Four men in a boat

A dpa-report for the German media:

Photography Quartet catches "The Wonder of Creation"

By Rolf Liffers, dpa

(dpa/inw). Nature photographers are natural loners. That applies to Fritz Poelking from Greven by Muenster and Willi Rolfes from the lower saxonian Vechta just as much as for Bernhard Volmer from Osnabrueck and Juergen Borris who is from Neuhaus, Solling.

"Obviously: A pack will shy away the horses", the prize-winning photo creators agree.

Still, they have joined forces with the work group "" (aperture4) Ė named after the large lens setting during long focal distances. "There are always projects you just canít carry out on your own", says master of photography Fritz Poelking (66), "a classical example was our attempt to catch the dramatic moment of a heron diving into the water. Without teamwork nothing would have worked up there in Sweden."

Nevertheless, everyone has a "spleen". Poelking, with the patience of an angel, has captured the family life of African leopards on celluloid. He snapped 39.600 slides in the Masai Mara of Kenya. "There was only one picture though that made a furor, the one where little Beauty sprang in her motherís face". But that was not the major focus of the free-lance photographer. He wanted to commit the "complete story of her life with all of her children and grandchildren" on a slide plate. Ten times he had to fly to the black continent. "Projects are planned for years", the cosmopolitan who has won numerous international prizes as well as being chosen as the BBC-Wildlife Photographer of the year as early as 1977, explains, "I want to tell stories with my pictures".

The favorite subject for Willi Rolfes (38) from the lower saxonian Vechta is the moor. In every day life he is a social instructor for the Catholic Church. His standards are accordingly: with "I want to depict the wonders of creation" and sums up his ambition, "besides that, I want to contribute to the preservation of the landscape". He also needs a lot of patience. "In the meantime I can photographically present 56 types of dragon flies. Whereas I am not focused on its entireness. What is important for me is that the picture is taken natural and that it evokes an aesthetic and emotional reaction. I would never fake a picture."

Bernhard Vollmer, 44 years old and a self-employed roofer with a masterís degree, finds the detailed account of fast motion in the wilderness as a special challenge. That is the reason he especially enjoys tracking bats. Together with the scientists of the University of Osnabrueck he studies the flight and prey activities of the nocturnal flyer. He has traveled half the world in his spare time; observed the bald eagles while catching fish and dancing cranes: but the Duemmer Lake, the moors of northern Germany and the Teutoburger Forest are his preferred areas of work.

Banker Juergen Borris (47) is especially fascinated with the domestic birds and mammals of the northern German countryside. "You can only achieve good results if you spend a long and intensive period of time in a specific area or with an animal species." the man who is originally from Bornum says from experience. This is why, with a lot of feeling, he was able to have a band of wild boar accept him among them and let him take pictures.

Apparently high risk while working have put Poelking, who has been chosen as nature photographer of the year three times in a row by the GDT (Gesellschaft Deutscher Tierfotografen) Society of German Wildlife Photographers, into the realm of legends. "The most dangerous about wildlife photography is the trip to your working place". "We are happy about the growing Interest in pictures of wildlife". "The last ten years have practically been booming" Poelking states. The reason for this is a less then joyous: "You can safely say that the less there is of nature, the more the people want to know about it."

(Internet: June 30th, 2002



The books of Margot Bickel from the Kreuz Verlag are illustrated exclusively 
by the group of photographers from

An exquisite book of photos from this group of photographers 
will be published in spring of 2003.

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