Born in 1985, Johannes Heuckeroth is a German designer and photographer specializing in architecture and landscape. In 2007, he started teaching himself photography and in 2009 studying design at the Institute of Technology in Nuremberg, from where he graduated in 2012. The main essence of his art is an ongoing quest for beauty, which manifests itself in a graphic and aesthetic way in the urban landscape. Led by a desire to create and share his own interpretation of reality, he reveals it visually in a more intense and surreal way. With his graduation project, entitled “Dreaming of Dubai ‐ between illusion and reality”, which won the Sony World Photography Award in 2013, Johannes Heuckeroth showed his immense talent by reinterpreting in images the expansion of Dubai, a small desert town that, in the space of a few years, has become a radiant modern metropolis full of utopias.
– How did you get into photography?
The first impulse to getting into photography was the need for documentation. I wanted to document what was happening around me. That was around 14 years ago, when I was 16. I buyed my first camera at this time. It took me another 7 years to get really into it and becoming aware of whats really possible with photography. Today my photography couldn’t be more away from my original intention, it has very little to do with documentation.
– Where do you get your creative inspiration from?
The question is: what is real inspiration? Seeing things around the internet and want to do or photograph it by yourself?
Its really hard these days, because you are flooded with impressions and possibilities. And often its just repetition of existing things. I can’t say whats real inspiration, but I know what I need most: the absolutely will to do something. Currently I find a lot of support through music.
There are a lot of fantastic photographers that had great influence on me. I want to name two specific: 1. Andreas Gursky, because of his unbelievable and unique world of images, that he created. 2.Thomas Birke, he was may be the first who showed me with his images how fascinating cities can be as a subject of photography.
– Which places have been your favourite shooting sites so far and why?
For me its definitely Dubai. This is such an surreal place, a megacity surrounded by the desert, full of potential subjects for photography. A world so full of contrasts,and with a very interesting backstory. I compressed my fascination with this place into a own project: dreaming-of-dubai.com
– Is there any gear in particular that helps you in your architectural photography?
Yeah, definitely, there is some software gear that helps me a lot: panorama software. I often shoot single images on site and combine them afterwards with panorama tools. So its possible to achieve views that cannot produced in camera (or just with very very specific equipment).
– What do you do besides photography?
I am a Designer, which is a great job, because it has a lot of duplications with photography. I work a lot in the field of Corporate Design, which is a combination of graphic and strategic work. But for example I also work on topics like guidelines for corporate photography and think about how images should look for a specific brand. In my personal work its all about aesthetics, while in my job there is also a big focus on function and logic behind the aesthetic.
– What is your favourite photography book?
That would be „Andreas Gursky: 80-08“
– What are your future plans with photography?
Very soon I will publish my new book „Rising New York City“ (http://pfnphoto.com/new/2015/04/rising-new-york-city-my-nyc-book/), showing the best was NYCs skyline has to give. You can pre-order it now. Besides that I am just back from a trip to Shanghai and I am excited to show how this amazing city looked through my lense.