Be it a snippet about the oldest picture at the exhibition taken when Thomas Lüttge was still a student or an anecdote behind another photograph, the narrations and the photographs are so vivid that one starts reliving these moments.
And probably, that’s what Thomas wanted.
Acclaimed freelance photographer, the German artist serves as an instructor for US students at Salzburg College, Austria and as an instructor of photojournalism and portrait photography at the Munich College of Photography.
Having had more than 30 solo exhibitions worldwide, the exhibition in Hyderabad which starts today at the Goethe Zentrum, is not his first in the city. Neither is his relationship with the city a new one.
His first encounter with Hyderabad happened in 1974 when he worked along with Dr Hans Winterberg, the then director of Max Mueller Bhavan. They attempted to capture the heritage of the city for a purpose other than documentation.
“Photographs shouldn’t serve the purpose of documentation”, he says smiling warmly. Thomas religiously believes in one aspect, something he reiterates twice during the interview – one should come out of imaginations, dreams and preconceived notions when one wants to click a photograph.
“It is all about the moment which is going on,” he stresses Thomas, adding, “If you have something in mind about it already, then you are not open to what is going on right now.”
Quite true to what he believes, none of his photographs appear like those available over the internet or in other any other medium. Unlike the standard postcard type format followed when contemporary architecture is usually captured, he does it in his own way.
For instance, the Queensboro Bridge of New York has a road and subway and three arches, but he makes them look like a single arch.
“You don’t want it to be a bridge, you want it to be an arch and so it is an arch,” he simply says. The open eye, the openness of the photographic eye is what is important, he informs.
But how can one be open when there is an obsession to click a good picture and make everything look right? Ask him if there is a way to click or identify a good picture, he apologetically says he cannot help one that aspect.
Thomas quickly adds, that there might be one way: put the photo on the wall in your living room and look at it every day. “After two or three weeks, by looking at it if you feel like you have eaten something which you shouldn’t have, it is a bad photo,” he laughs jokingly.
Cityscapes – a visual poetry opens today at 6:30pm at the Goethe Zentrum institute on 20, Journalist’s Colony, Road No 3, Banjara Hills and will be on display till February 16.