Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Follow me

As you might have noticed not much has been going on around here lately. But there is good news: Left-Eyed Right-Handed still exists, it just changed it's address and also it's character. More pictures, less text, rather diary style, much more frequent entries. Follow me over to Tumblr! Hope to see you there.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

From Owls to Vultures

I brought some gloomy pictures back from Athens. View bigger images on my portfolio website. (More images and download here).

Thursday, December 31, 2009


Review time: Totally out of time I experienced a boom. Many new clients, good jobs, best year so far. Might have to do with the fact that I am still "emerging" (Are you still emerging in your sixth year? Guess so). Also, it proves to be a good thing not having witnessed the golden years of this business. You don't miss what you don't know.

Preview time: I will happily and instantaneously give up my anticyclical behavior once the global economy is on the rise again. I will stop leaning back and being easily content with the assignments that come in and instead try to give the whole enterprise more direction. Because leaning back is decadent, leads to more repetition than you want (and might not work forever). I will do more personal projects again (one starting this Saturday). I will blog more often (haha).

Happy new year to all of you!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Coming Up

No entries since July. Call me lazy, I deserve it. Well, actually not a case of all-out laziness. I've been working on a relaunch of my portfolio website for the past weeks. It will finally be up by tomorrow. And I am considering a twist for this blog. Might take some weeks though. Stay tuned, you handful of readers!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Intermediate Adopter

While the early adopters are chasing after the next big thing I set up a twitter account recently. Out of curiosity. Hope that won't mean even more silence round here. Twitter, and this is it, I will never join Facebook, I promise. For it is much more heroic (futile? preposterous? realistic?) to have one thousand followers than to have one thousand friends.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Simple

Getty Images generated a new visual language that "connects with people’s concerns in the economic downturn". It is all about "The Simple" and since sharing is equally up-to-date as "The Simple" Getty lets us all know about it's analysis (read it here). There we learn that in order to stay in business you better desaturate your images, include some kids and some nature (mud and puddles qualify). And yes, there is a significantly growing demand for photos about knitting, baking and growing your own food. We also learn that Annie Leibovitz set the trend well before the collapse of Lehman Brothers. According to Getty her image of father and daughter Coppola for Louis Vuitton is about "wisdom, tradition and knowledge passed on from generation to generation". Wait a minute, that changes the angle of view on another of Leibovitz' images: wasn't that picture also about tradition and knowledge passed on from generation to generation?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Privacy Paradox

Quote from Conscientious (for those 5 percent of the community who do not follow that blog anyway): "Here's something that I don't understand. Twenty five years ago, people would not have volunteered to enter a lot of their private information into an easily accessible public space, but you could have taken their photo without their permission without much of a problem. Today, it's the other way around: While people share more and more of their sometimes most private information with total strangers online, they'll get very angry if you take their photo without their permission." read more

Monday, March 2, 2009

Picturing the Crisis

"Where is the crisis?" Brian Ulrich asked a couple of days ago wondering why there is so little in-depth photographic reaction to the rapid transformation of the state of things. Just be patient! US photographers have never failed to come up with iconic images of major or minor turning points in American history. It might just take some time.

For momentary lack of iconic imagery of the current crisis (this year's WPP-winner does not fully qualify), everybody looks back at Dorothea Lange's "Migrant Mother", the dominant picture of the Great Depression. The 1936 portrait of Florence Owens Thompson and her children has near mythical status which is not impaired by the fact that it was (if only slightly) retouched and that Thompson many years later was quoted as saying: "I wish she (Lange) hadn't taken my picture. I can't get a penny out of it. She didn't ask my name. She said she wouldn't sell the pictures. She said she'd send me a copy. She never did." Obviously it is an essential ingredient of iconic images to be disputed. One of Thompson's grandsons seems to have come to terms with Lange's alleged transgression: he sells T-shirts with his grandmother's famous portrait on them.

So much for picturing the crisis over there. Over here however we don't have as much easiness and routine in producing iconic images. Moreover the surfaces have not yet changed as much as they have over there. Let's hope it stays that way (even if it makes documenting the crisis more challenging).

Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Bright Side

Some new tearsheets from one of my fair weather jobs (click on image to see them all).

Friday, January 30, 2009

Start of Year Rant

I guess you readers from outside of Germany have never heard of a photo competition called "Rückblende". Roughly speaking this is the German version of "Picture of the Year". Kind of. This year's winning image can be seen here.
Nothing wrong with that image. It is just not what you would expect to be the best of the best in one year's photojournalistic output. Yet it is a good indicator of the mediocrity of press photography in Germany (same is true for Austria). I only have guesses as to where that mediocrity originates from, so could someone please offer some profound analysis?!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

End of Year Praise

Ever noticed the persistent gender divide in photography? Many male amateurs believe that they need pro equipment to adequately shoot orchids or sunsets, while even ambitious and talented females would never spend more than 700 Euro for camera+lens (and still feel extravagant). Female pros do own the heavy gear but contrary to their male colleagues show no interest in talking about it. Let me break that rule for some end-of-year praise.

It's about empowerment. Just as we accept the fact that we will most probably never walk on water, we knew that low light situations had some implications for photography (grain, noise, blur or tripod, flash etc). Romanticizing part of it (grain, blur) helped overlook the limitation it meant. Then came Nikon and introduced a full frame sensor on which the pixels sit so comfortably that they allow you to shoot at ISO 1600 and even 3200 without feeling guilty. Admittedly that's yesterday's news. Still it is so fantastic and in my opinion it has not yet received the appreciation it deserves.

So darkness does not have to be a limitation. Remember that in 2009!

Monday, November 3, 2008

No Visual Arts Week

Berlin, Nov. 08. Five art fairs on one weekend. Wanted to visit several of them, but gave up after the first. The feeling (that has built up over months or years) that there is too much irrelevant, mediocre, solely decorative art around just grew too strong. "Artist" seems to degenerate into a mere lifestyle, "art" itself into a location factor. These times which most commentators are incapable to interpret require some clear-sighted art. I am sure it is somewhere there hidden under the trash, it's just so hard to find it. Copying Bill Drummond who again calls for a No Music Day (on Nov. 21st), I now demand a No Visual Arts Week. No, wait, that's too ambitious! For a start I would be glad if there could be a moratorium on including antlers in visual art. Please everyone take part!

Friday, October 3, 2008

On Air II

I really love this self-referential blogging universe. My careless comment that "air guitar looks much more spectacular than air camera" (see below) led to the creation of an entire new genre. Justin James Reed declared "I am here to differ, as I think that we can make “Air Camera” rock way harder than air guitar" and - well - set up a new blog. The first attempts at playing air camera look quite promising but I am sure there are much more variations to the theme. So submit everyone and prove my initial careless statement wrong!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Next Step

While I'm waiting for the clouds to dissolve (well, I've turned into a good weather photographer somewhere along the way...) I could as well update this neglected blog. For example to tell you that I will from now on be represented by laif photo agency. When those of my friends who don't have a clue about this business ask me what an agency does for you I tell them that it takes 50 percent of your earnings. That keeps them puzzling. But to tell the truth I am thrilled and honored. ("thrilled and honored" - does that sound tacky in the ears of native speakers? I'm still experimenting with this language, a naïve speaker so to say...). Now I have to migrate tons of images from my archives to their archives. Which might be a perfect bad weather occupation.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Saturday, July 12, 2008

On Air

Air guitar looks much more spectacular than air camera. You can see some impressions from yesterday's 5. German Air Guitar Contest by clicking on above image.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Clip Clip

I want to share some new clips I'm quite proud of: a cover story on Hamburg and it's river Elbe in the July issue of GEO Saison. Must admit that the city which I left some three month ago (read below) really looks beautiful - even if a skeptic like me shoots it. While I write this I drink a bottle of Hamburg beer - what's wrong with me? (Click on the image to see all 22 pages)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Give me a C

