The Essence of our Photography

We strongly believe that the really important aspect of photography is to capture the light, the color, and the mood of a scene and to show the beauty and diversity of the world. We leave the documentation of misery, ugliness and hardship, that are undoubtedly also a part of life, to those photographers who do a much better job on this than we ever could. And we also believe that cameras, lenses, and other photography gear are just a means to take a photograph. To make a photograph it needs more than equipment.

Glory Hole, Jasper NP, Alberta, Canada

Chasing the Light

Light is likely the most important ingredient of any photograph. However, it’s not the amount of light, the brightness, that’s important. As long as there is any light at all, no matter how dim, it’s possible to take a picture. The quality of the light makes all the difference. It can be harsh or soft, it can have a distinct color, it can model the shapes of objects and cast interesting shadows. Light can be stunningly beautiful or utterly boring.

Painters have known this for centuries. And they often painted the same scene over and over again under different lighting conditions. As photographers we also need to understand light and how it can completely transform a subject. That’s why we are always chasing the light. Not always successfully, though.

Compelling Color

Costumed person in front of gondolas, Venice, Italy


Colors are always an eye-catcher. Whether bright primary colors like red, green, blue, and yellow or more subtle and subdued, they always determine the mood of a picture to a very large degree. Understanding colors and their relationship greatly helps to compose pictures with visual impact.

Colorful houses in southern France

Composition

A photograph never shows all of reality. The photographer decides what she wants to show her audience and, equally important, what she does not show. In most cases the biggest part of reality is hidden outside the picture frame. The subject(s) inside the frame, however, can be arranged in various ways. When composing a picture the first decision concerns the question of whether the subject is more effective in portrait or landscape format. Should the main subject be placed according to the rule of thirds or perhaps dead center? Is the background distracting or does it provide a much needed sense of place and time? Are there strong lines that lead into the picture? The questions and answers are endless …

fishnet
Autumn in Vermont
Douglas DC-3

Graphic Design

Graphic design is all about shapes and lines. Strong graphic design is simple, but effective. It is our job to find beautiful shapes and lines in a world that is, as the photographer Jim Zuckerman once said, “a compositional mess”. In photography and other art forms, good design more often than not is minimalistic. Eliminating everything from the picture that does not contribute to it’s impact but rather distracts the viewer, is a good place to start. Sometimes this approach leads to quite abstract images. But that’s by no means a bad thing. We are all quite familiar with what the world really looks like. So it can be very liberating to show a subject in a new and even abstract way.

Black & White

A black & white photograph is a very strong abstraction of reality. After all our world is full of colors. Consequently the absence of color is so unusual for our eyes that we are instantly attracted by almost any black & white picture. However, simply reducing the color saturation of the original color photo is not enough for a convincing black & white rendition of a scene. First of all and most importantly, the subject itself needs to be suitable for a picture without colors. It should have good graphic qualities and allow a strong composition. Quite often a subject that attracts the eye due to it’s vivid colors fails to convince the viewer when rendered in black & white. Converting the colors of the picture into various shades of grey was and still is an art in itself, even in the digital realm. When done properly a black & white photograph shows a whole new world.

Church in Twentynine Palms, California
Dancing

Going wild

Once in a while every photographer should forget about all the rules and conventions that restrict creativity. There is hardly any rule in photography for which there is no exception. And as the great physicist and Nobel laureate Richard P. Feynman said: “If there is an exception to a rule it’s not a rule”. Going wild is a lot of fun. But be prepared. Most of the time experiments yield results that will end up in the virtual garbage bin on the desktop. And the few remaining great pics may receive a less than warm welcome in the local photo club. But who cares what other people think?

Share our passion for photography
and have fun!

Prints and More

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Prints and More

Selected pictures are available as canvas prints, framed prints or posters in various sizes and qualities via our partner fineartamerica. Please visit our shop and browse through our collections. 

Coming Soon: Our E-Books

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E-Books

We are busy preparing a small range of e-books covering different photographic topics. Just give us some time for translating them into English.

Coming Soon: Online Courses

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Online Courses

Right now we are translating our popular online courses into English. Make sure to check in once in a while to see what's new.

For a sneak preview of our online courses click here.