Fog rises from Lake Eibsee as a lone kayaker cuts the surface of the water with her paddle. The rising sun casts a red glow upon the peak of Germany’s highest mountain, The Zugspitze, and early songbirds warm up to a melodic dawn chorus. Breathing in the crisp morning air, Nora Gorlitz feels a surge of happiness as she reaches for her camera.
Sunrise at Carezza Lake, South Tyrol - Nikon D500, ISO 100, f/6.3, 1/20 seconds, AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED
Braies Lake, South Tyrol on an early, rainy summer morning - Nikon D500, ISO 100, f/5, 1/40 seconds, AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED
A self-taught photographer, Nora captures moments of serenity and reminiscence during long, solo walks through nature. Although her images focus on natural elements like landscapes and wildlife, she enjoys the editing process that allows for more creative expression.
“I don’t try to document reality through my photos. The motifs and compositions are real, but I also understand photography as art.”
To achieve the dreamlike quality of her photos, Nora stresses the importance of understanding light. Attaining compositional harmony is difficult when shooting under harsh daylight as the contrast is too high. The solution is to work in low light, or when the sun is soft and warm.
Eurasian lynx in a wildlife park near Frankfurt, Germany - Nikon D500, ISO 320, f/4, 1/320 seconds, AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR
Boat house at Lake Obersee, Bavaria, Germany - Nikon D500, ISO 100, f/6.3, 1/50 seconds, AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED
Nora’s preferred camera is the Nikon D500. When the light allows, she aims for an ISO of 100 and an aperture between f/5-f/9. While shooting landscapes, she rotates between two wide-angle lenses: the AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR and the AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED, unless she is shooting wildlife, when she usually opts for the AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED.
Looking back on her progress, Nora views growth in three stages: copying, adapting and creating. For beginners, she asserts that it can be helpful to observe and imitate others. Copying in this way is not something to feel ashamed of, as it can be a useful learning tool.
The second phase is adaptation, when personal photographic and editing preferences are realised and applied. A solid foundation is established and an artist can begin the final stage of creating and developing original ideas.
Church of the Good Shephard at night, Tekapo, South Island, New Zealand - Nikon D500, ISO 2000, f/2.8, 15 seconds, AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR
Tongariro Northern Circuit, North Island, New Zealand - Nikon D500, ISO 100, f/7.1, 1/200 seconds, AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR
House at Dobbiaco lake, South Tyrol - Nikon D500, ISO 100, f/4, 1/50 seconds, AF-S DX NIKKOR 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR
With over 30,000 followers on Instagram, Nora describes how social media has enabled her to both inspire and be inspired. Although getting started is the hardest part, she resolves that learning often comes in a full circle.
“People tell me they enjoy my photos and ask for tips. A few years ago, I was the one asking for tips. It is very nice recognition for my development process and it motivates me as well.”
Nora’s intention is to produce images that effectuate a feeling, usually of inner peace and reflection. An urban resident, she explains that her photographs are inspired by times spent hiking in nearby mountains, where she can distance herself from the crowded city. Her work has a feeling of calm and timelessness, with few references to the era.
“In most of my nature images you don’t see any human elements or technology. It is all about nature, like it was hundreds of years ago. It shows that you don’t need much in life to be happy.”
Wearing a yellow rain coat at Lake Braies, South Tyrol - Nikon D500, ISO 100, f/6.3, 1/30 seconds, AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED
Close up of a cow, chewing at my hand in the National Park of Berchtesgaden, Germany - Nikon D500, ISO100, f/6.3, 1/60 seconds, AF-S DX NIKKOR 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED
Nora Gorlitz is a 30 year old photographer from Frankfurt, where she works as an online marketer at an advertising agency. She spends her free time travelling and enjoys sharing her work on Instagram with a passionate online community.