September 3, 2023

New Publication (only in German Language)

Die Welt der Neuen Bilder
Dokumentarfotografie und KI

Bernd Arnold - The World of New Images: Documentary Photography and AI.
About future photography and the digital composition of political events.

Softcover, 14,5 cm x 19,8 cm, 144 pages, 25 bw illustrations, morisel Verlag, ISBN: 978-3-943915-60-0
(only in German language)

About the book: Artificial intelligence creates completely new possibilities in the creation of images. For the first time, all imaging techniques of art history are combined in one tool, executable by any computer owner without special expertise. It can be used to create images that look like photographs, but are not. What does this mean for photography in general and documentary photography in particular? A discussion of these questions is overdue, considering that trust in the authenticity of photographs has helped shape human history for nearly 200 years.

Bernd Arnold, author and photographer of "Das Kölner Heil" and "Wahl Kampf Ritual," is convinced that we will enter a New World when authentic photographs and AI-generated photographic imitations compete in forming our view of the world and history. In three essays, he analyzes the history of technology and perception in photography, explains what is new and innovative about AI, and looks at the future role of documentary photography and its producers. (only in German language)


April 10, 2023 

What is a Dichography?

Dichography is an imitation of photography. 

January 16, 2023

Artist´s Paper #5 - Das Kunsthaus

New work - published as a newspaper print, 38x29cm, 64 pages, 25 portraits and some insights, German language, Edtion of 50, sig.+num., Cologne, 2022

Around 50 artists work in the Kunsthaus Rhenania (artists house) in their studios at Cologne's marina on the Rhine. Cologne's Atelierhaus Kunsthaus Rhenania is a melting pot for all branches of art. Accordingly, the range of "artist types" in the house is very wide. 

A documentary portrait series with a view of the microcosm of the Cologne studio house Kunsthaus Rhenania with its artists, as they hang out in the corridors and studios with their thoughts...

Photographs 2011 - 2022



February 15, 2022

New Work

This is how I saw it - the New Photographer

Artist newspaper #3, about the future images of political events and their perception with 23 images, an essay and design by Bernd Arnold. Newspaper print, 38x29cm, 52 pages, German, February 2022, Cologne.

This is how I saw it (So habe ich es gesehen) - Digital composition in the representation of political events.

The images show the new photography as an imitation of photojournalism in the future digital era. In the course of the digital era, the perception of photography as a document/time capsule will continue to disappear, as the analogue image carrier has been replaced by digital data sets that can be changed at any time.  

Photojournalism are based on the old promise that the imaged trace of reflected light was transmitted almost unchanged onto an analogue image carrier. With a digital image carrier, the promise of an actually imaged trace cannot be kept in the long run.  

At first glance, the pictures of the German election rallies show nothing special and one assumes nothing serious about them. The harmlessness of the reality depicted lets the viewer's guard down and at the same time the impression of an authentic photojournalistic documentary truth grows. The interpretations of the sceneries are open and can be used in a variety of ways in the photojournalistic context. 

BUT: The scenes did not exist in this way. Objects and subjects are composed of different time levels in the course of the events here. Nothing in these pictures is as it seems and even opposite contents. Or in other words: they are imitations of photographs. 

The series and the essay gives a critical outlook on a possible future photography of political events and reveals the far-reaching change in the perception of photojournalism. The essential question of the future will be how much of the imaged trace of reflected light is actually still present in the images and who has the power over the data? 

In 1988 my theoretical work on the future digital "photojournalism" was written, which served here as the basis for the practical implementation that began in 2019 and the written essay of 2021. This work is part of the cycle DIGITALIS.

Buy paper version or digital version for download (pdf)

only German language


Addendum of March 12, 2022

About the horrors of war and the vulnerability of information

With Russia's war of aggression on Ukraine in 2022, the horrors of the world wars of the last century have come back into the present.

The explanations of my photo series completed at the end of 2021 and the essay "This is how I saw it - The new photographer" is caught up by the current war and its effects faster than I ever expected. 

With the digital turn of the times, autocracies now possess tools for disinformation that were never before available in such perfection. With the suppression of free media and the consequent elimination of a free flow of information, Russia now has every opportunity for deepfakes. Russia has shut down all critical media and digital networks. Only state media can now disseminate news and this inevitably reinforces the Russian fake industry in a form never known before. 

The free disposal of energy and digital networks is, as is now also proving to be the case, not a matter of course and always dependent on the respective political circumstances. What does this mean for visual image production and the authenticity of image material when access to electricity, digital networks or RAW files and thus to digital information is under the control of an autocracy?

As much as I appreciate the possibilities of digital image production in photojournalism, it becomes apparent that maintaining an authenticity of digital data will be futile in a politically changing society. 

