Daniel Zielske

WhiteWall Ambassador Profile

  • SPECIALTIES: Cities, Architecture, and Fine-Art Photography

  • COUNTRY: Germany

Since 1993, Daniel Zielske has worked with his father as a photographer duo in the field of applied photography for 25 years. During this time, they have created more than 30 book projects on topics such as New York, London or Berlin. Their photo essays have been published in national and international magazines. In 1999, they added art photography as a topic to their portfolio.

“Just wandering around in a new city and experiencing the lights of the metropolis or also the special ambience on the streets has always fascinated me. But also the total silence as it can be found in nature or in a library is always a very special source of inspiration for me. Perceiving transient beauty and enjoying those special moments in time, and subsequently turning what I see and experience into photography is an incredible privilege for me.”

Portrait of Daniel Zielske.


DANIEL ZIELSKE - Il Ponte di Rialto - 2020, Venice.

How did you start your career as a photographer?

Photography has always been a part of my life. In my family, I am the 2nd generation that works as a photographer. Even as a toddler, I was always present at my father’s shootings. My father was a classical architecture photographer in Göttingen who later specialized in travel photography.

DANIEL ZIELSKE - Bacino di San Marco - 2020, Venice.

After my vocational training as a photographer, we worked together as a father-son team. Our common book about Germany was the kick-off. It was an amazing time! Travel photography turned into urban photography, and art photography is also among my themes now. But still, I have mostly been focusing on book projects.

DANIEL ZIELSKE - Canale di Cannaregio - 2020, Venice.

What are your sources of inspiration for your picture ideas?

I own a very extensive photo book and magazine library that my father started and that I constantly enlarge. It is almost 3 meters high and 6m long – enough material to get inspired, which generally happens when I have Fürst Pückler ice cream and a cup of coffee in my sunroom. Besides reading illustrated books and magazines, television and cinema – preferably old movies or documentaries – are my sources of inspiration. In addition, I have a high affinity to England as a theme. Since the mid 1980s, I have travelled to England very extensively, especially to the South and to London, with my father to take photos. I am particularly fascinated by megacities in combination with landscape themes.

DANIEL ZIELSKE - Monastery library, Bendictine monastery Maria Laach - 2016.

Which camera do you use?

I photograph with an ALPA 12 MAX and the following three focal lengths: Rodenstock / ALPA HR Alpagon 4.0/40mm, Rodenstock / ALPA HR Alpagon 5.6/70mm, Schneider-Kreuznach APO-DIGITAR 5.6/150mm. My digital Back is the PhaseOne IQ4 150 MP.

ALPA is an architecture camera that works purely mechanically. As a big fan of the central perspective, my photographs require a very specific camera. There is even a connectivity option for analog films. For me it is a symbol for a decelerated working style. Due to my large-format photography background, I rather think about what and how to photograph. Not the quantity matters in my work. Even one perfect picture per day can be very fulfilling – something that analog photography has taught me. The feeling and the approach are simply different, almost puristic. To obtain more compact results, I photograph with the PhaseOne XT in combination with the Rodenstock HR Digaron-W 4.0/32mm and the PhaseOne IQ4 150 MP. I love using those mechanical instruments. My favorite lens is the "Normal" lens, i.e. the focal length of 70mm, and I always take my pictures from a tripod.

DANIEL ZIELSKE - City Library - 2017, Stuttgart.

Cities play a very particular role in your photography.

What makes them so special for you?

Cities make me think of many movies that have inspired me to work on this theme. Cities offer a great cinematic experience, also in photography. My original background is landscape photography, and my fascination for cities as a theme has constantly grown since then. At first, I photographed a book object in London with my father, and afterwards I was in Shanghai with him six times for an exhibition project. This is when my real passion was born. When arriving in a city, we let ourselves be carried along, often without any special equipment at the first time. We dive into a fascinating world with extraordinary architecture. Everything is so exciting. Each metropolis smells and feels differently. After ten days I generally have enough impressions, and when I come home I feel down to earth again. This contrast is extremely important for me to stay creative.

DANIEL ZIELSKE - Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm Centre - 2017, Berlin.

Where can you be found when you are not behind a camera?

My sunroom and the photo library are my safe space. I sit there in my large red armchair – a gift I received from my parents after graduating from high school – and relax. Either I read books or I listen to music. I love English and French crime stories. When reading them, I think for example about how I could turn these fascinating plots into atmospheric pictures.

DANIEL ZIELSKE - Campiello del Spezier - 2020, Venice.

Why WhiteWall?

WhiteWall manages to unite photography, art, and technology in a perfect way. I can always count on their quality and it always meets my highest demands. Pure professionalism, from convenient ordering up to flawless and fast delivery to myself or my customers. I simply feel that I am in the best hands.

Product Recommendation: ultraHD Photo Print Under Acrylic Glass with Floater Frame

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