Bartek Langer (born 1979) is a documentary photographer currently based in Leonberg, Germany.
He studied journalism in Darmstadt and learnt photography mainly autodidactically – except for some tutorials during his studies.
Bartek Langer’s career as a photojournalist started with a trip to Pakistan.
There he had to learn the hard way and committed a mistake which is every photographer’s nightmare.
But what first appeared a big disappointment turned out to be the decisive moment to get into documentary photography. Photojournalist Bartek Langer has recently covered the fate of Syrian refugees and migrant workers in Dubai.
“Artist Profile” – Bartek Langer
Bartek, why did you become a photographer? And why documentary photography and photojournalism?
Back then photography was a hobby. For the first time I came in touch with documentary photography in 2003. I travelled for some weeks to Pakistan to get to know the culture, religion and the people.
From the photographers point of view it was very unsuccessful. I took an old analog camera with me. At that time I was technically unskilled and I put the film roles the wrong way into the camera.
The end of the story: All the pictures were not developed except for the first role which was already in the camera. However the trip to Pakistan was the decisive factor for my future as photojournalist.
What does photography mean to you?
For me photography is aesthetic. But it is also an adventure. Every time I travel to foreign countries and ramble through the streets with my camera I get to know exciting people, conventions, cultures and religions.
I plunge into strange worlds which people usually just see in television. These experiences are priceless.
How would you describe your photographic language and creative process? How do you plan and execute a project? Both technically and conceptually?
“I love a simple and plain image structure.”
As a photographer I set great value upon aesthetic factors. One of my favorite tools is the depth of field. Sometimes the aesthetic is more important to me as catching a scene which tells a story.
Of course this concept often collides with the aspiration of a photojournalist. Furthermore, I work according to the motto: less is more. I love a simple and plain image structure.
Which photographer has inspired you most?
Yuri Kozyrev is someone who I look up to and admire greatly. He has covered every major conflict in the past 20 years and his work is overwhelming.
What’s your favorite inspirational quote about photography?
“If your photographs aren’t good enough, you are not close enough.”
What kind of camera and equipment do you use?
Canon 5D MKII + 50mm f1.4 / 24mm f.1.4 / 16-35mm f.2.8.
What’s your favorite website about photography?
There are a lot of websites which I visit regularly: “The New York Times Lens Blog”, the “TIMES Lightbox” or the website of the photo agency Noor are among them.
Which advice would you give someone who wants to get started with photography?
Just go and experiment. You can concern yourself with technical finesses later.