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Karl Hab Surreptitiously Photographs Heels in New Book

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Karl Hab has released his fifth limited-edition book, Heels. The Parisian photographer is known for capturing subjects that are close to his heart. The photographer has traveled endlessly and has covered a great deal of fashion shows around the world, which is how the idea for Heels came to him.

Following 24H Hong Kong, Ice Cream Shots, 24H Los Angeles, and Window Seat Please; Heels is made up of pictures of elevated shoes, framed just from the knee-down, shot over the last 10 years. Hab captures the heels themselves, as well as their surroundings, wearer, and the ever-evolving trends.

Karl Hab

Karl Hab’s “Heels,” Los Angeles, California, April 2012, courtesy of Karl Hab.

Whitewall spoke to the French photographer about his book and upcoming projects.

WHITEWALL: When did you tell yourself you wanted to come out with a book? What was the process behind it putting it together?

Karl Hab

Karl Hab’s “Heels,” Thaddaeus Ropac Gallery, Paris, March 2014, courtesy of Karl Hab.

KARL HAB: All the pictures were taken during fashion shows, in the streets, or concerts. The point is all these pictures were not taken in a goal of making a book, it’s the accumulation of all the pictures taken surreptitiously for a spanning of 10 years. It’s mostly the art of taking images in a way that you don’t realize I’ve already taken the shot, this makes it very special and taken at the moment.

Nothing is planned before, I always try to take the perfect shot that could highlight the heels and the environment at the same time.

I had this important amount of pictures, it was the perfect time to make a new book about another subject that I explored previously.

WW: What makes a heel good enough to take a picture of it?

KH: I would say the shape, and the vibe that emerges. But also, where it was taken.

WW: The book is a collection of pictures of the last 10 years. Inevitably, trends have changed over the years, what year(s) were the best for you in terms of style and finding great heels?

KH: Well, it’s hard to tell but I would say around 2010-2015 I’ve seen some new kind of heels. They are totally different from the original heels shoes.

WW: In the same way, was there a place in the world where you found it was most interesting to capture heels?

KH: Paris was certainly the perfect place to find very typical heels shoes, and also in Asia.

WW: This is your fifth limited edition book. Is there a topic or something specific you haven’t explored yet but would like to for a sixth book perhaps?

KH: I’m currently working on a new book about the art of traveling, precisely “The fine art of Flying” which would mainly focus on aviation.

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Kelly Wearstler

THE WINTER EXPERIENCE ISSUE
2023

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