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Beauty In Mystery – Frederik Marks

Meet the 17 year-old photographer now in the running for Sony’s World photography Awards.

Frederik Marks, a 17 year old photographer from Germany, is now in the running for one of photography’s most prestigious accolades for his piece entitled ‘Beauty in mystery’. Frederik has made it to final ten in the youth category, beating an impressive 12,000 applicants from over 182 countries.

The image (cover photo) was taken in Bochum, Germany during the summer of 2016; it depicts Marie Fürbeth in an disused factory, manoeuvring through thick ‘plastic like foil’. Frederik remarked that the material ‘had the same impact as a filter by changing the colour of the light falling through the window’. We caught up with Frederik to find out some more about his work.

First off congratulations on being shortlisted for the award, how did you feel when you found out?

Thank you Tayler! I was super excited when I found out. I had a pretty shit day at school and that really lifted my mood. My mom thought it had to be fake as I didn’t tell her I applied. Therefore I spent a lot of time convincing her it was the real thing.

Where did the idea to shoot in a factory stem from?

I started shooting in factories because I ran out of ideas really! In my hometown, Bochum, in the Ruhr area there is not much except old industrious buildings, so shooting in old factories was a natural occurrence. The tips I get for finding abandoned factories always come from a small circle of friends who regularly explore and shoot.

How did the shot come about? It looks like it’s very candid.

The shot came out so candid because of the model really. Of course I saw the potential for a shot and said let’s take a picture over there. But it was her ability to blend in with the object making it look real as opposed to staged. At this point a special shoutout to the model @cochija.

How and when did you get into photography? You’ve got such an extensive list of projects in your portfolio, including trips to South Africa and India, it’s hard to comprehend you still being so young.

I always felt passionate about photography. I really got into it at the age of 14 during my school exchange to Canada: I met a guy called Riccardo Castillo in the photography club there and after a quarter of a year we became friends and started to do photography together. He eventually started a magazine called assignmentmag!

In regards to me being so young – I am very passionate about travelling and I am grateful that my parents share that passion and make it possible for me to see so many great places.

What made you want to capture a wedding India in black and white? Most would use the opportunity to display the vast array of colours.

A question I get a lot especially from my friends! I tried not to focus as much on shooting what everybody would shoot at the wedding. There was at least 100 photographers at that wedding so it made me think about shooting this wedding with focus on the emotion. If i kept all the colour in from the wedding, for me, it would take away that emotion I wanted to display with my pictures. Also I believe that some times b/w gives you the possibility to look at the picture with less of a bias as there is no colours. It allows you to attribute the colours you want to see to the photo, allowing a certain element of ownership of the image.

You can follow Frederik’s final stretch in the competition here and his Instagram here.