Jan Düerkop: September Photographer of the Month Interview

Interview by Olivia Goss/
Photos by Jan Düerkop

Jan Düerkop, 37, from Hamburg, Germany, is our September Photographer of the Month winner. He competed against three other photographers for this title and his photo received the most votes. Düerkop previously won Photographer of the Week during the third week of September. We love his photography and unique perspective. 

We interviewed Düerkop to get to know him better as a photographer and to share his experiences and advice for all photographers to see.

The photos in this story are Düerkop‘s original images (© Jan Düerkop).

What is the story behind the photos you’ve submitted?

headshot Jan Düerkop smiling with brown beard wearing a dark knit beanie and hoodie against a snow-capped mountain range in the background
Jan Düerkop

Düerkop explained a little bit about each photo in the gallery above for us.

Departure – Photo 02: This picture was taken in the winter and I had to make several attempts to nail the timing for the subway to depart during my exposure.

Wrong Way – Photo 03: A road marking on a pedestrian bridge in Wolfsburg, Germany. The bokeh lines are the light of a building of the ‘Autostadt’ in the background.

Traffic – Photo 04: This is a long exposure shot of the old postal office in Hamburg, Germany. I actually planned to take this one for a while and I am pretty happy how it turned out.

Flagship – Photo 05: This detail shot of a bike is actually the bike of my girlfriend. It’s a pretty old one which she got as a gift from her aunt; approximately 30 years old and still in a good shape.

Dandelion – Photo 06: This close-up shot of a dandelion in full bloom was taken in the Hamburg harbor. I liked the contrast of the very urban surroundings and this dandelion lying around. 

Harbor – Photo 07: This boat was docked in the harbor of Texel during our pre-COVID holiday in the Netherlands. I only took this one shoot as we were actually in a rush to get to our boat and got lucky in terms of sharpness and correct exposure.

Pier – Photo 08: Some remains of a pier in the Netherlands where I actually shot the whole golden hour and then had to select my favorite out of 45 pictures.

Docklands Aztec – Photo 09: This office building in Hamburg is quite a known spot for photographers which you can also climb up to. I got lucky during golden hour to catch this one person almost in the middle of the building. It reminds me of old Aztec ruins.

Elbphilharmonie – Photo 10: As a photographer living in Hamburg a picture of the Elbphilharmonie opera house Is mandatory in my portfolio. This one is special as I used the reflective steps of a building on the other roadside to create the reflection.

Heather Blooming – Photo 11: I went out to shoot some heathers blooming during this year’s season and got lucky with this shot which was during sunrise: The bokeh balls are actually dewdrops.

Do you have a specific theme or topic that is the focus of your photography?

Düerkop: I started out with tourist attractions in my hometown, Hamburg, and landscape photography. Recently I sort of branched out in the genres of street photography, bokeh / dof [depth of field] and reflections. As a beginner I don’t have a general topic I focus on as my interests are widespread and my own style has still to be developed.

What have you gained/experienced while working with this topic?

Düerkop: As I shoot almost everything my main focus is to have a good composition and to master the technical aspects of photography and editing.

Tell us something about yourself that most people wouldn’t notice about you.

Düerkop: I am actually a computer nerd that is not very outgoing. Photography is helping me to get motivated to leave the house / PC [computer] and scout for new locations and pictures. It is very rewarding for me to get “banger” shots especially after struggling to find the motivation to leave the house. 

What’s a piece of advice you would offer to other photographers to encourage their creativity?

Düerkop: Don’t do it for others, do it for you! You should always focus on the part of photography you like most, for example scouting new locations, shooting a specific scene or being creative in general. If you like what you do you will be satisfied even if you don’t have thousands of followers. 

We at Bokeh Focus find this selection of Düerkop‘s street photography exploring bokeh/dof [depth of field] and reflections especially appropriate for our website! We’re very happy to be able to feature his work. Düerkop, congratulations again on your unique work. We hope to see your photography in an exhibit in the future!

View Düerkop‘s full size gallery

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