light beam” is actually the first tiny bit of the sun peeking across the horizon over the Sound, and since the camera moves horizontally during exposure the sun creates this “light beam” on the horizon that separates sky and water. Hence also the name of this series: FIRST LIGHT.
KDHamptons: Where can our readers buy your work and what is the average price point for prints?
Stefan: My work can be seen and bought at my gallery http://stefanradtke.co. I also work with a few interior designers and art consultants in the Hamptons. A 40×50 inch print behind acrylic glass sells for around $2,400 and is part of a limited edition. As editions start to sell out prices increase for that image. Different size are available on request.
**For more information please go to: www.stefanradtke.co or call 914.439.2953