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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.
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
AwardsAuszeichnungen 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