Nature photography as art
The photographer Markus Bollen, was always fascinated by the variety of forms and the harmony in nature. His pictures radiate a calmness and strength that one otherwise only finds in nature itself.
In nature he discovers a wonderful harmony. With the large format camera, he takes on details, e.g tree bark. When enlarged, these images resemble aerial photographs of mountainous landscapes carved by steep gorges. Lichens and moss on a tree trunk appear to cascade down the bark like a waterfall. Markus Bollen finds the inconspicuous things and shows their importance. What is overlooked by most people, he puts it in large format. The viewer of the works of art literally breathes in the tranquility of nature and finds inner serenity.
Bamboo plants and details of it have been recorded by Markus Bollen all over the world. There is a special version of the Bamboo Hawaii that features the sound of the forest itself. You can hear the rustling of leaves, the babbling of a brook and the singing of different birds in this very forest.
In "Last Snow", the slipping remnants of snowflakes on bamboo leaves moving slightly in the wind caused unwanted blurring in many of the images. Whenever the image on the ground glass was optimally focused, the leaves moved into a different plane of focus as the weight of the snow was removed, when the ground glass had to be exchanged for the magazine.
Blossoms fascinate me with their delicate structure and the wonderful lines of the veins in each petal. I captured the magnolias at a moment when the bush had already dropped the petals.
The result is a splendid symbol for abundance, for becoming and passing in nature.
Even these delightful petals, which no human being is capable of replicating, are thrown to the ground after a brief flowering and decompose to new earth. A symbol for the transience also of beauty.
For the series Fallow Land the photographer will find a rich variety of different flowers and grasses in places that are not used for agriculture. In some of the pictures he lets the moment of time and the movement flow into his pictures through the wind and a long shutter speed.
Blackbrook is a series that I created near a Trappist monastery in England after 2 weeks of meditation by a lake.
Algae floating in the water, seeds floating on the water slowly move continuously. Normally, Markus Bollen checks the screen down to the corners of the picture.
He decides which leaf is to be seen at the edge of the picture, which flowers are to be positioned with millimeter precision of the camera and lens. With this series, however, he had to relinquish the last bit of control, because during the time when the screen was switched to the film magazine, the motif continued to move on the water.
From the reflections of the sky and the surrounding trees, from the structures of the scattered seeds and leaves, virtually abstract renderings of nature emerge.
Recorded in the Seychelles, Coco de Mer palm trees, the black-and-white photos in particular give the impression of a hall supported by columns, as in architectural photography.
The long-term goal is an exhibition of the best work at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
All recordings are made with a large-format camera, mostly with a large-format panorama camera from Gilde. You can see how Markus Bollen works with it in a short video: