Discover more from StoryDrops - Street Photography Newsletter
📸 Photo series #16: Music as a source of inspiration in street photography
Street photographer: Thomas Hackenberg
Before discovering the work of Thomas Hackenberg, a photo series full of beauty and simplicity, we wanted to talk about the 24h Project.
Yesterday, more than 3,000 photographers were mobilized for the occasion. The 24h Project is a global photography initiative that challenges photographers from all over the world to document their surroundings and experiences over a continuous 24-hour period. During this day-long journey, participants use their cameras to capture the essence of their communities, cities, and lives, showcasing the diversity and uniqueness of our planet through the art of photography. In one single day, we traveled in 86 countries through photos posted on social networks and the project’s website.
In a world that never sleeps, photography becomes a timeless art form capable of freezing moments in the ever-flowing river of life.
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Make yourself comfortable with a good coffee and enjoy the photos! ☕️
Beautiful people by Thomas Hackenberg
⏱️ Reading time: 5 min
In addition to being a street photography aficionado, I fell in love with music at a very early age. I was recently listening to a wonderful pop song sang by NYC-born singer-songwriter Melanie called ‘Beautiful People’ – listen to it if you like! Anyway, I thought this would also be a good title to a street photography series, as I love taking candid, unposed shots of ordinary people on the street. In compiling my series, I also added some emphasis on style and fashion, something I like a lot when walking the streets and looking for interesting – beautiful – people. I hope you enjoy.
Written and shot by Thomas Hackenberg.
Who’s behind the lens?
Describe yourself as a photographer and where you are based
I was born in 1963 and live in the German city of Braunschweig.
My work has been widely published and received finalist awards and prizes at international street photo festivals, among them the Miami Street Photography Festival, London Street Photography Festival, Italian Street Photography Festival, LensCulture Street Photography Awards, Eyeshot Open Call, and others.
For me, a good street photo must be made candidly, captivate me at first glance and make me want to take that second look – like wanting to read a poem twice. It must raise more questions than provide answers. I like photos that tell a story in a single image, and I particularly adore humorous and quirky pictures and visual puns in everyday life. When I am out on the streets, I like chasing for the offbeat, on a quest to find some extravaganza in the ordinary, some fun element, some beautifully layered scene, some fleeting moment.
I also like ordinary, though beautifully layered pictures which tell a story from the left- to the right-hand corner of the image. Any interesting scene that hits my eye, observed moments from the great theatre of street life that might only exist for a split second and then they’re gone forever. Triggered by a colour, a human gesture, a noise, an interplay of foreground and background. I love these special moments, so rare and so elusive, when all things fall into place and a good picture emerges – sometimes foreseeable, sometimes sheer serendipity (which comes to those who work hard and shoot a lot!).
It’s the pleasure and anticipation of making a good street picture that drives me. The flow when I am completely in the moment and fully open and susceptible to life on the street. Standing on a corner, letting life flow towards me, observing and pressing the shutter at the right moment. After all, it’s all about curiosity. It’s all about finding out what life has in store for me on any given day – I'm eager to see what’s around the next corner.
Your favorite camera and lens
Sony A7III with 35mm ZEISS prime.
Your favorite places to shoot
Any place with lots of people and great light! Otherwise, the best place to shoot is on your own home turf, I guess. If I'd have to name three: 1) NYC, 2) Haiti, 3) India
According to you, what makes a good picture
For me, a good street photo must be made candidly, captivate me at first glance and make me want to take that second look – like wanting to read a poem twice. It must raise more questions than provide answers. I like photos that tell a story in a single image, and I particularly adore humorous and quirky pictures and visual puns in everyday life.
Your favorite photographers and where you get inspired.
I get my inspiration by collecting photo books and constantly studying the great work made by the masters of the genre. Among my favorite photographers are Elliott Erwitt, Garry Winogrand, Joel Meyerowitz, Matt Stuart, Melissa O'shaughnessy, and so many others! Far too many to list here.
Portfolio and/or social media links
Portfolio : hackenberg.info
Interview: Up Photographers
Instagram : @thomas_hackenberg_photo
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