News and Updates

Online since 11 April 2006
Last update 08 June 2017

May 2017

Passionate painter Gabriele Henkel created this amazing large-size 120 cm x 90 cm pastel-painting of my Icelandic ice cave image The Crystal Grotto. It will be displayed in June 2017 during a vernissage at the Frauenzentrum in Erfurt, Germany.
Many thanks to Gabriele Henkel for this great artwork! It is very inspiring and joyful for me to see one of my images as such a beautiful large-format painting!

April 2017

The April 2017 limited edition of Extraordinary Vision Outdoor Photography Magazine by Angelo Ioanides features my Zion Canyon image The Subway taken in June 2005 on the Colorado Plateau.

The magazine can be downloaded here for free.

Get the app for Apple or for Android here.

Many thanks to Angelo Ioanides for highlighting my image in the "My Picks" section of his great magazine.

March 2017

Together with today's 24 March 2017 release of the new Seasurfer album, named Under the Milkyway...Who Cares it is with my pleasure to also release the cover image of this album In Heaven who cares about Dreams, showing the majestic southern hemisphere Milky Way over the unearthly Western Australian pinnacles in Nambung. The inner cover of the album shows The Dawn of the Nightglory, with the Milky Way over the Alps highest peak, Mt. Blanc, mirroring in beautiful Lac de Cheserys.

Fine-art prints of these images are available in any size and finish.
How to order? Please send your choice via e-mail or through the contact form. Thank you so much for your support.

You can listen to the album here.

More information can be found on the Seasurfer Facebook page.

It is a great honor having my images beautifying this album and I love to thank Dirk Knight and the entire Seasurfer team for being part of this great piece of artwork. I love this dreamy wall of sound that you guys created and it provides me with unlimited energy proceeding my photographic dream! Thank you!

February 2017

Two starscape Lichtjahre images adorn the cover of the new album from Hamburg based noise-pop and dream-punk band Seasurfer. The album is called Under the Milkyway...Who Cares and will be released on 24 March 2017 on CD and vinyl on Saint Marie Records. The vinyl will come with a gatefold cover ... the moment of the opening up will be a great one! More information can be found on the Seasurfer Facebook page.

The images used are The Dawn of the Nightglory, showing the Milky Way over the Alps highest peak, Mt. Blanc, and the yet unreleased 180° Southern Milky Way arc of the unearthly Australian pinnacles of Nambung, called "In heaven, who cares about dreams". This new image will be displayed here on 24 March, together with the release of the new album.

Listen to the new Seasurfer single "If you leave".

I thank Dirk Knight, mastermind behind Seasurfer, for all the inspirational conversations, great music and friendship. I would also like to thank Julia Beyer, who is also singer of my beloved German dreampop band Chandeen, for adding that angelic touch to Dirks amazing noise!

January 2017

Just after New Year two weeks of travel to Australia brought me to Hobart, Tasmania, for working on two ships going to Antarctica with my scientific OceanRAIN instrumentation and for photo travel to Western Australia to explore the magnificent ancient banded iron formation gorges of Karijini. Regarding Karijini I expected harsh conditions only to find out that this was an understatement. Located in northwestern Australia just north of the tropics of capricorn, Karijini not only features some of the oldest rocks existing on Earth but also photographic conditions that are challenging to say the least. On the cons side the excessive heat of summertime Australia in this region is hard to withstand and frequently reaches 40°C with no available shade. In combination with frequent and severe thunderstorms this results not only in unbarably high humidity of the air but also in flooding conditions that close down roads and access to the beautiful gorges due to flash flooding. On the pro side of the summertime season is that visitors are rare and that the skies make for fascinating storm cloud displays. However, it turned out as no surprise, one week for the gorges allows for just a tiny preview of whats possible in this beautiful region. Coming back to this amazing landscape during summer requires a much better 4WD jeep, plenty of time to allow access to the gorges in between thunderstorm periods and probably some good company to pay attention away from the heat and the flies. Having said that, I am more than grateful for the amazing people I had the honor to meet with. Most of them were backpackers travelling with their jeeps. The others were car mechanics trying to reanimate my unreliable Nissan Xtrail with great success - all of them being adorable warm-hearted and helping people without non of the upcoming photos of this tour would have come into existence. Thank you guys!

