After a dip into the pool with Franco Fontana a few weeks ago, this week’s installment of Influence or Coincidence dives into the cold and foggy German winter. Read on to find out more about photography’s star couple Bernd and Hilla Becher and of course, who on Lomography got closest to their style.
Bernd and Hilla Becher’s names are very closely associated with monochrome photographs of industrial edifices. Ranging from water towers to chimneys to blast furnaces and mineheads, the Bechers travelled the world documenting a dying species of architecture.
What started off with a hint of nostalgia towards Bernd Becher’s hometown soon grew into an obsessive documentation which lasted 45 years.
Mind you, do not fall for the simplicity of these images. Neither one is a quick point and shoot job. Without getting into the compositional merits of each shot, let us stop for a moment and notice how plain the backdrop often is. Fog. The Bechers very often photographed during the cold season in low light conditions to maximise long exposures and avoid overly bushy trees ruining a picture. And yes, often, they also waited for fog to cloud that which they wanted left out of the horizon.
I think we all agree that the Bechers’ photographs are mesmerising. Especially when they are presented in a series — as they are more often than not. The series presentation gives the photos strength. At once, they are a whole, yet uncannily individual. Like in a spot the difference game, you will find yourself examining the neighbouring shots for similarities and disparities — and it is at that very moment that you can consider yourself captured by their beauty.
It was pretty tough to call out one particular photo this week. But I did and you’ll find the one selected below this gallery of runners up:
Well done racarrete!
See you next week and if you’re still hungry to find out more about Bernd and Hilla Becher, you can watch these: