Interview with Judith Kuhn, the 2023 MUSE Photographer of the Year

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Judith Kuhn

Judith Kuhn is an ambitious amateur photographer who enjoys making detours to other genres of photography when she is not zeroing her focus on nature and landscape photography.

Interview With The 2023 MUSE Photography Awards Photographer of the Year – Judith Kuhn

1Can you introduce yourself and talk about how you got into photography?
Hello! I am Judith Kuhn. I would like to call myself an “ambitious amateur photographer”. My main focus is nature and landscape photography but I also like to make detours to other genres.
2Where did you study photography?
Everything I know about photography is self-educated. A few books here, some internet research there, inspiration from the works of other photographers and a lot, really a lot of trying things out has brought me to where I am today.
3Do you remember your first shot? What was it?
I am not sure. It was probably the Schlosshotel in Austria where I spent some holidays with my parents as a child. I loved it very much.
4What equipment do you use?

First and foremost, I photograph landscapes. I have two lenses in my backpack for this genre: the Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM and the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM. Various ND and GND filters as well as a tripod are of course always included. Sometimes I also use the Tamron 70-300mm 1: 4-5.6 SP Di VC USM with me for detailed shots.

Occasionally I do astrophotography with the Sigma 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art. Of course, a tripod is indispensable in landscape photography. Here I prefer a traveller tripod from Rollei due to the small pack size and weight.

My second big passion is wildlife photography. Here I have the Tamron SP 150-600mm F / 5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 (also very heavy and therefore not always in the backpack) for the larger and more abrasive specimens and the Tamron SP 90mm 1: 2.8 Di Macro 1:1 VC USD for the tiny ones.

For indoor photography and other occasions where you need an ultra-wide angle, I recently added the Sigma 12-24mm f / 4 DG HSM Art, which is not always included due to the weight.

I use all those lenses with my Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. My newest toy is a drone: the dji Mavic 3 for unusual perspectives, abstractions and a view over the fog.

5What compliment inspired/touched you the most?
Some people have already said or written to one or the other of my Northern Lights pictures that it is the best Northern Lights picture they have seen so far. I'm particularly happy about that, because it's not easy to photograph the Northern Lights in the right weather conditions and with the right foreground. Especially if you don't live in the Arctic.
6What inspires your unique storytelling?
The love of nature.
7Congratulations! As the winner of the MUSE Photography Awards, what does it mean for you and your team to receive this distinction?
It always makes me proud to receive awards in photo competitions. It motivates me to keep going on.
8Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2022 MUSE Photography Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?

I received the MUSE Photography Award’s Amateur Photographer of the Year award for my series on Svalbard's polar bears. The journey to these majestic animals was something very special. I've never been this far north before, never before have I photographed on a group tour. And I've never spent so much money on a trip before...

We were incredibly lucky: we had very good weather conditions throughout the trip and plenty of polar bear sightings. In this way, a series of good pictures could be created.

9How has winning an award developed your career?
I'm an amateur photographer, so I don't have a career. Receiving an award is purely motivating for me.
10Name 1-3 photographers who have inspired you.
I'm less inspired by certain photographers, it's more individual pictures by different photographers that I get my inspiration from.
11What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?
Watch, try and never give up.

Winning Entry

the king of the arctic | 2023

In spring (it was still the dead of winter in the Arctic) I was finally able to embark on a long-planned dream trip to the polar bears of Svalbard, which …
(Read more at MUSE Photography Awards)

icelandic wild rivers from above | 2023

Only rarely do you find undeveloped, wild rivers in europe that can still determine their own course. In Iceland, the beauty of the structures of these …
(Read more at MUSE Photography Awards)

Judith Kuhn

Judith Kuhn is an ambitious amateur photographer who enjoys making detours to other genres of photography when she is not zeroing her focus on nature and landscape photography.

Read more about this interview with Michael Dorohovich from Ukraine, the Platinum Winner of the 2023 MUSE Photography Awards.