A few hours before the end of 2014 in Berlin Mitte. Party folks are on their way to the biggest New Year Party in Germany, with an estimated number of about a million visitors. It's about nine o'clock in the evening and we're at Friedrichstraße and Unter den Linden, right behind the Brandenburg Gate, where the main stage is located.
I love to photograph people. It doesn't really matter what they're about to achieve, as long as it's not staged. Photography, for me, is to capture the real, unstaged life around us. The classical street photography approach. Documenting our everyday activities, in all its beauty and strangeness, is among the things that interest me most.
Without any plans in mind, and with no assignment on my shoulders, I shot these images a few days ago at the 2014 IFA in Berlin. All I needed was my Fuji X-T1 with just the 1.8/32 Zeiss (a simple 50mm equivalent prime), which I shot wide open at ISO 800 all day. No flash, no long lenses, no zooms, no big photo bag. Just a single body and one lens, used in manual mode. It was a pleasing experience. I love this kind of minimalism.
Take your time to look at the images, most of them have their own little surprise. If it's your first time visit, simply view the gallery by clicking on the "slideshow" button. More information can be found in the corresponding blog post.
In May 2014, we spent a week in Berlin, looking for a place to stay after relocating back to Germany. As the condo market in Berlin was somewhat tense, it turned out to be a bit of a challenge. However, we eventually succeded and found a quiet flat in Mitte, right in the center of Berlin.
During the 7 days I spent in Germany's capital, I didn't really have the time to seriously take pictures. But I carried my RX-10 with me all the time on our 115 km hike and captured a whole bunch of impressions from what is probably one of the most interesting cities in Europe right now.
What I liked most about Berlin is its endless variety. At each corner you see something new and interesting. Pretty shopping malls at Kudamm or in Friedrichstraße, busy street life amidst rotten buildings in Kreuzberg. An abandoned airport close to the center. Remainders of the Berlin wall in the East Side Gallery, Bernauer Straße and Checkpoint Charlie. Fancy new buildings next to ugly communist architecture, dominated by one of the coolest looking TV towers in Germany. High tech businesses next to a sprawling arts and music scene, and lots of historic buildings plus a bunch of world class museums.
And the best of all: you don't even have to leave the center of the city, and you don't need a car. Everything is within walking distance or can easily be reached by metro, tram or bike. Pretty amazing!
Experimental Travel iPhoneography. Oct 12, 2013 - Oct 24, 2013. Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina. See the corresponding blog post for details about the hows and whys.
The images in this gallery originate from a big and ongoing corporate project, where I portrayed hundreds of staff members over the course of a year. The photographs were taken in a makeshift "studio" (originally a little library and conference room), which I set up and tore down over and over again, to achieve the exact same lighting conditions.
Shown here are just a few of them, but the real value of these images comes from the large number and great diversity of people photographed, in combination with the simple and imperfect, but tightly controlled studio setup.
From time to time I step into the realm of Portrait Photography. According to my personal work ethics, I try to stage as little as possible and I strive to find a natural and pleasant representation of the subject. The most critical success factors for a good portrait are a relaxing and fun atmosphere and a working cooperation between the photographer and his subject.
The Torpedo Factory had its own photo show within the 2012 FotoWeek DC. It was curated by Brooks Jensen, the author and publisher of the "Lenswork" magazine and a well known and highly respected authority in the field of fine art photography. The 28 "official" photographers of the TF were each invited to submit three pieces of fine art for the "Invitational Exhibit" to be held in November 2012.
Having crossed some of the borders of fine art photography before, I was in a kind of "experimental mood" and definitely wanted to submit something new for the show. Instead of picking the safe bet and choosing pictures that had already been published before, I decided to portrait the Rockville Pike for the sole purpose of making it into the show.
"The Pike", as local residents call it, is a pretty ugly, noisy, often congested traffic backbone in Rockville, Maryland. During the boom decades it has emerged into a somewhat arbitrary mix of retails stores, strip malls and office buildings, and for many, it is not only a location to shop and dine, but also a place to avoid and to stay away from, if possible.
