Slovenia: Where The World Of Skating Meets The Beauty Of Nature
Anze Østerman is a freelance photographer and nature enthusiast from the stunning and varied country that is Slovenia. With an Instagram account brimming with misty mountains, whimsical trees and gaggles of friends, the photographer's most striking images are those introducing the world of skating to the tranquillity of nature.
We asked the talented young man to tell us a bit more about his incredible collection of work. Warning: may cause wanderlust.
Konbini | Where are you from?
Anze Østerman | I come from a little village below the Julian Alps. A place where you really have to leave your comfort zone to take photos in the heart of nature.
How old are you?
I'm 25 years old, a true 90s kid.
How did you become a photographer?
I'm self-taught. My experience comes from both observing others and from experimenting. I was also lucky enough to work with a photographer who continues to inspire me: Ciril Jazbec. He takes photos for National Geographic now.
The most interesting think I learnt from him was how to approach the subject. In a way, it was my only photography schooling. I also consider myself to be continually on the lookout for new innovation. I'm hungry for knowledge. Why? Because I'm always on the hunt for "style".
What can you tell us about Slovenia?
Slovenia is known both for its nature and its screwed up political system. I won't say any more about it, it'd be a waste of time. It's a typical former Yugoslav Republic which is trying somehow to adapt to European norms. That's about it.
It takes around an hour and a half to cross the country and watch its mountains, sea, great forests and beautiful cities. At the same time, when you have the possibility to see these kind of places, the hunger to discover, see and experiment, it's just the beginning. That's exactly what happened to me.
What intrigues you most about capturing nature on film?
Light is the first thing. And I like the way that light plays with nature. Especially with landscapes. I can express all of my emotions and interests with this medium alone. My inspiration comes from this relationship between man and the environment.
Whether it's nature or an urban setting, I'll always find a way to create harmony between the two. The thing I like the most is having to experience all these moments and the lens is like a buddy helping me capture them.
You've taken a fair few shots of guys like Luka Bizjak... Could you tell us a bit about the skate scene in Slovenia?
Some of my friends are very good skaters. Humble down-to-earth guys. You really feel that they live skating and that they don't care about being popular or playing the game. As I said, Slovenia is a small country but we have a high concentration of good skaters.
I really like the guys from R.O.W. Skateboards. They're nice guys who make their own skateparks and bowls. Their parties are often pretty great and they love eating pizza. Lots of pizza.
What is the beauty you find in these kinds of shots?
When you have the chance to skate on these roads in the middle of the forest, you tell yourself 'I am lucky'. There's no one around. Apart from your friends. And when perfect lighting is added to the environment, it's just magical.
In any case, skating goes perfectly with all atmospheres, as long as there's a hard ground and people with ideas. What I admire most in the world is people who go to developing countries as skate ambassadors. And they come back with amazing photographs. One day, I'll be one of them.
By Louis Lepron, publish on 08/06/2016