Interview with Michael O.A. Klapper
#1 Please introduce yourself
My name is Michael O. A. Klapper. I am 58 years old and I live in Eichenzell (Fulda), Germany.
#2 How did you get interested in photography?
I am an amateur photographer,who discovered the passion of photography by using a LUMIX DMX-LX2 in Canada in 2005. By purchasing a Nikon D90 in 2011, I devoted myself intensively to photography. After several years of self-introduction and many types of photography I found black and white long-exposure photography in 2013. Starting with travel photography in Canada, Ireland, Croatia, Spain, Italy, England and Portugal, my particular interest lies in the acquisition of modern urban architecture, landscape and at lake/sea elements. Shapes and shadows are the essence of Black and White Photography. I first came to long exposure when I saw such a photo. I thought it looked great. It had a surreal and mysterious atmosphere. I began to play with compositions by disregarding the rules of gravity to get off easily recognizable forms and also the interaction between a building and its surroundings. The result was that I found new ways to look first at the built environment and identify the elements which, when combined, open a new aesthetic dimension to what we call architecture photography.
#3 Do you have an artistic/photographic background?
No, I do not have a photographic training. I taught myself everything. My first architectural photograph, with which I was satisfied , was in Hamburg after a workshop. That was a turning point to be an architectural photographer. Since then I work with techniques that I have seen in workshops and tutorials and refine these through my own development. Practically I work out of the feeling.
#4 Which artist/photographer inspired your art?
My first major discovery of black and white photos were pictures of Josef Hoflehner. I could also mention so many photographers who have mastered the art of long exposure techniques and inspire me, too.
#5 How much preparation do you put into taking a photograph?
It depends on where I am photographing. First I make a journey with Google Earth for the preparations. It helps to identify places of special interest to win valuable time. And if also the weather fits (which I pursue with the appropriate weather-APP on my Smartphone), then this is all. Today I do no longer go to the places to check the light conditions (the right position for architectural photos). For the current position of the sun, I use “SunCalc.net”. Here you can see exactly when and where light and shadow are at my new object. My handwriting is minimalism. I search thereafter in all my pictures, whether it comes to lake landscapes, architecture or still life. That’s one aspect of my style. The other is my particular kind of black and white post-development. Also, I like to use deep black or luminous white in my pictures. I grant them mostly a significant role in my photos. For me Photography is passion. It gives me the opportunity to be creative in my own way.
#6 Which places have been your favourite shooting sites so far and why?
I don’t have a favorite place to take pictures. I have achieved two major objectives. Iceland, the land of fire and ice is so intoxicating . And Dubai, my last place in 2015. At the beginning I was looking for coastal landscapes to use the long exposure. After I visited several large cities I came to architectural photography. In every city you can find a particular favorite place.
#7 What do you do in your life besides photography?
Full-time I work as a federal police officer. After retirement in 2 years, I will focus on photography and will do many trips on this planet with my dear wife Christine. Without her, all of this would not be possible.
#8 What future plans do you have? What projects would you like to accomplish?
To tell the truth , I still have many artistic projects on my plan! The next will be a picture book of my hometown Fulda. That’s what I have been working on for 2 years already but I ‘ve pushed it backwards again and again. Furthermore, I would like to visit many cities such as Vienna , Shanghai and New York because they give me an architectural and photographic approach. I’m currently working on a new online magazine (ePaper) for black and white photos.