Interview with Thomas Kern: "I just come to you as a person."

For the series "Je te regarde et tu dis" Thomas Kern photographed 61 people from all areas of the canton of Fribourg. In the interview he talks about the creation of the series, his working method and the selection of the portrayed.

Thomas Kern, you are at home in Aargau, but for the 12th edition of the "Photographic investigation: Freiburg theme" you portrayed the people of Freiburg for a whole year. how come

I have to digress a bit. The Enquête Photographique Fribourgeoise is a competition that I have known for a long time. However, I didn't realize for a long time that it was also open to photographers from outside the canton and that I could apply there. After my exhibition about Haiti in 2017, I didn't have any major projects. So I found it interesting to apply here.

So you were looking for a topic.

Yes. It wasn't that easy, because I'm not from Freiburg. I don't have a large income. It quickly became clear to me that I wanted to do portraits - because I just like doing it. I didn't want to impose a theme on the whole thing, though. For example, I didn't want to photograph a certain ethnic group or a certain type of people. I wanted to leave that open. When applying, the great art was to describe the project on three pages in a comprehensible way without telling the jury which people in the canton of Friborg I would ultimately be photographing. At the time, I didn't even want to know myself, I just wanted to leave it to chance.

So how did you choose the people for your portraits?

As part of my research, I read a book by Jean-François Haas, a writer from Fribourg. In these novellas, Haas unspectacularly described the lives of random people in very beautiful stories. I immediately had the feeling that they were from Freiburg, even though it wasn't declared anywhere. That was like a guide for me. So I started with him. Then I had a few more people to connect with. For example, a tobacco farmer I once did a report about. I asked these people to pass me on to someone next. About 80 percent of the contacts came about through references.

Elsewhere you mentioned the concentration between you and the sitter. What do you mean by that?

When photographing, a moment should arise in which there is nothing between me and the photographed person. No image, no mask. I wanted to get as close to the people as possible. Create a common focus. It was important to me that people's views were unobstructed. Because that allows viewers to look inside the images. As soon as I take a portrait where the facial expression is the result of an interaction between me and that person, then as a photographer I own that moment. However, I wanted the people looking at these pictures to be able to look inside the pictures. And that the people I photographed look at the viewers exactly as they looked at me.

How is it possible to achieve this concentration?

This is very individual, there is no recipe. It was important to me that I talked to people about the project beforehand: I'll come to your house and there's no reason. Except that someone called your name. We don't know each other and I don't want you to represent anything - even if you're in a football club, I won't come and photograph you as a footballer. I just come to you as a human. I want to leave everything else out of the picture. People understood that.

What role does technology play here?

I took the pictures analogue, that was clear to me for various reasons. On the one hand, I grew up with it. It's a technique that doesn't scare me. On the other hand, as a photographer, it forces me to be more careful, especially with portraits. It's a slower process. After twelve frames I have to change the film. The rhythm is different than when I expose 1500 images. It's also important: I don't have to see what I'm doing and, above all, I don't want the person portrayed to see what I'm doing.

We are all constantly being photographed these days. So much so that taking pictures is no longer perceived as the actual action. But if you take pictures so slowly, then it suddenly becomes an act. That leads people to the moment when I say, "Now, that's fine, the light is right, now don't think about anything".

How did you choose the location of the portrait and the position of the portrayed?

I didn't really care what background appeared in the picture. Nevertheless, my goal was always to take an interesting picture. Since I was working with natural light, the choice in terms of location was mostly minimal. I needed a bit of space and the light had to be there. So that's what happened. For posture I give very light instructions, watch the body language to see if the person is comfortable. At the end there are very few instructions. “Look into the camera, look directly, please shut your mouth”. I didn't want people to laugh because it's a strong gesture that immediately puts them at a certain distance.

To what extent were those portrayed able to have a say?

Actually, I didn't even ask her. Although I feel like it's something very collaborative we're doing. It was clear from the start that I would take the photo.

