Photographer: Erik Groβ's Series "Last Light"

Erik Groβ is a photographer and skateboarder from Northern Germany, near the Baltic Sea. He moved to Dresden, Germany, to study; there he fell in love with the city. Setting up shop, he bought his first film camera in 2009 - and never looked back. Although he finds a benefit and purpose in every photo format, he exclusively uses film. He shoots predominantly in black and white, utilizing varying contrast levels to add tone and emotion to his images. When he shoots in color, he maintains the same level of attention to the textures of contrast, adding the tonal nuances of color. His color portraits are vibrant, dappled, and captivating.

Overall Groβ’s composition is always elaborate, exploring various depths of field, unique framing, and complex textures. These elements may be the natural result of his artistic environment - not only the art scene in Dresden, but skateboarding. Since he cut his photographic teeth on skateboarding media, where B&W photography is the norm, he is used to capturing gritty textures to coincide with the edgy aesthetic of the sport. He frames his shots creatively in order to communicate breadth of movement in a single image. As a skateboarder Groβ is familiar with the dynamics of the body and the intricacies of posture. It is evident in his work that he has a keen eye for human form, especially the body in movement. Usually his shots feature models in beautiful, exotic, or intriguing postures or frames of motion. 

Recently Groβ purchased a Polaroid Land Camera and became fascinated by the images it produces. After conducting many tests on the Land Camera’s range of exposure, he created his series “Last Light.” He exposed the shots as much as he could - Polaroid Land Cameras are generally aperture priority cameras - but confesses that he finds the images to be a little too dark; the emotional depth of the series, however, is greatly owed to the balance of exposure and contrast that he achieved. The remainder of the debt is to his uncanny eye for human posture. The body language of his models speaks of contemplation or resignation, just as the deep dark tones cling to the crevices of the settings and loom in the backgrounds. Yet the bright, warm sun on the horizon suggests possibilities imagined at the mysterious transformation of day into night.

Groβ’s work has been featured in Humbug magazine and on downright products, both of which he cofounded. You can also find more of Erik Groβ’s photography on FacebookInstagram, and Tumblr!