Category Archives: News

New pictures in the galleries

New pictures in the galleries!

Golden Autumn

Golden Autumn

New Calendar for 2017 arrived!

There is good news!

I just finished my calendar for 2017! It’s in A3 format and available in two versions:

  • matte photo paper (Fujifilm Crystal Archive Paper Supreme)
  • fine art paper (250 g/m²)

Calendar 2017 – Landschaften im magischen Licht

I’ll sell the calendars on matte photo paper version for 16€ and the ones on fine art paper for 21€ per piece. Shipping costs may vary of course. In case you’re interested just drop me a message at contact@philipp-lutz.net.

New prints arrived

Some weeks ago I received new prints. It’s a good mix of colourful landscapes and abstract modern architecture prints. I had the idea to create a little abstract b/w square gallery at home, hence the many squares. For that I might have to clean one of the walls first, they are already full of prints, so I might sell some of them later.

The prints on the first image are (top left to right): 2x HD metal alu-dibond, 1x canvas print
The second image shows a print on fabric and the third image shows normal alu-dibon prints.

I placed a recent buy (CD album INTERVALS – The Shape of Colour) next to my prints for size comparison 😉
Thank you WhiteWall for providing such high quality prints, I really love those HD metal alu-dibond prints!

The quest to find a new camera bag for long hikes

This was mainly meant for documentation purpose for myself, if anybody reads this and finds it helpful let me know, I’d be happy to hear about it 😉

My approach

On daytrips (e.g. hiking, visiting cities) I’m already using my trustworthy Lowepro 400AW, it’s big and sturdy enough for rough treatment. Recently there have been very exciting offerings by f-stop and MindShift (by Think Tank) which use a very similar concept of accessing your backpack from the back side while it is in front of yourself and not on the ground. I might look into those sometime later, however this blog post is dedicated to my approach for long distance trips or hikes with overnight stays.

Aspensport trekking backpack

Aspensport trekking backpack

Olympus E-System shoulder bag

Olympus E-System shoulder bag

I previously just combined what I had at my disposal, a cheap 70L trekking backpack by Aspensport and an Olympus E-System shoulder bag. I never even tried to fit my camera equipment directly into my trekking backpack, like putting it into a dedicated compartment with clothes for padding, I always liked the idea of having an ICU (internal camera unit) where I can arrange my camera gear properly, it’ll stay in place and it’s perfectly protected from outer impacts. So in this case I just used the shoulder bag as an ICU while keeping the shoulder strap attached, because I want to be able to just pull it out of the backpack and use the comfortable access to my equipment from the top while it hangs in front of me.

Recently both trekking backpack and camera shoulder bag became almost unusable because of some serious wear, I even stitched together seams which already disintegrated. Well, this was the motivation to look for new equipment for the job and hence this blog post, it was mainly meant for documentation purpose for myself 😉

Trekking backpacks

I considered the following requirements:

  • Around 70L of interior volume
  • Comfortable carry system which makes you carry most of the weight on the hips (my previous Aspensport trekking backpack was really bad at this!)
  • Many reasonably placed pockets to store different equipment, also wet pocket
  • Enough and well placed mounting possibilities for hiking poles, camping kitchen equipment, tent, tripod etc.
  • Hydration system (compatible to 3L hydration bladders)

Unfortunately I didn’t do much research on the trekking backpacks. I have known the fabulous f-stop mountain series (e.g. Sukha and Shinn) for quite a while now, but there is on thing which kept me from buying one: availability. Here in Germany a friend of mine had to wait almost 2 months to get one after ordering. Their ICU concept is very nice, however not flexible enough (yet) for me, I want an ICU which can be used as a proper shoulder bag too. This means I want to able to conveniently pull out and put back my camera while standing. I think by offering shoulder straps for their ICUs f-stop might be already on the way to offer something which would be perfect for me, I’m curious and will stay tuned with what they come up with in the future!

During my recent research the Deuter Aircontact Pro 70+15 was one of my first finds and immediately became my first choice, it ticked off all of those requirements, received good reviews and also I trust the good reputation of Deuter among alpinists and mountaineers as a very experienced company with high-quality equipment.

