Instagrammer Of The Week: Thomas H.

Photo of Stephanie Ditt
12 December 2016

German young photographer Thomas H. uses every free second he has for experiencing new adventures. Find out why the Rocky Mountains got him into photography, how he tries to inspire people to step out of their comfort zones and why a picture’s composition is so important to him.

Could you give us a quick bio?

I’m 23 years old and come from Munich, Germany. Right now I am getting a Master’s degree in Business Administration in Mannheim, a small city south of Frankfurt. During semester breaks, my semesters abroad and my gap year I travel around the world, to go on adventures in the outdoors.

How did you get into photography?

Before my first semester abroad a few years ago, I went trekking in the National Parks of Canada for a month. It was my first big trip into the wilderness without the family and my parents gave me a little compact camera to capture my experiences in North America. In the amazing scenery of the Rocky Mountains it was impossible to take bad pictures and so I was motivated by good results right away and started really enjoying to photograph during our adventures.

What is the inspiration behind your Instagram handle?

I hope that I can inspire people to go out of their comfort zones to discover new amazing corners around the world. It would be great if some people get convinced to visit Iceland after seeing my pictures, instead of going to the same beach resort in Turkey the third time in a row. I would love it if my pictures motivated someone to do a backpacking tour in the United States, sleeping in a tent under the stars, instead of only doing city trips from one hotel to the next.

What are some of your favourite things to photograph?

I love to take pictures in my favourite terrain, the mountains. The landscapes there are so diverse and provide so many opportunities to capture sceneries and moments that give me a sense of wilderness and adventure when I look at them later.

Has Instagram changed the way you photograph?

I don’t take pictures specifically for Instagram, but for my own memory and to show my experiences to friends and family, so Instagram has not influenced how I photograph.

What do you think makes a good photo?

The composition is very important to me. Sometimes I have to move around a while and change my angle for this, but I try to place the motive of the picture so it best fits to the background and so the overall proportions in the picture are pleasing to the eye.

What do you want to say with your photographs; what message do you want to convey?

Hopefully I can convey that there is some amazing stuff out there, beyond the point where most people go. Ideally people are encouraged by my pictures to go looking for places far away from the busy tourist hot spots, where they can go on truly memorable adventures.

What motivates you to continue taking photographs?

First of all, I love being able to take home at least a little souvenir of my activities and views during the journey. Secondly, I am encouraged by the incredible feedback I get from family and friends and on Instagram and Facebook. Through these platforms I also hope to connect with like-minded people to go out on new ‘expeditions’ together in the future.

How do you find subjects that you want to take photos of? For example, do you travel to locations you know you’ll find appealing, or take pictures as you experience life?

Often, when I am supposed to study, I spend a lot of time researching new travel destinations. So usually I travel to locations that I know offer great landscapes and thrilling activities. On the other hand, when I reach the destination I am very spontaneous and open about where to go and what to do. And so the greatest pictures are often created at very unexpected places, that I previously did not even know I would go to.

Do you have a favourite project you worked on, or a series that you’re most proud of?

One of my favourite projects was when we climbed almost all of the Cascade Volcanoes in Washington State last summer. We had some tremendous experiences that involved exploring volcano ice caves, crossing thirty meter deep glacier crevasses on a wooden plank, boating on an underground lake inside a volcano and camping at -25°C in a summit crater at 4,400m. These adventures offered some unbelievable picture opportunities and I am going to post the results on Instagram in the upcoming months.

Among your photos, which are your favourite(s) and why?

Some of my favourite pictures are the ones that show the various wilderness campsites that we have had. I always insist on setting up camp on the most stunning spots, even if it involves searching a while and cutting back on comfort a little bit. I just like these pictures because they show where we were able to make those awesome landscapes our home for a day or two.

And finally, what is on the cards for you in the future?

In summer I’m planning to go to Norway and want to visit the Pyrenees again. Starting January I will go on another semester abroad, this time in Mexico. There I want to climb some of the impressive volcanos and go backpacking in the backcountry of Central America.

To see more of Thomas’ work, check out his Instagram. And don’t forget to check out The Culture Trip’s Instagram, travel, art, culture and everything in between.

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