GDT Regional Groups

What are the regional groups?

Nationwide the GDT has 15 regional groups (RG) as well as a group of young photographers and a regional group in Switzerland. GDT members and guests are offered the possibility to visit events hosted by any of these groups. Each regional group is led by a Head of Regional Group elected by the members of the particular group. His or her election is announced at the next general meeting of members.

Overview Regional Groups pdf.

What do the regional groups offer?

Communicating the purpose and the objectives of the GDT to the general public is considered a spe- cial task of the RGs. For this reason each RG organizes regional meetings open to all GDT members within the corresponding region. Guests are very welcome except for internal meetings. Planning and organizing meetings and events is in the hands of the individual groups. Content and frequency depend on the commitment of the members.

The Heads of Regional Group are constantly in touch with the board and the GDT office to ensure the flow of information and to pass on suggestions and proposals. A list of events of each RG as well as reports of meetings and special events will be published on the GDT home page and in our members’ magazine GDT-Intern.

The range of activities has very few limits as long as they are in compliance with the statutes of the GDT. They can range from an informal exchange of views, slide shows or excursions, exhibitions and seminars to supporting a particular photographer applying for full GDT membership and productive review of pictures and much more.

Contact person and homepage of the regional groups

GDT Youth Group

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Jugendgruppe Maximilian Hornisch B
Regional group leader | Maximilian Hornisch |

On forays through nearby forests and meadows, Maximilian Hornisch discovered the surrounding flora and fauna at a young age. He quickly developed a scientific interest in the biological processes that shape our environment. However, nature plays a central role in Hornisch's life not only as an object of scientific interest, but also as a place of aesthetic contemplation. Since the end of 2017, he has been leading the GDT youth group together with Christian Zehner.
Regional group leader | Christian Zehner |

Christian Zehner grew up in a village on the foothills of the Rothaargebirge. No wonder that his first motifs were the forests around his home. Over time, nature fascinated him more and more, so that he is now studying forestry engineering in Freising. He prefers to photograph in series and tries to combine colors and shapes with natural processes. Especially when he can concentrate only on photography for a few days or weeks.

RG 1 - Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein

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Hans Rutar
Regional group leader | Hans Rutar |

Like many others, his interest in nature began with the world of birds. The song and the colorful feathers attracted Hans Rutar to look and listen even more closely.
Rutar came to nature photography through the NABU/DBV. In 1990 he learned about the meetings of the GDT regional group. Since then, he has looked forward to the weekends when a GDT meeting is held. Rutar has been a helper at the GDT festival in Lünen for almost as long.
Solvin Zankl
Regional group leader | Solvin Zankl |

Solvin Zankl, born in 1971, studied biology and has been a full-time nature photographer since 1998. Solvin Zankl has been a full member of the GDT since 1992 and was RG leader from 1997 to 2005. He has been RG leader of Regional Group 1 - Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein again since 2024.

RG 2 - Ruhr region, Münsterland, Lower Rhine

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RG 2 G�nter Minten B
Regional group leader | Günter Minten |

Already in his youth Günter Minten was interested in photography. At that time he had access to a black-and-white photo lab and was fascinated by the slow creation of the enlarged image in the developer.
His photographic knowledge he has initially acquired largely self-taught. In search of constructive criticism and the support of experienced nature photographers, Günter Minten finally came to the GDT.

RG 3 - Berlin, Brandenburg

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Konstantin Hartmann
Regional group leader | Konstantin Hartmann |

Experiencing nature with my camera is a liberating feeling for me, a sigh of relief from everyday life, a coming to rest. As a biologist, I have a scientific view of nature, but I like to put it aside on location. I enjoy how light and form create fleeting moments that I want to feel and capture.
Sharing these experiences on location with like-minded people is what GDT is all about for me. Through the individual interpretations, the exchange and the mutual help, so my experience, everyone sees more the next morning or evening and better photos are created in cooperation.As a regional group leader, I would like to make this growing together possible for as many people as possible. Whether trips and excursions for our members or exhibitions for interested people - we nature photographers want to share our fleeting moments with others.

