Q: How did you happen to join Wikimedia Commons?
Everything started with a macro shot of a strand casting copper slice. People liked it – both on the German Wikipedia and on Commons. So, I continued shooting. One photograph after the other got promoted as feature picture. Meanwhile, my pictures got promoted on other Wikipedia language versions as well.
I learned more about photo techniques on photo workshops organized by German Wikipedians. E.g. about focus stacking when shooting macros, panorama stitchings, HDR and tone mapping.
Then, I started shooting other things, mostly while traveling. That’s how photography became a hobby for me.
Q: What’s the story behind your picture of the year 2011?
I took this picture on a hike in Norway. After arriving at lake Bondhus, I couldn’t believe my eyes – it felt like I was in a dream land, like as being part of a fairy tale. The light was fantastic. And that’s how the picture emerged. While taking the exposure, I tried hard to use all my photographic knowledge. I guess that worked out well 😉
Q: If you pack your bag for a photo shoot – what’s in it? why? Any must-have non-photographic items?
I always carry a smartphone with GPS and some printed maps. Some food and drinks as well. When I’m traveling, I always have my camera with me. I’m constantly on the hunt for places with great light. Like recently on a trip to Iceland.
Q: What’s your favorite picture on Commons? Why?
I don’t have a favorite picture on Commons. There are just so many good photos here.
Of my own pictures, I like the shot of lake Bondhus best. It conveys the mood of the moment really well. Photos like this captivate the viewer – that’s what I’ve learned here on Commons. Pictures that are technically perfect but lack emotion are nice. However, they will be forgotten soon. Emotional shots are those that you keep in mind and never forget.
[box type=”bio”] Heinrich Pniok is one of the most prolific photographers on Wikimedia Commons, Wikipedia’s image repository. In 2011, his shot of Lake Bondhus in Norway, won Commons’ Picture of the Year Award. Heinrich started to contribute to Commons in June 2008. As of now, 94 of his photos reached “Quality Image” status and 54 of is images reached “Featured Picture” status.[/box]