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Studio Visit - Sebastian Weiss

Studio Visit

Studio visit with Sebastian Weiss

Sebastian Weiss lives and works as an architectural photographer and designer in Hamburg, Germany. He is appointed as a photo columnist for Architectural Digest Germany from the Condé Nast publishing house. Sebastian is particularly fascinated by the aesthetics of constructions and the details of their shapes. In his eyes, every building has its own architectural language with a totally individual vocabulary. In all of these languages, Sebastian looks for the most beautiful letters and words. He abstracts urban shapes and underlines their clear forms and structures. By breaking the essence of a city down to the substance, he frees buildings from their spatial context and known surroundings. In the end, he is able to model a new uniqueness of shapes with his pictures.

Q.

Why do you create? 

A.

I cannot exactly specify why... I am just particularly fascinated by the aesthetics of constructions and the details of their shapes, and I am eager to abstract urban shapes and underline their clear forms and structures. In my eyes, every building has its own architectural language with a totally individual vocabulary. It gives a kind of satisfaction to me to look for the most beautiful letters and words in all of these languages.

 

Q.

When do you make your best work?

A.

I am able to work best, when I am in a state of "relaxed attention" and when I have sufficient peace and quiet to approach the motif, without any timely pressure.

  

Q.

What is your favorite instrument?

A.

I play the violoncello since more than 30 years. I love to listen to the warm, sometimes melancholic, sound of this instrument, and it is great to feel the vibrations on my own body during the play.

Q.

What is the one thing you wouldn't eat?

A.

10 years ago, I gave up eating meat. It was not even for moral or health reasons only; I just don't like it anymore.

 

Q.

What is your biggest demon? 

A.

The loss of my eyes respectively of my eyesight would be a catastrophe for me - as it probably would be for any other person. Since I am permanently in search of patterns, structures and aesthetics within our urban living spaces, my eyes are enormously important to me. I enjoy always anew again to discover exciting situations, which I can depict in my photos.

 

Q.

What is your happy place? 

A.

I have felt pleasant in so many places, and often I would have loved to stay longer. Anyways, happy I am always behind my camera, even when the motif turns out as a not so promising object as I had hoped before the shooting.

Sebastian Weiss says

"I am just particularly fascinated by the aesthetics of constructions and the details of their shapes, and I am eager to abstract urban shapes and underline their clear forms and structures."

Q.

What do you love most about being on the road?

A.

When being on the road for my photos, the moment of the first meeting with the chosen building is unique, maybe a little bit comparable with the first encounter with an unknown person. I love the anticipation, the first sights and the process of approaching the matter. Then, as soon as a form of "collaboration" is found, a calm and concentrated dialogue with my motives is given prominence.

  

Q.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

A. 

Probably I am not any different from most of the people - for me the day begins best with coffee and music.

   

Q.

What quality do you love most in a woman? 

A.

I appreciate openness to different opinions, different ways of life and religions, joy in human interaction, thirst for knowledge, ability for empathy, humor, curiosity, ability for criticism, creativity. Actually these characteristics are desirable in all persons. 

Q.

Who are some of favorite artists?

A.

I admire for example Glenn Gould, Thurston Moore, Paul Klee, Richard Neutra, Hermann Hesse.

 

Q.

Describe your creative process in a few words. 

A.

Often, everything starts with intensive preparation in advance of a shooting. When I work with an object, my conditions for the setup should ideally be 100% ready, so that disturbing influences can be eliminated as far as possible. Therefore, I investigate already beforehand the exact location and study the upcoming weather situation, because I work exclusively outside. Important are for example the compass points and local conditions of the direct surroundings.

 

When I am then on the spot, I start with my detailed inspection of the object and take first photographic notes. The first approach is very important, because in this phase I try to establish a relation to the building, almost like a dialogue or relationship, which is the basis of our collaboration. This requires time and patience, in order to prise the secrets out of the object onto the photo. If there is a tension between us, then it matches. ;-) 

About Sebastian Weiss 

He is appointed as a photo columnist for Architectural Digest Germany from the Condé Nast publishing house

 

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