Finding art in our everyday surroundings
Klaus Lenzen is a multiple-award winner in the Sony World Photography Awards. His images have won or been shortlisted in the Open competition Still Life, Enhanced and Motion categories. He is a retired banker and keen runner, who was born and lives in Germany.
Hi Klaus. Please introduce yourself and your photography
I am a retired banker (born 1953) and live in Ratingen (Germany). At first, running was my great passion for many years, I finished a lot of marathons. After an injury in 2011, I spent most of my free-time taking pictures. During those early years, I participated in photo contests and was surprised and motivated by some success. In the following years, several of my pictures were awarded at national and international competitions. With my mostly minimalist photographs, I try to focus especially on shapes, colors and structures in everyday life.
Why photography? What does the medium mean to you? How did you get started?
Photography gives me the opportunity to play with forms, colors and structures that perhaps can only be captured in this brief moment. At the beginning of 2014, I started a long-term project called 'every day one picture'. Therefore my camera has become almost my constant companion. This daily task, which I have so far fulfilled completely, has given my photography a tremendous amount of training. I'm "scanning" my surroundings, looking for the special moments in everyday life. Incidentally, I always shoot with the same lens and always in 1:1 format.
Tell us more about your successful images
'every breath you take'
This picture was taken in summer of 2017 from 35 individual images of swimmers at the triathlon in the Duesseldorf Media Harbor. I was able to take a picture of them from above, while the athletes crossed a pedestrian bridge capturing their very individual "breathing techniques“. I was inspired by the work of Andreas Gursky, therefore I took the individual images with the highest possible sharpness. That enables me to display or print the overall picture in large format.
Wrapped was taken on a foggy December morning in Ratingen (Germany). The cover of these straw bales spontaneously reminded me of Christo's veiling artworks.
This was taken in summer 2017 at the triathlon in the Duesseldorf Media Harbor. I was able to take a picture of them from above, while the athletes crossed a pedestrian bridge capturing.
Your photographic subjects feature a variety of themes and styles - what are you hoping to achieve with each series/image?
I want to highlight interesting motifs, especially in everyday life and also in our immediate surroundings... that is my aim. The pictures from my series 'wrapped', are a good example. On a misty December morning in my hometown Ratingen (Germany) I took these photographs.
Where in the world are you and what's next for you?
I live in a neighboring city of Duesseldorf: Ratingen, which is located in the western part of Germany. First of all I want to continue my long-term project 'one photo a day'. In addition, I would like to complete my current series of pictures 'gable walls', 'my Germany' and 'my home is my castle'.