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Herbert Reinecke: Photographer of the week

by Yvette Depaepe 
Published the 22nd of November 2021

Herbert Reinecke is without any doubt a master in his genre: conceptual photography combined with image manipulation. He calls himself 'a picture maker'.  He loves to experiment with the contradictions between reality and virtual reality.  His images are content-related and each of them tells us a story.

Immerse yourself in Herbert's surreal world and discover more about the man behind his images through this interview.


'I was here a long time and looked'


Briefly tell us about yourself, your hobbies and other jobs.

What can I tell about myself? I am no longer the youngest, I was born in Germany in 1950 and I now live with my wife in the city of Nuremberg.  I guess I was born with a natural talent for painting and drawing. I started very early at school making little artworks with a pencils. Later on, several media were added, experimenting with oil, acrylic, pastel and spray paint.  Actually, at the end of my active professional life, I wanted to paint large oil paintings. But instead, I discovered the world of digital image processing. That was the beginning of my current photographic activities. I bought a camera and it became an essential 'tool' to me. Since then, my creations are done on the computer. I learned how to use technology and software on a self-taught basis. I do it with great pleasure and lots of satisfaction and I know that I can make excellent works.


'lost face'


How has your history and life experiences affected your photography?

Interesting question. Of course, my artistic perspective has been influenced over the years in the cultural and political context and shaped by the zeitgeist. Regardless of that, my ideas have changed over the years. In the past, political or social issues were on the foreground. Today it's the little things, the trivialities of everyday life. I am no longer concerned with deep messages. With the camera on the move, I let myself be inspired spontaneously and take my pictures with pure joy in every situation. Of course, my technical skills have improved over time.




Which are your most important experiences that has influenced your art?

Definitely the experience from art painting since my early youth. From than, my interest in performing arts in general grew, it's a continuous process. An important milestone that had a major impact on my way of working was digital image processing, including 3D applications. However, I believe that my experiences in art painting always have an unconscious influence on the design of my pictures.


 'when the soul is dancing'


What first attracted you to photography?

This question is not easy to answer. I see photography itself as a building block. In other words, I paint my pictures on the computer. Photography plays a special role in this. It is the possibility to spontaneously capture scenarios or motifs with the camera. These photographs are then often the basis of my work in terms of content and I use individual picture elements from it. In short, what I like about photography is the huge range of possibilities and image manipulation.


'it's not a game'

Describe your overall photographic vision.

I have to think about that!  An overall vision sounds so strategic?
So, the common denominator of all my pictures is the expressive and figurative form of representation. In terms of content, I am mainly concerned about the people and the story. For me, it's not about aesthetics, but about content-related messages, with a deliberately created surreality or abnormal symbolism. In this context, I will continue to bring my ideas to the “canvas”. My overall vision is humble. I want to encourage the viewer to think a little or even to smile.


'shadow dance'


Why are you so drawn by creatively edited photography?

This question is easy to answer. I came to photography through art painting, for me manipulation is the artistic process. I see myself as a “picture maker” inspired by every day life.


'and don't see the cat'


What is more important to you, the mood,/story behind your images or the technical perfection?

Both are important to me. But my main concern is the content-related statement. I want to tell little stories. My pictures are my language.


'where is the color'


What generally is your relationship to your subject matter beyond being an observer?

I see myself as a dreamer rather than an observer. I am inspired by us humans in daily life.


'dance in the wind'


Do you prepare carefully the locations where you are intending to photograph?

No, my photos are mostly taken spontaneously on the street, or somewhere, never in a studio. In connection with 3D technology, however, I design virtual rooms in which I include the effects of light and space


'lost time'


What gear do you use (camera, lenses, bag)?

It all started with a simple digital camera. For a few years now I have been taking photos with a system camera from the “Sigma SD Quattro” brand with a “30mm F1.4 lens”. My equipment also includes a powerful PC workstation.


'The others play only with wooden figures'


What software do you use to process your images?

In addition to various bridging tools, I primarily work with “Photoshop” and “Wings 3D”. For me it is important to configure the dimensions of my work in such a way that a high-quality 120 x 80 cm print format is possible in the end.


 'I'm me'


Can you tell us something more about your work flow?

I am not using any predefined workflow. As a rule, I sketch my idea for a picture on a sheet of paper with a pencil. Then individual picture elements are processed as 2D composing or in 3D scenery. Depending on the tool or medium, the workflow can be very time-consuming. Often it is a detailed fine work - like an oil painting.


'it was different'

What is your most important advice to a beginner in creatively edited photography and how do you get started?

Actually, I don't see myself as competent enough to give advice. From my experience I would say: It's like photography, “Don't let technology dominate you. Images arise in the head. Technology and media are only your tools, your creativity is the focus”.


Who are your favourite photographers and more importantly, how has your appreciation of their work affected how you approach your own photography?

I cannot commit myself here; painters and photographers of all stripes inspire me. I especially like the surrealists. My role models in painting are artists like René Magritte or Edward Hopper. 


'head cinema'


Is there any specific photo taken by another photographer that has inspired you a lot and why?

Here, too, I find it difficult to name a few photos. Especially on 1x, I admire the excellent works of art by many photographers. Of course, I am particularly interested  conceptual photography. I am often inspired by the work of different artists here. No, I can't commit myself.


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?

In all honesty, I don't have a specific strategy or long-term goal. I let myself be inspired spontaneously in everyday life. In general, I would like to experiment even more with contradictions between reality and virtual reality in the future.



Describe your favourite photograph taken by you and why it is special to you? 

I particularly like the picture titled 'an illusion'. This image exemplifies my style, my form of expression. In this scene, the boundaries between reality and virtual reality merge. The picture conveys a special mood and needs no explanation. Surreal photography according to my ideas. Yes, that is my language.


 'an illusion'


Is there anything else you wish to add  and what do you think about 1X as a home base for your work?

I've been a member of for almost two years. For me it is the best “picture platform” on the WEB. I am enthusiastic about the high quality photographs of many photographers. Above all, I can reflect the quality of my pictures here. The individual, neutral curation gives me a certain orientation that I can't get otherwise.

Finally, I would like to thank Yvette and the 1x team for letting me tell about myself and my work.


Herbert Reinecke


thank you for your comment, it's motivation for me. I like your work very much, especially the portraits speak to me emotionally. I'm really looking forward to the interview announced by Yvette
Many thanks for your kind appreciation dar Herbert
None of the works I have watched are photographs to be looked at and passed by, but are very valuable works that you will add meanings as you watch. Heartfelt congratulations, dear Herbert. And dear Yvette, many thanks to you for bringing us together with these amazing photos.
Thank you for your meaningful feedback, Emel. Love the approach of bringing us together with photography ;-) Soon it will be your turn here ;-)
thank you for your comment, it's motivation for me. I like your work very much, especially the portraits speak to me emotionally. I'm really looking forward to the interview announced by Yvette