Jun 182012
Radiohead live

Yesterday I read the shocking news about the collapse of the Radiohead stage in Toronto. One worker died and several others got injured. Just a few weeks ago I went to the Radiohead concert here in the Boston area. A few colleagues of mine and I did a little road trip to see them and their opener Caribou. Thanks to Michael and Ramona we got amazing tickets for the area right at the stage. Along came my Sony Nex 7 and two lenses, the Sony 24mm 1.8 and my Leica 50mm Summilux ASPH. When we arrived I starting using the […]

Apr 082012
Easter Egg Hunt

I took this photo about 6 years ago in the South End/Boston at the Titus Sparrow Park. I lived in that area for four years before I moved to Cambridge. Every year at Easter time people from that neighborhood celebrate an Easter Egg Hunt. It is really a hunt, less a search. The idea is simple. Drop a few hundred or thousand eggs on a lawn, put some police tape around them and when the time comes you start a collecting frenzy that empties this field within ten seconds. The toughest, fastest, oldest kid will most likely get the most […]

Mar 112012

We just came back from a one week vacation to the Dominican Republic. Both of our batteries were exhausted and we needed a recharge urgently. The plan was to not do anything but sit in a hammock and watch the water. Because my partner needed to do some work during the week, which almost caused us not to book anything this year, we decided on an all-inclusive package. This would allow her to work in the morning, while I would put my head into the water, and to do activities together in the afternoon without thinking of cooking or driving. […]

Feb 262012
A few shots from this week

This week I went to Indianapolis for a meeting and to NYC for a long weekend. I took along my M9P with just one lens, the 35mm 2.0 Summicron. While I did not actively take photos, I enjoyed pressing the shutter here and there. Besides spending time in the city I decided to visit Coney Island and Zion Cemetery. I had never been there before and now I had time. Actually I liked Coney Island. Great colors, even when everything is closed. I met a vendor from Pakistan, who didn’t want to get photographed but he offered me a seat. […]

Feb 192012
Cold commercial look

Today I did a short tour up to Lynn, Marblehead, Salem. I stopped at Revere Beach for a stroll along the water. On the way back to my car I noticed the strong light that hit the vehicle. With the beach in the background and no other cars around it almost looked like a commercial setting. The contrast was strong, almost too harsh for any controllable lighting. I took a shot with my Phase One camera, which resulted in a very plain, greenish looking image. It was necessary to underexpose a bit to preserve the highlights of the image. It […]

Feb 122012
Nothing there.

Today has been a strange day. For weeks I have been waiting for some overcast. I have a list of sites that I want to photograph but I would need even lighting, which an overcast day would provide. It is easy to do this in Germany and there is no surprise that Gursky’s, Bernd and Hilla Becher’s, Elger Esser’s, Thomas Struth’s early images illustrate this cold, neutral, clean aesthetic, that is characteristic for that area. Düsseldorf and the region around has less sunlight than most other areas in Germany. Perfect for someone who likes to shoot on overcast, shadow-free days. […]

Oct 232011

It is crisp Sunday morning and our heating system woke up from Summer hibernation with a short, cheap sounding “Plop”. It gave up before it had even started. So I am hanging out in our study, the only warm, electrically heated room in the house. While drinking tea and chewing on a honey covered slice of bread I discovered two articles in the New York Times magazine, one about the training of Afghans to protect their homes and valuables from the Taliban, the other one is a photo essay about life in war zones. The first article is written by […]

Sep 272011
Zone focusing with manual lenses

There is always this moment of excitement, appreciation, and respect when someone looks at a manual focus lens. The rings, numbers, and lines communicate control while demanding a certain amount of skill. A well designed, manual lens is a piece of beauty, like a jewelry or a precise tool (which it is). In recent years lens design has led to visually simplified lens constructions. Autofocus and viewfinder focus-confirmation have eliminated the need for manual controls. While photographers can still switch to manual focus, they often don’t have any focus lines printed on the barrels anymore. You still find distance indicators […]

Sep 042011
The Southwest: The National Parks

Getting out of Vegas felt like a breeze of hot, fresh air. Suddenly you have space, lots of space, and less noise and people. Traveling through the Southwest is every European’s dream and so it was no surprise that most people in the parks were Germans, Italians, and French. It felt like being home, just with a different landscape. Our first stop was Hoover Dam at 120F temperature. Not only on hot days I can recommend the tour inside this amazing structure. Next stop was Grand Canyon Village on the South rim. Around five hours from Vegas this cozy place […]

Sep 042011
The Southwest: Las Vegas

Two weeks ago I left Boston for a well deserved vacation in the American Southwest. I had never been there before and seeing Vegas and the surrounding landscape had been on my to do list since I crossed the US border for the first time. My partner Kathrin had been invited to a sociologist conference in Vegas. Yes, what better place for them to talk about social dynamics, while at every street corner you can order women to your room within 20 minutes. Question: If Vegas represents the American Dream then what does Vegas tell us about our society? I […]

Aug 132011
Bats of Austin.