To put it simply, in a photographer's life there are three types of productive situations:
A: assignments with a high amount of creative freedom
B: assignments with a negligible amount of creative freedom
C: self assignments
And there are also three types of reward (very simply put):
1: financially profitable
2: financially ok
3: no immediate dough but food for the ego
Lately I've been occupied a lot with B1 and A2 projects (well, there have also been some B2s...) while there have not been any C1s, C2s or C3s at all. That's ok with me for some time. But I'm starting to miss something.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Slideluck Potshow

I won't elaborate on all that talk that Berlin is the new New York. In any case next tuesday an old-New-York-based non-profit will bring it's Slideluck Potshow to my new hometown. With lots of envy I had read so much about those events (which actually are potluck dinners followed by slideshows) in blogs of people living in more privileged cities which were already included in the Slideluck tour list (actually Berlin had one show before but I was not around then). Best thing is I will not merely watch but also be one of the featured photographers during the slideshow. Awesome. Drop in if you are in town (and don't forget to bring food+drink)! May 6, 7 p.m. at Raw-Tempel

Sunday, April 27, 2008

New backdrop

That's what my eyes see nowadays when they are tired from staring at the monitor and take a look out of the window. Quite some change from the squirrel and bird infested scenery that was the backdrop of my Hamburg office. Have been busy with moving out and moving in and doing some paid work en passant which meant even less activity on this blog lately. I promise to improve (anyone out there who still believes me?).

Friday, March 7, 2008

Dial a cliché

On Foto8's revamped website Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin offer some insight into World Press Photo jury sessions (guess you have to register before reading this). Quote: Flicking through the 81,000 images originally submitted a sense of deja vu is inevitable. Again and again similar images are repeated, with only the actors and settings changing. Grieving mothers, charred human remains, sun sets, women giving birth, children playing with toy guns, cock fights, bull fights, Havana street scenes, reflections in puddles, reflections in windows, football posts in unlikely locations, swaddled babies, portraits taken through mosquito nets, needles in junkies’ arms, derelict toilets, Palestinian boys throwing stones, contorted Chinese gymnasts, Karl Lagerfeld, models preparing for fashion shows backstage, painted faces, bodies covered in mud, monks smoking cigarettes, pigeons silhouetted against the sky, Indian Sardus, children leaping into rivers, pigs being slaughtered.
So far I've only shot 10 subjects on that list, still so much to do...

Thursday, March 6, 2008

A New Career in a New Town

They say inspiration can be found in your own backyard. In the case of me and Hamburg this did not really work out. One reason for that may be that Hamburg, where I moved to four years ago, is not exactly my backyard (seems as if Vienna is not likely to give up that position). Moreover this city by itself is not the most inspiring place you can think of (further reading for German speakers here). Granted, Hamburg is as beautiful as a German city can get. But beauty is not exactly what I look for in a city. So I pack my bags and move on (those of you who know where I borrowed the title of this post will know about the direction I am heading).

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Another one of those too-busy-to-post-anything-longer-than-a-recommendation-posts: Check out Christian Lutz' series Protokoll - a master of capturing facial expressions.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

What the Duck

Too busy to feed this blog at the moment. Today I'll just leave you a link: What the Duck. Check out the archive and enjoy.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Ruled Out

Good thing is that for each photo award that is discontinued at least two new ones are launched. One of the big fish among those new contests are the Sony World Photography Awards. Before you look forward to the award evening in Cannes which will be "a black tie event for the crème de la crème of the photo and press industry" (if that is something to be looked forward to) you should read the entry rules. They say that contestants have to guarantee that "each person depicted in the entry has granted permission to be portrayed as shown". This applies to entries in all categories, not only nude or fashion but also photojournalism/documentary. I wonder how many of the iconic images of photojournalism would qualify under those rules. I guess that a lot of pictures taken by members of Sony's "World Photographic Academy" (among them Martin Parr and Elliott Erwitt) would not. Just another sign that photojournalism/documentary photography/street photography are more and more becoming legally precarious occupations (well, not for the big fish maybe. But will there be any emerging big fish in the future when each decisive moment is destroyed by fiddling with model release forms?)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Planet Tokyo