Claudius Schneider
Regional group leader | Claudius Schneider |

My fascination with nature has accompanied me all my life. So it was only natural to give this fascination a creative expression. The impulse for this came many years ago from an old internship and an orchid. To this day, plant photography is my great passion. Every plant and every habitat opens up a surprising and unique perspective for me. Creative exchange and shared experience of nature, but also the desire to critically examine nature photography were the motivation for me to become a member of the GDT. I wouldn't want to miss the activities around the regional group. It is even nicer that as a regional group leader I have the opportunity to promote dialogue and actively shape the life of the group. Professionally, I am involved in the protection of nature and landscape and, as a landscape planner, I am constantly working on getting new nature conservation projects off the ground in the state of Brandenburg.

RG 4 - Lower Saxony

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Regional group leader | Burkhard Kriesten |

Burkhard Kriesten (*1952) wrote an ornithological thesis as part of his studies in 1974, which he was asked to complete with photographic material. That was the beginning of his involvement with nature photography. Since that time, a camera has accompanied him constantly. His great interest in many areas of field biology and in questions of nature conservation is also reflected in his pictures. The former head of a biology centre has always sought contact with other nature photographers and thus found his way to the GDT in 1996. In addition, he and a colleague have been organising monthly meetings of interested nature photographers from East Westphalia since 2000.
Burkhard Kriesten has been head of the Bremen, Lower Saxony regional group since the end of 2007.

RG 5 - South Westphalia

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RG 5 Marcel Schneider B
Regional group leader | Marcel Schneider |

The photographic spark in him was ignited by his father, former RG leader Gerhard Schneider, when he took Marcel to the wintry Dovrefjell (Norway) in February 2016 and handed him an old Canon 5D MK II. At the time, Marcel Schneider had little idea about ISO, aperture and co, but he has not gotten his finger off the release since then.
His concern as RG leader is to inspire also and especially young people for nature photography and to give them this special view of the beauty of nature.
Svenja Schneider RG5
Regional group leader | Svenja Schneider |

Even before Svenja Schneider took up photography, she preferred to spend her free time outdoors - whether traveling or at home in South Westphalia. Since she picked up her first camera in 2021, however, it has become her constant companion. Svenja usually finds inspiration in her local nature: the lakes of the Westerwald and the meadows and forests of the Siegerland always motivate her to shoulder the camera and set off with sharpened senses, even at early hours and despite the typically wet and cold weather.

RG 6 - Hesse, Palatinate, Saarland

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RG 6 Thomas Kirchen B von Patrick Schoenecker
Regional group leader | Thomas Kirchen |

Thomas Kirchen developed a love of nature during his childhood. The digital age then brought him to photography. Always annoyed by the uncertainty of what really arrived on an analog film and waiting until you see something, kept him for a long time from more intensive photography. In April 2002, the spell was broken by his first digital, a Canon Powershot Pro90 IS. Focal lengths up to 360mm with a low closest focusing distance opened his way into macro photography. This preference earned him the name "Macro Tom".
RG 6 Thomas Scheffel B

Regional group leader | Thomas Scheffel |

Thomas Scheffel (*1967) has been interested in nature since his early youth. Many years ago he discovered photography to capture what he saw and experienced in pictures. First documentary, then he tried to give his photographs a design. 15 years ago, he finally became a member of the Society of German Wildlife Photographers, then a full member in 2013. In November 2013, he took over the leadership of Regional Group VI Hessen-Pfalz-Saarland together with Sebastian Vogel.
Being out and about in nature is a central point in Scheffel's life. Taking pictures while doing so is the big drive, but no longer mandatory. "Bigger-faster-further" is not his goal.
From his point of view, the GDT was and is a constant companion in his photographic development. Many contacts and friendships were made that would not exist without the GDT. In order to pass all this on, Thomas Scheffel likes to be a regional group leader, and especially likes to do this in a team - now with "Thomas Kirchen".