The latest issue 48 of the Extraordinary Vision Outdoor Photography Magazine by Angelo Ioanides features the article "Between a Rock and a Light Place" on my photographic Lichtjahre work including a portfolio of my favorite images. The cover of this issue shows my image "The Spirit of Iceland".

The article and the magazine can be downloaded here for free including the next two new issues and 10 back issues by taking up a free 30 day trial subscription.

Get the app for Apple or for Android here.

I cordially thank Angelo Ioanides for making this possible and for the joyful time of editing the article together.

December 2016
For the third consecutive year, the Russian Art Center in St. Petersburg is displaying Lichtjahre images during the International Photofestival exhibition "100 wonders of the world".

The following five images were chosen by the curators for the 2017 exhibition:

Ghost Coast (new and yet unreleased image)
Immortal Splendour (new and yet unreleased image)
The Black Sun
The Wave

During January 2017 the International Photofestival 100 Wonders of the World exhibition was visited by more than 8000 people. After St. Petersburg exhibition will be held in the city of Ulyanovsk, Bryansk, Petrozavodsk and Syktyvkar. The aim of this exhibition is to raise awareness for science, art and education. As this goal coincides with the aim of the LichtJahre project I am glad and honored to support this effort again this year. The exhibition is sponsored by National Geographic and GEO.

Many thanks to Natasha Trusova and Angelina Ruban, curators of the International Photofestival "100 wonders of the world", for making this possible.

August 2016
My three week photo travel in Colorado in August 2016 was entirely dedicated trying to capture the monsoon thunderstorms in the Rocky Mountains during the peak season of the wildflowers. The week before I started the tour saw impressive thunderstorm displays every day. However, the very day I went into the Rockies the weather pattern changed to stable high pressure with nothing but blue skies from morning to evening for the next two weeks. This gave me lots of opportunity to hike many trails seeking for the most amazing wildflower display. During the last week the thunderstorms finally came back to the area and I had five days with impressive skies and lightning. I went every morning and evening to that particular place in the Silverton area where the wildflowers were just mindblowing and was waiting for a thunderstorm at the right position and time. I got wet quite often, very wet to be honest was surrounded by lightning but could not capture that particular shot I had in mind. On the last day however the fifth intense thunderstorm of the day passed the mountain range in the right direction at sunset. I started shooting and captured the scenery including a lightning. Completely in euphoria about that shot I figured quite late that it started getting dark and than the rain started pouring on me while I was surrounded by lighting up on the trail. Using the headlamp I made it back to the car, completely wet but more than happy with the result. Three weeks for that one shot were well worth the effort! Here is a preview of that image that I named "Oh Be Joyful!". It will enter the latest releases section soon.

June 2016
Geonova, the Norway based geoscientist community, created to share information and knowledge about geoscience published an article about my climate research project OceanRAIN - Increasing our knowledge about oceanic precipitation.

"The geoscientist and photographer Dr. Christian Klepp from the University of Hamburg introduces OceanRAIN, an international research project based in Hamburg, Germany. The project aims at measuring high-quality rain and snowfall data onboard research vessels on the global oceans."

The value of OceanRAIN for the science community:

Precipitation, falling over the global oceans as rain, snow and mixed-phase, is among the most important climate variables and a key player in the global water cycle. However, precipitation is notoriously difficult to measure. To obtain precipitation maps with global coverage several times a day, only satellites can be used. However, satellites do not measure precipitation but a radiation field that has to be converted into precipitation using algorithms. Thus, the results depend on the algorithm applied. The differing precipitation estimates produced by several international research centers call for independent surface data for validation. This is where OceanRAIN comes into play being to date the only systematic long-term shipboard precipitation data collection effort. OceanRAIN utilizes a unique measurement system: an optical disdrometer that is specifically designed to measure onboard of ships under all weather conditions. Supplying the research community with this instrumentation and data set, OceanRAIN contributes to:

> improve the understanding of microphysical properties of precipitation,
> increase the knowledge of precipitation statistics,
> validate satellite and model precipitation products,
> analyze the errors in the satellite algorithms,
> calibrate shipborne and spaceborne precipitation radars.

