This image was taken on an island in the Baltic Sea, called Rügen. I think every German knows the scenery, it has been made famous by the romantic painter Kaspar David Friedrich. Even though the scenery is engraved in the common German memory, I don’t think that quite as many people have actually seen the white cliffs in nature. The island belonged to Eastern Germany when the country was still divided. It was military territory and therefore out of reach.

It is a mystic place, I could not describe it any differently.  We went there in winter (summer might be a different story), and we had the place all to ourselves. The image I had in my post Friends!? was taken at the same place, but at the bottom of the cliffs.

When I look at this image I can hear the silence of the place and feel the protection of the trees all around me. I can feel the springy layer of humus under my feet and smell the damp moss. It is a huge problem I personally have as an image maker in that only I have all this additional information that went into the image and everything comes back instantly when I look at it. My images are always personal memories and this is the reason why I am hesitant to share them. They might evoke emotions in other people, but what the viewer feels will always differ from what I felt.

Of course we all know that advertising imagery is build on the common memory. It is never-fail generic  imagery that evokes feel-good moods. But what is going to happen when we sit in front of the computer day in, day out and never learn what damp moss smells like. Will these images still work?

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