Inspired by a Youtube video (German only) of the beautiful Pietzmoor at Lüneburger Heide I decided to go there for a Saturday night sunset and blue hour. The famous Lüneburger Heide is an hour south of Hamburg and a manmade cultural landscape. Besides the "Heide" (heather) you have some spots where "Torf" (peat) was cut in former time. The biggest still existing peat spot is Pietzmoor near the town of Schneverdingen (find location and description here). There is an almost square shaped boardwalk taking you around for 4,5 km. Opposite the peat you have the "Osterheide" where you can walk through the heather for hours. After walking the boardwalk once the sun already set. I walked it again to enjoy the most beautiful spots at blue hour. This is what I came up with.
It is good to plan your trip to Neuwerk well in advance once you want to walk to the island during a summer weekend and stay there over night. We did so mid June and started our tour on a Sunday morning. You either use your worn out sneakers or go barefoot through the tidal flats. The curvy track is about 12 km and it takes you less than three hours. You have to cross some tidal inlets that will reach up to your knees. Starting in Cuxhaven, Niedersachsen, you arrive on the island of Neuwerk, which surprisingly belongs to the city state of Hamburg although it is roughly 130 km away. If you do not want to walk the "Wattenmeer" you can either go by a horse carriage ("Wattwagen"), ride a horse or by bike. You will find a refreshing Wadden oasis ("Wattoase") as your halfway house before you start your finish. Once you made it Neuwerk rewards you with its quietness!
Bo-Kaap is the most colourful place I have ever seen. Situated at the foot of Signal Hill in Capetown, South Africa, it is home to the Cape's Muslim Community. Many of its about 6000 residents are descendants of slaves from Malaysia (therefore they are generally known as "Cape-Malay"), Indonesia and different parts of Africa. The slaves were brought by the Dutch in the 16th and 17th century.
I have been here two years ago and spent another afternoon in Bo-Kaap during my last stay in Capetown in March 2016. It was just a 5 min walk away from our guest house. The colour especially pops during sunset and during my walk the muezzin called for the afternoon prayer.
Hope you enjoy all the colour. On top of that I edited a little video to give you a sense of beautiful Bo-Kaap.
De Hoop is a nature reserve 230 km east of Cape Town at the coastline of South Africa. Named after the farm "De Hoop" this place turned into a state-run nature reserve in the late 1950s. It is a UNESCO world heritage side since 2004. We missed the reserve two years ago when we were in South Africa for the first time. This time I looked up for nature reserves that we did not see before and I came along this vast stretch of wilderness along the coast between Stilbay and Cape Agulhas. The reserve has 45 km coast line and is one of the most beautiful places that I have seen in South Africa so far.
Welcome to my 2015 highlights! Each year I collect my top ten shots and this is what I came up with in 2015. Hope you enjoy and get lost in my website.
I had some hours to kill during a stay in Berlin this year. I wanted to shoot the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin differently and this is what I came up with. I called the pic "Selfie generation" and it got featured on photofocus.com by Marco Larousse. I love this street photography because it captures a definite point in time where some of us used selfie sticks. You will find some more pics of this day in my Berlin gallery.
Straight after our wedding we flew to Mauritius for our honeymoon. At the east side of the island we had our own bungalow and I shot my first milky way ever. I will not forget the moment seeing the milky way on display for the first time. Going out late and sitting at the beach was not too much of a task at 20 °C. This is one of the long exposures that I came up with.
The "Rieselfelder" is a very large bird sanctuary near Münster, Germany. The fields are named after the process of wastewater oozing away in the soil. After the invention of sewage plants they were not used for this purpose any more and dedicated as a bird sanctuary. My parents live nearby the place and I spent the early Christmas morning of December 26 in 2015 and 2013 there to get some bird pictures. I came up with pics from ducks, goose, swans and storks. Due to the warm winter in Northern Germany I even managed to see nine storks on a field that were not off for migration to Africa.
