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Life of an RPS Chapter under the pandemic

Freelance photographer Chris Renk explains how Covid-19 has brought RPS members closer together – and tripled his creative output

'Peaks shrouded in clouds', 2019, by Chris Renk

“I came to photography in 1990, through my work with the German Long-Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP), focusing on taking photos for documentation and observation purposes. A visit to a photo exhibition of work by Ansel Adams, which fascinated me incredibly, awakened my interest in photography as art.

“When I moved to England in 2006, I decided to put my interest into practice and explore photography’s artistic aspects. At first I focused on landscape, but later I expanded my knowledge in other areas of photography. Nowadays I photograph landscapes, wildlife and nature, as well as architecture and people. I occasionally take on assignments from the advertising industry.

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'Sgwd y Pannwr Waterfall', 2011, by Chris Renk


“My fascination for landscape photography is based on the enthusiasm I feel every day for the beauty of our planet and its inhabitants – humankind, fauna, flora and wildlife. I use photography as a medium to share how I see this beauty. For me, a successful image is not [only] defined by the level of technical perfection, it is about the captured emotion and impression.


“I took my most memorable shots in Hawaii. The Hawaiian Islands have a unique variety of landscapes, be it volcanic landscapes, tropical landscapes or coastal landscapes, each more beautiful and fascinating than the others. The fact Hawaii is not exactly around the corner for us Europeans probably reinforces my view of it all the more.

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'Rissloch Waterfall', 2020, by Chris Renk


“I became a member of the RPS in 2013 while still living in the UK. In 2015, after my return to Germany, I took over the role of organiser of the German Chapter.

“What fascinates me most is working with like-minded photography enthusiasts as a team. The German Chapter has achieved a lot in the past 10 years and can proudly look back on 13 exhibitions. To have achieved this with my Chapter colleagues as organiser fills me with joy.

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'Fjøløy Lighthouse', 2016, by Chris Renk


“Regarding the influence of the pandemic on my photography, I can only find positive aspects. Before the pandemic I was busy at work and on the road a lot. The pandemic slowed down my life, so to speak, and I found much more time to concentrate on my photography. As a result, the number of pictures I took tripled.

The pandemic slowed down my life and I found much more time to concentrate on my photography


“The pandemic had a positive effect on our Chapter as well, despite the postponement of our latest exhibition with the theme ‘Proportion’. As the members are spread all over the country, the attendance at the AGMs and other meetings of the Chapter were severely limited. With the online offerings this changed, and there is much more interaction among members.

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'Like on Moon', 2013, by Chris Renk


“I am working on a project about the beauty of the architecture of Munich’s underground stations. This project includes creating a photobook, a calendar and supporting guided photo tours. Once completed, I will focus on wildlife photography for the rest of the year.

“As part of my training activities for the RPS I will be focusing more on creating free online talks and our latest training format, ‘Making of’. This is a series of 45-minute talks, each telling the story of how an image was created.”

chrisrenk.com


Below, top to bottom:
'Sylt Sunrise', 2012; 'Touched by the rising sun', 2010; 'Colour in Landscape', 2020.

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