German photographer Kilian Schönberger is known for capturing otherworldly images of his natural surroundings. His latest series, Winter’s Tale, was shot in the mountain ranges of Germany and central Europe and showcases the desaturated, hushed landscapes of snow-covered forests.
Schönberger describes the mystical quality of his Winter’s Tale series: “Winter was the time when tales and legends were told at home, the whole family sitting around the tiled stove. The mystic figures are just waiting in front of the doorstep, snow and frost seem to make trees alive.”
Kilian Schönberger’s work boasts captivating clarity and depth, serving to distinguish it from the masses of landscape photography. The range of color and tone found in his images is made all the more impressive by the fact that Schönberger is colorblind. Focusing on texture and pattern instead of color, Schönberger creates brightly contrasted, beautiful images.
Schönberger labels himself as both a photographer and a geographer, and describes himself as aspiring always “to cut my path as a photographer with my own creative perspective-despite being colorblind.” Schönberger adds, “I recognized that I could turn this so-called disadvantage into a strength…while getting a picture of a chaotic forest scene, I can’t clearly distinguish the different green and brown tones. Brushing aside this ‘handicap’ I don’t care about those tones and just concentrate on the patterns of wood to achieve an impressive image structure.”
The photographer shares that challenging conditions are part of the game when shooting outdoors during the winter. Schönberger treks in with snowshoes or cross country skis, and sometimes waits two hours or more in frigid temperatures for the right shot, while battling shortened battery life and fickle sunlight that is needed to illuminate a scene without melting delicate frost.