I wanted to come up with a small series of pictures done differently. During a recent afternoon photo walk along Hamburg harbour I took my small Manfrotto table tripod (Pixi Mini) with me. It is only 20 cm high and gives a stable, but very low perspective. Every image below is done from this tripod slightly above street level and shoot with the Canon EF 16-35 mm wide angle. I really like this different approach of an area that I shot many times before. Since we had the typical December weather (not too cold but cloudy and wet) I decided to go black and white. My walk took me from St. Pauli Landungsbrücken all the way to the architectural landmark of Docklands. This is by far my favorite photo walk in Hamburg harbour. Feel free to comment on this series. I am very interested in your feedback. Enjoy my view of Hamburg from below!
The rule of thirds is a basic photography technique. Divide a picture in nine equal parts (two equally spaced horizontal and two vertical lines). The important compositional elements of the image should be placed along the intersections of horizontal and vertical lines. This will create interest, tension and balances your picture.
You can also use the technique in landscape photography. The horizon should either touch the upper or lower horizontal line. So it covers one third (and two thirds for landscape) or two thirds (and one third for landscape) of your picture.
Once you failed to nail the rule of thirds in camera you can at least try to find it in post production. The cropping tool can be of help to get a straight horizon, to get it on a horizontal line or sometimes even to put your main subject on an intersection.
Leading lines help the eye to enter a picture. Normally, they lead the way towards the main subject (if there is one). You can find leading lines formed by roads, rivers, fences, boardwalks, shorelines, handrails, moving stairs, walls or train tracks. These lines can also help create a connection between the foreground and the background and give some depth to the picture. You should carefully consider to use leading lines in order to help the viewer endeavour your picture and lead them to your story.
I went to Copenhagen in early November and spent a night out in the streets for some long exposure. Unfortunately, it was quite foggy that night. I shot the Magasin du Nord, the new Opera House and the beautiful Børsen from the 17th century.
My street pic "Selfie Generation" got featured on photofocus. I wanted to shoot the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin differently than just straight lines and this is what I came up with. Would love to see their taken selfie including a sixth unexpected person in the back.
Marco Larousse picked my photo and wrote:
"Why I picked this image: Street photography and documentary photography can go hand in hand. And this image is a strong example of that. We are currently experiencing the “generation selfie”. What looks common to us now may be a typical historical image showing what people did in 2015 for future generations. Always keep that in mind when you go out to take pictures in the streets!"
Marco is also from Hamburg and a constant inspiration and how you can shoot your home town as a street photography. Be sure to check our his website. Thanks, Marco and photofocus!
Was in Prague early October 2015 for the second time. Spend some time for long exposure in the evening and the next morning for sunrise. Was surprised with some really great colours in the morning. Blue hour went red and I really liked it. Even saw a Chinese couple doing some wedding shots in the famous Charles bridge.
After almost 10 days in Austria I finished my trip at Fuschlsee near Salzburg. Fuschlsee is one of the many glacier lakes in Austria and such a beauty. I went up early and started my photo shoot going from the hotel down to the lake through the wet and foggy grasslands. Took me 15 min to get there. It was a very cold and quite foggy morning. After setting up my tripod I started doing long exposures some even with an ND filter. The pics were shot at "Hofer Naturbadestrand" which is at the north-western end of the lake. It has a very long bathing jetty into the lake which offers a pleasing leading line into it. My intention was to photograph the sunrise. Due to the fog this morning there was not any. I ended up with an SD card full of dreamy and foggy morning shots which I even like more than the typical sunrise. Even managed to shoot some kind of selfie on the bench. You can find more pics of this trip at my Austria gallery.
When I looked up the city of Goslar (Harz, Germany) on Flickr and 500px I found quite some pictures of the old Peterstraße. During a weekend in the Harz we stayed in Goslar and I really liked it in black and white. It is within walking distance from the city centre and a really nice cobblestone street without cars that meanders its way.
