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Jim Brandenburg is one of the most renowned nature photographers worldwide. For many years he worked for the American "National Geographic" and has travelled the entire world throughout his career.
We all know his photographs through numerous publications, exhibitons or even documentaries that he has filmed for television.
In 2008 FotoTV. was able to do an extensive interview with him, where we learned a lot of interesting things about how he grew up and the path he has followed throughout his career.
The positive feedback we received to the the aforementioned two-parter brought us to ask Jim if he would be interested in doing another interview. We had the chance to do this during his exhibition in Iserlohn, Germany.
A lot has changed since the last time we talked with him. He has moved away from the big business with the "Big Boy Cameras" and has equipped himself with a "Toy Camera" to help him get back to the roots.
Enjoy this new three part interview and let the views of an old master put their spell on you!
At the age of 15 he started taking pictures, now Florian Schulz frequently visits North America to photograph natural sites across the continent.
He is fascinated by encounters with wild animals, which often result in very special shots and memories. But his dedication goes beyond more photography as an art form.
The passion for his job made him actively support protection of endangered environments and species. For over 10 years he pursues the objective to establish "natural corridors" to connect separate habitats and enable animals to move around freely.
His conservation project is presented at schools, universities and was published as a book.
Manuel Presti, born in Rome, is really just a sideline photographer. However, he has already created some award-winning wildlife photos that inspire with their aesthetics and expression.
In this film he talks about his work, experiences with birds and bears and about his deeper motivation:
For Manuel Presti the main reason to pursue nature photography is to be in contact with nature. Environmental protection, or better protection of the world - that is in the first place for him.
Here with the last in our compositional series, Eberhard Schuy demonstrates the primary elements: Dark and Light Contrasts.
Of all the contrasts this one is fundamental to to with our world and defines what is photography too. On location in the Ardennes region in Belgium, what better place than a castle ruin to demonstrate these contrasts.
Thanks to the excellent weather and bright condtions we can easily find many motifs to examine the nuances of light and shadow. In the darkness of a dungeon, with leading light through our picture we are able to ascend into the real world.
A ray of light from a window gives us hope that even the classic tones of black and white photography can benefit from the application of these dark and light contrasts.
Master still-life photographer Eberhard Schuy is here with a new series addressing photographic elements. Elements of form, lines of composition, bright and dark, sharp and un-sharp. Here, the first in the series is a look at the Golden Mean. We get to examine the historic significance as the earliest mathematicians addressed this aesthetic principle as a geometric proof.
Eberhard Schuy then encourages us to trust our innate sense of composition. This "good feeling" will almost always result in the practical application of this compositional guideline used in both art as well as architecture. Not to be satisfied with one demonstration, Mr Schuy takes it one step further and also explains how the Golden Mean is the basis for another compositional guideline: the Golden Triangle.
Finally, a hands-on tip for Lightroom users. The user is directed to an on-board function that lets you overlay
adjustable masks that apply both, the Golden Mean and the Golden Triangle to your photos for evaluation purposes. Be sure to see the other related films in this series. You'll certainly learn a lot.
Nature photographer Dietmar Nill sits down with FotoTV to discuss his early career and present position as a filmmaker of nature and wildlife videos.
Nill reflects on his first request from a client to film a water bat as it drinks, as the ideal moment and catalytic spark for him to begin venturing out into video filming of subjects well known to him. Seizing this moment as a perfect opportunity to further develop and hone his style, he began shooting with a digital camera and with a few clicks of the camera’s buttons became a filmmaker. It fascinated him so much that he has slowly began the transition a year ago to become a full time filmmaker, even though he still shots still photos with a camera for time lapse photography, landscape and sunset photos.
Nill had an idea to photograph bats at night so he had a photoelectric sensor built especially for him because there was no available light on his locations and one of the problems he faced was the trigger delay time of the cameras he was using.
So now he always uses a photoelectric sensor for making his photographs of the animals in the wild. In this respect, the animals are literally taking a photo of themselves because they trigger the sensor with their movement, something Nill describes as fascinating.
Nill’s photos start out as an idea and he works toward that idea regardless of how long it takes---even years, until he can actually create the photo, with everything in place, all materials and equipment, he sets out to make the ideal photograph. He was born with a talent, and that talent is he can build a relationship to the animals he photographs, knowing how to act around the animals and how the animals will react to him and what they will do, even before he takes the picture. He has a lot of experience and therefore recognizes their behavior, foreseeing what will take place in the next minute enabling him to be prepared to photograph or film the animal to create stunning images.
Renowned documentary photographer Gerd Ludwig was in Zingst. We had a chance to talk to him about his craft and his current Exhibition: Peace on Earth and Earth to Pieces.
We get some insight to his attraction and affinity for Russia, and his long association with Chernobyl.
Growing up in post-war Germany, Gerd first learned of Russia through the stories of his father's experiences there. He explains here the journey to be able to see Russia in the social critical eye-of-the-camera. He briefly mentions a current work in progress "Russia Never Sleeps" and his search for a publisher.
In a nod to young photographers, he talks about how he came to work for National Geographic, and their preference for photographers which have a relationship to the subject.
In a second part he discusses some of the specific photos from the exhibition.
Stefano Unterthiner is a wildlife photographer based out of Italy. Working professionally for over nine years, he is a dedicated advocate for the preservation of wildlife and today he discusses his career and several work projects with FotoTV.
For most of his career Unterthiner has been photographing the natural beauty of wildlife against pristine and remote landscapes, from the sub Antarctic king penguin to the brown bear. To understand an animal that he is photographing he learns to respect it. By studying a species and researching its characteristics Unterthiner has a better opportunity to capturing unique behavior in his photographs. For a new book project he photographed the brown bear for about 3 months from spring to summer in the northern forests of Europe. Following the life of the bear in its natural environment was a moving and educating experience for him.
Unterthiner is a traditional storyteller, but he feels that modern photography is going to fast, focusing more on the technical aspects as opposed to understanding the subject. His main interests are the conservation of wildlife and the conflict between man and wildlife and how they can live together in harmony on this planet. He also dedicates much of work his time to educate people about a cessation of unethical treatment of wildlife through his photography. His passion, perseverance and patience have given him more respect for the animals and the environment. He would like to become more involved with contemplative wildlife projects in the future.
Lucky for us geologist and physicist Hinrich Bäsemann is here to not only explain the occurrence of the phenomenal light show referred to as the Northern Lights but also to explain how to photograph them as well.
After a scientific explanation regarding the "what" of the lights and the "when" they are visible, he lays out what conditions are "most likely" to result in an occurrence. It isn't always a given you know! He gives tips on sources for weather, and sun activity to try and insure that your trip up north is worthwhile.
His great respect for nature and the honor he feels to be be working in this very unique part of the world are obvious in his enthusiastic descriptions of the landscape and his own long-year experience in trying to capture this wide spectral phenomenon.
A detailed description of the necessary equipment complete with tips on how to dress; how to acclimatise your equipment; how to handle memory chip cards, and how to apply your newly honed skills to gain further amazing images.It's good to have a Great Northern Guide to the lights! Enjoy!