Bart Heirweg: a professional nature photographer specialized in landscape photography. Autodidact, his motto is to “be at the right place at the right time with the perfect lighting”. Heirweg shared his experiences of being a photographer and his view on the Deeper Future.
1/ Why did you become a photographer?
I grew up in the countryside and was fascinated with nature from an early age. For years I was an impassioned ornithologist. It did not take long before I traded my binoculars for a camera. Nature was my first love, but I still ended up working in the IT business for about 7 years. I started to become restless and missed the outdoors. My passion for photography grew steadily and in 2009 I started working as a semiprofessional. In 2011, I finally took a leap of faith and gave up my job to become a professional landscape and nature photographer.
I never planned on becoming a photographer. I guess it was just something I felt I had to do. For me, being outside is therapeutic. I love nature's silence and its remarkable beauty. Photography is my way of sharing those unique moments with other people.
2/ Why are the arts important in our lives?
Next to nature, art is probably the most important facet of our society. Art can influence and reflect feelings, opinions and experiences. It has the power to move people and raise awareness about critical issues. I love how documentary photography can help bring about social change. Yet, in my own work, I choose not to show the darker sides of reality. By showcasing the beauty of nature in all its forms, I hope to make people realize that we should all do everything in our power to protect the planet.
3/ Considering your artistic point of view, what’s you vision of the deeper future?
Unfortunately no one can predict the future. But I hope that the near future will bring us to a point where the environment is considered a top priority. I long for the day when environmental protection will trump economic growth. Without nature there is no future. We need sustainable solutions and above all, new mindsets. My secret for a better tomorrow? Valuing the things money can't buy.
4/ Which factors you think will lead young people to a deeper future in which the environment and the arts are valued?
I feel like the younger generation is motivated to bring about a positive change to the world they live in. On all levels. They should be given the opportunity to find and develop themselves. Learning how to express yourself through the creative process and art should be considered as equally important as developing other skills.
5/ How will photography contribute to the creation of the Deeper Future?
Through my work I want to show my endless respect and passion for nature. It would be great if people could experience the same enthusiasm for nature's wonders when looking at my pictures. I rarely photograph people: nature is stronger than us and whatever happens to mankind, it will always succeed in restoring itself. Yet, we could all create a better world if we treated our planet better than we do now. By capturing nature's beauty, I hope to inspire people to respect the environment. Believe me, nature has so much to offer. Take it outside!
Interview by Chrysa Vazitari