Welcome

I was born in East Berlin, growing up in the 1960s beneath the shadow of the Berlin Wall, where I was a self-taught passionate documentary photographer.
My language of photography was grainy black and white and the subject matter was the reality I saw in the streets on my travels through Eastern Europe.
As the Berlin Wall came down I moved to London in 1992. I began to work in colour and my images took on a more abstract quality.
While completing a BA in Photography at the University of Westminster my approach to photography changed radically: instead of capturing images, I moved towards creating them. Working traditionally in medium format on film I began a series of experiments with double exposure and experimental darkroom printing.

My technique of ‘Combined Image Photography’ and the subject matter of human elements combined with locations acts as a means to find answers but also to experience the personal sensation of creativity. Through darkroom manipulation the pictures transform from familiar mundane objects into magical dreams. They are filled with a sense of other worldliness and a romance that never felt present or connected to the life I led growing up and working in East Germany (series Serenity, Reminiscence)
Since travelling to Tel Aviv in 2000, reflections in water have become the central theme of my photographic work.
I walked along the beach and became fascinated by the unpredictable constantly changing light reflected in the sea (series Play of Light).

Since moving away from London in 2004 and living on the Basingstoke Canal in Surrey
I am strongly drawn to and influenced by the potential of water.
My photographs of the canals in Amsterdam (series Resonance, Red Lights) and of the Basingstoke Canal (series Stille, Winterstille, Icescape) have a physical, as well as emotional depth, which lies beyond the surface.
It is perhaps these qualities, which imbue my work with a sense of mystery, and wonder that draws the viewer in and evokes memories.
The canal is a never-ending source of wonder; the ponds between the locks are stagnant pools that are sensitive to minute changes in light, wind climate and the seasons. Freezing the motion of water or framing a small part of it, the image becomes an abstraction, of something that exists only for the briefest of moments. There is poetry within the constantly rippling water.

Living on the Basingstoke Canal, water and the change of weather feel much more an integral part of our life. This connection to nature has left an indelible stamp on the work I produce now.
Working now digitally I have been recently focusing on the canal's surroundings throughout the seasons (series Ray of Light, Treescape, Drifting Wood,
Fleeting Moments, Close to Home, In the Mist, and Verge).


Christiane Zschommler 2014