Born in Frankfurt / Main in 1950, I am into photography now for around 40 years, My first photographic steps I took as a teenager in the 1960s and from 1970 to 1975 I studied photography at the Arts College ( Fachhochschule für Gestaltung ) in Dortmund. My teachers were Pan Walther ( portrait-photography, landscape and fine art photography ), Adolf Clemens ( photojournalism ) and my favorite one, Kah Jagals ( screen-printing and "Fotografik" / graphic art based on photography ). I have never been very much interested in studio photography, besides that I learned the basics during my time at the Arts College.
What I always liked besides and in connection withphotography was travelling. In the late sixties and in the seventies I hitchhiked around western Europe and I had the plan to travel on the "hippie-trail" overland to India, immediately after finishing school in 1969. Unfortunately I had a pretty bad accident in April 1969 during my exams ans instead of travelling to India, I was hospitalized for 6 month and in permanent medical treatment for the next 3 yrars. Since that timeI have a handicap in case of walking, but that fortunately didn`t stop me from travelling, besides that I knew and know the restrictions I have to live with very well.
Due to that accident and some other reasons, it wasn`t before 1982, that I travelled further east than Turkey ( 1971 ), my first impression of a non european culture. In 1982 on a trip to Sri Lanka I had my first encounter with the culture of South-Asia. 1984 I came to India for the first time and since that year I have visited India and its neighbouring countries more than 20 times and spend alltogether more than 6 years in this part of the world. In 1986 I travelled from Nepal to Tibet for a month and in 1994 I spend 5 month in China.
My kind of photography, I would call classical and my main themes are people - portraits, festivals, every day life and streetscenes -, landscapes, cityscapes and architecture. I simply like to stroll around and get a feeling for the place where I am. Since 2003 I was using analog equipment and did colozrslides as well as black & white. Nowadays I work with a digital SLR. The darkroom - blach & white printing I learned from the scratch and got pretty good with the time - has benn replaced by the computer, but my kind of photography hasn`t changed very much.
Urs Schweitzer .................................................................................................... Berlin, December 2011