The Orkney News has been running a series of articles written by UK citizens living in rEU.
This article is an interview with a photographer who often comes to Scotland, Jasmin Gerisch who is from Saxonian Vogtland, Germany. She regularly photographs Scotland and has over 15,000 fans on her Facebook page. Her pictures are shared and liked all over the world. You can view and buy her work on her website
The reporter is Laura Muncie
How did you develop an interest in photography?
A very good question. In my childhood I loved to paint, especially animals and portraits. Photography was just a minor thing as I only had a wee analog camera. You would push the button and hope the picture wouldn’t be too blurred (laughs). I still have most of those pictures (somewhere) – from holidays or sunsets. I would run out, often together with my brother, so he and I have almost the same pictures, but both of us say we got the better one.
It was a few years later I bought my first analog reflex camera at the age of 22. Someone in our neighbourhood had one and when they talked about it I felt the need to have one myself. To decide for yourself what part should be sharp in the picture, and what area blurred, was the main reason I wanted one.I used it for five years then I changed to digital in 2010- a bit late some would say !
The interest in photography came step by step. The better I get the less photos I take. I also don’t have as much time outside my work in an architectural office.
Do you have any formal training?
No. All my photography skills are self taught by trying. Some things, like settings for night shots, I learned by watching other photographers. All you have to do then is try and try and try. I‘m glad I have “the eye” as people say.
What equipment do you prefer to use?
I actually use a Canon EOS 6D with different lenses. There was a time I liked to use a wide angle lens for almost all landscapes. These days I also prefer to use a zoom lens. Those telephotos often have more drama. One day I want to have a macro lense for flowers, insect and such wee things.
Your photography features mostly landscapes why do you like to photograph those?
I also like to photograph animals, flowers, buildings and even people from time to time, seldom city scapes. But landscapes give something special to me. It is like I lose myself looking at it – whilst taking, editing or staring at the finished photo.
Among your works, which photo is your favourite? Why?
I have a lot of favourite photos and if can’t decide on one picture, I will sometimes do a collection.
With every travel trip new favourites are added. Is my favourite the one I took at the Fairy Pools on Skye last year? The photo of the Cottage at Loch Cluanie with the snow covered mountains in the background? Or maybe one I‘ve taken at home?
The choice is hard.
Some of your most popular photos are of Scotland, what is it about Scotland that attracts you?
I first visited Scotland in August 2005 together with my mum on a short coach trip. I must admit I didn’t know anything about Scotland. But after those three days I fell in love with this beautiful country. We made another three visits by bus between 2005 and 2013 before I started to plan my own routes in 2014. Today – after seven trips – I know it’s not only the landscape I like but also the people, the history and the culture. It‘s always like coming home.
Have you ever visited Orkney?
I was on Orkney Mainland for a day trip in 2011 – visiting the Italian Chapel, Stromness, Skara Brae and Skaill House, the Ring of Brodgar and Kirkwall.
In 2013 we stopped at the harbour of Kirkwall with the Ferry on the way from Aberdeen to Lerwick. That night I took a picture of the Heliar Holm Lighthouse. My mum chose this one and asked if I would paint it for her. She asked so I did it ! I hope to return one day for a longer stay.
As a German who travels to Scotland how do you feel about Scotland leaving the EU? Could it affect future visits?
It is sad, of course. Many Scots feel the same way if I ask friends. But Scotland will always be Scotland. The people will not change (hopefully), the landscape will not change. Hopefully we will only need a passport for travelling. But it will always be my No 1 destination. So as long as they let me in, all is good.
What are your hopes for the future?
I’ve always said I want to live in Scotland when I’m 40. I don‘t think I’ll manage that in the next five years- still waiting for the winning lottery ticket!
I am glad though, to have the chance for further Scotland trips. And maybe something else in between, starting this year with Wales.
Maybe Iceland one day, New Zealand and Canada and Norway and ……