At the age of ten I got my first “real” camera from my grandfather. It was a Zeiss Contaflex I, a reflex camera with a fixed lens from 1953, and since my grandfather was an excellent photographer, he gave me a thorough introduction to this completely new subject. This was the beginning of a passion that should accompany me through my life from now on.
I learned the photographic craft from scratch, because this camera didn’t even have an exposure meter. To top it all off, the shutter was also resinous, so that the shutter speeds depended more on chance than on my well-considered setting, especially in cooler weather. Although this was a frustrating experience many times, I had finally tasted blood. I now saved every penny of my modest student budget to fulfill the great dream of a modern SLR camera: In the mid-1970s it was time for me to buy a Minolta XE-1, which marked the beginning of a whole new era for me. Now I was able to concentrate on taking pictures and the constant struggle with the unreliable technology had finally come to an end.
Photography has taken a prominent place in my life and over time I have been able to learn many facets of it. For years I spent the evenings in my own black-and-white lab. As a young adult I switched to slide film, mainly because I was fascinated by the effect of large projected color slides. At that time, of course, I had no idea that this would be the foundation for my future professional life.
During my physics studies at the RWTH Aachen University, I was climbing in the mountains a lot and my Minox 35 GT was always with me. Climbing was, however, the first priority and photography was used primarily for documentation. During the whole year I went on more and more mountain tours with photography in the foreground. This led to the first major exhibition in a bank headquarters in Cologne. At that time, I did the magnifications on Ilford Cibachrome during the nights in the laboratory of my university institute. Some of them are still on the walls at home today.
In the mid-1980s, I became increasingly interested in slide crossfading technology with several slide projectors. At that time there were hardly any possibilities to control such slide shows by computer. As a physics student with a minor in data processing and a passion for photography, I naturally had to change this and began to develop software and hardware for controlling slide projectors. In countless night shifts, the world’s first software (known as “AudioSlide”) was created, combining slide projector control with audio editing and synchronization. The response in the professional world was enormous and so I followed my gut feeling, hung up my almost finished doctorate in physics and started my own business. A few years later I moved to Austria to develop the software Wings for AV Stumpfl (Wallern, Upper Austria) based on my AudioSlide project.
As a result of my commitment to photography, this has become my second profession alongside software development over the years. In the meantime, all product photography for AV Stumpfl has become part of my job, and it is always a pleasure to see the pictures taken in my own photo studio in high-quality printed catalogues or on the company’s website in the public eye. Another highlight are the photo shootings with Mai Cocopelli, Austria’s most popular songwriter for children. I am very happy that my photos are allowed to decorate their CD covers, song books, website, posters, etc.. The shootings with Mai are always a welcome change to my other field of activity.
I am very happy to be able to live and travel together with my photo enthusiastic wife Ira. Hardly a day goes by without any photographic activities, and the galleries in my portfolio show a section of them.