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Photographer Spotlight: Eberhard Grossgasteiger

 Photographer Spotlight:  Eberhard Grossgasteiger

by Graham Blus

Eberhard Grossgasteiger is a nature photographer based in Italy. Here we ask Eberhard about his life and inspirations for his creative work. Enjoy the read and make sure to share this post with friends!  

 

Follow Eberhard on his social media here - 

https://www.instagram.com/eberhard_grossgasteiger/

Eberhard, you are a nature photographer and explorer.  What led you to photography? Was it something in childhood, or did you discover it as an adult?

It's a strange story in a way. I took extensive analog photographs about 30 years ago for a period of about 4-5 years. I had taught myself everything autodidactically and was almost obsessed with photography.

Then I had a professional change and I had no more time to occupy myself with photography as I imagined it. So, I stopped abruptly and bought a LEICA compact camera for fast and good photos, just in case.

Then in October 2016 I read an announcement in the newspaper that someone was looking for my old LEICA compact camera. He would even exchange it for his new DSLR Canon EOS 70D. So, I thought, if he is serious, I will do the camera exchange with him. And really, it was like this, we made the deal! :-) The basic knowledge of photography, like aperture, shutter speed, ISO, etc. which I still had from the analog past awakened my ambition to do more digital photography. Then in April - June 2017 I started to publish my photos on portals like Unsplash, Pexels, Rawpixel etc. and was immediately successful and popular. And the point of the story is, I'm addicted to photography now!

Kind of a cool story, isn't it?

Eberhard, you are based in Ahrntal, Italy. What is your favorite thing about that region and Italy in general? Ahrntal is close to Austria; did that help ignite an interest in nature and exploring?

That's right. You may need to know a little about the history of the South Tyrol region and the location of the Ahrntal Valley to better understand all this. After the 1st World War the South of Tyrol, today South Tyrol, was awarded to the victorious power Italy. For all those interested here is a link to Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_South_Tyrol

Our whole culture of the past has shaped our affinity to Austria and the typical culture and natural landscape of the Alps. I am certainly influenced by this typical environment of the Eastern and Central Alps. We South Tyrolians 😊have the luck to experience two cultures and cultural landscapes, on one side the German and on the other the Italian. In the Ahrntal, the most northern valley of Italy, this landscape difference manifests itself of course much more. In the north of our country the border to Austria and the central Eastern Alps, in the south and southwest the Mediterranean climate and landscape of Italy. I am curious by nature and love the aesthetics of nature, its inexhaustibility of the undiscovered. I see my photography as a means of expression to make the undiscovered and beautiful of our everyday surroundings visible to others. To photograph everyday nature surrounding us in such a way that it attracts attention is what I see as good photography. That defines a good photographer in my eyes.

What type of photography and creative work are you doing now? Where do you hope it will take you in the next few years?

So, I am a freelance web designer, network technician, and MCT (Microsoft Certified Trainer) of the client operating system Windows. I work as a very ambitious nature and landscape photographer and I am a Photoshop enthusiast! :- ) I would like to perfect my photography and since my brother is an adventurer and outdoor-freak we want to realize some projects in the future and combine our two competences (my photography and his outdoor experience) to a successful package. Our thoughts go in drone photography. I hope this can be realized and we can align the future of both of us accordingly. The symbiosis of adventure and photography in a professional setting should be perfect. Keep your fingers crossed! :-)

Do you have any tips or tricks you stand by when it comes to your photography that others could learn from?

