Now I recently went to Madeira, being tipped off that it is a rather splendid whale-watching spot. So I went and it is!
But this post is not about aquatic placental marine mammals or cetaceans for short. It is about trying a different ‚vibe‘ for my images. Whereas I usually try to edit my images for colour-accuracy and technical perfection, I went for a strong look and chose images I wouldn’t have normally picked, images that lend themselves more to this kind of colour-grading.
While in Madeira, I visited the hilly and rocky countryside, which still is exploding with flora. The small towns are just amazingly cozy with good down-to-earth food and great coffee (which is a huge plus for me). Coming back after an amazing week, I gave some images a more vacationy, happy feel, so here they are, showing Madeira in sunny orange’n’teal.
Recently I was chosen together with a couple of other photographers to be part of Hamburg’s container port anniversary. It’s been fifty years of highly technologized globalization! Yay for Hamburg!
The marketing department contacted @igershamburg to select photogs and we met at the Terminal Burchardkai for an extended behind the scenes tour of the port. And boy, what a tour it was! We went up to a container gantry crane, where the star warsian driver’s cab is located a lofty 50m above ground. Initially I thought that the technology is simply kind of brutish, a lot of steel and heavy engines with little sophistication. Wrong I was!
Each crane is stuffed with a datacenter of its own, so that the whole process of unloading the containerships is gaplessly connected to the ordering party and obviously the logistics centre that is in situ at the terminal.
For me personally, I was quite overwhelmed by the shapes, sizes and primariness (if that’s a thing) of the colors and honestly struggled to get interesting shots, even though it was enormously interesting to me personally. I do hope that you like the images, though.
This is part two of this small Mallorca series. Apart from touristic spots in cities and villages, I found that the natural environment was especially fascinating. I always wanted to do long exposure work with water, but up to now I found the spots here in northern Germany less inspiring to my taste.
Around Peguera there are so many little coves with rough waves, rocks and trees that really spoke to me photographically. Additionally, the amount of light pollution was low, so I could also do a little bit of astrophotography.
So here are mainly long-exposures, some done at night, some during the daytime with a big stopper, all on my flimsy travel tripod.
A couple of weeks ago I went to Mallorca for holiday, tired of the gray and cold in Hamburg, it seemed like a good idea for all the right reasons. It was.
That being said, I did not expect too much as I did not know a lot about the island apart from it being the center of cheap – binging and behaving as the worst stereotype of your home culture as you possibly can. So we stayed in a pensioners‘ apartment hotspot. Good choice, well executed. Bingo! (except for the bingo part, there was no bingo, nowhere, I’m not good with numbers anyway)
We did all the sightseeing stuff we wished for, learned how fleur-de-sel is harvested, artificial pearls are made, went to the dragon’s cave (I was curious, but no, no dragon, probably never, so sad) and went to Valdemossa, a wonderful town terraced into a mountain. I do envy the people who are able to live in such a spectacular landscape. Not only, if you think about it, because I envy them for not having a need for vitamin D supplements.
This is part one of two, seascapes coming a bit later.
Over the last weeks I went out twice with rather wonderful Yang to do some urban photography here in Hamburg, which is part of my ongoing project of trying to appropriate this city for myself. As we could only meet after work in the dark, we decided on bringing our tripods in order to be able to do some long exposure work, light streaks and generally be able to use ISOs of less than 3200, which is stretching the micro-four-thirds sensors of our Olympuses a bit (even though its not quite as bad as some YouTubers make it seem).
The first outing was to the Reeperbahn where we had to fight really bad weather with rain, sleet and temperatures below freezing point. I got accosted very early on for not giving enough money to a homeless person (she asked me for money in passing by and questioned my grip on humanity) and Yang got told off for taking out his camera in a closed of red-light district. We had fun.
The second tour went to the Hamburg Dammtor station and Yu Garden, a gift from Shanghai to Hamburg, where I expected to being able to witness a tea ceremony, but it was closed and doesn’t offer regular tea ceremonies, least of all to uninvited visitors. Bummer.
