About Jens Stachowitz

Jens Stachowitz ist der Eigentümer dieses Blogs.

You must be very focussed

Score of the game from one to twelve.

The players of the petanque game build teams and play for about one hours to fetch the twelve points to win.

To play petanque at this level this men do you need to practice a lot. Some are able to hit another boule 8 to 10 meter away with a success rate of 90%. This sport does require a good eye, beeing focussed and super relaxed.

I captured this moments at a sunny afternoon in Bastia, Corse. I stayed at the field for more than an hour to study the petanque game and the highly developed skills of the participants. Before doing that I asked for permission to stay there and make photographs. I tried to not get in the way and was permitted to stay.

LUMAS opens gallery in Dortmund

View into the LUMAS Gallery

View into the LUMAS Gallery in Dortmund with photographs from Horst and Daniel Zielske

The opening of the LUMAS Gallery in Dortmund on 10.11.2012 was the start of the exibition of the New York photographs of Horst and Daniel Zielske lasting until 25.11.2012. The showroom is part of the INHOUSE, a store for high quality furnishing and accessories.

The New York photographs are very interesting for me because of the light and the subject. They seem a little bit surreal. The Brooklin Bridge is my favorite followed closely by the East River III. It is a pleasure to see the photographs in big format instead of merely in an online-presentation.

The LUMAS Gallery showroom is well illuminated and is giving space to the photographs to appear. I could also see one of my favorites of Pep Ventosa an impressionistic photograph of the tree on the Carrer de Tantarantana, Barcelona.

View into the INHOUSE Lobby

View into the INHOUSE Lobby in Dortmund at nighttime.

the art of presentation

view outside the Sanaa-Cube with an art exibition inside, outside and inside merging.

View outside the Sanaa-Cube with the art exibition C.A.R inside.

Context matters while presentating art and other matters of interest. – On the weekend of 02.11.2012 to 04.11.2012 there was the art exibition C.A.R. Contemporary Art Ruhr in Essen, Germany. With the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Zollverein Colliery and the SAANA-Cube the exibition has a very impressive backdrop.

There were a lot of interesting works of art – sculptures, paintings, photographs – that aroused my interest. But …

Photos on display board that not can bet seen well

what I want to do is to write about context. The backdrop, the halls, the walls, the light all those elements build the context that a work of art is perceived. In addition there are the spatial sound, the voices, the smell of the building and the visitors. Not to forget the question whether the artist or the gallery owner leave you in silence or try to sell you something. In the photo above there is a situation where I only stopped by to make the photograph of a completely failed presentation because of the lights blinding me.

My favorite space was the showroom of the ART-isotope Gallery Axel Schoeber you can see in the photo below. Axel Schoeber created a context for the work of the artists Sónia Aniceto, Eberhard Bitter, Andrea Kraft, Georg Meissner that was pleasant to be in and was giving space to the work to appear. He and the artists were cautious and were waiting for questions instead of asking themselves. So I could perceive my way and I loved it.

A view in a showroom of the art exibition C.A.R

Showroom of the ART-isotope Gallery Axel Schoeber, Dortmund, Germany

seeking for beauty in nature

People looking on an impressionist Nature-Photography

Photo-Exibition at International Nature Photography Festival of the GDT 2012

The International Nature Photography Festival of the GDT 2012 in Luenen, Germany was a pleasure. More there isn´t to say. There were lots of very good photographs in the exibition of the winners of the national contest and the international contest and in the lecture programme. There were a lot of very pleasant people in the audience and first and foremost in the team of the GDT (Society of German Nature Photographers) and the lecturers. What unites them all is their love of nature and photography, some of them beeing professional photographers and text-authors.

a little adventure close to home

The train guard authorizes the departure (Jens Stachowitz)

The train guard authorizes the departure (Jens Stachowitz)

“To go on a cruise with an ancient railbus“ was the childhood dream of Stefan Tigges. He incorporated the Ruhrtalbahn in 2004 and extends his offerings from year to year. At the last weekend in April 2012 he launched his Schienenkreuzfahrt (cruise) trough the Ruhr Area. I had the opportunity to join this event and enjoyed it! Because of the not so much convenient ancient railbus it was a little adventure. I experienced how it felt and looked like to travel in the sixties of the twentieth century and thought back to my own childhood. But I felt no nostalgia, I sensed how convenient we use to travel nowadays. During the cruise we passed a lot of places that are milestones in the history of this region, letting us know and imagine what developments we have begotten or undergone. Due to a very well-informed guide there were a lot of bits of new information I could gather although I live in this region for half a century. I recommend joining the tour.

