About

Welcome to Jesper Tønning's blog, which is frequently updated with high quality stuff about nature photography. You can bookmark this page to keep up with his latest photo adventures, as well as recent news and thoughts.

Jesper Tønning is one of Denmark's most skilled and award-winning landscape photographers, his photography has turned into a lifestyle where the experience, for him, is just as important as the image itself and it can clearly be seen on this website! ...feel free to comment or post questions!


Jesper photograph the Danish landscape like no other. His philosophy is that you do not have to go far away to find the good motives. Although Denmark is the favourite photo destination, the Nordic mountains are his preferred travel destination, he has been on several hiking trips to Lapland's wilderness during the years. The use of light, composition and the special eye for detail is Jesper's trump card, and landscape and macro shots are his speciality. His work has received numerous awards in national and international photo competitions though the years, and it has appeared in numerous media such as exhibitions, advertising, brochures, books, calendars, postcards and specialized magazines. In 2009 he joined the team in the unparalleled Wild Wonders of Europe project.




ARTIST STATEMENT

"Capturing moments in time... is the essence of my photography. The memories and experiences of capturing an image are preserved forever; each image stamped with its own unique moment in time. By exploring nature I'm discovering new things every day - when taking pictures I’m always striving for perfection and that means always learning; "Nature is never standing still, I am not standing still, and nature photography is a never-ending learning process, - that's my drive".



TRAVEL AND COVERAGE

I’m one of those people usually happiest when outdoor, so photographing nature is simply a perfect combination of being close to nature and doing the work I love doing most - making pictures.

Scenic landscapes and details of nature, ranging from the dramatic to the subtle, magic light, beautiful moods, and graphic design of natural elements like water, rock, trees, flowers, wildlife and the sky are some of my main subjects. I have a great eye for details, structures, patterns and “small landscapes". Any place, even ordinary locations, can yield a "great shot" - provided that conditions are right. The trick is to wait for interesting light, and let time and motion play a role in the creative process. Long exposures, unique lighting conditions, unconventional perspectives, special natural events, and interesting cloud formations can render landscape scenes in a surprising or unfamiliar way.

Another thing I do love, is to travel, there are advantages to working in unfamiliar territory. It’s almost always easier going somewhere that’s exotic to you. Everything is fresh, and you see pictures everywhere. On the other hand, when you’re covering the exotic, you’re often only seeing the surface. It takes time and experience to see beyond what looks superficially interesting and recognize the subtle things that define the environment.


“All places have stories to tell, but their stories need time to unfold. That’s why nature photography is a life style, which is a lifetime in the making”.


ABOUT MY PHOTOGRAPHY

I’m always striving for perfection and that means always learning; Nature is never standing still, I am not standing still, and nature photography is a never-ending learning process - that's my drive.

I gain as much fulfilment from photographing the common, plain and ordinary as I do pursuing the rare or shy and elusive! It's about technique; it's also about knowing your subject and luck mostly happens when preparation meets opportunity! - “The harder you work, the luckier you get”. But most important, it's about letting your heart being touched by nature.

You could call me a “slow photographer” because I try to make my own luck by making research and scouting out some favourite spots; more important I return frequently to the same favoured locations, creating a collection of images though experience and knowledge; attempting to capture the essence of a particular subject - that's my method for being a creative artist. Nature photography is more than just capturing images of beautiful things. It is also about capturing a mood, a feeling, a fleeting moment. It is about capturing the essence of a place or a moment, rather than a literal documentation.

Nature wears many faces, some that are surprisingly like our own, if not in appearance then in mood and attitude. Showing an animal in the context of its environment tells more of a story than a tightly composed "trophy shot." I view animals as abstractions, a shape or form to relate with other elements of a scene. Strong light, mood, and creative composition as with landscape photography are essential to transforming even ordinary wildlife subjects into something unexpected and visually compelling. ”

By creating images where the content or orientation is not obvious, an intimate and mysterious feeling can come through; creating an image that hopefully will engage the viewer - making room for your imagination.


“I would rather make an image that asks a question than answers one, one that stimulates curiosity”.


PHOTOGRAPHIC VISION

I’m always looking for a good shot of course, which means a picture that’s technically correct but more important: one that tells a story, which conveys the emotion of the moment. I want to show the energies of nature, its theatres of light, its sculptural powers, and its patterns.

I believe my use of light and the composition is simply the technique, which translates an image most effectively into a story for the viewer. The wild seems ever changing, shifting from one moment to the next, from season to season, always in motion. Yet, over the ages, the endless procession of changing moments seem increasingly frozen in time. There is something timeless about the wild, something eternal, that draws me back again and again. The passage of time destroys and renews, and while no single element ever stays the same, the eternal wild remains.

I’ve heard it said: almost everything in nature has already been photographed - but all images needs to be made again and again. It’s an artistic challenge trying to capture old “icons” in new ways, according to light, composition and show a subject in a new context - that’s my philosophy.



“Most of all, I hope that my images expresses my sense of wonder, my deep admiration for the magic and mystery of the natural world and hopefully I can increase people’s awareness of the magnificence of our environment”.


THE TECHNICAL ASPECT

The camera is totally subjective and does not have visions! It captures what you want recorded according to your taste, intelligence and skill.

Even if the miracle of photography lies in its ability to reproduce what the lens sees, it’s still the person behind the camera who decides how things should look and why he or she chooses to look at the world in that way. In other words, regardless of what camera equipment you own, you still need to put in the necessary “leg-work” to achieve Great Shots.

Creating pictures isn’t about what camera we use, but I admit that I love the technical aspect of photography as well as the actual process of making pictures! Yes, good equipment is very important but we become better photographers, if we spend more time concentrating on the art of photography rather than spending so much time on the science! 

 “Context is more important than minor technical nuances”











“For the future my aim is simple: photographing the essence of nature, for my own artistic satisfaction and to show my subjects in an intimate and personal way”.



Thanks to Jørgen Tønning, Preben Widtfeldt Andersen, Jon Detlefsen, Morten Hilmer, Søren Koch and Casper Tybjerg for some of these portraits.