Werner Bollmann is a Nature Photographer born in 1966 based in Kiel, Germany. Although his profession is geography, he is working as a professional wildlife photographer for more than 10 years, dealing especially with animal portraits and behavior as well as abstracts of plants. The award winning Nikon photographer is member of the German Association of Nature Photographers (GDT) and his images are sold through worldwide agencies.
Below you will find a great interview with this amazing nature photographer and his fascinating collection of pictures .
I love nature. I love photography. I am a nature photography. Werner Bollmann
Tell us about something about Werner Bollmann and Nature photography
I was born in 1966. At the moment I live in Kiel at the Baltic Sea, together with my wife Barbara and our two daughters. After I finished my Geography-study with Diploma, I started as a professional wildlife photographer. My images are sold by agencies worldwide and I also write articles, produce exhibitions and at the moment I'm finishing my first photo book. I'm working with a Nikon system. Mostly I'm doing animal and plant photography.
In wildlife photography I like action photography as well as intimate portraits. In plant photography I try to work with special light conditions and I love to do abstract images. The two lenses I use for 90% of my images are the 4.0/500 mm (very often with extender) and the 2.8/105 mm macro lens.
What's your creative process like?
There are very many different approaches depending on the target. If I travel to a certain place to make a story about a special animal, I try to imagine in advance which images could represent this animal. What is a typical behavior? Which is the characteristic environment? What does this animal feed on? And so on.
So, I try to do a kind of story book in advance. Of course, very often reality is different to the theory. Sometimes there are special restrictions. F.e., when you are in the African National Parks you have to work from a car and you have to stay on the road. So creativity is very limited.
But whenever I can influence the photographic situation, I think about which light could fit to this special subject, which background is the best and so on. So, I'm “scanning” the situation and the photographic possibilities before I start shooting. In the meantime I'm very good in that, but it was a long way to go.
Where do you find inspiration and why do you like photography?
Of course I find a lot of inspiration in the work of my colleagues. I love looking at images every day, in books, magazines and in the Internet.
The more I see, the more I learn.
I love nature photography because of several reasons. It is a possibility to meet fantastic animals at exotic places, you can travel, you see the world. You can be out in nature – although the time at the computer is increasing every year. It’s a kind of hunting and collecting, but without killing the animals. It's a perfect way to combine scientific knowledge, technical skills and aesthetic visions. It’s a way to express myself – it's pure fun!
What are some tips you could give to people that really like your work?
- Try to find your own style
- Try to do photography as often as you can manage it - Books and workshops are important, but you learn most about photography while taking pictures.
- Be patient (that's the worst for me)
- Show your images to other people, discuss with them about pictures, try to bear criticism.
If you have something else to add (a video/about your next project/etc.) just tell us.
As I already mentioned, at the moment I'm finishing my first book. The title is “Nordische Momente” what means “Nordic Moments”. It’s a book about animals, plants and landscapes in Norway, Sweden and Finland. I do it together with my colleague and friend Winfried Wisniewski and it will appear in September. Then I will have three major exhibitions in Germany, Belgium and France at the end of the year.
And end of May I will be in the jury for the contest “European Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2011”, which is a great pleasure and honor for me.
Mr. Werner Bollmann, we would like to thank you for your collaboration with us in order to make this great article. Good luck with the book, after it will be finished don't hesitate to send us an email and we will help you to promote it; already we think it will be a success and definitely the pictures really interesting, as the ones below. Thanks also for pointing all the tips, we think that they are really well concluded. And yes, congratulations for your jury seat at European Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2011 Awards. Keep us updated about the event, we really want to make an article with the nominees and the winners. Once again thank you for your help and good luck with your projects.