We last wrote about the work of Daniel Stier in 2017 and, since then, he’s done “lots of stuff”. As well as focusing on a new book, which he aims to publish this year – looking at London and megacities in general – he has also been commissioned by various giants across the industry. This includes The New York Times T Magazine, Zeit Magazine, Esquire, Interview, The Telegraph Magazine, and Wallpaper to name a few.
“And more and more I am focusing on exhibiting personal work,” Daniel tells It’s Nice That. He has exhibited his photographs at two shows in Italy, one at Fabrica with workshops and talks, and is planning two more at Darmstadt, Germany and at the Belfast PhotoFestival. Additionally, he’s preparing for the Photo Biennale in Mannheim, Ludwigshafen next year – which he’s “very happy about”.
Although his portfolio has been updated with numerous works, Daniel’s process still remains consistent. Two years ago, we featured his commissioned series for Esquire, that saw plush leather goods and various banned airport security objects excavated with texture and a harsh flash. This year, Daniel comes armed with even more fantastic still life pictures that ring true to this signature style. “There’s always slight changes in the way one sees things and approaches briefs,” he says, “but generally I think I am still working the way I have always done. Recently I’ve had the pleasure of a new and very comfortable studio, which by its shear presence made me shoot a lot of still life.”
Loaded with imagery of interiors, still life, commercial, landscape shots and portraiture, Daniel’s work features a profound and varied take on image-making. “I love working in various fields of photography,” he explains. “I would get bored shooting the same jobs over and over again. But it’s hard work to break down borders and not be pigeonholed for one certain look.”
Daniel is particularly interested in photographing the ordinary things that surround us. This can be seen in two images from a new body of work where he “just finds stuff – cheap mass-produced things,” he says. “Things that when I see them I already imagine the landfill they are dumped at or the ocean they will swim in. I recycle them into images in the studio.” He continues: “It’s not exactly a new thought but our way of consuming is completely out of order. We are drowning in the things that we don’t need and a large part of the population spends their time flogging us even more.”
By imparting his view on the world through his imagery, Daniel sees the role of the photographer as an important one. He cites the legendary Dorothea Lange – “the camera is an instrument that teaches people to see without a camera” – and states how good photographers indeed can speak a certain language. For Daniel, it’s to do with a balanced relationship between the photographer and the audience, where “that language can be learnt by other people, people who are not visually trained
“So sometimes I see things and I almost feel it is my duty as a photographer to document them or show them in a different content and communicate them,” he says. “Photography is a language that we can to speak – of course that goes for any art in general.”