Photo Münsingen 2024: Music in focus

The theme of “Music” is at the center of Photo Münsingen 2024: the competition for photo clubs and eleven of the 27 exhibitions are dedicated to it. You can see, among other things, rock stars, Elvis impersonators, the inner workings of musical instruments and an interpretation of the work “Pictures at an Exhibition” by Modest Mussorgsky. Let's take a first look at a program full of music photography!

First there is the concert photography: the well-known Swiss photographer Hannes Schmid photographed rock stars on and off stage in the 1980s. In Münsingen he shows a selection of his photographs. They not only show well-known figures, but also capture the cultural changes and gender dynamics of this time.

“Emotions on Stage” is the name of the concert photographer’s exhibition Nicole Rötheli. She is present with the camera when musicians like Hecht, Stress or Stefanie Heinzmann perform. Grant emotional looks in blues and jazz clubs Wolf-Peter Steinheisser and Vicenç Semper.

Dance, instruments and Elvis

Axel Brand focuses on the elegance of dancers in his fine art black and white photography. Charles Brooks In “Architecture in Music” he takes a fascinating look at instruments from the inside.

Graeme Oxby documents the subculture of Elvis impersonators and their stories. Students of the CAP photography school photographed on the topic of “sound colors”.

Mussorgsky reinterpreted

Two special projects make the connection between music and photography directly tangible. Seraina Marchal was commissioned to create photos for the musical piece “Pictures at an Exhibition” by Modest Mussorgsky. Mussorgsky composed his piano cycle in 1874 to match paintings and drawings. 150 years later, Seraina Marchal took the opposite approach for Photo Münsingen and was inspired by Mussorgsky's work. Your images will be projected to a live piano concert and will then be exhibited.

The versatile instrumentalist does it the other way around Wieslaw Pipczynski. He will improvise live on four series of images. Members of various photography clubs submitted the images.

The work of the photo clubs

The central component of Photo Münsingen is the competition for photo clubs. 52 photo clubs from all over Switzerland and neighboring countries took photos on the topic of “Music” and competed with their tableaux in the coveted competition «Photo Muensingen Award». These are being carried out for the second time U25 Photo Challenge and the Photo Book Contest.

In the area of ​​club photography they represent Photo clubs from Münsingen, Riedisheim and Kirchzarten Images on the topic of “movement”. Photographers from Münsingen will also present their works on the topic “Electricity and heat”.

PHOTOSUISSE shows the best and award-winning pictures from the annual competition. The award ceremony for the «Swiss Photography Championship» by PHOTOSUISSE will again take place as part of Photo Münsingen.

Animals, places and society

Other photo exhibitions are dedicated to social phenomena: Petra Angela Imhof “Cyberized” explores the relationship between people and technology. Gerardo Garciacano shows street portraits of skiers and snowboarders. Oliver Stegmann takes a look behind the circus scenes in “Circus noir”.

Andrea Knechtle captures forgotten spaces and traces of past lives in “Vestiges – The End of Something”. Unexpected urban perspectives developed Manuel Giron. Romano P. Riedo presents Polaroid images with a special depth. Markus Eichenberger was impressed by the breathtaking starry sky in the Swiss Alps.

Lorenz Andreas Fischer shows animal portraits from Africa. And Karl Schuler After all, he was traveling in the realm of the snow leopards, where he ended up meeting them.

Book a date now!

Photo Münsingen also belong to this year audiovisual productions, Lectures, Photo workshops and – in keeping with the annual theme – musical performances. Take a look at our program now and mark the Ascension Days from May 9th to 12th, 2024 in bold on your agenda!

The Photo Münsingen Award 2023 goes to Appenzell

"Cowwalk" is the name of the winner tableau Photo Club Competition the Pho­to Mün­sin­gen 2023. The Photo Club Appenzellerland convinced the three-person jury. A total of 47 teams from all over Switzerland and neighboring countries took part in the “Customs” competition.

The jury praised the "modern, striking image conception" of the winning tableau. The work plays with details and is characterized by a colorful and fresh way of presentation, she writes in the exhibition catalogue.

This year the jury consisted of Susanna Brändli, Guy Jost and Roland Steffen. "The spectrum of submitted images is large and appropriately reflects the diversity of the subject," the three judges summarized. Many works are on a similar level, only a few have dropped in terms of effect, implementation or technical quality.

Second and third places go to the Sense photo club with the tableau «CHAPEAU!» and the Fricktal photo club with «Bewegte Tradition». The Thun Photo Club («Fulehung»), the Brown Boveri Baden Camera Club («Celtic Rough Nights») and the Dietikon Amateur Photo Club («Alpabzug») follow in fourth to sixth place.

