Black Gold | Tim Heubeck


In this article, I wanted to share a few more insights into my thoughts on photography as well as my new project. I have been on here on the Film Shooters Collective before with my previous book “memories from another world“, but for all those who have missed this post, let me introduce myself to you. My name is Tim Heubeck and I am a photographer based in Germany. I run a website, Instagram, and a YouTube channel; all under the name of wasteoflm.

The focus of my personal work is black and white film photography. Moreover, I exclusively work on self publishing books and exhibiting these projects. My ultimate purpose in photography is to show the world how it looks through my eyes, while capturing a timeless feel of the world. It is less about what things we are familiar look like, than moreover with what lays beyond the surface. Experiences, memories, and encounters forming our life and consequently who we are. Working on long-term project and focusing on black and white film photography has enabled me to to bring back the physicality of art, and revealing the to me only true
way of showing a photograph: through print. The focus of my work is not to produce images for the internet, but for the real world.

Photography as an escape

We all know this feeling of going to a place in order to visit the most beautiful parts of the city. We consequently start to blindly follow the guide book or go for the recommendation of some online site without a second thought. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, I often wonder what the point of it is. In the end, all you can say is that you have been there, show your friends a handful of photos, and cross it off your list. In reality, you have been there with hundreds, if not thousands, of other people, all doing the same thing, taking the same pictures,
and probably telling a similar story afterwards. What is left to discover? Why don’t we more often allow ourselves to just drift, to wander around with no concrete goal in mind? Ultimately, to just let life happen, and allow the sum of coincidences to guide you to places you would have never seen otherwise, to meet people you would have never come across, and, for me most importantly, to discover what it truly means to live freely. With no obligations, time, or anything else constantly bothering you.

To-do lists set the tone for what usually is to come each and every day. But most days lived this way begin and end, and ultimately simply fade into oblivion. In contrast, everyone knows these decisive days, the ones that will be burned into your mind for all eternity. These are the days we live for. And these days happen if you just allow yourself more often to let life and coincidence guide you to the goal it has made out for you that day. Of course, it’s impossible to only have these days, but one has to give oneself the permission to do just that more often.
My photography essentially is an outcome of allowing oneself to walk and travel with no set final destination and of capturing the memories I create on these journeys. Going to places I have never been to before, and to restlessly wander around until my feet hurt or daylight breaks. As cheesy as it may sound, but the camera gives me a reason to go on these journeys, and also ultimately a way to remember them forever.


Leading up to my new project “Black Gold“

Dubai has always been a somewhat strange place for me personally. The location, the clash of traditional and modern culture, and the sheer wealth you associate with this city. Consequently, I have been looking forward to going there for a long time. Arriving there, nearly all of my previous sentiments have proven to be right. Additionally, I have been wondering how to approach this city photographically, and essentially what I want to depict through my work. But the second we first arrived in one of the more real and traditional places, away from the sights, the die was cast. This moment I knew that this is what I wanted to capture. Not another
visualization of the various juxtapositions a city like Dubai is prone to convey, but to capture a portrait of these places in which essentially the real life happens. Over the following days I set out to capture my impressions of exactly these parts of town, and most importantly allowed myself to wander without a distinct destination. The photographs are a document of the places, people, and scenes I came across.


Project Statement

Dubai - a metropolis that has reached worldwide acclaim for especially one thing: skyscrapers. It appears to be the model of a city of the future, in which on the one hand one cannot escape a constant astonishment, but on the other hand is left with a perplexing feeling and an extinguished sense of belonging. Almost nothing evokes the memory of an oriental city in the desert that used to offer an unique allurement through its markets and compatriots. Even though, exactly these authentic and real life places are what globalization makes many of us yearn after. Dubai is a city that has, on the surface, distanced itself from its roots, and is a city in which the remains of the oil-boom during the twentieth century vanish. In between the hundreds of meter high skyscrapers, the foundation of this wealth, the so called black gold, is
hard to surmise. In contrast, the district that represents the origin of this metropolis made of glass still vividly embodies the past with its mosques and spice markets.


My fifh book Black Gold aims to establish exactly this awareness for the heritage of Dubai in the viewer’s mind. It is a glance behind a perfectly polished city, into the heart of the fishermen and market criers. An attempt, besides all of the anonymity and fast-paced life we are all faced with, to open the eyes for all that otherwise slides into oblivion.


In conclusion, I hope you enjoyed this blog post and my new project “Black Gold“. You can find more information as well as a selection of images from the project under the following links. Additionally, you will also find all of my contact information below.

See more contents of the project here:
The book is available here:
“Black Gold“ Exhibition: on display from the 03.19. - 04.21.18
Location: Wonderland Creative Studios / Pillenreuther Strasse 13 / 90459
Nuremberg, Germany / Mo - Sa 10am - 6pm                                                                                  E-mail:


Film photographer Tim Heubeck is based in Germany.  See more of his work on his Instagram.