Hi. My Name is Claas Stangneth and currently I am living in Kiel, a city in Northern Germany at the Baltic Sea. As I’ve always lived near the Ocean, I feel a very strong connection to the vastness of the sea. I am working for an energy supplier and photography is my passion.
My first contact with a DSLR was on a Cuba vacation in 2015. A friend of mine was taking pictures the whole trip with his camera and that catched my eye. Right when I was home, I bought my first camera and from there I was totally obsessed with photography.
I’m a self-taught photographer, I didn’t participate in any classes or something like that. I learned everything from watching youtube channels like Peter McKinnon or Andrew Kearns and then tried, tried, tried…
I was shooting all possible genres and tried everything with my camera, from long exposures to time-lapses.
After a year I recognized that shooting landscapes and especially the moments at that spots evoke emotions that I didn’t feel before.
Since then, I haven’t only tried to capture that landscapes and portraits, but to convey the feelings I felt that moment.
For me that is the most important part of a photo. If it triggers feelings in the viewers heart, it doesn’t even have to be a sharp image.
I totally love the warm light when the sun starts to rise over the horizon. So my favorite time to shoot is in the morning when other people still sleep.
I read a quote that fits my opinion very well:
„In the end you’ll remember the sunrises you woke up for. Not the ones you slept in.“
Another passion is to travel to remote places like Ireland, Iceland, Scandinavia or the Alps. Places where you are almost alone with mother nature, which perfectly fits to my photography.
If I have to choose one favorite spot or moment of this year, it would be the Eibsee in Bavaria. A morning swim in the cold lake right at sunrise created a memory I will never forget and a photo that has a special place in my heart.
Of course I’m doing some research before traveling, but I try to keep it simple by just using Instagram and Google Maps. I’m also trying not to plan to much any more, because I made the experience that its setting boundaries to my creativity. I try to plan like 30% of the possible spots and keep 70% unplanned. Often the spontaneous moments create memories and photos that a far better than planed photos.
My travel partner and main subject in many of my landscape shots and environmental portraits is my fiancé. She totally supports my passion and shares the love for traveling the world.
Since I’m also an amateur, I can’t give other starters many advices. The only important thing I learned since starting photography, is to take some time when you are at a location. Look around you, look inside you and try to capture the feeling of that specific moment. Another important lesson was not to think to much about the Gear I use.
My first camera was a Canon 80D with a lot of lenses. In 2017 I sold all my Canon gear and bought the Fuji XT-2 with a Fujinon XF 16mm Lens. I liked the idea of restricting myself with only one prime lens to push my creativity. The colors and optical quality of the Fuji system are second to none. Also the small size is a huge benefit when you travel a lot.
Since I hate shooting from a tripod I don’t use it very much. The only equipment I use regularly is a polarizer on rainy days. As I mentioned don’t overthink the gear too much, it’s not necessary for a good photo.
When shooting I try to overexpose my images initially in camera, to create a brighter and softer look. I only shoot RAW. For post processing I only use Adobe Lightroom, where I created presets to get a consistent look to all my images. But that are just little tweaks to color correction and the tone curve.
I try to keep it simple and don’t do too much in editing. I back up all my images to two external hard drives. The best images I order as prints, because having your own image as a print is a special feeling. Sometimes I post on Instagram and try to update my website.
I draw most of my inspiration from music. I love songs that move my heart and create a mood for my photography while im shooting and editing.
My Motivation to keep on pushing and evolving my photography, is to convey more of my emotions through my photography. Not only to show people the beautiful sides of our world, but too express myself and my feelings.
Claas Stangneth is a 32 year old enthusiastic self taught photographer from Kiel, Northern Germany.
His passion is to travel the world and capture moments that show the beauty and diversity of our planet.