Last update 31 March 2021
Online since 11 April 2006
March 2021: The Grand Canyon at Point Imperial
To experience a sunrise accompanied by thunderstorms and heavy rain in the
Grand Canyon at Point Imperial
belongs to the wonders of nature.
This already magnificent panorama is even more impressive when the summer monsoon rolls across the Grand Canyon with an active thunderstorm wave and even clouds forming in the canyon.
In the cool and humid morning air, you can really feel the breath of eternity.
For three weeks, I had been waiting for a line of thunderstorms from the North American monsoon to break the monotonous blue skies over the Grand Canyon.
Since these storms began, it had rained torrentially, and staying at the canyon rim was not without danger, as many a lightning bolts struck in the immediate vicinity.
Several times, I had to interrupt my photographic attempts and leave the edge of the canyon.
As magnificent as a monsoon wave is, the planned photo is thwarted when you are caught in the middle of heavy rain.
That I still managed to take this picture is due to a combination of perseverance, planning, adventurousness, and luck.
Read the story of how this image fell into existence
and learn which forces of nature were at work to create this huge canyon with its ancient rocks in just five million years.
February 2021: The Bisti Wilderness in New Mexico
The badlands of the
Bisti Wilderness De-Na-Zin
in New Mexico are among the most otherworldly-looking landscapes on our planet.
They seem like prehistoric creatures under the starry sky of the Milky Way.
But in fact, they are 70 million year old mud from a shallow sea of the dinosaur age.
I photographed these enchanting so-called Cracked Eggs in August 2018, using my star-tracking device to capture the arc of the Milky Way.
After two and a half hours of photographic work on this Milky Way panorama, my star tracker was extended to its maximum extent and therefore automatically retracted to its zero position.
At the time of the retraction, the camera shutter had been open for four minutes and had photographed pointy stars.
Now another 30 seconds of back-rotating of the star tracker were added to this exposure, corresponding to star trails of two and a half hours length.
This resulted in a combination of tracked and rotated stars, with Polaris remaining point-like at the center of the rotation.
Only the bright stars in the night sky became trails because the camera was able to gather its light fast enough.
This is why I named the image "Catching Stardust".
During this nighttime shot, I was paid a visit by a cougar.
Read this story behind my picture and learn more about the geological history that gave rise to this fascinating landscape.
January 2021: Film for the New Year's reception of the Green Party
By invitation of the Grüne party in Hamburg Eimsbüttel I had the honor to participate in their online
New Year's reception with a film contribution and interview.
The motto of the colorful program was "With art through the crisis" and drew attention to the difficult situation of many artists and gave them a stage
to have fun together. In total, more than 480 participants followed the New Year's reception via the webinar and the YouTube livestream.
Many thanks to Annette Hasselmann, Maik Bohne and Bundestag candidate Till Steffen for the nice digital evening and Henning Angerer for the interview and the film clip.
January 2021: My photographs on Szeroki Kadr by Nikon
The Polish online photography magazine Szeroki Kadr by Nikon
Szeroki Kadr by Nikon
published an article in its category
about my work and shows eight of my photographs.
This website, in Polish language, helps photographers to increase the quality of their images and to get inspiration from experienced photographers.
Many thanks to Aleksander Wasyluk for the nice cooperation!
January 2021: Photo exhibition closed due to continued lockdown
+++ Due to the extended lockdown my photo exhibition has unfortunately been permanently closed +++
Many thanks for the enthusiasm I have received about my work, to all who have visited the exhibition and to the team of the community center for supporting art in these difficult times.
It is fantastic to see how deeply the beauty of our planet touches people's hearts!
December 2020: Extension of my photo exhibition until 25 February 2021
+++ Because of the lockdown my photo exhibition is closed until 10 January 2021 +++
Please stay safe and healthy and see you hopefully in January!
The exhibition is up until 25 February 2021.
My photo exhibition is well received and due to the high popularity, it will be prolonged until 25 February 2021 in the Lokstedter Bürgerhaus in Hamburg.
I am very delighted about this response and the appreciation I have received for my work and would like to thank all those who have visited the exhibition so far. I would also like to thank the Bürgerhaus for supporting art in these difficult times. It is overwhelming to observe how much the beauty of our planet touches the hearts of people!
I personally guide individual tours with one additional household after registration by email to email@example.com.
Guided tours are available on Thursdays and Fridays from 18:00 onwards and on the weekends all day long.
The exhibition shows 21 of my latest photographs in gallery quality up to two meters in size as well as some of my personal favorites.
I am looking forward to welcoming you personally to the Bürgerhaus. Celebrate with me the beauty of our planet!