To the exhibition by Thomas Kern…

To the lecture by Thomas Kern…

Cover picture: © Luca Zanetti

Photosuisse 2021: award ceremony at Photo Münsingen

As part of Photo Münsingen, the PHOTOSUISSE award ceremony will take place on Saturday, May 28, 2022 at 14.00:2021 p.m. The umbrella organization of people interested in photography from all over Switzerland honors its best photographers and the best clubs of the XNUMX competition.

It's a kind of Swiss photography championship: every year, PHOTOSUISSE honors the best photographers and the best photo clubs in a competition. Each in separate categories for color and black-and-white images, as well as for digital images, paper images and portfolios. And also in individual ratings for certain topics.

For the 2021 edition, 483 print images and 656 digital photos from 15 different clubs were submitted by a total of 114 members. These photos were judged by René Dürr (CH), Viola Michaelis (CH), Klaus Loorbeer (A) and Michel Planson (F).

The winners are:

  • Best All-Around Photographer Jean-Marc Ayer, SGP Genève
  • Best all-round club AARSO Fotoklub, Zofingen
  • Best Color Photographer Jean-Marc Ayer, SGP Genève
  • Best black and white photographer Daniel Brändli, AARSO Fotoklub, Zofingen
  • Best Color Club AARSO Photo Club, Zofingen
  • Best Black and White Club AARSO Photo Club, Zofingen

The complete rankings are available on the Photosuisse website.

The best and award-winning pictures from the annual competitions from 2019 to 2021 are shown PHOTOSUISSE at Photo Münsingen. A photo book with the pictures is published for each year. PHOTOSUISSE is the umbrella organization for people interested in photography from all over Switzerland. There are currently 38 photo clubs and around 130 people as individual members.

Cover photo: Morning encounterm, © Jean-Marc Ayer, Best All-Around Photographer 2021

Sports photographer Martin Bissig: "It's just as exhausting for me as it is for the athletes"

As an action and mountain bike photographer, Martin Bissig accompanies athletes on their adventures to remote corners of the world. At Photo Münsingen he is showing excerpts from the series "Facing K2" (Pakistan), "Chasing Trails" (Iran) and "Nekor - A Pilgrim Ride" (Tibet). In the interview, Bissig talks about his working methods, preparations and equipment.

Martin Bissig, you accompany athletes on their adventures. How do you prepare for such a mission?

A distinction must be made between material and physical preparation. With regard to the material, it's important that I know right from the start what I'm going to encounter, what it looks like on site and what my options are. For example, there is often no way to charge batteries for days. So I have to make sure that I can work autonomously during this time. That means: having enough memory cards and batteries with you, having the option of making a backup and so on. Then I always work with two cameras in case one fails. Also important are radios to talk to the athletes, or a drone. It's often difficult to get something like this when you're on the go.

What is the physical preparation like?

I travel a lot before the expedition. I don't train specifically, but I try to be in good physical shape all year round. It's just as physically demanding for me as it is for the athletes. When it comes to altitude, I have already acclimatized in a high-altitude tent at home. I prepare well, because if an athlete drops out during an expedition, that's part of the story. On the other hand, if I fail, there are no pictures. And I can't afford that.

What camera equipment do you work with?

I've been working with the Canon system completely mirrorless for three years - mainly because of the size and weight, which is very relevant for me. I always work with two cameras at the same time. I have a 15mm wide-angle lens on one, a superzoom on the other, currently a 24-240mm. It's important to me that I can cover the entire focal length range and don't have to change lenses. I have the cameras on a hip belt, so I'm ready at all times.

Who are the clients for these pictures, how is your work financed?

You have to differentiate: on the one hand there are the expeditions. I don't earn enough with these to be able to earn my living in Switzerland. Although the stories are published in fifteen to twenty countries at a time and are also financed by sponsors. On the other hand, I do a lot of commercial work, here in Switzerland and in neighboring countries. For bike manufacturers, backpack manufacturers, holiday destinations and so on. That's how I earn my money.

The expeditions I do are financed by sponsors, who then also receive part of the pictures. Or by athletes, who in turn covered this with sponsors. Partly also from tourist destinations where we are invited. And then I get a little kickback from the magazines in which we publish.

