Oliver Kröning & Dennis Orel
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El Arenal

Photographer duo Oliver Kröning and Dennis Orel were awarded the Canon ProfiFoto Sponsoring Award for their first large project together, El Arenal. Their wide-angle views are dedicated to the beach of the same name, one of German tourists’ most beloved vacation destinations on the island of Mallorca. But from this unusual bird’s-eye view and with a palette of retouched colors, they offer us a completely new way of seeing this location – one that dismantles the typical clichés.

Selecting this location presented the photographers with a logistical challenge. With its 50,000 hotel rooms, fifty clubs, and vast beach bars, El Arenal is one of Spain’s largest tourist strips. This made the position of the camera even more important: it seems to float over the masses rather than immerse itself in them.

The ways and wishes of tourists are summarized here well: what could be better than lying on the beach under the sun with a view of the sea and the palm trees, the beach bar at your back? But the images aren’t taken from the vacationers’ perspective but rather from Kröning and Orel’s high above the crowd. They devote their attention solely to those lying on their backs and stomachs – even the water is cropped out of the image – creating a two-dimensional pattern of bodies on colorful towels that seems to follow some random order of its own.

The photo series reveals both similarities and differences among the masses. Pairs and groups people areas of varying sizes, their location sometimes clearly determined by the placement of the round umbrellas. Kröning and Orel’s clever digital brightening of the sand serves to underscore the blinding light of the sun and transforms the beach into a beaming backdrop. With technical precision the photographers create their panoramic montages out of innumerable single images that belie the perspective from which they actually took the photographs. In doing so, they challenge us to a new perception of the two-dimensionally vast everyday beach scene.

Christina Wendenburg

Vita Oliver Kröning

1980    born in Stuttgart, Germany
2000-2003    studies in photography and communication design, Lazi Akademie, Esslingen, Germany
2003-2004    photography project MEMORY, travels through South Africa, Asia, Australia, and Central America
since 2004    freelance photography, commissions from Mercedes Benz, Hugo-Boss, Uhlsport, Audi, Porsche, among others 

lives and works in Stuttgart, Germany

Vita Dennis Orel

born in Stuttgart Bad-Cannstatt, Germany
1999-2001    studies in communication science at Bauhaus University, Weimar, Germany
2001-2004    studies in communication science at the College for Design, Karlsruhe, Germany
since 2004    photographer’s assistant at Fotostudio Orel (Stuttgart) for various international photography productions, for Porsche Ferrari, Audi, Fashion, Hudson, among others  
2004    worked at FABRICA, The Benetton Research Center, founded by O. Toscani, in Treviso, Italy
2005    freelance art director and photographer in Stuttgart, Germany
2006-2008    art direction, advertising agency Jung von Matt / Spree, Berlin, Germany
since 2008    freelance art director and photographer in Stuttgart and Berlin, Germany 

lives and works in Berlin, Germany

Premios (Selección)

Auszeichnungen Dennis Orel

Canon Profifoto Förderpreis 2009/2010

Art-Directors Club, Germany 2007

Art-Directors Club, Germany 2006

IF Communication design award 2006 und  IF Gold award, Nomination German Design-Award, 2007

IF Communication design award, 2004

Junior Art-Directors Club, Germany 2004

Red Dot award, 2004

TDC New York, 2003

Young Guns Finalist, 2003

Libros / catálogos (Selección)

Dennis Orel
Berliner Luft, Vom Zuchtbetrieb für Zierfische zur Currywurst am Alex, Hatje Cantz-Verlag, 2004 u. 2006 Stuttgart! A place in southern Germany,  Hatje Cantz-Verlag, 2006

Oliver Kröning

Photo-book “MEMORY“

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