RG 7 - Main-Franconia

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RG 7 Dr Sven Dannh�user B
Regional group leader | Dr. Sven Dannhäuser |

Born and raised among the rivers and forests of beautiful central Franconia, Dr. Sven Dannhäuser has been fascinated by nature since early childhood. Driven by the desire for discovery as well as scientific curiosity, Dannhäuser prefers to travel the multifaceted regions of Germany and Europe – always in search of unique landscapes and rare animal species whose beauty he can capture in his photographs.
Since 2017, together with Ritsch Euler, he forms the leadership team of Regional Group 7 – Main-Frankonia.
Thomas Veltkamp
Regional group leader | Thomas Veltkamp |

RG 8 - Württemberg, Bavaria

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RG 8 Benjamin Waldmann B

Regional group leader | Benjamin Waldmann |

Since childhood, Benjamin Waldmann (*1979) has been out and about with his father, whose enthusiasm for nature and photography jumped out at him early on. But he has only been intensively involved in nature photography since he began his studies in the early 2000s.
Professionally, Waldmann's path led him to the nature conservation administration of the state of Baden-Württemberg, where he has been committed to the conservation of habitats and their species in the "Ländle" for over 15 years in various functions. He lives his profession and hobby passionately - they form a perfect symbiosis for him. Waldmann finds his motifs mainly on his doorstep and in recent years especially in the Swabian Alb. Waldmann appreciates the exchange with like-minded people, be it professionally or privately, and is immensely happy when people with the same faible can come together.

Bernd Nill

Regional group leader | Bernd Nill |

Bernd Nill has been taking photographs since he received his father's old camera as a gift at the age of 12. It was also he who inspired him early on for animals and plants, especially for the native orchids of the Swabian Alb. His commitment to nature conservation as well as the joy of travelling could always be combined with nature photography and so he also came into contact with the GDT through a workshop in Hungary. Fascinated and motivated by the festival visits in Lünen, full membership followed in 2002. Since then, Lunen has been an integral part of his annual schedule, especially as he has also been responsible for the festival technology since 2004. He uses his pictures to promote animals, plants and their endangered habitats. In this way, he wants to make a contribution to the preservation of unique natural areas. Bernd Nill's photographic focus, apart from the motifs on his doorstep, is his travels to more than 60 countries, spread over all continents. He likes to pass on his enthusiasm for motifs and photography to other photographers in the regional group and on photo trips.

RG 9 - Mecklenburg-West Pomerania

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Anne Meyer
Regional group leader | Anne Meyer |

Frank Brehe

Regional group leader | Frank Brehe |

Frank Brehe lives in a small village in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania. When there is still time besides family, work and the 1,000 other things, he shoulders his photo backpack and is on the road; he is also a book author.

RG 10 - Saxony, Saxony Anhalt

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Gernot Pohl
Regional group leader | Gernot Pohl |
Christian D. Morawitz

Regional group leader | Christian-Dietrich Morawitz | morawitz.naturfotografie@

Christian-D. Morawitz grew up in Dresden. His interest in nature was already great in his childhood. Since 2005, he has added a camera to his outdoor activities. During his studies of geosciences at the TU Dresden, he deepened his knowledge of nature photography and joined the Society for Nature Photography (GDT). In addition to photography on natural history expeditions and travels, the main focus is on the animals and landscapes of local nature. Working on photographic projects in nature on one's doorstep provide an enriching balance to one's profession as an engineer.

RG 11 - North Hesse

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RG 11 Anja Gieseler B
Regional group leader | Anja Gieseler |

For 15 years now, photography has been the perfect balance to Anja Gieseler's hectic professional life. Gieseler prefers to sit in her hut and wait for THE moment, or roams through nature and lets herself be surprised by motif ideas. In the beginning she was fascinated mainly by birds, meanwhile she devotes herself – except for one or the other „fur face“ – but also very often the plants and mushrooms.
Regional group leader | Marko König |

Marko König has been interested in nature since his childhood. He was particularly interested in ornithology in his youth. Later, his field of interest expanded and his focus turned especially to the microcosm. The desire to show others what he had seen and experienced led to his interest in nature photography. His goal is to capture the beauty of nature and to bring the uniqueness and peculiarities of living creatures to others through pictures.