How do you work on site: are you a silent observer or do you arrange things?

On an expedition, I try to be as real and authentic as possible. I don't arrange anything, I don't set anything, but most of what happens happens that way. That means I'm really an observer. There are of course action scenes that we do two or three times to make it look cool, but I wouldn't arrange anything that doesn't correspond to reality.

What is involved in your work on site?

On an expedition like the one in Pakistan, that's a very large area that I cover in the form of a one-man show: I filmed, photographed, flew drones, did the sound. I also edited the film and distributed images to the magazines. On site, my working day starts early in the morning when I get up and the driver ends after a hard day of interviews.

Do you have a tip for photographers who want to get into extreme sports and action photography?

There is really only one thing: go out, do, have fun with what you like to do. Commercial success usually comes naturally afterwards. Although you have to say: it's a tough place, there are many existing and good photographers out there who already have a name. To get started, I suggest teaming up with an athlete. Or in the commercial sector to contact manufacturers of outdoor equipment. There are always cool, young brands that are also looking for cool young photographers.

To the exhibition by Martin Bissig…

To the lecture by Martin Bissig…

 

Competition for photo clubs 2022: the jury

«Abstract» is the theme of the photo club competition Pho­to Münsin­gen 2022. On April 2nd, the jury of the competition met in Belp. Alice Lautenschlager (St. Gallen), Anita Vozza (Magglingen) and Antonino Catalano (Glis) judged the submitted tableaus.

This year, 50 teams from all over Switzerland and neighboring countries participated in the Photo Club Competition participated. Her tableaux will be on display in the Schlossgutsaal. The works contain four or five pictures of different club members.

The winners of the competition will be announced at the vernissage on May 25, 2022. Waiting for the winning club «Pho­to Münsin­gen Award 2022» and 500 francs, donated by the municipality of Münsingen. Ranks two through six will be rewarded with coupons from Foto Vi­deo Zum­stein rewarded.

Manfred Schär was present with the camera during the judging. His impressions are in the gallery...

Photo Münsingen 2022: sports photography, abstracts, portraits and more

Photo Münsingen will be back in just over three months! This year's edition will open its doors from May 26th to 29th, 2022. The focus is on sports photography and the competition for photo clubs with the theme «Abstract». The program also includes black and white portraits, architectural and landscape photography, lectures, photo workshops, audiovisual productions and much more.

The 2020 and 2021 edition of Photo Münsingen could not be carried out due to the corona pandemic. This year, however, we are confident that Photo Münsingen can take place from May 26th to 29th, 2022 on the beautiful Schlossgut area and that we can experience inspiring encounters again. Some exciting additions have been made to the program originally planned for 2020.

Focus on sports photography

In the Photo exhibitions sports photography is a focus: six photographers devote themselves to different sports:

Club photography is further in the focus: 55 teams compete at the "Photo Münsingen Award" on the topic "Abstract". the Photo clubs from Münsingen, Riedisheim and Kirchzarten exhibit pictures on the topic of «transparency». The PHOTOSUISSE shows the best and award-winning pictures from the annual competition.

People, creatives and the pandemic

The portrait series "Je te regarde et tu dis" by Thomas Kern. The two-time winner of one World Press Award photographed the people of Freiburg in their homes. Also the series «Artistic Nudes» by Barbara Huwiler and "It's so old...!" from Doris Wuthrich show people.

There are also creative photo exhibitions, including: Brigitte Aeberhard to the poetry of blur, Csaba Balasi (RO) with his Winter Story, Har­ry Lie­ber (DE) on fine art architecture photography and Werner Richners (EN) Magic Moments.

Photo arena offers ten photographers a platform to present their picture series on twelve screens.

And our way of dealing with the pandemic is also given space in an exhibition. The 20 best pictures of the competition «Live and take pictures in times of Corona» will be shown at Photo Münsingen 2022 in the Schlossgut area.

With the single axle to the North Cape

The Audio Vision “Totally Wacky” Andreas Zimmermann reports how he drove to the North Cape with the two-wheeler. Additional audiovisual productions are presented on the big screen in the Füürwehrsaal every afternoon.

