Award-winning photographer and bestselling author Christophe von Hohenberg began taking photos at the age of 14. He was inspired by his stepfather, photographer Wendy Hilty, who presented him with his first camera, a Rolleiflex Twin Lens 2.8.
These days, von Hohenberg is widely known for his photographs at Andy Warhol’s memorial service in 1987 and in his new book “The White Album of the Hamptons,” set his sights on capturing the magic of the South Fork. The coffee table book was released on May 25 and it features 100 pages of nostalgic beach photography captured by von Hohenberg.
Von Hohenberg was born in Oyster Bay but brought up in Southampton and elsewhere, and in “The White Album of the Hamptons,” his black-and-white photographs give the impression of squinting against the glaring summer sun — bleached-out details blur and faint gestures carve out the presence of painterly human figures against a vast expanse of ocean and sky. By allowing himself to be “blinded by the light,” von Hohenberg captures the harmony, stillness and nostalgia of the East End.
The photographs — at once haunting and serene — are a departure for an artist whose lens is typically focused on human subjects, but they demonstrate von Hohenberg’s mastery, no matter the subject, by employing a style that innovatively plays with light and exposure. He captures the dream-like beauty and breathtaking soul of familiar beaches and leaves viewers feeling like they have entered a completely bewitching environs.
Christophe von Hohenberg will sign copies of “The White Album of the Hamptons” on Friday, July 9, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Madoo Conservancy, 618 Sagg Main Street, Sagaponack. He will also sign the book on July 31 from 6 to 8 p.m. at M&M Fine Art, 4 North Main Street, Southampton. “The White Album of the Hamptons,” can be purchased at Southampton Books, Sag Harbor Books and East Hampton Books.