By clicking on the image above (or here) you can see my sound and vision encounter with Tokyo. Unlike the multimedia piece on Istanbul I did earlier this year I did not gather audio this time. Well, actually I did, but the tiny recording thingy for my iPod was not really up to the task (don't say they didn't warn you...). That's why I created some audio myself. Tell me what you think - I am not so sure about it.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Acquired Habits

Back from exploring the surfaces of parallel planet Japan. Very tidy surfaces, yet quite intransparent. While I did not understand too much, two weeks in Tokyo sufficed to acquire some habits which are of no real use in my life back home (like the impulse to bow, to say thank you once too often, the tendency to stand on the left side of escalators or to expect that toilet seats are heated).

More images and thoughts soon.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Mind and Beyond (On My Way to Tokyo)

One side-effect of being a visual person is the desire to visualize people or places unknown to me. Tell me about your boss or your boyfriend whom I have never met, my mind will build an avatar in no time. Call me from your office where I have never been, my mind's eye will furnish the room and know whether the windows are to your left or to your right. Send me to a town I have never seen, I will know how it feels to be there before I enter city limits. Problem is, my mental images seldom bear even the remotest resemblance to the "real" object. When I meet the person/location I previsualized my expectations and my impressions will coexist for some time which can make the encounter slightly uneasy. Of course there is always room for pleasant surprises.

Tomorrow my mental image of Tokyo will meet the real place for the first time. Let's see how the two will get along.

Talking about the human mind: Just finished Murakami's "Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World". One of the best books I have read this year.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Déformation Professionnelle

It happened again. Once I have spent too many hours (or even days) juggling with pixels, my relationship with my natural surroundings degenerates. Every time I see a speck of dust or crumb or whatever irritates my eye I feel the urge to use clone stamp or healing brush on it (which are two Photoshop tools - in case any of my readers do not spend their lifes juggling pixels. Lucky them.). When this déformation professionnelle escalates I even want to remove color casts I see in the real world. Once or twice I was itching to tell people that there is way to much magenta in their facial skin tone - I held back this temptation so far, there is still hope for me...

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

From Now On ...

Gone are the days when I did not feel too bad about not feeding this blog on a regular basis. Last week "Left-Eyed Right-Handed" has been added to a very reputable list of blogs on photography, art and journalism by Magnum blog. Since then the number of visitors to this site has multiplied, leaving me with the duty to prove that I deserve that honor. Phew, it ain't easy.

When I started this blog half a year ago one of my motivations was to overcome the ignorance towards that medium which is common among German speaking photographers. Just a couple of days ago Jörg Colberg (the king of photography blogs whose doctorate in astrophysics might have helped him find a way to live 48-hour days) once again deplored that fact ("No interaction, please, we're German!"). Well, actually I am not German, my Hanseatic neighbors even doubt that my Austrian slang has anything in common with the language of Goethe and Schiller. Nevertheless we Austrians aren't so entirely different from the Germans regarding the reluctance to share one's own experience or someone else's happiness, while sharing is key to creating meaningful blogs. (Will I be excused for propagating national stereotypes by including myself? Guess not...).

That is to say I still have to grow into my role as a blogger. Please stay tuned!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

On Strike

Paris. While métro and RER ground to a halt last week I found out how small that city really is. Everything seems to be in walking distance once you are forced to walk in the streets and stay away from those endless tunnels connecting the various métro stations.

Hamburg. Strikes seem to follow me. Today and tomorrow the railway strike will also affect Hamburg's S-Bahn. I fear that this will have the converse effect of the strike in Paris - the town of my temporary residence will seem even bigger than it actually is. Though I wished there was more Paris and less Hamburg on this planet...

Gdansk. Yet other strikes precede me. While in that Polish city some months ago I spent a fair amount of time and film on the shipyard which was the stage for one of the most momentous walkouts in recent history. A pity GEO Saison did not choose any of those shipyard pictures for the Gdansk feature in their new edition which hit my letter box yesterday. I will easily forgive them though cause I very much like how they treated the rest of my pictures (click on image below).