December 2020: Covershooting for the new Seasurfer album Zombies
It was a great honor and pleasure for me to do the cover shooting for the
Seasurfer double album „Zombies“
after the already great photo shooting for the last album.
As always we had a lot of fun and I like to share some impressions of the shooting here with you.
The third album of the Hamburg-based Dreampunk-Shoegaze-Noisepop Band around mastermind Dirk Knight and singer Apolonia will be released on 11 December 2020 as a
Double CD and is available through record stores, digital media and Bandcamp.
SOS is the opener of the CD as well as the
The double CD contains the mini-album "The Dreampop Days" featuring Elena Alice Fossi from Kirlian Camera.
Elena Alice Fossi from Kirlian Camera and Dirk Knight during the photo shooting with Christian Klepp.
December 2020: NDR interview about my photo exhibition in Hamburg
On the occasion of my photo exhibition in the Bürgerhaus in Hamburg Lokstedt, the Northern Germany based TV and radio station NDR interviewed me about my work and the background of how my photos were created.
The interview was broadcast on 3 December, 19:00 on the NDR 90.3 Kulturjournal radio program.
An online version of this interview
with six of my photographs is published by the NDR.
I would like to thank Dr. Franziska Storch for the great interview in the Bürgerhaus.
November 2020: Visit my Photo Exhibition in Hamburg until 17 December
The Corona lockdown starting on 2 November 2020 unfortunately forced me to cancel my second vernissage on 6 November.
Fortunately however, it is still possible to enjoy my photo exhibition. To make this happen I will offer individual free tours.
To enjoy your private vernissage and having me as your personal guide please register by emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is allowed to show up with a maximum of nine people that belong to a single household!
The photo exhibition is on display until 17 December 2020 and tours can be offered frequently. The admission is free.
The exhibition shows 23 of my latest photographs in gallery quality up to two meters in size as well as some of my personal favorites.
I would be very glad if you use this opportunity to maintain art displays and to support artists in these difficult times.
****THE VERNISSAGE ON 6 NOVEMBER IS CANCELLED BECAUSE OF THE CORONA LOCKDOWN***
Oktober 2020: Vernissage of my Photo Exhibition in Hamburg!
I would like to share a few impressions of the vernissage of my solo photo exhibition in Hamburg on October 23, 2020 in the Bürgerhaus Lokstedt with you!
We celebrated the beauty of our planet and had very inspiring conversations about the photographs, the stories behind the scenery and the planet.
Although a vernissage with masks and social distancing is a challenge we had a great time!
Many thanks to all who were present and especially to Christin Döring and Dr. Jessica Engels from the Bürgerhaus Lokstedt community center,
Dr. Jessica Engels for the nice welcoming and introduction words,
Dr. Jörg Burdanowitz for the continuous support with the logistics,
Tala Mohajeri for the photos and videos as well as Jason Engelbart for his support.
The entrance room shows the two 130 cm wide photographs "Shark Bay Symphony" and "The Wild Embracing Silence".
In the third room the 100 cm sized photographs "The Subway", "Crystal Beach" and "Paintings with Light" are displayed.
In the second room the 200 cm wide photograph "Reconnecting to Earths Spirit" is displayed, showing the Grand Canyon during a monsoon storm.
The photograph is framed by artist Jason Engelbart (left) and photographer Christian Klepp (right).
Jason Engelbart contemplates the 90 cm and 150 cm large photographs "Karijini's Pool of Time Travel" and "The Wild Unknown" in the entry room.
The exhibition shows 23 of my latest photographs as well as some of my personal favorites.
On 6 November there will be a second vernissage to which I cordially invite you!
The exhibition is open until 17 December 2020.
October 2020: Visit my Photo Exhibition in Hamburg!
I cordially invite you to join the vernissage of my solo photo exhibition in Hamburg on Friday, 23 October 2020, 19:30 in the Bürgerhaus Lokstedt and to celebrate with me the beauty of our planet!
Please register via email to join the vernissage at email@example.com, cc to firstname.lastname@example.org and include your name, address and phone number.
This information is required because of the Corona situation.
The admission is free and the exhibition is open until 17 December.
The exhibition displays 24 gallery-quality prints of my newest works up to 2 m in size and a selection of my personal favorite images.
If Hamburg is out of reach for you I will post images of the exhibition here and on my social media channels so you can join the event remotely.
I look greatly forward of welcoming you on 23 October, and please do not forget to register by email!
All the very best,
I photograph pristine landscapes and nighttime starscapes because I love to capture and share these intimate moments of nature's beauty.
