Hans Feurer is, as he puts it, “a bit of a dinosaur” in the fashion-photography world. “Since I was very small [in Switzerland], I’ve been a very, very careful observer,” he told The Cut. “I have memories from when I was young of seeing the light coming through curtains, things like that, but most of all, during the two years when I traveled in Africa, that was ‘66 to ‘67, I had been in extraordinary situations and saw magical moments and I certainly realized how certain light conditions can put a certain spell on a landscape, or an object, or a person.” Upon returning from his trip, he picked up a Canon, his preferred camera brand (even after to switching to digital several years ago), and started to shoot the naturally lit, unfiltered, and un-retouched images that he’s still celebrated for today.
He photographed the 1974 Pirelli Calendar, and developed relationships with designer Kenzo Takada and French Vogue, continuing to work regularly for the latter. And now Feurer finds himself embracing a Zen Buddhist philosophy about life, searching for “absolute simplicity, the essence of things, and that has sort of gotten me to … focus just on [one] thing that I think is important, and eliminate other things, and leave the background just like an atmosphere. I like that sort of crystallizing, and taking out, and leaving a smell almost of the place that’s been photographed … I am very conscious of trying to catch a particular moment that’s unique, you know?” Click ahead for some of Feurer’s most impressive images, described in his own words.