Peter Andres · Retrospective



My instruction manual for life

A kind of interactive book

This retrospective is something like an interactive book about me, my life and my photographic career. Since I have been taking photographs for over 50 years, it has become a bit longer. I have therefore divided it into different chapters. To do this, I also had to divide it into different websites.

Do you have any questions, comments, suggestions or objections?
If so, send me an email.


You can click on the individual images in the chapters.
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The following clicks will show further photos.

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Foreword Foreword

The initiative

In the beginning there was a camera...

I have been involved with conceptual photography for almost 50 years, learned autodidactically, but also influenced by further training in workshops with great photographers. A lot has accumulated over the years, good things, sometimes a little less perfect. Many of my pictures and videos can be seen on my website and in my studio, but by no means all of them. I'm trying to give a little insight into my work here.

The retrospective

Here it is, the retrospective, my instruction manual. As an "instruction manual" it is not necessarily for you, not for you as a pure observer, pure observer of my works. Or maybe it is...? For you as inspiration for your new ideas that are awakened in you as a result. It is designed in the spirit of "open source". Take out what triggers something in you and develop your new ideas within yourself. But simply copying pictures and videos is not intended in that sense.

My instruction manual is first and foremost for me. It shows the steps I have "taken through" photographically in my life. It shows my path in the form of a retrospective look. I have become aware of many things that I had long forgotten. My new works can also be seen here, but towards the end due to the system.


Early pictures can also be seen on my website Continuum and Polaroid SX-70. These pages are not replaced by the "Instruction Manual". Nor do they compete with it, because they show much more my approach to my photographic work over time.



To view this "instruction manual" you need a computer and a browser. A tablet with a current browser will also work. Old browsers don't always work, however. Of course you can also use a mobile phone. But there are restrictions, because images that are two meters wide in the original can hardly be viewed properly on a mobile phone screen, even if it has a great name and is expensive.

Structure of my retrospective

Due to the system, I will proceed chronologically as far as possible in this "instruction manual", my retrospective, divided into books and chapters. However, you can view the chapters in any order.

In some places I refer to my other websites. These are shown in a new tab in the browser.


Books and chapters can be opened and closed by clicking on the title.


Images can be displayed large. Just one click is enough. A click on the far right or left takes you to the next/previous image. A click at the top or bottom ends the detailed view.
You can also navigate using the cursor keys. ESC closes the detailed view.


Videos start automatically as soon as they are fully visible in the browser window. This can be turned off at the top right. Icon: Videos start automatically

The videos can also be viewed in better quality in full-screen mode. Click on icon Videos in full-screen mode Videos in full-screen mode bottom right in the video window.

The challenge Chapter 1 The challenge

The career

In my visual development, not much has changed (from my point of view). Some things have. The basic idea, the composition of the image and, above all, the visual statement and its background have remained almost the same. However, it has been strengthened.

Creating accurate photos that correspond to reality was never my goal, never my passion. There are better photographers in this area, especially for documentaries or war photography. Journalism in that sense isn't my thing either.

But what is more challenging?

I was much more interested in time as a dimension, always have been! Why can we only move through it in one direction? This is clearly a systemic issue. However, it works with the other dimensions, because they are bidirectional for us humans! Time is a little different in this respect.

Why should I only show a thousandth of a second from a person's life, when it could be 10 seconds in one shot?
That's ten thousand times more!

The action! Image from the Corona series
The action!Image 20A1399 from the Corona series


Why should the reality of a photo always be real? There is another way! After all, my photos are never suitable as a "witness statement". The view and angle do not always have to meet in the "here and now". It is enough if it will be in the afterlife.

MultidimensionalityI was here
The action! Image from the Corona series
The action!Image 20A1297 from the Corona series


One picture can tell a story. Two can too. And sometimes three or more. It just depends. Creativity is something that makes something new out of nothing (or maybe not much more). Whether you "like" it is not important. Of course there are also shades of grey, as can be seen here.

