Being residents of Austria, our readers will surely want to know about this country. Can you tell us about its potential for landscape photography? Any recommended places to visit?
Verena: Austria is definitely a great place for landscape photography. However, it is a small country and you will run into some problems, which are common for landscape photography in Mid-Europe. The classic wide-open space, with no traces of human beings will be hard to find, the wilder areas are not so obvious and take some time to discover. Saying that, Austria has many mountain regions and some of them are fairly wild. The largest National Park of the Alps, the Hohe Tauern National Park (1800km2), is one of the best places to start. Many hiking treks are available which will take you to mountain lakes and spectacular waterfalls – all within reach of most folks with a tripod and camera. The National Parks (six in total) are all very good for nature and landscape photography and there is plenty of information about them on the web. Outside protected areas, you will also find plenty of things to photograph, often with some kind of cultural elements in them. Georg and I started with landscape photography exploring the Danube floodplains, really close to Vienna and one of the last intact floodplains in Mid-Europe.
You run your own photo business in Austria and also have a small gallery where you showcase your prints. Can you tell us a few things about this business and where one can find your gallery?
Georg: Well, this could turn into a long story but I will try to keep it as sort as possible. A long time ago, we decided that we would not give away photos or photo rights to stock agencies, keeping them all within our own rights-managed image library instead (if one wants to call it that). Another decision was also not to accept commercial assignments anymore, unless they were about landscape photographs and were compatible with 4x5” large format photography. Shooting for ad agencies just didn’t do it for us. We did it for some time and it meant good income in the early years but not much satisfaction and creativity.
We set ourselves a time limit of two years, in which we wanted to become independent free-roaming photographers, free in the choice of where we wanted to shoot and what subjects we shot (which meant shooting landscapes exclusively). Instead of having other people dictating, we developed our own projects – we called them ‘self-assignments’. A book about Austria’s National Parks was one of the first projects. We drew up a script and for two years ...