By Max Leitner, Photographer and urban explorer
There are not many places where you can touch the crispness of an unfolding summer’s day as intensely as in Stuttgart. You want to be up early. Really early. In those twilight hours just before sunrise, it will just be you, a yet-to-be-discovered new route, a camera to capture the unseen and your motorcycle to take you anywhere inspiration leads you. Nobody to get in your way and obscure those incredible, undisturbed urban perspectives. Nobody to rob you of a special moment that you know will never be repeated.
A FRESH PERSPECTIVE
“There’s a distinction between alone and lonely “, Max Leitner says. He is alone in those moments when he steps out and captures the world in a way that nobody has ever seen before. Whether in Chicago, Shanghai, Rotterdam, Macao, Shenzen or one of many other cities across the globe. Max has travelled around the world, stepping fearlessly out of top floor windows of very tall buildings, capturing the architectural and natural beauty of unexpected shapes and lines as they unite in uniquely defined angles and moments. “I have always been a driven urban explorer, never waiting to see if someone wanted to follow.“
How do you become a modern pioneer in a world where men can conveniently travel nearly anywhere they want, and where satellites document the formerly unknown from outer space? Stuttgart is a place of rich heritage, incredible light and an icon of German engineering, innovation and design. So, what does this town, where Max Leitner was born 26 years ago, have to do with it all?
We meet up with Max at his favourite time of the day in the early hours of the morning, It is a particularly rough area with small factory buildings, railway tracks that abruptly end here, and trains that wait to be repaired. A somehow cool industrial landscape, standing as a sharp contrast to the lush green of the wooded hills and vineyards that surround Stuttgart. Max rides up a loading ramp to get a better perspective, noticeably enjoying the nimbleness of his Svartpilen 401.
“I love the raw and exposed authenticity of the design as much as the thrilling contrast of its smooth riding feel“, Max admits. He still remembers the early thrill this rugged area in the city’s industrial North gave him when he first rode past it on his mountain bike at the age of 11. “The area evokes an emotion, I connect to my first exploratory memories here.“