Peter Schön

My passion for photography started in the mountains. I am an avid ski mountaineer, with several ski descents of 5000 – 7000m peaks, among them some first descents, in the Andes, Pamir, Tien Shan and South Caucasus. In the recent years, capturing the aura of the mountains and the sport through photography became goal of each journey.
Several images of mine were published in the renowned climbing and skiing magazines Backcountry and Alpinist. I am also contributing photo author for Mountain.RU, the largest Russian-language mountain website. In 2009 I won the Niamori International Mountain Film festival in Tbilisi (Georgia) in the category Best Adventure Photo, and my photos were exhibited in various places in Georgia. Furthermore, my work is used by outdoor companies for advertisements, websites and catalogues.

While I started with mountain photography, I enjoy now several areas of photography. Four images of mine won Merit Awards in the 2012 and 2013 Single Image Contests of Black and White Magazine. I also work increasingly with the concept of photo stories, with one to three strong images and a short, strong text. This concept I will work on more in 2013.

Due to my frequent travels to the South Caucasus, I was increasingly confronted with the issue of displaced people and refugees from the conflicts in Abkhazia (1992-93), South Ossetia (1991-92 and 2008) and Nagorno-Karabakh (1988-1994), and I became very interested in those issues. Over time my second focus became a long-term photo project about refugees and displaced people in the South Caucasus. In autumn 2011 I completed photo projects for the Danish and Norwegian Refugee Councils about their work for internally displaced people (IDP) in Georgia, following the conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. More recently I collaborated with UNHCR and Mission Armenia for a photo reportage about Armenian refugees from Azerbaijan (following the 1988-1994 Nagorno-Karabakh conflict), Iraq and Syria, and also with the Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly Vanadzor (Armenia). The goal of this work is to give refugees and displaced people in the South Cacuasus – who amount to 1.4 million (1) – a face and to tell their story. A portfolio about this work was recently published in the German photo magazine PhotoKlassik (IV/2013).

I focus on black & white photography, and regionally on the Georgian and Armenian Caucasus. I use mostly black and white film in 35mm and medium format, but also work with digital. For absolute highest quality, I develop b/w film myself and have selected images scanned with Hasselblad Flextight X1.

I am currently based in Styria and Vienna (Austria), Tromsø (Norway) and in Tbilisi (Georgia). I am an avalanche technican/researcher and PhD student at the BOKU university in Vienna, and also work as ski guide in Northern Norway (see Professonal section below).