Peter Schlyter is a Swedish photographer engaged in street photography and portraiture. He’s recently been shooting some really good black and white close-up portraits which are haunting a bit and reveal the character and temperament of his subjects. There’s an image of a dog taken at close length which makes him look unreasonably sad and dejected. Some of his portraits are taken randomly at street where some drama is being unfolded. His cityscape are a bit too low-key but draw our attention to the most living part of the image. Peter seems to be too absorbed into his image-making and he’s taking his photography to next level by renting a studio. Read ahead in his words:
About me : I´m half beard, half man. I was born in the southern part of Sweden in late 1984. I live with my girlfriend and two cats in the very same village as I grew up in. It´s a calm and quiet place close to Sweden’s third largest city, Malmö. I work as a quality manager for a global heat exchanger company. My big passion in life is to travel and photograph the world, to experience people, different cultures, wild life and big city life. I am always eager to learn and try new things and recently I´m spending a lot of time learning to play guitar.
On my photography : It all started when I bought my first camera in 2009 before a vacation trip to Gambia. I was not very good which was frustrating to me. I thought, how hard can it be? I bought the camera mainly to “freeze my vacation memories”, but it did not take long before it all turned into some kind of mania. I bought copious amounts of books and magazines and studied them well. I wanted to take post-card like pictures.
I started to photograph more seriously in 2011 but I´m still just an amateur in the field of photography, but it is without a doubt more than a hobby of mine. My passion is low-key b&w portraits and street photography. I don´t think I photograph very often compared to other enthusiasts. I photograph when I´m inspired and that usually produces better pictures in my case. I recently started to rent a part-time studio to evolve and expand my area.
Photography means a lot to me, it´s my way of expressing my feelings, creativity and personality. I love story telling, to get the viewer to analyze and experience my subject’s emotions whatever that may be. I want to catch that single moment of reality and honesty.
On my key areas : My key area is definitely close-up portraits in grey scale. I have used Canon since the beginning and currently I´m using a Canon EOS 7D. I´m using different lenses based on the situation. I am using zoom lenses when taking pictures on the streets. I prefer lenses like 50mm f/1.2 or similar if I´m able to plan my composition and distance to the subject. I strive to use manual settings as much as possible because I can choose exactly how I want the outcome to be.
About my achievements : My biggest achievement is without a doubt all my supportive Flickr followers. I haven´t received any big awards or similar but I have been published in some Swedish magazines which I´m proud of. I created my own website in the beginning of 2014: www.peterschlyter.com and I hope that it may increase my chances of getting to the next level with my photography.
About my creativity and method : I try to pay a lot of attention to my surroundings. I look for beautiful lights and interesting people. My ambition is to come as close as possible to my subject without intervening with their thoughts. People have so many small peculiarities that make them unique and interesting without them even knowing it themselves. My purpose is never to expose or humiliate, but only to show our differences and the range of physical emotions we all carry.
On contemporary photography : I think it´s very difficult to be innovative today. Everyone has a digital camera and the possibility to learn their own unique style or copy others. I think it´s equally or more important to shoot what you love, and hopefully the quality consistency and your passion will shine just as bright as originality.
I prefer close-up portraits in low-key and I know that there are others like me. Many of them inspire me so therefore I thank them. I want viewers to recognize my picture style, to know that this must be a Peter Schlyter picture. I want to be in the middle of a graphite painting and a documentary photo image. You need a combination of great quality and even better marketing to put yourself on the map.
About my country : Sweden is very photogenic in its nature. You will definitely find interesting places whether you like landscape or street life. Visit the north during winter time to get beautiful snowy landscape pictures, but stay far away if you actually want to see people during this time of the year. Summer is perfect with long days with photo opportunities.
About my future plans and ambitions : It would be wonderful to be able to do what I do full-time because it´s fun and very stimulating. I want to hold my own exhibition one day, release a book or getting global photography opportunities. It´s all fun, but I have a strong strive to improve. I am thinking about starting a close-up photo series of “Bearded men of Sweden”.
My words to young photographers and my fans: Photograph motives that inspire you and be proud of your art. I also want to thank everyone that follows my work on this big journey. You are my biggest source of motivation.