“I grew very fond of the film noir with all its feel of loneliness and low light” explains Dominik Dunsch when asked where he finds inspiration. As In Transit’s Director’s Choice winner, Dunsch draws not only from the emotion and style of the silver screen, but also to the work of great photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson and Bruce Davidson. After branching out into color photography, Dunsch saw a whole new world opened up to him. “I just had to evolve, went to my first of two workshops with David Alan Harvey. David taught me a lot, especially about authorship. Also, my fellow students were a great inspiration and I have a deep respect for them and their work.”
Much of Dunsch’s work is also informed by street photography, which is where he got his start.
Life on the streets, especially in big cities, tells you a lot about society. Well, it is society. You’re among people of almost all social and cultural backgrounds. It is pure life, filled with human emotion. Love, hate, laughter, stress, speed, aggression – but also silence, isolation, loneliness. That is something I’m really curious about: those silent moments within the big city noise.
His fascination with the nuances in daily life is clear in his winning image, R. Its focus divides between the countryside and a female passenger lost in her own thoughts. It embodies the routine of commuting on trains, separated from the land rushing by outside the window.
Director's Choice, R
While Dunsch always has an affinity for certain cities, such as New York, he loves to visit places he has never been. These new experiences set him out of his natural element, and allow for a new way of seeing.
I love diversification. It does not need to be a fancy city or a far away place - just something I have not seen before. It somehow reopens my eyes. On the other hand I keep on coming back to New York. Maybe because after so many times I do not feel the need to keep up with the speed. I can slow down while the life of the others passes by in a dizzying manner. While slowing down I perceive my surroundings in a different way. But most important of all inspiration there is: I love human emotion. And that's what strikes you most when you enter new environments I think.
At the Loft
This love of street photography and of different environments has served Dunsch well. But in the end, he feels that true success is achieved when his work speaks to others.
Well, success is a beautiful thing because it somehow shows you that you seem to be doing something quite right. But I think that there is an even more important question: what is success? To me, the respect of my collegues, fellow students, editors and critics is far more important than the financial success of my work. If someone can read my work it means that not only my creativity but also my emotions behind it are somehow understood. That's a very big deal for me, that's what I would call real success.