While light allows us to visually inhale the atmosphere of our surroundings, it is often the intense colors reflected in the world that stimulates our appreciation. Photographer Kilian Schoenberger is able to capture those vibrant perspectives with remarkable contrast, despite being colorblind. If anything his photos emerge more vivid than others’ due to his enhanced grasp of texture, structure, and the subtle gradations of light. This is evident in Kilian’s northern landscape photography where he successfully captures the dimension and viscous disposition of Iceland’s terrain.
Although Kilian can in fact perceive colors, he cannot differentiate most of them – to him, green appears the same as red, and blue is indistinguishable from purple. Yet somehow the colors in his photos still appear brilliant and the attention to composition is breathtaking. “Being colorblind is like listening to a foreign song,” Kilian tells GARAKAMI. “You may not understand the vocals, but the appealing melody will still affect you. The vocals are the color and the melody is the structure.”
The power behind Kilian’s photography lies in his ability to carefully delineate the fallen shadows that define the light. He captures the unique distribution of sunshine as it skims the edge of the Earth; at those times, the light doesn’t drown the landscape but instead darts across mountain peaks and sloshes against the exposed bases. Even though much of the light is siphoned off through the shade of natural obstructions, the composure remains.
On top of his skills as a photographer, Kilian also holds the deeper understanding of the land’s contours that is only available through intense study. Kilian explains how his experiences as a geographer have strengthened his photographic vision, allowing him to “read the surface of landscapes and understand their historical genesis, from the macro scale to the micro scale.” Next on Kilian’s list is a winter photo tour of the Alps and the Bohemian Forest.