DANIEL STIER (03.11.2010)

Daniel Stier is a photographer with a German origin; he studied photography at a university there before moving to England to pursue work in London. He likes to work within many genres such as portraiture, landscapes and still life - but thrives within the documentary world of photography as he is propelled by his strong love for this work.

Stier likes to work in a very particular way; he likes to present his work in projects rather than single pieces as he prefers for his work to have some visual communication with the viewer. I think this makes sense as when you look at his work, you can see he has carefully considered the pairing of his images. For example,  I find the pieces above work well together as I find it tells a short story of the people within the frames; to me the children in the left hand image either aspire to become astronauts, or they do become them in the second image. 

I hate to say it, but generally find that documentary style photography slightly dull, as, in my opinion, I think that in general, a lot of artists struggle to create an interest within their images in this genre. I believe this is because documentary photography tends to be quite literal, and shows things as they are rather than creating a story or giving a message through visual communication. For example, above, I would normally have thought that this set up would have been shot from straight on with everything aligned perfectly as I often see a very uniformed feel in this genre; I tend to find that the photographers style is often suffocated by the 'set' way to photograph within the documentary genre. I find this image interesting as you are given a new perspective within this documentary style; I also like the way Daniel Stier has arranged his still life; the use of colour and the angles of each object. You can see that he has really thought about his work, and I find this admiral. Opposite, bottom, is another example of his style within this genre; I would say that he has some abstract influences in his work which I believe gives a nice feel to his work as I feel it is a fresher approach.

I find the piece opposite, works in a different way to his photograph of the chairs; to me, as a set, these images tell a story through the genre; it documents the space that the man works and lives in. These images look more like 'standard' documentary as they are shot straight on and show the place as it is; this isn't wrapped with any unintentional optical illusions cause by different perspectives and angles. I think that this is a more successful way to present this genre, as I find it actually documents more information for a future reference.

He also travels a lot to find new and interesting subjects to photograph, people, places, objects, anything that grabs his attention. For example, he told stories in the lecture I attended of this crazy man in LA who he often visits, referring to him as "a fashion t**t, that has more money than sense" (see above).

He prefers to work on film as he thinks that SLR cameras don't limit you enough with the amount of shots you can take. Instead he uses a large format camera because he believes in the saying "quality, not quantity". Another positive effect he said he finds this camera gives him, is that people feel his work is more important, so they take it more seriously and they work hard on their poses to make them look how he wants them to come across.

Commission work for Sony TV's

Daniel Stier recognizes that he can have a broader range of different work as he also thrives in portraiture as a side project to his documentation. I think this makes him more successful in his commissioned work as it allows him to be more flexible for the client. His achievements include commissions for Orange, a Manchester United & Budweiser campaign, Sony Televisions and Volkswagon.

As a whole, I think that Daniel Stier is a great success within his favored genre. I believe this is because he uses alternate styles within this area - such as abstract, and also because of the way he presents his work. To me this highlights the importance of presentation within the photography world; without it in this genre, I can appreciate it is much harder to tell a story; when put together a non-fiction tale forms to tell the history of the people, places and objects within the photographs. He is also very successful in his commission work as he is flexible with a wider range of genres to work within; making money isn't the main aim of photography, but you do need to make money to continue to live and work within the industry. I think that Daniel Stier as a whole is a great, rounded professional photographer for all the points discussed in this post.

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