Read the OceanRAIN article here

Many thanks to Hans Gebauer from for making this possible.

April 2016
Celebrating the first 10 years of LichtJahre landscape photography!

Being online for 10 years now is something to celebrate! Time flies and I am scrutinizing if the progress made justifes all the effort. It turns out that on a monthly or even annual review the answer may be frustrating. However, on a decadal scale things look very different. Yes, my achievements made during the last 10 years are truly significant. 10 years ago I materialized the idea of setting up this webpage. That was just one year after I purchased my first digital camera - the 8 megapixel Canon 20D; a revolutionary camera at that time. It was also the time when I started to realize that concentrating on the essentials results in much higher image quality. Being at the locations during dusk, the night and dawn, revisiting locations until the light was perfect and developing an own style of image composition where major improvements. The usage of my AstroTrack mobile astronomical mount for long exposure star tracking on both hemispheres was another milestone. The amazing Canon 5D Mk II, aquired in 2009, helped significantly to raise the bar in terms of image resolution. During the last 10 years I could realize about 20 tours across the globe with pure focus on science and landscape photography. I was lucky to meet and team-up with several great photographers in the field and I am very delighted that many of them turned into friends. One thing that more recently started to fascinate me is the 180° Milky Way arc over spectacular nighttime landscapes using my astronomical mount. The amount of pointy stars captured during the low ISO six minutes exposures is truly awesome and the multipanoramic composite of the sphere yields images with oustanding resolution. Since July 2016 I am shooting with the Canon 5DSR while the Canon 5D MkII serves as a time-laspe video camera. Furthermore I could realize my first book, won a few international awards and got my first double-page National Geographic page in one of their recent books.

10 years ago I would have never dared to dream of these achievements. My sincere thanks go to everyone who supported me and believed in my dream to become a landscape photographer!

January 2016
Working in Perth and Melbourne right after New Year I had the chance to squeeze in one week of photo travel along the coast of Western Australia. I was working on the installation of scientific equipment onboard the Australian research vessel Investigator. In Perth I rented a 4WD large enough to live in for one week and headed out North. This brought me to Nambung, Kalbarri and Shark Bay with strong focus on Southern Celestial Arc star photography using my Astrotrack system. Daytime temperatures were hardly tolerable up North and exceeded 43°C (110°F) almost every day. However, instead of boring blue skies I was rewarded with amazing storm cloud sceneries resulting in a few new images that I am currently working upon. So stay tuned for first shots from hot summerly Australia! Additionally I adventured an amazing photo flight over Shark Bay with the door removed from the Cessna 182 for unobstructed photography. Many thanks to the pilot from Shark Bay Air for this great experience!

In Melbourne had the honour to give a one-hour presentation on my photographic work to my colleagues at the Bureau of Meteorology in addition to my science talk.

December 2015
The Russian Art Center in St. Petersburg features 3 LichtJahre images Dreamscape Moments of Eternity Stellar Cascade until 28 February 2016 as part of the 100 Wonders of the World exhibition. From March 2016 onward the exibition is travelling to Kaluga, Stavropol, Ulan-Ude, Irkutsk and many other cities throughout Russia. The aim of this exhibition is to raise awareness for science, art and education. As this goal coincides with the aim of the LichtJahre project I am glad and honored to support this effort. The exhibition is sponsored by National Geographic and GEO.

Many thanks to Veronica Smirnova, curator of the International Photofestival "100 wonders of the world", for making this possible.

August 2015
One week of Swiss Alps photo travel was mainly decdicated to capture the Perseid meteor shower at new moon over the impressive scenery of the Matterhorn. The locations visited during that week also included the famous Aletsch glacier and the Grimsel Pass. Travelling with my close friends Frank Paul and Paul Kucera during that week was exiting. We almost got hit by lightning on the Eggishorn peak at Aletsch glacier, experienced many thunderstorms and were rewarded with hundreds of shooting stars during the cloud-free new moon night of the Perseids. I was able to capture no less than 42 bright shooting stars, many of them being really bright, falling above the majestic Matterhorn peak. This image may easily become one of my favorites and will be part of the Portfolio New Releases section soon.