All tableaux are exhibited at Photo Münsingen in the Schlossgutsaal. There, visitors can also judge the work of the photo clubs and win nice prizes. Six winners will be drawn from all the talons submitted. Vouchers from Nikon, Foto Video Zumstein and Bookfactory are waiting for them.

The competition theme for next year is already known: the Photo Münsingen Award 2024 is about “music”.

"Shall we do the bikini photo now?"

In her book, published in 2022 «99x ein­zig­ar­tig» Melinda Blättler shows unfiltered photographs of people with a flaw, a taboo subject or an illness. At the Pho­to Mün­sin­gen presents a selection of them. With the pictures, the photographer from Nidwalden wants to build bridges, show beauty and create understanding.

Melinda Blättler, how did the idea for your book come about?

I noticed that many people on social media don't present themselves as they actually are. With filters and photoshop, with fake breasts and spray-on lips. That annoyed me because teenagers take exactly these people as role models. In my opinion, that's not exactly what they are, because obviously they are not satisfied with themselves. More and more customers came to my studio with specific requests, for example that I should retouch their wrinkles. If I convince them to take the picture first and then decide, most of them are more than satisfied. Against this background, I started the book project two years ago.

How did you find suitable people for the book?

I launched an appeal via social media, radio and television. The echo was tremendous. From the messages I received, I selected them in such a way that as many “flaws” as possible could be depicted in the book. These include not only people with illnesses or the consequences of accidents, but also homosexuals or couples with different skin colors. I looked for people who in some way didn't conform to the norm that others point the finger at. During the course of the project, I had the idea of ​​specifically looking for a 99-year-old person, so that the book now shows 99 people aged between a few months and 99 years.

How did you go about removing people's inhibitions about focusing on their "flaws"?

First they told me their story in a conversation. By listening and observing attentively, I registered where and how they reacted when telling stories. My approach to the shoot was correspondingly individual. A woman who had told me that she liked to dance, I let her dance in front of the camera to break the ice. I asked the man who had the accident to close his eyes and think back to the moment of the accident. When he opened his eyes, I pulled the trigger. The result is a very intense photo. When someone lets go and just be themselves and you can capture that in the photo, the picture will be good.

What were the reactions of those portrayed to the shooting?

Many said they felt very comfortable with me, even to the point of asking if I had any psychological background. For some, working on the project had a certain therapeutic effect. After she couldn't imagine it at first, the overweight woman asked me at the end of the shoot if we couldn't take the bikini photo now.

Are you still in contact with the people?

Yes, we have a common chat. Sometimes we organize a meeting with the aim that those portrayed can get to know each other and exchange ideas. Friendships grew out of this. Some will be present at Photo Münsingen and report on their experiences.

How did you deal with the often painful stories yourself?

Of course they affected me, but the project also made me stronger and gave me a new perspective. Some of the stories, especially those related to psychological impairments, stayed with me for a few more days. Through the shooting I was able to process what I heard to a certain extent.

All photos in the book are black and white and taken in your studio. Why?

It was important to me that the person is in the center, neither colors nor the background should distract. I wanted to make classic pictures. That is why everyone portrayed is dressed simply and wears neither make-up nor jewellery.

How were the reactions to the book and the exhibition in Stansstad last summer?

Very positive. At the exhibition, where some of those portrayed also told their stories personally, the reactions were very emotional. I also keep getting feedback on the book, the pictures got under your skin and made you think. If I can achieve that with the project, I'm very happy.

How optimistic are you that social rethinking will take place in the future?

Lately I've noticed that social media stars are increasingly presenting themselves without make-up and without filters. If I see something like this or topic-related posts, I post it on my channels so that these topics remain present. I think something is happening, but unfortunately the thinking in society will not change that quickly.

Interview: Raffael von Niederhäuser

Melinda Blättler at the Pho­to Mün­sin­gen 2023:

«In the Düdinger Moos I could almost take nicer pictures than in the Rio Negro»

For four decades, Michel Roggo has been photographing freshwater, mostly underwater, all over the world. When the corona virus stopped his international projects in 2020, he began photographing the Aare and its tributaries. The Exhibition mainly shows these new works from the canton of Bern, quite a few from the Aare landscape near Münsingen.

Michel Roggo, how did you get into underwater photography around 40 years ago?

I used to go to the water a lot when I was a little boy. At the age of 30 I started taking photographs and fly fishing at about the same time. With the latter, it is important to observe carefully. I noticed how beautiful the underwater world is. So the step to underwater photography was obvious. Soon I undertook my first trip to Alaska and there began to work photographically with salmon.

And you stuck to it: What is the special appeal of underwater photography for you?

