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Hans-Wolfgang Hawerkamp: Photographer of the week

Hans-Wolfgang Hawerkamp's work covers a large range of subjects. Currently he is more focused on architectural and abstract photography but he also applies his many skills to nature, travel and street  photography. Meet the man behind the images and discover more about his personality. Thanks to Yvette Depaepe for conducting the interview.


Briefly tell us about yourself, your hobbies and other jobs.
I was born in 1949 in Winningen, a small town at the Moselle and since 1958 I am living in Düsseldorf. My home town is located in the north-west area of Germany.  After my graduation from high school I worked first in my occupation as a specialist in High Fidelity equipment and then supported internet shops from 1998 until 2013. In 2014 I retired and I am now a pensioner. I spent my time with travelling, reading, listening to rock-music and most of my time with photography. 

How has your history and life experiences affected your photography?
Which are your most important experiences that have influenced your art? What first attracted you to photography?
I started with my interest in photography in 1980. From a friend I bought a used Praktika SLR and after a short time I realized that photography will be an important part of my life. The first 5 years I was mainly interested in BW and Colour-Prints and often changed our bathroom into a darkroom. Developing films by myself had been an exciting thrill for me. But the problem was that colour-printing was to expensive (I normally used Cibachrome) and in 1985 I decided to use colorslides in future.  After successfully participating in several national competitions, I decided in 1985 to participate in international photographic salons and specifically in the sections of colour slide, nature slides and travel photography. As an active competition photographer since 1985 I gained 1400 acceptances with more than 200 different pictures in several international competitions until 1999 and had won 166 prizes. I was awarded three times with the PSA Gold medal for the best slide in an international photo salon. Over the past 30 years I had been a member of the Photographic Society of America (PSA), the DVF (German Association of Photography) and the Royal Photographic Society of England. I was awarded with the EFIAP from the FIAP (Excellence), an ARPS (Associate) from the Royal Photographic Society of England and a PPSA (Proficiency) of the Photographic Society of America.


What gear do you use (camera, lenses, bag)?
Over the past 15 years I took my pictures with a digital camera, first with Olympus E10, then with Canon digital SLR cameras. My actual equipment: Two Canon EOS 7 D II and a Sony RX 100-4 and lenses from 10-400 mm. Most of my pictures are taken with the Canon 1:4-5.6 70-300 mm L lens. Sometimes I use a Manfrotto monopod. Tripods I don´t like, because I always want to be free and movable. An important tool for me is the polarizing filter. For pictures inside I use a 10-22 mm lens or a 1:2.8 17-55 mm lens.

Describe your overall photographic vision. What is more important to you, the mood,story behind your images or the technical perfection?
My vision is that my pictures would evoke enthusiasm with the observer. I think that perfect technical finish is not so important, more than the content of a picture and the expression. I prefer “viewing” over “storytelling” pictures (most of which one will find in street photography). I like also the sports factor of photographic competitions. Therefore I have often participated in 1x Group Galleries. I am totally happy when rejected pictures will be featured in one of the galleries.


Why are you so drawn by architecture and abstract photography?
Generally I can say that I take pictures from everything that interests me. However my main focus to create interesting images is on a strong graphical effect. For that reason, I am always searching abstract things or modern architecture with impactful colour contrasts, if possible with only two colours and with strong graphical structures. Most of my pictures are strong details of architecture and therefore I am often using a tele-lens (90% of my pictures). On the other side, I like taking pictures based on repeating patterns or shadows that are impressive.  Normally you will find this in architecture or landscapes. Another important factor is the point of view in my pictures. I always try to find an unusual POV that will surprise most of the viewers. In the case of landscape photography, I try to create pictures with an impressive play of lights and contrasts. Most of my landscape pictures are admittedly presented in B&W.

What software do you use to process your images?
At least for presenting the picture I prefer a minimalist effect, with exact framing and deep, but not extreme colours. For finishing my pictures, I use Adobe Lightroom 5, Photoshop Elements 14 and Nik Color Efex Pro 4 and Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.

