ABC of nature

Monday, March 26. 2012 - 06.00 PM

The North – once more!

Photo: Jari Peltomäki

Obviously I can’t get rid of the north-land fever. After we had finished our book project "Nordische Momente" successfully, I hit the road to the north once more. Lots of snow and a freezing cold awaited me in Finland at the beginning of February. The record was minus 38 degrees Celsius one morning in Kuusamo. And again I froze some finger-tips. But after my experiences with this unpleasant incident in 2010 I knew the feeling would come back in some weeks. And so it did – luckily! I enjoyed very much the photography of dippers at the Kitka River. Usually these birds are very aggressive, chasing away conspecifics immediately. But in winter time, when only very few places are left without ice cover, they gather in high density at such locations. The larvae of caddisflies are their most important food source. I wanted to show the fast moving water by using a long exposure time with the birds being still sharp. As dippers nearly never keep still for a moment, you can imagine that 99% of the images were crap. But at least a few of them turned out to be good.

Two weeks later I visited the western part of the Far North – the archipelago of the Lofoten was my destination. Again I experienced winter at its best. Even in February snow covered mountains are not the rule, as the warm Gulf Stream usually provides this region with warm and rainy weather conditions. Every night when the sky was clear I could watch fantastic polar lights. The combination of the Nikon D3s and the 2.8/14-24mm was a real "super weapon" to make pictures of this spectacular phenomenon. I had to learn to adjust the exposure time carefully depending on different light conditions. A strong Aurora borealis got overexposed easily and with low boreal light I could chose a longer time, but the "movement" of the stars became more disturbing. To find locations without artificial light was not too easy. When scouting such places at daytime many of them looked promising. But at night it looked different as there was a small house at the other side of the fjord, or a light post, or a bonfire, etc.

Nevertheless, landscape photography at the wintery Lofoten was a really inspiring experience to me.

Wednesday, December 07. 2011 - 12.00 PM

Harp seals - Nursery on thin ice

In the December issue of NaturFoto my article about the Harp Seals in Canada has been published.

Friday, December 02. 2011 - 01.00 PM

Many people and even more cranes

The Photo-Festival in Montier-en-Der is really something special: For four days the little town in the Champagne becomes the capital of nature photography in Europe. Over 30.000 visitors from all over the country and abroad roam through exhibitions that are located everywhere in Montier: In churches and gymnasia, in schools and palaces, townhalls and nature conservancy centres, indoors and outdoors. A folk festival of nature photography with music, champagne and lots of regional gastronomic specialties. Days are long, nights even longer, because friends and colleagues are widely distributed over the town and the evenings offer the only chance for talking and celebrating. Sleep becomes a rare good. Nevertheless it's a great experience even if you are completely exhausted when the festival is over. Sandra Bartocha, Karen Korte and Serge Sorbi supported me very much, be it the setup of my exhibition "Nordic Moments" or selling books and postcards at my stand. We had a really good time there, working, laughing, celebrating and watching the thousands of cranes flying to the Lac-du-Der to roost in the late evening hours.

Photos: Sandra Bartocha

Friday, November 11. 2011 - 10.00 AM

Interview in LOFO

In the latest issue of the Estonian Online-Magazine LOFO you can find an interview with me.

Have a look here!

Thursday, November 03. 2011 - 04.00 PM

International Nature Photography Festival of the GDT 2011

Every year you think it couldn't become better - but it could! Again it was a perfect weekend at the International Nature Photography Festival of the GDT in Lünen. First-class lectures, a lot of interesting conversations and a perfect exhibition of the contest "GDT European Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2011". Especially the last thing made me very happy (and proud, too) as I was member of the jury 2011. Our book "Nordische Momente" appealed to the visitors. A very good feeling, because estimating your own work is one thing, to get assurance from others feels even better! A part of my photo exhibition that is accompanying the book has also been presented at the festival, and I got some nice compliments for it. The complete exhibition will be shown in two weeks at the International Naturephoto Festival in Montier-en-Der (France).

Lünen was great, much too short, as always, and I'm already looking forward to next year when nature photographers from all over the world gather in the little town north from Dortmund!

If you would like to see more details of the festival 2011 click here.

Photos: Sandra Bartocha