Saturday, November 9, 2013

To be a photographer

What I love about being a photographer

No one has ever asked me if I like being a photographer, so I assume they must think it’s natural to enjoy the kind of work I do. And do you know what? I do.

Before I became a serious photographer…

- I had always taken a lot of pictures, but I must admit now that I didn't really know what I was doing. I knew nothing about the attributes of light, didn't care about composition, was blind to issues such as focus, depth of field and color.

- taking photographs of strangers on the street was as far from my mind as spending my afternoons standing in front of camera store windows looking at the offerings.

Working the streets
- I would sometimes look at the cloud formations in the sky and comment on their beauty, but I would not consider their texture and how the light was changing every second, casting new light on everything around me.

The Neckar River
- walking through the streets was boring for the most part. If I was lucky, an interesting new advertisement might make me chuckle. The homeless people depressed me and the rough citizens scared me. Now they fascinate me and every step of the way I compose shots in my head and stop when a scene overpowers me.

"Zu spät"
- I could work only at my school or in my office. Now I can work anywhere and everywhere. My world is my office and my mind is my drawing board.

Our tree farm
- time would slip through my fingers and precious moments would melt away. Now I am able to capture these moments and arrest time.

Our baby at two months
- my sense of aesthetics consisted of the poles “pretty” and “interesting.” Monet was pretty and Bacon was interesting. Now I’ve come to appreciate more fully the whole spectrum between these poles and, more importantly, Monet and Bacon have switched positions! I find beauty - or at least artistic value - in nearly everything. What a gift!

On the streets of Stuttgart
- I thought that creating art was a tiring process of working at your chosen medium until you reached some magic point where you could finally call yourself an artist. Little did I know how much fun the process is! And the best part is that all art forms feed my artistic hunger and make me fuller.

- I thought that creating a piece of art took lots of time and, being who I was, I would never have the patience or endurance to finish a piece. Now I know that I can think in short episodes (“A day at the airport”) or in longer series (“A decade of carnival in Cologne”).

Taking a break in the fields
- discovering new things usually took great effort. Now I am open to all sorts of experiences, but not just having them; now I want to savor them and capture them with my aesthetic eye. Whether it be watching a parade or plane-spotting at the airport, there are always things to be learned and new angles from which to see them.

Landing and taking off
- I often didn’t know how to act in groups. What was my role? Now when I am at an event, I am the photographer and as such can act within that role a bit more securely than if I didn’t have a role to slip into.

- I had stared at many a beautiful woman, admiring the aesthetics that I was raised to praise. Now I find admiration for so many things that even an abandoned tire or a smoldering fire pit fascinates me. And the beautiful women? They are still there and I can appreciate them even more with my well-trained eyes.


  1. if I could put time in a bottle.. our feeble attempts to keep this moment forever -like insects in amber, like fossils in shale ..

    1. We all want to capture moments, but they go by so quickly. Doing long shoots, I like reflecting on the moments again and again. It's like putting time back in a bottle!