RG 12 - Rhineland

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RG 12 Bernd Liedtke A
Regional group leader | Bernd Liedtke |

Coincidences can shape an entire life. In Bernd Liedtke's case, they were not only decisive for his professional development, but also for his increasingly intensive involvement with nature photography. Without the move from Mainz to the vicinity of Koblenz, which was necessary for professional reasons, he would not have ended up in the small town on the Middle Rhine, which is surrounded by meadows, forests and small streams.

Regional group leader | Uwe Wuller |

Uwe was born in the Oberberg district and moved to the Rhein-Sieg district in 1979 for professional reasons. Here he quickly became interested in the local nature of the Sieg meadows between Bonn and Troisdorf. Through the camera's viewfinder, he learned to look more closely and capture the incredible diversity of nature in pictures - from vast landscapes to little-noticed details.
His photographic focus is mainly on landscape photography. In order to photograph the special light and the unique moods of the German North Sea and Baltic Sea coasts at different times of the year, he is drawn to the north of Germany several times a year.
Together with photo friends, he works on various projects, which have already resulted in several multivision shows.

RG 13 - Baden

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Peter Malus
Regional group leader | Peter Malus |

In his free time, Peter Malus spends a lot of time in nature and is inspired by beautiful landscapes, but also by the small, often hidden beauties along the way. For him, nature photography is a great balance to his professional work.
His home is the Markgräflerland in southwest Germany. Here in the border triangle with the regions of the Southern Black Forest, Kaiserstuhl, Alsace and the Upper Rhine Plain, Peter finds his favourite photo motifs.
His photographic focus is landscape photography, but he is also enthusiastic about animal photography and especially insect and plant photography. With his pictures, he would like to contribute to awakening an understanding of nature and to promote the idea of nature conservation. Peter has been a member of the GDT since 2015. He likes the exchange with his photo friends and enjoys going out into nature and taking pictures together with them. Since November 2021, he has formed the leadership team of RG 13 together with Jörg Frauenhoffer.

Jörg Frauenhoffer
Regional group leader | Jörg Frauenhoffer |

Jörg (*1978) lives with his family in the extreme southwest of Baden-Württemberg, near the Swiss border. For him, nature photography is a balance to his often demanding professional life.
Although he enjoys photographing animals and has spent several hours in a camouflage tent, his real passion is landscape photography. Especially in late summer and autumn, when the landscape is shrouded in mysterious fog, he is regularly drawn to the nearby low mountain ranges, the Black Forest and the Swiss Jura. Far from home, he is fascinated by the Scottish Highlands and the moors of Estonia.
He prefers to photograph with a telephoto lens in order to direct the viewer's focus on scenic details that trigger special emotions in him. Creative techniques such as multiple exposure and ICM help him to realise the desired image message.
Jörg has been a member of the GDT since September 2017 and, together with Peter Malus, has formed the leadership team of RG 13 since November 2021.

RG 14 - North Bavaria - Thuringia

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RG 14 Marcus Grabe B
Regional group leader | Marcus Grabe |

RG 15 - Munich - South Bavaria

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RG 15 Christopher Meyer von Karl Seidl B
Regional group leader | Christopher Meyer |

His studies in landscape and environmental planning brought Christopher Meyer to nature photography a good 5 years ago. At first, the camera was always in his pocket for documenting animals and plants. After a few years, and certainly with the help of the GDT youth group, his photography developed into a creative engagement with nature and landscape.
RG 15 Karl Seidl B
Regional group leader | Karl Seidl |

Nature photography has been Seidl's passion for twenty years now. Most of his pictures are taken in the Bavarian and Austrian national parks. The short distances allow him to visit the same places at all times of the day and year and thus to work intensively on an area. His drive and goal is to find vantage points that you can't see from the parking lot, but have to hike or climb.

RG Switzerland

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Robert Hangartner

Regional group leader | Robert Hangartner |

My interest in leading the CH regional group stems from my enjoyment of contacts beyond the country's borders. I have been active in a German nature photographers' forum for years and have had the pleasure of meeting some excellent photographers. I am happy to continue this enriching exchange.
Another motivation that is indispensable remains ornithology and the codex associated with it - to protect nature!