We all know that cars and cameras go together very well. Some cars are truly pieces of art. Capturing them in a the right frame is often a form of art in itself. One who really masters this art is Patrick Knecht of Urbannatural Photography .
I recognized Patrick’s speed-driven work while I was browsing through a Porsche group in some social network. The pictures of his oak green Porsche 911 were so amazing. I noticed the German license plate and I wondered if I could find out who’s the person behind the lens. I sent out a mail and received the short but friendly answer that he would be happy to answer some questions.
Johannes Oppitz: You’ve been pretty busy lately, so thank you for your time. Can you tell us a bit about yourself? How long have you been a professional photographer?
Patrick Knecht: Sure. My name is Patrick Knecht. I’m already 37 and come from Dreieich. That’s just 10 min. off Frankfurt (am Main). I find the term ‘professional’ quite relative. Photography is a form of an art – partly technique, partly a question of taste. Quite often I see pictures of so called ‘professionals’ and all I can do is shaking my head. That’s why I’d rather not call myself a pro. Where is praise, is also criticism. Photography is, and will always remain, a hobby to me. But you never stop learning. I always find new techniques and skills which boost my workflow.
JO: What came first? The cars or the camera?
PK: Well, what came first? Good question. I would say both. I always loved taking photos since back to the days of analogue films. You had to wait patiently for you photos to be done. Thank god, that’s over (laughing). But my interest for cars has always been huge, too. So they eventually fused.
JO: So how do you get to work? By request or do just go out and search for motives?
PK: Mostly by request. Since I don’t have to live from it, I can do cherry-picking. That’s a benefit. Every now and then there is a particular job that is a new level of challenge.
JO: You do a lot of rig-shots to capture the dynamics. They surely require some serious post-processing? Do you exclusively use digital cameras or also analogue ones?
PK: Yes, they do. But in the meanwhile I figured out the little tricks to speed that up. I always wanted to try analogue photography but it didn’t happen so far.
JO: Amongst your work are a lot of pretty cool cars. Some are very exclusive. Which one impressed you the most?
PK: Phew, hard to say. Sound-wise definitely the Porsche Carrera GT. I just have a thing for Porsches.
JO: Do your customers let you drive their cars?
PK: Some do, some don’t. Most of the times I prefer to let the owners drive. They know their cars best. That’s how I get the best driving experience.
JO: Do you have a favorite road or place to take your pictures?
PK: Yes, I have. There is an access road to a gravel quarry. It got some nice markings on it I can play with a lot.
JO: What particular car do you wish to get on camera some day?
PK: A Porsche 991 RSR on a race track! I would give a lot for that!
JO: Haha. I see, Porsches are definitely your favorites. What’s your relationship with that specific brand?
PK: Porsche has been my car brand ever since. The cars are timelessly beautiful. With every new generation I think by myself: ‘Wow! Again they managed to create a car that is plainly fascinating.’ …and of course I drive one myself (smiling).
JO: Speaking of Porsches. You just had an amazing set with two 911 – a 930 and a 997 GT3. Which one left the deeper mark to you?
PK: Clearly, the GT3! The 997 is simply a great car in dimensions and design. Honestly, the 930 didn’t impress me that much, even though everybody wants to have one. But I’m simply not a big fan of the G-series.
JO: Oh, I wouldn’t have expected this as you own an air-cooled 911… I also noticed a beautiful set of motorcycles. A Ducati 916 and 996 were among them. You said, the customer was totally puzzled because you didn’t see a difference at a glance. So, what’s the difference now?
PK: I still can’t see it. The 916 is just the older version.
JO: Fair enough. Thank you a lot again for time, Patrick.
Note: All pictures are intellectual property of Patrick Knecht at Urbannatural Photography