on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Thomas Peck’s Critiques “Chinesischer Turm, Englischer Garten”

by Christopher Thomas

Thomas Peck

The real pleasure of photography is that it forces me to slow down and really look. That’s never easy in our rushed world, so a chance to stop, look and see is truly valuable.


Much photography directs the viewer to look at a ‘thing’ – an object, an event etc. Emotional impact tends to burst onto the viewer through the process of realization and recognition of what is being shown. Christopher Thomas’s images work in a different way. They focus on absence rather than presence. Their emotional power seeps rather than bursts onto the viewer. As a result they suggest a slightly melancholic nostalgia. They are minor key, sombre laments of times past.

What is absent in the photograph above is of course, the people. For those who know Munich this is immediately obvious. The Chinese Tower in the English Gardens is one of the most famous beer drinking locations in a city that has many famous drinking locations! Here the beer tables, just visible in the mid-ground by the tower, are deserted. However, the image retains the memory of the people who would otherwise be here. The dirt track in the foreground is still imprinted with the multiple tyre tracks of the bicycles that are so popular in German cities. Presence is hinted at, but left unrealized. 

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