Your daily dose of ocean

Introducing: David Ortner – Ocean Photographer

David is one of the few German Ocean Photographers. He lives right in the middle of Germany – no ocean far and wide. The closest ocean might be the Baltic Sea or north sea near Holland, or the meditteranian sea if he flies to Italy or France.  But David has this crazy yearning all OceanLovers know….. if the gaps get too long he needs to pack up his stuff and go there again: To the Ocean.
David turns his longing into pictures. Wherever he travels.
You need to see this!


Hi David! You are a great Ocean photographer. But so far you also have a quite different daytime job…
Yes, I am a team leader in IT-Purchasing Department for a German airline company.

How much time do you spend in photography?:
Basically, photography follows me around each day. Either I’m on the search for new subjects and Shooting ideas or I’m giving my pictures, that I’ve taken on my travels, the last final touch. It is always fascinating how different processing and editing forms, as well as themes of light can change the effect of the picture and how that consequently can change the whole message that the viewer of the image gets. In addition, I keep trying to represent Surf Photography in a different style, as well. But it is now quite difficult to attract and gain attention with all that kinds of media, not to mention how hard it is to leave a footprint that sometime will be connected with my taken pictures. Facebook and Instagram are good ways to get ideas and wander lust. And it’s also a good option to exchange great pictures and I’m really glad that I’m a part of that, but on the other hand there’s an oversupply of visual stimuli.

When did you start photography:
Somehow it is connected to my roots. Even my father used to photograph and work as an promotional designer. And myself, I got my first camera very soon, but I really started delving into photography in 2009. Without hesitation I bought my self a Sony reflex camera – a total kneejerk reaction. This happens to me a lot, especially in a case like that and in most cases I’ll give in. Even if this gets me a few irritated looks from my wife.

 What is your favourite motive:
Waves and surfing. But there are a lot motives with their own special magic. And it’s about the beauty that you find in the most unusual things. And most of the time it remains hidden at first glance.
When did you start surfing and ocean photography:
I surfed for the first time in Portugal in 2004 or 2005. I don’t know for sure but I know that I was thrilled right away. At that time I was still driving Enduro / Moto-x but after my vacation in Portugal I didn’t hesitate and sold my bike immediately to get money that I could lay aside for my next surfing trip. I discovered my love for ocean photography on my first surfing trip. But at that time there was a lack of reasonably good material in order to capture the surfers and the waves.
What’s the stoke about it?
I’ve always been fascinated by water, ocean and waves, since I was a child. When I was a little boy I nearly drowned but even that did not affect my love
for the sea and its attraction to me is not reduced. I need the ocean and its energy, silence and strength. But you can never underestimate it, you must always respect the fact that the sea has its own will and you can never control it. One can only learn to subordinate his own ego and try to read the ocean. You have to let it be as it is and you need to learn its language in order to align yourself with it.
What does the ocean mean to you?
The sea is the source of life and just a magical place for me. This sounds cheesy; I know. But it is just like that! The ocean even offers peace to the stressed and overworked and helps them to regenerate, just as it fills their batteries of life back up. So the ocean can heal and hug the soul.
Would you like to be a fulltime photographer?
Oh yeah. I’d like that. But the road to that is more than rocky. But at least I’m on my way.
Where if not in germany would you like to live?
There are so many great countries and cultures. Probably somewhere near the ocean where you can also surf. Bali is a place like that, I was six times there now and it’s always a bit like coming home . But even Norway, the Atlantic coast of France or California have their own unique charm.
Who are your photograhy heroes if it comes to ocean photography?
Todd Glasser, Morgan Maassen, Chris Burkhard, Jason Childs


Have you met any of them?
Yes, I met Jason Childs. He passed me by while he was coming out of the water after a photo session in Bali. He was out there in Line Up and tried to do some Tube
Shots of the locals but the waves broke too quickly as a Close Out and so the session was not that productive for him. That night wasn’t that productive for me either. But when he was coming out of the water, I took a picture of him directly.
What will be your next ocean photo trip?
I will travel to Japan.
Your pictures have been published in surfers mag and Inside Guide to Bali. How did that happen?
I’ve often sent out photos to surf magazines but for some time without reaction. Someday I emailed Chris Burkhard and asked for his opinion about the quality of my pictures. As americans are, there was positive feedback but also the hint that pictures without a story are almost worthless. So I started building stories around my images. And that was a “breakthrough” and I was “heard”.
Thank goodness! Cause otherwise I wouldn’t have found him!
If you like David’s pictures as much as me, have a look at a lot more on his website.
 You can also purchase his art here.
Great Stuff!

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