Questions for Johannes Kern

When did you start your photography?


I was 8 when I received a camera as a gift, launching my love of photography. I would photograph everything that came before my lens and became inspired to journey to find new and interesting things to take pictures of. Of course, because I was so young, my photographic travels were limited to wherever a nearby bike ride could take me, but as I grew up, my scope of travel expanded. When I was 24, I traveled to Kenya, and after my first scuba dive, I became fascinated with underwater photography. Travel, diving and photography became my passions, and my pictures began appearing in many publications, journals and calendars. Participating in national and international photo competitions earned me recognition as well as top rankings. Over time, I developed my own photographic style, for which I won top award for in both the 2010 and 2011 Annual Underwater Photo Contest of the International Diving Association (IDA). I now lead the IDA’s department of Underwater Photography and Videography.


Is photography your hobby or your profession?


It has been more than a hobby since it funds my travels and my equipment. After 45 years working as a media designer, I am now retired and have more time to travel, as well as for photography, diving and new projects.



How and where was the image taken which you entered in the competition? Is there a story about it?


On the way back from Malpelo, an island in the South Pacific, we made a stop in the open sea, near the Coiba National Park off the coast of Panama. There is a seamount where the reef head is located in, about 50 miles deep, where you can find large schools of mackerels.


Camera: Nikon D7000 in Sealux case, lens: Tokina 10-18 flashes: Subtronic


What’s your photographic focus?


Our planet is a blue one, with 71% of it covered by water. While underwater photography is a passion of mine, I also love to photograph the cities, people, markets, landscapes, and nature of the places I travel to.


What’s your next photo project/challenge?


“Jordan” is my new photo project and “Desert – Culture Coral – Gardens” will be the name of my new multi-vision show.



Do you include color management in your photographic workflow?


Since my origins are in the pre-press area, color management has always played a big role. Today I put emphasis on a calibrated monitor.


What do you do with your photos? Do you print them, post them on your social media accounts or your website or do they simply stay on your hard drive?


I create multi-vision shows that I present live on stage. I create a calendar every year, post my images on Facebook and include my photography on my website.


What’s your photographic goal? What do you dream of?


A big dream is a trip to the Antarctic, which is currently in the planning stage. Photographically, I always want to evolve. I’m currently working on filter photography, trying to further perfect the images I take. Overall, as a photographer, I want to experience great moments and then press the trigger.

  About the Author – Johannes Kern  
Born in Aschaffenburg (Germany), worked as a media designer, diving instructor, photographer, filmmaker and lecturer. Although I have dived in every ocean of our earth, I discovered my biggest love in 1985, when I took my first trip to the Philippines. Apart from its pristine reefs, it was the Philippines’ open-minded people, breathtaking landscapes and exotic culture that utterly enchanted me.     Articles from Johannes Kern