May 2015
Following a science visit at the National Center for Atmospheric Research NCAR in Boulder, Colordao, I had the opportunity venture out to the Rocky Mountains in Aspen, Colorado, together with my friend Paul Kucera. We had an unforgettable time at Maroon Lake including an astro-photo night in the fresh fallen snow. I opted for the spaceous Chrysler Town&Country, my favorite car for a week out on the Colorado Plateau. Travelling through Utah and Arizona that May was amazing because the very instable weather situation produced thunderstorms and impressive clouds every day and even dumped significant snow in the Grand Canyon area. It was just great fortune paired with perfect timing that I was able to capute storm cloud light situations at dusk and dawn over Arches, Bryce, Canyonlands and Grand Canyon National Parks. Images are to follow soon.

November 2014
Cascade Range Tour.

September and October 2014
Alpine Tour.

June 2014
The Dutch magazine Salt used the image Anywhere out of this World.

April 2014
The National Geographics book Stunning Photographs contains the image The Crystal Grotto.
Many thanks to National Geographic photographer Annie Griffiths and Meredith Wilcox from National Geographic Books for making this happen.

January 2014
Iceland HALO Tour.

December 2013
The German kids magazine Junior used the image The Crystal Grotto to explain the world of glaciers to kids.
I would like to thank Andrea Burgstaller from Junior Medien for making this possible.

July 2013
The Austrian supermarket chain Billa produced a sticker book for kids on the wonders of Earth and used the image The Crystal Grotto.

April 2013
LichtJahre photographer Christian Klepp is on tour for five weeks from 2 April to 7 Mai 2013 on the south island of New Zealand chasing for new photographic horizons during the "Indian Summer" fall season down under. This purely photographic tour is focused on the fall light and the southern milky way arc over the nighttime landscape.

March 2013
During a two week science visit at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado, USA, LichtJahre photographer Christian Klepp had the opportunity to photograph the snowy winter landscape of the Rocky Mountains and gave a one hour LichtJahre presentation for the scientists at NCAR.

February 2013
The Globetrotter portal 4-seasons is featuring a Lichtjahre interview with Christian Klepp
including an online gallery of 20 Lichtjahre photographies and a Globetrotter iPad-App.
I want to thank Philip Baues for the constructive interview questions and the fruitful cooperation.

The image Heart Reef is a 'Top-Down Perspective' winner of the 2012 María Luisa Memorial Photo contest.
More than 16000 photographs were submitted by 1600 competitors from 54 different countries.

January 2013
Christian Klepp is among the winners of the Global Arctic Awards 2012 international photography competition of Northern and Arctic pictures.
Photographers from 12 countries showed the magical world of the Arctic. Image Crystal Grotto won the PSA Nature of the North Bronze Medal and Beached Jewels won the FIAP Nature special medal.

The Xposure Issue 14 of Photography Week magazine features the Icelandic icescape image Nature's Artwork.
Thanks to Samantha Cliffe for the nice communication!

December 2012
The Russian Art Center in St. Petersburg features the image Entering the Enchanted Realm as part of the
100 Wonders of the World exhibition that is travelling throughout all major cities in Russia during 2013. The aim of this exhibition is to raise awareness for science, art and education.
As this goal coincides with the aim of the Lichtjahre project I was more than happy on agreeing to display my image. The exhibition is sponsored by National Geographic and GEO.
I would like to thank Alexandra Polishchuk, Deputy Director of showroom ART-Center from St. Petersburg, for making this possible.

July 2012
The image The Valley of the Ten Peaks is displayed in the July edition of the Natur Foto magazine.

Both English and German language versions of the LichtJahre book are now available. They can be orderered through this webpage on the book page .

May 2012
The May issue 3-2012 of the German photo magazine Fotocommunity Plus features a six pages interview with five images of LichtJahre. The interview can be read as a pdf file. The magazine is available in kiosks and bookshops throughout Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Two LichtJahre images Entering the Enchanted Realm and Valley of the Ten Peaks were awarded during the Glanzlichter 2012 awards ceremony at the 14th International Fürstenfelder Nature Photo Days at Fürstenfeldbruck, near Munich, Germany on 18 May 2012.

