Thomas Bölke in an interview

As a creative loner and biologist, Thomas Bölke lives on a former farm in idyllic northern Hesse. Surrounded by extensive forests, he goes on extended expeditions through nature and takes his time. A lot of time. A special fascination for him emanates from places where life has to fight for its existence again and again. Places where even in daylight there is a suspicion that goblins and other mythical creatures could be at home here.

Thanks to his meditative-contemplative approach, Bölke succeeds in combining his scientifically influenced view in a fairytale way with artistic aspects. His works call for exploring the often unknown facets of nature. Her beauty, her transience. Only in the midst of nature, he finds the appropriate stage, where his visually stunning fantasies can become reality. "With the Nature work and at the same time create something that does not seem out of this world "- that is what drives him out again and again. There is still much to discover!

"Working with nature while creating something that does not seem out of this world "- that's what drives him out again and again. There is still much to discover! Find out more about the artist Thomas Bölke:

Artist interview Thomas Bölke

Thomas Bölke

  • favorite book
    Darwin's dream lake
  • favorite show
    The institution
  • favorite Food
    fried potatoes
  • favorite music
  • favorite place
    In the forest

We would like to know more about Thomas Bölke:

How did you get to photography?

In a roundabout way. Say: Although I had access since my childhood days, I always avoided everything that photographed. This may be mainly because of my scientifically influenced view would prefer me to the zoological determination book rather than the camera. I only changed my perspective through my work as a freelance journalist, where there were no more excuses. That from the initial indignation should be the beginning of a great passion, I had dared not dream at that time.

How long have you been taking pictures?

With the spiritual eye all my life. The ability to suck in particular natural backdrops with their many details deep down into me here was paired with my vivid imagination. The capture of these moods with the camera started 2007, since I was already 31 years old.

How are your works created? So what's your creative process?

It may sound funny, but the best guide is always my gut feeling. It is this intuitive feeling of the moment that allows me to fully come into contact with my environment. The easiest way for me to get in touch with nature is simply because I've been exploring here since childhood. Only then does the cerebrum come on, with all its knowledge and experience in terms of technology and perspective. The latter is unquestionably very helpful, but without a deep emotional approach the images remain empty.

Be yourself the change that you want to see in the world.


Which is your personal favorite photo?

Since the series "Impermanence" presented here has been taking me a long time and the topic of ice straight with regard to climate change has a special meaning, the choice is not too difficult for me. The picture "Origin"Lets the viewer only guess what is going on there. Is something here in the process of becoming or passing away? One visitor, who sank into the scene for several minutes, summed it up very nicely: "It is not yet, it still wants to become".

Interview Thomas Bölke
Interview artist Thomas Bölke

How does the artist Thomas Bölke find his motives?

It's easy and yet incredibly difficult. It's not far to the next forest or meadow. There is also a homey stream, ponds and several nature reserves. In other words: My motives are virtually on the doorstep. Capturing the special moments means above all: patience and perseverance. Sometimes the weather does not play, at other times the targeted insect simply does not show up anymore. It has also happened that I am hobbling home with bruises or even broken bones, because I was completely banned from my motive the nearby slope did not notice.

What are your favorite topics and what do you want to do with your pictures?

My big topic is definitely nature. To express the unique beauty of each motif, I am too happy to abandon the realistic depiction and play with abstractions. In the series "Impermanence", for example, the boundaries between macroscopic documentation of ice and the abstract, even outlandish, appearance blur in a special way. In addition, I photograph for years in the dark. With flashlights and torches, I have 2010 the National Park Kellerwald-Edersee illuminated. The resulting images carry a lot of imagination, the presence of fairies and goblins is almost within reach. Working with nature, but at the same time doing something that does not seem out of this world, that's the magic formula that drives me out again and again. In other times of climate change, species extinction and global depletion of natural resources, we should become more aware of this uniqueness and act accordingly.

Which images or photographic ideas do you have in mind right now?

At the moment I'm planning another light painting project as my hometown celebrates its 900 anniversary next year. Since a downright fabulous natural monument is very close by, it is now for me to check potential locations and camera settings and at the same time make the whole arsenal of flashlights and CO ready for use. If the weather plays along, the first lights will soon be dancing through the nocturnal forest. A dream!

Discover photographic art by Thomas Bölke

At nugloss you will find different and unique motifs by Thomas Bölke. Browse through our portfolio and find your favorite motif by the artist Thomas Bölke.