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.
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.
I’ve spent many weekends in the past year at »Tierpark Hagenbeck«, the privately funded zoo in Hamburg that looks back on six generations of family-ownership. The enormous costs of €41.000 a day(!) are exclusively covered by ticket-sales, donations or testaments (see their website for more information). The park is famous for its various panoramas, the skilfully laid out paths and of course its history and tradition. If you have the time, you should certainly pay it a visit.
As far as photography is concerned, the animal compounds have a high degree of naturalism to them, which is of course good for the animals, but it also allows for some stunning photographs that seem to show the animals in their natural habitats. In the following you see some of my best shots from the last 15 months, all with kind permission of Tierpark Hagenbeck. All shots here were taken in the park.
Mit freundlicher Genehmigung vom Tierpark Hagenbeck.
The Ruaha National-Park is located in the western regions of Tansania on a highland plateau of roughly 900m. Since 2008 it has been the largest national-park in Tanzania. Surrounded by mountains it receives twelve hours of continuous sunlight during the dry season with temperatures rising to up to 35C. At night falling winds blow mightily across the plains. These pictures were mainly taken around noon when temperatures are at their hottest and most animals seek shelter under a tree. No one but tourists would go out at that time of day.
I’ve wanted to go there for quite some time now, so after having visited Hagenbecks, I went straight to the Museum of Ethnology in Hamburg, stopping just once for a large caffe latte. It’s a rather amazing place where they try to embed their exhibits in an informative context. Here are some impressions. I tried to only show exhibits that seem to be too old to have a copyright. I will gladly take any image down that violates any copyright. Enjoy!
Today, my brother, my nephew and I went to the Prototype Museum in Hamburg, where no touching and no flashing of the cars is allowed. It’s a shame. At least they should disallow the other tourists to stand in the frame I want to shoot.
I like wishful thinking for what it’s worth (not a lot), so I could almost exclusively resort to details. In black and white. Highly post-processed. Here they are, enjoy!