About me

I was born with a love for nature. I was able to experience my childhood on our small farm, always surrounded by many animals.
Even when traveling with my Land Rover Defender, my passion has always been to enjoy the outback and unspoiled nature.

But photography was always neglected and often happened between the door and the hinge. On the road with the Land Rover, the part of driving has mostly played a central role, so that often only a very small window of time was left for photography.
 

Wildtier Fotografie | Manfred Hesch
Wildlife Fotografie | Manfred Hesch | mh-wildlifephoto

Meanwhile, I have been photographing for almost 30 years. For the last two years I have dealt intensively with the subject of animal photography and also took the time to go into the depths of the matter.

Until 2018 I had a production company in Steyr, building expedition vehicles was my passion for over 25 years. After selling my company in April 2019, I followed my heart and opened a new chapter in my life.
After a 1-year break, I knew that nature and especially the animal world are particularly important to me. I began to immerse myself more and more in animal and wildlife photography. Above all, however, the bird of prey photography fascinated me the most.
From now on I wandered around in the forests and the beautiful nature of Austria, heavily armed with my photo equipment. Not always to the delight of the hunters.
Well camouflaged, I was often not noticed by the hunters at first when I was sitting there, or even more late, which understandably did not always put them in a good mood.
A concession for my perfect camouflage 😉 which usually only put a smile on my lips :-)
I realized very quickly that I should better arrange myself with the hunters of the respective areas and then I did and so I can stay in many areas without stress and professionally pursue wildlife photography.

From January to June 2021 I completed the hunting course in Hof near Salzburg, as I am very interested in the background knowledge of the local fauna and also the care of the animals in the hunting grounds. I passed the exam on June 25th, 2021 in Stegenwald with success.
The next step for me is the falconry course with a final exam. This starts on September 9th, 2021 in the birds of prey center Schloss Waldreichs. A chapter that is almost even more interesting for me, something I have been dreaming about since my youth, but unfortunately the time was not available for professional reasons.
As a practical preparation for the falconry exam, the Hohenwerfen falconry gave me the opportunity to work with you and so I can learn the craft of falconry from a professional team. I started with it on July 5th, 2021 and on the first day I was able to get an insight into the extensive knowledge, dedication and empathy it takes to become a responsible falconer. A big thank you to the falconer team for this great opportunity of training.

For a long time I still worked with JPEG files in photography, but in the last few years in RAW format and I finally had to deal with Adobe Lightroom.
Some workshops and courses were necessary to acquire the missing knowledge and to deepen existing knowledge and from then on I started shooting "wildly".
A very special challenge for me were pictures of birds of prey and other birds in their most beautiful movement for me, flying.
The introduction to this matter was a bird of prey workshop at the Kreuzenstein Eagle Observatory in Leobersdorf.

But I often spent hours on the lake promenade in Mondsee and the seagulls were really great practice partners to refine the technique, to get to know the camera with all its strengths and weaknesses and of course mine too.

My equipment currently consists of two different cameras:


 

#nikon z9 #nikon d5

Nikon D5 and Nikon Z9 full frame cameras
The Nikon D5 is irreplaceable in low light conditions, the Nikon Z9 does both well and has enormous speed. With the Z9, I can also create high-quality films at the same time, which is only possible to a limited extent with the D5.


Lenses:

  • NIKKOR Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S with built-in 1.4 converter (ordered - supposed delivery date end of September 2022)

  • NIKKOR Z 400mm f/4.5 VR S - delivered mid-August 2022

  • Nikon Z-TELECONVERTER TC-1.4x

  • NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.8

  • Sigma 500mm Sports / f4.0

  • Sigma 1.4 converter

  • Sigma 120-300mm Sports / f2.8

  • Sigma 70-200mm Sports / f2.8

  • Sigma 85mm Art / 1.4 - portrait lens

  • Godox system flash round - VN1

Accessories and backup:

  • Wimberley WH-200 MkII - Gimbal pan head for large telephoto lenses

  • Gitzo GHFG1 Fluid Gimbal - for film shooting and foto shooting

  • Godox VN1 rotary flash unit for Nikon

  • Manfrotto Carbon tripod - up to 9kg payload

  • Synology S950+ / 16TB storage + 16TB mirroring

  • 8TB storage PC internal + 8TB mirroring PC internal

Wildtier Fotografie | mh-wildlifephoto | Manfred Hesch

In many Austrian hunting grounds I now go stalking with my photo equipment and, like the hunters, have to get up very early in the morning before sunrise in order to be able to take pictures of the animals in their natural environment. Sometimes the alarm clock goes off at 3 a.m. 😄
Animal and wild animal photography also has a little to do with hunting. So you often lie in wait for a motif for hours, usually somewhere in the undergrowth, in a camouflage tent or even just wearing a camouflage throw. Waiting is not always crowned with success. Very often, after waiting for hours in the sweltering heat or half-frozen, one goes home again without having achieved anything. Nature is not a request concert.

For me, just walking into nature and listening to the sounds of nature is an experience. If it works with a few nice shots, then I'm really satisfied and dragging the equipment home suddenly becomes a lot easier. There isn't much of a difference to the hunters - the most serious one is, I just "shoot" a few pictures.

I am a member of the Austrian Nature Conservation Union and Birdlife Austria
The careful and respectful treatment of nature and animals is very important to me and is particularly close to my heart!

Many animals such as kingfishers, herons, cormorants, red kites, deer, beavers, mouflons, chamois and others can be found in Mondsee and the surrounding area and are ideal motifs for wildlife photography. In this phase of photography I also became aware of how beautiful our Austria is and it doesn't always have to go far away.

As a professional photographer, I offer wildlife photography for brochures, shots of wild animals and birds of prey, hunting and hunting guide, wildlife calendars, dog shoots and wildlife photo workshops.
I am also happy to be a professional companion on falconry hunts in order to capture the best scenes for the falconer in an unforgettable way, so that the falconer can focus entirely on the hunt with his bird of prey and then experience a new perspective in the form of great pictures.
In this way I capture unique, unforgettable moments for my clients and turn them into lasting memories.

 

You are welcome to view all my pictures in different categories and if you like a picture, you are also welcome to order it.
But now I wish you a lot of fun while browsing on my site, your

Manfred Hesch Unterschrift weiss.png
Wildlife Photograph- Manfred Hesch