When it comes to exploring the beauty of nature, Munich-based landscape photographer Roland Krämer has become one of our go-to artists for abstract photography inspiration. Previously, we’ve seen him turn the motion of flowing waves into a gorgeous texture study. In his latest works, however, he turned to the other physical states of water and the unique visual qualities they create.
For his “Numb” series, for example, he headed to Bavaria as temperatures began dropping to as low as -10° C to document and study the stunning ice structures of Southern Germany. If you often find yourself enchanted in the ethereal beauty of frozen landscapes and their unique natural formations, you’ll definitely appreciate Krämer’s abstract approach.
Abstract beauty housed in a frozen waterfall
According to Krämer, “Numb” is a follow-up to his “Ice Structures” series from over a year ago, which came out of his visits to Partnach Gorge in Bavaria and the gorges of the Black Forest in Southern Germany. He intended for this sequel to be a showcase of the “sheer endless variety of complex ice structures” that can be seen in a single spot.
“On the one hand I used wide angle lenses for a few images to show the scary magnitude and the huge amount of icicles at the location. On the other hand I used mostly high focal lengths to get really close to the ice. I wanted to show how complex these ice structures are. I wanted to show the beauty within this complex system. A system that’s here for a limited amount of time and then will in this exact formation be gone forever.”
Finding beauty in impermanence
The title certainly refers to every photographer’s experience whenever they head out to shoot in these locations. It’s not uncommon for photographers to feel overwhelmed by such freezing conditions, despite all the precautions and preparations. However, it’s also easy to see why many still brave harsh conditions and sometimes even perilous spots just to capture the abstract beauty that nature’s hand fashions.
As a landscape photographer, Krämer could have easily captured a big picture view of the entire frozen gorge to give us bigger sense of scale. Instead, I think he chose to let his visual artist side take over and pay closer attention to details. This way, he can put greater emphasis on the impermanence of these beautiful natural elements. Once the temperature warms up, these structures will also cease to exist.
“Seeing and studying these ice structures makes me want to live in the moment and appreciate the beauty of nature while it lasts,” he said on what keeps him coming back to these frigid locations. “It’s cold. My fingers numb. But I’m happy.”
All photos by Roland Krämer. Used with Creative Commons permission.