A Hiking Photo Experience
The Beauty of Nature
About me

About me

… and how it came to be

Hi, let me quickly introduce myself before we’re moving on:

My name is Dr. Franz Graf
Photography is my Passion but not my Profession

In my main job I am an IT professional in the area of Data Analytics & Data Science.

My career in photography has started long ago and slowly but steadily. One of the triggers that ignited my passion was for sure when my wife and me started to do more and more hiking. During those hikes we experiences so many epic vistas that I wanted to capture. The primary goal was to conserve memories for ourselves, family and friends. Especially friends and family members who couldn’t hike together with us enjoy(ed) the photos.

A while ago I started posting on Instagram, later also on Twitter. This gave me a massive boost in creativity and skills! Following professional landscape photographers, I learned a lot about post processing, proper composition, dos and don’ts, etc.

Before & Afters

I was asked often if the photos were edited or straight from the camera (like #nofilter). Well – no. My aim is not a kind of documentary photography. I want to create pleasing photos and scenes. The photos should reflect the Hiking Experience that we had when we were on those hikes. They are meant to re-evoke the emotions and to show The Beauty of Nature.

There are a couple of reasons why I want to show the before/after comparisons of the photos: On the one hand I have been asked often whether the photos are processed or not, but I find it just honest to show the difference. Especially as I find it increasingly tricky as people start to believe that social-media-photos are a true representation of the original location – which is simply not the case (usually). On the other hand, it is simply fascinating from a technical point of view how a RAW-Photo can evolve into a (hopefully) breathtaking result.

The Website

When I saw Dave Morrow’s “How QUITTING SOCIAL MEDIA CHANGED MY LIFE & PHOTOGRAPHY” I realized a true point: “Whenever you use a (social media) platform, you support someone else’s platform”.

Posting on social media is a one off: Invest time in posting and a day later no one will hardly ever look at the post again. That’s just how the timelines work. Unfortunately, this makes social media hardly suitable as a portfolio site. Therefore, I decided to set up the website. Whenever I post something here, it will stay here. I also have the complete freedom to showcase the post processing and before/after comparisons of the photos. – And I am not dependent on any ranking algorithms.

The Hiking Experience

With my artwork I want to bring the full hiking experience to you. This means that the photos are (almost) always embedded into the narrative of the hike. I want to share the impressions and emotions from the hike that led to the according photo. The narrative should evoke the feeling as if you were on the hike with us, as if you were part of the hike. This also means that each hike can be a collection of multiple photos, telling a full story – which can also be a bit dramatic! I’d recommend to have a look at my posts and become part of the hiking experience!

I tried getting into the topic of epic sunset/sunrise vistas – but quickly realized that this is just not me. I wanted to share this hiking experience! And after a while, some people gave me feedback about what emotions my stories evoke in them:

I do not have the equipment and experience to do such hikes in winter as you do. But seeing your stories makes me almost feel like I was with you! Please do this more!

unnamed colleague

I am currently bedridden due to COVID-19. But your stories make me feel as if I have been hiking myself.

unnamed friend on Instagram

Due to [disease] I am sometimes bound to my wheel chair. Hearing your stories and seeing your work gives me the feeling of hiking, which I love.

Reproduced mutatis mutandis from a dear friend during a Twitter Space

Especially the last story has touched me very much. Until then, I had not thought that my art could open up an experience for some people that they could hardly have on their own. Could there be anything more rewarding?
This is my motivation of bringing the hiking experience to you.

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