Forest photographs: Bad Godesberg photo club exhibits pictures in the Kottenforst

Forest photographs : Bad Godesberg photo club exhibits pictures in the Kottenforst

With their new project “Forest and Trees”, the Bad Godesberg photo club will exhibit its nature photos in the huntsman’s lodge and outdoors by a big oak tree in the Kottenforst forest. This is the first time that the group has had an exhibition.

Exhibiting photographs in the forest – how are you supposed to do that in autumnal weather? The question inevitably arises with the new project of the Bad Godesberg photo club. For the first time, the group is exhibiting its pictures outdoors – in the Kottenforst forest to be precise.

“I've had the idea for quite a while of taking pictures out to the places where they were created”, says Dietmar Simsheuser, who has been chairman of the club for more than a year. Whereas an exhibition used to take place only once every few years, under his direction, the number has risen to one or two per year – in cooperation with the adult education centre and the Bad Godesberg municipal library. The members are also always successful at competitions, but not many people outside the photography scene are usually aware of this.

But this is about to change, because the “Forest and Trees” exhibition, which was recently shown at the adult education centre, will now also happen in the forest and among the trees. The idea of exhibiting these photographs in the forest was obvious and was met with great enthusiasm by Wolfgang Bongardt from the forestry office, because the idea was a perfect match for the forest festival this Sunday in the Kottenforst, where the exhibition will open.

You will be able to see it then from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the huntsman’s lodge on Communicationsweg. Simsheuser and Bongardt quickly came up with the idea not to leave it at that, and so the 24 photographs will migrate outside to the nearby remains of the “big oak tree” on Sunday evening, where they visitors are invited to dwell and meditate. Thanks to the support of the forestry office, the photos can be seen there until probably mid-October.

After Bongardt gave his approval, Simsheuser and the other members of the photo club began the practical planning – starting with the question of how to prepare the photographs for an outdoor exhibition. “We have now dragged the photographs onto truck tarpaulins – which don't mind the weather”, says Simsheuser. In addition, simple easels have been erected, which are easy to assemble and disassemble and to which the pictures can be attached. A broad spectrum of themes will be on display, from the smallest detail to the entire forest landscape.

Of the 16 members of the Photo Club, Ellen Dornhaus, Uwe Müller, Joachim Müller-Klink, Helmut Oberritter, Petra Kulcsar, Monika Rossa, Dietmar Simsheuser, Gisela Ries, Lilo Werner and Detlef Wiebusch have provided their pictures. Anyone who falls in love with any of the 24 photographs in the exhibition can contact the photo club to purchase a photograph, but the members are least concerned with commerce at their exhibition. Instead, they say “We are simply happy that we can exhibit our photographs in a different environment and therefore perhaps reach other people who would otherwise not necessarily visit a photo exhibition”.

The photo club has been around for about 40 years, and there have seldom been such unusual activities so far. New members are always welcome, but being able to handle a camera is a prerequisite: “Our meetings are mainly about image critique and not about how to use your camera. You should already be able to handle your camera when you come to us. The photographs you can see at the exhibition can’t be taken with automatic settings”, says Simsheuser. Walkers in the Kottenforst from Sunday onwards can see for themselves how well the members of the Bad Godesberg photo club can use their cameras.

(Verena Düren, translation John Chandler)

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