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Photographic stories: "Birgit Potthoff - Icescape"

Hi guys,

a column dedicated to the most reflective and sentimental world of nature and landscape photography continues with a new story.

The second guest of 2021 is Birgit Potthoff, German photographer of whom I have a lot of respect for her photographic intimate landscape works of extraordinary beauty and for her great kindness.

I wish you a good read and invite you to subscribe to the newsletter in order not to miss the next posts.

Enjoy the reading


For me,

photographing in nature means going out in all weather conditions, so as to find the ideal photographic situation. Shortly before leaving I think about the place I will visit, then I start driving in search of interesting photographic ideas. The place where I live with my family is not photographically attractive for nature photographers.

Over the years, various photographic themes have emerged in me. I have been photographing my `` Ice Landscapes '' for 8 years. In macro photographing of frozen details, I take a dip in my world, made of intense colors, shapes and structures. I am an architect and as such I can wonderfully combine art and technology even in the photographic field. Unfortunately in recent years it has become increasingly difficult to find ice, so I work on my photographs during periods of freezing weather which last several days. Unfortunately, the winters get warmer every year and I will be forced to continue my project in the future by traveling to the Nordic countries.

This time, however, I would like to tell you about another image that shows my photographic vision. For me, photography is a process of continuous analysis, learning, reflection and experimentation. The joy that comes from these interactions is of absolute importance and effectiveness to me. The day set for going to photograph, presented adverse weather conditions. That weekend it was raining and I wanted to say goodbye to my trees, even in anticipation of a foot surgery a few days later. It would have been impossible to do any new photo excursions in the next 6-8 weeks. Trees convey strength and tranquility and apparently that was exactly what I needed that day.

I have visited this place many times, photographing it at different times of the day and in different seasons. The weather conditions turned out to be ideal for me in hindsight, because the rain emphasized the colors on the leaves of "my trees". On the previous day they shone in the sunlight, autumn had reached its peak, but I didn't have time to photograph the glow of the colors illuminated by the sunlight. I was in a bad mood.

The last chance made me rejoice, because I decided to get the glow of the colors thanks to a multiple exposure. I experimented by taking several photos and I was pleased to create images from an initially unfavorable situation, fully satisfying me. This is probably the most important thing for a photographer to be convinced of their photographs.

The image shows the gorgeous autumn colors and focuses on the shapes.With my photographs I try to go beyond figurative representation to give space to the viewer's personal interpretations. This happens more easily with abstract images, but with multiple exposures a new landscape or vision emerges that detaches itself from reality, as that same landscape does not exist in that form. At best, the result of the image will recreate a new reality in the viewer's mind by triggering emotions. In the minds of the spectators their own interpretation of the image will form, which will certainly be different for everyone. If so, the result of that photograph will be good for me.

My intent is to create a kind of painting that recalls the painters of Pointillism (an artistic movement born in France in 1886). For example, I think of the artist Seurat, who developed and represented his works in the best shades of this current, painting with small round brushstrokes and points of pure color.

Colors no longer mix on the palette. At some distance, these small spots on the canvas are no longer perceived by the human eye as separate, but merge into a single color, which is their resulting optics imprinted on the retina of the eye.

In my photography I follow a very similar path, thanks to the help of modern technology present on cameras.

There are endless possibilities to create images starting from our thoughts.



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