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Sandra Bartocha

... nothing is better than exploring nature and feeling the elements ...

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Featured Photographer

Sandra Bartocha

About

Well ... Iím 28 and Iím trying to achieve something here. ;)

I grew up in the northeastern parts of Germany Ė in the beautiful countryside of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. My Dad worked as a photographer and when he picked me up from kindergarten and took me with him whenever he had an appointment outside town, I always got very excited. So I knew very early on, that being a photographer offers you an exciting and varied life.

After school I studied English literature and media. Why? I still donít know. Right now Iím trying to establish my own photography business and working on a long-term project about the MŁritz National Park . Iím also very thankful to be a part of the Wild Wonders of Europe project. As Florian is very involved with WWoE I also have the pleasure of continuing his editorial work with the GDT magazine Forum Naturfotografie Ė a fun job.

Website: www.bartocha-photography.com/

Interview

Why nature photography?
I enjoy photography in general, I always have. Nature photography offers me the possibility to be in nature and experience it much deeper than I would do without photography. When you are looking for possible images, you have to pay attention to everything, when you try to get the emotion of a place across to the viewer, you first have to identify whatís the essence of the place ... and thatís whatís fun about it.

What's best about it?
To feel the elements. Of course, sometimes you work under pretty uncomfortable conditions, but as long as you have something to photograph, all physical problems donít seem to exist. Itís a kind of freedom I feel when Iím outside ... photographing ... I could not imagine something better.

What's worst about it?
Itís the typical answer ... donít like the hours and hours in front of the computer. And I didnít like the hours at the light table either. The first viewing is always nice, to pick the raisins ... but what comes after is really annoying ... editing, cataloguing, keywording and selling. I donít like to market myself ... but unfortunately you have to when trying to survive in this pretty hard business.

Favourite species and places in Europe?
I love water and the sea ... doesnít matter where ... Europe has many beautiful and unique coastlines ... be it the Portuguese, Spanish, French, British or Lithuanian coast. I did not visit all these places yet, but I want to. :)

Usually I prefer the colder northern parts of Europe , but beauty can be found everywhere. Another favourite are trees and forests in general. Iím just drawn to the graphics they provide ...

What's in the bag?
For landscapes and plants you donít need that much. My most used items are my D200, my 60mm macro lens + extension tubes, a standard 17-55mm zoom as well as a very comfortable 80-400mm lens Ė all manufactured by Nikon. I now have a new gimmick Ė a very old Meyer-GŲrlitz-lens ... it produces just awesome lens reflexes ... perfect for me. :)

Your specialities / skills?
Attention to detail ... photographing plants, small things and landscape in great light ... like every photographer. ;-).

What will you do in your next life?
Actually, I donít want to think about my next life Ė as I hope I still have this one ahead of me. And I still have many plans and many things to achieve. :)

3 tips for beginners
1) Learn the basics, how to use your camera in the dark, intuitive composition and working with the light Ė if you are able to do that, you can start to play around and develop your own style.
2) Always try to identify the element in a scene that interests you most, and try to capture that in your image.
3)Try to get a healthy distance to your work Ė your emotion about an image doesnít count Ė if it persuades others (not your friends) it is successful.

Mission

Together with fellow photographer Claudia MŁller we will visit three regions in Italy . We already visited the Gargano region in Apulia and photographed the many different species of orchids. A very short trip to Pollino National Park in the autumn prepared us for a longer trip this spring. Then we will try to portray the majestic Bosnian pine, maybe together with orchids that grow on the plateaus. And we will photograph narcissuses and wildflower meadows in the Sibillini Mountains . Iím really looking forward to the upcoming missions and the challenging situations.

Best Picture

Best Picture
Red Campion (Silene dioica)

What's cool about it?
Itís a very classic one and maybe not so typical for my style anymore. But I like the way the plant is portrayed in its habitat. The backlight underlines the fine lines of the Red Campion.

Could it be better?
Of course it could. This is an analogue image on Velvia and therefore I worked with grey graduated filters to balance contrasts. I donít like the upper right area, where the filters darken the rocks, but otherwise it turned out quite well.

Behind the Scene
When I took this picture I was down on the ground, almost scraping the rocks with my face and camera to get the low perspective. When a fellow photographer came by and saw me he didnít see my camera and was really worried that something had happened to me. Otherwise ... just a lucky moment when everything came together perfectly ... as always when taking landscape images.

Date: May 2004
Location: Allinge, Bornholm , Denmark
Gear: Nikon F90, Nikkor 2.8/20mm, Fuji Velvia 50, 2 Grey Graduated Filters

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