Running away from mosquitoes- photographer from Germany

Running away from mosquitoes- photographer from Germany

Aug 11, 2016, 2:08:54 AM Creative

Germany the most populous European country, with a population of 82 million is surrounded by Denmark, Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

The country is well known as producent the best cars like BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, and some  of world’s most famous inventions were born there, like  light bulb, the automated calculator, and the automobile. That’s not all – the Germans are also credited for the discovery of insulin, the invention of the clarinet, the pocket watch, television (partly), paraffin, petrol/gasoline & Diesel engines, the automobile engine, differential gear and other important devices, the motorcycle, the jet engine, the LCD screen and the Walkman.That why is not suprising over 100 Germans have been awarded the Nobel prize in their field, including Albert Einstein, who was born in Germany.

Moreover great classic music composers came from there: Bach, Händel, Beethoven, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Wagner and R. Strauss, also great poets and philosophers:Goethe, Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Heidegger.

We can’t be bored in Germany as there are  nearly 700 zoological gardens, wildlife parks, aquariums, bird parks, animal reserves, or safari parks, including 414 registered zoos. Berlin’s Zoologischer Garten is the largest zoo in the world, both in terms of number of species (1,500) and animal population (14,000). What’s more to see,  there are 5,752 museums and the tallest  cathedral in the world in Ulm, also the world’s two biggest cuckoo clocks which both are located in Schonach im Schwarzwald, Baden-Württemberg.

While in Germany it isnt possible to not try beer and currywurst, as it is specialty in Germany.Over 800 million currywurst are eaten in Germany each year and there are 1,300 beer breweries in Germany, making some 5,000 kinds of beer. German people are the world’s second biggest beer drinkers after the Czechs. Definitely lots of beer is served in Munich’s Oktoberfest, the world’s biggest folk festival.

Besides enjoying the beer, national parks in Germany include the Bavarian Forest National Park, Jasmund National Park, Harz National Park, and the Wadden Sea National Parks,  are worth to visit.

My next guest Benjamin Wende knows them well:

 How long have you been doing photography for? what made you to start it?

I have been photographing since I was a young boy. My father brought me to it. I used his analog camera in the beginning. It was not much more than point and shoot. Later then I got my first own digital camera and started to get more serious with it. I started to get interested in photography as an art and educated myself in image composition, colors and I experimented a lot with it. As a geek (I studied computer science and I work at a big tech company) I always have to fight with my demand for new technology and getting new photo gear. So I tried to concentrate on photography itself and not the technology behind it. That is a great balance to my job.
How photography is involved in your life? Is it your occupation or hobby?
It is a hobby, but actually I invest a lot in terms of time and money. It is not always easy to balance between my job, my family (I have a wife and a 1,5 year old son) and my photography enthusiasm. But that’s life, a big compromise.
I know about it very well, as I have kids, no babysitter or helping grandparents, work, and still I try to do photography, learn more about it, write a blog, connect with other photographers….I wish day last longer and I’m less tired. But lets go back to you, what kind of photography do you like the best? what kind of techniques, lenses do you use the most?
I concentrate on nature photography. It allows me to go outside and see things that other people don’t even know exists. For example I recently made a photos of a Kingfisher by a small lake nearby. When I showed them on Facebook, several people asked me about it and did not know that these colorful exotic looking birds can be found in our german cultivated landscape. If I can bring people closer to their home country, I find it pretty rewarding.
I also like abstract subjects, like architecture, forms and colors. This is a great opportunity to concentrate on the key of good photography: forms, shapes, light  and colors.
The gear I use is a Canon 5D Mark III and 7D Mark II. For landscape photography I use a wide angle zoom 16-35mm f/4 and a stable tripod. For wildlife I use a heavy 500mm f/4 lens and converters for getting even more range.
500mm its a  heavy lens, your backpack might  have quite a weight, what other things do you usually carry with you when you go for a trip to do wildlife pictures?
Besides the camera and many lenses, it is important to have good outdoor clothes and shoes, water and some snacks. Also for some animals you need camouflage, like a mesh or a cape to hide yourself. Many wild animals, especially in Europe, you cannot get very near before they try to get away. Also for hiding spot you need a camping seat, as it might take long time to get  an animal on the picture.
What else you should prepare before you are going to do pictures of a wildlife and  when is the best time to do such a pictures?
Photographing wildlife needs good preparation. First you need a good location. You need to do research on the internet or reach out to other photographers and build a good network. Most of the people are very cooperative in my experience. Also nature reserves are well documented (at least in Germany) by the public authorities. Especially for wild animals, you need to learn about their typical behaviors  and adapt to that.
I mostly go out in the early morning or late evening to catch the best natural light. That also suits my family needs, because the best dad is the one that comes home with fresh baked goods for breakfast.
I have to say recently I did pictures for the first time at sunrise and I fell in love with this light and the time of the day. As  you prefer pictures of nature, animals, landscapes do you think this type pf photography  is easier than doing pictures of people?
I think both are hard to achieve if you have high goals. I only do portraits in my personal space, for example my boy. Working with people and especially children is challenging and needs a lot of empathy and patience.
Nature and landscape photography needs a lot of preparation and research to find the good spots and then you are always depend on the natural light. You have to be outside at sunrise or sunset to get the best light. And if the animal decides to not show up, you can do nothing than going home without any pictures.
That might be very disappointing. But is there any special moment, picture do you remember the most? or maybe any funny moment?
I remember that Kingfisher photo a couple of weeks ago. So I hiked to the lake, where I was attacked by the mosquitoes (about 50 bites on hands and arms). I waited a couple of hours, observing the lake and hearing them with their typical sounds. And finally I got a couple of good pictures and had a big smile on my face when I finally went home. It was very satisfying experience besides very itchy hands.
We talked about challenges might be in wildlife photography , what else can be difficult being a photographer?
Personally I like the challenge of finding the best location, looking for wild animals and so on. I think for professional photographers, it is difficult to earn enough money from their art. For me it is sometimes difficult to juggle with my job, my family and my photography.
You sacrifice a bit for a photography, have you ever  get any awards, expositions?
No, but I plan to get more into photo competitions soon. Most of the nature photography competitions start in winter, so stay tuned.
On the end can you share any tips for beginners in photography?
Do not concentrate too much on gear. Invest more in workshops and learn from experienced photographers. Photography needs a lot of experience, so go out and have fun getting it!

Published by Kate Kobryn

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