Interview with Ingo Zahlheimer

Interview with Ingo Zahlheimer


“My passion is nature photography, I’ve been doing this for 10 years now. Nature, Animals, Landscapes, Travelling”

Ingo was born in Passau in 1996 (Germany).

From an early age I was very much in nature, thanks to my parents, whom are involved in nature conservation. 

When my brother Armin started taking pictures, photography was about to became my hobby. 

Thus, I got my first SLR camera when I was 10 years old. I proudly photographed everything that came into my mind – mostly in nature. In the following years, I was finally enticed by the macro world in nature, which led me to buy a new body and macro lens.

And it has been my main hobby until today, in my free time I hardly do anything else. 

Again and again nature gives me experiences that astonish me, that makes me laugh and fear. 

The aim of my pictures is to express these feelings.

When did the adventure start? 
My adventure started going out in nature as a little child. With 9 years I got my first camera. From this time on I was able to share my experiences.
What do you enjoy the most?
The best feeling in the world is to be surrounded by nothing else than pristine  nature and a person to share these feelings with.
What kind of photography you prefer?
I try to show all facets of photography. For example an area and all its photographic possibilities. This begins with landscape imagery, macro photography, night visions, underwater and so on…
Who or what inspire you?

As I recently known, it was Frans Lanting who inspired me in my childhood. My family owned a book called “Jungle”, and it was my dream to discover these places on my own, and to see all these amazing animals.
Then I was not interested in the names, so I did not know who the author was, just the pictures…Many years after, I had a look into this book again,  but this time I knew so well who Frans Lanting was. He still is my favourite nature photographer. 
“Through my images…
…I want to raise awareness of how amazing nature is and how fragile is as well.
What are the main challenges that you face as a nature photographer?
There are different kinds of challenges.
Last year the hardest challenge was nature itself. I had to photograph (and film) a nature reserve near the river Danube which is flooded very often. I had to get through thick vegetation to find good spots – this was hard enough with high weight on my back – but I was escorted by hundreds of mosquitos in the forests and and a handful of horseflies in the meadows.
Another challenge is that sometimes is easy and sometimes is very difficult to transform my ideas into pictures. Stroboscope flashed bats are one of my most difficult photographs I even done. I spent many nights to get few good images. 
How is a “perfect” image.
It is an image you haven not seen before! Something special, that will activate your fascination for nature.
Do you practice and share this passion with other young photographers? In which occasions?
It is hard to reach young photographers. Mostly I share my works while giving talks… but actually my audience is disappointingly not the young ones.
But on Instagram, Facebook, and other social networks it is easy to share your work with other young photographers, and see their work.
One of the most useful photo tip you ever learned is…
The most useful tips I have learned is how to use my camera, and all its functions. 
Which is your favourite image? Could you explain the background story behind it?
It is a picture that shows the situation of the changing forests in the National Park Bavarian Forest.
I love the remote area of the oldest national park in Germany, because nature is on the first place. Their slogan is: “let nature be nature”, even when an invasion of bark beetles infested thousands of trees. 
Many people was angry about this and had the fear of a “dead” forest and no regeneration. Nature teaches us that regeneration is possible, it just takes time. Today most parts of the park are covered with young trees again. 
With this picture I was invited to the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards Ceremony in London in 2014. I am really proud that this picture was under the winning ones.
What advice would you give to young photographers who are just starting out
Try and fail… and try again. You will learn from suffer. 
Next adventure/dream?
My biggest dream is still to explore Frans Lanting’s Jungels in Borneo and the Amazon. From being a child on I want to see the rainforests like a researcher. 

You can know more about the work of Ingo Zahlheimer in his website:

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