you fancy the digital darkroom?
yes. imo a raw file is just an interim result. like a film negative. i process every photo manually. in the vast majority of cases a bit of manipulation (cropping, correction or manipulation of colours) is necessary to transform the camera’s into the photographer’s perception. and it can help to support the impression a photographer wants to create.
sometimes i do clone parts of images to strengthen the visual impact (due to laziness it doesn’t happen all too frequent). the resulting images may of course not be considered as truthful or in compliance with journalistic standards.
the photograph next to these lines (taken in maastricht in 2005) received a processing treatment that imo doesn’t raise questions about its truthfulness. images like this one on the other hand are obvious results of heavy manipulation. please be aware that you’ll see photos on this website that belong to the wide range between those poles.
what’s your keeper ratio?
can’t say. depends on too many factors, mainly occasion and mood.
not to be generalized, but a fresh impression may be my last weekend trip to amsterdam: i pressed the shutter button a little less than 300 times and imported half of the images. so the other half got eliminated in the first viewing round that happens in the evening on the camera screen. i kept 32 of the photos and show 23 of them on this website. don’t ask me now how many of them i consider good photos (will be a fraction or zero).
fun fact: martin parr told the telegraph in 2011, that the takes tens upon thousands of photographs a year, prints maybe 15,000 of them and is happy if he can consider 10 of them as good ones.
can you tell what you think about street photography?
big fan. you may consider my photos that depict people as street and/or candid photography. or in some cases both (at least there’s hardly ever posing or arranging involved in my photography).
what gear do you use?
have a look at this table. it’s made from memory, so completeness ist not guaranteed:
|fujinon xf 23/1,41|
fujinon xf 18-55/2,8-4 ois
|property of bag (thomas l)|
13″ macbook pro
adobe lightroom & photoshop
x-rite i1display pro
x-rite colorchecker passport
| film: canon eos 50e2, 3|
digital: canon powershot g12, eos d303, 10d, 5d
smartphones: apple iphone 3gs, 5, 5s, huawei p8 lite4
|primes: canon ef 20/2,8, 35/23, 50/1,4, 50/1,8 ii2|
zoom lenses: canon ef 17-40/4 l, 20-35/2,8 l, 24-70/2,8 l, 28-70/2,8l, 70-200/2,8 l
other: lensbaby 2.0
| lowepro & crumpler bags|
canon speedlite 550 ex
nikon coolscan iii (ls-30)3
monostat rs-16 k
|1||>90% of photos taken with this fine example of japanese engineering ingenuity|
|3||have been good (old) days|
|4||the opposite of 3|
did your equipment ever got lost or stolen?
stolen: never. once left the bag in a train on arrival in copenhagen. fortunately could pick it up 2 days later in malmö where the train was headed to.
what’s the highest risk for loosing or damaging your gear?
rain. i experienced two incidents. fortunately in both cases the camera continued working the next day (1st case/south africa: only in av, 2nd case/london: with a very sensitive shutter button). 1st case required a hardware replacement later on (btw: last shot before the rain temporarily killed the camera). camera fully recovered from 2nd incident. nowadays i avoid shooting in rain and always have loads of silica gel in the camera bag.
can you share any insights to the business of selling news photos?
nearly none (just a few months of agency experience as a student, primarily assigned to politics). three come into mind:
- another shot from this press conference. it deleted the arm of a person who stood nearby. only the newspaper tagged the published image as manipulated. there’s a wide range in how to inform readers about image manipulation. one weekly newspaper cropped a picture of federal minister jürgen trittin and published it in black and white. a weekly news magazine published
- it is an advantage if you’re able to offer rare material. in 2003 actor larry hagman presented his biography in berlin. image stabilizer technology was not that common then. after mr. hagman surprisingly banned flashes i was the only one who was able to shoot on, because i had packed a monopod. material from that photo op sold significantly better than my personal average.
- sex sells. while material that was considered as well worth publishing by the agency and/or me stayed in their database forever a handful of pictures taken on a bus tour with strippers led very soon to a few double pages.
are you proud of your publications?
a bit, but.
it’s flattering to see a photograph published. having been selected as a photographer/supplier a few times by old-school agencies who claim to meet highest standards is also encouraging. on the other hand i have to face the fact that my publications in well-known media completely trace back to the reputation of those news and stock agencies. the media don’t want a picture taken by me. they just want a (high-quality, well composed, blah-blah) picture of a thing that happend to be in front of my lens when i pressed the shutter button. as a result my latter photos are probably not (or at least not instantly) available via agencies.
nowadays i take photographs to relax and i do consider many of my current images better than many of those from earlier days. what more can i ask for?