Photographing is a special state of mind

N.Y. Aquarium Station

"The pictures are out there: You just have to see them." What does my credo mean in practice? Maybe you are walking around in a city. Suddenly you see a scene that attracts your attraction, and you think: This would be a nice picture. – You have to take the picture now, immediately giving up what you are doing. Because what you see may be gone in a few seconds, because human beings are involved, or because it's the light that makes this scene extraordinary.

Completely focussed

But even if I miss the picture I saw a few minutes ago, what matters is that my brain has switched on to photography: I am completely focussed on the visual world. Often what I see next is even better than what attracted my attention in the first place. This state of mind is absorbing, because I have to make a few decision quickly for each picture i am taking with my camera. If I neglect to control the capturing carefully, the picture is lost. To name the maybe most annoying lack: Either the image is on focus – or it is not.

A different world

For my STREET ART series, sometimes I strolled around in Manhattan for hours. Although I was photographing in neighbourhoods familiar to me, I was in a different world looking to see if one of these small spots would reveal an image to me. Being so focussed, being one with what I am doing, makes photographing intense, kind of like being in a trance state. But sooner or later I will get the feeling: I have seen it. This thought will bring me back to real life.

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