Photo: Self-portrait of Paul Bauer in a mirror

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Ten Questions for Paul Bauer

Interview: Robert Seydel

1. Your favorite subject in Vienna and why?

The Amalienbad. A phenomenal place that’s great for taking pictures of. And I have a special association with it: an Amalienbad shoot was one of my very first commissions from the Vienna Tourist Board. To this day, the images I took back then are very important to me.

2. Do you perceive the city differently through the viewfinder?

Yes. Through the camera you consciously perceive details and sections. I am forced to look at things more closely.

3. What makes a subject interesting for you?

If it's authentic. It’s not that I just press the shutter button once and have a nice picture. I press it often and then find that one beautiful picture afterwards.

4. And how do you know that you have found it?

It’s always the one where it is least noticeable that I was present as a photographer.

5. What is the perfect image, in your view?

After a few hundred thousand images, you develop a sense of which images work and which don't.

6. Your favorite spot in Vienna?

Currently, the Schafberg hill.

7. Why?

A great, quiet place where I can relax – and am treated to a view of the whole of Vienna.

8. What makes Vienna unique for a photographer?

The sheer diversity in terms of architecture and location. I can look at imperial details on the Ringstrasse, shoot clubs in the seventh district and still end up standing in the middle of the forest or drinking wine in Stammersdorf within a very short space of time.

9. Do you manage not to take pictures on vacation?

No, absolutely not. But I can confirm that I no longer choose vacation destinations based on whether or not they’re going to deliver good photo material.

10. What was your most original photo shoot in Vienna?

The one with drag queen Die Tiefe Kümmernis that I did for the Vienna Tourist Board. Switching scenes from the Kaiserbründl gay sauna to the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna in one day really was something special.

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