Reiner Spliedt has looked at the world through a lens since he was a boy.
Like so many of his generation, his first camera was an Agfa Synro Box. This camera was the German equivalent of the American Box Brownie, the camera that popularised low-cost photography and introduced the concept of the snapshot.
Flash forward and today you’ll find this German-born, Sydney based photographer roaming the streets with his Nikon cameras. No longer just content to point and shoot, Reiner aims to capture emotion, not just bare-facts, in his images.
“I try to isolate the emotion that made me press the shutter. I then push and pull the image, using a combination of in-camera and digital darkroom techniques to bring that emotion to the surface,” he says.
“I want to create images that are true to the situation, but also true to the feelings and impressions running through my mind at the time of my encounter,” he further explains. “I constantly challenge myself to move away from pure depiction and focus on the emotion that is compelling me.”
Reiner has developed his philosophy of image making, finessed his camera skills and honed his ability to see light, through dedicated practice. He says that going to art galleries to look at the work of other visual artists, such as painters and sculptors has been a constant source of instruction and inspiration.
However, it’s not his technical skills that Reiner believes gives his photos an edge.
“I like to know what makes people tick. I want to understand cultural nuances. I try to pinpoint people’s desires and motivations. My talent for understanding human behaviour has been refined over many years working as a market researcher, in Germany, Asia and Australia. “I’m proud of my achievements in the field. I think it’s a valuable element I bring to my photography. As a market researcher I express my findings in words, as a photographer I express myself in pictures.”
Reiner subscribes to the school of thought that dictates if you are going to make an image, make it your own. “Don’t just make postcards, put something of yourself in the image. Do it through the angle you shoot from, the framing or composition you choose, the light you choose to shoot in,” he says.
Choosing to follow his fascination in people, and interest in architecture and sports, and using the opportunities that working in market research has afforded him, has enabled Reiner to shoot across the globe and create a portfolio of varied images.
“Please browse through my portfolio. If there’s an image you want to create, an event you need pictures of, or a person you want me to photograph, I’d love to hear from you.”