Category Archives: News

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.

Back from Japan

Wow, long time no post again… Apologies for being so inactive (and lazy) in the meantime :/

Just in case you wondered where I’ve been lately: I’ve been to Japan for two weeks and of course I brought some new material from there. I’ve been to Tokyo, Nikkou and Fujiyoshida / Lake Kawaguchi. The main photographic subject for this trip was modern architecture, rather than nature / landscapes, so I spend a good amount of time in Tokyo, where I also met with Luca Cesari. I guess my main subject in photography slightly changed, it was nature /landscapes in the early days and became modern architecture and travel photography these days. If you ask yourself why I mentioned travel photography without having much of it in my portfolio, you’re right. Although I have plenty of material, I’m very picky about selecting pictures for publication, because it’s somewhat a new field and really difficult for me to judge whether an image is suitable / good enough for publication.
Btw.: I still owe you pictures from Thailand, right?
I really would need holidays to catch up editing all the images I want to publish. I guess, I will reduce the editing effort to be able to publish more frequently. What do you think?

Anyways, it’s already a lot of text, when I started to write this post I didn’t intend to write much… Let the pictures speak! I’ll start publishing new pictures soon, stay tuned 😉

Spring flower macro shots and announcement of next trip

Hey ho

I was out shooting some spring impressions in the last weeks. When I went out shooting the last times I wasn’t in the mood for and didn’t find nice subjects for wide-angle photography so I put on my 50-200 f/2.8-3.5 SWD on the fourthirds adapter and looked around for details, spring details.Eventually I was doing macro photography, which I haven’t done for quite a while, so I was enjoying it.
How can’t you resist taking close-ups of spring flowers in full bloom anyway? 😉

Currently I’m doing the last preparations for my upcoming trip to Japan. The trip includes Tokyo, Nikkou and Fujisan. If anybody has some recommendations regarding food to try and places to see in these areas, I’d be happy to know.

 

Back from Thailand

I came back from Thailand two weeks ago!
Wow, I’m stoked by all the things I experienced and the people I met, I really had a great time although I had some bummers like damaged photo equipment and food poisoning for 2 days.
After I had a good time and plenty of amazing photographic opportunities (mainly modern architecture and the desert) back in Dubai and Abu Dhabi with my friend Matthias Haltenhof I took a plane to Bangkok and stayed there for 6 days. After Bangkok I flew to the north, to Chiang Mai for another 6 days to experience the Thai landscape (jungle, landscape, elephants etc.). As my last destinations I chose the golf islands Koh Samui, Koh Pha Ngan and Koh Tao to relax and go snorkeling for over a week.

When I arrived at home I wasn’t unhappy (to say the least!) that we didn’t have proper winter in Germany, because it is not so convenient to travel from a place with 34°C to a place with around 0°C. Instead I’m enjoying sunny days with temperatures of around 5-10°C south of Munich, I think now I’m prepared for the real winter 😉

Right now I’m preparing two series of pictures, “Modern architecture in the UAE” and “Impressions of Thailand”. It still will take plenty of time to sort out and process the picture but I’d like to start uploading the first pictures in the next weeks and months!

I also like to write a little bit more detailed travel report of my journey through Thailand, with plenty of pictures. Stay tuned 😉

Happy new year!

New camera and next big trip

Hey guys,

I finally made the decision to go mirrorless, now that this technology has been developing so fast and has arrived at a level where it can easily compete with classic DSLRs. It seems that this is the future technology, which pushes the limits even further. Because I was working with Olympus DSLRs, I decided to switch to their micro-fourthirds system, which keeps my costs of switching systems lower because I can still use my old lenses with an adapter and slowly exchange the heavy DSLR lenses by more compact and lightweight micro-fourthirds lenses (it’s really awesome how small and light these are!).
Here is the equipment I start with: Olympus OMD E-M1, 12-40mm f/2.8 kit lens, Panasonic 7-14mm f/4 wideangle zoom.

Olympus OMD E-M1 + 12-40 f/2.8 + 7-14 f/4

Olympus OMD E-M1 + 12-40 f/2.8 + 7-14 f/4

I’m thrilled because I can make use of my new camera equipment already during my next trip to the UAE (Dubai & Abu Dhabi) and Thailand starting next week. Feel free to recommend nice locations and activities for my Thailand stay ;)

Cheers
Phil