September 27, 2021

New work

Wahl Kampf Ritual #10
Rituals of election campaigns

Photographs 1984 to 2021
10 federal election campaigns

The photographs of the current German Bundestag election campaign of 2021 have now been added to the years from 1984 to 2017 and are visible online and can be ordered as licenses or vintage prints.

The aesthetic continuity of the work makes it easy to compare the election campaigns with their actors and self-dramatisations. Over the course of the last 35 years, the creeping social changes become apparent...

The series WAHL KAMPF RITUAL now comprises around 200 photographs and is part of the cycle MACHT UND RITUAL.

The rituals were photographed during the federal election campaigns of the years 1986/87, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2005, 2009, 2013, 2017, 2021, ...


Wahl Kampf Ritual 1984 - 2021


Olaf Scholz 2021


Olaf Scholz 2021


Robert Habeck 2021


Annalena Barbock 2021

August 2021

Fototage Oldenburg - Rituals of Election Campaigns

The photo festival Fototage Oldenburg is a project of the cultural office of the city of Oldenburg/Germany, curated and managed by Bernd Hubl and takes place for the first time under the title Reframed 2021. In addition to other Fototage exhibitions, 25 large-format photographs from the work Rituals of Election Campaigns will be shown in public space on Oldenburg's harbor promenade. Documented since 1986, results over the years - in nine federal elections - a journey through time in the staging of the rituals of power.

The opening of the exhibition will take place on August 31, 2021 at 16:00 at Stau 34 in Oldenburg. The exhibition will be on view until September 13, 2021.

Website Fototage Oldenburg (German language)


February 2021


The jazz guitarist
Frank Wingold

New portraiture of musician Frank Wingold created for his new solo album. The extraordinary CD will be released shortly.


Mai 2020

New Work

Die Zeit der großen Stille

The Time of Deep Silence - Metaphorical insights in times of the current crisis

A look into one's own apartment reveals astonishing clues to the uncertainty. In the ordered calm and under the impression of the invisible threat, one's own perception changes and leads to visual oddities.

The expansion - the strength - the sharpness - the fragility - the breathing - the loss - the dissolution - the preciousness - the calm - the memory - the relaxation - the awakening - the recovery

Archival Pigment Prints, sig., st., num. on verso, 2020, Edition of 5 (overall Edition, different sizes and materials) + 2AP

The time of deep silence - Artist Newspaper

Artist Newspaper #2 is now available - 20 pages, 13 photographs, print newspaper, 38x29cm, German/English, Author's edition of 50 (sig., num.), June 2020


Die Zeit der großen Stille, Die Atmung (the breathing), 2020

March 15, 2020



The LVR-LandesMuseum and thus also the collection of the LVR- LandesMuseum Bonn will celebrate its 200th birthday in 2020.

With an exhibition, the LVR-LandesMuseum gives an insight into the donations of the last five years with about 86 artistic positions of 34 artists. Between 2016 and 2020, both individual objects and groups of over one hundred works found their way into the art historical collection. With works by a wide variety of artists, including Leo Breuer, Sigrid Redhardt, HA Schult and Liselotte Strelow, the exhibition shows aspects of the artistic development of the Rhineland over the past decades. Painting, graphic art, photography and sculpture stand side by side on an equal footing to reflect the artistic diversity.

Four photographs from the series Warum ist es am Rhein so schön?, which was part of the 2016 exhibition bilderstrom, are now being shown.


Warum ist es am Rhein so schön? 2001, Fine Art Print 30x42cm

LVR LandesMuseum Bonn, Colmantstraße 14-16, 53115 Bonn. Duration of exhibition from March 3 to August 16, 2020

February 15, 2020

New Edition

The Discovery of Silence | Die Entdeckung der Stille

Newspaper - The discovery of Silence. Portfolio 20 pages with 19 photographs, text of Astrid Windfuhr, print newspaper, 29x38cm, German/English, Author's edition of 50 (sig., num.), November 2019. Price and availability on request.


The discovery of Silence. 20 pages with 19 photographs, print newspaper, 29x38cm, German/English, edition of 50 (sig., num.), 2019.


October 5, 2019


1000 Wirklichkeiten - 100 Jahre GDL/DFA

A journey through German photography in all its various forms of expression. The 100th anniversary will be celebrated extensively from 9 to 13 October in the Haus der Photographie, Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Germany.


Wahl Kampf Ritual in Haus der Photographie, Hamburg, 2019

It will be a celebration of photography with awards ceremony, projections, lectures, talks, dialogues, portfolio walks, parties and exhibitions that will give an insight into the work of DFA members over the past 100 years. It will provide an insight into the richness of images and ideas developed over a century in the field of artistic photography. Visions for the future will be juxtaposed with the ideas of historical photographic positions. Works by more than 150 photographers are shown in their forms of expression of the medium of photography between authenticity and staging, image and abstraction, document and fiction, intuition and concept. The exhibition was curated by Wolfgang Zurborn.

