You see and experience
extraordinary things.

(for ‘GEO’ in the
collapsed burial chamber
of queen Hatshepsut)

> > INTERVIEW (continued)

Prize-winning turkey ‘Kurt’ proved even more
difficult. Due to his love of freedom he could
only be photographed through the door of
his cage. Plus Kurt was not inclined to
courtship at all. We tried everything to make
that funny thing on his nose grow, but Kurt
stayed cool. For a whole two days…

And what was the most adventurous?
     I’m no daredevil, but sometimes adventure
finds out even the cautious: Climbing the
looming hull of a running container ship on a
dancing rope ladder while taking pictures
at the same time comes to mind. I did that for
my picture story on pilots on the Elbe river.
     Or the pack of dogs I was attacked by in
Mongolia while on assignment for GEO to do
a story on ancient Karakorum: going berserk
and fighting off five raging dogs certainly is
an adventurous experience!


Those moments afterwards make you wonder
how the hell you managed the situation.
     I found the Greenland story which the two
of us did together for ‘DER SPIEGEL’ pretty
exciting, too: the ‘Hercules’ ride to the top of
the inland ice, the incredible pressure of time
there, the cold in the ice lab…

… which made your batteries leak and die…
     That didn’t really bother me. I only use
cameras that work perfectly well without any
batteries at all. All it takes is to unscrew
the motor drive and continue.
     Breakdowns happen all the time. Right in
the middle of a complicated night shot in
Karakorum my radio transmitter died on me.
I had to figure out another way to trigger my
strobe then. It helps when you have a few
aces up your sleeve plus some basic
technical skills. You want to learn how to
improvise in this profession.


A certain amount of excitement is part of the
fun. That is one of the reasons I became a
photographer: you see and experience extra-
ordinary things you usually wouldn’t, you
go places you usually wouldn’t, and you meet
interesting people you usually wouldn’t.

You used to be a graphic designer.
Isn’t that the exact opposite to working as
a photographer in the field?

     The desire to be a photographer was there
first. Graphic design was rather a less-than-
ideal solution then. With the change I finally
came full circle.
     I don’t really see any contradiction in that.
On the contrary: those two fields – again –
complement one another wonderfully.
As a photographer I profit greatly from my
experience as an art director!   (continue...)