Hi! My name is Ralph Rahmer. I am a self taught fine art street photographer. Originally I am from Germany and a family doctor. Since 2006 I live and work abroad, previously in Saigon, Vietnam, then Tashkent, Uzbekistan, then Port Vila in Vanuatu.
Since 2012 I practice medicine for United Family Hospitals in Guangzhou, South China and spend my days off in Hongkong and Singapore.
Over the years photography has developed as my main interest besides medicine. In my photography I express how I, a foreigner, an alien, experience life in Guangzhou, Hongkong and Singapore. These are wonderful cities and I spend my life here by choice but I am not a documentary photographer or journalist and do not try to portrait sights or culture or social issues. The topic of my photography is my personal and subjective experience.
Urbanism – a cultural achievement: we humans started as a rather weak monkey species. But we moved on from a life in the wilderness to building civilisation and we created something entirely new, conglomerates of millions of individuals living and working together. It is a great cultural achievement. My focus is on celebrating this achievement and expressing my awe and phascination. I do not deny that there are downsides to urbanisation but these are better covered by documentary photographers.
Strangeness: How does it feel to be strangers? Many people associate only menace and stress with strangeness. Yet, many of them love experiencing strangeness in holidays and then call it “exotic”. And then there are people like me who have chosen a life as the stranger, the foreigner, the alien in a strange country. Strangeness can be exiting and include phascination, beauty and mystery. And being just strangers can be comfortable: no responsibilities, no need to care, no expectations.
Saul Leiter. This is my favourite photographer. His portrait of life in New York deeply touched me and influenced me. I do not apologise for copying his style and ideas.
Jay Maisel. Photography is the art of seeing and Jay Maisel achieved stupendous mastery of seeing. His book ”Light, Gesture and Colour” teaches how to see.
Henri Huet. A photographer, who covered the Vietnam war and died during this war in 1972. The fine poetry and humanism in his work was deeply inspiring for me and actually brought me to photography. This influence might not be obvious as I am not shooting in war zones and I am not a photo journalist.