Space, shape and surface define the work of self-taught photographer Maik Lipp, who lives and works in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Lipp’s stunning photos lift facades, interiors and even streets out of the ordinary and make us see them in a whole new way. More impressively still, Lipp is entirely self-taught. He began playing with photography about 10 years ago but when people started to tell him that he had a good eye Lipp experimented more and more. His specialization in architecture, however, came only in the last few years. Lipp also blogs about design, architecture, photography and lifestyle.
We asked Maik Lipp to give us a glimpse into his pursuit pure form.
How did you start taking photographs and when did you realize that you wanted to be a photographer?
My first contact with a camera was in my teens. I was allowed to use my father’s Canon AE-1, and I was fascinated with it. But I think that it was the finer things in life that brought me, finally, to photography. Beautiful buildings, moments and wonderful places.
There are many possibilities when it comes to style and narrative with photographic art, and we see that your focus is mainly architecture. How did your appreciation for architectural form begin?
I love concrete and simple forms. I’ve had enthusiasm for geometries and symmetries for a long time. I love modern and simple architecture. In addition, my wife is an architect by profession – a perfect symbiosis. What could be more natural than to study this subject through photos? Besides, there are so many wonderful houses in the world that need to be photographed.
We see that you mostly work black and white and desaturated colors, which brings out the geometrical quality of the relationship between the space and light. Could you tell us about your style?
Minimalist. This is a good approach. I love purism and clear shapes. Black and white is the epitome of a clear and simple photograph for me. It enables you to work out the basics even better. Through strong contrast, I try to steer the viewer’s gaze. This does not always succeed, but at least most people like it. (laughs)
What do you notice first about your subjects? Do you plan and set your scenes first?
There are days when I just go through the streets and try to take some nice photos. I am often looking for beauty while running, too, because I notice some beautiful objects only at a second glance. For my travels and selective photo tours, I do a little bit of research. The most important thing for me is the right light and also the time at which I want to photograph the scene.
We also see that you are a well traveled photographer. In your travels what is the most inspiring space you’ve come across?
Hong Kong. Hong Kong was a real pleasure for me as an architecture lover.
What do you want viewers to take away from your work?
I think it is wonderful when the viewer is briefly torn from reality when they look at my photos. This is a mantra I tend to practise by:
What kind of camera do you use?
One? (laughs) I like to take my Canon 5D MKII with various lenses. In addition, I have also a Fuji X-E1 and of course my iPhone. But I love my Canon!
Is there an upcoming project that excites you? What’s next for Maik Lipp?
Yes, there is. If all goes as planned I’ll fly to Tokyo this year – a city to which I’m particularly attracted. The Japanese build more houses with exposed concrete and clear lines than any other nation. This is where it all comes together for me; the origin of purist architecture, so to speak.