The tropics

Well, not the real ones, of course, but those at Hagenbeck’s zoo, anyway.Here’s a nice selection of shots inside the catacombs of the aquarium and the tropical area. The difficulty here is really to get sharp shots – any sharp shots, as it’s quite dark in the building. Another complication has to do with the thick sheets of special glass that protect the water tanks. They introduce layers of refraction, smudge and take away yet more light. So if you go inside the tropical aquarium be shure to boost your iso number quite high and be prepared to labour for each image, both in making it and in post-production. I wonder how much better the situation would be if I had a full-frame camera….

Harbour City II

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.

Harbour Museum B/W

Here are some more views from the museum and a viewpoint nearby in glorious black and white.

Harbour Museum

Claus and Marion took me to Hamburg’s Harbour Museum, which is a registered society that buys, mends and of course displays important objects of the harbour’s technical past. There is a stunning assortment of exhibits that speak to the history of the harbour and we enjoyed a tour of the freight-ship „Bleichen“ (more on that in a later post).

Laboe – snaps

I will update this post with some snapshots over the next couple of days. They will have no particular topic other than that they are taken at or around Laboe. Enjoy.

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A walk on the beach – Laboe I

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.

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my sweet parents

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Snapshots: Harbour Celebration

There is not much to say about this. I usually do not shoot boats, so I felt rather unfamiliar making pictures of them (they are obviously not zoo animals 😀 ). Nevertheless, there are always some images that are better than the rest, which are bundled here. Anyway, it was more a day out with Katharina than anything else, so I call this blog »snapshots«. Enjoy.

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Ice-breaker „Stettin“

Here is a small photo essay about the „Eisbrecher Stettin“ the oldest coal-powered ship still working. It is run by a public charity that keeps it up-and-running. At least once a year for the harbour birthday they polish it up even more, because it takes part in the celebration. Here are some images that capture the raw spirit of this eighty-three-year old quaint boat, which acquired the status of a technical monument in 1982.

More info on the boats and the charity can be found here.

Photowalk Hamburg

Today I went on a photowalk with Sascha, who keeps a fine and awe-inspiring travel-photoblog here: www.senicer.de. We went to town with nothing other on our minds than that we would not be able or interested in doing landscape, garden, animals. So nothing that I usually do. All right. Here we go.

We started on the infamous Reeperbahn in St. Pauli. The goal was to capture not the hustle and bustle at night as that can quickly get rather dangerous (there was a gang-suicide there just the night before) but the sobering morning. So we went there at 9am to find empty streets, devoid of tourists. There are not many people who live there any more, as the quarter is rather gentrified. Most people who live there are seniors who enjoy the low rent because they are still on contracts from the 1950s. The streets are rather bleak in the morning with no-one around, the sex shops are closed and there is no hint of the night-time glamour left.

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Old man and a headless woman.

 

After that we went on to the harbour where at that time of the day many tourists wander around to get a glimpse of the the Hamburg-skyline, which you can only really see from the southern bank of the river. In order to get there you have to walk under the river Elbe through the „Alter Elbtunnel“, which crosses the river north to south.

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The old tunnel.

From the tourist port (Landungsbrücken) we went east towards the Hafencity, which is a new quarter unashamedly built for the rich and home to the new Elbphilharmonie, the concert hall, which although twelve times more expensive than planned (clocking in at a billion euros) is still not finished. Here I managed to sneak in a shot of Sascha who was quicker to walk up to the pier on steps that are laid out to mimic an amphitheatre.

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Sascha up the steps

Upps, he beat me to that.

Having arrived at the Hafencity there was nothing really interesting to us. Lots of inhumane architecture with glass and concrete and steel on an inner-harbour island. Probably good for shots with lots of texture and form, but I am no good at capturing that. Still we found a fisher with his fishing rod who was looking for pikeperch.

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Fisher

Walking from the Hafencity towards to city-centre I managed to capture this nice old Porsche complete with its bearded driver in a panning shot. These always seem so innocent and easy to do, but of course I panned a lot and took even more pictures until I got a nice car and good sharpness in one image.

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Panning Porsche

Walking up the car park at the biggest media and electronics store in Hamburg we fought our instincts and pointed the camera straight down only to see a clerk from the store trying to bring order to the inner-city car chaos on the first after-Christmas shopping day. If I interpret this image correctly, he had to give up.

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Car park

The buskers are still busy, especially as Germany is on holiday at this time of the year and lots of tourists make their way through Hamburg. This man was kind enough to let me take a picture of him playing in the cold.

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Busker

We stopped at the local Tesla store where a salesman told us that a Tesla sportscar virtually pays for itself and we were quick to agree because he wouldn’t let us go otherwise, he didn’t get our telephone numbers to call us in case there was a sales-emergency but I took a picture of another salesman who did nothing else in these fifteen minutes than polishing the right side of the car. It was really shiny and nice.

ShinyTesla

ShinyTesla

Right at the Jungfernstieg at the Binnenalster there were the last remnants of a Christmas Market and this warm-looking busker sat at the entrance. Note that he only got this warm grandfather look after we paid some money. He was a nice enough chap anyway.

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Busker

To finish our tour we went to the TV-Tower, which is almost out of use. There used to be a restaurant and panorama-viewpoint inside but now bits and pieces of the concrete fall down and people are no longer allowed to go near. It was rather dark, so I took this eight-second shot because I liked the foggy atmosphere.

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TV-Tower