Dirk Fleischmann alias niphisi is a Stuttgart based photographer with a sharp eye for the small wonders in our everyday lives. His view of the world is a decidedly minimalistic one, his captivating works showcase nature in its purest, most inspiring form. What‘s even more impressive, though, is his equipment. Or his anti-equipment, more like: Most of the time, he hunts his themes using only his iPhone. The results are staggeringly beautiful, constantly pampering his 50,000 Instagram followers. He even attracted the attention of prestigious French photographic journal Apologie who were promptly honoring him with a twelve page feature (!) a while back. We spoke to the artist who claims he doesn‘t even have a clue what photography is all about. Curious? You should be!
Why did you choose an iPhone as your photographic weapon of choice?
Simple answer: Me and my wive traveling a lot, often hiking and climbing in the mountains. Dragging a heavy (and expensive!) camera up a steep peak is simply a nuisance and something I try to avoid. Plus, I like to have my camera ready at any point of time. Sometimes, it’s a matter of seconds when the light is just right. And what can I say – I liked the outcome and just continued using my iPhone.
How did you become involved in photography in the first place?
Photography never really was a hobby. I was more of the sports guy. Some years ago, though, we began traveling rather frequently. We prefer stripped-down, simple holidays far away from the tourist masses and seek the loneliness of nature. We set up camp in self-catering holiday homes off the beaten path and explore the surroundings with open eyes. At first, the pictures we took were mostly for our private collection and for our kids who will one day presumably cherish the effort. [chuckles]
Did your friends or family like your photos?
They absolutely did! I don’t know, maybe it’s because I’m optometrist with a rather different view of the world. I pay attention to tiny details no one else even notices. What drives me mad, for example, is when a picture has a skew horizon. The horror! And thus, it started and I got more and more absorbed in this field.
And along came Instagram?
Well, not exactly. It all started out as some sort of gag five years ago when I just uploaded a couple of landscape pictures which were received extremely well. The more I took pictures, the more I realized I’m rather into a minimalistic or slightly surreal kind of style. My only problem was I had no clue how to achieve the results I wanted!
Next stop Photoshop?
No, I just fiddled around with a couple of very simple, very basic, very cheap apps. Learning by doing, that’s what I did for quite some time, slowly developing the style I am showcasing today.
And that’s it? An iPhone and some basic apps?!?
That’s it! And from that point on, the number of my Instagram followers grew surprisingly fast.
Well, I am neither a graphic designer nor a photographer. I am only a man with an iPhone. But I learned that I seem to be a guy who notices things nobody else is noticing. I am out and about as often as possible; often, I stumble upon small wonders like a fern with an absolutely adorable raindrop clinging to it. Nothing special, yet a perfect work of art. It’s a shame but too often, people are oblivious to the beauty that surrounds them.