April 2012
Two LichtJahre photographies Entering the Enchanted Realm and Valley of the Ten Peaks win in the international nature photo contest Glanzlichter 2012 out of 16.000 entries from 32 countries.

These two images are part of the Glanzlichter 2012 book that can be ordered through the Glanzlichter webpage by 25th May 2012.

March 2012
The Memorial Maria Luisa 2011 photo competition awarded Christian Klepp with two diploma.

February 2012
The image Stellar Sunshine is the 'Mountain Landscape' category winner of the 2011 María Luisa Memorial Photo contest. Additionally Beached Jewels is highlighted in the 'Natural Landscape' category. More than 16000 photographs were submitted by 1600 competitors from 54 different countries.

January 2012
The image Arctic Gate won in the Al Thani Award 2011 photo competition and is part of the limited edition book Masters of Photography 2011.

December 2011
The Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, Germany, uses three LichtJahre images in their 2020 VISION strategic plan that formulates the scientific goals and challenges that guide their future research.

November 2011
Uploaded the long awaited astronomy image of Mt. Blanc at Lac de Chesery in the New Releases section.
This image was on my mind for 5 years - and finally came true this year:
New moon, fresh snow on the peaks, clear starry sky with few mid-level clouds and calm winds allowing for a perfect reflection.

October 2011
Indian Summer Alpine Tour 2011 to Switzerland, including Bernina (Val Rosegg and Val Morteratsch), Aletsch glacier and Rhone Glacier.

August 2011
First brand new images of the two weeks Alpine Tour with images from Matterhorn and Mt. Blanc are available under Portfolio, New Releases.
My thanks go out to Dr. Frank Paul for "inspiring cheese" and to the fabulous team of the Refuge du Lac Blanc. Without their enthusiastic support some of the new images would not have come true. Merci!

June 2011
30 out of 32 LightYears images were accepted in 8 categories at the international Trierenberg Super Circuit 2011 photography competition. Three out of these images were awarded with the PSA-Gold Medal Best of Show in the category landscape, the Gold Medal of Excellence and the VÖAV Bronze Medal within Salon 3.

These LightYears images will be part of the Trierenberg Super Circuit book which will be published within the next months. The book displays the world's top photography in 2011 featuring more than 1000 images from a broad variety of categories.

May 2011
Book release: 44 selected highlights of the LichtJahre photography are now available as a coffee table book!
All information can be found on the book page
Please note that the book is currently available in German language only. The English version will be available soon.

April 2011
Three LichtJahre images Lovelier in Black, Evanescence and Crystal Beach won the international nature photo contest Glanzlichter 2011 out of 15.000 submissions from 33 countries.

These three images are part of the Glanzlichter 2011 book, that can be ordered through the Glanzlichter webpage by 23rd May 2011.

February 2011
First new images of Icelandic landsacpes are available under Portfolio, New Releases.

January 2011
Christian Klepp is back from a very successful Iceland tour with Örvar Þorgeirsson from Arctic Photo.

The ePaper of the VIEW Fotocommunity View Spotlight highlights the LightYears photography in the January 2011 issue with an interview of Christian Klepp including 18 images.

Currently Christian Klepp is on tour in Iceland with Örvar Þorgeirsson from Arctic Photo for new images of Icelandic landscapes under the stars and aurora skies.

November 2010
Three new images from Iceland are online under Portfolio, New Releases.
The favorite setion is updated.
The re-design of the website is finished.

October 2010
Two LightYears images Tradewinds and Costa del Sol are used at the EXPO 2010 in Shanghai, China from 1 May to 31 October 2010. They are part of an info terminal of the Climate Service Center, Germany on frequently asked questions about the climate system. Both images highlight the questions 'Why does climate change' and 'How can we predict how the climate will change' in English and Chinese language.

September 2010
The first photographies of the Iceland 2010 Tour are online.

August 2010
The frontpage features a highlight slideshow.

