Hermann Marbe was a photographer with passion. He worked with a wide variety of formats from half format to large 8X10. He was a collector of cameras, lenses and many items related to optics. He was intrigued by the chance of spectacular images from cheap plastic lenses while exploring the potential of all types of lenses from high end Zeiss lenses to lenses used for print reproduction or helicopter surveillance. He was often building, repairing and adapting equipment to fit it together to reach his artistic visions.
His collection is amassed from trips around the world, South America, USA, Japan and Europe where he visited photographic fairs, flea markets photography shops, some large dealers, others small businesses with very rare and unusual finds. He also spent a long time in research online finding specific items from around the world
For Hermann, the darkroom was a space of quiet exploration and discovery as images revealed themselves. He worked with standard and experimental film darkroom processes, working with infrared, wet plate, albumen, bromoils, cyanotype, lith prints and emulsions on all sorts of surfaces from wood to marble.
Hermann's life was immersed in creative explorations. He collaborated creatively with his partner Jessica Carson Marbe and worked as a support and collaborator with GASP artists of Cope Foundation. The creative journey with these artists was deeply entwined with Hermann's life and passion. Photography and film-based work were also integral to this work. He saw no limits to what could be achieved and was ambitious, quirky and innovative in the projects and initiatives he embarked on.
Unfortunately, Hermann died in May 2018 shortly after the birth of his second child. With a serious cancer diagnosis, he travelled to Germany with his family for treatment. Away from home and his darkroom he still continued shooting and processing images until his last days, using a medium format camera, darkroom bag and processing tank and sunlight to print cyanotypes.