Monday, October 8, 2007

The Pursuit Of Cool

Back from Salzburg where I attended the opening of a two person show (Frank Gaudlitz's series "Waiting for Europe" and my "Them Over There") I found myself with some extra free time cause a trip to Bolzano had been canceled. Spent most of that time playing round with my new toy:

No doubt I was in (hopeless) pursuit of cool when I bought it (further reading: "The Rebel Sell", a highly polemic and at times superficial but nevertheless enlightening book). But who knows what that purchase might lead to. Eleven years ago I got my first SLR (I was 26 then). Only six years and some 20 rolls of film later I decided to give up journalism and start a career in photography which has fed me ever since (well, not exactly ever since, but for the last four years). So watch out for an aspiring 47-year-old singer/songwriter/guitarist in 2017! (Did I just write singer???)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Too Focused

"It is often those photos that we take for the hell of it, in between our 'serious' photos, that capture the kind of punctum that Roland Barthes celebrated." This sentence is part of the loose guidelines for Lens Culture's first photo contest (click here and here). Sorry, I don't qualify for that one. I don't take pictures "for the hell of it". Never did. To me the word "focus" has a very comprehensive meaning. I need a purpose before I touch a camera, before I feel the need and ability to arrange the world within a frame - ideally only one purpose at a time. Not sure whether this is a deficit or not, I just made the observation that my pictures tend to suck if the mental focus was not strong enough. That is not to say that intuition does not come into play when I am out shooting - quite on the contrary I hold that my picture taking is very intuitive. I just need a specific purpose as trigger and framework for that intuition.

What about you? Anyone out there with a similar handicap?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

"i cannot feel the left part of the brain"

Too busy and therefore neglecting my blogging duties which means that there is still not a whole lot of text on this site. Nevertheless Google led some people with very specific concerns to this blog. The search words which I liked best:

"i cannot feel the left part of the brain"
"people shooting each other"
"how to say left right in german"
"how many language can karl lagerfield speck"
"turn on left side when pregnant"
"are dogs left or right handed"
"left of right, and right of left, but below above, and above below.. so where the hell am I?"
"pictures of pimples on nose"

Sorry, could not help any of you. But let me make a humble attempt to accommodate the public demand:

Thursday, July 26, 2007


If you are in the mood for something really creepy click here and scroll down until you see the swapping image.

So much for the very dark side of Photoshop. Indignation aside I have to admit something: Time and again I also perform some minor digital surgery. I remove the occasional pimple or put some Photoshop powder on shiny noses and don't feel bad about it. At least pimples are only temporary phenomena and removing them makes the photographed person feel better. Of course I would never retouch a pimple/shiny nose that is evidence for stress, anxiety etc. if documentation is the purpose of my picturetaking ...

While I feel completely justified in the result of this digital intervention I am not so sure about the process itself. Looking at someone else's face on the screen at 100 percent magnification amounts to an intrusion into privacy. You get acquainted with impressive packs of pores which even the husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend of that person never noticed because pores are not what we usually lay our eyes on. You can explore the nature of wrinkles, the length of nasal hair etc., discoveries which are usually made by that person's mirror only. Looking too closely feels out of bounds and tender at the same time (just as this last sentence sounds irrelevant and perverse at the same time).

Wednesday, July 4, 2007


The profane act of using my Nikon as a stopwatch for a long time exposure of my Hasselblad aroused my well hidden romantic core. It happened in St. Petersburg last week. Me standing on a bridge, Nikon dangling from my neck, opening its shutter for four seconds just to tell me and Hasselblad how long four seconds are. While I usually delete pictures resulting from that process right away, I somewhat liked that unintentional image of a canal for its fluffiness and airiness. Which made me want to reproduce that effect again and again every time I met a waterway. The resulting series (which can be seen when clicking on the image above) is neither representative for my work nor for the impression St. Petersburg made on me (loud&dusty). Still it gives a hint at how the city could feel like if for example cars were not accelerating every time you set your foot on a zebra crossing. Et cetera.