Works from the series Wahl Kampf Ritual will be shown. More Infos. Haus der Photographie, Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Deutschland, October 9-13, 2019


Chancellor Helmut Kohl, CDU, 1998 in Dortmund, Germany. Gelatin silver print, 80x120cm, mounted on cardboard, unikat, sig., st.


Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, 1994, Gelatin silver print, 40x60cm.


Chancellor Willy Brandt, 1987, Gelatin silver print, 40x60cm


Chancellor Angela Merkel, 2017,  this Fine Art Print (24x30cm) was part of Crowdfunding of DFA.

September 24, 2019


Artfestival Worpswede


In the exhibition "Randlage Artfestival Worpswede LEBE DEIN AENDERN" the curator Volker Schwennen presents positions of current art production of more than 25 artists in Worpswede/Germany from September 21 to October 20, 2019.

"Habitats are becoming narrower, the demands placed on our society and on each individual person continue to rise, much has to be rethought and renegotiated. There are many possibilities, some of which seem obscure, unmanageable, and in the face of diversity many people lose their bearings."

Galerie Altes Rathaus, Bergstraße 1, 27726 Worpswede from September 21 to October 20, 2019.


Exhibition Lebe Dein Ändern, Maiwald, 2019

June 19, 2019


Lecture and Workshop

The aims of the workshop are to find and further develop own themes and visual languages in the areas of essay, reportage and portrait. How can a picture or an idea become a series? How can I classify the ideas? How do I tackle the realisation? How do I intuitively approach a concept that leads to a series and at the same time reflects a personal view?

Lecture at the Hochschule der Bildenden Künste Saar, June19, 2019 and Workshop in Ludweiler/Saarland June 21-23, 2019



Hambach Forest, 2018

October 6, 2018

New work

Hambach Forest - Still

Demonstration for Climate Protection and Hambach Forest.

Hambach Forest (German: Hambacher Forst, Buergewald) is a forest rich in biodiversity and home to 142 species regarded as important for conservation. Only ten percent of Hambach Forest still remains and these sections are under threat of being cut down to allow the expansion of the lignite-extracting Hambach surface mine, run by RWE.


A photograph from the Wahl Kampf Ritual series was published in the American magazine Bloomberg Businessweek. Feb 19, 2018, p.38-39

March 24, 2018


Bloomberg Businessweek, The New Yorker, Der Spiegel


Illustration of the series The Anatom part of the cycle Digitalis. Nov 24, 2017


German magazine Spiegel Chronik in an obituary to Helmut Kohl. Der Spiegel, Chronik 2017, p.106

September 29, 2017

New work

Wahl Kampf Ritual - Rituals of election campaigns

The election campaigns for the German Bundestag are an ideal occasion to explore strategies of production and self-production across all political parties. This cycle is a work about the endeavour of shading light on the precisely calculated gestures of the actors of these public orchestration, their success in radiate aspects of power and its fascination. These photographs expose politics as theatre.

The rituals were photographed during the election campaigns of the years 1987, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2005, 2009, 2013 and 2017.


Sahra Wagenknecht 2017


Angela Merkel 2017


Christian Lindner 2017


Martin Schulz 2017

May 24, 2017


SPIEGEL-Biografie about Angela Merkel

From the series WAHL KAMPF RITUAL (Rituals of Election Campaigns) some photographs are published from the years 1990, 1994, 1998 and 2013 in a biography of Angela Merkel in a special issue of the German magazine DER SPIEGEL. 

Spiegel Biografie 2/2017, p.4, 40-44



February 17, 2017

Art Fair

Wahl Kampf Ritual at ART KARLSRUHE

At the Art Fair "art Karlsruhe", Germany are shown photoStand in focus galeriegraphs of the series WAHL KAMPF RITUAL.

The other photographers and artist are Elliott Erwitt, Thomas Hoepker, Marc Riboud, Emmanuelle Bousquet, Gilbert Garcin, René Groebli, Vadim Gushchin, Thomas Kellner, Karin Székessy, Karl Martin Holzhäuser, Esther Hegenmaier, Gottfried Jäger and Floris M. Neusüss.

art Karlsruhe | In focus galerie, hall 1, stand U04  | Messe Allee 1 | Karlsruhe - Germany | Feb 16-19, 2017



LVR LandesMuseum Bonn | Series: Warum ist es am Rhein so schön?

Sept 9, 2016


BILDERSTROM - The Flow of Pictures

The Rhine and Photography 2016-1853

Some photographs of the series Warum ist es am Rhein so schön? will be shown in LVR LandesMuseum Bonn, Germany. 

