Interview with Thomas Pohlig

Interview with Thomas Pohlig

MonoVisions Black & White Photo Contest 2022

– How and when did you become interested in photography?

My first memory of photography came at a young age, I think I was around 13 or 14. My parents bought me a cheap one time use camera – film in a box. I was so excited that I went outside and snapped all the photos at once, not even thinking about what I was choosing to photograph. I was fascinated by the fact that this little box was capturing images. I don’t even remember if I sent that camera out for processing. After that I had no exposure to photography until High School where I shot pictures for the school year book.

My next exposure to photography didn’t come until I went to the Academy of Fine Arts where I studied graphic arts. As part of the curriculum, I was required to take a photography course. My parents bought me my first real camera, a Pentax K1000. Going into the darkroom to manually roll film onto a canister in complete darkness, develop the film, then watching my freshly exposed photo paper magically come to life in the developer solution cemented my love for photography.

– Is there any artist/photographer who inspired your art?

While in art school I was introduced to the photography of Ansel Adams. His work sent me on my photography journey. Along the way I have been inspired by the work of many photographers and artists including Edward Weston, Alfred Stieglitz, Nathan Wirth, Hengki Koentjoro, Michael Kenna, Valda Bailey, Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Andy Warhol to name a few.

– Why do you work in black and white rather than colour?

I love the simplicity of black and white. You have white, black, and the shades in-between. It is hard to put into words, but I feel more of an emotional connection with black and white than with color. For me, color is so complicated and it makes me feel anxious. I feel comfortable working in monochrome, it makes sense to me.

– How much preparation do you put into taking a photograph/series of photographs?

I don’t like to put too much prep time into a single photograph or series of images because I don’t want to be locked into a single plan of action. I go out wandering with an open mind and let the object or landscape inspire me. When I find something that intrigues me I take my time and just walk around looking for the best way to convey how I feel about the subject.

My kit is simple, I only have two prime lenses that I use on a Nikon d610, an old 28mm manual, and a 50mm. Back in the studio I look at the images in Lightroom and make value sketches, either with Adobe Lightroom or with a pencil and paper. When I am happy with a sketch I move into Adobe Photoshop to complete the image using luminosity masks, dodging, burning, and light painting to sculpt the light and shadow.

– Where is your photography going? What projects would you like to accomplish?

In 2020 I started a series called “Sand Forms.” An exploration of the ever changing sand patterns created by the changing of the tides. In particular, two hours before and after low tide. There are two beaches near my home that are affected by the tidal changes. Most of the images in the series were taken there. It fascinates me to know that each time I go to explore one of these beaches that the landscape will be completely different. I am not done with the series yet, maybe I will never be finished. In the future I hope to try a macro lens so that I can dive a little closer into the landscape. Also, I retired this year and hope to do more traveling and photographing different locations.

Website: https://500px.com/p/tpohlig

© Thomas Pohlig

© Thomas Pohlig

© Thomas Pohlig

© Thomas Pohlig

© Thomas Pohlig

© Thomas Pohlig

© Thomas Pohlig

© Thomas Pohlig

© Thomas Pohlig

© Thomas Pohlig

© Thomas Pohlig

© Thomas Pohlig

© Thomas Pohlig

© Thomas Pohlig

© Thomas Pohlig

© Thomas Pohlig

© Thomas Pohlig

© Thomas Pohlig

© Thomas Pohlig

© Thomas Pohlig

© Thomas Pohlig

© Thomas Pohlig

© Thomas Pohlig

© Thomas Pohlig

© Thomas Pohlig

© Thomas Pohlig

© Thomas Pohlig

© Thomas Pohlig

© Thomas Pohlig

© Thomas Pohlig

© Thomas Pohlig

© Thomas Pohlig

© Thomas Pohlig

© Thomas Pohlig

© Thomas Pohlig

© Thomas Pohlig


MonoVisions Black & White Photo Contest 2022