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Herbert A. Franke: Photographer of the week

by Yvette Depaepe

Herbert A. Franke  describes himself as a “photographic craftsman”.  Photography is part of his life and he loves to capture beautiful things we all can experience every day.  Herbert continuously aims to increase his skills especially in the category “Abstract & Architecture”.  Let's discover more about this humble but talented photographer and the personality behind his work.


“Spiral staircase”

Briefly tell us about yourself, your hobbies and other jobs.
I have learned the profession of industrial clerk. Since 2005 I am retired.
I have been photographing since 1968, but first only to document my holidays.
It was only in the late 70s that I became more seriously involved in photography, when I took classes I at The  Adult Education Center and started to develop my own film and photos.


Selfie in the Cinematheque

How has your history and life experiences affected your photography?
In the course of my life, I have been dealing with photography for many decades and my interest and my passion for my hobby has grown, but also my ambition to take good pictures.


“Waiting for the bulls”

Which are your most important experiences that have influenced your art?
There are so many other photographers who take fantastic and very good photos. I want to classify my photographic work ,that I love very much and that gives me a lot of joy not necessarily as art. I see myself more as a photographic craftsman. But photography has become part of my life and has also shaped my life in a certain way, in that photography opened my eyes for the beautiful things that we can experience every day. Also, I was a member of a group of artists for 28 years. That time has shaped my photographic work very much.


What first attracted you to photography?
To bring my own vacation pictures home and not to have to buy postcards. In the beginning I had a camera where you had to set time, aperture and focus. Which was not always easy without experience and also led to some disappointments. Then I started to record the set values for every picture and after the film  was developed I had to compare the result with my settings. That was very exciting to analyse, why my picture had become nothing, or why it was good. But I quickly put that on a more secure footing, in that I attended courses at the community college. From then on, it was much easier.


“Organ Pipes”

Describe your overall photographic vision.
At the very beginning I developed my films and pictures in my own darkroom. But since changing over to digital photography, I do not have to do that any more. Everything has become so much easier. My photographic work has also developed considerably as a result. No more chemicals in which one must dip ones hands. Above all, I do not have to finish my pictures immediately. The computer gives me the opportunity to say "save as" and the next day I can continue working on my picture. Everything without stress. I do not want to miss the digital photography and image editing any more despite any nostalgia.


“Small boy – empty Stadium”

Why are you so drawn by Abstract & Architecture Photography?
At the beginning the travel photography (other countries, other people) was my passion. But at some point, around the year 2006, that changed. During a visit to a Swedish furniture store in Germany, I discovered a motif that fascinated me and I photographed it, and I found that I had succeeded quite well. That was my first "architectural photo". I gave the picture the title "Elk-Blue". It has only one main colour (blue) and few other colours (a little yellow and white). I think that the picture worked so well was due to its composition and the fact that only one dominant colour prevailed. Since that time, architectural photography has been my main topic. The fact that there is so much excellent architecture is above all due to the very good architects who put their visionary and great buildings into this world. If other good motives cross my path, I certainly will not neglect them.


“Elk - Blue”

What is more important to you, the mood,/story behind your images or the technical perfection?
I think everything is important. One does not work without the other. A picture should tell a story and also convey a mood. In my field of interest, architecture, technical perfection is absolutely necessary. But if all the other elements have also been addressed, yes, then I would have produced a perfect picture. Unfortunately, I do not always succeed.


“Fisherman on Inle Lake”

What generally is your relationship to your subject matter beyond being an observer?
I'm impressed by the great performance of so many great architects. Be it the great work or the details of their works. The fact that these architects have built so many great things gives me the opportunity to photograph my architectural pictures. I love these great architects.


“National Gallery of Art”

Do you prepare carefully the locations where you are intending to photograph?
No, not necessarily.  Of course I inform myself before a trip, what interesting architecture is available on site. Since my time is limited, I know that I cannot photograph all motives at once. So you always have a reason to go there again.


“World Trade Center (PATH-Station)_2”

What gear do you use (camera, lenses, bag)?
At the moment I am shooting with Canon cameras: EOS 5D Mark II and an EOS 5D Mark IV.  I use Canon lenses: EF24-105mm f / 4L IS II USM, EF16-35mm f / 4L IS USM, EF 100-400mm f / 4.5-5.6l IS, USM. I also use two foreign lenses for my Canon cameras.
A sigma lens: 12-24mm f / 4 DG HSM | Type and a Tamron lens: SP 24-70mm F / 2.8 Di VC USD G2. As a small and lightweight travel tripod I use: togopod


“Train Station Lyon - Saint-Exupéry”

Can you tell us something more about your work flow?
To describe my workflow in this interview would go beyond the scope of this interview. But I wrote two tutorials some time ago and sent them to 1x. In those, I'll tell you about the details of the processing of two images. Unfortunately, they have not yet been published.