The exhibition explores the ambivalent mutual effects between the river and the image in the light of photography. The show, curated by Christoph Schaden, brings together more than 60 noteworthy European photographers...Installation in BILDERSTROM Warum ist es am Rhein so schön? For example Boris Becker, Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Chargesheimer, Hermann Claasen, Robert Häusser, Heinz Held, Candida Höfer, Barbara Klemm, Herbert List, Ute Mahler, Lee Miller, Max Regenberg, Albert Renger-Patzsch, Gerhard Richter, August Sander, Wilhelm Schürmann, Wolfgang Tillmans, Eusebius Wirdeier, Wolfgang Zurborn and many others.

The Rhine—sixty photographic positions between testimony and myth. Since the beginning of pictorial production, the Rhine, Europe's most celebrates river, has been the subject of numerous paintings, drawings, and engravings. By and large, these images of the Rhine create and model collective notions that influence our perception of the river to this very day, alternating between testimony and myth, between cliché and art.

Catalogue: LVR-LandesMuseum Bonn, Christoph Schaden (Hrsg.), "bilderstrom. Der Rhein und die Fotografie 2016-1853", Hatje Cantz Verlag, German language, 2016, 252pp., hardcover, ISBN 978-3-7757-4190-3

LVR LandesMuseum Bonn | Colmantstr. 14-16 | 53115 Bonn | Germany | September 9, 2016 to January 22, 2017


Jörg Tadeusz in Tagesanzeiger Sept. 26, 2015, p.34

January 8, 2016


The anchormen Jörg Thadeusz,
Constantin Schreiber and Jan Böhmermann


Jan Böhmermann in New York Times International Dec 7, 2015, p.2


Constantin Schreiber in GQ 9/2015, p.72

September 9, 2015



Some photographs/vintages of DAS KÖLNER HEIL (Cologne Salvation) are exhibited in EYES WIDE OPEN - 100 YEARS OF LEICA PHOTOGRAPHY at C/O BERLIN, Germany. The exhibition was curated by Hans-Michael Koetzle.


Das Kölner Heil in C/O Berlin | Hardenbergstraße 22-24 | 10623 Berlin | August 22, 2015 - November 1, 2015


Feb 20, 2015



Some photographs of the German power station Neurath are published in the economic magazine Wirtschaftswoche - titled as THE END OF THE ZOMBIES.


Wirtschaftswoche, 50/2014, p. 48/49


Power and Ritual - Das Kölner Heil - Cardinal in his car. Gelatin silver print. 24x30 up to 80x120cm. Signed, dated, titled and photographer's stamp on the verso, 1989

October 17, 2014 



Five photographs/vintages of DAS KÖLNER HEIL (Cologne Salvation) will be exhibited in EYES WIDE OPEN - 100 YEARS OF LEICA PHOTOGRAPHY at DEICHTORHALLEN in Hamburg, Germany.

The exhibition illuminates across fourteen chapters various aspects of recent small-format photography, from journalistic strategies to documentary approaches and free artistic positions. Among many other artists whose work will be shown are Alexander Rodchenko, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, Hermann Claasen, Christer Strömholm, Robert Frank, Ulrich Mack, Bruce Davidson, William Klein, William Eggleston, Rudi Meisel, René Burri, Barbara Klemm, Robert Lebeck, Jeff Mermelstein, Joel Meyerowitz, László Moholy-Nagy, Inge Morath, Sebastiáo Salgado, Eugene Smith, Thomas Höpker, Bruce Gilden, Alex Webb. 

Some 500 photographs, supplemented by documentary material, including journals, magazines, books, advertisements, brochures, camera prototypes and films, will recount the history of small-format photography from its beginnings to the present day. The exhibition, which is curated by Hans-Michael Koetzle, follows the course of technological change and photographic history. Trailer

A book will be published at Kehrer Verlag. Edited by Hans-Michael Koetzle.

Haus der Photographie Deichtorhallen | Deichtorstraße 1-2, 20095 Hamburg, Germany | October 24, 2014 - January 11, 2015



November 5, 2013



This monograph shows the rituals of German election campaigns since 1984. Eight elections of the years 1984 to 2013 are featured in 113 photographs. The chancellors are Willy Brandt, book WAHL KAMPF RITUAL Monograph Bernd ArnoldHelmut Schmidt, Helmut Kohl, Gerhard Schröder, Angela Merkel and the challengers.

Text: Christoph Schaden. Design: Knut Schötteldreier. German Language, Hardcover, 17x25cm, 192 pages, 113 photographs (Duotone) and 10 illustrations. Published by Edition Panorama, Mannheim 2013. ISBN 978-3-89823-473-3 


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