Martin & ArcaSwiss

Nature and Creativity – for me that’s a perfectly balanced symbiosis and a perfect counterpart to my daily work-life.

I’m a large format landscape photographer from Linz/Austria.

Born in the “steel city”, the (non-urban) landscape was something remote and therefore something special and apprecicated.

Raised by an expressionist painter and ceramicist, I had the chance to participate in creative processes next to my father already at a very early stage.
It took me some time to make the connection, but his artwork of bold and vivid colors made a deep impression on my personal aesthetics …

However, after those early years of painting in my youth, I took a creative detour towards music. Besides playing the guitar my main interest was music theory and composing arrangements using MIDI sequencer software and electronic and orchestral synthesizers and libraries.

Martin in the Photochemical Lab

More recently, after the death of my beloved father in 2009, I must have felt the urge to return my focus to the visual arts. In 2010, I started experimenting with photography and soon thereafter, I finally found my preferred métier – capturing stunning landscapes in their bold and vivid colors.

As a result of my experiments, I left digital landscape photography in 2011 and started using an analog large format camera in combination with 4×5″ analog slide film, allowing me to produce huge prints (40×50″ and larger) in tremendous technical quality and brilliance.

This huge and heavy camera, more or less looking and functioning like the ones used in the 19th century, also compels me to take my time and to carefully and thoroughly compose and expose my pictures. Some this may strike as a tedious and delicate endeavour, but after the initial learning curve it provides me an almost meditative, zen-like working athmosphere, calming me down and helping me to channel my creative potential.

Besides Austria, I’ve already taken this beast to Scotland, Croatia, Italy and Bavaria.

My style of landscape photography requires a certain amount of perfectionism, where ideally all the all elements – subject, composition and light – come together and culminate in a climax. This requires careful preparation and execution.
Initially to scout and learn to know the location, decide upon viewpoints, composition and my requirements for weather, angle of light, quality of light, color of light and even the time of the year.Light and weather are the most unpredictable variables, therefore in most cases I have to return multiple times to the same place – sometimes even more than five times.

Subsequently I return multiple times at the hopefully right moment, anticipating the magic to happen.

If everything comes together, with some luck a couple of film sheets will turn out right. As it’s analog photography we’re talking about, of course there’s no telling whether I succeeded until I come home, develop the film and inspect it on a light box.

In the portfolio section you can find a selection of photographs that I am more or less satisfied with – well at least as much as that’s possible 😉

Thanks for visiting my website!

Best regards,
Martin Jan Köhler, 2013