Do you prepare carefully the locations where you are intending to photograph?
Most of my photographic subjects I find near my home-town of Düsseldorf or while travelling through different parts of the world. The selections of my travel destinations are always depending upon photographic importance. My famous destinations are Africa with South-Africa, Namibia and Botswana. Other famous destinations had been India and Myanmar. Most of my graphical photo subjects I found in big cities such as New York, London, Dubai, Berlin and so on. But New York is my absolutely favourite city because of its wonderful atmosphere. In Dubai I like so much the various kinds if architecture undo the remarkable skyscrapers. Often I had to return to a location because I did need a special lighting situation.

What is your most important advice to a beginner in architecture and abstract photography and how do you get started?
When I started in photography I consumed a lot of photo magazines und books. That makes your eye clear to realize and identify interesting photographic subjects. Than it is important not to copy ones style but to develop an own style. The best compliment I sometimes have received was: “That is a real Hawerkamp”. That it is what I will give beginners on their way to successful photography.

Who are your favourite photographers and more importantly, how has your appreciation of their work affected how you approach your own photography? 
I have a lot of favourite photographers, in the 80`s Franco Fontana, Francisco Hidalgo and Ansel Adams. Actually some photographers of the 1x have an influence in my work. Gilbert Claes (gilclaes)and Stefan Krebs (esskey) with their excellent graphical work I want to mention here. I am an admirer of the perfectly processed B&W pictures of Jose C. Lobato (ariasgonzalo) and furthermore the very creative work of Carla DLM (carlidlm) and Sol Marrades (solmarrades). I like the still life pictures of Delphine Devos (delphine) and the lovely dog pictures of Nuelle Flipse (nuelle). Unfortunately I cannot mention all photographers who influenced me.

Are there any specific directions in which you would like to take your photography in the future or any specific goals that you wish to achieve?
Actually I try to improve my style in creative photography. It means multi-layer processing with applying different filters and textures.

Describe your favourite photograph taken by you and why it is special to you?  (Feel free to add the link even if it is not in your portfolio).
My own favourite picture is definitively “Twisted II”.
It has a wide range of tones and wonderful swinging curves. 31 members like this picture too. Unfortunately it is one of my not published pictures.


I became a member of 1x in April 2015. Meanwhile I feel as a part of the 1x family and in one year of membership I found so many friends here. 1x is an outstanding community that gives me the possibility to share my pictures with photographers of highest quality standards all over the world.  

