Friday, May 5, 2017

KLAUS ENDER - EAST GERMAN NUDE AND LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHER




Even today, 27 years after the reunification of Germany, relatively little is known about photographers who worked in the former East Germany.  One of those photographers is Klaus Ender.

 

Klaus Ender was born in Berlin in 1939.  In 1962 he moved to the island of Rügen in the Baltic Sea and fell in love with it.  He was a passionate amateur photographer and was the only East German amateur who managed to publish in major journals such as Das Magazin (The Magazine) and Eulenspiegel and then turn his hobby into a profession. On 10 May 1966 he began his work as a freelance nude and landscape photographer. After only a few years he became one of the top East German photographers and published with more than 50 publishers. In 1972 he left Rügen, because of political pressures and moved to Potsdam.

 

 

 


   

       
 

 
   
 

 "Pst!"...

He became a commercial photographer and used his free time to pursue his artistic photography.  In 1981 he left the GDR and moved to Austria, where he started over again, penniless and at ground zero.  After only a few years, in 1989, he finally became known internationally.

Companies like Leica, Minox, Zeiss, Hama, B + W, Metz, among others used his photographs for their advertising.

 
Klaus Ender with Leica R8

It wasn’t until 1996 that he was able to return to the island of Rügen where he started his career and where he celebrated his 45th anniversary as a professional photographer.


Klaus Ender is one of the few East German photographers who also had an impressive international career.

For more on Klaus Ender go to: http://www.klaus-ender.de



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38 comments:

  1. Great work. I should look for some of his books.

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  2. It seems that a photographer can't get any notoriety without shooting nudes.

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    1. With all due respect, that is a rather silly statement. Apparently you are unaware of the numerous photographers that have never published a nude image. Do you have any objections to photographing a nude human body?

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  3. This post should have a warning that its content is NSFW and also potentially harmful to children.

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    1. Why is it potentially harmful to children?

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    2. Children should not be exposed to nudity.

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    3. That does not answer the question, but I am not surprised. I have had the same experience numerous times in the past. People are very quick to point to nude imges being harmful to children, but then fail to come up with a valid answer.
      If any of these posts are not safe for work (NSFW) depends on the attitude of the workplace in regard to art. I definitely reject the assertion that any of these images are potentially harmful for children. We are talking about the human form here, not some pornographic distortion of it. Why is it that photography is always handled differently in this regard than other forms of art. Is anybody requesting museums to post warning signs for their exhibit’s that show images or statues depicting the human form? Are such sculptures in public places required to do the same? I am a member of MIA, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. I regularly see groups of school children visit the place, as a matter of fact, they regularly have a special children’s day. There are no restrictions as to which areas of the museum are open to the children, including the photography exhibits. Apparently there is no potential harm to children in a museum or in public places, why should this blog be any different?

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    4. Are you denying that nude images are harmful to children?

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    5. I usually don't answer a question with another question, but you still owe all the readers here an answer to my question as to why you think this is the case.

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    6. Children are easily exposed to pornography and other deviant depictions of the human body.

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    7. Are you suggesting that any of the work shown in this article is pornographic in nature?

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    8. I never said that.

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    9. Then why do you want a warning on this site because the content might be harmful to children?

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    10. By the way, are you asking for the same warnings at museums and other places that depict the human form by way of paintings, sculptures...?

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    11. Heinz, why waste time on this useless discussion? This individual obviously is incapable to distinguishing between art and porn. If this person has any kids, I actually feel quite sorry for them, because they obviously are growing up with some very twisted ideas about what is acceptable art and what is not. I also wonder why this person even looked at this site, the headline should have put all kinds of red flags up for him or her.

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  4. It is obvious that segments of the US population are still mired in their puritanical past. I for one think the pictures in this article are works of art, not unlike what we see in books and other publications from famous photographers the world over. I hope that the nay sayers will answer your question of why such photographs are supposedly harmful and why other works of nude art, as displayed in museums all over the world are not.

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    1. I have asked this question on many occasions and, so far, have never received a valid answer.

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    2. I am sure you won't, especially in view of the fact that one of the major proponents of this nonsense, the Catholic church, is also one of the main culprits of actual sexual abuses. Not only that, but they continue to sweep this under the rug in most cases. Their filthy abuses make the publication of art, like on these pages, even more of a non-issue, because it begs the question of what is more harmful, pedophiles in positions of authority in a church, or the publication of art?.