Shades of grey?

Yes, of course! Digitally it's no problem anyway. With 8-bit it's 256, with 10-bit it's 1024, and you can hardly fit that much on a sheet of paper. Pictures are simple. With JPGs there are 256 shades per color. That gives you just over 16 million different colors. That should be enough. If not, more is always possible. (Just for your information: on paper, it stops at a million. On canvas, it's much earlier. And... nature, including our eyes, can do many millions more with colors. Or to put it another way: with our technology, we are simply nothing compared to nature. Just a little more arrogant and presumptuous.

Everything from nothing - nothing from everything
Everything from nothing - nothing from everything Exhibition in the Woeske Gallery in Berlin 2014
So let's go!


I need my pictures, my photos. I also use them, use them as raw material, similar to other people. For example, a cook needs beets, oranges or tomatoes as raw material in order to create something different, much better, something new, wonderful, even though the ingredients taste great raw.

Well, I use pixels, usually thousands or millions at a time. Since digital cameras have been around, this has become easy. It used to be a bit more difficult. Of course, you could have cut up the negative films and put them back together... but the "fretwork" in the darkroom wasn't really my thing. I much prefer playing with time when taking photos. Because the dimension of "time" in the picture is one of the most fascinating things, even when it is not possible from a purely physical point of view.


So far everything is ready! Now, let's go! Where should I start? Actually, it's clear... at the beginning.

OK, but it starts now, here and right now. After all, many of my pictures are still somewhere in my photo archive. Some preliminary work has already been done. I called it "continuum". But not all of the old photos are included. I had kept to my archiving system in the black and white negatives. Things are a little different with the slides. Many are now in the "new" archive, the digital one. Great! And there really is a lot in there that looks quite useful.

So let's go!

But first… Rework the archive!

Continuation: The other chapters are embedded in their own web pages.
2The beginning
  • The first cameras
  • 1976 – First experiments
  • The first trips to Asia
  • First workshops
  • A tenth of a second in my life – Life as a couple
The beginning
3The way to the studio
  • Canabrett
  • The Swiss file scandal 1985: Je t’aime – moi non plus
  • Judge and judge
  • Nude photographs – nudity in the picture
  • More time in the picture: movement
  • Self-staging objects
  • Anzeiger: A kind of encounter
  • Chapeau melon et ceinture blanc
  • PolaWorks
The way to the studio
  • Groundbreaking decisions
  • The decisive workshop with Duane Michals
  • AURAMA – perspective experiments
  • Abandoned Places
  • Bodie - California, Ghost Town
  • Zollverein World Heritage Site
  • Berlin – Tacheles
  • Esch-sur-Alzette mining area
6The digital beginning
  • It's becoming pixels
  • Push pixels – Photo Drawings
  • The special train – Berlin pictures
  • Handy things – The tool
  • Reality 2.0 – Everything is in motion!
  • Composition of analog and digital – Recycling in photography?
The digital beginning
7Image thoughts
  • Requiem for a secret – financial policy and photography
  • The reality of photography – thoughts about a portrait
  • More than I can see – everything from nothing – nothing from everything
  • Coming out – reconstructing a decision
  • News fashion – the latest fashion
Image thoughts
8Lights - Play with Light
  • Let there be light! – Light Fashion
  • Photo Performance – Light Works in the Light Loft
  • And much more — Urbex light painting
  • About the LED sticks – The technology
Lights - Play with Light
  • Between visible and invisible
    Work group «Multidimensionality»
  • Photography and time. A comparison
    The camera's instructions do not always need to be followed
Extended dimensions
  • A little more comprehensive than usual
  • Pictures for you!
    A treatise on NFT - «Non-Fungible Tokens»
  • I see what you don't see!
    And if you want to see more, you have to take action yourself...
11Refreshed reflections
  • Following the thinking...
  • Extended observations
Refreshed reflections
Bild: Author Peter Andres
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