April 30, 2009

This is my daughter Maya. She is almost five years now and very comfortable with the camera pointed at her. No wonder, since I have been photographing her from the the first second she was out in the world…

For me it is amazing to see the changes over time, so observe how someone develops slowly into something new. Not only from the parental point of view but also from the photographer’s eye. It never gets boring because there always new aspects, new angles, an evolving character, a human being in constant development. i can’t wait to see my children developing. It gives me inspiration and unmeasurable joy!



April 22, 2009

Last week I watched a talk show on German TV. It was about new custody regulations for divorced families. The participants spent a lot of time argueing about whether the new regulations were defending the rights of the mother, the children, or the father. The main complaint was that without proper financial support from the father of the child the mother would have to go back to full time work which would then leave the children without anyone taking care, thus serious mental damage would be the result.

While I was listening to the discussion, I was constantly asking myself “Aren’t there people to support the single parent? Where is the family, the grandparents? That’s when I remembered this image that I took in Bangkok in February 2009:

I have been in Asia for eight years now and noticed that the the fact that nucleus family structures are mostly still intact, single parents still have support and back up, even after a divorce. Grandparents are traditionally the people who take care of children while parents are out to make money. This is their classic role and they do it very well.
In my experience, the more people a child has he/she can relate to, the healthier the child will grow up. These can be parents, grandparents, relatives, neighbors, teachers, friends… anyone really, as long as the relationships are stable and lasting.
I my opinion the problems in Germany are not caused by a lack of legislation (there’s plenty of it in Germany!), but due to the fact that families are to small. If there are only The parents and the child(ren) then there is no one to fill the gap when one person leaves.

I always find it very refreshing to see Asian families still helping each other!

About Photography

April 13, 2009

I am just back from a vacation in Bali and the film rolls are in the lab so there is nothing to show today. my head is too full to just write something, too. As an alternative, I am posting the (true) words of someone else (kenrockwell.com) that I just read:


Photography is a means of expression, just like writing or painting.

Because photography is a means of expression, you have to have something to say, or your photos will suck.

Blindly pointing a camera and then expecting to whip it up later in Photoshop always results in crap.

Buying a Nikon D3X, Leica M7 or Canon 1Ds Mk III and expecting it to make sharp photos doesn’t happen. Sharp photos come from sharp minds expressing ideas clearly.

You don’t need to be able to express whatever you’re trying to say in words or any other form, so long as whatever you are trying to express comes out in your photos. Composition is key.

Photography is an art which, like most art forms, happens to use some technology, but photography still has nothing to do with technology

Because some technology is involved, there are always legions of unseeing people who just don’t get it. If you’re not an artist, it’s easy to miss the whole point and spend a lifetime reading books (and websites like this) fretting the tech details and buying too much equipment, instead of learning how to recognize what makes good photos and doing it.

David Bailey: “Bailey’s Democracy”
A few months ago I already introduced David Bailey as one of the most important fashion photographers in history. This time I would like to introduce you to one of his most outstanding works.

“Bailey’s Democracy” is special in a way that the artist tried to get away from the common notion of beauty and aesthetics. The set up of the images reminds the viewer very much of Richard Avedon’s typical white backgrounds with people standing plain in front of the camera.
David Bailey used different kinds of women and men, ranging from artists, models and actors to ordinary people and let them pose strip naked, without any instruction or posing guideline.
The result is a series of images that show people not only without their “visual protection” of clothes and style, but also trapped in their own body language which reveals a lot about their characters.
“Bailey’s democracy” shows people barren of the protective clothes, there isn’t even any background. Everybody is the same in front of the camera (that’s why he chose the title). Some of these people are quite beautiful, some appear rather bizarre in their appearance and posing. Whatever is is, it is a great book to watch!
This project has been discussed and exhibited a lot. More information about this book and the whole concept and art of David Bailey’s photography can be found here!

“Bailey’s Democracy” is published by Thames & Hudson and can be purchased here! or here.
It’s not a small book, doing justice to the big portraits photographs. Anything smaller would have been a disappointment.