Print of the Month, February 2012

Print of the Month, February 2012
by Kristel Schneider

I am happy to announce the first —  Print of the Month. Every month, I will offer a different  print for only € 39 ! More information about my Art Prints click here.

Print of the Month, February 2012 —a photograph from Montpeyroux, a medieval village located in the Puy de Dome – Auvergne (Massif Central)- France.  Classified in the list  ‘most beautiful villages of France‘.

Pink Morning Glory, a magical moment with the sun rising over the hills gradually enlightening  the medieval village in the frozen scenery.

Page size
(metric stds.)
  cm   inches Paper finish
A4  21×29.7 8.27×11.69 -Matte

Read How to order and then click here to purchase the Print of the Month February 2012.

This image—at this price—will only be available for the month of  February 2012!

For gifting or decorating

Any image in the Art Print folder can be purchased as an ART PRINT.
Each print is quality-checked and signed by Kristel Schneider before it is sent out to you.

Images will be added to the Art Print folder regularly. So, check back for new additions!
and every month a special, Print of the Month will be announced. See this Blog for more information.

Image of the Week at NatureScapes Net

Image of the week in category Travel and Culture
by Kristel Schneider

I just found out that my image: Winter finally showing its face,  has been  selected as ‘Image Of the Week’ at Naturescapes.Net (a photography forum) in the category, Travel and Culture.

Some feedback (so far):

– The FG trees have taken on the colour of the early morning light which is beautiful.

But the shadowy glimpses of the BG enshrouded in the fog brings a sense of mystery, and keeps me peering into the image looking for more details – which is why it’s so delightful. It’s as if I’m waiting and watching to see the fog melt away. Fascinating.

– This is really cool!- My dogs are the same Kristel, they love their walk on a frosty ning – as long as they can curl up in the warm house when we get home! It is so pretty to see the frosted landscape after the warm winter we’ve been having – and this is a beautifully composed scene in your own style. Love it!

– Really a gem on an image. That building in the mist shrouded hill takes this to a new level. So well done.

– Wow this is so subtle. Incredible, Kristel. I love it!

Missed my Blog post about this image, click here!

Interview with Jim Brandenburg (part 2)

Visions and Nature
Photographers interview
Jim Brandenburg by Kristel Schneider 

The series of interviews with Nature Photographers is coming to an end and I thought with Jim Brandenburg I have a real Grand Finale.  Missed Interview with Jim Brandenburg (part 1), click here.

Jim Brandenburg

Do you have any tips for Visions and Nature readers who would like to become   professional nature photographers?
Nature photography is so accessible nowadays and you do not have to shoot 20 rolls of films and be disappointed after spending a day in Nature. Today you can always come back after a day out with a happy reward and enjoy it. Do not start to see it as a business, but study nature, follow some workshops, read your Blog and fully enjoy it. When you start to see it as a business it will spoil the fun. I see it every day- people who are enthusiastic photographers next to their busy daytime job, go off on vacation and come back with some nice images and are thrilled about them. This takes them to the next stage, wondering if they can publish these nice images and then they change…. when they start to look at it as a profession next to their daytime job. It is a job what I have enjoyed for many years now and it is sad and odd to see people play in a way with your profession as a Nature Photographer by thinking they can do this ‘on the side’.  But on the other hand as I mentioned before, I love to see these people out taking photos, it changes their lives. So that is the double thing.

In addition to this, all those social media and forums are puzzling me sometimes. I do not say it is bad –  it provides people a tool to get in contact with other photographers more easily –  but it is so far from my own world.  I have been in the photography business for so long now – almost 50 years – and I have never posted a tweet in my life. Everything is changing so fast that by spending a lot of time behind the computer people miss out on the best part, walk by them selves in nature, study it and feel the intimacy – which is the best part of Nature Photography.

Do you have any exhibitions coming up ?
I have a retrospective exhibit in Germany right now and it will be in France later on in 2012. 120 Pictures, amongst which the very first one I took when I was 14 years old and the last one recently from the Dalai Lama. The retrospective is not all about nature as there are a lot of people in it actually. Share with us one of your personal favourite photographs?

