The german photographer bernd böhm, born 1951, creates his images mainly in the Tegernsee Valley. His technical skills derive from a classic tradesman´s apprenticeship which he completed in a studio for advertising photogrphy in the town of Neu-Ulm during the late sixties.
After receiving his journeyman´s trade certificate from the chamber of trades in Augsburg in 1970, he emigrated to Australia. After working as press- and advertising-photographer in Sydney for a few years, he moved out into the australian bush, where - living an alternative lifestyle - he developed to an artistic photographer. From there he also worked casually as a freelance photojournalist.
On account of an economic crisis in Australia during the eighties, he was forced to return to Germany, where he initially survived with jobs in the hospitality industry. That way he kept financing his photographic projects for many years.
The Weissach Series / Roots, Rocks & Ripples
The Weissach is one of the shortest rivers in Germany. The distance between it´s origin near Achenpass to it´s estuary in lake Tegernsee is barely 20km. Most of the images of the three Weissach series originate from a section of about 2km of it.
The first images of the series derive from the summer of 2005, when an especially striking piece of driftwood presented itself to my attention. Around the same time I caught the first picture of the little ripples on the river´s surface. Since then, I have added new images to these themes every summer.
© bernd böhm
Driftwood Pieces with Character from the River Weissach.
Originally these driftwood pieces were returned to the river after their portraiture, in order to let them continue their journey. Since the day when one of them, using a natural whirlpool in the water, kept comming back right in front of my feet, they are gathering in large numbers in my appartment.
They tend to be rare during dry years, but with the waters of the melting snow every spring, there are usually many of them to be found comming down from the surrounding mountains. They prefer to appear in diffuse light.
Rocks with Character from the River Weissach.
The first rock from the River Weissach became conspicuous during the dry spring of 2007. From then on, his kind regularly provided for ballast in the photographer´s backpack on his way home.
Rocks from the river Weissach reveal themselves almost exclusively in bright sunshine.
Natural liquid Crystal on the Surface of the River Weissach.
Physicists have created the concept of entropy in connection with the laws of thermodynamics. Apparently entropy causes the eventual deterioration of every ordered system in the universe, leaving it in a state of chaos.
In short - everything is going down the drain.
The water in the creek is moving on this journey at a rate much faster, than the rocks. Whenever a large rock impedes the water on it´s way, little ripples like these result.
Members an People around the "Wild Wattle Bush Band",
Analog B&W photography, developed and printed in the dairy shed, with water which had to be carted up from the McDonald river, using the old milk cans.
Highgrain Sepia Portrait of a Valley hidden in the Australian Bush.
People living in this valley, like to refer to it as "Forgotten Valley". The images were created in the seventies, when the photographer lived there in an old dairy shed.
Images from the Alternative Lifestyle Movement in Australia.
During the eighties, especially in the north-east of the australian state of New South Wales, a large number of communes had been established, where alternatives to industrial society lifestyle were searched for - with more or less seriousness and courage to experiment.
Images from the long winter in the Tegernsee Valley. These are snapshots without much artistic ambition, but with the desire to share the experience of nature with the viewers.
Down Under Pictures
During the seventies and eighties of the last century, I lived in the australian bush. Occational assignments for diverse magazines, and sales of pictures in Sydney through exhibitions, prevented me from giving up my artistic projects for a long time. It was nevertheless neccessary, to support this work with various jobs such as ferry operator, sheppard and many others.
The proverbial Bavarian blue&white sky around lake Tegernsee