Dear Hans-Wolfgang, It's truly a pleasure to see you featured and read your interview. Your work an inspiration for your beautifully creative artistic eye, innovation and technical excellence. I now look at buildings and structures and even though I'm just looking, there is no doubt in my mind that I'm looking because your gorgeous imagery is truly innovative and inspiring. Thank you..
Hello dear Christina, thank you so much for your nice comment. Kind regards Wolfgang
Lieber Wolfgang, herzlichen Glückwunsch zu dieser Auszeichnung - die hast Du Dir wahrhaftig verdient! Sehr interessant der Artikel und ein wenig beneide ich Dich um den Ruhestand ;-) Auch wenn ich hier nicht viel schreibe, sehe ich Deine Bilder immer mit Genuss. LG Ariane
Hallo liebe Ariane, ganz herzlichen Dank. Freue mich sehr über Deine Anerkennung. Lieben Gruß Wolfgang
a pleasure to read and to know a little more of your photographic approach. regards and my best compliments, Hans-Wolfgang
Hello Paulo, thank you so much for your nice comment! Kind regards Wolfgang
Just read your very interesting interview. You have accomplished so much with your photography! Your photos are always impressive & you have produced so much in a short time on 1x. It is most inspiring. Also thanks for taking an interest in my photos! Regards Jacqueline
Hello dear Jacqueline, thank you so much for your interest and great Support!
Dear Hans; I sincerely thank you refer to my work in his interview! :-) The admiration is mutual. His work is inspiring and always offers great quality in every way. Congratulations
Hello dear Sol, thank you so much for your compliments my friend!
Beautiful work as is your style Hans, you are an inspiration, thank you very much. Best regards, Wayne Pearson
Hello Wayne, thank you so much for your appreciated words!
How wonderful to read about your background and your process Hans. Your work has always inspired and fascinated me. Also, I am always grateful for your generosity. Thank you for this interview. My best, Jane
Hello dear Jane, thank you so much for your compliments my friend!
It was really a pleasure to read your interview. As much or more if possible, to enjoy this wonderful selection of pictures that have completed brilliantly this report. One way to understand more and better your way of seeing and doing photography, and also an incredible way to learn. Plus a million thanks for remembering me in the meantime teacher in this activity that we like. My thanks for everything, my friendship and admiration. A hug.
Hello Jose, thanks a lot for your great support and your friendship!
Excellent excellent work sir :) Wish you heartiest congratulations for this beautiful interview and mesmerizing pictures
Hello swapnil, thanks a lot for your interest in my photography!
Very interesting to read your vision and thoughts about photography, Hans-Wolfgang. You do have a very beautiful portfolio, always a pleasure to see your work. My best compliments to you and Yvette too, for this interview. Best regards, Jørgen.
Hello Jorgen, thank you so much for your interest and your compliments my friend!
Fascinating and inspiring the work of Hans. I follow his work closely to have a reference of what is quality photography. Congratulations for this remarkable interview. A greeting.
Hello Juan, thank you so much for your appreciating words. Warm regards my friend!
Congrats on this fine interview and your great work Hans-Wolfgang!
Hello Jeroen, thank you so much for your interest and great support my friend!
Excellent work dear Hans-Wolfgang.. my very best compliments for you and also to Yvette for this splendid Interview :))
Hello dear Carla, thanks lot for your compliments and your continous support my friend!
What a great interview to read! Love to have been able to learn more about you and your vision on photography! Thank you! Congrats on this wonderful interview on 1x. I loved you photo's since I started on 1x and I'm happy to have met you here on 1x! Thank you so much for mentioning me in your interview. It makes me feel very honored! Very inspirational and interesting interview dear Hans-Wolfgang! Warm regards... Nuelle
Hello dear Nuelle, thanks a lot for your nice words and your appreciation. I am also happy to met you here on 1x. Warm regards Wolfgang
Hello Massimo, thank you so much!
Hi Hans-Wolfgang ... I congratulate you and Yvette with this interesting interview. I remember the first pictures of you here at 1X. ... Because I recognized myself in your style of working. I feel familiar to me with your pictures. I hope we can enjoy many more years of your excellent photography ... It's not just the excellent pictures that are an added value of this site ... but also friendship and recognition of the other members is very valuable ... I wish you all the best ... Warm regards... Gil
Hello Gil, thank you so much for your friendship and always great support my good friend. As long as I can hold a camera I will take Pictures. I think that recognition and friendship is an importantant part of our community. Kind regrads Wolfgang
