The Beauty of Nature
About me

About me

… and how it came to be

Hi, let me quickly introduce myself before we’re moving on:

My name is Franz Graf

My “career” in photography has started long ago and slowly but steadily. One of the triggers that ignited my passion was when my wife and me started to do more and more hiking. During those hikes we experienced so many epic vistas that I wanted to capture. The primary goal was to conserve memories for ourselves, family and friends. Especially for those who could not hike together with us.

Joining Social Media platforms gave me an incredible boost in both, creativity and skills: I started to follow some professionals in the field, educated myself, learned through their YouTube channels and practiced, practiced, practiced. This quickly led to significantly better results which triggered more positive feedback. And the feedback motivated me even more to go out hiking in all kinds of weather and seasons .. a happy spiral was started.

After a while I realized that I would never achieve the quality of professional landscapers who go out in inhumane times to grab one great shot. I tried – but it did not bring me satisfaction. I primarily go out for hiking, grab the photos during the tour and try to bring the whole hiking experience to the people following my journey.

The Hiking Experience

With my artwork I want to bring the full hiking experience to you. This means that the photos are (almost) always embedded into the narrative of the hike. I want to share the impressions and emotions from the hike that led to the according photo. The narrative should evoke the feeling as if you were on the hike with us, as if you were part of the hike. This also means that each hike can be a collection of multiple photos, telling a full story – which can also be a bit dramatic! I recommend having a look at my posts and become part of the hiking experience!

I do not have the equipment and experience to do such hikes in winter as you do. But seeing your stories makes me almost feel like I was with you! Please do this more!

unnamed colleague

I am currently bedridden due to COVID-19. But your stories make me feel as if I have been hiking myself.

unnamed friend on Instagram

Due to [disease] I am sometimes bound to my wheel chair. Hearing your stories and seeing your work gives me the feeling of hiking, which I love.

Feedback during a Twitter Space

Especially the last story has touched me very much. Until then, I had not thought that my art could open up an experience for some people that they could hardly have on their own. Could there be anything more rewarding?

Before & Afters

Once in a while I was asked if the photos were edited or straight from the camera (like #nofilter). Well – no. My aim is not a kind of documentary photography. I want to create pleasing photos and scenes. The photos should reflect the Hiking Experience that we had when we were on those hikes. They are meant to re-evoke the emotions and to show The Beauty of Nature.

There are a couple of reasons why I want to show the before/after comparisons of the photos: On the one hand I have been asked often whether the photos are processed or not, but I find it just honest to show the difference. Especially as I find it increasingly tricky as people start to believe that social-media-photos are a true representation of the original location – which is simply not the case (usually). On the other hand, it is simply fascinating from a technical point of view how a RAW-Photo can evolve into a (hopefully) breathtaking result.

The before & afters can be found in this category page.