Multi-Exposuring the World: Interview with Photographic Artist Frank Machalowski

When a hobby turned into a part of your life, the ways of seeing world may be changed in a unique angel. Film-liked forest, desert landscape, urban city, passerby, architecture... and other things involved in people and life, have never been escaped from Frank Machalowski’s lens and his exquisite analog technique.

Here, this talented photographic artist and freelance photographer talked about his projects to Global Photography, sharing photographing experience, tips in photographing process as well as bringing valuable inspiration.


GP: How did you get started in photography?

Frank: When I was a little child, my father spent his leisure photographing and was often in his own darkroom. So I was fascinated by this process. Later I bought my first camera and tested it thoroughly. Over the years I began to lose interest in photography. In the early 2000, when the first digital cameras came to the market, my passion is reawakened.

Today I am delighted by the charming characteristics and atmosphere of analogue b/w film photography in all its facets. So I develop all of my photos by my own and print some images in the darkroom. In some of my artworks, I try to combine the digital and analogue techniques.

GP: In the series of "Multiexpo", some of the photos are vague and a bit like oil paintings. What are you trying to express with such shooting style?

Frank: For this series, I photograph landmarks as multiple exposures. It launched in Berlin, my hometown for 40 years, but then I extended this kind of photography to other cities. For this series, I use exclusive analogue film material in both dimensions (35mm and 6x6) and only black and white (b/w). Here is a link to a short film, where I describe the working method at

I photograph buildings, landmarks and city trees from several positions on one frame. The objects are taken from different perspectives, as well as the different visitors they look. The multiplication and intensification of positions and fields of view appear to distort the structures and reduce them to their core. They literally vibrate under the attempt to capture the time, even in the pictures.



GP: Is there any memorable experience you'd like to share in regards to your career as a photographer?

Frank: Besides my artistic projects, I work as a portrait photographer. The fascinating thing at this job is you come into contact with people of different backgrounds and experiences.

GP: What changes did the photography bring to your life?

Frank: I've had several careers, but as a photographer, this is the first time in my life that I enjoy my job.

GP: Regarding your series of Ghost of..., how did the inspiration come to you?

Frank: I'm often at flea markets to look for old cameras or something like this. One day I saw a stand from a Frenchman who sells a mass of old photographs only portraits. I bought some pictures from him. I had a idea in mind to do something with old vintage photographs, but don't know what. When I viewed the pictures at home, then I got the idea to transform all these people in the present. I choose for that my photographs taken with a self-made pinhole camera.

A number of readers may have a wall of ancestors with old photographs at home. I had it in my own home. I'm fascinated by the idea all these people to rise from the (maybe) dead and they transform into the present.

In all my series I try to provoke the viewer with questions or feelings. For example, the chronological classification.

Ghost of...

Ghost of...

Ghost of...

GP: Why did you use black and white as the dominant tone in most of your photos? What advantages do you think black-and-white pictures have in helping express emotions in comparison with colored ones?

Frank: I think in b/w photography there is no distraction by strange colors, it's more direct, if you know what I mean. Furthermore, I love the work in the darkroom to control b/w material by chemicals (contrast, pushing, toning etc.).

GP: What is your favorite picture you have shot recently? Can you describe its creation in terms of lighting, composition, location, etc?

Frank: It is difficult to choose a particular image as a favorite picture. But one of my favorite images is from the series 'Monster' (the image below). It was taken shortly before a soccer game in Berlin and it was a complex preparation.


Monster (One of photographer Frank Machalowski's favorite photo)

For this photo I looked at the daily newspaper or relevant websites, to search for events, which will attract many spectators. I visited the location of the event some days before it starts and took some pictures in order to verify that it is worth for this series. Therefore I am looking for unusual architecture or special sights and landmarks and places wherever people come together and move - a steady flow. I decided to make a picture from the exit of the train station of the stadium. So I was waiting on the opposite side of the station on a bridge. I took some pictures and in the end, there was one image where everything really worked.



GP: At last, can you share the valuable lesson that you think matters with young people who are enthusiastic about photography?

Frank: In conclusion, I want to say two things:

First - believe in you;

Second - be tireless and persistent.




(All rights reserved Frank Machalowski)

> More information of photographer Frank Machalowski's information at his homepage HERE.

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