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Dietmar Nill

For me photography is like extreme sport: all senses and actions focused on one aim: the image never seen before.

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Featured Photographer

Dietmar Nill


I´ve been interested in nature as long as I can remember. With 18 I took my first steps in photography. Now I am a photographer since 20 years: the first ten years as amateur besides my job as a nurse and since 10 years as a professional.

My field of work is nature as such – with focus on birds of prey and bats. And then, I like action, the elegance, beauty and tension of animals frozen in the midst of their motion.

And this is the driving force behind my work: the passion, to capture the unseen moment, the animal and the movement that would otherwise pass unnoticed. I always try to find the borders I can cross, to make the impossible shot possible.

Website: www.dietmar-nill.de/


Why nature photography?
I’ve always been interested in nature. For me it is the greatest joy to experience nature, to live in and along with it and to be able to capture what I see on film. I like to reveal and show things and moments that are normally hidden to the eye.

What's best about it?
The whole actual work is great; to be outside, to be within nature, to be obsessed and to take this one next perfect photo.

What's worst about it?
What I really don’t like about it is the subsequent work: lots of computer work to be done, administration and the need for marketing, to sell my work. I let other people do part of this work – looking forward to go out again carries me through the rest.

Favourite species and places in Europe?
My favourite species are birds of prey as well as bats. In Europe, I prefer all regions where these animals are numerous and neither hunted nor threatened otherwise. For birds, this is the case in the newly formed German states as well as in eastern countries like Bulgaria but also in parts of northern Europe, for example in Lettland and many parts of Scandinavia.

What's in the bag?
Things I would not travel without:
2 camera bodies
lenses with focal length between 16 and 500mm
(flash-) lights

Your specialities / skills?
I am good at nature observation. I have a feeling for the situation, empathy for the animal I want to photograph, for its needs and preferences. Working with an animal means cooperation: I first realize, which animal is “willing” to be filmed and than convey, that I respect its limits, that I am no enemy.

What will you do in your next life?
Exactly the same.

3 tips for beginners
1) The most important thing is to love and respect nature.
2) But you also need knowledge about the species, its behaviour and ecosystem. So study your “subject” well before you go out.
3) Care about quality. Study the work of more famous photographers and ask yourself, why their photos make a difference. But then go out and find your own, new way.


I am attracted to Bulgaria , as it offers nature still relatively untouched by man, a diversity and large populations hardly to be found elsewhere – together with the beautiful colours of nature to be seen in the numerous facettes of the many colourful bird species of southern Europe . Bulgaria belongs to the few places where these species have never been hunted and thus show very low flight distances. This allows to photograph animals without disturbing them and the results are images of behaviour you never see or get elsewhere.

In Sardinia I encounter high specious richness as well as roosts with very huge populations of bats – and as I have been there many times before, I know the caves and where and when to find the bats. Bats as cryptic creatures, hardly known to many people, they tend to be seen as ugly and eerie. Photographing them, for me, is the challenge to combine all my technical knowledge with empathy to make the unseen visible, the unknown familiar.

Best Picture

Best Picture
Pair of Bee eaters

What's cool about it?
This picture combines colours, elegance and movement – a perfect composition.

Could it be better?

Behind the Scene
This was a completely spontaneous, unforeseen and unplanned snap-shot. I just happened to see these two bee-eaters from out of my car, one sitting there, the other one landing - pressed the shutter - and was lucky to catch the perfect moment.

Date: 21.05.2005
Location: Bulgaria
Gear: Canon EOS1 DS MarkII, Sigma f5,6 / 300-800mm

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