Photography is largely about control and technical excellence.
But what happens, if you let intuition and pure chance take over?
I have always been fascinated by the idea of capturing single inimitable moments – occurences that only exist for the brief moment of the shutter opening and closing.
By choosing subjects and environments that I can hardly control or orchestrate, I simply have to rely on my experience to anticipate movement and accidental arrangements.
If I miss the moment, there's no second chance. If I capture it, it reveals simultaneous events, patterns and interactions hidden to the human eye – creating totally new context.
Making things visible in ways they are usually not perceived or photographed is one of my most ambitious goals.
A beautiful tree, like the Araucaria, is well-known for its overall appearance, while the incredible features of its branches are not.
By showing detail, quite unlike botanical macro photography, the lines between reality and abstract illustration are obscured.
In my photography today, I still embrace the flukes, coincidences and unexpected perspectives – with a single twist: I leave them to the subjects of my images.
About losing and gaining control
I was a teenager in the early 90s, when I picked up my dad’s then 30-year-old SLR camera and started to make pictures. By "make" I mean I really had to work hard to get anything on film, since the whole kit had several problems – from leaking light and lenses with strange sweet spots to a self-willed shutter and a malfunctioning light meter. So I started to document every single setting of each shot on a piece of paper and analyzed the outcome after the pictures had been developed. This is how I tried to gain control – while at the same time making the mechanical flaws work for my vision and embracing pure chance.
The same was true when I bought my first "own" SLR in the late 90s. With the little money I had as a student, picking up skateboarding photography maybe wasn’t the smartest choice (but the most fun!). Shooting 5-6 image series of a single trick was simply not affordable for me – especially when I decided to shoot black & white. The only solution: I had to develop a great skill for timing and I had to learn how to anticipate movement. I did and got published in several skateboarding magazines. By then, I was able to pull off perfectly timed and focused images, even on my first digital camera – a Nikon Coolpix 4100 with 1 sec shutter delay.
My first skateboarding photo on a roll of Kodak C-41 – shot with a Nikon F65