Living Proof – Daniel Ernst – Q&A

Next up in our Living Proof adventures is German Adventure Photographer, Daniel Ernst. From a young age Daniel had a passion for the outdoors and wished to spend as much time as possible exploring and sharing these amazing locations with the world. Hailing from Frankfurt, Daniel now has over 400,000 people following his amazing journeys on Instagram. We teamed up with Daniel to send him on an epic road trip through the wildest locations in Germany and Switzerland to push our FRE for iPhone 7 to the limit. To find out what has inspired Daniel to become one of the most recognized adventure photographers in the world check out our interview below.

What was your passion before adventures and photography?

I always loved traveling and going into the mountains. So before I became a photographer I was almost living the same life of being on the road and go on hikes – just not that often as I had a 9 to 5 job.

What drew you to adventure and photography?

It happened in 2014 when I decided to quit everything back home and go on a 1,5 years journey around the globe. I found myself living in New Zealand for 1 year after a few months. After some time working in a café and on farms I had no interest to do so any longer. So I tried to figure out how to get along – my outdoor gear and my camera.

Who was your inspiration as you developed as a photographer?

My biggest inspiration I found in the @germanroamers with it’s 14 photographers at this time who invited me being part of the project couple of months later. Also @mattcherub who I met in Canada when I was just to start with Instagram gave me and is still a big inspiration for me.

How did you get started shooting outdoor and adventure photography? What was it that first attracted you and what held you there?

It’s nature and it’s beauty that dragged me there and still holding me in it. I want to discover the world and see places that not many people get to see. With my photography I want to make these people be able to see them on a photo at least.

What are the biggest dangers you face while shooting?

The biggest danger is probably myself as I’m trying to push myself every time. Thus I put pressure on myself and might make decisions that are kind of dangerous.

What weather conditions do you shoot in and how do you prepare for the worst?

I love the cold, the storm and rain. When a touch of light comes through it would be the best! That’s when most of my photos are shot and thus I face all kinds of weather during a hike for example. I always carry with me an emergency kit and clothing for all kind of happenings plus sometimes a sleeping and bivy bag. The LifeProof case plays perfectly in this environment. 

What lens are essential for you?

A great purpose lens is a 35mm prime, which is in my bag all the time. For shootings where I don’t know much about the location I pack my 24-70 2.8 lens as it’s the ultimate all rounder.

If you weren’t a professional photographer what do you think you would be doing?

I would sit in an office working as an engineer most probably.

How do you plan a shoot? Do you plan it out before hand or shoot on the fly?

It’s a mix of both. Before the shoot I try to find pictures on google, a route and information about where the sun rises and sets. What I do at the location in the end is decided on the fly and depending on conditions and surroundings.

What location has been the hardest to shoot? What obstacles did you have to overcome?

It was my 5 days hike in Mt. Assiniboine Park in Canada. I was on my own, carrying all my outdoor gear as well as a tent, stove, and food for 6 days. It was my first time being all alone in the backcountry which made it a challenge for myself. Learning how the get along with myself and being alone for several days was probably the hardest.

What one shot stands out in your mind as your favourite?

It’s a selfie on a ridge in Switzerland – my favorite ridgeline so far. I just felt happy there.

Do you have any habits from the road that you can share?

I try to be as organized as possible, that makes everything easier. And I always try to let go from time and date as it becomes relative while being on the road.

Where has been the most unique place you have adventured?

It’s definitely New Zealand, especially the Alps of the South Island are outstanding beautiful!

What was the craziest experience while on a photography adventure?

The craziest experience was while hiking solo through Mt. Assiniboine Park in Canada. I encountered 2 massive bears that stood 50 m away from me. Luckily they showed not much interest to me and after a while they just went away. Nothing spectacular – but for me the first encounter with some real wildlife and seeing a bear out of a zoo.

Head over to @lifeproof_europe to follow the adventure.

 

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Alan Lund

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