An Interview with Johannes Huwe on The Ambiguous Beauty of Patagonia

2017-09-17

There's barely anything but a rich diversity of nature In this corner of the world. Patagonia, the southern end of the Americas, is a different kind of wilderness that breaks expectations. It isn't for the normal traveler, but photographer Johannes Huwe is one of the rare few who managed to capture its mystery in full analogue, monochromatic goodness, reminiscing early 20th-century Pictorialist landscapes.

Here's his interview with Lomography Magazine.

Hi Johannes, welcome back to Lomography Magazine! Apart from traveling, what have you been up to lately after the Antarctic expedition?

I've just come from an interview with German TV broadcaster NDR. The interview took place at the Rust'n'Dust vintage dirt track race. It's being held on the largest grass racetrack in Europe, a unique, historic setting. The race also features a great supporting program including great rock'n'roll and guys showing off their hot rods from the 50s and earlier.

Your most recent travel was in Patagonia. What prompted you to go there and what did you do during your stay?

Anyone looking for adventure and solitude will eventually make their way to Patagonia. It is a one-of-a-kind landscape, where the highways are still gravel and towns settled only by Chile and Argentina to keep the other side from trying to expand its borders.

We explored Patagonia starting in the north with an off-road vehicle through the Alpine landscape at about 30° south of the equator. After traveling some 5,000 km (3,100 miles) south, the temps were at freezing as we passed by the most beautiful natural parks and glacier landscapes. Every day, we planned to continue traveling south by a few miles, but the condition of the gravel roads and the number of potholes really determined just how far we got each day. Once we stopped for the day, we'd go on hikes or horseback riding, crossing streams or heading off to lakes in the distance. That was already a truly unique experience!

Patagonia is a sparsely populated, yet with varying terrains, from valleys to volcanoes and plains. Describe to us what attracted you most to the place.

In Patagonia, you can start your day in the Chilean rainforest in the morning and by afternoon admire the wild horses and armadillos in the steppes of Argentina. Where else can you do that?

Your landscapes here remind us so much of old, early 19th century photographs. Why did you choose to shoot using film and in black-and-white?

I wanted to capture this unique place with my old Leica M3 camera from the 1950s. I therefore opted to use a pristine pre-war Leitz Summar 50mm lens which exposes the image in a special way onto the film. For me, it was clear that it had to be in black-and-white. I almost always only shoot on film and the whole development and enlargement process in the darkroom is important.

Using the mechanical Leica without any electronic tools like exposure meter and developing the film and processing the images in the darkroom is really about the craftsmanship for me. That's something I miss with digital photography.

Where are you heading next, Johannes?

I've just been packing my Land Rover Defender. Next week, we're going to ship it to Iceland, where we'll be spending a few weeks in the highlands of the island. Definitely an adventure. This time, I'll be shooting with a Lomography 200-speed color film. I'm looking forward to it and sharing my adventure!


Get to know more about Johannes the adventurer-photographer through this feature or our interview about his Antarctic expedition. Find more of Johannes Huwe's work on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Society6, and World Photography Organisation.

written by Ciel Hernandez on 2017-09-17 #places #patagonia #travel-photography #johannes-huwe

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