using the rare moments

ruhr valley after sunset at a cold evening

ruhr valley after sunset at a cold evening

I don´t know how you manage to get through the winter. My experience so far is that there is almost no frost, snow and almost no sunshine since the middle of November here in the Ruhr Area. There were two days in January with the temperature falling below zero. One of them I could use for a photo tour and came home with the photograph above. I am happy with having been able to use this rare moment when the sun was below the horizon and temperature was below zero too.


slinky-springs-to-fame-bridge © jens-stachowitz-photography.com

Inspired by the toy »Slinky« the German artist Tobias Rehberger, a border crosser between design, art and architecture, designed a pedestrian bridge in the form of a spiral with 496 arches made of Aluminium and illuminated in the night. Its official name is »Slinky Springs to Fame« but in colloquial speech it is named »Rehberger-Brücke« due to its inventor. The bridge spans the Rhine-Herne Canal in Oberhausen, Germany, connecting two public gardens, the Kaisergarten from the late 19th century and the Volksgarten from the early 20th century and is a replacement for a bridge that got destroyed in World War II. This place is not far from the Gasometer, a landmark for the whole Ruhr-Area.

slinky-springs-to-fame-bridge-at-blue-hour © jens-stachowitz-photography.com

The construction of the bridge is held by two ribbons made of high strength steel, the lightest of all possible constructions, and was developed by Schlaich, Bergermann & Partner. The elegant, light and vibrant bridge is part of the Emscherkunst – An Island for the Arts-Project and was build by the Emschergenosenschaft with subsidization by the European Union and the state North Rhine-Westphalia. It is a sculpture and an emblem in the geographic center of Oberhausen, a town compound of three little towns since 1929.

What fails is our apprehension

A couple looking at a photograph created by Joel Sternfeld © jens-stachowitz-photography

»What fails is our apprehension of our incredible amasing and beautiful world.« is the statement of Joel Sternfeld that resonates most within me. First of all I have to say that I am trying to understand which message Joel Sternfeld wants to tell the readers of his photographs, books and the listeners of his lectures. I am not quite shure that I have got »it«. What makes me unsecure is a photograph I did not like at a first sight and that I did not read careful enough. The icing on the cake is as small as a stamp in this large-format photograph: A baby that suckles at the breast of his mother who is sitting on a couch that was taken out of a moving van in front of a new building somewhere at the city limits close to the woods. Someone else pointed to this culmination of this photographic short story I did not apprehend. So I have to say that it may be true that I am a very well trained to read situations and relationships what is essential to do my work as a facilitator, but I have to educate my perception of pictures and photographs.

What I have percieved in the current exhibition of Sternfeld´s work in the Museum Folkwang and whithin a lecture he held on July, 16th 2011 and a short conversation is that Joel Sternfeld is a »concerned photographer« – the Süddeutsche Zeitung called him to be one –. What is he concerned about? Money? Fame? – No, not at all!

It appears to me that Joel Sternfeld is a very self-efficiating contemporary, a humorous and amicable storyteller. He is concerned about doing great work, getting on a higer level of perception, telling something well-founded about our world and our society wanting to improve it, saving our incredible amasing and beautiful world from unpleasant acts mankind could and does do. He tells us »what we do with the surface of the earth tells us who we are« in this video, but he is not at all a itinerant preacher. He is not at the frontline either like a war photographer risking his live in order to shock and push us. Sternfeld is looking for subtle undertones that touch our souls and Sternfeld is creating photographs we want to look at more than one time, those that do not disgust but pull us in.

Joel Sternfeld is concerned about relationships of humans to each other, humans to nature and colors to each other. His eyes light up when speaking about color shades in his photographs. Yes, he is concerned not only about the story in the photograph and the story behind the photograph but also about the composition and the color. Some of Joel Sternfeld´s photographs are shown online by Luhring Augustine.

Museum Folkwang exibits different series of photographs Sternfeld created starting from 1970 till nowadays. Very much I do recomend to visit the exhibition in Essen, Germany till Oct., 23rd 2011, then touring to Amsterdam, Berlin and Vienna.

And: look carefully. – Thank you, Joel for your teaching!