The difficulty. I love challenges, that's my nature. Starting with an idea for a picture, finding a way to implement it. How do I bring the camera to a certain place: With a pole? Do I snorkel or dive? I'm also fascinated by this black box: We have a picture of the distant coral reef, but not of the small creek on our doorstep. When I was tied to Switzerland for a while because of the corona pandemic, I went to the Düdinger Moos to take pictures. And I was almost able to take nicer pictures there than in the Rio Negro, where I actually would have worked at the time. Anyone who saw these photos could hardly believe that they were taken in Düdingen.

So, for someone like you who has seen the waters of the world, wasn't the local underwater world unspectacular?

no way. I now enjoy traveling in Switzerland very much. The underwater scenery here is beautiful. When the light falls through the trees into the water and shines through the algae, it can be magical. I can also work more intensively here: in the summer of 2022, for example, I photographed for five weeks in virtually the same place in the Aare. That means: I go there and take photos, then I need maybe two days for the selection, correct certain things and then go back. I can't do that abroad, I'm under a lot more pressure there.

What does it take for you to be happy with a picture?

Many factors come together here. It's about composition, lighting, the balance of colors and objects. When I'm in a place in the water, I'm looking for a composition, then maybe waiting for the wind or waves to change, or for a fish to swim into it. Last summer I lay in a tributary of the Aare for three hours. I was completely absorbed in this world and at some point the fish swam around me. I want to capture that mood. At best, the viewer of the picture feels as if they are in the water in my place.

How did the pictures you are exhibiting at Photo Münsingen come about?

Partly on the shore or standing in the water, partly I dived or snorkeled. When I'm standing in the water, I hold the camera, which is attached to a pole, in the water. On a display above water, I can see what I'm photographing. I only use full-frame cameras with different resolutions. One of them takes macro shots, but with a wide-angle effect. I can get very close with this. I haven't used flash in 20 years, so I have to work with natural light. I also take pictures with low ISO values ​​of 200 or even better 100. I use special underwater housings and adapt them so that I can control the camera remotely. I have always loved to spend a lot of time tinkering, for example to find watertight solutions. I spent about a year developing a working remote control.

Recently you've been on the road a lot for the Canton of Bern's renaturation fund. What does this assignment mean to you?

Unfortunately, we humans have destroyed many things. Overall, the state of our waters is catastrophic. In the 1980s I was able to take photos with hundreds of grayling in the Aare near Münsingen, but this time I didn't see a single one. But there are places that have been largely spared or have just been upgraded again through targeted renaturation measures. The canton can take over the prints of my pictures and exhibit them in schools, for example. I am happy if I can contribute to raising awareness with my work. The younger generations in particular should also keep hope and see that we can correct mistakes.

What are your plans for the near future?

At the moment I'm working on a system for equipping an underwater drone with a full-frame camera. Unfortunately, the image quality of the drones on the market is still not good enough. For example, I would like to be able to take pictures of the place where all the barbels from Sense, Saane and Aare come together to spend the winter. Diving is difficult there in winter, but a drone at 20 meters depth could probably produce incredible new images - and reveal another part of the black box.

Interview: Raffael von Niederhäuser

Michel Roggo at the Photo Münsingen 2023:

Photo Book Competition and U25 Photo Challenge: Join now!

The Pho­to Mün­sin­gen is launching two new competitions for this year's edition: together with Bookfactory, we are looking for the best photo books in Switzerland. Together with BERN-OST let's start the «U25 Pho­to Chall­enge». Now it's time to participate and win!

The “U25 Photo Challenge” is aimed at teenagers and young adults born in 1998 or later. The theme of the competition is «Water». What is needed are photos in which water plays a role. Whether landscape shots, studio shots or abstract images - creativity, imagination and good implementation are the focus. It doesn't matter whether the picture is taken with a smartphone or a digital camera, or developed in analogue form and then scanned.

Participation is uncomplicated and takes place via BERN-OST via the following link:

To the “U25 Photo Challenge”…

The submission deadline is March 31, 2023. After that, the submitted images will be judged and exhibited at Photo Münsingen.

You can win vouchers from the Ni­kon Foto School worth CHF 750 for first place, CHF 500 for second place and CHF 250 for fourth place. The third place winner wins 300 francs in cash, sponsored by BERN-OST. The fifth prize is a voucher from Bookfactory worth 200 francs.

The most beautiful photo book in Switzerland

In a second competition, we are dedicating ourselves to the photo book category. Together with the main sponsor Bookfactory, the best, most original or most unusual photo books in Switzerland are sought.

You have until April 23, 2023 to submit your most beautiful Bookfactory photo book using the link below. Convince the jury with your snapshots, the best shots or artfully arranged pictures. Be creative and try something new!

The content, design and overall impression of the photo book are evaluated. The topic is freely selectable. The main prize is a new Fuji camera X‑T5 with lens! The best books are also presented at the Pho­to Mün­sin­gen be visible.