My first attempt at nature photography… the red fox. I made it with a cheap $3 plastic camera with no settings available. It was shot at the same place as the Bison in winter.

‘the very first one I took when I was 14 years old’

Retrospective exhibit:
- Iserlohn Germany on the 27th of January 2012
- Salo Finland on March 16th 2012, openings talk at the Museum.

Share with us one of your personal favourite photographs?
Four of my images where chosen for inclusion in a unique collection that represents the ’40 most important nature photographs of all time’. The images were chosen by members of the International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP) a fellowship of the world’s top professional conservation photographers and editors. And what is odd is that amongst the 4 photos they picked, three of them are also my personal favourites, what about coincidence?
Here are the four images that where chosen:

The Arctic wolf  jumping is from my favorite. Nat. Geographic story and the most rewarding and thrilling professional experience. It is also in a very remote and wild place that has always drawn and attracted me: the Arctic. I lived on and off with this family of wolves for 3 years. Much like the primate researchers do in Africa. I lived in a tent near the den and spent intense time, almost 100%, watching and photographing them. This represents a time in magazine photojournalism that is virtually gone now in that this kind of complex and expensive support is no longer possible. Photographers need to do it alone now and be self supporting. I was indeed fortunate to have worked during that time. In the 1980’s.

The Gray wolf peeking from behind a tree is perhaps my best known and most successful image. I moved from the agricultural treeless prairie to live in the remote and wild forests on the Canadian border. The wolf was the main reason to come here where I live now. The only way one can truly tell the honest story of the wolf is to live with them because they are so illusive and shy. (I have spent many weeks in the French Alps looking for wolves- only seeing tracks)  This image speaks clearly of the wolf’s illusive and mysterious ways. At the same time it pulls one in and then for some creates a bit of mystery and perhaps a bit of anxiety or fear. That is the reputation of the wolf. I shot this image within walking distance of my home.

The Oryx ( Gemsbok ) is in the Namib desert. This image along with the jumping wolf illustrates my style of putting the animal in its environment and not necessarily trying to get as close as possible. I feel it is often more important artistically and tells a better story. I also grew up on a treeless landscape where I also learned my photography. I seem to often do better in that kind of simple land form. It is in my subconscious. This was from also a Nat. Geographic story I did on Namibia. It was a full cultural coverage and also included war/battle photography during their civil war. It is the strongest image that came out of the story, nature being my main passion. This image has won many notable awards such as BBC Photographer of the Year and American NPPA Magazine Photographer of the Year awards.

The Bison in winter was taken where I grew up, the place where I learned how to do photography. It is almost in the exact same spot where I made my first “keeper” image of a fox at age 14. It is not one of my top favourites but represents an important part of my history and work. Also it is part of the group of 4 that ILCP chose so it makes a nice and compact theme. This was not shot on assignment. It also shows that I often use wide-angle lenses for wildlife.

Before our interview Jim had a look at my website a couple of times and he picked out some images that really pop out for him. We had a nice discussion about my portfolio and he inspired me to move on and follow my goals. Thanks Jim!

We walked together through some of my galleries on my website:

Winter gallery

  • The sunrise view on Puy de Dôme ; very beautiful, the pastel light in combination with the white snow. Great light.
  • Snow waves structures, the two images from the snow waves  made me think about Ernst Haas. You would be surprised how identical it looks; it is one of Ernst Haas most famous picture.
  • Road in Winter scenery, Abstract frozen shape in water; I like these.
  • Three tops in pink sunset, Love this one, beautiful lighting. I like the soft delicate pastel colors in some of your images. This kind of images I enjoy taking.

Autumn & Tree gallery
In these gallery there also several but the one that made me very happy is the Beechwood in autumn vertical. It tells you something, I can not always explain, photography is obviously something that does not need to have words to describe it, that why it is a photograph, it communicates something…..for me when I looked at it I changed, something vibrated inside me, felt familiar, it made me happy it just felt right, Everybody has a different feeling when they look at each picture. I know you have a horizontal version of the same scene but I like the vertical better, it feels together for me, feels good.