The Photo Münsingen also offers various Lectures, more than 20 Photo workshops, product demos and lots of opportunities to exchange ideas about photography, your own ideas and the associated technology.

Reserve the Ascension Days from May 26th to 29th, 2022!

Photo Münsingen 2020: Sports photography and urban issues

The subject of “Urban” and sports photography will be the focus of the 21st Photo Münsingen from May 24 to 2020, 21. There are also multifaceted photo exhibitions, current club photography, the Photo Arena, lectures, photo workshops and audiovisual productions.

Sports photography is a focus of this year's Photo Münsingen. Six photo exhibitions are dedicated to different sports:

“Urban” theme in the competition for photo clubs

The focus in 2020 will also be on club photography: over 60 teams compete for the "Photo Münsingen Award" on the subject of “urban”. The photo clubs out Münsingen, Riedisheim and Kirchzarten exhibit pictures on their annual theme of "transparency". The Photosuisse shows the best and award-winning pictures from the annual competition.

In other photo exhibitions, photographers present their creative work, including: Elena Martynyuk (RU) Fantasy, Brigitte Aeberhard for Poetry of blurring, Csaba Balási (RO) with his Winter story, Harry Lieber (DE) for Fine art architecture photography and Werner Richners (DE) Magic moments.

With the single axle to the North Cape

The digital one Photo arena offers ten photographers a platform to present their series of images on 12 screens. In the Audio Vision 'Totally Crazy' Andreas Zimmermann reports how he drove to the North Cape with the single-axle vehicle. Further audiovisual productions are presented on the big screen every afternoon in the Füürwehrsaal. Lectures, photo workshops and guided tours enable the exchange between photographers and those interested in photography.

Reserve the ascent days from May 21 to 24, 2020 for your visit to Münsingen now. We look forward to you!

Impressions of Photo Münsingen 2019: pictures, videos and social media

Photo Münsingen 2019 is in full swing. First impressions can be found in the picture gallery, video interviews and further impressions on social media.

In the gallery and on Flickr we have photos of the vernissage and first impressions of Photo Münsingen 2019. To the gallery…

 

We report on the exhibition daily on Facebook. Various exhibitors speak in video interviews about their topics and Photo Münsingen. To the Photo Münsingen Facebook page ...

Lectures, guided tours, audio vision: an overview of the dates

Numerous guided tours and lectures will take place on the four exhibition days. When is what going on? An overview.

Thursday May 30, 2019

Exhibitions and Photo Arena open from 10 a.m. to 17 p.m.

10.30 Lecture: Walter Weber, Fuji - Kirchgemeindehaus
11.00 Lecture: Patrick Rohr - Füürwehrsaal
13.00 Guided tour: Adrian Moser - Schlossgutplatz
13.30 Guided tour: Wolfgang Wiesen (D) - Schlossallee

Lecture: Christian Reding, Nikon - Kirchgemeindehaus

14.00 Guided tour: Alain Rivière-Lecoeur - Flower House

Guided tour: Christian Bobst - Parish Hall

14.30 Guided tour: Pascal Sentenac (F) - castle

Guided tour: Dominic Nahr - Schlossweg

15.00 Guided tour: Patrick Rohr - Castle

Lecture: Silvan Schär, Photo Zumstein - Kirchgemeindehaus

15.30 Guided tour: alex and felix - castle
16.00 Guided tour: Julie de Waroquier Castle
16.30 Guided tour: Elsbeth Stalder - Schlossgut Retirement Center

Panel discussion - Füürwehrsaal

17.00 Guided tour: Noemi Romano - youth center / cellar

Friday 31st May 2019

Exhibitions and Photo Arena open from 10 a.m. to 19 p.m.

10.30 Lecture: Walter Weber, Fuji - Kirchgemeindehaus
11.00 Lecture: alex and felix - Füürwehrsaal
13.30 Guided tour: Swissinstameet - Castle Park

Lecture: Christian Reding, Nikon - Kirchgemeindehaus

14.00 Guided tour: Jürg Ramseier - Castle
15.00 Lecture: Silvan Schär, Photo Zumstein - Kirchgemeindehaus
19.00 Multivision: Katja and Josef Niedermeier: Füürwehrsaal
20.00 Guided tour: Noemi Romano - youth center / cellar
21.00 Concert: Josua Romano - youth center / cellar

Saturday June 1st

Exhibitions and Photo Arena open from 10 a.m. to 18 p.m.

