Portfolio: Max Wanger


Click to follow
The Independent Culture

Tulum, about 120km from Cancun on the Yucatan Peninsula at the far eastern tip of Mexico, plays host to some of the country's most extraordinary ruins, a wonderfully preserved pre-Columbian Mayan walled city that sits atop 12m-tall cliffs overlooking the Caribbean Sea.

It is also, thanks in no small part to its tropical climate, a tourist magnet – which gave LA native Max Wanger the perfect subject for an impromptu shot he still treasures. "My wife and I were there on vacation, exploring the ruins, and there's a point where you're elevated and able to look out over the ocean; it was an amazing view that just called for a photograph." And not just any shot, but one using the tilt-shift lens that Wanger always takes with him when travelling.

"It's a fun lens to use – it lets you control the appearance of perspective. Here I blurred the tops and edges of the frame and focused on the people in the water, creating a miniature-like effect."

The swimmers are thus transformed into tiny stop-motion figurines, which fits with an artistic concept that particularly pleases Wanger. "Minimalism is a design aesthetic that I find beautiful whether it's in a book store or a beautiful garden. I've spent a lot of time in Tokyo – I'm half-Japanese – and I'm inspired by Japan and its architecture. The way minimalism is used there has played a role in the way I see the world – I've always collected little art figures and I like things to be simple like this."

For more: maxwanger.com