  • Cascade in wood scenery:  beautiful, it remind me of right here, it looks like my front yard.
  • Autumn hill, another images that makes me happy to look at. For me this is what France looks like when I think about it.

Dream and Mood gallery
An image that also interests me is Abstract grass in snow; lines, dots, simple and that is the kind of image I would shoot also. I like it.

Mushrooms gallery
When I started in photography I was also very attracted by mushrooms, their shapes and there colors, yours are just great! Love the purple ones; I have never seen those before ever, I don’t think we have them in the US. The first three images with these purple mushrooms (Amethyst Deceivers) are just amazing. And I like these little tiny ones with the soft focus, you call them Milking Bonnet Mushrooms soft focus.


Abstract images via panning technique

Abstract images via
panning technique
by Kristel Schneider

‘To create interesting images of moving subjects requires some practice’

In my latest blog post I commented on Serge Deboffle’s exhibition entitled Art Animalier. Looking at what he showed at the Nature Photo Festival in Montier en Der made me look quite differently at the cranes gathering on Lac en Der.

It’s quite renowned that November brings thousands of cranes to France, in their migration from the northern parts of Europe. A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to see some big flocks flying together, and I could even go to Lac en Der before sunrise. To be there at the break of dawn when they gradually awakened to the first lights of the day was quite a unique experience then, as they slowly gathered to reach the day’s feeding spot.

This year, I have to admit, the lack of water in the lake was a big problem: the birds were too far away to be captured as portraits or even landscape shots. That’s when I could recall Serge Deboffle’s work to my mind and decided to experiment on the technique of abstract images. One of the techniques I currently used was panning, i.e. you move the camera horizontally and scan the moving subject as it moves along.

Proper panning imples motion. It creates the feeling of movement and speed without blurring the subject – as a slow shutter speed would tend to do. Indeed, think of the Tour de France: the biker you photography is sharp but the road and the surrounding are a blur, giving the impression of movement and speed.

My idea was to get the exact opposite in my images : I wanted the crane not to be sharp, or let’s say, their bodies would be but not their moving wings.

That was not as easy as I might have imagined, just because you want to see something, and not just a blurry stripe or some dark dots floating in the sky of your photo. So after numerous and various camera settings, I managed to capture some kind of picture I once had had in mind.

The result will be the same as painting: some people will claim that kind of photography is not their cup of tea, as opposed to me. Indeed, in my opinion, it’s always nice to learn and experience something new while trying out new techniques.

Look for other Crane images: Fauna gallery

Nature Photo Festival Montier-en-Der

Montier en Der
International Nature Photo Festival 2011
By Kristel Schneider

(all images Nokia phone uploads)

From the 17th till the 20th of November Montier-en-Der (and some surrounding villages)  was  full of life. In the village the festival spread over many different locations, from the city hall to the local schools and other halls. Outside you could enjoy some great outdoor exhibitions for free.  The overall program was very thorough. You could attend conferences, video/film projections, animations and lots of beautiful nature photo exhibitions.

During the festival I met some nice new photographers and I could speak to people I had met on from the social medias on the Internet. A Photo festival provides you with not only inspiration but also good networking possibilities.

In my opinion a couple of exhibitions stood out,  especially those of :

  • Olivier Seydoux, a great show called ‘Latitudes Nord‘, which displayed images from countries 60º and 70º latitude North.
  • Werner Bollmann, presented his new exhibition ‘Nordic Moments‘ with images from Sweden, Norway and Finland.
  • Ludmila Espiaube, ‘Hokkiado, out of the white’, images from a region in Japan under the snow, taken in an artistic, pure and beautiful way.
  • Stéphanne Hette and Paul Starosta, ‘Terre de contraste’ a combined show featuring amazing work on insects. Paul’s work was new from me. Stéphanne whom I had interviewed here on Visions and Nature and his work keep amazing me.
  • Serge Deboffle, ‘L’art et les oiseaux’, his show was interesting in the way he captured the movement of birds in flight.  I liked the ‘arty look’ of his images  and he inspired me to try out some techniques to get ‘movement’ images myself. (But that I will explain in the next Blog post).

Link French Television France 3

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