Hey dear Wolfgang. I'm glad to see you as photographer as the week. Congratulations! I'v read your story with much interest as I admire your photography. It is of a high quality and it shows that you have a very good eye for composition. Thank you for charing this with us, I hope to see a lot more of your work in the future. warm regards, Greetje
Hello dear Greetje, thank you so much for your nice words and your great Support from the beginning my dear friend!
Great interview that inspire. Well deserved Hans and good choice Yvette!
Hello Kent, thank you so much for your appreciation!
Hans-Wolfgang, Congratulations as photographer of the week. A nice interview and wonderful images. My compliments. Greetings Theo
Hello Theo, thanks a lot my friend for your continous interest and supprt in my photography.
congratulate Hans, from the heart. the choice of photographer week. Are you a photographer with extensive experience. I like to look at your work. I'm glad to know something more about you. I thought you were a lot younger :)) greeting Bernardo!
Hello Bernardo, thanks for your words. I feel always young while performing photography. Kind regards my friend!
Hello Hans-Wolfgang, good to know about you and your work. You have a great portfolio my friend. Congratulations. Thank you very much for sharing it with us, and to Yvette for the interview.
Hello Joxe, thank you so much for your continous Support my friend!
Indeed, a very inspiring photographic work by Hans-Wolfgang. By the way, there is a great similarity between Hans-Wolfgang and me: our photographic preferences (architectural and abstract photography), date of birth (1949), retired from work, interest in rock music (Knopfler, Dire Straits), I too like the work of Gilbert Claes and some other non 1X-photographers that Hans-Wolfgang mentioned. Thanks for giving this interesting and inspiring insight into this work, to both Yvette and Hans-Wolfgang. Cheers, Hans-Martin
Hello Hans Martin, thanks a lot for your nice words and your continous interest in my photography.
Congratulations dear Wolfgang with being the photographer of the week and good to read more about you. You have a wonderful portfolio my friend and if you ever come near Dordrecht let me know. Always good to meet people with the same passion. My compliment to all who were involved in the interview and have a great week! Warm regards, Edith :-)
Hallo liebe Edith, ganz herzlichen Dank für deine Worte. Ich wäre so gern in Dordrecht mit dabei gewesen, leider hatten meine Frau und ich aber schon eine Mittelmeerkreuzfahrt zum gleichen Termin gebucht. Wenn ich in der Nähe von Dordrecht bin werde ich mich melden. Mit Holland bin ich seit meiner Jugend stark verbunden, die ersten Ferien habe ich 1955 in Scheveningen verbracht. Wünsche Dir einen schöne Woche und lieben Gruß Wolfgang
Hallo Liebe Wolfgang, Ich hoffe eure Kreuzfahrt war schoen und ihr habt genossen. Sicher melde wenn ihr in die Nähe seit. Liebe Grüße, Edith :-)
Hey Hans, thanks to Yvette and you for posting these shots and the interview. I think the only 2 bits of missing information was how much attention Hans pays to other less accomplished photographers. It is always a joy to see Hans' thumbnail picture next to my a photo of mine and sometimes he is the only one to favorite it and that really means something. The other bit of missing information was what rock music do you listen to? Cheers my friend, Rob
Hello Rob, thanks a lot for your appreciation. I am a Rock Oldie and I like Deep Purple, Jethro Tull, Uriah Heep, Black Sabbath, Mark Knopfler, Eric Clapton and.........Kind regards Wolfgang
Heartfelt congratulations, my dear friend Wolfgang, to that wonderful interview. I enjoyed so much to read about your 'photographical life'. I deeply admire your work and your fascinating photography. My very best compliments and thanks to Yvette for conducting this very interesting and fascinating interview. Let us see and enjoy more of your work in the future. I wish you always good light and much creativity. Warm greetings, Stefan
Hello Stefan, thank you so much for your words and your appreciation and Support my best friend!
Hello Hans-Wolgang, it's great to read your interview here .... a fine way to know you better. You have built a magnificent portfolio in less than a year. For me it was hard to believe someone could achieve this ... until I started looking at the dates. You joined 1X as an achieved photographer, I'm happy to see you are one of very active members. Good light my friend .... and yes I liked Twisted II very much :-))
Hello Luc, thanks a lot for your words. You had been one of them who commented my first picture "Dubai" and so you supported me from the beginning. Thanks my dear friend!
Congratulations Hans-Wolfgang on the well deserved attention on your impressive work! Very interesting to hear more about your background as well. Thank you for the great interview Yvette! Grtz, Nick
Hello Nick, thank you so much for your steady interest in my pictures and your appreciation of my work my friend!
A pleasure to read the interview Hans-Wolfgang! Congratulations and thanks for sharing these words and photographs with us! My best wishes to continue the good quality of your images!
Hello Julien, thanks a lot for your words and your continous Support from the beginning my friend!