In this showcase series we feature the urban night photography of Markus Lehr.
Markus told us how he got started in photography:
I am a photographer based in Berlin. My first contact with photography was through my father who shot thousands of slides in our holidays with his Voigtländer Bessamatic, a 35mm SLR camera.
I have always been impressed by the amount of lenses and filters he carried around in his old leather bag. When I was 16 or 17 I was allowed into the dark room of his photo club and that opened up a whole new and exciting world. I did shoot occasionally throughout my whole life but it was not until some three years ago that I rediscovered it seriously while trying out night shots. It quickly developed into a fascination that has never left me since then.
Can you tell us more about this urban night series?
It is easy to realize that there is a lot of charm in urban places in that special light of the night. For a few months I consistently shot at least one night every week and after a while I discovered something unexpected. I noticed that there are places that were able to tell stories.
Everything we left back when we went home from work, magically came to life at night. I followed that road and gradually began to see my images like stages with the places and objects as actors. And they were quietly talking up on these stages. Talking about their past and how they have been treated, talking to each other and in the case of Berlin talking about the East and the West. Sometimes when I went out shooting this series I had the feeling that the night is more alive than the day.
What equipment do you use for your photography?
I take the majority of my images with a Nikon D600 and use the Nikon 17-35mm f/2.8 lens as my work horse. It has a great ghost resistance which I found incredibly helpful working at night. Working with Photoshop since version 2.5 I would feel smashed without it. I embrace that technology because it allows me to process my images a little bit like in the darkroom but with much more controlled results.
What plans do you have for the rest of 2014?
I am currently working on a series about the airport Tempelhof, the former central airport of Berlin. Sir Norman Foster once called it “the mother of all modern airports” and if you are around there you certainly get that feeling.
And later this year I am planning one or two journeys to the German Ruhrgebiet. This will include cities like Duisburg, Essen and Dortmund. The Ruhrgebiet is something like the “Rust Belt” of Germany and home to some amazing industrial heritage sites.
Photophique has express permission to publish these images and Markus Lehr retains full copyright to all photographs featured in this urban night photography series.