Calling Maik Gutmann a passionate light hunter sounds a bit complicated, but it captures his passion exactly: The photographer loves his home on the Baltic Sea and gives it a second, artistic life with his pictures.

Make visible what might never have been perceived without youwas a motto of the French film director and photographer Robert Bresson. Basically, Maik Gutmann does nothing else either. The ambitious amateur photographer from Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania has internalized his famous colleague's motto: "Whenever I think that I now know my beach really well and have captured every one of its perspectives and moods, it shows itself to me again in a different light mood." Fascinating - and the reason Gutmann never gets enough of the finely curved beach off the coast of Graal-Müritz. It's his favorite subject - he's particularly taken with the picturesque pier at Graal-Müritz, often in a sophisticated long exposure: "This allows me to bring out the moods of the Baltic Sea particularly well in very different weather."

Inspiration and soul comfort

For Gutmann, the Baltic Sea beach is also inspiration and solace for the soul in one, a golden ratio of bathing pleasure for people and an expressive dance of nature. Make visible what would never have been perceived without you - There it is again, that Bressonian maxim. Like sculptures left behind, trees uprooted long ago - washed around picturesquely by the storm tide in winter - create an impressive image of raw, pristine beauty. Maik Gutmann's photos open up a view of these often fleeting backdrops.

Baltic Sea, forest and spa architecture

In addition to its extensive sandy beaches, the Baltic resort of Graal-Müritz offers many other motifs for photographers: the kilometers of coastal forest, for example, the Rostock Heath, but also the downtown area of the popular coastal resort itself. Unusual ones at that, such as the advertising pillar near the local history museum, which was designed by artists from the region. Or the so-called Büdner houses in Graal-Müritz, which recall the arduous life in the former fishing village.

Maik Gutmann also likes to photograph and document in his hometown Kühlungsborn what could be saved from the rich architectural past into the present time. This is above all the famous spa architecture that shaped Kühlungsborn around 1900 with the construction of Art Nouveau and classicist buildings. "This architecture is unique," Gutmann says, and of course he knows all the places that are worth visiting for special photo motifs: The Villa Lion's Arch for example, in 1912 as Villa Martin built and extensively renovated in 2012, is such a special place. Also the Hotel Esplanade - Opened in 1900 as a spa hotel - bears witness to the style of an era whose aura can still be felt today in many of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern's Baltic resorts.

By train comfortably and without traffic jams to Graal-Müritz: Plan arrival.

Maritime life in Kühlungsborn

Looks like St. Tropez? You could say - only not so crowded... Kühlungsborn convinces with maritime lifestyle and a feeling for the right measure of leisure and pleasure © TMV/Friedrich
Looks like St. Tropez? You could say - only not so crowded... Kühlungsborn convinces with maritime lifestyle and a feeling for the right measure of leisure and pleasure © TMV/Friedrich

The harbor of Kühlungsborn is completely different, but no less charming. In summer, it is a turbulent attraction for locals and guests from all over Germany who come here to breathe in maritime life and enjoy fresh fish straight from the cutter. When the sun shines, Kühlungsborn's harbor life is a place of carefree bliss; blue skies, rocking dinghies, happy children's laughter: Idyll. But even in dramatic weather, the harbor of Kühlungsborn serves as a grateful photo motif, when against gray clouds and surging waves the dinghies almost bounce over the piers, the fancy yachts tug unwillingly at the ropes, and the old fishing cutters groan like choirs in distant church naves.

Another promising excursion for beautiful motifs is a circular hike on the Seagull Trail, where the clear sea air on the coast blows around your nose, but which also leads a bit into the hinterland of Kühlungsborn. On particularly beautiful, sunny days, Maik Gutmann also sometimes walks the seven kilometers between Kühlungsborn and Heiligendamm along the beach and photographs everything that catches his eye there - again and again and again. His motivation here, too: To capture the beauty of his homeland with his camera. Who knows what will still be there tomorrow? For a special image composition and the appropriate light, Maik Gutmann is then also happy to spend a few minutes of patience, loosely based on the playwright Arthur Schnitzler: "To be ready is a lot, to be able to wait is more, but to take advantage of the right moment first is everything."

By train comfortably and without traffic jams to Kühlungsborn: Plan arrival.

With the Molli to Bad Doberan

The fact that he made his way from here to Bad Doberan - another seven kilometers - on the Mecklenburgische Bäderbahn, the legendary Molli, is only due to the calculations of the passionate photographer. He prefers to save the hour and a half he would have to invest in the walk between Heiligendamm and Bad Doberan for his favorite motifs in the town: On the one hand, there is the Molli himself, which he likes to do on Alexandrinenplatz against the backdrop of House of God's Peace Or the Tempelberg: At 45 meters high, it's not exactly an impregnable colossus, but nevertheless the panoramic view from the top extends all the way to the sandy beaches on the Baltic Sea coast. But then Maik Gutmann also rushes to the building that everyone in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania knows: the Doberan Minster, built in the 13th century, is not without reason considered the pearl of North German brick Gothic. It is located in the well-preserved area of a former Cistercian monastery. The fact that Maik Gutmann now and then also works in the Villa foresight which is located nearby on the grounds of a former youth hostel, by the way, has nothing to do with the magnificent view over the city that you can enjoy in the restaurant. Rather, it has more to do with the delicious dishes such as the "Weitsicht" salad, garnished with a truly unprecedented raspberry dressing, or delicately fried pike-perch fillets on offer here.

By train comfortably and without traffic jams to Bad Doberan: Plan arrival.

Cover photo: Maik Gutmann during a photo session on the beach of Graal-Müritz © TMV / Tiemann

In collaboration with Tourism Association Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania e. V.

The Baltic Sea coast, the Mecklenburg lake district, historic Hanseatic cities: reasons for a Vacation in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania there are many.

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