Manuel Mittelpunkt

Behind the scenes

After every shooting it's all about the best image; the end result. But behind every perfect image it took many little (or big) steps to get there. Believe it or not, but sometimes it can take weeks to prepare the concept just for one image. This leads us to the first step of every shooting: the elaboration of the concept. In doing this, sketches are often made. They help to visualize the idea. As soon as the concept is ready, we continue with the next step.

The next step is about buying the items for the set design; like painting color, craft materials, cardboard. What is listed on the concept list goes on the shopping list. It is very important that nothing is missing. At this point I can mention that I am a regular customer of the construction store around the corner of my place. They offer very good quality.

As a child I loved crafts. I painted a lot, built and rebuilt things; so it' perfect that my job as a photographer includes these activities, too. Many times I feel like getting ripped back in time when I buy at craft stores colorful paper and cut them into different shapes for the next shooting I am working on. I's so much fun to feel once in a while like a little boy again.

Shootings about high speed images with liquid don't require much of a set preparation. In these cases it's only about throwing the specific liquids through the air and catching the perfect moments on your camera. After such a shooting my studio looks like a complete mess. I always look forward to the minute where my studio is clean again. After that I lean back and admire the perfect results of the shooting. 

I work with many different set designers for all kind of areas. A lot of set designs I used to do on my own, but today I try to book as many specialists as possible, so that I can concentrate on the photography itself. Not to forget, working in a team is the best benefit for achieving perfect results. For an example, I have a set designer who is specialized with paper. He builds all kind of shapes and models out of pure paper. It amazes me every time when I watch him work. His ability of cutting out of a sheet of paper tiny details for a certain model astonishes me every time.

As I already said, it can sometimes take a few days or weeks to prepare the whole concept for one image. This I do with a lot of patience and passion. Actually, making the photographs doesn't require much time compared to the preparation. Time goes pretty fast as soon as the set design is ready. When this is the case, everything must work perfectly, especially the technique. I love those moments when I am sure that I have gotten the perfect image.

My vision is to make this invisible side of the photography more known and seen for the viewers; the side of the preparation, which is responsible for the perfect image. I have noticed that more and more people are not only interested in the photographs (the end results), but are curious about the developmental story behind them. People appreciate the opportunity to take a peek behind the scenes. This gives them a closer connection to the photographer, because they are able to be part of the most important phase of the shooting; the work before the end result.

With my "behind the scenes" images I want to give the viewer the chance to join the exciting world of what happens before the images are finish. It will satisfy their curiosity and give them the opportunity to get to know a little bit more about me at work.

I want to make "the invisible side" of photography more visible. The world out photography is like a puzzle, which contains many pieces. Through giving the viewer the chance to see what's going on behind the scenes, it will help him to understand more of this world; understand, see and feel. 

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