why toys?

why small scale?

why photography?

When I started using a camera almost 40 years ago, I was very much into Surrealism. Man Ray was one of my heroes. His pictures made me realize that photography is not limited to recording what you want to remember – after all, we have our heads to do that. So I tried to use photography for making the pictures I wanted to see. I still do.

Rather than asking what I want to photograph, I try to figure out how to photograph things. When I photograph, real world objects are usually a means to an end, a pretext for playing with light and composition. In doing so, I feel I explore the ties between photography – alledgedly a realistic medium – and reality.

As a photographer of miniature scenes I create a diegetic universe, a world ‘on the other side’ of the line that separates the world of the spectator from the world on stage. Doing so, I feel I am more closely related to film makers and fiction writers than to news reporters or product photographers. I do not make pictures of little toys or stage sets. Rather, I show rooms or whatever these stage sets represent. So I photograph something that’s real – toys, for example … but what reality?

“When too perfect, lieber Gott böse.” Nam June Paik

Instead of staging situations with models or actors, I use H0 scale figures. They appeal to me through the realism of their movements. However, their movements are already frozen in time. And their faces are (mildly put) quite abstract; mostly, there is not much to see here, hence no ‘portraits’. Their little flaws, together with the imperfections of my sets and the artificiality of the light, show that we are dealing with deception, or fiction. Like in much of my other photography (see my blog), there is some abstraction from the given world around us.

But then again: I simply love imagining scenes, taking my time building sets, setting up lighting and finding out how it all looks in a real photograph…

related

“Thinking inside the box,” www.toyphotographers.com, September 25, 2017

“And then there was light,” www.toyphotographers.com, July 17, 2017

 

small talk

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