Thomas Haensgen

Thomas Haensgen is a German artist from Cologne who is constantly driven to evolve his artistic vision. His art is inspired by the beauty found in both natural and artificially created elements and situations. He dedicates a significant amount of time to practicing and observing in order to learn new techniques and explore how he can use his two-dimensional photography to convey the multidimensionality of the three-dimensional world.

Thomas deliberately avoids adopting a particular style, preferring instead to select the method that best showcases the unique features and multidimensionality of each subject. He goes through a process of selecting and composing to capture the special moment that brings him joy and that he wishes to convey in his photographs.

He employs various approaches to realize his artistic vision, such as long exposure photography, artificial lighting, exposure bracketing for increased dynamic range, experimenting with motion, and utilizing different camera and lens types. While it occasionally influences his work, Thomas sometimes listens to music through headphones.

With each photograph, his goal is to capture the emotion and excitement he experiences when approaching the subject. The subsequent editing process is crucial for him to match the colors, exposure settings, and other aspects of the image to his personal experience.

Thomas aims to captivate viewers with his photos, encouraging them to briefly escape their current circumstances and immerse themselves in the world around them.

Thomas Haensgen “Light between the trees”

Artrepreneur: How does your choice of subject matter reflect your personal interests and artistic vision?

Thomas Haensgen: My aesthetic vision and personal interests are both reflected in the subjects I choose for my photography. Whether it’s found in the world’s natural beauty or in things and experiences that humans have created, beauty fascinates me greatly. This interest arises from my desire to document and spread what makes me happy and fulfilled.

My artistic aim is to search for and capture that beauty in a way that resonates with people because I really think that everything has an innate beauty. I am continuously exploring and analyzing my surroundings, searching for those rare and distinctive features that inspire surprise and wonder.

My personal interests include exploring new places, going abroad, and getting to know various cultures.

These interests influence my choice of subject matter, as I strive to document my encounters with the extraordinary, the moments that leave a lasting impression on me.

I want to convey to others through my photography the feelings and sensations I have while looking at a subject. Even if they haven’t experienced it firsthand, I want viewers to be able to relate to the scene and feel a sense of familiarity or intrigue. My goal in showing the world through my lens is to pique curiosity and inspire viewers to perceive things differently.

In the end, the subject matter I choose represents my particular interests and enables me to express my artistic perspective. Through inviting viewers to accompany me on a visual journey and experience the emotions and viewpoints that my images record, it enables me to convey the beauty and curiosity I find in the world.

ATP: How does your use of composition and framing contribute to the storytelling aspect of your photographs?

TH: The use of composition and framing in my photography is crucial for boosting the narrative quality of my images. I see composition as a potent technique that enables me to direct the viewer’s eye and elicit particular feelings or tales in only one picture.

I can establish a visual hierarchy and draw the viewer’s focus to the important components that support the story I want to tell by carefully examining how objects are positioned within the frame. Each compositional decision serves to improve the storytelling, whether it be by employing leading lines to direct the viewer’s eye, balancing the composition with the rule of thirds, or making use of symmetry and patterns.

Storytelling also heavily relies on framing. Depending on the narrative I want to tell, I can manipulate the viewer’s perspective and create a sense of closeness or distance by choosing the right framing. Framing enables me to influence the spectator’s perception and emotional response, whether I’m capturing a close-up detail that asks the viewer to engage on a more personal level or employing a wide-angle perspective to portray the expanse of a landscape.

Furthermore, I think that negative space may be used to tell a tale just as effectively as the things already present in the frame. It can accentuate the subject’s importance, foster a sense of seclusion, or provoke a specific feeling. By purposefully providing open-ended questions, I invite the audience to use their own imagination to fill in the blanks, enhancing the storytelling component.

Overall, I want to take pictures that are more than just documentation through careful framing and composition decisions. I try to convey stories, arouse feelings, and encourage viewers to engage with the story that is being told in each frame. My ability to communicate my artistic vision and make an effect on the viewer is made possible by the composition and framing, which act as potent tools in the construction of the visual storytelling experience.

Thomas HaensgenHorseshoe Bend” 2022

ATP: How do you view the relationship between the photographer and the viewer, and what role does interpretation play in the appreciation of your art?

TH: I see the interaction and dynamic exchange of feelings, viewpoints, and narratives between the photographer and the audience. My job as a photographer is to freeze a moment, express my vision, and show it to the audience. The perception and appreciation of my art, however, ultimately depend on the individual experiences, feelings, and viewpoints of the observer.

The appreciation of my work depends heavily on one’s perception because photography, like all other forms of art, is subjective. Each spectator contributes to the viewing experience their own background, cultural influences, and emotional state, which inexorably changes how they view and interpret the images. Art is so engrossing because it lends itself to a variety of interpretations, which enables for a variety of meanings to arise.

