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My photo treasures: Harald Mante
Harald Mante is an influential and famous German photographer and artist that I have become to like rather recently. I regularly browse the photography section in a nearby library and on one such occasion I came across the book "Die Fotoserie: Besser fotografieren durch serielles Arbeiten" by Harald Mante (the english title is "Serial Photography: Using Themed Images to Improve Your Photographic Skills" and it is even available in a very economical kindle version). In this book, Harald Mante describes photography in series as an alternative to the quest for the one ultimate photograph. Almost every photographer orders his photographs according to themes, but I think Harald Mante's idea of photo series goes much further insofar as the series adds value to each photograph. It is like an emergent quality - the series is more than the sum of each of its photographs. A very nice example is also the portfolio Weitsichtenby Harald Mante and Eva Witter, where 1+1 is more than 2! Not all themes lend added value to each photograph and in many cases more of the same dilutes the value of each photograph rather than increasing it. But Harald Mante made me aware that many photographs gain by being part of a photo series and taking photographs with series in mind can help creating more interesting work.
Harald Mante's photographs are detailed views of the man-made environment that are characterized by color, contrasts, shapes and patterns, which all appeals to me very much. The photograph above is part of a theme entitled "Lichtkissen", which literally translates as "cushions of light." Especially if you live in a city and travel through life consciously, you will discover many such light reflections and projections that decorate walls and the ground on sunny days. Lichtkissen are a wonderful example for the discovery of ephemeral beauty in man-made environments. I should also point out that Harald Mante taught photography at the University of Applied Sciences and Art in Dortmund and also wrote many books on composition and color design in photography.