What software do you use to process your images?
To edit my pictures I use Adobe Photoshop CC and the Nik-Filter Collection.


“Palace of Justice in Vienna”

What is your most important advice to a beginner in Abstract & Architecture Photography and how to start?
Actually, I have no advice.
Everyone seriously interested in photography should take pictures and do everything possible to take good pictures. There are natural talents that can succeed immediately and others need to work very hard to get it right.  I can only advise never to give up.


“North Star House/Hamburg”

Who are your favourite photographers and more importantly, how has your appreciation of their work affected how you approach your own photography?  
I do not have a direct favorite photographer. I like all photographers who produce good pictures and from whom I can learn. At 1x, for example, there are many very good photographers whose pictures I like to look at.

"Lloyd's of London"

Is there any specific photo taken by another photographer that has inspired you a lot and why? 
There are many pictures of other photographers that inspire me, and it would be too many to list all of them here.

Are there any specific directions that you would like to take your photography in the future or any specific goals that you wish to achieve?
No, not really. I try to continue to make good architectural images. I also want to continue to participate in contests and I hope to be successful.

Describe your favourite photograph taken by you and why it is special to you?  
Every photo I am working on is my favourite photo. I spend a lot of time thinking about what I want to convey with my photo, and then I try with a good photo from my RAW file to perform that magic. If I need to choose a favourite picture then one of my first digital photos. It is not perfect  but I think it expresses a lot of joy. The title of the picture is "Children playing in Dubrovnik".


“Children playing in Dubrovnik”

Is there anything else you wish to add  and what do you think about 1X as a home base for your work
I am very much at home at 1x. This forum has many very good photographers whose pictures I like to watch and from which I can learn a lot for my own photography.
Here I would like to voice a little criticism. What I do not like so much is the method of curation. There, a consistent process should be established. The images should be curated in a timely manner, for example photographs will be accepted or rejected after a set time and not vary from two days for one image, and another one will take a week or more to be accepted or rejected.

I would like to thank you, dear Yvette, for the confidence placed in me and this interview.


“Ciudad de las Artes (Valencia)”


