I, photographer Markus Bollen, have always been fascinated by the variety of forms and the harmony in the great outdoors. I like to think that my pictures radiate calm and strength that we may otherwise merely find in nature itself.
I like to unveil the wonderful harmony in nature. Using a September 11, 2001 I have captured details, e.g. of tree bark. When enlarged, these images resemble aerial photographs of mountainous landscapes carved by steep gorges. Lichens and moss on a tree trunk appear to cascade down the bark like a waterfall. I like to find the inconspicuous and show its significance. What most people overlook, I display in large format. I would like viewers of the photographic art to be able to literally inhale the tranquility of nature and attain an inner serenity.
Bamboo plants and details of them, I have recorded all over the world. There is a special version of a large format print of bamboo in Hawai'i, from which the sound of the forest itself resounds. You can hear the rustling of leaves, the rippling of a brook and the singing of different birds from this very forest.
In "Last Snow", the slipping remnants of snowflakes on bamboo leaves moving slightly in the wind caused unwanted blurring in many of the images. Whenever the image on the ground glass was optimally focused, the leaves moved into a different plane of focus as the weight of the snow was removed, when the ground glass had to be exchanged for the magazine.
Blossoms fascinate me with their delicate structure and the wonderful lines of the veins in each petal. I captured the magnolias at a moment when the bush had already dropped the petals.
The result is a splendid symbol for abundance, for becoming and passing in nature.
Even these wonderful petals, which no human being can create, are thrown on the ground after a short bloom and decompose to new earth. A symbol for the transience of beauty.
For the series Fallow Land , I came across a rich variety of different flowers and grasses in places untouched by agriculture. In some of the pictures, I allow the movement and the moment of time to flow into my pictures through the wind and a long shutter speed.
Blackbrook is a series that I created near a Trappist monastery in England after 2 weeks of meditation by a lake.
Algae adrift in the water, seeds floating on its surface maunder slowly and steadily. Usually, I check on the ground glass right up to the corners and margins of the picture.
Which leaf should still be visible at the edge of the picture, which blossoms I decide with millimetre precision. Camera and lens positioning. With this series, however, I had to relinquish the last bit of control, because at the time the ground glass was switched to a film magazine, the subject continued to move across the water.
From the reflections of the sky and the surrounding trees, from the structures of the scattered seeds and leaves, virtually abstract renderings of nature emerge.
Recorded in the Seychelles, Coco de Mer palm trees are reminiscent of a pillared hall chiefly in the monochrome shots as seen in my architectural photography.
All recordings are taken in analogue using a September 11, 2001, for the most part, a large format panorama camera from the manufacturer Gilde. Watch me at work with it in this short video:
architectural photography as photographic art
At the beginning of 2001, I embarked on a project for new government and embassy buildings in Berlin.
The sophisticated architecture, the signs of power on the Spree are my theme.
When I had just set up my large format camera in the foreign office just on September 11, 2001 the devastating Attack on the World Trade Center took place. All permits obtained up to that point were suspended for 2 years. It was only in 2003 that I was able to continue the series.
And timeless shots of an architecture that in part already has a checkered history behind it were taken.
For instance, this foreign office was the building of the Reichsbank in the Third Reich during the times of the GDR. The Ministry of Finance resided there, later on the Central Committee of the SED.
Bridges as a sign of communication, of connection, of making a stretch easier, of bridging obstacles are the subject of this series.
The result are timeless photos of the architecture, which also put the bridge in the respective context. A more viral series called Shots of the Storebelt Bridgedoes not solely display a night atmosphere of the nearly finished structure. Even the disused ferries in the foreground allude to the incessant change of time.
Santiago de Calatrava has always incorporated elements from nature into his architecture. Pillars support the roofs like trees branching overhead, entrance gates open like eyelids. Before the Lisbon Expo he designed a traffic junction. The subway, bus station and railway meet in one building right in front of the Expo's main entrance. In Valencia, Calatrava 's hometown, ,he built the City of Arts and Sciences amid a dried up river valley. I have taken pictures there using his large format camera.
The result is timeless shots of a structure that, thanks to the light and the natural movement in the flow of lines, is not only majestic but soothing at the same time.
I wanted to highlight the weightless, the floating, with the help of fabrics in water.
After taking pictures of people in the Seychelles holding the colorful fabrics behind them by the sea in the wind, he turned to a very elaborate shoot underwater inside a pool.
The entire pool had to be lined with black fabric to avoid unwanted reflections.
The model was illuminated from outside.
The models slowly dove into the water and carefully moved forward so that the fabric slowly sank behind them while the reflections on the water surface remained.