Atmospheric Landscapes – David Köster in an Interview with LAPIXA

David Köster is one of the most renowned landscape photographers in Germany, who has become known for his atmospheric nature pictures. His artistic work has received numerous international awards and is used by agencies, publishers and companies worldwide. As a photojournalist, he writes about photography and travel for magazines at home and abroad. David also passes on his experience in his popular photo workshops and in his new book. David Köster talks to us about his work, his experiences with copyright infringement and his collaboration with LAPIXA.

How did you get into photography?

I came to photography because of my great enthusiasm for nature and travelling. Even as a child, I devoured magazines such as GEO and National Geographic and enjoyed watching nature documentaries. Another influence is the Romantic painting with artists like Caspar David Friedrich, for whom I had a soft spot from an early age. Since I’m a creative person, it was only a matter of time before I started to visually capture my impressions of nature myself.

Is there something you want to achieve with your images?

It is important to me that I create emotional pictures that transport feelings and moods. My works should trigger something in the viewer, awaken in him a longing and the desire to travel to this place himself. In addition, of course, I always hope to be able to use my pictures to promote the protection of our unique earth.

You have a very own painterly style. What is your approach to creating this type of photography?

A combination of epic landscapes, atmospheric lighting moods and dramatic perspectives is usually characteristic of my pictures. In order to be able to use these elements, I leave very little to chance. So I spend some time with planning and location scouting even before the actual photography. Once on site, I also take a lot of time to find exciting perspectives and compositions and to wait for the right light. By the way, I describe in detail how I proceed in detail in my new landscape photography book .

Copyright infringement is a big issue on the internet today. Have you come into contact with it yourself and have you taken action against it?


Yes, unfortunately I had to find out time and again in the past that my photos were used without my knowledge, let alone my consent. Most of the time I found out about it by accident because I noticed it myself or others drew my attention to it. If it was commercial use, I wrote to the injured party and asked for a license. Usually only with limited success. Often the injured party quickly deletes the photo and doesn’t want to know anything about it (favorite excuse: the intern screwed it up). Some don’t react at all. Very few actually paid for the use of the image afterwards.

How did you come across LAPIXA and how did the collaboration develop?

Earlier this year I was contacted by LAPIXA. On the one hand, it came at the right time, on the other hand, I was a bit skeptical at first. I took a closer look at your service and compared it with competitors. I finally decided to work together and today, a few months later, I’m really impressed.
First of all, I was impressed by the detective quality of your image search engine: You found several thousand matches in the first few weeks. To be honest, I was amazed to shocked how many of my pictures are used illegally. Especially since the infringers included companies that should know better, such as agencies or tour operators. I didn’t expect that.
In fact, some cases have already been successfully concluded and have resulted in a four-digit euro payout. Working together for a few months is what I find to be a very pleasing result. Especially since without LAPIXA I would have missed out on these sales entirely or I would not have been aware of the use of the images.

How difficult do you find the handling at LAPIXA?

Actually not complex at all, but rather quite comfortable. The image upload is extremely easy and flexible via various channels. The dashboard provides a great overview of the images found and the processing status of all cases. All actions can be done with a few mouse clicks. As a photographer, there is no easier way to get an overview of the distribution of your own images on the Internet and to exercise your copyrights.

Do you have recommendations for other photographers in copyright infringement cases?

Yes, I can only encourage all photographers not to simply accept copyright violations and give LAPIXA a try. It is always worth a try, especially since the service is free and therefore there are no financial risks. By the way, I don’t have a moral problem. After all, our intellectual property and our work are stolen – not infrequently also knowingly and intentionally. Picture theft is not a trivial offense and also an economic problem for professional photographers, who are deprived of the wages of their work here. The more photographers that take part, the more attention there will be for the subject of photo theft, and with it the chance that at some point greater public sensitivity will develop.

The new year is coming, what are your plans, what are you looking forward to the most?

First of all, I’m really looking forward to the publication of my new landscape photography book . It will be published by Humboldt Verlag on January 7th, 2019 and will then be available in bookstores everywhere. I’m also in the process of planning my international tours. The next book project is already in the pipeline. Due to the great response, I will continue to expand my workshop program. So I won’t be able to complain about boredom in 2019 either.
Thank you for the interview and good luck with your work!


You can find more information and news about David’s work on his website and his social media channels:
Book: Landscape Photography Book
Workshops: Landscape Photography Workshops
Instagram: instagram .com/davidkoesterphoto

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