Interview with photographer Tytia Habing

Interview with photographer Tytia Habing


Tytia Habing lives and works in Watson, Illinois very near where she grew up on a working farm. Having spent most of her adult life living in the Cayman Islands, she moved back to her roots a few short years ago. She holds degrees in both horticulture and landscape architecture and is a self-taught photographer. Tytia’s work has been exhibited internationally and has been published in Lenscratch, Black + White Magazine, The Sun, Shots Magazine and National Geographic to name but a few. Most notably, her work has been featured on CNN recently and shortlisted for both the Black and White Photographer of the Year 2015 sponsored by Leica and Critical Mass 2015.

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© Tytia Habing

How and when did you become interested in photography?

It was a happy accident really. I never had any interest in photography previously even though my older brother graduated with a photography degree. I was in my last year at university in 1999, working towards my landscape architecture degree and I had some electives I needed to fill. I happened to find an intro to photography class that fit into my schedule and it was in a building very near the architecture buildings so it was convenient. I thought it would be a fun, easy class to round out my schedule. Little did I know I would almost immediately become obsessed with it. I spent every spare minute in the darkroom and my other classes kind of fell by the wayside. My intro to photography class suddenly had first billing! My last semester I took the follow up class as well, and that ended my official training in photography. Everything else has been self-taught.

Is there any artist/photographer who inspired your art?

When I first started photography, I knew nothing about the history of it or anything about other photographers so I was able to find my own style of shooting before being influenced by anyone else. I feel lucky to have been able to do that, because it’s very easy to fall into a trap of trying to emulate others and shoot like them. That’s not to say I don’t admire many other photographers, because I do. I’m inspired by others every single day, but there’s no one particular photographer that has inspired how and what I shoot.

Why do you work in black and white rather than color?

Black and white removes any distractions for the viewer. It’s easy to distill a black and white image and show the viewer exactly what you want them to see. I can focus on contrasting light, shape, lines, texture and negative space and not have to worry about color distracting the eye. Black and White also has a classic, timeless feel you can’t achieve with color. There’s nothing better than a black and white photograph with deep, rich blacks and a broad tonal range!

How much preparation do you put into taking a photograph/series of photographs?

I don’t have to do much preparation at all. All I need to do is make sure my camera batteries are charged and ready to go. My work is documentary in nature, so I grab my camera and go.

Where is your photography going? What projects would you like to accomplish?

I hope to continue shooting my fine art work as well as taking commissioned projects. I recently began working on my first conceptual project. It doesn’t have a name yet, but it’s based on the natural healing properties of nature. I hope to complete it by this fall.

Website: www.tytiahabing.com

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© Tytia Habing

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© Tytia Habing

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© Tytia Habing

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© Tytia Habing

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© Tytia Habing

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© Tytia Habing

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© Tytia Habing

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© Tytia Habing

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© Tytia Habing

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© Tytia Habing

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© Tytia Habing

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© Tytia Habing

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© Tytia Habing

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© Tytia Habing

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© Tytia Habing

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© Tytia Habing

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© Tytia Habing

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© Tytia Habing

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© Tytia Habing

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© Tytia Habing


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