I am often asked these or similar questions, therefore, my conclusion is this:
  • Learn the basics of photography until you understand it correctly. By basics, I mean the interplay of aperture, shutter speed, and ISO values. Don't be afraid that you won't find the right resources, on the internet some portals are very reliable and very good. Reliable learning portals are e.g. lynda.com, udemy.com or LinkedIn Learning. The biggest advantage of online learning portals is that you can watch the video until you understand it. In school or study, this does not go! It is definitively better to get study information via a tested portal than via freely accessible Youtube videos. These cost a little bit but exceed the benefit by far!
  • Never buy, and I mean never buy a Zoom Kit like Canon EF-S18-55 mmf/3.5- 5.6 IS II or similar from other brands as a beginner. I'm not only talking here about Canon; this applies to all other camera manufacturers like Nikon, Pentax, and so on. I am a Canon photographer and for this reason I can make very good comparisons. To stay with Canon, take instead for a Zoom Standard Lens Kit the Canon standard lens 50mm II 1.8 for 100 dollars. The quality is far better, you learn to work with large and small apertures, you will understand the depth of field and also the correct position to the photographing object you will have to change by the fixed focal length. And one of the biggest advantages I see, however, is that as a beginner you often don't understand why the photo is bad from a lens point of view. You have no experience what a difference a bad and a good lens make. With any 50mm standard fixed focal length lens, you eliminate this implied source of error right from the start! And believe me, the standard 50mm lenses of all known brands are much better than any cheap standard zoom! And if you want to buy other lenses later you can save a lot of money and gain experience by buying lenses not new but used. In my eyes there is nothing better than mpb.com. I hope this is not illegal advertising ... :-) My equipment consists of a Canon 50mm 1.8 II, a Canon EF 17-40mm f/4 L USM, and a Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L IS II USM lenses in combination with a Canon EOS 6D. The equipment has a current value of about 1300 Euros or 1500 dollars. You see that you don't always need the best and newest!
  • Learn Photoshop or Lightroom from scratch! I'm not talking here about other photo editing programs either, because I think that sooner or later you can't avoid these two as photographers and then the switching effort becomes much bigger and more exhausting. Whoever knows Photoshop or Lightroom will never need, use or want another program again! And I think that is not only my subjective opinion. 😊 In the photographic workflow, the post-processing with programs like Photoshop, Lightroom etc. is the most important part for a satisfying result! A photo must be beautiful, aesthetic and harmonious, but it must not necessarily reflect the original mood during the shooting. A different blue or a not oversaturated red is often more beautiful than in the original shot. 
  • Once you understand what you can do with Photoshop to manipulate lights, shadows, colors, and moods you are addicted to perfection and harmony in image design. So, use Photoshop correctly, a picture doesn't change its message but makes it more beautiful. Do you understand what I mean?

    Where are some of the favorite places you have photographed or want to photograph?

    I would like to answer this question with this list! :-)

    Favorite motifs in general: Dolomites, Alps, Nature in my immediate surroundings

    Favorite places: Braies Wild Lake, Antholz Lake, Sorapis Lake, Rieserferner Ahrn Nature Park, Ladinian Dolomites, Zillertal Alps. All these places are in South Tyrol, the northernmost region with the northernmost point of Italy! :-) A paradise of nature and diversity ...

    Favorite season: By far autumn!

    Where I absolutely want to go: The Island of Madagascar; in the air with a helicopter, a light airplane or a hot air balloon to photograph the Dolomites and the Zillertal Alps from above.

    Photographing with a drone!

    Do you have a favorite photograph that you are proud of? Or a few if there are more than one?

    I have a favorite photo that comes to mind immediately and best reflects my quest for simplicity and simple beauty. This photo is my personal treasure about its simple simplicity. 😊

    A photo that is not of me but fascinated me every time is this on pexels.com. The idea and composition, brilliant!

    Other photos taken by me that I like: 

     

     

     

    If you had to give one piece of advice to live by, what would it be?

    Always remain curious, try to judge everything as pragmatically and objectively as possible, and let your heart and humanity decide in an unsolvable situation.

    For photography, my advice is: Don't try to find the most unusual place or motif but try to capture what surrounds you in nature so uniquely that others like
    it! And to reach this target is Photoshop your right partner. Believe me, trust me, you will see! 
    😊 Learn Photoshop, the layers, the filters, and specifically the Camera Raw Filter!