With my geoscientific background, I blend them with the majestic stories written in the ancient rocks that lie at our feet.
My artworks are an amalgamation of reviving our collective awareness for how precious and unique our home planet is.
I continuously push my camera equipment beyond its technical limits to capture images in ways unseen before.
I photograph multi-row multi-image panoramas and use my mobile star-tracking device to convey the sheer vastness of the landscapes and the arc of the Milky Way twinkling above a nighttime landscape.
This continuous learning process yields ultra-high resolution images that allow for printing in highest gallery quality with no image noise or loss in sharpness.
My star-tracking device prevents star trailing and allows photographing myriads of pointy stars with six-minute exposures.
A Milky Way arc landscape panorama takes about seven hours to shoot.
In my shooting process, I meticulously plan my images, explore the remote wilderness for locations and plan image composition.
Patiently waiting for this fleeting moment of magical light requires dedication and frequent revisits to the location.
Some of my images fell into existence only after five years of continuous failed attempts.
The moment when finally all conditions align for that perfect display of light, I become so overwhelmed with emotions and feel so deeply connected with Earth’s spirit that I do not even realize how the images fall into existence.
It just happens as if it would happen through me.
I hope that this extra dimension radiates from my images.
These photographs are my love poem to our planet and I want them to evoke the bliss of that moment.
September 2020: Pebbles on New Zealand's Westland beaches
The colorful pebbles on the west coast of New Zealand's South Island are well rounded by the surf.
They mirror the geological processes that created the glaciated peaks of the Southern Alps 25 million years ago.
However, the adventurous geological past of these rocks reaches far beyond this period.
It can be traced back to the age of the Devonian 390 million years ago and leads us to the northeast of today's Australia, which at that time was part of the southern continent of Gondwana.
There, a high and glaciated mountain range developed along the coast of a long vanished ocean. These beautiful rocks on Gillespies Beach consist of their weathering products.
From this beach, the 3,724 m (12,218 feet) high southern alpine peak of Mt. Cook is just 33 km (21 miles) away.
These pebbles reveal the grand rock cycles of our planet with their eternal recycling, which only becomes apparent in the course of hundreds of millions of years.
More than 3,500 km (2,175 miles) and a whole ocean, the Tasman Sea, separate the former mountain range in the northeast of Gondwana and today’s Southern Alps.
How did the rocks of the Devonian mountain range develop into the Southern Alps some 365 million years later?
This is the story written in the perfectly rounded pebbles along Gillespies Beach that you can read here.
Change is the only constant on our planet.
The rocks of our planet carry the memory of these changes within them.
Deciphering these stories written in the rocks is one of the most fascinating scientific adventures of our time.
In the early days of human existence, hunters and gatherers perceived an individual soul and its story in each and every animal, plant and stone.
If we listen and sense carefully, we can hear and feel the whispering of the rocks.
August 2020: The Maroon Bells in the Rocky Mountains
The Maroon Bells near Aspen in Colorado mirror in Maroon Lake at sunrise. The deep red sunlit peaks of the 4,315 m (14,157 feet) and 4,270 m (14,009 feet) high Maroon Bells
consist of reddish mud and sandstones that already formed a high mountain range more than 300 million years ago; the Uncompahgre Mountains.
The red light at sunrise illuminates the red rocks of the Maroon Bells for a short moment to revive an explosion of colors.
These sunsrise colors contrasted nicely against the dark clouds of thunderstorm passing by.
The characteristic shape of the Maroon Bells
is a unique sight, but who knows how magnificent these rocks were 300 million years ago when they formed the Uncompahgre Mountains.
August 2020: Publication in Trierenberg Super Circuit book Quintessence
A quintessence of the concentrate of the photographic heritage of the 21st century up to now.
Masterpieces from the world's largest photo art contest TRIERENBERG SUPER CIRCUIT are represented in this monument of photographic art.
The 512 page hardcover edition in outstanding printing quality consists of more than 1000 reproductions.
It is a never ending wealth of stunning ideas.
I feel very honoured to contribute to this book and would like to thank Chris Hinterobermaier for making this possible.
August 2020: Swiss Alps Aletsch Glacier panorama during a thunderstorm
The promising thunderstorm conditions in August 2015 were ideally suited to photograph this panorama from the summit of the Eggishorn (2,869 m, 9,413 feet). The active thunderstorm line was still about 6 km (3.7 miles) away while these images were taken. The heavy rainfall of the thunderstorm can be seen in the unstructured gray clouds at the left side of the image behind Bettmerhorn (2.857 m, 9.373 feet). This seems to have left enough time to complete the 57 individual shots of this 220° panorama and to start the descent from the summit in time.
