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Alexander Kopatz Biologist

Alexander Kopatz biologist

JB: Could you please introduce yourself?
Alex: My name is Alex, I am a biologist and live and work in northern Norway. I was born in 1973 and grew up in Germany in a small town called Wesel on the river Rhine, not too far from the border to the Netherlands.

JB: What do you do for a living?
Alex: I am a biologist and I work for a Norwegian state institute researching brown bears.

JB: How did you come up with the idea of ​​studying brown bears?
Alex: After graduation from university I was working with wolves and actually wanted to continue to do so. However, then I got the offer to study brown bears. An offer that I was immediately excited about and therefore could not refuse. JB: On which project/s are you working on right now?
Alex: Work wise I work in a research group and we are studying brown bears across Fennoscandia and North western Russia.
Photography wise there will be a few album covers coming up as well as a collaborative work approach with a friend and fellow photographer. Then I am spending a bit more time with analog photography again, meaning scanning negatives and playing with film. I keep on learning and trying new things. If there is more time I want to go out more frequently to photograph in the dark; including northern lights.

JB: Is there any favorite country/spot? And why?
Alex: Northern Norway and Svalbard are the regions on the top of my list. Landscape is absolutely beautiful and breathtaking. Dynamic weather and fantastic, colourful, intense light all year through; and: solitude. I have not visited one yet, but I think I would also love deserts.

JB: What makes you happy?
Alex: My family, nature, when I meet interesting people and when I meander alone through the arctic wilderness.

JB: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Alex: More relaxed and a bit wiser I hope. I am open to anything exciting as long as my loved ones are around me. Hopefully I have seen more of this planet and met a lot of people by that time.

JB: What is it like to live in northern Norway?
Alex: Life itself is not that much different than somewhere else. Of course much less people around, distances are larger, the pace is slower and the environment is not that noisy. Growing up in central Europe I was always a big fan of the arctic including bright summers and the midnight sun. However, I am also addicted to the dark times when it comes to photography. Here in the Pasvik Valley, around 70 degrees north and near the border to Russia, the sun does not rise above the horizon from the end of November until the end of January. That means that the few hours of "daytime" are basically blue hour and usually with good snow cover. The beauty of the scenery and light is beyond to describe.

The life in the arctic is in constant, seasonal change. No stage stays for long and the weather may change within minutes. Especially in spring and late autumn daytime shifts up to twelve minutes per day. We are so up polewards that the blue and golden hour can last actually for many hours, depending on the season. The arctic, its harsh climate and soft light, makes it the perfect combination for me to live in. I live in one of the most beautiful environments on our planet. And then there are the Northern lights. I am addicted to the arctic.

JB: What springs to mind for the following keywords?
– Social Media: Great way to keep in touch with people far away. But as with all media it should be consumed with care.
– Music: Never without it.
– Role Model: Creative, unconventional, nonconformist, active people who think outside of the box and vehemently follow their passion and dreams and try to enhance the way we live, our society.
- Flow: Relax and create.
- Inspiration: Nature, camp fires and outer space.
– Adventure: Treat life as a big one.

Find more photos of Alex on his webpage

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