Less watery images to come.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Holy Warriors on tour

While Hamburg skies were once more rehearsing apocalypse (actually it was not that bad, but there was a lot of tension in the air before the storm started) I received the news that my "Holy Warriors" series will be included in the main exhibition of this year's Noorderlicht festival in Groningen. Awesome! Those of you who don't know Noorderlicht already should check out their website (containing an inspiring archive) here.

Writing this post I have the dim feeling that there are way to many Schwelle-related entries in this blog. That was not exactly my intention when I started this three month ago. I just don't get it how others find enough time and strength to churn out resourceful and meaty posts. I need 8 hours of sleep! Occasionally.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Fed up

I am fed up with violence, platitudinous phrases, naiveté, complicity - and all those photographers (including me) who are looking for stereotypes. Ergo Saturday was my last trip to G8-Land. The slideshow which I compiled (it can be seen when clicking on the picture above) is still too affirmative for my taste. Might change that later.


Monday, May 28, 2007


Why is it that I just can't get started (nearly) every time I am on self-assignment and it is only the first of a couple of shooting occasions? Happened again today when I and my camera mingled with several thousand of uniformed people who - while provoking each other - made a strange tour round Hamburg. Those in black uniforms trying to reach the city hall where the Asem-summit took place, those in green uniforms trying to prevent this (and succeeding in it).

I did not at all get into shooting mood. Seems as if today's wanderings merely served as a warm-up for the coming weeks (for me and the rest of the crowd). I will miss some of the G8 peak days though - got one of those assignments to do where the pay in some miraculous way creates instant shooting mood...

Sunday, May 13, 2007

You cannot plan for this...

Encouraging words by Magnum photographer David Alan Harvey (found via apadnews). Sounds a lot like self improvement talk - I still like it:

... give yourself the "assignment" or the "grant" that you would dream someone would give you....find a personal project and do it without regard for later "sales"...the best kind of "commercial success" or "artistic success" will come to you only if you work in this will come in ways that you cannot cannot plan for must go with your gut....only in this way will anyone, editor or publisher or gallerist, ever see who you really are...what you really DO...
this will be absolutely 100 percent not easy....this will be absolutely 100 percent worth it...

Ok, so I'll just keep going and everything will fall into place... eventually... soon... tomorrow... (does impatience fit into the scheme?)

Friday, May 11, 2007

Dear festeros alcoyanos,

by clicking on the picture below you can see impressions of last year's fiesta (just published in Merian magazine of May ´07). Hope you have already recovered from this year's battles and are eagerly preparing for next year's row...
Thanks again

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Food for the mind's eye

On his no-photo blog Unphotographable Michael David Murphy posts verbal depictions of decisive moments which he missed because he forgot to bring his camera or was not brave or attentive enough to click the shutter. Short prose which stimulates your ability to visualize (which might already have been be wearied from looking at too many actual photographs...).

I for my part leave a lot of decisive moments or sights unphotographed cause I rarely carry a camera when not in shooting mode (or mood). Yesterday I had one around my neck when I saw that guy pregnant with his two dogs. Not taking that picture would not have made any difference for me though.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

At night

Due to a nocturnal bout of cowardice (and after reading some disquieting info about copyright issues) I change the title of this blog to "Left-Eyed Right-Handed"...

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Listen to me - don't listen to me

It was no disaster. It was not even too stressful. Only with hindsight I discovered that the words that escaped my mouth without any major contribution of the brighter parts of my brain were, well, banal. Never mind, the people who listened to me presenting my book were already quite exhausted on this final day of the Darmstadt Days of Photography. To my left you can see Alexandra Lechner who together with Albrecht Haag organized this three-day-event with high professionalism and ease.

Thanks to my co-exhibitor Edith Buchhalter for documenting my performance (no, I won't show you the videos!).

Monday, April 16, 2007

First times

Next weekend (20/04-22/04) will be my first time at the Darmstädter Tage der Fotografie. This is the third edition of this festival in Darmstadt (a German city whose name I better not translate), this year's theme is "Overview".

