Multimedia Laboratory

Interview with photographer | Dietmar Busse

When did you first become involved in photography and why?

After I finished high school I hitchhiked all over Europe and Morocco and eventually got stuck in Madrid, Spain, instead of attending college. I was really young and went out clubbing every night and I met a lot of people that worked in the fashion industry. Their world sparked my imagination. I knew absolutely nothing about photography and so I looked for photography books and I found the work of Irving Penn. I saw his work from Papua New Guinea and I was hooked. Shortly after, one of my model friends introduced me to a photographer who always had 3-4 assistants and I started working there learning the craft.

Who are some of your favorite photographers and why do you admire their work?

August Sander for beautifully documenting people of a world gone by. Peter Hujar for the incredible depth and emotional quality in his portraits. Diane Arbus for her choice of subjects. Mark Morrisroe for the freedom he allowed himself in his work. Richard Avedon for his exquisite fashion work.


What is your greatest experience as a photographer?

My last breakthrough.

What equipment do you prefer to use and why?

Some vintage Hasselblad. Gives me great quality on the film and I love it. A very old Speedotron Strobe. Brown line, amateur series. Bought it when I came to New York in 1991 and I never saw a reason to ‘upgrade’ for it works great.

Describe your editing process (i.e. How do you go about selecting, retouching and printing your photographs?)

Ideally, I take a few days before I look at the contacts, for I like to get some emotional distance from the shoot. From the highs, lows, expectations that I or others might have. I like to get to it with a fresh eye and look for things that speak to me. I have never used Photoshop. For art projects I do my own prints in the darkroom.

What are your plans and aspirations for the future regarding photography?

To create a body of work that is very personal and unique to who I am as an artist. I see myself as a storyteller and I would hope that the viewer will find something in the work that will enrich their life in whatever small tiny way.

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