Claus-Dieter Zink

* 05.05.1940   † 15.08.2010

The search for the ideal moment: combined with the soaring conditions this undertaking – more than in common photography – is like a Sisyphean labour. Light, vista, distance, fore and background – each and every parameter is constantly changing in aviation. Additionally often thermals are gusty, making photo composition nearly impossible.

Claus-Dieter Zink, doctor by profession and glider pilot by heart, knew about these particular challenges in soaring-photography. “The frozen moment inevitably always develops into the unforeseeable” he once said.

His initial flying at just 15 years of age had been a present from his father. His whole life Claus-Dieter Zink was devoted to soaring. Furthermore by 1970 he discovered his love for photography.

An initial hobby turned into a passion, throughout the years he developed and perfected a unique technique, allowing him to combine soaring and photography into a highly creative art.

Soaring and photography – the synthesis finally lead to the idea to combine the most beautiful soaring pictures in an annual calendar. An enterprise always very much encouraged and supported by his wife Claudia.

Since about 2005 the great photo-artist also undertook global voyages – from Austria, Italy and France to South America (Argentina) as well as the southwest of Africa (Namibia). On his extended journeys, Serres in southern France became his second home. Claus-Dieter Zink spent many month there. Together with other glider pilots he was taking off time and again from the local airfield of Klaus Ohlmann to new photo destinations.

Claus-Dieter Zink bequeathed us an outstanding collection. Soaring on the alpine landscape and the moody lighting of the south, his photographic work was of an unrivalled quality. His fascinating motifs, often from a breath-taking point of view, are just as much a declaration of love for the beauty of our planet.