In July 2015 I had the opportunity to attend the Christening ceremony of the CMA CGM Georg Forster at the harbour of Hamburg. It is one of the largest container vessels of the world carrying more than 18.000 TEU. One had a chance to visit the ship and Even visit the bridge. You will find some of the pics below. It took us quite a while walking up the staircase to the very top where the bridge is. Afterwards the Christening ceremony itself took place with roughly 500 guests. The weather was typical for Hamburg in July: cloudy, stormy, a bit of rain and quite cold. Nevertheless, it was a remarkable event at Burchardkai terminal.
It was our last Sunday during the two week vacation on Mauritius. I drove to Centre de Flacq, a bustling little town near the east coast of the island. Went for the Sunday market with the colorful fruits and vegetables and all the locals. 90 min in I was still one of the only non locals and the only one spending time there with a camera photographing the stands and people. I really enjoyed the time there with the colors and the smells. It felt like I was watching people's life on a typical Sunday without being seen - well, with a few occasions when the people of the market stall recognised me taking a picture of them. I even shot one of my favorite photos of 2015 there. Find out more about our trip to Mauritius via this gallery.
Mid April I was in Wroclaw, Poland, for three days on a business trip. I did a photo walk very early morning to endeavor the city since I never visited Poland before. A really nice and old
city that got some extra treatment ahead of the EURO 2012. You will find plenty of dwarfs in Wroclaw dating back to the time when the students protested against communism before the fall of the
iron curtain. Take a look at my snapshots.
I had some hours to kill in between two business appointments in Berlin end of March 2015. Went to the Holocaust Memorial, the former Tempelhof airport and finally back to the central station. Decided to do the pics all in black and white since I had to shoot in the middle of the day. Take a look!
After a very sunny day in March 2015 I managed to get to the Harbour Museum Hamburg during sunset. It is located at the "50er Schuppen", a couple of ware houses from the 1950s south of "HafenCity" in Hamburg. You will see who ships were loaded and unloaded back then. The old cranes are especially impressive.
Welcome to my 2014 highlights! Each year I collect my top ten shots and this is what I came up with in 2014. Hope you enjoy and get lost in my website.
I started my photographic year in Copenhagen, Denmark in January. After a day full of work I found some time to spent in Nyhavn, the old harbour of Copenhagen. Did some long exposure and it was very, very cold. Quite liked the result of the smooth water in Nyhavn in this pic. Find our more about my "At night" work. If you are interested in some more Copenhagen images click here.
I found a leaflet of Meerkat Adventures during our stay in Oudtshoorn, South Africa. And off we were on the next and very early morning for a sunrise with the meerkat family. It was one of the best tours on animals I did in my life. You sit only 5 m away from their barrow and enjoy their morning routine (which is basically getting their belly warmed up by the sun). After an hour their off for the rest of the day catching food. There is no spot in the world to get a similar experience that close without disturbing them. Find out more about my South Africa trip via this link.
The "Lüneburger Heide" is about 45 min South of Hamburg and a beautiful man made landscape. Went there with a friend of mine last time in October 2014 to get some landscape and mushroom shots. I only picked a few images of this trip and the main conclusion is - I have to go there again very soon for a longer walk.
We travelled to South Africa in February 2014 and spent quite some time along the Garden Route. At the end of the road trip we stayed two nights at the beautiful Grootbos resort. Grootbos lies about a 2.30 h drive from Capetown at the Walker Bay Nature Reserve. During our stay lots of free tours were offered, one of them endeavoring the Grootbos flowers around the premises. We saw a lot of proteas, the signature flower of South Africa and even managed to see a long-tailed cape sugarbird (see picture below). The flora around Walker Bay Nature Reserve is really stunning and worth a trip.
I found a leaflet of Meerkat Adventures during our stay in Oudtshoorn, South Africa. And off we were on the next and very early morning for a sunrise with the meerkat family. It was one of the best tours on animals I did in my whole life! You sit only 5 m away from their barrow and enjoy their morning routine (which is basically getting their belly warmed up by the sun before going off foraging for the rest of the day). After the morning routine you would not be able to find them during the day anymore due to the high bushes. There is no spot in the world to get a similar experience that close without disturbing them. Find out more about my South Africa trip via this link.