PROFILE

Eberhard Schuy

"I believe it's the job of the photographer to photograph creatively and to be the one to come up with new ideas to create new images – only then comes the retouching," says Canon Ambassador Eberhard Schuy. This photo, titled Lips, was taken on a Canon EOS 5DS R with a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM lens at 1/125 sec, f/16 and ISO100. © Eberhard Schuy

Based near Cologne, Canon Ambassador Eberhard Schuy's flair for creative techniques has made him a favourite of advertising agencies and industrial clients around the world.

Eberhard has garnered a reputation within advertising and industrial circles for merging analogue techniques with digital photography in a compelling fashion. Known for doing as much in-camera as possible, the German photographer uses props, filters and a range of 'old school' effects to fulfil a brief, rather than solely relying on post-production.

Canon Ambassador Eberhard Schuy takes a photo with a Canon DSLR.


Location: Hürth (near Cologne), Germany
Specialist areas: Advertising, still-life, industrial
Favourite kit:
Canon EOS 5DS R
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM

"I do everything that is photographically possible to realise my vision in camera," Eberhard says. "My many years of analogue photography help with that. I think the less processed an image is, the higher its photographic value."

Eberhard's career began in 1972 when he gained an entry-level education in photography under Wim Cox in Cologne. He went on to work as an assistant, and completed a degree as a Master Photographer at Handwerkskammer, Cologne.

Upon graduating, Eberhard quickly secured work as a studio manager for an international advertising agency, where he stayed for over four years. In 1981 he took up a position as an advertising assistant for Linde AG Refrigeration and Equipment Technology in Cologne. He now runs his own photography business, specialising in advertising and industrial photography.

Eberhard uses props, filters and a range of 'old school' effects such as double exposure and a variety of filters to fulfil a brief, something he says has helped him to stay creative and to keep retouching time to a minimum.

A statue of a woman, with red shoes in the foreground, photographed by Eberhard Schuy on a Canon EOS R.
"Working with the camera and all the photographic equipment has, and always will have, a special fascination for me," says Eberhard. This photo, called Milan, the Lady, and her Shoes, was taken on a Canon EOS 5DS R with a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM lens at 1/8 sec, f/11 and ISO200. © Eberhard Schuy
A feather hovers above a wok full of liquid, photographed by Eberhard Schuy on a Canon EOS 5D Mark II.
Eberhard has garnered a reputation within advertising and industrial circles for merging analogue techniques with digital photography in a compelling fashion. Feather was taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark II with a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM lens at 1/25 sec, f/25 and ISO100. © Eberhard Schuy

"I'm a photographer first, so I believe in solving the task as well as possible photographically. Many techniques have been forgotten because it seems easier to do it in post-production, but this often makes the image worse and can remove the original creativity, because retouching can produce the same old look time and time again. I believe it's the job of the photographer to photograph creatively and to be the one to come up with new ideas to create new images – only then comes the retouching."

Reminiscing on his early days, he says: "It was such a special kind of work that you could only do with creativity... working with the camera and all the photographic equipment has, and always will have, a special fascination for me. The quality, but also the emotion and the spirit that determine each image, are the sole responsibility of the photographer. It took me a few years to fully understand that. Fortunately, I always had teachers who put great emphasis on this."

It was during these roles that Eberhard built up a wealth of knowledge that helped him set up his own business. In 1984, he founded his studio in Cologne, which now serves a multitude of German and international clients. "Any day with photography is a great day. I enjoy it today as much as I did 30 years ago, and I know I will enjoy it even more tomorrow."

In addition to still life, Eberhard also shoots industrial photography, is a guest lecturer, coach and consultant, and has written several training and product photography books. These books include his worldwide best-seller Object Photography Projects, which has been translated into multiple languages, and Timbulär, a word of his own invention, which discusses creativity in photography.

What is it about still life that keeps you motivated?
"From day one I was thrilled with the possibilities of staging objects and depicting them in a special way. There are no restrictions, everything is feasible, and it's your our own creativity that decides how the objects are presented."

What information do you like to get from the client prior to a shoot?
"I clarify the basics, so: which format? Do they want a specific background and/or perspective? Is there a reference picture? Do they want colour, black-and-white, or both? Will text and/or logos need to be added to a certain part of the image? How and where will the image be used? Trying to get a great picture without a plan never succeeds!"

What was the most important lesson you learnt setting up your business?
"It's crucial to have and to build a brand. Focus on your personality and don't go by what others are doing."

What qualities should a good still life photo have?
"Less is more! My photographs are very minimalist. I just have the subject and a relatively simple background. I think they ought to be free and that light should play a special role."

What's the most important thing to remember when shooting still life?
"The quality of the picture is not determined by the beauty or the emotion of the model or object. Any object, even if it's just an empty bottle, still has the right to be photographed respectfully. This sounds strange, but it means the value of the photography is always maintained at the highest level."


Facebook: @eberhard.schuy
Twitter: @eschuy
Linkedin: Eberhard Schuy
Website: www.schuyfotografie.de

Curls of paper photographed by Eberhard Schuy on a Canon EOS 5D.
"From day one I was thrilled with the possibilities of staging objects and depicting them in a special way," says Eberhard. This image, called Paper, was taken on a Canon EOS 5D with a Canon EF100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro lens at 1/110 sec, f/20 and ISO100. © Eberhard Schuy

One thing I know
Eberhard Schuy

"In this genre, the technique can be relatively easy to perfect, which is why it's important to portray your own creativity and your own ideas. For this, it is absolutely necessary to take a lot of photos. Restrict yourself to a few areas of photography and always remain self-critical. All photographers, no matter how well known they are, will question their photography from time to time. Only by doing this, can you truly develop your own style and be faithful to it rather than copying someone else. Show your pictures to as many people as you can and always take on board constructive criticism."

Eberhard Schuy's kitbag

The key kit that the pros use to take their photographs

Canon Ambassador Eberhard Schuy's photography kitbag, including a Canon EOS EOS R, M50, 5D and lenses.

Cameras

Canon EOS M50

Small and amazingly light, this modern classic packs the latest photo and video technology into a stylish design that fits in your hand. "I won't leave the house without it," says Eberhard.

Canon EOS R

A pioneering full-frame mirrorless camera that sets new standards. "This is the studio camera I work with daily," says Eberhard. "With perfect resolution, all my commercials are photographed with this camera."

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Made for those who demand the very highest standards in image quality, the EOS 5D Mark IV’s 30.4-megapixel sensor delivers images that are packed with detail, even in the brightest highlights and darkest shadows. Eberhard uses an older version of this DSLR, the Mark II. "A good old camera I still photograph simple product shots with – we can't be separated," he says.

Lenses

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM

Favoured by those wanting to carry a single lens on location, this lens delivers stunning image quality with advanced image stabilisation. "A great lens for industrial photography as often I shoot in difficult spaces, so the variable focal length gives me a greater flexibility than primes," says Eberhard.

Accessories

Batteries

"There are always a few, fully-charged, knocking around the set," says Eberhard.

Colour calibrator

"Perfect for RAW processing, it allows me to take a reference shot under any light condition and set the white balance, exposure, black level and brightness," says Eberhard.

Light meter

"I have my light meter for if I have to take care of the contrasts, with the illumination – especially with industrial photography," says Eberhard.

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