To the photo book competition…

Photo Münsingen 2023: water, customs and new competitions

"Water" in all its diversity is the main theme of the Pho­to Mün­sin­gen 2023. We are proud that Michel Roggo - one of the best underwater photographers - is bringing us closer to the underwater world of the Amazon and Aare. In 2023 there are other aspects of "water photography" to be discovered, the club competition on the topic of "customs", many creative photo exhibitions, lectures, audiovisual productions and photo workshops.

Michel Rogo shows at the Pho­to Mün­sin­gen 2023 in his unmistakable style the underwater world from the Amazon to the Aare. He not only exhibits current pictures, but also speaks in one Lecture on Friday evening also about his work.

Six other exhibitions show "water photography" in all its diversity: There are the icy worlds of the marine biologist Julia Hager, the «flooded cathedrals» of Silvio Maraini or the waterfall photos from Jean-Francois Delhom.

Reported in «Border of Hope» Lauren Schmid via the risky escape route from Libya across the Mediterranean to Europe. Urs Wohlwend photographed for his coastal pictures with a moving camera. And Res Reinhard continued for his series «Eau et Noir» Dancers with water elements in scene.

Club competition on the theme "Customs"

An important element of Pho­to Mün­sin­gen is also this year the club photography. 48 teams compete at the «Pho­to Mün­sin­gen Award» on the subject of "customs". The Photo clubs from Münsingen, Riedisheim and Kirchzarten exhibit pictures on the subject of «Yellow».

The PHOTOSUISSE shows the best and award-winning pictures from the annual competition. The award ceremony for the «Swiss Photography Championship» by PHOTOSUISSE will again take place as part of Photo Münsingen.

People, landscapes and silent helpers

Other photo exhibitions deal with people, landscapes and silent helpers: Melinda Blättler photographed for her project «99x ein­zig­ar­tig #un­ge­fil­ter­te Por­traits» People with a flaw, taboo subject or illness. Marielsa Niels questioned in «Dans l'antre du soi» our concept of female-male. Gia Chkhatarashvili shows the daily life of the inhabitants of two mountain regions of Georgia.

For «Mo­der­ni­zing Na­tu­re» photographed Zak van Biljon the beauty of nature in the near infrared. Thomas Biasotto in turn, he combines daylight shots with starry skies for his «Landscapes at Night». Alexandra Schmid placed everyday objects in the center of attention in “Employee of the Month”.

For the first time with a photo exhibition as a guest at the Pho­to Mün­sin­gen is the CAP photography school. 16 students of the intensive practical course show a cross-section of the work created in the current training year.

«U25 Photo Challenge» and photo book competition

The organizing committee has decided to implement some new ideas for this year. "We want to entice younger people to take photos," says President Urs Hintermann. This year, for the first time, the «U25 Photo Challenge» on the subject of water. It will be together with the internet portal BERN-OST carried out. The best pictures will be exhibited in Münsingen.

Besides, she wants Pho­to Mün­sin­gen offer a platform for the photo book as a medium of expression. At the Photo Book Contest together with main sponsor Book­fac­to­ry the best, most original or unusual photo books are sought. The most beautiful results are also exhibited there.

Book a date now!

Photo Münsingen also belong to this year audiovisual productions, Lectures, Photo workshops and product demos. Take a look at our program now and mark the Ascension Days from May 18 to 21, 2023 in bold on your agenda!

Cover picture: © Michel Roggo

The Photo Münsingen Award 2022 goes to Lucerne

"Last Call" is the name of the winner tableau Photo Club Competition the Pho­to Mün­sin­gen 2022. The work of the Lucerne photo team convinced the jury. 50 teams from all over Switzerland took part in the "Abstract" competition.

 "Very, very, beautiful," said Antonino Catalano about the tableau of the Photo teams Lucerne on the occasion of the vernissage. The picture was discussed in the three-person jury. «The cable in the middle is the connection between above and below. The four components on the page form a circle that holds together. And the red dot looks like the dot on the I,” Catalano describes the composition. Alongside him, Alice Lautenschlager and Anita Vozza acted as jurors.

The jury placed the photo club Münsingen with "Berner Brunnen" and the photo club Ebikon with "water colors" in second and third place. Then come the Fotoclub Fricktal (“Curved”), the Fotofreunde Oberaargau (“Indigo”) and the Fotoklub Solothurn (“Abstract”).

All panels are at the Pho­to Mün­sin­gen exhibited in the castle hall. There, visitors can also judge the work of the photo clubs and win nice prizes. Six winners will be drawn from all the talons submitted on Sunday, May 29th. Vouchers from Nikon, Foto Video Zumstein and Bookfactory are waiting for them.

Incidentally, the theme of the competition for next year is already known: the Photo Münsingen Award 2023 is about “customs”.

To the exposition…
To the visitor competition…

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…