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Featured #14: Jan Cibula

A few months ago I stumbled upon the artistic nude work of Jan Cibula in the LFI gallery. I think Jan’s work is very classy and tasteful, but also reflects his skills. It’s not always easy to come with original shots when you’ve done shots like these many, many times.

WARNING: while I always have to laugh about how photographers have to blur nipples and genital areas on Facebook and Instagram (why Facebook, really, why??), Jan did include some of his more provocative work. These are shown on the bottom of this page, just so you know. You might not want to check these out at work. Although if you were working for me (no, I’m not hiring), I wouldn’t mind at all.

1) Can you tell a bit about your background (as a photographer)

‘As a web designer and teacher for photography and photoshop I started photography in 2008. After almost 600 shootings with my Canon equipment I took a one year break from photography, not having this creative spark anymore. Of course I have done a lot of portraits, fashion, nude and even fetish photography but the creative process was not fun anymore. In my everyday work as a (web)designer I also take portraits, architectural photos or drone-shots.’

 

2) How did you get into the Leica system?

‘In November 2014 I fulfilled a longtime dream and bought my first Leica camera: an M 240 with a 50mm Summilux f1.4 lens. After 1 month just looking at the camera I took first street photographs in France and Spain during a holiday trip with my wife – my portfolio on leicamoment.com was born. 

Two months later I had my first model shoot and photographed classic portraits, details and art nudes. After finding my technique to develop and retouch my raw-photos I instantly knew: THIS IS IT – I finally found my lost creativity again and the emotion I was looking for!

It is may sound naive but with this reduced functionality, manual focussing and new way of working I found a more creative and conscious pace of taking photographs. I learned to see the light and shadows, I learned to focus on details and I didn’t care if a photo was not perfectly sharp as long as it had emotions. Not once I got such an emotional impact before working with the Leica M.’

3) Which camera and lenses do you have?

‘In summer of 2020 my whole equipment was stolen (Leica M 240 camera and my lenses 50mm Summilux, 35mm Summicron, 90mm 2.0). Fortunately my insurance company repaid 85% of the worth. In autumn 2020 I bought the Leica M10-R, the 50mm Summilux and later a 28mm f2.8 (almost never used it though). 

I am really only using the 50mm f1.4 lens as it is just wonderful and unbelievable how much soul and wonderful colour rendering it brings. If I just have to pick one lens, this is it and really I use it mostly full open at f1.4 or f1.7. This dream combination completely changed my style of photography. ‘

 

4) What kind of pictures do you take and why?

‘I mainly shoot female models as I love communicating with them, their emotional depth and sensual physique. I shoot 99% with available daylight as this gives me soft shadows, soft light and allows me to create the shallow depth of field.  Focussing on details and textures for me is as interesting as capturing a sensual or classic pose. 

In my studio I have gathered a lot of classic timeless furniture, hundreds of classic dresses and some hand painted backgrounds with wonderful textures to create my emotional and classic photos. The background is as important as the model and the pose – sometimes I succeed in telling a story in my photographs.

Since 2018 I try to push my boundaries and also take very erotic photographs. I even photograph bdsm or explicit style, but always with this romantic-emotional twist: I call it „romanterotica“. As it is not safe for work I cannot publish these explicit photographs on any public platform.

I would be very happy to get feedback and reactions to my photography. Thank you Joeri for having me and presenting some of my work.’

Want to see more? leicanude.com