PDN Photo of the Day

Building Balance from Opposition

“Mr. Hoflener says a lot with very little,” writes W. M. Hunt in the introduction to the Austrian photographer’s 17th book, Josef Hoflehner: Retrospective 1975-2015, published this fall by teNeues. The book features photographs made around the world, including selections from his famous “Jet Airliner” series, made on the beaches of St. Maarten, and snow-blind images from his project documenting the Antarctic camps left behind by the Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackelton expeditions. Hoflehner’s composition-driven images are constructed from different types of visual oppositions – large and small, far and near, soft and sharp, iconic and anonymous, rugged and slick, but always perfectly balanced. Paired on facing pages, the images build another set of dialogues – an ancient Inca wall resembles modern concrete wave breakers in Japan, a Florida beach hut pairs with an Icelandic fjord. “Think of these photographs as gelatin silver mandalas offering visions of completion, an end of our questing dreams,” writes Hunt, whose dreamy descriptions investigate Hoflehner’s technique. “Mr. Hoflehner loves his veils of smoke and haze to which he adds a final fillip of creamy toning in the darkroom. His long exposures worthy of Daguerre render smooth seas and perfect horizons, rubbing out superfluous information, and these are interrupted by his shell games of revelation, peek-a-boo curtains of mists and showers. To this he makes a final intervention, with some liquid dream, some chemistry from his hand, a little more obfuscation. This is the total package.”

Related Stories:

Josef Hoflehner: In Zanzibar

So Long, Summer

Michael Kenna’s Fishnet Meditation

Posted in:

Fine Art


, , , ,


1 comment


1 Comment

Top of Page