Shoulder bags

Now this was the main part of my research. There are so many shoulder bags on the market, it was really difficult to get a good overview in a short amount of time. For comparison:

And here are the new shoulder bags I considered:

  • AmazonBasics DSLR bag (big)
    • Exterior dimensions (L x W x H):  30,5 x 17,8 x 22,9 cm
    • Interior dimensions (L x W x H):  25,4 x 12,7 x 17,8 cm
    • Weight: 726 g
    • Thoughts:
      • nice overall design and cheap
      • can put my Olympus E-M1 crossways into the bag, with the lens facing downwards
      • compartment for tablets, suitable for filters
      • even offers functionality to mount small tripods
      • but on the big and heavy side
  • AmazonBasics DSLR bag (medium)
    • Exterior dimensions (L x W x H): 29,5 x 12,5 x 20,0 cm
    • Interior dimensions (L x W x H): 26,0 x  9,5  x 17,5 cm
    • Weight: 448 g
    • Thoughts:
      • also nice overall design like the big bag
      • compartment for tablets, suitable for filters
      • a little bit too narrow for big lenses, or bigger equipment
  • Lowepro Adventura 170
    • Exterior dimensions (L x W x H):: 25,5 x 19 x 25 cm
    • Interior dimensions (L x W x H): 22 x 12,5 x 19,5 cm
    • Weight: 400 g
    • Thoughts:
      • nice design and lightweight, but way too deep / high
      • reasonably cheap because it’s a phase-out model, version 2 is already available (see Lowepro Adventura SH 160 II below)
      • can put my Olympus E-M1 crossways into the bag, with the lens facing downwards
      • no compartment suitable for filters but front pocket should be big enough to carry filters
  • Lowepro Adventura SH 160 II
    • Exterior dimensions (L x W x H): 23.5 x 15.6 x 18.2 cm
    • Interior dimensions  (L x W x H): 20.3 x 14.6 x 16.2 cm
    • Weight: 400 g
    • Thoughs:
      • very similar to Lowepro Adventura 170 but more expensive and worse volume / weight value
      • however has no compartment suitable for filters, even front pocket layout very volume inefficient
  • OP/TECH USA 11″ Accessory Pack
    • Exterior Dimensions (L x W x H): 27.9 x 20.3 x 6.4 cm
    • Weight: 272g
    • Thoughts:
      • very nice and lightweight ICU like pack
      • comes with strap mounts and even a shoulder strap
      • also available in other sizes
      • but missing the comfortable access from top compared to usual shoulder bags, can only be accessed by the side while wearing it, I’m scared that equipment might fall out of the bag :/
  • Inca Sapa DSLR shoulder bag
    • Exterior dimensions:  N/A
    • Interior dimensions (L x W x H): 27 x 21 x 11 cm
    • Weight: N/A
    • Thoughts:
      • bendable padding goes around lens compartments (left/right), camera can be put on top of lens compartments, has zipper access on both sides, this is all stuff I got used to with my previous Olympus E-system bag, I worked quite well in comparison to conventional shoulder bags
      • put my Olympus E-M1 crossways into the bag, with the lens facing downwards
      • compartment for tablets, suitable for filters
      • not available in Germany / Europe
  • Think Tank Photo Mirrorless Mover 25i
    • Exterior dimensions (L x W x H): 28 x 15.5 x 12 cm
    • Interior dimensions (L x W x H): 27 x 14 x 10.5 cm
    • Weight: 500g
    • Thoughts:
      • nice overall design and size, but a little bit too long
      • very expensive for a simple shoulder bag
      • compartment for tablets, suitable for filters
      • magnetic closures are a nice idea but I wouildn’t trust them to keep my camera bag closed
  • Tamrac 3446 Rally 6
    • Exterior dimensions (L x W x H): 36 x 17 x 26 cm
    • Interior dimensions (L x W x H): 33 x 12 x 22 cm
    • Weight: 709g
    • Thoughts:
      • bendable padding goes around lens compartments (left/right), camera can be put on top of lens compartments, has zipper access on both sides, this is all stuff I got used to with my previous Olympus E-system bag, it worked quite well in comparison to conventional shoulder bags
      • nice overall design but a little bit too big and too heavy for my needs
      • compartment for tablets, suitable for filters
      • put my Olympus E-M1 into the bag, with the lens facing downwards
  • Crumpler JP5500-001 Jackpack 5500
    • Exterior dimensions (L x W x H): 35 x 21 x 15 cm
    • Interior dimensions (L x W x H): 32 x 20 x 12,5 cm
    • Weight: 0,8kg
    • Thoughts: TBD
  • Mantona ElementsPro 20
    • Exterior dimensions (L x W x H): 19 x 24 x 17 cm
    • Interior dimensions (L x W x H): 17 x 22 x 15 cm
    • Weight: 0,72 kg
    • Thoughts: TBD
  • Think Tank Speed Demon V2.0
    • Exterior dimensions (L x W x H): 30.5 x 21.6 x 20.3 cm
    • Interior dimensions (L x W x H): 23.5 x 17.15 x 12.7 cm
    • Weight: 1,0kg
    • Thoughts: TBD

