“A photographer’s best tool is his legs: Walking, walking, walking, negotiating a fence, finding through-roads. And his mouth: To ask questions and access places that nobody else can get to."
Franz Brück, Architectural Photographer
Buildings live, breathe and glow - especially when Franz Brück presses the shutter button. How does this Berlin architectural photographer succeed in making buildings appear alive? A conversation about the quest for the best angle and waiting for the right moment.
How did you become a photographer?
I had my aha moment on the North Sea island of Juist: I did my civilian service in youth work there, putting cameras into the hands of the kids and exploring the countryside with them. Afterwards, we developed the photos together in the lab. I later decided to study photography at the Lette Verein Berlin. That was a good decision!
Where does your enthusiasm for architecture come from?
Originally, I trained as a roofer. I liked working with stone, wood and metal, always being outside, on the rooftops of the city. And I enjoyed the views very much; across this insane diversity of architecture, the geometric forms, the special effects of the light. Hence my fascination for skyscrapers, which continues to this day. This is something I carry with me still, every time I stand in front of a building, explore it and photograph it.
You photograph architecture that most people find quite ordinary. How do you approach your objects?
The preparation begins at the computer: I look at the surroundings of the buildings, plan the position of the sun and the rays of light. I take a look at the surrounding buildings on site. Then I pick up the phone or ring the doorbell and ask people if I can get in. As a photographer, you also have to be a bit brazen. This is the way for me to get access to images from unusual perspectives.
How long does it take for you to get the perfect photo?
One hundredth of a second (laughs). It depends more on the right moment - and that is what you have to watch out for, sometime between sunrise and sunset. I like the lighting mood best when day passes into night and vice versa.
What is your motto when taking photographs?
Do it! Thinking is good, but the most important thing is to get things done. Because this is the only way to create the unexpected - to trick oneself, so to speak. As a photographer, I can definitely say, experimentation never stops. And that’s the way it should be.
- Bayerische Hausbau
- BREAD & butter
- Ulrich Borgert Braun & Schlockermann
- Deutscher Anwaltverein
- Ed. Zueblin AG
- HD Wahl GmbH
- Hild & K Architects
- Hotel Palace, Berlin
- KSP Jürgen Engel Architects
- Pepperl+Fuchs, Singapore
- Rothweiler + Färber Architects
- sfvv, Stiftung Flucht, Vertreibung, Versöhnung
- Vogl Deckensysteme
- Zalando SE