While growing up in a farm in a small village near Cologne, Natalie Bothur begun to develop a strong curiosity about her surroundings, whether that was her sisters playing around, animals that would come and go or the ever-changing nature. That’s when she started recording everything she would encounter with her camera.
However, that was not just a childhood phase for her as after school she decided to delve deeper into the field of photography and evolve her technique by studying at Folkwang University. Her insatiable appetite for new settings, environments and cultures led her to travel around the world and be constantly on the move while exploring remote areas and regions. Clearly, this is one of the main reasons she’s been studying the menacing beauty of volcanos for the last few years.
Her photographic approach differs depending on the subject matter as she shifts from her artistic travel photography to lifestyle and applied photography. Both aspects are equally important to Natalie as she thrives on diversity and the excitement brought on by change. In spite of her nomadic life, she always returns to her nest in Cologne to recuperate where she values the city’s open, tolerant and humorous mentality.
We first met Natalie when she joined communications designer Daniel Angermann to show us Cologne through her lens and shed light on all of Danny’s favorite locations. Staying true to the concept of traveling, she took us to Frankfurt for another city guide with music manager Florian Jöckel and met professional bartender Maxim Kilian who prepared his signature drink, ‘Wood is Wood.’
What’s your favorite daily ritual?
Every morning I start my day with an entire can of tea and – if I have time – an hour of morning yoga. For me that is the best way possible to start my day.
Where do you go when you want to relax or get inspired in your city?
If I want to relax in Cologne I take a stroll through the zoo or go for a walk in the meadows of Rhine’s northern banks close to Niehler Harbor. From there you have a beautiful view of the Mühlheimer Bridge and the water. Apart from these places, Cologne also offers a lot of galleries, museums and other cultural highlights, for instance the new Photobook Museum in Cologne dedicated exclusively to photobooks. I find that there is always something to discover.
How has technology influenced you?
Even though I always enjoyed developing films and working in darkrooms both in color or black & white, I am intrigued by the speed of digital photography. The workflow is so much more dynamic and it allows me to experiment more in a shorter period of time.
Best travel memory?
I can think of a lot of magical moments. Moments in which I first had to take a step back and realize what I am seeing and experiencing. There is one situation that I will never forget. On my tour of the Himalaya I met a monk who lived in one of the highest monasteries on the so-called ‘roof of the world’. We got along so well that he gave me a private tour of the entire monastery, let me take pictures of him and invited me to tea and cookies in his room. There we sat together and told each other our life‘s stories – which was incredibly interesting for both of us. Before I left he blessed me. That was a very special, magical moment.
Your latest artistic discovery (musical, art or design)?
For me, ‘new discoveries’ can often be new works by artists I have known and appreciated for years. For instance Martin Parr’s new book: Hong Kong Parr. I love Martin Parr‘s humor, because he really emphasizes the peculiarities of the city and its inhabitants. I have experienced Hong Kong more or less in the same way as he depicts it – full of humor and very serious at the same time.
What was the last great meal you ate and where?
Last week I had friends over and I cooked a Pho Ba on our wood-fired stove for hours. I have often had this Vietnamese noodle soup in Vietnam and with all its fresh ingredients it truly is a piece of heaven in a soup bowl.
Three websites – more or less – you visit daily ?
I visit Spiegel Online on a daily basis. Other than that I like to surf on various different pages and portals – depending on what I am interested in at the moment.
What’s your favorite picture on FvF? And which portrait or article ?