Final choice / selected bags

Related links

  • http://pratapj.in/custom-made-internal-camera-unit
  • http://www.mountainphotographer.com/panel-loader-backpacks-for-hiking-photographers

I previously selected the Lowepro Adventura 170 bag as the go-to shoulder bag, but once it arrived I noticed that I highly underestimated the depth / height of the bag, which was ridiculous for my needs, hence I sent it back.

Now I ordered the AmazonBasics DSLR bag (medium) bag because it is very close to my old one in terms of size and at the same time it is very inexpensive compared to the ThinkTank shoulder bag, which I also liked.

I guess I’ll keep updating this post and maybe I’ll post a picture later of how I arrange my gear in those bags.

Trip to Saxon Switzerland

At the beginning of may I went to Saxon Switzerland with my buddies Alex and Jan with the hope to get some impressions of spring back home. Besides driving to some locations with the car we went on a 3 day hike in the park. We got really lucky with the weather, on the first two mornings we had beautiful layers of fog covering the lower areas of the park and during the day we had warm and sunny weather, perfect for hiking.

I’m already sure to go back there in autumn to get some shots with a different palette of colours.

Here are the first shots I’ll add to the gallery:

Top 10 of 2015

Now that we arrived in another fresh year it’s the best time to reflect on good and bad memories. Of course here I’d like to focus on good memories in the form of pictures. Last year I focussed more on landscape photography again, architecture photography was only covered by the trip to Frankfurt and Japan. Unfortunately the pictures of the latter trip (also landscapes) are still in the process of getting finished, so I’ll not be able to cover them here, which is quite a shame. In the meantime I’ve been to Tokyo again and came back only last week, so there’s even more to come in the architecture photography department, stay tuned!

Although I have the feeling that I didn’t go out shooting not nearly as often as I wished for I still feel and see an improvement of my skills, I no longer rely and focus on poplar locations a.k.a. “money shot locations”, I completely lost the motivation to shoot something which has been shot exactly the same so many times already. I tremendously improved my skills of discovering interest and beauty in the area which surrounds me. I however still struggle when it comes to details in terms of solid compositions and post-processing decisions. Often I’m also having a hard time with pre-visualization of shots which many artists highly rely on to fulfill their vision they already have in their mind before even picking up the camera. Well, that will leave something for the next years to concentrate one, I guess!

Now I want to present you my top 10 of 2015, without particular order. I hope you also enjoy those pics as I do 😉

 

Waterfalls, ice and gloomy atmosphere

Waterfall of the Gods

Waterfall of the Gods

The name of this waterfall (Godafoss in Icelandic) suggests a more epic story then there acutally is. It is said that after Christianity became the official religion of Iceland at around year 1000, lawspeaker Þorgeir Ljósvetningagoði threw all his statues of the Norse gods into the waterfall when he returned from his duties in the national parlament of Iceland. At least I was hoping for a more dramatic story 😉

 

The lonely Iceberg

The lonely Iceberg

I think this glacier lagoon called Jökulsárlón was one of the most impressive scenes I’ve witnessed in Iceland. It’s so surreal and it always changes its look, only a few hours are enough and you get a completely different arrangement of icebergs, because there is a small channel which runs into the sea constantly drawing the icebergs into the sea. Especially during the quiet nights this place can be quite mysterious because of the cracking noise when icebergs break apart or when they run ashore.

 

Gloomy Vestrahorn

Gloomy Vestrahorn

This was one of these places we visited during the night just to be in time for the sunrise the next norming, little did we know how cool this place looks while arriving at around 11pm.
We were really surprised the next morning how cool these sanddunes and those gigantic mountains in the background looked like.

We were also surprised that this place was the only one we found in Iceland where we were supposed to pay 600kr just to drive on a sand road to get to the beach and the local lighthouse. The reasoning behind this “fee” was nature preservation, which I personally really doubted.