I think that conversation and reflection are sparked by art. I want my pictures to make people feel something, get them curious, and make them think about their own experiences and viewpoints. I want my work to serve as a platform for meaningful connections and narratives, allowing each spectator to interpret the work in their own unique way and interact with it.

The interpretation of the viewer enriches and deepens the appreciation of my art. As users add their own stories, experiences, and associations to the visual experience, it enables a deeper connection between the spectator and the shot. I appreciate and respect the various perspectives that people have on my work since it broadens the range of potential interpretations and promotes discussion.

In the end, there is a collaborative relationship between the photographer and the viewer. My art comes to life thanks to the active participation, interpretation, and emotional response of the audience. My goal is to produce images that evoke strong emotions in the spectator, providing room for individual interpretation and encouraging them to go on their own visual exploration and introspection journey.

Thomas Haensgen “Eagle Peak in Yosemite” 2022

ATP: Is there a boundary between documenting reality and creating art through photography?

TH:  It’s a difficult and individualized idea to draw a line between using photography to capture truth and producing art. While it is common knowledge that photography is used to record real-world events, it is also a form of artistic expression.

The goal of documentary photography is to accurately portray the truth of a subject or event. It focuses on giving a true picture of the world as it is, recording people, places, and events in an unbiased way. The factual and educational components of the subject matter are often given priority in this type of photography.

However, art photography frequently goes beyond simple reportage. It involves the photographer’s original ideas, individual interpretations, and creative expression. A planned composition, the use of light and color, experimenting with techniques, and post-processing may all be used in artistic photography to inspire a certain feeling in the spectator or to transmit a particular mood. Art photography can express deeper ideas or storylines, question cultural standards, and challenge perceptions.

Nevertheless, the distinction between recording fact and producing art is not always obvious. Photographs that portray reality can yet have aesthetic qualities and be documentary photos. Where that line is drawn depends greatly on the photographer’s intentions and strategy.

In the end, photography is a flexible medium that supports a range of strategies, from straightforward documentation to creative interpretation. The way the two are distinguished can change based on the photographer’s objective, the setting in which the image is displayed, and the interpretation and perception of the spectator. The richness and diversity of photography as an art form are a result of this flexibility.

Thomas Haensgen “Flow” 2022

ATP: What techniques or approaches do you use to capture unique and compelling perspectives in your photographs?

TH:  I use a variety of techniques and approaches that enable me to portray subjects in novel and captivating ways in order to obtain distinctive and appealing perspectives for my photography. Here are some methods I employ:

* Inquisitive observation and exploration: These are two things I value highly. I uncover unusual viewpoints and overlooked treasures by immersing oneself in various settings and aggressively searching out new experiences. I find new perspectives and compositions for my photos as a result of having this mindset.

* Technique Experimentation: I encourage experimentation and constantly push the limits of my technical proficiency. To get captivating results, I experiment with various camera settings, lighting setups, and composition techniques. Long exposure photography, using artificial light sources, capturing motion, and experimenting with unusual angles are a few examples of these methods.

* Flexibility & Adaptability: I take an open-minded approach to any subject and modify my strategies and methods as necessary. I don’t stick to a certain style or method; instead, I’m flexible and let the topic lead. This enables me to freeze the moment’s essence and discover unusual viewpoints that improve the photographic narrative.

* Creative Composition: I pay close attention to composition and make an effort to arrange everything in the frame in a way that is visually appealing. Leading lines, symmetry, patterns, and the rule of thirds are compositional devices I use to direct the viewer’s eye and produce dynamic visual storytelling. In order to question established viewpoints and inspire fascination, I often experiment with unorthodox compositions.

* Post-processing and editing: Enhancing the distinctive viewpoints that my images capture throughout the post-processing stage is essential. I carefully alter colors, tones, and other features to accurately reflect the feelings and mood I was experiencing when the image was taken. I can emphasize the subject’s distinctive traits and produce a powerful visual impact with this technique.

I try to convey themes in a way that is visually appealing, emotionally resonant, and enables viewers to view the world from a new viewpoint by combining various methods and strategies. I push myself continually to come up with fresh approaches to capturing and presenting my subjects so that each image presents a distinct and engaging viewpoint.

ATP: Are there any specific features or resources on that have been particularly valuable in advancing your artistic goals?

TH: For me is an opportunity to showcase and sell my artwork. It’s always a good idea to explore various resources and find the ones that align with specific artistic goals and aspirations.

ATP: Have you found the platform to be effective in connecting you with opportunities, promoting your work, or expanding your network within the art community?

TH: Yes, the platform is a helper to get connected to the work of other artists and to expand my network of likeminded people.