Ralph Orlowski

Ralph Orlowski

Frankfurt, Germany
Ludwigsburg, Germany
“I have learnt always to follow my intuition.”


I shoot a whole variety of news agency stories.

One Shot

. Frankfurt, Germany. Reuters/Ralph Orlowski
Rubber balls lie around riot police near the European Central Bank (ECB) headquarters during an anti-capitalist "Blockupy" demonstration in Frankfurt. Thousands of demonstrators from the movement cut off access to the ECB to protest against policymakers' handling of Europe's debt crisis.
“I took this picture during the “Blockupy” demonstrations in Frankfurt. For me, it is an example of the phrase “things are not always as they seem”.”


My earliest memories of photography are of our first family slideshows. I remember pictures of our family getaways, of our Christmas celebrations and lots of pictures of daily life. My father was an ambitious photographer.

I started teaching myself photography at an early age and my first assignment was taking photos of a protest against a planned runway called “Startbahn 18 West” at Frankfurt airport. It was a hot topic in Frankfurt in the 1970s and the 1980s so I went along to watch the scene. During the demonstrations, a police officer asked me for my press card but I didn’t have one. I learnt never to go to an assignment unprepared.

The assignment that left the biggest mark on me was in 2002, when a Bashkirian Airlines Tupolev plane collided with a DHL Boeing cargo jet near the German city of Ueberlingen, causing the deaths of 69 Russians, including 52 children and teenagers.

A few days after the crash, the relatives of the deceased visited the site of the plane crash, walking through the field collecting wheat. The idea of these mourners remembering their relatives, perhaps by looking at a flower vase filled with these ears of wheat at home, made me very sad.

My biggest lesson came when I missed a really nice picture because I acted against my instincts. Since then, I have learnt always to follow my intuition.

The people I respect the most are photographers who keep their passion for taking pictures.

Behind the Scenes

Frankfurt, Germany
Photographer Ralph Orlowski sits by his computer at the Frankfurt book fair.
Frankfurt, Germany
Orlowski covers the Blockupy protest in Frankfurt.