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.
Today, some friends took me out to the Elbphilharmonie to make some images. A beautiful, icy-cold and bright winter-day persuaded me quickly to join them. We were not alone. That is actually the reason why there are only a handful of pics in here today, there are quite some more nice images on my hard-drive, but they usually have some person who is tack-sharp in the frame and I shy away from publishing pictures of strangers that I haven’t asked for their image.
Going to Ruaha-National-Park is an adventure in itself. Shortly after Iringa you leave the tarmac and go on a rubble-road for 55 miles. Mean speed drops to a crawl of 15 mph max and the whole journey takes three to five hours, depending on the vehicle. Once you enter the camp, which is close to the gate of the park, bliss awaits. Tandala tented camp is centered on two communal areas, one on poles with a thatched roof and luxurious South-African leather sofas and one under the open sky. The tents (after all, it’s called tented camp) each sit on a platform on stilts and are of the rough’n’lush kind. They keep all of the uncomfortableness of the rough nature outside and let fresh earthy air and beautiful sunlight inside. Massai watch over you day and night and the chef caters to almost all whims the European palate may come up with.
These amenities are complemented by an artificial waterhole which is frequented by elephants, kudos, impalas, baboons, warthogs, birds and sometimes even lions. The lodge belongs to Dionysia and Yanni, both coming out of families with a long history in Tansania. We’ve spent quite some time talking, laughing and exchanging ideas with each other. Their hospitality is enormous and they made me feel at home right away. Thank you for that!
From the camp you can enter the car either with your own jeep, a rental with a driver or by bus. I never managed to be in the park either in dusk or early dawn, so most animals are tucked away in the shadow of trees. That doesn’t lessen the experience (though the resulting photographs).
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.
My summer vacation this year took me to Laboe, Schleswig-Holstein. It’s a small vacation-spot right at the Baltic Sea. My hotel is located right there, near the Marine-Memorial. On this first day I took stroll along the beach, taking in how relaxed everyone was. I shall be relaxed one of these days as well. A special treat is that my parents stay only some kilometres away taking a regimen. So here you see them, smiling quite contently at Laboe’s harbour.
Despite feeling somewhat sick, I managed to catch the evening light at the Jenischpark, if only to crush it down to moody black and white, making it look more like a place where you would not want to amble around at night for fear of film-noir-esque passerbys.
Today I went to see how spring is doing at the Loki-Schmidt-Garden in Hamburg. It’s coming along nicely, though I cannot say that I had any specific artistic imagery in mind. Anyway, I went rather midday, so the light was quite harsh, which confined me to photographing flowers in the shade most of the time. So the flowers come first.
Of course I tried to catch some more images, and maybe more interesting ones as composition goes. You can decide for yourself.
Along the way, I met two charming photographers, Klaus and Marion, we talked about good spots for pictures in Hamburg, so I think the Harbour-Museum is going to be next on my list. All the best to you, btw.