However, what was not visible even to the trained meteorological eye in this dynamic and rapidly changing cloud cover was the new formation of a thunderstorm cell directly above the Eggishorn. Working behind the sturdy metal tripod I first noticed a tingling sensation running from my feet up to my head, whereupon my hair stood up. What I felt was the pre-discharge of the building up lightning channel running from bottom to top. Intuitively I threw myself to the ground, but immediately recognized that the metal tripod was now standing above me. At the same moment there was a deafening bang as the lightning struck and the thunder rolled through the wide glacial valley and echoed back from the opposite mountain walls. As I slowly rose, I noticed flames of St. Elmo's fires sparkling from my fingertips. These rare and ghostly light phenomena, caused by electric charges, gleam blue-violet due to the spectral lines of the atmospheric gases oxygen and nitrogen. Never before had I come closer to being struck by lightning. I could literally smell and taste the electric charge inside and around me while my body was flooded with adrenaline. In feverish haste I finished the missing two shots of the panorama, threw the photo equipment unsorted into my backpack and rushed from the summit towards the valley, when the next lightning bolts already struck way too close. On the way down the heavy rain finally poured down on me. But the thunderstorm gradually lost its activity and gradually drifted away.
The feeling of experiencing this stormy atmosphere on the summit of the Eggishorn high above the Aletsch Glacier was intoxicating. The looming light of the scenery and the incisive experience of almost being hit by lightning makes the adventure behind this shot unforgettable and unique.
Read and find out more about the fascinating Aletsch Glacier!
July 2020: Explore the living rocks of Shark Bay in Western Australia
In January 2016 I was exploring the Shark Bay in Western Australia to photograph the living rocks, called stromatolithes.
The significance of these stromatolites is that they are the oldest known organisms and that they still exist today.
Their 3500 million year old fossils are found north of Shark Bay in the Pilbara region of the Karijini National Park.
The vivid sunset colors of Shark Bay emphasize the epic importance of these stromatolites for the development of life on earth.
They paved the way for us and without them we wouldn't be here!
Read about these fascinating living rocks that take us on a geological time travel to the origins of life more than 3.5 billion years ago.
June 2020: The Wildflowers of the Rocky Mountains in a Storm
In August 2016 I was exploring the Rocky Mountains to photograph the impressive Monsoon thunderstorms.
Instead of the hoped for thunderstorms I got three weeks of pure sunshine.
But these three weeks with immaculate blue skies during the monsoon break were ideal to explore as many mountain trails as possible in search of the place with the most beautiful wild flowers.
When finally at the end of the tour the clouds of the next monsoon wave rolled in, it was only a matter of time until one of the numerous thunderstorm cells with strong lightning activity moved across the mountain ridge at sunset.
Only one minute after this picture was taken, the rain set in and the lightning struck in the immediate vicinity. For a short time even hail fell and finally it rained torrentially.
The thunderstorm darkened the sky so much that the dawn became unnoticeable.
For when the rain and rolling thunder finally cleared, it was already night and the stars were twinkling in the sky.
May 2020: The Grand Canyon during a monsoon thunderstorm
In August 2018 I was shooting the amazing landscapes of the Colorado Plateau with two main goals:
The Milky Way above these majestic landscapes and the incredible monsoon thunderstorm display.
I posted the first Milky Way panoramic image from this tour from Emerald Lake in the Rocky Mountains in December 2019.
Now its time for the first thunderstorm display of a monsoon wave sweeping across the Grand Canyon.
I had to wait three weeks under blue skies for this to happen and it was well worth it.
I named this image "Reconnecting to Earth's Spirit" because adventuring this secenery was so overwhelming and awe-inspiring that it immediately revives the deeply rooted connection to our home planet.
Such impressions awake our instincts and with them the irreversible realization how unique our planet is and how closely we are connected to it.
I was literally sourrounded by active thunderstorm cells and especially the one behind me was so close that the lightning strike were in the direct vicinity.
However, I just could not stop shooting, the scenery was just too awesome to let go.
I hope you enjoy it and moreover I hope that some of my excitement from this shooting is sparkling from the image.
April 2020: New images from the Karijini Gorges of the Hamersley Range in northwestern Australia
Trying to make best use of the times where we all have to stay home, I decided to accept this huge challenge and to transform it into source of inspiration.
I found a way for myself to completely change the perspective from which I see this crisis.
The silence of the world around me deaccelerated me to a point where my creativity exploded. Since this moment,
I am flowing over with energy and motivation to work on my photographic archive and geological texts that accompany the images.
