Anette Ohlendorf: Photographer of the week

by Yvette Depaepe 

Anette Ohlendorf's work is very diversified.  She loves abstract/architecture photography for its straightforwardness as well as moody storytelling photography for its creativity.  Anette excels in both categories, always striving to show images reflecting her own perspective on our world.  I never met her for real but truly think she has a charming personality describing herself as a 'Gemini' (little chasers who love and always need new excitement).  Thanks Anette, for taking the time to answer the questions in this interview ;-)


'blue umbrella'

Briefly tell us about yourself, your hobbies and other jobs.
I always found it very exciting to discover my own world through the viewfinder of my camera. In addition, I was fascinated by the many possibilities of photography. Over the years photography has become a real passion to me.

How has your history and life experiences affected your photography?
Over the years, I learned and changed as well as my photography.

Which are your most important experiences that has influenced your art?
As long as I can remember, I had a fondness for art - especially classic modernism in which aesthetics have a main role.  That's why Lyonel Feininger fascinated me with his straightforwardness of the architecture and the colour choice of his pictures. I felt connected to him through my architectural pictures.




My favourite painters - as different as they might be - are Degas, Dali, Giorgio de Chirico and Käthe Kollwitz.
Their work still inspires me a lot.

'in the Street'


'Die Welt ist bunt / The world is colourful'

What first attracted you to photography?
I came to photography in the late 1970's because of a very good friend.

Describe your overall photographic vision.
I see photography as a way to communicate and share my point of view to the world.
I want to show things as I see them and reflect my own perspective on our world by telling  little stories.  This possibility spurs me on.  To me, Photography means 'relaxation and tension', 'fascination', 'playing with creativity'.

'the light beam'


'snail-staircase II'

You have your very own style but your work is very diversified.  Can you explain why this is?
My zodiac sign is the twin and the character traits of the twin-born also apply to me. We are little chasers who love the variety and always need new excitement. The possibilities to improve and change, the trials and errors, the game with the camera all have a very special charm for me.

What is more important to you, the mood,/story behind your images or the technical perfection?
It's the mood, the charisma, the colours making the picture to me.



'Gelb.Blau, Rot, Weiss'

What generally is your relationship to your subject matter beyond being an observer?
I don't have a specific genre but am interested in people, their different nationalities, the different ways they live.  I love architecture photography too.  But all feelings in all categories can be expressed by shadowy images.

'im Babanenparadies / In the banana paradise'  



Do you prepare carefully the locations where you are intending to photograph?
No, my shots are usually spontaneous except for architectural shots. My husband and I usually choose our trips including photogenic destinations. Luckily we have the same hobby.

'im Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam


'The pear'

What gear do you use (camera, lenses, bag)?
Nikon D800
Nikon D750
Lenses: Nikkor 24-70mm
Nikkor 70-200 mm
Nikkor 14-24 mm
Nikkor 105 mm

Recently, the Fujifilm X-T20 with a 18-55 mm lens.
Always with me are also the photo backpack for the journey, the explorer of Compagnon and the Dörr photo backpack Stockholm.

What software do you use to process your images?
Photoshop CS6

Can you tell us something more about your work flow?
There is no specific workflow.
I edit my pictures spontaneously, try to experiment.
Sometimes it ends up in the trash :-)

What is your most important advice to a beginner in Photography and how do you get started?
I got the tip to explore photos from other photographers to get inspired and find your own style. I highly recommend this excellent tip especially when photographing people.  Always think about respecting their dignity.

Who are your favourite photographers and more importantly, how has your appreciation of their work affected how you approach your own photography? 
I like the photos of Helmut Newton and Manfred Baumann because of the fantastic mood in their street photographs.

'Rain in Paris'

Is there any specific photo taken by another photographer that has inspired you a lot and why?
There are too many pictures which inspired me a lot...  Too much to show them here.

Are there any specific directions that you would like to take your photography in the future or any specific goals that you wish to achieve?
My goal is just to get better and better.  I cannot imagine the direction my photography will take today.  Time, mood and feelings will decide it!

Describe your favourite photograph taken by you and why it is special to you?  
There are two photos that I really like.


This shot was taken in Hampi, a pilgrimage site in India. The man, accompanied by his family, headed for the lake when I discovered him. I was immediately fascinated by his face. With a lot of gestures I asked if he would allow me to take pictures. First he refused but his family encouraged him to agree with it.
This portrait was taken in the midday sun. I didn't have time to adjust the settings of my camera. But it turned out so well and  I was happy really happy with the result.
Even today, six years later, the man's face still fascinates me.

The second photo was taken in Paris in the rain.

'the red coat'

I found that this image stimulates the imagination and can be the beginning as well as the end of a story.

Is there anything else you wish to add  and what do you think about 1X as a home base for your work?
1x always inspired me a lot and still does.



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