Chance and intuition play a major role in Kregenow’s quest to photograph colleagues he admires or respects, or about whom he is simply curious. His approach is spontaneous and journalistic: he buttonholes his subjects at museum or gallery openings, at photography fairs, or in hotel lobbies. In anticipation of the extremely limited room for manoeuvre inevitably implied by the fleeting nature of these encounters, Kregenow has set himself a number of visual criteria from which he never deviates: he invariably shoots in landscape format and less than half-length (a so-called ‘headshot’), focusing his 50mm portrait lens sharply on the eyes of ‘his’ photographers – a confrontation At Eye Level.
Kregenow’s hard-edge black and white pictures are a superb record of who is out there in the photo-world right now. (Harvey Benge)
This uniformity of formal treatment, with its emphasis on piercing eye contact, produces in the viewer a sense of serenity and near-hypnosis.
So let’s celebrate this first, fine collection of 21st-century photographers’ portraits, in which David Kregenow both perpetuates the genre and sets it on course for the future. Three of his subjects – d’Agata, Corbijn and Olaf – are photographers with whom I have had close working relationships.
With some of the others I have enjoyed convivial social occasions. And I can tell you that these portraits are empathetic, unadorned and true to life. Take it from me, as a committed eyewitness.
(Wim van Sinderen – Senior Curator, The Hague Museum of Photography)