On Instagram Berlin-based photographer Gregor Klar is a familiar figure in constant search of beautiful stairwells, classy cars and startling postcard motifs. Therefore the self-proclaimed "spiral staircase tourist" returns to Hamburg regularly. Here he'll always find his out-of-the-ordinary motifs.
Gregor, you often make short trips from Berlin to Hamburg. What keeps drawing you back to the Hanseatic city?
When you come from Berlin, Hamburg provides a nice contrast. Mostly, things are rather more orderly and grand in the Hanseatic city, but it never descends to petty bourgeoisie. I'm often here for appointments with clients and then meet up with some Instagram friends for a spontaneous photo walk after work. I'm fascinated by the port and by the mix of old and new architecture. And I'm always thrilled when I find a vintage car perfectly parked in front of an attractive façade. What's more, the sun always shines when I come to Hamburg.
Looking at your photos, your favourite motif is all the beautiful stairwells around the city. You've produced a considerable collection by now. What's the fascination of stairs? And how do you find the most beautiful stairwells?
One remarkable phenomenon on Instagram is the use and success of hashtags. The hashtag #theworldneedsmorespiralstaircases is a good example. Before Instagram, there weren't many people interested in spiral staircases as a subject for photography. I'm fascinated by the fact that a lot of different people seek out these stairwells and photograph them, sometimes in very different ways. Of course, a certain petty bourgeoisie does come with the territory. But that doesn't worry me. Betzi aka @elisabethhe and Andrés aka @anlinsh have the best tips in Hamburg for me. That said, around Mönckebergstrasse you don't need tips, you can go into almost any house and find a beautiful staircase.
Give us an exclusive tip for visitors to Hamburg: what photographic motif did you discover through an Instagramer in Hamburg that you found totally irresistible?
In addition to the photos by Betzi (@elisabethhe) and Andrés (@anlinsh) , I'm very taken with the pictures by @gert_pauly and @bosch. It was through them that I discovered the red house in Eimsbüttel near the Christuskirche church on Kaiser-Friedrich-Ufer. It has a hashtag of its own as well – it's #redhousehh. There are wonderful pictures of the house to be found there, taken at all times of day and in all seasons of the year.
Gregor, thanks for the talk and ahoi!