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Franz Demel   Photographer

Images    Portrait

Franz loved the mountains, especially the Dolomites, which he captured in amazing landscape portraits extending over several years. The photographer, mountaineer and nature enthusiast, died on January 22nd 2004 in an avalanche during his winterly crossing of the Alps.
Franz Demel, born on October 9th in Munich, had learned the profession of an interior designer and soon he replaced his crayon with a camera. He focused on design and presentation of slide shows.
Many of you might know his exceptional shows on "Mexico" or "Crossing the Alps afoot", which he elaborated together with his wife Franziska.
He loved nature and had great pleasure in exploring her manifold beauty, which he brought closer to people by his shows.
His friend Gerald Rundbuchner said about him: "Photography was his life. When he stood on a mountain with his camera, his eyes were sparkling with joy."
His eye for little details and the art of capturing absolutely stunning moods in those rough mountains, mark out his images.
He wanted to walk on snowshoes from Munich's Marienplatz to Piazza San Marco in Venice - in Winter 2003/2004. On December 3rd he started for this great challenge in Munich. There were more than 25000 altitude metre of rise and descent lying ahead of him - a path of 520 km split on 49 daily stages. And there was no sign that anyone else made that way before him in winter. By stages Franz was accompanied by friends and experienced mountaineers.
Following the original route of Ludwig Graßler, he wanted to cross the Karwendel, the Tuxer and Zillertaler Alps towards Pfunders, then on Dolomites-Trail No. 2 across the Grödnerjoch to the Sella and Marmolada. Afterward he wanted to leave the Graßler-Route towards South, crossing the San Pellegrino-Pass, the Passo Valles and the Pala-Group until Feltre.
He didn't aim at making that rout as quick as possible, but respecting animal's winterly hidings in the Alps and to capture wonderful images of the winterly, snow covered Dolomites.
Weather was unfavourable from the beginning. They had to forego the main ridge of the Alps. The experienced and considerate mountaineer, father of two, had announced, he would terminate the expedition, if weather would become a hazard.
Franz and his companion Gerald Rundbuchner did without the summit on this day when crossing the Sella and chose the way from the Bamberger Hut to Pordoi-House. The danger of avalanches was categorised on level 2 on that day - slightly increased risk. They felt quite safe and went on using the track, that other people left one day earlier.
However, only after a short distance left behind, a snow slab losened, dragging them down. While his companion was able to get out of the snow after digging half an hour, Franz didn't have any chance. His friend found him after he freed himself, but couldn't rescue him anymore. The Sella was Franz favourite region in the Dolomites - the Piz Boe was one of the easiest threethousenders on his way.
Those touching moments in nature, that he has captured in his images over the years, are part of his heritage and a mandate to all of us to protect and preserve this nature.
On behalf of his family we may present you Franz images in here, starting with the first part out of the serie "Dolomites". Shortly the wonderful images on Mexico and Cyclades will follow.
Amongst the images of the Dolomites are numerous fascinating panoramic images, some of which Franz took in several single shots, presenting them next to each other in his show. In order to make those images available in here, we're about to compose those single images carefully and so there'll be many more images within the next months. If you don't find the image you're looking for online, please don't hesitate to contact us, so that we can find it in the archive for you.