Plaubel Makina 67.
Taking photography to a whole new level (what else?), Lucas Zimmermann is of course a self-taught photographer. His photographic vision is part of a minimalist research about light and colour. Interested in long-term projects where he chooses to have a cinematic approach to illustrate his concepts. He is currently living, studying and trying to ski in Weimar, Germany.
2012 Streets, Beijing
2014 Bauhaus Essentials, Weimar
2014 Geschossen+Gedruckt, Lüdenscheid
2014/15 Galerie Sakura, Paris
2014 Photoarts Gallery, Sao Paulo
2016 Gallerie GEO, Norway
2016 Theprintspace gallery, London
2017 Night Palm, Los Angeles
2017 Line Gallery, Stroud
2014 Scars – “Grafe Kreativpreis”.
2014 Traffic lights – “Geschossen+Gedruckt” nominee.
2014 Backstreet Beijing – “Geschossen + Gedruckt” nominee.
He also has a Cactus named Rupert.
-How did you first become interested in photography?
Back when I was 16, my then girlfriend got me into photography by taking pictures herself.
-How would you describe your style of photography? ?
I like to explore light and colours during the night, giving my picture a vivid look that sometimes could be described as neon or flashy. Someone told me that my pictures look like a mood board for the ‘Stranger Things’ show.
-Is there a theme or concept that runs throughout all of your work?
I enjoy taking pictures during the night. Since I started photography, my perception of light has changed. I feel like I have a higher awareness to different types of lighting and this actually evolved into something you could name light fetish.
So on one hand, I like the possibilities of lighting during the night as well as the natural tension that I feel in ‘night pictures’. On the other hand, I also enjoy the silence and atmosphere. I find it very relaxing to be out at night.
-What is your typical camera setup?
When I shoot during the night I usually use my canon 5ds with the Canon 16-35 f4.0 or the Canon 70-200 f2.8 II. A tripod is, of course, essential. For comfort I also use a wireless trigger to keep my hands in my pockets when it’s cold. When I want to enjoy photography and just want to value the process of capturing atmospheres I use my Plaubel Makina 67.
-What is your post-production workflow like?
I usually import my pictures into Lightroom and apply some basic corrections to the images (brightness, noise reduction, lens correction, white balance). For the majority of my pictures, that is already enough for my taste. If there is something really disturbing in an image I just use Photoshop to remove it but apart from that I usually just use Photoshop for printing my images on my Epson 3880.
-What is your dream project?
Doing more photography during foggy nights. A lot of my work is more intuitive than planned so I actually need some time in one environment to come up with interesting ideas and compositions. Where I live they are extremely rare so I have to pay extra attention to the weather to get the maximum out of foggy weather. My dream project would actually be a dream location where there would be many foggy nights during autumn and winter.
-What are some of the biggest influences on your work?
That’s a hard question. I would say of myself that I work quite self-contained. I don’t get much inspiration from the work of others. I would even say that looking at the work of other artists depresses me. I have found that my best pictures just happened. I just keep my eyes open. That’s what I have found to be the most important part.
-What is your normal creative process like? How do you choose what themes to explore?
I don’t plan my series with too much detail. I have found that I get the most ideas during the process of the series. I like to explore rather then to create.
-How important is it to you that your photography is critically engaged?
Not very much. I like it when my work has a statement or moral behind the pictures but I don’t force it. I like it when photography is a statement of a moment or a feeling. Something to express but like many things in life, forcing It is most always not the best way.
-Do you see your work as documentary, commercial or art based?
I would say that my work is rather art based. I started out with a more documentary style and approach to my series but the more I worked with photography, the more I have found to be fond of the abstract.
In some way, my photography is still documentary as I try to show things to the viewer that they wouldn’t see otherwise. However, you can say that about photography in general so lets just keep it at art based.
-What was the best career advice you were ever given?
As an artist, you get compliments from different people. From strangers via a comment on the Internet, long and personal ones via mail or by journalists via mail. These are all very important.
I always acted like the compliments from my loved ones didn’t mean much because ‘they have to say that’. But when I got more and more positive feedback from strangers, I realised that what got me here was the encouragement from, at first, my parents and, today, the support from my girlfriend.
So the advice would be: while all compliments are important for building self-confidence as an artist, you should value the words of a well-known professional or random strangers just as much as the people that are close to you. They don’t just see the result but also the process and even if they don’t always quite understand what you are doing, they love your work for how you do it.