10.30 Lecture: Walter Weber, Fuji - Kirchgemeindehaus
11.00 Lecture: Wolfgang Wiesen, - Füürwehrsaal
13.30 Guided tour: Wolfgang Wiesen - Schlossallee

Guided tour: Swissinstameet - Castle Park

Lecture: Christian Reding, Nikon - Kirchgemeindehaus

14.00 Guided tour: Alain Rivière-Lecoeur - Flower House

Guided tour: Jürg Ramseier - Castle

14.30 Guided tour: Pascal Sentenac - castle

Guided tour: Dominic Nahr - Schlossweg

15.00 Lecture: Silvan Schär, Photo Zumstein - Kirchgemeindehaus
16.00 Guided tour: Julie de Waroquier Castle
16.30 Guided tour: Elsbeth Stalder - Schlossgut Retirement Center

Lecture: Dominic Nahr - Füürwehrsaal

17.00 Guided tour: Noemi Romano - youth center / cellar

Sunday June 2nd

Exhibitions and Photo Arena open from 10 a.m. to 17 p.m.

10.30 Lecture: Walter Weber, Fuji - Kirchgemeindehaus
11.00 Lecture: Adrian Moser - Füürwehrsaal
13.00 Guided tour: Adrian Moser - Schlossgutplatz
13.30 Guided tour: Swissinstameet - Castle Park

Lecture: Christian Reding, Nikon - Kirchgemeindehaus

14.00 Guided tour: Christian Bobst - Parish Hall
15.30 Guided tour: alex and felix - castle
16.00 Raffle of the winners of the visitor competition - Schlossgutsaal

The Audio Vision blocks in the Füürwehrsaal start daily at: 13.00:13.30 p.m., 14.00:14.30 p.m., 15.00:15.30 p.m., XNUMX:XNUMX p.m., XNUMX:XNUMX p.m., XNUMX:XNUMX p.m.

"Mein Münsingen" and "Serien": The region at Photo Münsingen 2019

Münsingen and the region are also strongly represented at Photo Münsingen 2019: Jürg Ramseier shows pictures from Münsingen, the Münsingen photo club dealt with series and Elsbeth Stalder presents color pictures from her rose garden.

"Mein Münsingen" is the name of the exhibition by Jürg Ramseier, which will be on display in the palace at Photo Münsingen 2019. In the book of the same name, Bernhard Giger writes about the photographer: "Jürg Ramseier's view of his community is loving and neighborly in a way that reveals how much what he has seen and photographed on his tours is part of his life."

The photographer has just a few kilometers from Münsingen, namely in Trimstein Noe Romano her studio. At Photo Münsingen 2019 she shows men in different productions and contexts. The series of images take up socially critical issues and aim at internal controversies of the viewer.

Münsingen Photo Club has worked on the topic of "series" this year. The resulting pictures can be seen in the garden of the flower house. Elsbeth Stalder, Member of the Münsingen photo club, also presents color images from her rose garden in her solo exhibition. Flowers and water are her favorite subjects.

The four Photo clubs Belp, Thun, Solothurn and Blende 8 Bernwho have been actively helping Photo Münsingen for years, show current work from their clubs.

Exhibition "Garden Magic" opens

The first exhibition at Photo Münsingen 2019 was opened with an atmospheric vernissage in the retirement center. Elsbeth Stalder from Fotoclub Münsingen is a very active photographer and presents pictures on the subject of “garden magic”. She maintains a beautiful garden and passionately photographs her favorite subjects of roses and water.

But Elsbeth Stalder also always dares to work creatively and successfully. Multiple exposures and painting with the camera are further examples of her diverse work. She is constantly training and her work can also be found on Instagram @ stalder.elsbeth to be tracked.