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 […]

May 072011
Going Magnum

I am excited about going to Magnum. Not the ice-cream, not the TV show, not any male enhancement pills. I will join the MagnumPhoto 2011 workshop in Toronto. It is a one week program with a diverse mix of group sessions, individual photo shoots, critiques, lectures, long work hours, an exhibition at the end, and hopefully some good drinks and food in between, all run by seven of their photographers plus staff. Many participants have already arrived and are spending time this weekend to get together and shoot photos. The group has traveled from all over the world to participate. […]

Apr 262011
Interesting Leica / IPhone 4 camera concept

This is a concept by Black Design Associates that combines the IPhone 4 with a Leica Gestalt. I have to admit that having the IPhone 4 screen on a Leica is an interesting thought. More info here on    

Apr 242011
My digital camera designs from the 90ies.

During the mid 90ies I did not take a lot of photos. I owned a Canon AE1 P which I got as a Holiday gift in 1984. Somehow I did not feel the urge to pick it up and use it. While neglecting photography as a craft, it occasionally crossed my path as a design challenge. Digital photography was still in its first steps. I did a few sketches around potential camera systems that would use digital image sensors. I remember looking into the Yellow Pages (Yes, the web was just forming its structure in Germany) to find photo studios […]

Apr 142011
Cool camera concept

I found this video link on my Facebook site this morning. I like the design of the camera. Very clean and simple. Not sure how I would use the detached lens. Would be nice if you could mount the lens on a tripod and use the screen to set up a studio scene. D!RK  

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 […]

Apr 092011
The fake border

Yesterday I had a conversation with my colleagues about craft and design. Briefly we touched software like Hypstamatic, which nicely simulates image styles from the past. Users can get excited about the look and feel of these images. Since the introduction of digital photography people have tried to simulate the characteristics of film and hand-made prints. Old prints show an evidence of craft and technique, especially when you leave the edges exposed. Each image has its own signature which is defined by the unique look of the film’s borders. Have a look at a large Polaroid print or an unmatted […]

Apr 032011

Yesterday I had an eye-opening experience. I joined a workshop on visual storytelling with Ed Kashi. For those who don’t know him, he is member of VII. One of his photos won the UNICEF Photo of the Year in 2010. Check out his website to see more of his amazing work at . I signed up for this workshop because I wanted to learn more about his work-flow and his use of stills and video in the field. I believe that strong visuals are crucial for my design work. Part of my job is field research to inspire design. We observe […]

Mar 262011
Corner views

Architecture fascinates me. Especially contemporary buildings. Every time that I photograph a structure I ask myself if I want to capture a detail or the whole. Recently I started photographing corners of buildings. I believe the inspiration came from Hiroshi Sugimoto. One portfolio that I admire is the one of blurred architectural portraits. He visually reduces buildings to their signature structures. All details had been removed. The other portfolio is his Seascapes series. Sugimoto captured various oceans and seas with the same composition, a 50/50 split between sky and water. It creates a simple, consistent visual language throughout this portfolio. […]

Mar 192011
Sony NEX-5 video by Dan DeRuntz & Angelica Leonard

My dear co-worker Dan created this beautiful video with his Sony NEX-5. It is called Butterfly Hatari. He used a 35mm 1.4 Voigtlaender lens and the Sony 18-55mm lens to shoot the sequences. Personally I like his use of a steady cam. It creates a nice flow along the fences. Get a cup of coffee and enjoy this short gem. D!RK

Mar 172011
One year with the Leica M9. A review

In March of 2010, I finally received my Leica M9. I had been thinking about this camera since its introduction. My sustained interest in the M9 taught me this: if you can’t get it out of your head, you have to get it into your hands. So, in January 2010 I placed orders at several stores, hoping to get this camera before an upcoming trip to Argentina. Quickly I realized that this was not going to happen; so many people had placed orders that my name landed at the very bottom of every last list. At the time, I was […]

Mar 122011
Early steps

This morning I sat down with a cup of tea and started cleaning up my hard drive. I have to admit that it is a total mess. Everything that I created before I got introduced to Lightroom, exists in multiple formats and in multiple folders. The nice thing is that I always find photos that I had not seen in a long time. This is one of these photos that had a big impact on me. I took it when I was seventeen years old in the small village called Costarainera, Italy. It is located in the hills between Geneva […]

Mar 062011

My dear friend Isidora from Spain sent me an email right after she had looked at my blog. She told me about her visit to the Madrid art show ARCO. A lot of the photography on display were huge prints of large format photographs. Large prints have been a ‘trend’ in contemporary photography for the last 20 years. A huge movement towards that direction started in my home town Duesseldorf, where students of Bernd and Hilla Becher used new technologies to display photography at an unknown scale. Suddenly the artist could show scenes of incredible detail. What was only possible […]

Mar 062011
One dog

If you live in Cambridge, MA you may know the Trader Joe on Memorial Drive. You might have seen its mural on the side of the building. It was created in Summer 2005, maybe 2006. One day I walked by and saw the painter working on this wall. I liked that contrast of colors, scaffolding, and people. I decided to photograph it but I needed a day without sunshine and without cars blocking the parking spots. One Saturday morning I walked by and found a spot right in the center in front of the mural. It was a nice overcast […]

Mar 062011
The photo booth

Yesterday we had our annual company party at a bar in Cambridge. How fun. People got drunk, danced, had a good time, and they took a lot of photos. Not with their cameras but with the photo booth that was located inside the bar. Actually you can squeeze a lot of people inside such a tiny box if you really try. To me it is fun to see how people express themselves. Me included, here with fabulous Jeewon! I took some shots as well with my camera and I have to say that I like the lighting that the box […]

Mar 062011
Finding a perspective

A while ago I went to the Monterey Aquarium and I took some photos with my Leica M6 and a 35mm Cron. I like the small package of that camera and the 35mm lens gives me enough focal length to work with. Many people don’t like the idea of fixed lenses. They feel that they can’t change the perspective and that is why they prefer zooms. With fixed lenses I zoom as well. My legs are the zoom. I have to get closer to the object to zoom in and step back to zoom out. This first photo is the […]

Mar 062011
Hole in a wall

This is my first entry in my personal blog. I want to use this platform to tell stories why, how, when, and where I took some of my photos. A kind of “looking behind the curtain”. I have always been interested how photographers, artists, designers are creating their work. Some might argue that this would take away from the impact of the photo. I think it adds to it. I am not telling anyone what to see in a photograph. I am just providing some extra resolution. It makes a story richer.   I took this image of the woman […]

Mar 062011

I have switched from a simple blog script to a self-hosted WordPress blog. This ‘5 minute installation’ took me five hours. Never mind. It gives me better control, more features, and it creates a nicer browsing experience for you. Stay tuned. D!RK