July 2010
The new web design is finished for the English version of the page.
The design change for the German version will follow shortly.

May 2010
The LightYears image Patterns in the Void is the winner of the European Geosciences Union photo competition in Vienna, Austria.

April 2010
The European Geosciences Union is holding a Geosciences photo competition and exhibit in association with its General Assembly 2010 from 2-7 May 2010 in Vienna, Austria. Eleven earth and space science photographies were pre-selected by a panel of five judges. Each of the approximately 9000 conference participants is asked to vote for their favorite picture. The LightYears image Patterns in the Void was chosen to be among the displayed photographies.

March 2010
Six panoramic details of the LightYears photographies highlight the Earth System compartments on the new website of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, Germany.

The Earth System components represented are Atmosphere, Land, Ocean, Cryosphere, Volcanoes and their interaction.

The Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPI-M) is an internationally renowned institute for climate research. Its goal is to understand the changing climate of our Earth. The homepage and all three departments "Atmosphere, Land and Ocean in the Earth System" display LightYears header images.

February 2010
All images of the Northwest USA 2008 Tour are now part of the galleries Cascade Range and Rocky Mountains.
The first two astronomy images of the Cypress 2009 Leonid Shooting Star Tour are online in the New Releases and the Astronomy portfolios.

January 2010
The first images of the Canada 2009 tour are online in the Portfolio New Releases section. The Portfolio sections Favorites and European Alps are also updated.

November 2009
The texts of the main links Biography, Technique, On Tour and Contact are completely revised and updated.

October 2009
35 new photographies of the Switzerland 2007 and Northwest USA 2008 tours are now online in the Portfolio, Latest Releases section. As a new feature, all these images can now be enlarged in a new window to sizes up to 1000 pixel.

January 2009
The first photographies of the last tour are online in the Portfolio, Latest Releases section. This includes the astronomical landscapes using the Astro Trac TT320.
I wish all visitors of this website a Happy New Year.

July 2008
The completely revised and updated version is online

This includes a design change, a complete English and German version and additional images.
A total of 155 images are now online.
Christian Klepp is currently on tour again for five weeks in the northwestern USA. In september new images of this tour will follow from Olympic, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Hood, Columbia River Gorge, North Cascades, Grand Teton, Yellowstone and Waterton Glacier. This will also include astronomy landscapes using the new digital Astrotracker.

May 2007
150 photographies online

Now all 10 galleries have been finished resulting in a total of 150 images online.

English texts of the link sites uploaded

The translation of all link texts into English is completed. The translations of all 145 gallery image texts to English is currently under construction.

New texts of all gallery images uploaded

The completely revised geo-scientific texts including background information on all 145 images on 10 gallery pages are finished. As a next step a new design of the gallery pages is planned. The images will be rearranged leading to a continuous storyline. At the moment all gallery texts are still in German language only.

April 2007
10th gallery page opened

Just in time to celebrate the first online year of the LightYears web page the 10th gallery page is opened. It contains all images additionally shown at the planetarium presentation along with the first image of 2007 - the red full moon. Further images from the North America tours of 2005 and 2006 will follow soon.
As a next step the updated and revised geological background information on all 145 images is planned together with a new gallery design. The translation of all texts into English language is under construction.

I would like to thank all those of you who joined the planetarium show. Thank you for numerous positive reactions, emails and ideas after the show.

LightYears Presentation

Friday, 23 February 2007, 7:30pm, Presentation at the planetarium Hamburg

The planet is wild

We use to see our planet as a quiet and unchanging place. Occasional volcanic eruptions, earthquakes or tsunamis remind us upon the Earths inner activity. Barely noticed by humans, the planet constantly changes its appearance within geological space of times. Oceans and mountain ranges form and disappear, rivers carve out deep canyons, forest and glaciers alternate through the warm and cold periods of the ice ages. Events that cause marks - marks written in stones - that geologists can read like within a book. The meteorologist and geologist / paleontologist Dr. Christian Klepp shows and tells stories from Earths wild geologic history through nature photography from the most remarkable and beautiful places of our planet.

€ 7,50 Admittance
€ 4,50 Reduced admittance

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