Driftwood that got stuck / caught amid the impressive Rhine Falls at Schaffhausen, Switzerland, by night. The Rhine Falls is the largest plain waterfall in Europe.
I'm a semi-professional photographer specializing in fine art photography based in Hannover, Germany. I've been fascinated with nature, especially sea and landscapes, all my life, and how it relates to personal feelings, atmosphere and moods. Got my first camera around the age of ten more than 40 years ago. Therefore, artistic landscape photography has always been a favorite subject, also viewing landscape paintings (e.g., created by Caspar David Friedrich or William Turner). However, I'm much interested in other genres of photography as well, such as architecture, abstract, and street. For the last ten years I have primarily used digital SLR cameras, though still employing and developing (b&w 35 mm) film occasionally. Furthermore, let me cite a great description I found in a textbook of photography: "My job as a photographer is to bring order to chaos. While it's true that our world is full of visual richness, it's also true that our world is full of visual chaos. The difficulty in creating strong, dynamic photographs is in dealing with that chaos. Out of an infinite number of elements, I (and you) have to select and arrange a certain number of them into some visual harmony. Consider the difference between a painter and a photographer. Starting with a blank canvas, the painter constructs an image by adding only those elements needed for visual excitement. But my job as a photographer is to eliminate, to strip away many of those chaotic elements that exist in front of me until I arrive at the strongest possible image." Norton, B. (2001) "The Art of Outdoor Photography - Techniques for the Advanced Amateur and Professional", Voyageur Press, Hong Kong, ISBN 13:978-0-89658-459-4, p. 12. Latest awards: Member of Jury of Art Limited (online fine art gallery, Bordeaux, France). Several awards granted such as "Artwork of the Month", "Artwork of the Week", "Artwork of the Day" by Art Limited. Gold, silver and bronze medal winner at "PX3 Prix de la Photographie Paris" 2013 and 2015, resp. FIAP Honorable Mention at the 1st Bavarian International Circuit 2013. Two Honorable Mentions and four Nominations at the 8th Annual Black and White Spider Awards 2014 and eight Nominations 2015. Two Honor of Distinction awards and several Honorable Mentions and Nominations at the Annual Photography Masters Cup / International Color Awards 2014 and 2015, resp. Homepage: http://volkerbirke.creativegallery.eu/ Representation: http://www.artlimited.net/volker_birke