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image by
Mark Steinmetz

“In the photograph “Girl on car, Athens, Georgia” a girl is laying on a car with a pack of cigarettes, a bottle and a paper glass. In her face there are traces of melancholia. We are pursued to wondering of what she is thinking about. But at the same time, we are worried about her. The light in the photograph is so dramatic, intense. The image reminds us of one of Robert Adams’s photographs from Our Lives and our Children. In opposite of Adam’s work for you it’s not about stealing pictures from the ordinary life. You approach your subjects directly, with the intention to communicate with them. In black and white photography, shadows and lights are very important to create the right mood. Maybe the use of light is the most important thing. But which is the real power of light in your pictures? Does the light help to create the story?

MS: Black and white photography seems to me to be more purely concerned with light (as well as with darkness, the yin to light’s yang) than color photography. B/W is also more about graphic structure. Photography without light is unthinkable so I don’t know what I can really say about the subject. Light brings revelation and hope. There’s the expression, “the light at the end of the tunnel” – a metaphor for hope and for the journey of the human consciousness. In photographs, the use of light can’t really be considered separately from composition or from the depiction (and feeling) of space. It’s safe to say that the use of light is inseparable from the meaning (or feeling) of the pictures.”

From “ahorn magazine ” an interview with Mark Steinmetz by Daniel Augschoell and Anya Jasbar .