Tropical rainforests are of beauty challenging to measure, even more so, in a place like the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica, which is described as one of the most exuberant regions in biodiversity on the planet. Possibly this meant a radical change for Anne Lena Pfund, a photographer accustomed to urban themes. However, the inspiration of the forest finally manifested, and it led her to find a connection with her surroundings. In this post, we share with you his beautiful work and the interview that Pura Inspiration was able to carry out, a few days after his departure, in the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Are you in Germany Now? How has your return to Europe been? We imagine that complex due to the problem of the Coronavirus.
Because it was uncertain how long I would be trapped in the jungle because of the pandemic, I decided to go back to my home country, Germany.
When I arrived at the Frankfurt airport, I was shocked by the cold. I will never get used to the cold, haha! The real difficulty was coming back and having “nothing. ” No job, no room. The jobs I applied to would start somewhere in the future, after Corona. I began to sell prints and T-Shirts in my work from Costa Rica.
Tell us about your photographic work. Your origins and the topics you have focused on.
I was all about portraits, especially character portraits, and documenting the skateboarding culture. Looking at an expressive and natural picture makes me feel something intense and profound. The authentic insight people give into their souls during a shooting fulfills me with peace and fortune.
I started asking people on the street if they are down for shooting; I was so nervous! But that’s when I began to see progress. I invested all my time into understanding light, making people comfortable and all that comes with it. Film photography also got me, and I bought a medium format camera that I straight felt in love with.
Tell us about your experience in Osa, and then, how this place inspired you.
When I arrived in the jungle, I suddenly had no more left of the environment that I was used to capturing. Coming from capturing people, I was forced to capture nature or animals. In the first weeks, I didn’t take a single picture cause the motivation I usually had was gone. I guess that was because the environment suddenly changed.
But I felt empty without any project, without any taken picture. So I needed to take my camera with its super-crappy equipment for landscape or wildlife photography and still tried to figure out something.
I was tired of seeing tourists with expensive camera gear, having no idea what they are doing. Honestly, I got sad seeing all these tourists having the equipment I would need for my work, but knowing that my bank account has around half of the money would cost. No chance.
So, I told myself, I will do better with what I have!
I never did landscape or nature photography in any form. My first pictures from Osa are terrible, really, haha! Looking back at my work, I can say I found my style quick and started to know what to take pictures of and whatnot, how to look at the things. I began to love it. Capturing plants is much more meditative than capturing people. It was also a great challenge, the light in the rainforest is crap, and there was no place to buy film.
Now, back in Germany, I keep on shooting nature. I see my local forest differently and find beauty in all types of it.
“In the first weeks
I didn’t take a single picture,
cause the motivation
I normally always had was gone”
“I started to love it.
Capturing plants is much more meditative
than capturing people.”
You have a print project called “Visual of the Rainforest.” What it is about and where we can see it.
I asked on my Instagram if people are interested in prints from the rainforest, since then I am regularly selling a photo here and there, which also helps me a little bit overcoming the pandemic. The tranquility of these pictures calm me down; I also set them up in my room.
Hopefully, people who buy my pictures feel this tranquility and peace, a little break in this world full of stress and stimulations. Hopefully, people understand and respect the beauty of nature, and question consumes that harms nature (including me, of course!)
I am thinking about doing a project, donating to a wildlife or rainforest organization for every sold print. ( Do you know a trustworthy organization?)
I am still uploading “Visuals of the rainforest” to my Instagram @alea.outside, even got a ton on my hard drives!
Do you plan to return to Costa Rica?
Definitely! To Costa Rica and Panama, which I also fell in love with. The flights are costly, and when I go there, I want to stay at least two weeks, whatever is compatible with my job. I am professional in saving money, haha, so I guess in one or two years, I will be ready to go!
I miss the animals, the heat, the Pura Vida lifestyle.
Thank you very much for this interview, Pura Inspiration!
You can follow Anne Lena Pfund’s work at @alea.outside