Following the popularity of our UK-German photo competition ‘Welcome to my World’, we invited entrants from across the UK and Germany to come together in virtual webinars, to discuss their shared interest of photography.
The group of young Brits and Germans spent time sharing their previous experience of photography, discussing and analysing each other’s photographs, and putting their questions to professional photographer, Stefan Maria Rother.
I’ve always known photography had the power to connect people from all over the world regardless of their background, language or culture. This webinar, however, gave the ultimate proof of it. I love how we all shared our passion.
The consensus amongst the group was that the Covid-19 pandemic has given them more time to practise their photography, especially of nature, wildlife and landscapes. They also discussed how in both countries the pandemic has provided them with opportunities to take photos of the previously unseen – such as empty streets (not a tourist in sight!) in Berlin and Edinburgh.
Participants discussed six of their own photos during the webinars, talking about how the image made them feel, what surprised them, and what it showed them about the other culture.
The photo of the sunset on the motorway inspired lots of comments and ideas – it elicited a feeling of nostalgia, with participants describing the scene as ‘dreamlike’ and ‘looking like a painting’. They felt the sky was the dominant element and really enjoyed the contrast of colours.
Taking part in the webinar has certainly given me some inspiration to explore photography more! (UK participant)
Participants also enjoyed discussing the image of the hand through the fence. They felt it perfectly encapsulated the mood of lockdown in both countries, and discussed the importance of nature during difficult times like these. There was debate about whether the photo was taken in the UK or Germany. The answer was Germany, but the group decided it still felt like a universal image that could symbolise lockdown life in either country.
I sometimes get nervous talking to new people but everyone was really friendly. It was amazing getting to hear tips from a professional photographer, and actually impacted my view on both photography and the world (UK participant)
The groups had prepared an extensive list of questions to ask professional photographer, Stefan Maria Rother. From his education and past work experience, to technical camera tips, not forgetting a discussion about the impact that social media and modern technology have had on photography.
Photography is like a ticket to the world. It gives you access to places and spaces you would never normally see. It’s the universal language, that every one of us can speak. (Stefan Maria Rother)
For Stefan, having the best camera and equipment doesn’t make you a better photographer. They’re simply the tools. The real talent comes from your eyes, heart and brain.
His advice to young photographers?
Never be satisfied. Never be frustrated. Always make the extra effort. Some of the best photos are taken very early in the morning, or late at night. Get down on your knees, climb the church tower, and enjoy every step.
Our photography webinar participants have shared Instagram handles with one another, so that they can keep in touch and share photographs! We hope to hear and see more from this very talented group in future…