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Born in Hamburg in 1970, Gregor Törzs is a Berlin–based photographer working in the advertising and fashion sector with a special interest in art photography and platinum printing.
Some of his most famous series – you can enjoy Ciel Lourd and Ultramarine at the top of the page – feature underwater life, demonstrating his interest in photographing a world between the seeming and the being.
For the Ciel Lourd series, the photographer created waterproof housing for his favourite old camera and spent hundreds of hours underwater. Törzs also took large matte paintings with him into the ocean in order to create these surreal underwater moments.
Throughout the years he has also been interested in microscopic photography, as can be seen in his photographs of watch movements, gemstones and insects.
Gregor Törzs's artistic work is currently showing at Bernheimer Fine Art Photography in Lucerne (Switzerland): the solo exhibition will end on the 16 July 2016.
We asked him a couple of questions to find out more about his work as well as his sources of inspiration.
There is a close link between Ciel Lourd and Ultramarine projects: what was your idea behind the two projects and how have they been developed?
Of course the obvious link is the underwater world, but more important is that both series follow an old instinct I have developed since I was a little boy. As a child I found a leaf fallen off a tree. I picked it up and immediately lifted it up towards the sun. The light illuminated the leaf and revealed so much more of it's creation. Only later, with much more life experience, I realised that there is so also so much more to this reaction. If you look at something that you pick up you can put all factors in one straight line. The sun – yourself – the object being illuminated. Yourself being in the center of it all.
By following the instinct and holding the object against the light, you are removing yourself from center of the equation. You've got the sun - the object - yourself. A 180 degree move which changes everything. The object becomes the hero of the story and you are the first admirer. It is not about you and your ego or wish to happen within that moment. You are merely opening your sails and collecting, what is falling on your medium of choice. In my case, photography. I can't paint or write. That reflex is the soul of everything I photograph. It is always about transparency. Either in a place I find underwater or create under the microscope. I never want to feel my personality in my work. After hundreds of hours underwater, I remember every photograph I took.
Tell us about your shooting and printing technique. How do you realise your photos?
The choice of my printing technique (platinum printing) lets me work with various papers. Mostly I use thin Japanese papers, which are fantastic for their transparency, yet are strong enough to withstand all the chemicals and cleaning baths they have to go through. The paper is coated with a liquid platinum palladium solution. When dry the solution turns photo reactive and is printed as a contact print. Therefore a platinum print is always as large as it is negative. In 2014, we designed and built the largest analog underwater camera, the Ultramarine. It shoots a 24x36cm super large negative which I print from. Even in the world of mega high resolution digital cameras, there is a feeling you can not create unless you are using a 150mm super wide angle lens. That is why these Ultramarine images have such three dimensional character. The ultimate way to admire a moment. Like being a kid lifting up a leaf and holding it against the sun.