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  5. Man, if you consider anything here to be porn, there is something wrong with you.

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  6. It's not the photographs here, or elsewhere that are harmful to children, it is the puritanical, out of touch with this world attitude of some individuals and parents that puts children into a utopian environment that has little connection to reality. Then, when these children enter the real world, they often have difficulties to cope with reality.

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  7. Thanks Heinz...a very accomplished photographer.

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  8. Michael Michael wrote:
    Terrific blog post! Thank you!

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  9. Jacek Haratym wrote:
    Why Leica? Is there anything in these pictures that you can not do with ordinary Canon or Nikon? I do not think so...

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    1. Jacek Haratym answered:
      Too expensive, compared to cameras that give the same picture quality. There is no justified price.

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    2. Obviously a lot of people don't agree with your statement. Of course if your pictures only live on the internet, you have a point. But in the final analysis. there is currently nothing on the market which, in its entirety, matches the quality and performance of Leica lenses. as they say, you get what you pay for.

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    3. All you have to do is look at the MTF functions of Leica lenses compared to competitors lenses. There is a difference.

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    4. All you have to do is look at the MTF functions of Leica lenses compared to competitors lenses. There is a difference.

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    5. Jacek Haratym answered:

      I do not know how many percent of the most famous names in the world are photographing Leica, but I think they are relatively few and are taken photgraphs for their talents, not because they use Leica.

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    6. Of course a lot of photographers use cameras other than Leica, just as a lot of people do use cars other than Mercedes or Porsche. That, however is not a function of performance rather than preference or financial ability. In any case, it is not the camera that makes the photographer. The camera is just a means to do so. However, there are performance differences and the fact remains that no camera system matches the performance of the top model Leicas.

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    7. Jacek Haratym answered:
      That may be true, but these are only labolatory results that have nothing to do with the quality of the picture. If that were the case, then the only brand that would accept those who would pay for the photos would be Leica, and that is not the case.

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    8. What do you mean "...only laboratory results?" The NTF function is a universally accepted means to depict the performance of lenses. Virtually all manufacturers use them. Of course these differences will manifest themselves in the overall quality of the photographs. However, that requires enlargements beyond the typical enlargements and reproductions we are used to seeing.

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    9. You make it out as if I am saying that these performance differences are huge. Of course they aren't. But they do exist. If they are worth the extra cost of Leica equipment is up to each individual. Obviously some photographers do think so.

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    10. Jacek Haratym answered:
      O.K., I will present it in a different way. I'm convinced that if someone showed you a photo of the same scene taken by Leica and another camera, you would not be able to distinguish what Leica is and which other camera.

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    11. I disagree. The quality of the final photograph is not jsut a functions of the camera and lens. As I mentioned, the differences are not huge. subsequently it takes equipment (scanners, printers, or film and enlarger) of an equal quality to make these differences visible. If that is the case, the differences will be visible.

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  10. Thank you Herr Richter, some truly excellent photos here.
    I am struck by two things however. I visited the former USSR during the mid-late 70s and had assumed that the DDR, like the USSR, had a fairly puritanical approach to art so I am surprised that you were able to produce such a body of work. Did you ever have issues with the powers that 'were'?

    And the Leica. The lenses I can understand and appreciate. The R8 is another surprise. I would have expected either a late film M camera or perhaps the newer SL. So is there any particular reason for the R8 and how do you feel it compares to the preceding R line of cameras?

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    1. You are correct that the East German government was relatively puritanical. However, they were also keenly aware that they had to compete with West German media in a variety of forms. Klaus Ender had become a rather well known photographer, and they were willing to overlook his nude work, especially when he had become known outside the confines of the East German state. The same was also correct with another East German photographer, Günter Rössler. I guess the "look what we can do" of the east German government carried more weight than their otherwise rather puritanical approach.

      As for the R8, I have no information why Klaus Ender chose to shoot with it. The R8 was certainly a very capable camera with a line of unsurpassed lenses. I have no information about what Klaus Ender is using now.

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    2. Sorry, I forgot to answer your question of how the R8 compares to its predecessors. The original Leicaflex and the Leicaflex SL and SL2 were incredibly well made cameras, which led to disappointment when Leica introduced the R3, the R4 and its follow up cameras until the appearance of the R8. The R8 and R9 were extremely well made cameras and many which that they were carried over into the digital world of today. Unfortunately we had to wait until the introduction of the Leica SL as a valid digital camera to be used with the former R line of lenses.

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