In this showcase series we feature the Munich Subway photography of Joerg Riehm. Joerg is a photographer from Karlsruhe in Germany, he spoke to us about this vibrant subterranean series.
Joerg, how did you get started in photography?
I got in touch with photography in the 80’s, while my family lived in Caracas/Venezuela for nearly a decade. My mother was a very capable amateur photographer and she used to shoot thousands of slides while we where traveling the entire South American continent.
Every now and then she allowed me to use her Minolta x-700 trying hard to give me a feeling of how to use it (technically) and how to compose a picture. As we returned back to Germany, I changed interests, finished school, began to study and work and started a career in hospitality.
Unsatisfied with the results of ‘cheap’ full automatic pocket cameras I made the decision to buy a real working machine, invested a few bucks and was more than pleased with the first result. Before buying the camera, I was memorizing the entire manual and so it was no mystery to me how it will work and so I could focus on composition of architectural and abstract exposures.
Can you give us some context to this series?
After seeing remarkable subway exposures from other artists and cities (e.g. London, Prague, Paris, Vienna, Hamburg) fever packed me and I did an extended reconnaissance of Munich’s subway station.
I spent a few days with my pocket camera doing handhold trials, and when I found a station worth for a try, I asked for a written permission and returned with the entire gear.
My ambition is to expose the beauty of a daily ‘tool’ used by a hundreds of thousands people, not having time to even look at those magnificent places, designed and crafted by the most capable architectures and workers over the last 43 years.
I intend to put some dynamics in this non moving places by using different point of views, dramatic lead in lines and sometimes by adding a moving train, or when it fits or is inevitable, a few persons. It can take hours to get the scenery you desire, so be prepared.
What equipment did you use for this Munich Subway photography series?
The series was taken with the Canon EOS 60D with the Tamron AF 17-50mm lens and the Canon EF-S 10-22mm. Shot from a Manfrotto tripod, mirror lock-up and 2 second timer.
I always use ISO 100 and aperture f/11 to get a good sharpness everywhere and every capture is done in RAW format. Usually I compose the scene by using the camera display, there I have the 100% picture coverage.
Lightroom 5 is my main tool for the post processing, adjusting contrast, saturation, selective colors, sharpness, and vignetting. A few times I let the free software Gimp do some selective adjustments, but this tends to zero, as it is not working with 16bit colors so far.
The time I spend on processing a capture is around an hour at best. When it takes more time than that, I better reshoot the motif with new adjustments on the camera, angle, point of view.
Do you have a new series planned for the near future?
I am still in progress with my subway series, so I will be busy for the next couple of weeks, but my next series is already planed and will contain staircases from different kind of buildings, public, private, business.
The coming series will be a kind of guerrilla work, including scouting, planing and fast in-fast out execution. That is the thrill about photography.
Photophique has express permission to publish these images and Joerg Riehm retains full copyright to all photographs featured in this Munich Subway photography series.