Vera Lutter (German, b.1960) is an award-winning photographer. She was born in Kaiserslautern, Germany. Lutter received her undergraduate degree from the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich in 1991, where she trained as a sculptor. In 1993, she moved to New York City, where she was inspired by the city itself to take up photography. She began studying in the Photography and Related Media program at the School of Visual Arts in New York, and was awarded her MFA in 1995.
In an early phase of her work, Lutter began experimenting with a camera obscura, which was a direct antecedent to the modern day photographic camera that was found in Europe as early as the 13th century. The early versions of the camera obscura were essentially an enclosed, room-sized space that had an aperture in one wall. Lutter decided to revisit history by transforming an entire room of her New York apartment into a camera obscura. As a result, she was able to capture an unfiltered image of the city on a wall-sized piece of photographic paper. Since that time, Lutter has transformed a shipping container into a camera obscura that can be transported around the world and used to create large images of architecture, shipyards, airports, and abandoned factories. She has also taken photographs of the pyramids of Egypt.
Due to the fact that she exposes her images for long periods of time, Lutter is able to capture traces of movement that add a temporal dimension and an ethereal feeling to her work. By reviving the use of the ancient camera obscura, she has brought new life and sensitivity to modern photography. Lutter has exhibited her photographs in both group and solo shows all over the world. Her work is featured in the collections of numerous museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago. The photographer currently lives and works in New York City.