Sunday, 1 January 2012

Tim Kaufmann

Tim Kaufmann
Nürnberg, Germany

Most of your recent photographs have been taken during your travels last summer. Is there a photograph that for you captures your overall memory of your trip(s)?

That's quite hard to say because this summer we travelled to many different places. The place I felt most comfortable during the trip was on Spiekeroog, a car-free East Frisian island. Most of this small island's space is covered with preserved salt marsh. At the spacious beach you find yourself lost in nowhere and feel completely free. The photograph you can see above captures this freedom very well. But I wouldn’t say it is the photograph that captures my memory. If it exists, I haven't shot it yet.

Do you think that one's focus shifts, and the eye is drawn to different things or elements than in "everyday life" whilst travelling?

Well, I would say that whilst traveling you appreciate the places you visit more intensively and consciously, because you're constantly receiving various new impressions. In "everyday life" you largely have seen everything before and you try to look for new interesting motifs, which will inevitably lead to you looking for new places. My focus on the things I want to capture, however, does not change. I know what I'm interested in and which kind of photography I want to do, no matter where.

And what do you find yourself paying attention to the most generally?
I want to capture various forms of aesthetics that I see in "everyday life". It's just about going through the world that surrounds me with open eyes and simply capture (at second glance) beautiful, ironic or paradox situations and sceneries.          

If you could single out a season or time, in which you have found yourself to be most productive as an artist, which one would it be?

I'd definitely say that I am most productive during spring & summertime.  

Do you think that a painting at times can hold more 'truth' or let's say real elements than a photograph? Or will the photographic medium always win in this respect?

Hmm, that's hard to say. Of course photography wins the aspect of documenting and soberly portraying "reality". This is definitely more difficult for paintings, but in my opinion this is not their task at all. Paintings can also hold much "truth" and at the same time give up "real elements”. Just think of the paintings of Mark Rothko and Bernhard Schultze.

Merely as an observer, what are you more interested in: photographs of animate elements and persons or inanimate objects?

Rough: photographs that show an interaction of man and his surrounding world. Fine: photographs of people in nature.            

Do you already have new travels planned? If so, where to and why there?

No, I don't. I haven't planned anything yet. But I definitely want to travel to some European towns soon.

What does your ideal Christmas holiday look like?

Hmm, I probably have a quite cheesy idea of my ideal Christmas holiday, which resembles those awful Christmas ads. It would be great if the whole family would gather in front of the fireplace in an old log cabin in the Alps to drink punch, cook and listen to old records of the 50s together. The days after that: Sliding, hiking, building snowmen etc. And it would snow all the time.       

Connected to this: Do you consider yourself, or are you considered to be the main photographer among family and friends when it comes to documenting joint events and activities?

Actually I barely take photos at parties or any "family events". That's why I and the people around me do not see me as "the photographer". Photography has a different function for me. For me, it is not of primary interest to document; it has more importance to me to capture the emotions that motifs have and to hold that moment. Those events mostly don't fit that approach.

What do you love most about your favourite camera?

I have an East German "Ihagee Exa 500" from the 1960s, which has this significant odd smell. Every time I look through the viewfinder I'm always reminded of the corridor in the old apartment house my grandparents lived in for decades, where this smell was ever-present.

Chasing the same things but with different approaches. Take a look at his work!

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