The desire for freedom and adventure and perhaps their love for outdoor photography brought photographers Johannes Hoehn (Pangea Productions), based in Cologne, and his equally photography enthusiastic buddy Johannes Becker, from Frankfurt, to Canada. Exactly when we were sitting at our desks dreaming of expeditions, these two namesakes hopped onto a plane and took a road trip through the North-American state. The pictures the brought home with them stunningly captured the unbelievable vastness and raw beauty in an otherwise quite cold country. Alongside their inspirational photos, the two men did a little Q&A session for HIP HIP HOORAY:
Why Canada, of all places?
I think Canada is on the top of most outdoor photographer’s wish list of destinations. The blue lakes, the long roads and unique mountain and forest landscapes had us captivated for quite some time. Earlier this year, the Canadian tourism association approached us asking whether we would like to explore the province Alberta, in order to carry out a photo production and Instagram campaign for them. We were immediately extremely excited, accepted and so everything took its course from there so that in midyear of 2015, we began our trip to Canada’s Rocky Mountains.
Did you take shoe photos, as well?
I indeed had a specific idea in mind, in which I intended to shoot the Nike Outdoor-Sneaker (Nike Sock Racer) in the famous, blue colored “Moraine Lake” under water. And of course, on top of that, we tried to take the obligatory “POV”-sneaker shot during our helicopter flight. Other than that, there weren’t any more shoe photos on that trip… 😉
What is your next destination and when will you travel there?
We are constantly searching for new destinations and are continuously planning, haha. After Canada, we were en route within Europe, for example on the Faroe Islands and practically in front of our own doorstep, meaning the German low mountain range à la Eifel, Harz or Allgäu. Next up is a trip to Switzerland. We will meet photographer friends of ours there and among other things, make use of our kayak in an subterranean lake. I am ultra curious what that is going to be like!
Who are the German Roamers?
The German Roamers is a consortium of currently 14 German outdoor photographers, respectively Instagramers. At the beginning of this year, I launched the group because I think it is important, to nurture the momentum landscape photography is gaining at the moment, especially on Instagram, by providing a platform and community. The account is about showcasing the newest works of our members from all across the country. Our aim is to motivate others to go outside and discover the beauty of German nature and retain it in awesome photographs. Additionally, we try to realize projects such as the journey to Canada, travel to foreign countries and regions and capture them in our style. We regularly share our favorite photos other people have shared on Instagram with our hashtag #weroamgermany in order to be part of the community of “Roamers”. The exchange and the reciprocal inspiration among us is definitely an important component of the entire movement. The feedback has been great so far and we have a lot of extremely fascinating stuff planned. Stay tuned!
What has been the coolest moment of your trip?
That is really hard to answer, as the entire tour has been one big incredible impression. For me personally, it was awesome being able to see and experience those places in real life. Especially paddling on Moraine Lake was a highlight for me, which still puts a broad smile on my face whenever I look back on it. It just all seems a bit surreal, actually doing it. An insane adventure was the helicopter flight above the Columbia Icefields. We were allowed to fly with dismantled doors; hence we did not have to photograph though the pane, but instead had the highest Rocky Mountain right below us and a fresh breeze around our nose. Sharing this moment with a friend and experiencing all together is probably the greatest pleasure during such a trip.
Is there a video of it?
Initially we planned to produce a video, however shortly before going on the trip, we decided against it. It was only the two of us and we did not deem our resources sufficient enough. In hindsight, it was definitely the right choice since both of us were crazily snapping photos and neither of us would have had the nerves to record video, too.
Anything you would do differently next time around?
I would like to have more time. This time, we had nothing more than 8 days in Alberta, but considering all the places and corners the province has to offer, a minimum of fourteen days would be ideal. Other than that I would do it all again: Getting up for sunrise, experiencing magical moments with friends and being on an expedition all day, taking photos until the sun sets again at night. There is nothing better in this world.
What advice do you give those still at home, who – after seeing your photos – would like to roam, as well?
It doesn’t always have to be far away. Sometimes it’s worth it to head into local forests or search the Internet for interesting places. You will be surprised how much there is to discover nearby! Apart from that, keep your eyes open for good offers. Time and again there are bargain flights to Canada, Iceland or wherever you want. Then the key is not to wait too long but just book, pack and go!
In the second to last question you get to talk about your equipment. What were you carrying around?
We both work the Canon EOS 5D MK3. In addition to that, I had EOS 6D with me, as a backup and second camera. We prefer to keep it minimalistic, so that we don’t carry too much on our hikes and can avoid unnecessary baggage. A small travel tripod, polarizing filter and small but powerful arsenal of lenses, not more than that. The lenses we used were a wide-angle zoom (16-35 2.8, 17-40 4.0), a prime lens (35 1.4, 24 1.4) and a
Now let’s cut the crap: spill!
Big thank you for the interview, Ben! And to everyone out there: go outside, capture the wilderness and enjoy the time! Everything is better than sitting in the shack you call your home or wasting away in an office! Keep on roaming!
All Images © Johannes Hoehn