Karl Houtteman Interview

When opening the doors to a new website that seeks to highlight both emerging and established fine art photographers, it can be daunting as to who you showcase first. Do you select a known entity in hopes of drawing in more readers and viewers? Or do you choose an emerging photographer whose work is compelling and hope others see what you do. We have chosen the latter. One of our goals has always been to find emerging photographers whose work extends beyond what is instantly recognizable as photography, but is created using the camera nonetheless. Karl Houtteman takes the traditional process for devoloping multiple exposures and creates something close to paintings. So it’s no wonder he mentions that he is inspired by painters as much as certain photographers. Karl’s work needs a slow deep look to see and appreciate what he has done with a camera. We are proud to share Karl Houtteman’s work as the first photographer we present to you on our opening day. We believe you will find his subjects and the color palates in his photographs compelling.

Karl’s has been kind enough to share some of his images with us and if you see one or two photos here that you like, we encourage you to check out his own website where you will see full galleries that are only briefly represented here. We have provided a link to his website at the bottom of the page.

If you haven’t done so already please check out the images Karl has graciously shared with us. Gallery.


PH: So that our readers can have a sense of place will you share with us where you live?

KH: I come from Bruges (Belgium) it is the capital and largest city of the province of West Flanders in the Flemish Region of Belgium, in the northwest of the country.

PH: And of course the obvious question; how and when did you get into photography?

KH: I have been into photography since 2009, started to experiment with landscape photography, portraits and finally street photography. After that I wanted to know more what a camera can do,..experiment with ICM (intentional camera movement), long shutter and multiple exposure in camera. I wasn’t seeking to capture the real life: more capturing a sphere, emotion, a new dimension.introspection-silent-i-105x75cm-2015

PH: How does your sense of place influence your photography? Or does it?

KH: Every place has its vibe, that vibe I try to make visible in my images.

PH: When did you start to share your work with the public? Was it a conscious effort on your part to do so or were you encouraged by others first?

KH: Firstly, I started to show my work on Facebook and Flickr. Then I progressed in my technique by street photography with long shutter and ICM . At last, I discovered multiple exposure technique. My followers can see my technique has been changeing over the years. Now I rarely post them on Facebook and Flickr because I like to show them in series on my website.

PH: After viewing your photographs some might say that at least in part you’re a street photographer. How would you describe your style?

KH: I can compare my photography with expressionism – surrealism. I seek for new dimensions. I feel good in some
places, such as city and beaches,..they have a sense of emotion.

PH: Can you briefly describe your process for creating your images?

shadows-tower-san-marco-square-100x66cm-2014KH: I shoot with a Canon EOS 5D Mark III, coupled with an neutral density graduated filter. Most shots have some movement towards the end of the exposure. Exposures can go from 2 images to 25. The direction of movement depends on the composition.

PH: Do you see your images in your mind’s eye before you start to create? Or is each image a surprise?

KH: I have a vision of what I want to create. You never know what the end result will be, its just trial and error. Although I clearly know the images I want at the end. Some images takes months to reach the result I want to have.

PH: You have been quoted as saying you are inspired by Rothko, Picasso Modigliani. Would you share with us how you are inspired by them? And do any of these painters directly influence your work?

KH: These painters inspire me to create new works in composition, color, lines, shapes and originality. I also find ideas in photography but mostly in paintings.

PH: I see your photographs include several cities beyond Bruges, including Paris, Venice and Tokyo Japan. Do you have plans to visit other cities you want to photograph?

shift-julie-55x80cm-2014KH: New-York is still on my list.

PH: Does photographing in different cities effect your work in any way?

 KH: Tokyo, Venice and Paris are different in every way, also the energy in the images is different.
I use music while I am taking photos, the mix of those to create a different energy in the image.

PH: Someone reading this interview and seeing your accompanying photographs may want to purchase a print: how may they do so?

KH: End of this year prints will be available for sale on my website. (Interview was completed Aug 2016)

PH: Is there anything I did not ask about that you would like to share with us?

KH: Photography is for me more then just capture the reality, it opens a new world, a new space, a new dimension in our reality.

If you haven’t done so already please check out the images Karl has graciously shared with us. Gallery.

One Comment

  1. just great!

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