Creativity is needed in all spheres of society

Photo © Joey Armstrong

Corwin Hiebert is a consultant and manager to creative entrepreneurs and shares his thoughts about making up our personal creativity in part one and generating, developing and communicating new ideas within the context of community in part two of his e-book Your Creative Mix.

Corwin Hiebert is likeminded to me. My work as a freelance facilitator is to help people to come together and solve problems that occour in town development. They need to be creative, often need to find a conflict resolution, they need to trust each other, let go the competition and need to get ideas happen and things done. So I am experienced in collaboration and I fully aggree with Corwin´s statement that the ideas presented in the e-book »are universal to all kinds of creative pursuits«. Corwin is addressing photographers but you can benefit from the reading when your profession is another. Creativity and collaboration is needed in all spheres of society.

Corwin like me is »a firm believer in learning from all kinds of sources« and vividly describes ways to nurse and to evolve creativty. Corwin too is a manager and he gives great advice in this e-book how to systematically work on your creativty, ideas and community. With case studies he illustrates his thoughts.

I think that there is a great need for books like this because we are faced with huge challenges and we need to shape our way of living, our behaviour and our society. In 1976 Erich Fromm published a book titled »To have or to be?« I read as a teenager. Fromm influenced Corwin – I do not know whether Corwin is aware of that influence – who tells us to create value and to focus on our legacy and not to fokus on making money. Money is not a good motivator for great work but happly occours and pays the bills.

It is no surprise that there is a chapter telling you that creating value this is hard work. But there will be a gratification when the work is done and you should reward yourself before heading the next project.

I reccomend reading Your Creative Mix.

drag your readers into your photographs

Spreadsheet out of »A Deeper Frame« by David duChemin

There are only a few authors who focus on their and our vison and approach, the composition, the story or message of the photographs we create. First of all I will mention Andreas Feininger whose books I have read in my teenage days. A friend of mine still tells me that there is almost nothing needed to be written down additionally. Maybe he is right, maybe not. I did not stop reading books on photography.

Feininger started his book with the qoute: »Know how is worthless without knowing why« (1). In the chapter on spatial depth he tells us »spatial depth can not be portrayed directly in a two-dimensional photography: you can just give a symbolic hint at« (2) and »to create the right kind of illusion of spatial depth requires work and thought« (3). So I did not espect to read something in David duChemin´s ebook A Deeper Frame I haven´t read before. And I espected a consensus because I feel that both are like-minded.

David also starts with the »why« and then he explaines »how to« create the perception of depth with using our viewpoint and perspective, choice of lenses, focus, color and light. He thinks about the (flat) »frame cubed … because geometry and balance are so incredibly important and composing for a cube is different than composing for a rectangle« (p 9) and he suggests to »consider applying the thirds« we are used to use in the horizontal and the vertical »to the depth of the image« (p 9).

David intentionally does not write on »conceptual depth« but strives the »depth of feeling« – there is the difference to Feininger. Here David comes to the conclusion »What it takes to touch these deeper emotions is impossible to pin down«. Pity! But David has reminded us in blog-posts, books and lectures that exploring and accepting our own feelings and vulnerability is essential. The best piece in this regard I have seen from David is his ebook Venice when he felt his deep solitude during some rainy days and was able to express this feelings through photographs. So seen David is able to pin it (the deeper feelings) down very well but not to write the »how to« down – currently. I do think it is worthwhile to ask the question »How to touch the reader emotionally?«. Not in the answers, but in trying to find answers lies the value.

Back to A Deeper Frame: David illustrates his lectures with photographs and graphics. For me it is a good dose of knowledge and insights he provides. As always I do love his photographs, some of them filling the whole page. So I recommend reading A Deeper Frame dispite owning books from Andreas Feininger. Worth reading! Both! Repeatedly!

There is “The Usual” Special Offer on PDFs
For the first five days only, if you use the promotional code DEEP4 when you checkout, you can have the PDF version of A Deeper Frame for only $4 OR use the code DEEP20 to get 20% off when you buy 5 or more PDF ebooks from the Craft & Vision collection. These codes expire at 11:59pm PST July 2nd, 2011.

There is an additionally “The DEEPER” Blow-out Offer
Craft & Vision is offering their deepest discount ever! 12 eBooks for $40. That’s $3.33/book! Fill your shopping cart with 12 ebooks and use discount code DEEPER12 to get $20 off! This code expires at 11:59pm PST July 2, 2011.

(1) Andreas Feininger, Große Fotolehre p 13; (2) ibidem  p 375; (3) ibidem p 374, all translated by me