March 1, 2020
THE HUMAN PRESENCE
Photography by Maximilian Haidacher
Interview by Karin Svadlenak Gomez
Maximilian Haidacher, an Austrian visual artist and photographer, provides us with a thought-provoking insight into the human presence through his captivating images. By purposely omitting any human figures, he demonstrates the powerful ways in which humans have reshaped and utilised the space around us. Although we may not be able to see them, the footprints of humanity are everywhere. Through his work, Maximilian Haidacher gives us a glimpse into the impact our species has had on the world and the ever-growing human presence that is all around us.
“As a teenager, I was magically drawn to that 35mm film camera on our living room shelf, so I picked it up - and never put it down again ever since.”
IN CONVERSATION WITH MAXIMILIAN HAIDACHER
THE PICTORIAL LIST: Maximilian please tell us where do you find your inspiration?
MAXIMILIAN HAIDACHER: Travelling, nature, magazines, the internet and social media.
TPL: Has your style of shooting changed since you first started?
MH: Definitely. When you start out, you have no idea what's your style or where you should be going. You basically just try to reshoot the clichés you have in your head, the notion of a "good" photograph. Only after a couple of hundred useless rolls of film you start to understand where you have to go.
TPL: Where is your favourite place to photograph?
MH: I love to take long walks on my own, discovering new neighbourhoods and quarters of the city. That's how I find most of my motifs - by chance.
TPL: Do you have any favourite artists of significance to you that you would like to share with us?
MH: Certainly the German Neue Sachlichkeit movement and the Düsseldorfer Schule, with artists like Bernd and Hilla Becher, Andreas Gursky, Thomas Ruff, Thomas Struth and Candida Höfer.
TPL: Do you think equipment is important in achieving your vision in your photography? What would you say to someone just starting out?
MH: Well, I actually do think it is important. That doesn't mean you have to have the best and most expensive equipment out there. But my advice to someone just starting out would be to put away your phone and get a cheap used 35mm camera or some DSLR with a fast prime lens. The simpler the better. A machine that can just do one thing - taking pictures. Then take it with you all the time and learn to see the world through that camera.
Find out what's best for you and stop comparing yourself to others.
TPL: What characteristics do you think you need to become a better photographer? What’s your tips or advice for someone in your genre?
MH: You should be a visual person. You should love to look around and see things. Concerning the genre of architecture photography, it helps to be very precise and accurate, and you probably should be interested in the technical aspects of cameras and photography.
TPL: Have you ever been involved in the artistic world before photography?
MH: I tried some painting and drawing, but I wasn't very talented. Photography has always been the best way to express myself...where I felt at home.