Meinen herzlichen Glückwunsch Frank zum Fotografen der Woche, eine hochverdiente Anerkennung deiner hervorragenden Arbeit. LG Adam. Many thanks Yvette for this great interview.
Ich danke Dir ganz herzlich, Adam, für Deine Glückwünsche und Deine Anerkennung. Ich wünsche Dir für das Neue Jahr noch alles Gute. Gruß Herbert
Nice work, interesting to hear your views.
Thank you, Chris, for your appreciation and your statement concerning my opinion. Merry Christmas and a happy new year. Greeting Herbert
Its great to see your work featured here after following you on other sites. Always have been a big fan and you continue to amaze with your work. Congrats & All-the-Best for the future, Herbert.
My sincere and deep gratitude, Jiti Chadha, for your wonderful words about which I was very pleased. Best regards Herbert
magnificent work, awesome photography. congrats, Herbert
Thank you very much, Paulo, for your praising comment. I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Greeting Herbert
Herzlichen Glückwunsch, Herbert, zu diesem Meilenstein deines fotografischen Weges. Ein hochverdiente Ehrung Deiner Arbeiten, die stets von bester Qualität sind. Froher Fest und ein gutes, gesundes 2019. HG Erhard
Ich danke Dir ganz herzlich, Erhard, für Deinen Glückwunsche und Deine lobende Kommentierung. Auch ich wünsche Dir und Deiner Famikie, ein frohes und besinnliches Weihnachtsfest und alles Gute für das Neue Jahr. Gruß Herbert
Congratulations. This is so well deserved! I have been following your work for quite some time and am very pleased to see your work showcased on 1x. Truly amazing!
Thank you very much, Hilda, for your congratulations and praise that you give my photographic work. I am very happy about it. I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Best regards Herbert
LIeber Herbert Deine Arbeit überzeugt auf sehr hohem Niveau. Ich bin ein grosser Fan Deines Schaffens und stets beeindruckt, wie Du neue Kompositionen findest und diese meisterhaft bearbeitest - Prädikat: Solides Handwerk! Danke für den spannenden Einblick in Deinen photographischen Alltag. Ich wünsche Dir besinnliche Weihnachtstage und weiterhin viel Freude auch hier bei! Thanks a lot as well to Yvette for this intersting Interview about a very successful photographer within our community and beyond!
Thanks Andreas! I fully agree that Herbert deserves to be featured!
Ich bin sehr erfreut über Deine sehr freundliche Kommentierung und über das große Lob aus Deinem Mund. Ich danke Dir vielmals, Andreas. Auch ich wünsche Dir und Deiner Familie ein frohes Weihnachrsfest und alles Gute für das Neue Jahr 2019. Herzliche Grüße Herbert
I like very much the work of Herbert, geometry, framing and often one or more characters in the picture to remind us that we are not in fiction well hand in a real architecture of our modern world. Thank you Herbert for making us dream and thank you Yvette for this excellent interview !!!
You're welcome, dear Thierry!
Thank you very much, Thierry, for your kind words and the great praise that you give me. I am very happy about it. I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Kind regards Herbert
Herzlichen Glückwunsch! War überfällig!
Vielen Dank, Hans Peter. Ich habe mich sehr über Deine freundlichen Worte gefreut. Auch Dir wünsche ich besinnliche Weihnachtstage und ein gutes Neues Jahr. Gruß Herbert
Lieber Herbert, gratuliere Dir herzlich zum Fotograf der Woche - eine verdiente Anerkennung Deiner großartigen Arbeit. Liebe Grüße Ute
Liebe Ute, ich danke Dir ganz herzlich für Deine lobenden Worte und Deine Anerkennung. Ich wünsche Dir und Deiner Familie eine frohe und besinnliche Weihnachtszeit und alles gute für das Neue Jahr. Liebe Grüße Herbert
Auch von mir einen herzlichen Glückwunsch zu dieser schönen Gelegenheit eines Rückblicks, Herbert. Ich bin schon vor Jahren über deine Arbeiten bei 500px gestolpert, lange vor 1x, und vielleicht hast du mich sogar zu dem ein oder anderen Foto inspiriert.
Ganz herzlichen Dank, Mike, für Deine freundliche Anerkennung und Deinen herzlichen Glückwunsch. Wenn es wirklich so wäre, dass Du Dich von mir inspiriert fühltest, würde mich das sehr freuen. Da macht dann die Fotografie doppelt so viel Spass. Ich wünsche Dir und allen die Dir lieb sind, eine frohe Weihnachtszeit und alles gute im Neuen Jahr. Gruß Herbert
gratuliere Dir zu diesem schon längst fälligen Artikel. Deine grafisch geprägten Bilder sind eine Bereicherung von Lieben Gruß Wolfgang Many thanks also to Yvette for presentation of this interview
Thanks for your appreciation again, dear Hans-Wolfgang ;-)
Ichfreue mich, dass ich als Fotograf der Woche von Yvette ausgewählt wurde und meine Bilder und mich vorstellen darf. Dir, Hans-Wolfgang, danke ich ganz herzlich für Deine lobende Anerkennung und den Glückwunsch. Ich wünsche Dir und Deinen Lieben, ein besinnliches Weihnachtsfest und ein gutes Neues Jahr. Herzliche Grüße
Herzlichen Glückwunsch zu dieser schon lange verdienten Auszeichnung!
Danke, lieber Udo. Ich danke Dir und freue mich über Deinen Glückwunsch. Ich wünsche Dir und Deinen Lieben ein frohes und besinnliches Weihnachtsfest und alles gute im Neuen Jahr. LG Herbert
Congratulations Herbert ..I have been following your work since past 3 years and your architectural images and vision are a continued source of inspiration...It was great reading your interview ! A well written and presented interview Yvette .
Thanks for your appreciation, dear Rana! All honour goes to Herbert, of course ;-)
Dear Rana, yes I am glad that I was selected as a photographer the week of Yvette and allowed to introduce my pictures and myself. Thank you very much for your loyalty and friendship here in the forum of 1x. Thanks also for your nice words. I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Best regards Herbert
Herzlichen Glückwunsch, Herbert zu dieser großartigen Präsentation. Gruß Brigitte
Hanz lieben Dank, Brigitte, für Deine freundliche Anerkennung. Ich freue mich sehr. Gruß Herbert Ich wünsche Dir und Deiner Familie, frohe und besinnliche Weihnachtstage und ein gutes Neues Jahr.
Fine interview and excellent work, dear Herbert! Congratulations and many thanks for your fine collaboration. Cheers, Yvette
Dear Yvette, Thank you very much, for your effort, that you have made this interview with me and also for the trust placed in me. I am very pleased that you have chosen me as a photographer of the week. Thank you Best regards Herbert
All pleasure is mine, Herbert! You fully deserve to be the Photographer of the Week. I'm so glad you have a lot of response and I knew you would!!!
Thank you so much, Yvette. I wish you a happy and merry Christmas and all the best, especially health, in the New Year 2019. best regards Herbert