Interview Andreas Pohl
Hello Andreas, Congratulations on your success in have the first place in international Sony
competition in Architecture/Open section; so please introduce yourself briefly
Hi, my name is Andreas Pohl, I was born in East Germany (former GDR) and I am living Berlin. I studied physics and later became a PhD scientist in the field of synchrotron radiation. During the time of my studies I got interested in photography, so in late 2009 I bought a used camera to get started. After a few years I found a passion for long-exposure photography. It taught me to slow down the process of taking a photo and to focus myself on the things I want to show in a certain image.
Please explain about your recent achievement in Sony. Where was it shot? Let our readers
know your conditions and difficulty while shooting.
The photo was shot in Berlin-Adlershof in an area formerly known as Johannisthal Air Field. Here the German Experimental Institute for Aviation build some interesting laboratories during the 1920s and 1930s and the vertical wind tunnel is one of them. Because the bright concrete of that building gives a weak contrast in normal weather and daylight and to reduce distractions in the fore- and background I planned to shoot it in snow. Luckily my workplace is near this spot so I just had to wait…nearly 2 years in the end. One day in january 2017 there was perfect snow and I got there at dusk. This time I had no tripod with me and I struggled with shaky hands in the dim light and snowflakes on the lens. But I got lucky to get the shot I wanted.
What or who got you started or inspired you in your photography ?
At first I started because of pure interest in photography. Back in 2009 I was stunned by some amazing night shots I found on the internet and I wanted to do the same. But this didn’t turn out to be my favourite scenery. When I moved to Berlin in late 2010 I started capturing architectural stuff and with that I more and more turned into black&white photography because most of the colours distract from the graphical shapes of buildings.
I would like to know how you describe minimal photography and what minimal photography
means to you?
This is very subjective, for me it means to reduce a composition to one main actor, say a building, a reduced foreground and an even more reduced background. The contrast of the main actor is most important. Graphical lines, symmetry, lights and shadows play a big part in making the photograph. Sometimes having a person in the frame can bring back life to an otherwise too clinical photo. But in the end it’s more a feeling than exactly knowing what this minimal photography means.
What gear do you carry with you on your photo shoots, especially when shooting snowy
During the last years I mainly used a Canon 5D Mark 2 with a 17-40 mm F4 lens. About a year ago I switched to a slightly wider Canon 16-35 F4 and a few months later I upgraded my camera to a Sony A7r. When going to shoot architecture, I got my camera (mostly the Sony now) with the 16-35 mm lens, 2 to 3 extra batteries, a 100 mm filter system with an ND3 and GND0.6 & GND0.9 filters, a remote control and a tripod. Only recently I bought a new ND4.5 filter.
What Is your favorite website or blog you visit often?
There is no special website or blog I am totally into. I use Instagram for a few months now and find some great inspiration there. When I find an inspiring photographer I like to check their website to see more of their work and maybe some behind the scenes.
Tell us about your photography techniques and the post processing of your photos. Do you
also use manipulation methods?
I think one of the biggest challenges in photography is to be at the spot you want to shoot in the right time. To get an evenly exposed picture without harsh light and shadow areas I prefer to shoot in cloudy weather conditions. On spot I use a tripod, remote control and often utilize ND filters to get this, in my eyes, dreamy and other worldly look. Sometimes I use a technique where I blend a long-exposed image with parts of the same normal exposed image for example to freeze a single person or a bird without any motion blur. My post processing combines preprocessing in Lightroom for color temperature or lens correction and the main processing in Photoshop. Here I create different masks for areas I want to lighten, darken, or modify contrasts. Most of this modifications are done with the curves tool. The outcome can be a subtle change or a way more dramatic one compared to the original “flat” image which strongly depends on my vision.
Do you have any specific opinions about photography competitions?
For me it takes a lot of courage to enter a contest because I have to compete with very talented photographers and I want to contribute a photo worth to notice. In the end you have to have a huge amount of luck to succeed but it doesn’t make you a better photographer compared to all the others. But maybe it can open doors
What is your favorite photograph or series of photographs and why?
One of my favourite photo series is “selected works” from Andy Lee. It defines the pure essence of black and white photography…very inspiring.
If you have an upcoming workshop or exhibition, We would appreciate you letting us and
our readers know about it.
I thought about giving workshops and teaching a small group of people the basics of my working process. But due to my full time job this has not happened by now, but I will plan this for the future. So far I have not planned any exhibitions…but if anyone is interested? Let’s see.
What are your plans for the future?
I have a lot of photo spots on my list and I hope to get a few of them done in the next years. One big goal is to visit Iceland someday , although it has been overrun by photographers in recent years. Maybe I’ll find some new perspectives there.
Thank you for your time. If you like to further explain any point for our readers, please go
Thank you for having me 🙂