It is as if a tremendous inner peace came over me.
Digging through my image archives I decided to work on the incredible landscapes of the Hamersley Gorge and Marra Mamba banded iron ore formations of
Karijini National Park in northwestern Australia.
It was a long cherished dream coming true in January 2017 when I was able to visit these awe-inspiring landscapes.
The Hamersley Gorge with the enchanting Spa Pool opens up a time travel to the beginning of our planet,
back into a time when bacteria were the only inhabitants on young Earth.
These extremely colorful layers are banded iron ores that formed by help of these bacteria more than 2500 million years ago at the bottom of a long-vanished ocean.
The tour turned out to not be an easy one but it was great fun nonetheless.
The enormous heat of the Australian summer is hard to bear with temperatures exceeding 40°C (110°F) every day without any shade.
The combination of intense thunderstorms with torrential rainfall led to flooding conditions.
This repeatedly made access to canyons impossible.
My Nissan Xtrail was not able to handle the flooded and muddy dirt roads so I had to stay away from these awesome canyons ...Xtrail...lol )
Moreover, the car power failed because something consumed the battery power, so I got stuck at Hamersley Gorge.
Big thanks go out to Sophia and Sophia who helped me out of this miserable situation with their jeep!
It was an awesome time with you guys and also these images would not have become possible without your support!
I cordially invite you to follow me on a time travel to these outstanding places and to read about the deep-time geological and biological processes
that created these fascinating landscapes. Thanks for looking!
I feel very honoured to be selected out of 1.5 Million image entries worlwide and would like to thank Chris Hinterobermaier for making this possible.
December 2019: Merry Christmas!
...to all of you around our beautiful planet! Let love, peace and the well-being of our planet be your guide!
I want to share this Silent Night with you - out under the stars of the Milky Way at Emerald Lake in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.
This emotional experience is so far away from our everyday world that the perspective for the essential becomes obvious and apparent again.
Our planet is such a unique and enchanting place in the depths of the universe - and it is home to all of us!
Let's love our beautiful Planet!
August 2019: Welcome to my new website!
2019 is an eventful year for me. At the beginning of the year I took the decision to merge my 20 years of professional experience in Earth System Research
and Climate Research with my 26 years of experience in passionate landscape photography. In preparation to become a full-time professional landscape photographer
with the aim of geoscientific knowledge conveyance to the public, I completely redesigned and updated my existing
website www.lichtjahre.eu to www.christianklepp.com.
I am delighted to be able to present my new website today.
Looking back and looking ahead is moving me profoundly:
My photographs have been online for more than 13 years now and during this time they have always been a little shadowed by my time-consuming
but incredibly exciting scientific career. There were moments during this time when I wondered if all the effort was justified and if my own
progress was significant enough. On a year to year scale, the answer to this question was not always satisfactory.
But looking at the development over the last 10 years, the answer looks very different.
The achievements of the last 10 years are thoroughly satisfactory and more than significant.
In 2006 I uploaded my own website for landscape photography.
That was only one year after I bought my first digital camera - the 8 Megapixel Canon 20D, a revolutionary camera at that time.
It was also the time when I started to realize that concentrating on a few photo locations with a lot of time leads to a considerably higher image quality.
To be in these places at dusk, at night and at sunrise, to visit these places again and again until the light was finally perfect,
was my new approach and led to new insights and my very own style of image composition and photography.
The mobile star tracking system AstroTrac, with which I can take six-minute exposures of point stars on both hemispheres, was another milestone.
The Canon 5D MkII, purchased in 2009, helped to raise the bar for image resolution. In the last 13 years I have been able to realize 24 photographic
tours around the globe with a pure focus on geosciences and landscape photography. I've had the good fortune to meet and work with many great photographers
in the field, and I'm very glad that some of them have become long-time friends.
One thing that has increasingly fascinated me in recent times is star-tracking panoramic photography of the entire Milky Way arc over spectacular
night landscapes with breathtaking resolution. Since July 2016 I've been working with the magnificent Canon 5DSR, while my Canon 5D MkII serves as a time-lapse video camera.
I was also able to realize my first book, win several national and international photo awards, contribute a double page in the National Geographic
book "Stunning Photographs" and publish my scientific work of the last years in the Nature magazine Scientific Data.
13 years ago, I never would have dared to dream of all these achievements.
Now that I dedicate my life to the beauty of our planet and share my work with you through this website the social media channels,
I look very forward to the challenges of the next 13 years.
My sincere and cordial thanks go to everyone who has supported me over the last 13 years and who never stopped believing in my dream
of one day becoming a professional geoscientific landscape photographer.