Berthold Steinhilber
 

Artist's Statement:

One focus of his work is landscape photography and the reflexion on the changes of landscape created by man. Many landscape themes describe the balance relationship between nature and human interventions.

Berthold Steinhilber’s unmistakably illuminated works from the Lightworks series (Ghost Towns etc.) gave him international reputation. With the precise use of artificial light, he expanded documentary photography and created many series dealing with the traces and remains of man on earth.

Bio:

Berthold Steinhilber, born in 1968, is a photographer based in Stuttgart, Germany.

He is widely known for his landscape work and his distinctive lighting technique.
His Lightworks Photographs (Ghost Towns, British Abbeys etc.) have attracted a growing international audience. He uses artificial light in documentary photography to illuminate whole landscapes and sceneries.

A great part of his photography is concentrated on the change of places and landscapes by humans and the traces they left behind. Berthold Steinhilber won several awards for his photography (a World Press award in 2009, a German book award for "Ghost Towns of the American West", Kodak Young Talent Award, Reinhof Wolf Award…).

He studied photography at the FH Dortmund and the College of Arts in Falmouth and works today for German and international clients and his work is shown in various exhibitions.

Interview:

1. WICH IS THE CENTRAL QUESTION IN YOUR LIFE AS A PHOTOGRAPHER?
The Mystery of a good picture.

2. WHO ARE THE PHOTOGRAPHERS / OR OTHER ARTISTS THAT INSPIRE YOU?
It is nearly impossible to not be influenced by other photographers. In the beginning of my career I was quite impressed by Eugène Atget and the artists Otto Dix and Jan van Eyck.

3. WHAT MAKES AN EXCELLENT PHOTOGRAPHER?
The own and personnel view on the planet and the ability to transform this into the pictures that are not only duplicates of the reality but also self-standing arts.

4. WHAT WAS THE HARDEST PART ABOUT DECIDING TO BECOME A FULL-TIME PHOTOGRAPHER?
To not have become an historian.

5. WHAT MOTIVATES YOU IN YOUR WORK AND WHAT IS DEMOTIVATING?
Nature and the passion for my photographic issues are my motivation. Demotivating is bad equipment.

6. WHAT ARE THE MOST PASSIONATE MOMENTS IN YOUR WORK?
To be on the road, out in the field…

7. WHAT ARE THE MAIN CHALLENGES IN YOUR WORK?
To withstand all daily temptations to get off track.

8. HOW DID YOU DEVELOP YOUR ARTISTRY?
To shoot, to reflect, to shoot, to reflect etc…

9. WHAT IS YOUR MAJOR PERSONAL LEARNING IN PHOTOGRAPHY THAT YOU WOULD CONVEY TO A "NOVICE"?
It is important to listen carefully to yourself and find out what you really want. And then to focus on your goal.

10. WHICH ARE THE DRIVING FORCES FOR YOU PERSONALLY AND IN YOUR WORK?
My love to taking pictures.

11. WHICH FEELINGS DETERMINE YOUR WORK WHEN OUT IN THE FIELD?
Cold, heat, moisture, tiredness, thirst, desperation, confidence, joy.

12. ON WHICH CRITERIA DO YOU JUDGE YOUR OWN WORK AS SUCCESSFUL?
If the photographs are meaningful for me even after years.

13. YOUR PHOTOGRAPHIC WORK AND THE BEAUTY OF OUR PLANET, NATURE: WHAT CONNECTION DO YOU SEE?
Respect.

14. ASSUMING YOU WOULD HAVE 15 MINUTES ON A TV BROADCAST AND PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD COULD LISTEN AND UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU WERE SAYING, WHAT WOULD BE THE CORE OF YOUR MESSAGE TO THE PEOPLE?
Monty Python says it: “Always look on the bright side of life!”

At Work:

»It is important to listen carefully to yourself and find out what you really want. And then to focus on your goal. This is one of my key principles on my photographic way«.

Publications:

- | Communication Arts, View Camera, Time, Oceans, Smithsonian, Natural History, Geo, Outside - | Pacific Discovery, many national newspapers and their weekly magazines

Awards:

- | Annual International Color Awards, Photography Masters Cup Award - | San Francisco Society of Communicating Arts, Art Directors Photography Award - | Center for Photographic Art Juried Exhibition Awards - | First Place, OCEANS ‘85 Exposition Film Festival, San Diego - | CINE Golden Eagle Award for Cinematography - | Houston International Film Festival, Special Gold Award for Cinematography - | Northwest Photographers Museum-Juried Award for Landscape Photography


Project: Seestücke - Seascapes

This is where the land ends. From here you can only look backwards, or to the wide horizon of the

seas. The ever-changing waters of the ocean reminds of the deeper emotional states of human experience. From all the journeys to the sea I undertook, this metaphor remained in my mind that the waters of the oceans flow into one another and are connected to one another: everything is connected with everything. For this series I was inspired by the seascapes from the 19th century.

I first took sheltered coastal sections. Parallelly, I photographed the body of work "Finis terrae", pictures of the ends of land or a continent and the routes to these places along the coast, now part of the ‘Seascapes’ series. This project and the reflection on the subject of the sea will be continued.

Project: Monument Valley - Tsé Bil' Ndzisgaii

These pictures are a tribute to the Monument Valley and the American film director John Ford, who did his  first movies here, more than 70 years ago and made the valley of Tsé Bii' Ndzisgaii become a cinematic monument. Since then the Monument Valley has been iconic of the American west.

I choose a very decent black and white in the landscape views of Monument Valley. As with a portrait, these revered grey tones underline the magnificent nature of the subject.

Project: Water and Fire - The Landscapes of Iceland

My Iceland pictures deal with the two subjects of fire and water. The archaic landscapes in Iceland have a special aesthetics through these elements. Pronounced forms and structures of waterfalls in Iceland make the landscape around unique. Every waterfall has its own character, its own sound and is unmistakable. The waterfalls are one of the few forms of landscapes that seem not to be touched by the changes, civilization causes.