Seconds2Real: Andreas Stelter

“…my personal king of street photography, is André Kertész, his photography is reality, but it is also surreality, like a dream, – it is the surreality of real life…” Andreas Stelter


This is part of a weekly interview series with members of Seconds2Real street photography collective, in celebration of their forthcoming exhibition in Berlin in October.

What brought you to doing street photography? How long have you been a street photographer? Why do you love it?

On watching through my old slides series from vacation trip´s I was getting more and more interested on the few people I photographed instead of the other tons of city- and landscapes I’ve taken. Later, I noticed the public known photographs of Henri Cartier Bresson and Robert Doisneau and in 2006 I was starting with the street photography itself driven by impressions from the internet.
Since that time I have really enjoyed the concept-free but conscious perception of humans within their public environment.

Which photographers inspire you?

On the top, my personal king of street photography, is André Kertész, his photography is reality, but it is also surreality, like a dream, – it is the surreality of real life – I really enjoy the different levels embedded in on photograph – with the best impression on the layer behind. Further sources of inspiration are Robert Frank with his combined symbols to the everyday life, Stephen Shore with his composed colored images of banal scenes and objects, Bruce Davidson, Alex Webb, Joseph Koudelka and many others with their direct and “near to life” photographic essays and last but not least my friends of seconds2Real with their inspiring different views on the public life.

Editing/selecting which images to show is crucial for a street photographer. Has being in a collective helped you with this process?

Oh yes, this is the hardest job, selecting, throughway, etc, it also happens that photographs stay years unnoticed by myself within the archive before getting my attention. In general, the selection is done by myself, then published to a public or internal net forum to receive the final criticism.

In the UK, street photography has become very popular over the last year (the Street Photography Now book published, Format Festival dedicated to street photography, the London Street Photography Festival, your work on show at Look11, and lots of popular workshops). Have you felt that street photography has also been more popular recently in your own country? And do think that street photography will continue to be popular in this way?

This is a difficult question for me because I´m explicit focusing on and searching for street photograhy in Germany but I feel very confident that it is not as popular as in the UK. Measured in the volume of publications and exhibitions you will find only a few german items up to now. But, that’s part of our scope, seconds2real may change this a bit, or even more ;-).

Any tips or “words of wisdom” for other street photographers?

Don´t try to please the general crowd with your photographs.
Street Photography is a specific genre.
Like good dry red wine is.
Try to take Your picture.
Have fun with the experience of street photography itself.
Try to share this experience with others.

What would be your ideal gear for doing street photography with?

Very comfortable shoes, a lightweight and fast camera with 35mm lens and print quality for at least 12×16″ and a 10 years free ticket for all railway and subway connections in Germany.




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  1. #1 by CD on September 5, 2011 - 6:21 pm

    “Don´t try to please the general crowd with your photographs.”

    Love this one!

    “and a 10 years free ticket for all railway and subway connections in Germany”

    Nah, just walk. Take your comfortable shoes and walk the distance you would do by public transports. On some days I walk miles through a city, last time 2 weeks ago through Berlin.

  2. #2 by Andreas on September 26, 2011 - 5:55 am

    @Sara: thank you very much!
    @CD acc. “just walk”, yes, we have measured this issue on a s2r meeting in vienna: around 20 to 25 miles per day. Therefore SP is a specfic sports genre too 😉

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