Long over-due update

It had been a long time since my last update. Unfortunately I’m really neglecting my blog in favour of social media networks which I almost use on a daily basis, but I want to change that, otherwise the idea of this blog doesn’t make sense anyhow, does it?
I even thought of uploading not only “portfolio” photos here in my blog, but also documentation style shots for the purpose of a brief trip reports.

So what happened in the last couple of months, well I’ve been on some trips which all contributed portfolio related shots I want to show in the next days and weeks here on my blog:

  • April: Short trip to Salzburg, Austria
  • July: hike to Butzensee, Austria with 3 fellow photographers
  • August: Trip to Japan
  • September: Trip to Iceland

I already updated the galleries with the following shots from a short trip with fellow photographers last winter. They’ve been all taken all in German alps region.

Visit to Frankfurt

Three weeks ago I’ve been to Frankfurt over the weekend to shoot the architecture of the only skyline of Germany! I once again teamed up with fellow photographers Alexander Otto and Jan Pusdrowski which I already met in south bavaria 4 months ago. They came with their friend Tino who was such a wonderful person to get to know  😉
After 3 days of extensive walking my feet started hurting, but it was well worth the effort.
On the first day we also met Jonas Piontek, a cool bloke which lives in the Frankfurt area. Thanks to him we were invited to see a live weather broadcast of hr (local TV channel) when we visited Main Tower for a couple of skyline shots from one of the highest vantage points in this city. I should also mention the fantastic burgers we had for dinner each day, man I never get tired of burgers wink emoticon
Thanx guys, this was such a lovely weekend!

I already started to process some shots and here they are:

Social Media B/W Challenge Result

Some weeks ago another one of these social network phenomena started out where you are being nominated and supposed to do something once or the course of several days, a challenge. I’m speaking of the 5 day b/w challenge where a photographer is supposed to post 5 b/w shots on 5 days in a row while nominating a new (befriended) photographer to to the same on each day. Actually I hoped that nobody will nominate me, because b/w photography is something I’m weak at, also I usually struggle to choose appropriate images for b/w processing. While noticing all the b/w works which has been posted due to this challenge I already thought that nobody will nominate me, but in the end I got nominated on facebook, from somebody I’d not expected to.

I haven’t done many b/w photos lately, but I was in the mood of processing some of my (normal) Dubai Shots from 2012 and 2013 in an extreme b/w fashion. Why is that? Recently I discovered the book project Dreaming of Dubai and after looking at all these nice pictures I instantly felt that desire to book another flight to experience this surreal place again.
It’s not like that this rather unauthentic and posh world is my thing, but still, that place attracts me a lot, because of the superlatives in modern architecture which simply creates a surreal world for me.

So I processed some of my Dubai shots 😉

The first one is a view over the the “Defence Roundabout”, the biggest crossing on Sheikh Zayed Road, intersecting Financial Centre Road.

Defence Roundabout from high above

Defence Roundabout from high above

The next picture shows the dynamics of a big crowd of tourists while enjoying the Dubai Mall Dancing Fountain in front of the majestic Burj Khalifa.

Dynamic Crowd

Dynamic Crowd

One of the most memorable memories of Dubai was the desert surrounding it. On my first trip I went on a dune bashing adventure which was close to my best roller-coaster experiences. On my second trip I went to the desert again to explore and try to portray it. When you come from a Central European country (in my case Germany) and if you have never experienced an arid landscape it’s an incredible feeling to get lost in a desert.

Getting Lost

Getting Lost

This one technically is not from Dubai, but it was part of my last visit to Dubai / the United Arabic Emirates. The picture shows the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi, which is the biggest mosque in the UAE and a very precious and impressive building.

Dark Fortress 2

Dark Fortress 2

My last shot in this UAE / Dubai series – which I used to contribute to the 5 day b/w challenge – is again about architecture and modern urban jungles. I’m afraid I couldn’t contribute more diverse themes.

The Observer 2

The Observer 2

Well, after finishing the series I was glad that I’ve been nominated to get some motivation to do more b/w processing. I’m even proud of the outcome, I haven’t ever thought of getting such lovely b/w shots after some long and serious b/w processing sessions. However I failed miserably in posting all 5 shots in 5 days, in the end it took me 7 days to finish the challenge, because I didn’t edit all shots in advance and just post one shot each day.