Artist's date

Wildlife photographer of the year


The Historic National Museum London creates a yearly contest. It’s called ‘Wildlife photographer of the year’.

45.000 pictures were submitted. The photographers came from 96 countries. Only 100 pictures make it to this exhibition every year. The chosen pictures tour from country to country. At the time the exhibition is in Munich, Germany. I love animals, I had to see all these pictures of wild animals from around the globe.

The pictures were stunning.

Being a wildlife photographer means to have patience. Sometimes it takes days or months, perhaps even years to encounter an animal, that one wishes to photograph. Sometimes luck helps and the unexpected happens. A photographer could capture a bear in a village in Italy at night. This means to be present and to have a camera handy. Always.

I saw insects in that exhibitions, animals that live under water. I saw huge animals like bears, tigers and whales, others like the insects were tiny. Blow-ups could make tiny details visible.

A tiny part of the exhibition also showed the cruelty that human beings commit agains the animals.

What were the criteria of the jury to select a picture as one of the best?

They wanted to see a concept behind the pictures. One concept was to take pictures on eye level consequently

It was forbidden to take pictures in the exhibition. So I had to take my own wildlife pictures.

Usually the algorithm of a company is not known. This morning when I checked my flickr account, I realized that one of my swan pictures made it to ‘in explore’. This usually means that this picture gets a lot of likes and attention. Some photographers start to follow my account when this happens. I would have chosen the above picture for explore. The algorithm or perhaps real people (?) made another decision. The below pictures were chosen to be exhibited in that group.


No flash


These days it’s allowed to take pictures in museums for private purposes. It makes no sense anymore to forbid taking pictures. The mobile cameras are so tiny these days, the museum attendants couldn’t control all the people who like to take a picture.

Today I visited an exhibition with pictures of Carl Strathmann. The title of the exhibition: Jugendstil bizarre'.. About 7 pictures weren’t allowed to photograph. They were pictures on loan from other museums that didn’t allow to photograph them. Next to these pictures was the symbol for ‘no pictures’. Yet all the other pictures were allowed to photograph.

Using flash is never allowed in museums. It’s understandable. It would annoy all the other visitors if every other moment another flash would illuminate the room.

This means one must know the own camera. One must know how to switch off the built-in flash. In addition one must know how to compensate the lack of light. It’s possible to hold down the flash. Yet usually one wants to take pictures of good quality.

In museums the light situation can be called difficult. There are often artificial lights to highlight the pictures. The rooms are often very dark. Sometimes the light mirrors in the glass that protects the pictures. Light changes all the time. Also the brightness of the pictures or exhibits changes all the time.

ISO comes into play again. I set it on Auto. It compensates the flash and adjusts quickly.

If one likes Art Nouveau in general, one might also like Carl Strathmann. I liked his pictures and created even a board on Pinterest. Yet in museums I often think that the visitors are as interesting as the pictures or exhibits.

Seeing the work of other artists is very inspiring. Every artist has another favorite topic. How the topics are presented and translated is so different like the artists themselves. Every artist has his/her own language and own preferences.