After years of working almost exclusively in black and white, photographer Josef Hoflehner found himself saying more and more often, “That would make a great color photo.”
His series of quiet yet dynamic color images began as a sort of side note to his monochromatic projects.
Hoflehner, who is based in Wels, Upper Austria, has been traveling with his 25-year-old son Jakob since 2002. They started to slowly build a body of work titled “Patience” in 2006.
The father and son team travel extensively about six months out of the year, carefully planning each location before shooting.
“In some cases, we travel half the world mainly for one photograph,” Hoflehner says. “Once we find preferred spots we often wait for days, often a week, and sometimes even longer just to get the right weather and light combination.”
For the photograph “Bathing Boxes,” Hoflehner and his son traveled nearly 36 hours to the location outside Melbourne, Australia. They spent a week waiting for the conditions to be just right for the scene they wanted to capture.
“We often return to the same place over and over again, we won't give up until we are 100% happy with the result,” Hoflehner says.
The title photograph in the series, a stark snow-covered landscape with six Japanese fishing boats, was five years in the making.
“This is a photograph we wanted since 2007, but there always was something that didn't work out,” Hoflehner says.
Early last year, on their fifth trip to Japan, they searched dozens of small harbors. They had already been to many of them.
After a few days they came across the perfect location, but it wasn’t enough. They still needed the weather to be in their favor.
“We required fresh snow and a dark gray sky, so that the white boats can perfectly stand out,” he says. Ten days later, they finally made the photograph.
Precise attention to detail, meticulous planning and, most importantly, patience help convey Hoflehner’s vision.
There are numerous exhibitions in Europe and the United States planned for his color landscapes. The work will also be published as a book in 2014.
- Raymond McCrea Jones, CNN
All images are copyright Josef Hoflehner, courtesy Jackson Fine Art.