by Daniel Hofmann
Why do we fall in love? Probably to save humanity from extinction. But why do we fall in love with a city? I really don’t see a reason for that, yet I’ve been in love with Hamburg for a while now and my visit last week didn’t change that feeling.
Because I currently live in a small village, I was looking forward to walk through the streets of Hamburg with my Fuji X-T1. She really needed some street practice after all this time in the woods where I could only take pictures of my dog and the trees. Believe it or not, even the woods get dull after some time.
Hamburg is perfect when you are looking for a big town that isn’t too stressful. That is also why I love this city. It’s relaxed like a seasoned fisherman. It works well with my way of photography and, as a bonus, this city has an amazing art scene. The downside is that I lose a lot of money to photobooks and tickets for exhibitions.
This time I visited an exhibition of Phillip Toledano (I went twice, to be perfectly honest) at the Deichtorhallen. He is an amazing photographer and I was blown away by two of his projects. One was dedicated to his sister who died way too early in an accident. The series is called “When I was six.”. The combination of surreal pictures, images of her belongings accompanied by the writing of Toledano spoke to me on so many levels. You can see and feel that this man suffers for his art. The second project was called “Phonesex” and in this one he took portraits of people who worked for a sex hotline. The way he lit every subject is amazing. I’m not a big fan of flash but he used it in such a subtle way that it seemed like available light. Also, every scene he captured was telling a bigger story about the person. I quote Richard Kalvar here: “Millions of portraits are made every day and you have to do something really special to draw the viewer in.” Toledano accomplished that without a doubt.
I always feel inspired after such an exhibition and I used my remaining time to take pictures. The result you are going to see now: