In 1977 Bernhard Edmaier enrolled in Civil Engineering at TUM. Yet, he was a lot more interested in TUM Professor Dr. Georg Span’s lecture on Applied Geology and promptly changed his field of study. Geology, the processes that have shaped the earth’s crust and keep doing so today, fascinated him. The books, however, that tried to depict these processes were much less appealing. Already in school the badly illustrated Geology books annoyed him. Bernhard Edmaier wanted to do it better and more professionally. He had always enjoyed taking photos and his uncle and sister had given him good cameras as a gift right after finishing high school. “I wanted to show how spectacular geological phenomena look in reality”, he remembers.
Photography grounded in Geology
In 1987 Bernhard Edmaier completed his studies and worked as a geologist in tunnel construction. But his passion for taking photos of inanimate nature remained. When a publishing house in Munich set eyes on his impressive photos of volcanic eruptions on Hawaii and Sicily, they immediately wanted to turn them into a photo book. “The book was a big success. With that, I transitioned into being a full-time photographer”, Bernhard Edmaier explains.
For the protection of inanimate nature
In addition to his emotional-artistic view, a scientific, documentary aspect always matters to Bernhard Edmaier, as well. By providing geological and geomorphological factual texts, his partner and TUM Alumni Dr. Angelika Jung-Hüttl (Doctorate Geology 1991) is covering that in all his photo books and exhibitions. They met each other at TUM. Together they now spark a wide audience’s enthusiasm for the inorganic side of nature.
“Environmental protection is usually about preserving the biodiversity of the respective eco systems” Bernhard Edmaier says. But for him, that is not enough. “Also the ground beneath our feet, the earth’s crust – the stone skin of our planet – with its multitude of forms and structures needs to be included. It deserves attention and protection, as well. Again and again, that is what I want to raise awareness for with my pictures.”
Degree Geology 1990
From 1977 until 1987 Bernhard Edmaier studied Civil Engineering and then Geology at TUM. In the beginning of the 1990s he turned his great passion, photography, into his main profession. His seemingly abstract aerial shots of earth are being exhibited in museums and public galleries worldwide and adorn public and company buildings.
His work has been published in multiple award-winning photo books at Phaidon Press and Prestel Publishing House, as well as in international magazines such as GEO and National Geographic. He received the Kodak Photo Book Prize for EARTH: Colours of the Earth in 1998. In 2001 he was honoured with the prestigious Hasselblad Master Award.
Bernhard Edmaier is developing his photo, exhibition and book projects together with his partner and TUM Alumni Dr. Angelika Jung-Hüttl. The Geology PhD and scientific journalist is writing all the texts accompanying his work. They live in Ampfing bei Mühldorf am Inn.