Absence of life

Landscape-Photography is something I really appreciate, especially when nature shows its raw character. Landscapes can look very unique.

What affects me most are pictures that seem to threaten you, because of the unreal landscapes that look like from another planet. You won´t believe that life is possible there. That always fascinates me and somtimes I would like to put a human being into the picture to get a surrealistic component into it. But when you are standing in the middle of nowhere it´s hard to find someone who would do that for you.

These pictures I have taken a few years ago in Namibia, Vietnam and Jordan.

Architecture is boring!

Don´t get me wrong. Architecture is pretty exciting. Since I´ve dived deeper into the Bauhaus-era I get a new feeling for Design and the conception of buildings. There is so much to study about, it really enlightens my mind. And if you see impressive buildings nowadays it´s always awesome to see what architects are able to create.

Nevertheless if there is a topic in photography I am hardly interested in then it´s architeture-photography. A building can look amazing, but it´s an static object. You can move around or maybe get a look inside, but the sweetspots are always the same. If you try landscape-photography you can walk through the landscape and see how it changes. If you try studio-photography you can shoot objects in different contexts and if you try street-photography it´s always about that special moment to capture. But a building is a building and the possibilities are pretty limited. I think that´s why architecture-photography always – and I mean always – looks the same. Everyone takes the same picture. From a higher or lower angle, maybe with a different focal length or different focuspoint, but it´s always the same damn picture. And these pictures generate interest just because of the buildingconcept and not because of the photographers skills. That´s why I think architecure-photography is pretty boring.

But maybe I´m wrong. If you know someone who really takes extraordinary architectural pictures leave me a comment or write me a mail. I haven´t found one yet.

In my photography-course I had to take architecural photos, so I went to the artmuseum in Bonn. It was build in 1992 by the architects Dietrich Bangert, Bernd Jansen, Stefan Scholz and Axel Schultes. The modern geometric stucture is international style. That´s why I tried to capture these strict lines and geometric shapes.

I´m sadisfied with what I got, but I don´t think that I found a new perspective. Decide yourself. Here is what I got.

My favorite subjetct

This time I have only one picture to share. In his last post Torsten asked me what is my favorite subject to shoot. It´s easy to answer: People! Or more specific: Street-Portraiture.

I like shooting people in a raw and authentic style as they are, but I always have to overcome my fears to talk to strangers and ask them for taking their picture. Although nobody ever rejects me, it´s always an exciting situation and sometimes I lost the chance of getting the picture when I start thinking about what to tell them. So now I try to force myself to stop thinking and just start shooting.

The people I´m interested in are those who are living a differend kind of life or besides society. I do not judge anyone, but sometimes I think, if I do not get their picture, maybe no one will ever know that they exist or what kind of problems they might have.

I met the guy in the picture in Los Angeles while I was travelling along the West Coast. We got eyecontact and when he saw my camera, he asked me to take his picture. So I positioned him in front of a garage and he started posing. He might be a drug addict or just a strange guy. I had no chance to know more about his background, because as soon as I took 3 or 4 pictures he went away. I really liked that guy, but probaly I will never see him again.

I think the real subject of this picture is the prejudice. You see a black guy with a gun pointing at you. But when you look closer you will see that he is holding a toygun in his hand. Things are not always what you expect. And if you follow the „Black-Lives-Matter“- Compaign you will get the point. That´s why this is my personal favorite photo I have ever taken.

The beauty of black and white… and negative space

When I mentioned that I hate colors I didn´t mean that colors are useless in any way. There are a lot of wonderful colored photos out there. But when I review my own pictures I almost never see colors in them. That´s how my mind works. Even when I press the shutter, the world through the lenses exists in contrasts. So that´s why my pictures are mostly black and white, but I also appreciate people like Torsten, who have the ability to create extraordinary pictures in colors, but I know I am not a part that group.

Besides the black-and-white-photography I really like negative space. So here are some older examples that I want to share with you. I chose the Coney Island picture as an answer to Torsten’s last post. Funfairs can also look great desaturated.

Stormtrooping II.

Being envious about Torsten’s Stormtrooper-photoshoot I decided to publish my own Photoshooting with a 4-inch-Skywalker-action-figure. This picture was made for my photography-course to practice aperture and focal length. Luckily when I arrived at the Rhein to take the picture of little-Luke in front of the famous panoramic view of Cologne the sun was already gone, so that I got very atmospheric photos.

I hate colors, so everything I publish is black and white, but this is an exception. These pictures are probably the only ones you will ever see in my work that are coloured. So enjoy!

views of Cologne

So this is it. Our first blog post together. Last Saturday we Sascha and I met up in Cologne to do a photowalk together, our first in two years. The night before we discussed our possible routes and what we wanted to make images of. Both of us are interested in doing street photography, but European and German laws have become increasingly restrictive over the years that we did not want go full-on Bruce Gilden, even though in an art-context such as this, it should be ok to do more upfront street shots with people. But enough of what we did not do, on to what we decided on. We settled on the scenic route through Cologne,starting with the Cathedral, as it does afford some interesting perspectives, then we went over the Deutzer Bridge to get some midday panoramas…. but see for yourself.

In effect we worked from noon to after sunset, working the streets for images that represent the aspects of Cologne as we saw it. Even though we both walked the exact same streets together, our images are very different. The difference does not only lie in the fact that Sascha’s are in black and white and mine are in color, though. We see very differently, too. Here details are extracted from the scene and put in a figure / ground context: legs separated from the people and set as lines against the ground, shadows only as symbols of people, the soap-bubble singled-out between the cathedral’s two towers (the cute-eye-of-Sauron-shot, as I call it). My shots have more overview, are in a way more representative of the space they were taken in, less mysterious, more naturalistic in nature.

Both ways of seeing are hopefully delightful to you, both in their very different genres and styles. Let’s start with Sascha’s gallery:

 

And here are Torsten’s pictures, we cut down the selection to ten images each, to keep the experience somehow manageable.

 

Enjoy!