Born in Eisenach (in 1942) and grown up in Göttingen, Karsten de Riese trained as a photographer in Munich and subsequently studied visual communication at the Ulm School of Design. He was active as a freelance portrait photographer and photo journalist for numerous newspapers and journals for over 50 years. Today, he lives near Munich.
De Riese documented the appearance of Germany since the 1970s. From 1970 to 1972 he was the official photographer of the organizing committee of the Olympic Summer Games 1972 in Munich. In addition to long-term reports (on the inner-German border and on the German Bundestag, for example), he later produced portraits of important persons of artistic and public life, images on the Neue Musik, as well as numerous industry reports.
The archive comprises around 300,000 negatives, 85,000 slides and 15,000 prints. The Bayerische Staatsbibliothek acquired it from the photographer in 2021.
Its digitization and cataloguing are still in their early stages.