If you ever make it to Austin, don’t forget to check out a few highlights. 1. Stay at the Hotel San Jose on South Congress street. There is no other tranquil place like this in that city. Calm, understated, contemporary, relaxing, still right where you find the hip and edgy. 2. Check out the music scene on 6th Street. 3. Walk over Congress Bridge and imagine what is underneath. During the day around 1.5 million bats stay inside the bridge and take long naps. Right around dusk they seem to wake up and fly off the bridge to find food. […]

Jun 262011
Urban stages

It has been two weeks since my last post and I am realizing that writing them on a weekly basis is harder than expected. This morning I am sitting in front of my computer waiting for the weather to warm up so I can do a short bike ride before heading out to a BBQ this afternoon. A few days ago I prepared some examples around PS Photomerge which in the end didn’t look too convincing. So I looked through some of my recent images, not too many I have to admit, and found one shot that triggered a little […]

Jun 122011
The cropped cows

Since I started using a camera I have been following discussions about cropping images. Should a photo be cropped or should the final print show the untouched outline of the captured frame? People who are pro cropping may question why their artistic expression should be limited by frame or sensor sizes that someone came up with in a technical lab. On the other side photographers who see cropping as a sin would probably use Henri Cartier Bresson as an example of a master who never cropped his images. Actually he never cared about the printing part of photography so he […]

May 302011
Memorial Day

Have a great Memorial Day, wherever you are. Yesterday I went to the Boston Common, America’s oldest public garden. On display were thousands of flags, each representing a person from Massachusetts that has fallen during a war conflict. Just knowing that most flags stand for an individual tragedy that will never be told makes you pause. It reminds you of that famous quote: ‘The death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic.’ (Most likely first used by Tucholsky, not Stalin. WikiQuote)

May 302011
Following In Sook Kim

Years ago I had the strange idea to not only take photographs but to collect some of them as well. I think that a mix of passion, financial opportunity, and Grosskotztum ( a word that can not be translated from German) came together. At that time my focus had just shifted to more contemporary artists, still I started looking at Ansel Adams prints, since they had been an inspiration for a long time. It turned out to be a quick route. Actually a dead-end street. Prices were astronomical, far out of my reach. So I looked into more recent photographers […]

May 152011
Toronto fog

Yesterday the weather changed from being nice and sunny to foggy and rainy. We had been lucky throughout the workshop. The weather was nice and pleasant, sunny most of the time. I walked around the distillery district until I decided to stop by in the financial district as well. When I passed Union Station I took this picture of a high rise. It is a well known building in Toronto but I have no idea what it is called. It stood out with its golden glass while everything else looked dark blue. The fog created a nice fading effect which […]

May 142011
MagnumPhoto workshop

Yesterday I finished my project at the MagnumPhoto workshop in Toronto. It had been a tight week with lots of learning from David Alan Harvey. Day 1 Student portfolio review all morning long and free street shooting time in the afternoon. I wondered around downtown and Kensington Market to figure out ideas and locations. My goal was to engage with people on the street and to photograph an emotional story. Instead of just “stealing” a photo I talked to anybody who seemed to be interesting. A couple that was hanging out in front of a church, a really old guy […]

Apr 112011
Photographs from Argentina

This weekend I spent a bit of time to reedit my photos from Argentina. Last year we traveled to Buenos Aires, where we stayed for a week. It is a vibrant, modern, culturally rich city, that provides visual stories at every corner. Here is a set of my favorite images.

Apr 102011
Short Saturday walk with the Summicron 35

Weather was nice so I decided to grab my Summicron 35mm lens to get used to it again. I have been using the 50mm Summilux for a while as my primary lens. For many years the 35 had been my only lens. Personally I don’t like switching optics very often. I prefer to use one and to leave it on the body for a while. To me its like doing sports. If I haven’t used a focal length for a while I need to get back into it. Yesterday when I walked around I felt a bit rusty with that […]