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The Art of Seeing through the eyes of GUNTHER DEICHMANN

The acclaimed and multi-awarded international photographer talks about discovering new things to shoot, embracing technology, upholding photography ideals in the digital world, Aperture and his upcoming photowalk-cum-workshop for Power Mac Center.

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Reflection of Taj Majal in Agra, India taken from Gunther Deichmann’s impressive portfolio of photographs from his travels across the globe.

For professional photographer Gunther Deichmann, delivering remarkable images is more than just having a camera and aiming it on a person, an object or a scene. Gunther always finds himself deeply immersed in his photography subjects, constantly seeking the perfect light and composition then translating them to amazing images. More importantly, he could go just about anywhere and still have interesting discoveries worthy of an image — things that other people would normally dismiss.

“You have to walk around and see not just the beauty around you but also the beast,” explains Gunther. “You won’t be able to appreciate beauty unless you’ve seen the beast. The Art of Seeing is the key.”

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Ta Prohm, an ancient Khmer Temple in Cambodia,

This philosophy has taken Gunther to great heights in his lengthy photographic career that now spans 35 years and stretches almost across the entire globe. He describes his works as strong in color with a touch of movement at times, as inspired by photography icons Ernst Haast and Pete Turner, with Gunther having worked with the latter in Australia.

Gunther’s eyes, however, weren’t initially trained to capture image-worthy sights. “I love fossils,” Gunther chuckles, recounting his days working for a mining company in the Exploration Department in Australia, where he relocated after leaving Germany, his native country. It was in 1976 when Gunther decided to leave geology behind and took on his very first camera, a Minolta SR-T 101 film camera—heralding the start of his highly productive and very successful career in the art field.

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Nan Oo Pagoda in Mingun, Sagaing Mandalay, Myanmar

Gunther has travelled to a lot of quaint destinations on work assignments—the deserts in India, cultural sites in Sri Lanka and Bhutan, Khmer ruins in Cambodia, rich biodiversity of the Pacific Islands, and of course to the outback of Australia where he captured some incredible and rare images of the Aboriginals. In the Philippines where Gunther and his family have been based since the early ‘90s, he has toured throughout the country, bypassing major roads to navigate the outskirts and in turn discovering remarkable places that have yet to be explored.

His favourite places in the world, Gunther confesses, are all in the Asian region where cultural heritage abounds. “I love India for its vivid colors, Myanmar because it’s so rich in culture and it’s now in the very early stages of opening up, and Cambodia because it’s the perfect photographer’s paradise from an academic perspective,” he shares.

Gunther’s journeys across the world brought about images that found its way in photo spreads, expositions, international magazines, book covers and music albums, giving him numerous awards and media interviews. His images have also been compiled in a dozen coffee table books, the last of which was Journey Through Color & Time published in 2006. For a complete biography and more information about Gunther Deichmann, visit his website at http://www.deichmann-photo.com.

But more than the travel perks, it’s learning about new cultures and traditions, the distinct ways of life of the people he meets that appeal to Gunther. “I’ve seen a lot of places, and I still continue to see things very differently. Nothing is boring for me. There is always something new to learn and discover,” he says.

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Women working on waterholes in the Thar Desert near Jaiselmer, Rajasthan India

With the advent of modernism and digital technology, photography has changed its realm in such a way that contemporary artists have disregarded the lessons of photography practices in the olden days, laments Gunther, an advocate of the old school or what he calls “the real photography.” “Nowadays, people just take shots and they shoot too much. They don’t think before they create the image,” he states.

Gunther, who did not join the digital camera bandwagon at its onset, also points out that learning photography shouldn’t be equated with the use of image-editing software products. “By relying too much on such software, students tend to forget what photography is really all about. Serious photographers should instead learn about the history of this art, how to work their way around the dark room and produce their own prints.”

Not all technology can be bad, emphasizes Gunther. Apple’s photography application Aperture, for instance, is one important tool that helps photographers like him to better organize their images without the need for manipulation. “When it comes to organising and filing thousands of images after a shoot, no software can do it as well as Aperture—a partner that I can’t do without,” he adds.

To become a good photographer, according to Gunther, one must establish oneself by developing a unique style. Additionally, one must strive to achieve consistency. “Everybody can get a single great image once in a while,” says Gunther. “But not everybody is consistently good. To achieve consistency, one should make photography your passion, and for me it is just that!”

A certified Apple Pro Trainer, Gunther will be sharing other pointers for amateur and professional photographers in Power Mac Center’s travel photography workshop called “Fundamentals of Photography and Beyond” on November 4 and 5 at Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in Bataan famed for its Spanish colonial houses. The upcoming two-day workshop, which costs Php 11,500 per participant, is the second of a series of workshops conducted by Deichmann in conjunction with Power Mac Center. To sign up or for more information about the workshop, call (02) 553-9655/4211, 0908-8856277 or email aatc@powermaccenter.com or training_request@powermaccenter.com.

Says Power Mac Center Marketing Director Joey Alvarez, “This workshop is a fantastic opportunity for photography enthusiasts to walk around a locale as picturesque as Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar with a celebrated photographer like Gunther Deichmann. We encourage professional and recreational photographers to take advantage of this event to learn more about taking and managing digital photos.”

Posted by Power Mac Center
Photos by  Gunther Deichmann

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Marco Dennis
Marco Dennis is a lifestyle and travel blogger. He's also a badminton and volleyball player. Follow his adventures at www.thepinoytraveler.com. For events, collaboration and advertisement, email him at dhenzuki@yahoo.com / pinoymanilablog@gmail.com
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