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mr-walter

Interview with Walter Wackerlig

Interviews

17 February 2017

Posted by Sally Hart

Hi Walter! Tell us about yourself in two sentences - who are you?

I'm a secondary school teacher in rural Austria but I've been taking photos ever since I was a child. As my wife comes from China we spend most summers with her family in Beijing, which offers a great contrast to the life we lead in Austria.

QWhat's the weirdest situation you've found yourself in while taking a photograph?

ARather funny than weird: At the entry of a 'Bright Eyes' concert in Vienna some years ago people were asked to leave their cameras outside. While I was still wondering what to do I was waved through by the security. They had a laugh at my M9 and did not object to my 'ancient' camera.

QWhat do you shoot on? What's your favourite set up?

AI've loved the Leica M system since I bought an M6 in the early 1990s. I was doing black and white then in a closet turned into a darkroom. This helps explain my love for monochrome images. Later I changed to the digital M9. I'm still using my 'old' lenses, mostly the 35mm standard and I've also got a 50mm and a 90mm lens. I think digital photography is great, playing around with your images and all. I use Lightroom for the basic adjustments and then try and add using the apps of the Nic Collection.

QWhat's your number one tip for an aspiring photographer?

AAll I can do is tell how I go about. If there's a number one tip in it for you, take it. I carry my camera (almost) everywhere and I try to get as close as possible. I also look for things that don't fit in or a new angle, something that makes you see things in a new light. On the other hand I simply take photos when a scene or a situation appeals to me.

'I don't really have a favourite but there are some I'm especially fond of. As there are fewer shots from my home in the Austrian Waldviertel compared to the more exotic ones fr... Read more

'I don't really have a favourite but there are some I'm especially fond of. As there are fewer shots from my home in the Austrian Waldviertel compared to the more exotic ones from China, I'm going to pick one of those: I like 'The perfect pole' because for me it represents the harsher side my home country.' Read less

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Walter Wackerlig

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'The first time I saw Chinese opera on stage I was really overwhelmed. Steadying myself against a post I used the 90mm lens for this one. I was very proud when one of my sons mo... Read more

'The first time I saw Chinese opera on stage I was really overwhelmed. Steadying myself against a post I used the 90mm lens for this one. I was very proud when one of my sons moved to Vienna and had this photo put on canvas for his room there.' Read less

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Walter Wackerlig

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'While my wife has a closer look inside the shops I enjoy walking (or sitting) around watching the people. In this case I liked the contrast between the shoppers in the boutique... Read more

'While my wife has a closer look inside the shops I enjoy walking (or sitting) around watching the people. In this case I liked the contrast between the shoppers in the boutique and the hungry young man in the street.' Read less

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Walter Wackerlig

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'This one was taken very close to where we live in Beijing. Shops in China sometimes keep long hours. Returning home late one evening the scene struck me: the lights, the fruit,... Read more

'This one was taken very close to where we live in Beijing. Shops in China sometimes keep long hours. Returning home late one evening the scene struck me: the lights, the fruit, the assistant, the customer and the young couple in the background.' Read less

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Walter Wackerlig

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'In China you find shops in places you wouldn't expect. Here I used colour to emphasise the small supermarket.'

'In China you find shops in places you wouldn't expect. Here I used colour to emphasise the small supermarket.' Read less

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Walter Wackerlig

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'Loving animals I'm always drawn towards scenes including one of them. Here the contrast between the dog alert to what was happening around him and the young man absorbed with h... Read more

'Loving animals I'm always drawn towards scenes including one of them. Here the contrast between the dog alert to what was happening around him and the young man absorbed with his mobile struck me.' Read less

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Walter Wackerlig

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'Our guide at a Celt village in Lower Austria showing us the way the Celts lived from an insider's point of view. She was sure she would have been a Celtic witch if only she had... Read more

'Our guide at a Celt village in Lower Austria showing us the way the Celts lived from an insider's point of view. She was sure she would have been a Celtic witch if only she had been born a few centuries earlier. Very authentic.' Read less

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Walter Wackerlig

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'Worshippers and tourists at a temple in Beijing on a windy day. Different reasons for different people to go there and I liked the smoke blown about by the wind.'

'Worshippers and tourists at a temple in Beijing on a windy day. Different reasons for different people to go there and I liked the smoke blown about by the wind.' Read less

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Walter Wackerlig

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