I wanted to capture this somewhat ambivalent mood into the pictures and shot the project on a single day. Since the Pike is too long for walking and too busy for driving, I chose to explore it by bike. To foster a consistent look and to challenge my own creativity, I imposed some "artistic restrictions" on the work: 24 mm focal length equivalent, mandatory linear perspective and use of Olympus' black & white "dramatic tone filter".
This gallery contains some of the pictures that were on display in Studio 306 or in one the shows of the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, VA. Most of them were taken in (or near) Washington, D.C., but you can also see pictures from New York, Baltimore, San Francisco and even Dublin within the collection. All the pictures look great printed. They can be purchased as signed fine art prints on quality paper in different sizes.
Every once in a while I do some product shots here and there. Either to sell my own stuff or on assignment for others.
I consider product photography barely more than a hobby, but since I do it so often, I acquired some skills over the years that allow me showcase simple, not too big objects in a pleasing way. Stuff like getting a paper-white background, achieving sufficient depth of field, modeling three dimensionality or lighting the object in an interesting way. Skills that help to sell or showcase products or put them on display in books, brochures or on the web.
The images in this gallery originate from a long-term project that I carried out between 11/26/12 and 3/4/13. Over the course of several months I photographed the demolition of the office building at 601 North Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA, which is about to be replaced by luxury condos.
The images in this gallery are from one of the three different series, taken from different spots, and they document only the bigger steps of the demolition, which can be followed at screen resolution. The original sequences contain about 35 and 40 images each, with 2 - 3 days between them on average. Sufficiently enlarged, there are visible differences between any two adjacent pictures.
Artomatic is a multimedia arts event held in the D.C. area. The event is open to everybody and provides a forum for artists of all types and capabilities. The 8th Artomatic was held in May/June 2012 in an abandoned office building in Crystal City, Arlington, VA, occupying all rooms on all floors. Way too much to discover on a single day, but lots of fun and great visual impressions all over the place.
The story you see here is about the seemingly simple task of capturing a family portrait at Christmastime...
When I met Liam the first time, he was one year old. He had Down syndrome and serious heart malfunctions and had undergone extensive medical treatment and multiple surgery already. He was on a ventilator, had a tracheotomy for breathing and a nasogastric tube for feeding. He went home the first time in his life in mid December 2012.
Liam's mom had asked me to do a "family portrait", and I quickly learned that this was not going to be one of the "normal" portrait sessions. It took alone more than an hour and the help of several people to get little Liam out of his bed, dressed and transferred to the living room.
Once around the Christmas tree I took several hundred shots. Everything was in constant motion and there was no way to pose the little boy. Eventually, with a lot of help and the incredible love and patience of his Mom we got a number of nice pictures. They have an incredible value for the family.
The whole story is at http://www.socialdocumentary.net/exhibit/Guido_Krueger/2118.
Those of you who follow my blog know that I have a passion for Street Photography. It is, in my opinion, a very natural and honest form of Documentary Photo Journalism. Taking pictures of people without their knowledge is of course a delicate matter and requires some sensibility. A genuine street photographer doesn't aim to offend people nor does he try to insult them. He's not a Paparazzo. He is a silent and sympathetic observer of urban life, capturing the reality in front of him.
The "Streets Of D.C." images shows the "working class" in Downtown, D.C., in the fall of 2012. All pictures were shot between the Corcoran Gallery (near the White House), and the Germany Embassy on M Street. Most of the people I encountered were busy, rushing the streets, carrying their lunch bags, making phone calls. Stereotypes of those who work on K, L and M street? You decide.
Torpedo Factory Artist Eric Margry is one of the few remaining hand engravers in the DC region. The images show him at work while creating a silver ring that features the number π (3.1415...). On its top plate, the ring displays the Leibniz series to compute π, at the sides you see the decimal representation of π to the first 25 digits.
"The Sirin" is a piece that artist and silk painter Anya Yakubovskaya created for a couple's 50th wedding anniversary. The slavic Sirin is based on the Greek legend of the sirens, but unlike them, represents joy and happiness, instead of danger and death. Over the course of two weeks, I documented the creation of this wonderful, unique piece of art.
The pictures in this portfolio feature the Northwest region of Germany, especially Hamburg, the Elbmarschen and the North Sea. The portfolio focuses on the tension between natural and man-made structures in Northern Germany and was part of the application that got me juried into the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria, VA.