Arina Dähnick. Fotografie


Arina Dähnick Professional Member BFF
BFF Akademie

Arina Dähnick

Arina Dähnick, a photo artist active in the fields of fine arts and architecture, lives and works in Berlin. Having grown up in a creative family, she came into contact with art and photography at an early age.

She had her first professional photo exhibition when only 17. When, in 1986, Arina Dähnick resolved not to have to live from her art, this sparked a long pause in her output. The presentation of her work at the Leica Camera Blog 2014 was followed by countless exhibitions as well as publications in newspapers and magazines. She made a name for herself inside and outside Germany and gained a firm place in the international photography scene with her series Perfect Life, Contemporary Architecture Barcelona and The MIES Project.

When she visits metropolises the world over a legendary Leica M rangefinder camera (an unusual choice for architecture photography) is forever in her hand. There, the artist follows her photographic intuition, selects the angle and distance, the light mood at different times of days and in different seasons, sets the aperture, exposure and focus manually. She adds nothing to the result and consistently foregoes any post-processing that might manipulate the images. The key themes Arina Dähnick addresses in her pictures are city life and urbanity, reflection and the experience of space, the diametrical opposites of inside and outside, of blurring and acute clarity. Her extraordinary photographic eye penetrates the outer facades in the search for the poetic qualities and mysteries of urban space. With her camera she grasps the soul of the architecture, uses color and lines to create an intimate, sensory experience of the spatial setting. Interlocking image levels initiate a multi-faceted game with reality and generate perspective that straddle outer reality and the imaginative inner eye.

by Doris Hansmann, editor in chief DCV-books

The way I work

Equipped with only one or two rangefinder cameras, I let myself drift, looking for the moment, when the focus switches from external reality to internal vision. I seek out particular times of day and season to get the idea of a building, to feel it, to photograph it …

Images just come to me—or they don’t. When this happens, I follow my photographic intuition that I always can rely on when composing an image. At the same time, I proceed in a very systematic way, by varying exposure time, aperture size, focus, viewing angle and distance. This is extremely important when shooting reflections as the different layers of the subject overlap in the final photo. This is what makes this kind of photographic interaction so sensitive.

With respect to the digital negatives that my camera delivers, I do what I have been doing, ever since I started my photographic career in the 80s (in those days I worked exclusively black/white)—by developing my photos myself. I reject any kind of manipulation or staging that goes beyond simple photo development.

The final photo shows the subject how I captured it in, my reality seen through my photographic eye.


Farnsworth House Gallery, Plano, Illinois

Guardini Galerie, Berlin
Caixa Forum, Barcelona
Barcelona Pavilion, Barcelona
Tugendhat House Brno, Czech Republic

Barcelona Pavilion, Barcelona - moved to 2021
Tugendhat House Brno, Czech Republic - moved to 2021

Goethe Institut, Chicago
S.R. Crown Hall IIT Architecture, Chicago
Farnsworth House Gallery Plano, Illinois
Rangefinder Gallery, Chicago
Atelier André Kirchner, Berlin

Leica Gallery Reyer, Salzburg
Magdalenenkapelle, Hannover
Hahnemühle UK presentation at the exhibition in Birmingham
Hahnemühle DE presentation at the exhibition Photokina Cologne


Kunst im Turm, Wunstorf
ART+ Galerie Jens Stühmeier, Minden

Info-Galerie at the international Obernkirchen Sculptor Symposium
Kunstscheune, Steinhude
Group exhibition at the German congress for Transactional Analysis, Augsburg

Presentation of the portfolio on the LEICA blog