Karl Hab

Karl Hab

Photographer

Your book presents 24 hours in Los Angeles. Why did you choose this city?
This was a really long project. It started in 2012 and wasn’t supposed to only be about Los Angeles, but about a whole trip I’d made across the USA to Las Vegas, Phoenix, New York and L.A. I wanted to make a book about the whole thing! But after 2013 I started focusing on Los Angeles. It gave me a different vision of the city, I was looking at it in a way that most people didn’t. I saw a softer, more sensitive side. I collected all the photos and presented them like a 24-hour trip to the city, and marked the pages with times instead of numbers.
What vision did you want to present?
Something really light and simple, nothing like the touristy, colourful L.A. I wanted to show a peaceful city. It’s usually presented as oppressive and filled with traffic.
Why did you choose to publish a book in today’s digital age?
A book lasts. It remains a real object that we keep throughout our lives. The problem with digital is that if the server crashes, it’s all over. You can give a book to someone, and keep it forever.
There aren’t many people in your photos. The work is more “architectural”. Was that intentional?
I admit the photos are kind of empty. The landscapes are calm and cold, but so beautiful. I wanted to show a peaceful Los Angeles, while still offering a representative image of the city.
Why are so many photos based around planes?
I’m a qualified aeronautical engineer. I actually have two careers. While I was interning at airlines after I graduated, I was also taking photos for websites and brands. It’s not easy to juggle both, but it’s true that this theme comes up a lot. I almost didn’t mean for photography to become such a passion. It matured over time.
"The landscapes are calm and cold, but so beautiful. I wanted to show a peaceful Los Angeles, while still offering a representative image of the city." [Karl Hab]
Do you feel connected to the fashion world?
Yes. I’ve been photographing Fashion Weeks for magazines for the last eight years. But this book was completely different.
Have you ever considered making videos?
I have, but the problem is that you can’t do it without a team. You need to be well-prepared, know where you want to go and have a solid plan. It’s hard to be spontaneous with videos.
How do you work? Do you follow your instinct and start snapping, or do you analyse everything before each shot?
It’s all instinctive. Sometimes I’ll have strategies, and sometimes the photos just don’t work out because I don’t have time to get a good view. The main thing is being in the right place at the right time. I always say that in a series of ten photos, there will be at least two good ones. But the best photo is often the very first one I took.
Do you think photos should be realistic, or rather create something imaginary?
My work is my vision of Los Angeles, I didn’t try to create something different. Fashion photography is different, less spontaneous. It’s basically always the same thing now.
So are there too many photographers nowadays?
I’ve been a photographer for ten years, and that helps. But it’s true that Instagram and the social networks have made it harder to carve out a niche. You can if your work is incredible, but it’s really difficult. Some people have never taken a single photo, but because of Instagram they decide to buy a camera, post their photos and create a website. On the other hand, if Instagram didn’t exist we would never have discovered so much new talent. It’s a real catch-22 situation.

Karl Hab

Photographer

Your book presents 24 hours in Los Angeles. Why did you choose this city?
This was a really long project. It started in 2012 and wasn’t supposed to only be about Los Angeles, but about a whole trip I’d made across the USA to Las Vegas, Phoenix, New York and L.A. I wanted to make a book about the whole thing! But after 2013 I started focusing on Los Angeles. It gave me a different vision of the city, I was looking at it in a way that most people didn’t. I saw a softer, more sensitive side. I collected all the photos and presented them like a 24-hour trip to the city, and marked the pages with times instead of numbers.
What vision did you want to present?
Something really light and simple, nothing like the touristy, colourful L.A. I wanted to show a peaceful city. It’s usually presented as oppressive and filled with traffic.
Why did you choose to publish a book in today’s digital age?
A book lasts. It remains a real object that we keep throughout our lives. The problem with digital is that if the server crashes, it’s all over. You can give a book to someone, and keep it forever.
There aren’t many people in your photos. The work is more “architectural”. Was that intentional?
I admit the photos are kind of empty. The landscapes are calm and cold, but so beautiful. I wanted to show a peaceful Los Angeles, while still offering a representative image of the city.
Why are so many photos based around planes?
I’m a qualified aeronautical engineer. I actually have two careers. While I was interning at airlines after I graduated, I was also taking photos for websites and brands. It’s not easy to juggle both, but it’s true that this theme comes up a lot. I almost didn’t mean for photography to become such a passion. It matured over time.
"The landscapes are calm and cold, but so beautiful. I wanted to show a peaceful Los Angeles, while still offering a representative image of the city." [Karl Hab]
Do you feel connected to the fashion world?
Yes. I’ve been photographing Fashion Weeks for magazines for the last eight years. But this book was completely different.
Have you ever considered making videos?
I have, but the problem is that you can’t do it without a team. You need to be well-prepared, know where you want to go and have a solid plan. It’s hard to be spontaneous with videos.
How do you work? Do you follow your instinct and start snapping, or do you analyse everything before each shot?
It’s all instinctive. Sometimes I’ll have strategies, and sometimes the photos just don’t work out because I don’t have time to get a good view. The main thing is being in the right place at the right time. I always say that in a series of ten photos, there will be at least two good ones. But the best photo is often the very first one I took.
Do you think photos should be realistic, or rather create something imaginary?
My work is my vision of Los Angeles, I didn’t try to create something different. Fashion photography is different, less spontaneous. It’s basically always the same thing now.
So are there too many photographers nowadays?
I’ve been a photographer for ten years, and that helps. But it’s true that Instagram and the social networks have made it harder to carve out a niche. You can if your work is incredible, but it’s really difficult. Some people have never taken a single photo, but because of Instagram they decide to buy a camera, post their photos and create a website. On the other hand, if Instagram didn’t exist we would never have discovered so much new talent. It’s a real catch-22 situation.