Still, we had a good time and got some nice images of which you can find a selection here.
In order to lighten up the bleak wintertime, here is a collection of images from Hagenbeck that is practically bursting with colour. Most of them are from the end of last year, but some are from last weekend. I haven’t been very regularly to Hagenbeck lately as I have been trying to answer questions for myself that I wrote about extensively on this blog.
Still last week I just had to get out of my apartment, so I enjoyed this slightly guilty pleasure at the zoo. As it was a sunny winter’s day, the zoo was packed with people, which was a bit too busy for my liking. Still, this is a nice collection, I think and the pictures might even lighten the mood on a dreary day.
As always, enjoy!
All images used with kind permission by Tierpark Hagenbeck.
The other day I went on a photowalk with Yang (check him out on Instagram here). We decided on doing some long exposure stuff around the harbour, Hafencity and Speicherstadt and when we met a surreal south wind blew us all around and it was an incredible 13 Celsius in January! I forgot my tripod mount for the camera at home, so initially I felt challenged by the situation and decided to rise to the occasion, so I set my ISO up to 3200 accepted the grain for the creative effect it is really not and went ahead. The grain that is there now is simulated film grain over heavily denoised impages. Yang was better prepared and pushed ahead with his images and we walked around. As I am not really at home with architecture I kept close to him and some of my images are heavily inspired by what he did minutes earlier (only with more grain and less badda-bumm). So be it. It was a fun outing, though and I hope we will see to another one, soon.
In the last year I have reflected heavily on my photography (some of the reflecting I found so delightful that I shared it here on my blog). There were two main takeaways from all that glucose-sucking brain activity. Number one, my process of taking pictures is too anti-social, in that it basically is too lonely, i.e. I go out alone and shoot rather silent animals or cityscapes. Number two, my interests in photography changed to portraits and so I had to overcome my imaginary shyness and go out and ask people to make nice pictures of them. The results of both sessions are already on the blog, but the most challenging one came last week and has to with (the observant reader of the headline will have arrived at the conclusion already): boxing! (Yes!)
The gym I go to has a focus on mixed martial arts and boxing, so I went to a group of aspiring Balboas to ask whether anyone was kind enough to have me photograph them after a training session, and as good things happen to good people (tell me about it) two actually said yes and… on the day we arranged to meet, they totally forgot about it and did not come. Bummer.
So the owner of the gym stepped up and generously offered himself and some friends to step in, so I could take the images that day. But the odds for good jpegs were raised as he was really about to have a sparring session in the ring and not a leisurely after-training session. So I set up my two flashlights, one bare and one with a softbox, set my camera to f11 and a low iso and got behind the ropes, dashing around madly to avoid being hit by a tall guy being hammered into my corner.
It was good fun, I took around 350 images, many out of focus, some in pitch black darkness as the speedlights could not reload quickly enough between the clicks of the shutter and a good number were really great.
So here they are, the result of my own sparring with creativity and technology, in glorious black and white. Thanks to you guys for letting me shoot you and
There is probably not too much to say about this, as the title is carefully crafted to relieve you of the need to use your imagination in even mildly exaggerated ways. So I’m back in my second home-town for a couple of days to meet old friends and to reflect on this year – which btw has been good when viewed through the lens of photography (see what I did there?).
It feels good to be back in Bochum for a while, everything feels familiar and friendly and troubles at home are far away and drift away quite nicely. Being here I had more coffee-dates with friends than even a caffeine junkie like me can handle easily, so I’m typing away on my tablet quite late at night. In the last two days I went out after dark to capture some impressions of this rugged and likeable town, which I hope you like. As I did not think of bringing a tripod, I could not do some of the stuff I wanted, like capturing clean images in the dark, so I had to ramp up my ISO quite madly, but the low resolution I use here will smooth over the rough edges, I guess.