Bernhard Edmaier

Curriculum Vitae

Bernhard Edmaier, born in 1957, had been a geologist before he made photography his profession 20 years ago and founded a photographic agency ‘Geophot – Pictures of the Earth’. He lives in Ampfing near Munich, Germany.

Geology constitutes the basis of his photography. It is his aim to present the manifold colours, forms and structures which the Earth has created without man’s interference. The technique he uses in his work is aerial photography.

Driven by his perennial interest in natural phenomena, Bernhard Edmaier travels extensively to deserted and still untouched corners of the globe to gather material for his books and other photographic projects. On his trips, he is accompanied by Dr Angelika Jung-Hüttl, his partner, fellow geologist and science writer for prominent German newspapers and popular science magazines, who in close co-operation with the photographer, works on book projects and provides scientific commentaries for his photo book editions.

Over the years, Bernhard Edmaier has won many prestigious awards for his work. His volumes of photography 'Vulkane' (1994), 'Eisige Welten' (1996) and 'Geoart Deutschland' (2003) were consecutively voted The Most Beautiful German Science Book of the Year, and his 'Geoart – Kunstwerk Erde' won him a renowned Kodak Photo Book Prize in 1998. In 2001 he received the Hasselblad Master Award.


TV journalist Norbert Haberger created a beautiful filmlet about Bernhard Edmaier's photobook project "EarthART - Colours of the Earth". Harberger juggles with interview passages, flight impressions above Chile and Siberia, with camera flights above single motives in the book and spherical music. The result of the filmlet: Regarding real beauty nothing can overbid nature.


Michael Pause, a famous German mountain journalist, introduces Bernhard’s photo project and photo book „The Alps – A work of Art“. He accompanied Bernhard on a photo flight.

Bernhard Edmaier’s photographic work in the air was shown in the German cultural TV programme „Kulturweltspiegel“. It introduces the photo project and the very successful photo book „Earthsong“ which was published in 6 different languages by Phaidon Press/London, New York.

Imaging Technique

Bernhard Edmaier works exclusively with Hasselblad cameras. Until four years ago, he used an analogue middle-format Hasselblad camera with Fuji-Velvia films (50 ASA) and with various Zeiss lenses. Then he changed to a digital Hasselblad camera. The first had a 39 megapixels resolution, and the current one has a 60 megapixels resolution.

As his motifs – geological structures of the earth – are mostly very large, Bernhard Edmaier needs to shoot his images from a greater distance. He manages this by using a helicopter or a small plane and directing the pilot to an exact point where, in accordance with his idea, he is able to focus his camera on the object. 90 percent of his images are aerial images.

All his images, analogue or digital, are taken without any filter. Bernhard Edmaier personally prepares his photographic data to be printed in books, magazines or as large format fine art prints on his Mac computer. Analogue images are digitalised with a Flexitight 949 scanner. During data preparation, Bernhard Edmaier follows his principle of strickly sticking to the true image of the object he photographs – he declines any form of digital manipulation of his images.


Bernhard Edmaier about his work

(Statement in the forefront of his exhibition at Konica-Minolta Gallery in Tokyo, Japan, in December 2008)

"All images exhibited here show landscapes which have emerged in the course of natural geological processes, without any human influence and amnipulation.

These landscapes are fragile Nature-created formations which, in the long run, will be unable to resist man's unstoppable urge to exploit - they will alter and ultimately disappear.

I am not one of those evironmental activists who point fingers at others and demand protection and conservation of natural landscapes. Each viewer of my images should decide for themselves whether the remnants of intact natural landscapes are worth preserving.

However, those who support the idea of preservation and conservation of Nature should be aware of the fact that the status quo and 'let`s-continue-as-before' attitude so well rooted in our profit-oriented world will have to change radically."

(Excerpts from an interview for a popular German television culture magazine, ARD-Kulturweltspiegel, Nov 2004)

‘When we talk about beautiful landscapes or nature, we mostly refer to the landscapes transformed by man. I, on the other hand, gladly juxtapose those with the ones which have not yet been touched by a human hand and are practically unchanged, still in their primordial form.

I keep moving between two worlds: the world of science in the most general sense of the word and that of art … this constant oscillation between documentary and detached, abstract photography is the most exciting factor rendering inspiration to my work.’


What the others say about his work

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