Fotograf und Künstler Tobias Hutzler rückt bei seiner Arbeit vor allem die Experimentierfreude in den Vordergrund. Im Interview verrät er uns, was die Grundlage seiner kreativen Vision bildet und wie man mit den innovativen und technischen Möglichkeiten der Fotografie Raum und Zeit zu Leinwand und Pinsel werden lässt.
Chapter As an editorial photographer you have already portrayed personalities such as Pope Francis. How can such an assignment be compatible with your style of photography?
Tobias Hutzler I started my career with assignments for The New Yorker, which was an incredible honor for me. This had a profound influence on my work: clear, graphic compositions, the story has to be told within one single frame. My approach is to translate and condense reality, to go beyond what is expected, detach myself and show the true nature of the moment. That means to step back and rather ask questions than give answers.
Chapter Which part of your work as a photographer is the most exciting and can you name some challenges that come with it?
Tobias Hutzler I have been very fortunate to travel around the world many times on editorial assignments for most of the major international publications — I love this work, from the White House to the rainforest in South America, from megacities in Asia to mountain tops in Africa — on all continents under the most challenging situations. I collaborated with some of the most iconic directors of photography in New York, creating strategies of how to show the world in a new way, from a different perspective, and most of all to capture the deeper truth, the world as it really is. Sometimes this approach had us build rigs for helicopter shoots, sometimes that meant designing a shoot setup to get aerials where no aerials are possible. Each assignment had its unique logistical challenges we worked around. Always to tell the story in a new way.
Chapter How does the experience of working for major global campaigns as for Apple, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota and Sony influence your artistic approach?
Tobias Hutzler Collaboration is essential in my work and truly expands my horizon. I love to team up with creatives in all parts of the globe, it’s incredibly inspiring to learn about different ways of thinking, cultural perceptions, or visual communication. One of my principles and the heart of my work is to push myself and to truly explore, never having the same approach twice. Creatives I work with share this mindset and then it becomes truly exciting. In my personal work, I explore new territory, build new tools, improvise and play. Whenever I can, I go out to spend days, weeks in the desert to work with light, space, and the elements in their purest form. This is truly the essence and foundation of my work. I translate these experiences into more abstract settings, working with specific light in the studio to transport the energy and feel of a place. This is the reason why every project or collaboration has meaning to me because I bring to the table what is most authentic. I cannot imagine working in any other way, therefore I consider every work as relevant and timeless in a sense.
Chapter There is an inherent otherworldliness to your nature photography, what underlying themes do you explore in your series »Water 2«?
Tobias Hutzler I let my work guide me so in this project I worked with natural light to distill the energy of the landscape, the wind and the water stream — to transform landscapes through light using photography to create poetic connections between ourselves and the environment — a journey beyond cultural, historical, and political boundaries. This highlights what we all share as humans — light is the language we all understand. I am interested in capturing what our eye can’t see, the power of photography to use space and time as a canvas, to capture what we are so profoundly connected with and have forgotten in modern lives, the underlying energy of the land. The topography of a place is captured with light. This approach can be described as otherworldliness, I want to capture the pure essence of the landscape and reveal our symbiotic relationship with the environment. A portrait of who we truly are a part of. In this body of work, I am exploring the poetry of wind and water, elements that create formations like temporary sculptures. Through my work, I want to raise a new perception of the environment and its potential to generate energy. Through photography and light, I aim to capture and transform waves, tides, streams, and the winds — a moment in flux.
Chapter In this series your use of light seems overall reminiscent of early photographic processes, what kind of technology do you use in your practice?
Tobias Hutzler I work in digital photography, I’m interested in pushing the boundaries of the medium. For this project I worked in large format, to have complete control over composition and focus on the essential part of the image. In my lab we design, program, and build LED light sources, build custom systems and experiment with the new digital sensor generation. We then take these setups out into the wide-open desert, which is like a large open studio to me. The purpose of my work has always served as an extension of my mind, my curiosity, and interaction with the world. Life and work are truly one and inseparable.
Lichtstudien Transforming Landscapes through Light
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