My "Holy Warriors" series will be one of the juried exhibitions. On Sunday I will present myfirstbook (see below) there (3 p.m., same venue as the exhibition at Hessisches Staatsarchiv) - which is not only the presentation of myfirstbook but also myfirstbookpresentation. Now as I think of it, it might even be my first time in Darmstadt...

Guess which of the first times makes me most excited?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Sound and Vision

Was a long night again. Click above to see what I was working on.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Out now!

Yeah! Buy it here
Sorry, texts are in German only. (Thinking of that student from Romania who wanted me to send him Martin Heidegger's "Sein und Zeit" because he intended to learn German through reading this book. Buy my book instead! Much easier read and way more pics than in "Sein and Zeit"...)

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Style Imperialism

I won't tell any names. There are too many. I'm talking about photojournalists with a strong style which they impose on each situation and location they are confronted with. The ones who make one catastrophe look like the other, others who make Mexico City look like Mumbai. Ok, that sounds too pejorative - since I am not even sure whether a distinct style is a good or a bad thing to have.

Still sometimes I think "photographer x in city y" is a less interesting subject for a series of images than "city y in photographer x", that is to say what a city (or situation) did to the photographer's mind and eye. The last nine days I tried to find out what the city of Istanbul does to me and my shooting. Since this was partly supposed to be a holiday I also tried to develop a new shooting mode - relaxed shooting. Before I only came in two flavors: intense shooting until someone or something stops me - or not touching a camera at all. Unfortunately this did not change much. And Istanbul did not really jump at the chance to have a true impact on me cause it instead chose to give me a terrible cold which somehow fogged my senses. Nevertheless I came back with some gigabytes of images which I want to assemble to a multimedia presentation. Well, if I manage to mix the sound which I amateurishly recorded... Maybe that was Istanbul's impact on me - that I developed an interest in sound and vision.

Two pics now, the rest in a couple of days.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Feedback Loop

In those long days before myfirstbook (see below and soon above) hits the shelves I stocked up on even more booksbyothers than I usually do in such a time span. Among them was Stephen Shore's "The Nature of Photographs" (Phaidon). An all-purpose book: for those with more than a slight and those with more than enough interest in photography; for those who tend to own only a handful of books on photography and for those who have to have them all.

Shore as a teacher. I'll borrow his last paragraph (which sounds familiar):
When I make a photograph, my perceptions feed into my mental model. My model adjusts to accommodate my perceptions (leading me to change my photographic decisions). This modelling adjustment alters, in turn, my perceptions. And so on. It is a dynamic, self-modifying process. It is what an engineer would call a feedback loop.
It is a complex, ongoing, spontaneous interaction of observation, understanding, imagination, and intention.

If you feel the same you can buy the rest here

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Making of

Two days ago my first book came into physical existence. It was printed in Salzburg which is where my publisher sits (Edition Fotohof im Otto Müller Verlag). Being a control freak I wanted to overlook the whole process. But there was not a lot to do. Just suggesting to put more magenta in some of the faces. That was it. The operators and their new machine did a great job. Might just cut back on that control freakishness of mine somewhere along the way...

The book is about four divided towns on Eastern European borders. It´s title is "Die da drüben" (something like "Them over there"). It is a photo book with a rather huge amount of text which unfortunately comes in German only. Dreaming of having an edition in English one day soon.

Read more about my first book in later posts (keep calling it "first book" for it sounds promising...)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Wishful Beginnings

Slow beginnings. Please be patient like I am (which is a lie).
Always rejected the idea of having a blog. Consumption seemed ok to me, involvement or production were left to others. That was arrogant - and that was yesterday.

For example I got myself an iPod just to know how it feels to have all one's music available at any given time and to find out about the aura of acoustic art in post-Benjamin times. But you can just as well enjoy having one with you which is what I do today.

As of now I have a blog. Just to know how it feels to have one.
There will be some bragging, some news and entertainment - the usual.
I might just as well enjoy it right away. Hope you will too.