We came across Peter Langenhahn’s photographs on the Internet. Being impressed by his works and knowing nothing about him, we decided to find some information. It appeared that Peter had his own technique of taking hi-res images. He became visible as a photographer for it but unfortunately, in most cases, his name was associated only with this technique and sport photography. So we thought that it would be interesting for readers to know more about other aspects of Peter Langenhahn’s work. We contacted with him and asked for a short interview.
Please tell us a few words about yourself: how did you get started in photography, what education do you have, where do you work?
My name is Peter Langenhahn, 26, from Germany. I got my first cheap camera when I was 15 and soon I started taking many strange pictures, like my parents said. I never lost the strange nature and over the years I learned how to transport my way of seeing the world with it.
Soon I bought my first analogue SLR (Praktica BC1). Beginning my studies of communication-design at HS-Augsburg (Bavaria), I specialized on photography and started going digital. February this year I completed my education (Bachelor of Arts) successfully. Now I work free-lance.
Most of your photographs depict landscapes and sport events. Why do these themes attract you most of all?
Landscape in some way is a very good theme to display an emotion by defining a special point of view. The slightest move can change the whole picture. Although it stands still, the light and composition doesn’t. I also like to show the beauty of nature and to discover hidden places.
Sport events are the total opposite of landscape. While you stand still it keeps moving all the time. I think it’s interesting to play with time and image-space to achieve uncertainty and delight at the same time.
Do you travel a lot shooting landscapes? Are there any places that you would like to visit again?
Yes, in most cases I travel to take photographs. A picture is like a trophy for me. Returning home and having one more good shot in my pocket is a great satisfaction. To be honest I’d like to visit almost every single place again. Has the place changed in any way, would the picture look the same if I would shoot it again? Maybe I’d like to do a study about the places’ conditions over time, or get other inspiration. Knowledge about a place changes my view and also my pictures.
You have a special photographic technique that makes it possible to take detailed large-format images. These images are not traditional photos, are they? Could you describe the process of creating them? How has this technique appeared?
No, they are not traditional photos. I tried to find a way to get higher resolutions for my landscape photographs because I think landscapes deserve to be printed in large format making every single detail visible.
My motivation was to get the same image quality as expensive digital medium-format cameras (with 80MP and more) with my DSLR. The technique I use can be compared with the way of taking panoramic photos by stitching single shots together. This is done by software and also by hand. I am very critical with the detail and software cannot do the whole job on its own. The other technique I use to get an impressive picture is classic postproduction like colour correction and things like that. But my main intention is to transport the feeling I had taking the picture.
What equipment do you use? Do you use any specific equipment?
All I use is a Nikon D700 with a 50mm 1:1,4 or 85mm 1:1,8 lens to gain a good basic result. In addition to practice and patience a tripod with a nodal head (correction of the optical pivot point) can be useful.
Do you pay much attention to post processing? What software do you use?
Post processing is essential for my kind of digital photography. For me in most cases post processing takes at least 80% of the effort. I use standard software.
Have you had any funny or unusual stories related to your work?
Two years ago I went to Norway to take some landscape photographs. I planned to stay there for three weeks at least. It rained for nine days, my tent was wet as were my clothes, so I cancelled the trip and went back home. Despite all of it I took some of the best pictures.
What are your plans for the nearest future?
Keep moving forward.