Year in Review: 2017

Hi and welcome to my personal year 2017 review!

To me 2017 was a year that started pretty nice, but then included more and more dramatic aspects. What annoys me extremely is the current German Angst that infects more and more people here in Germany. I really cannot and won’t accept hate, disgrace and persecution of foreigners and humans who came here to escape from the war in their countries. I mean, we are one of the richest countries and we are healthy and not willing and able to share our wealth with those in need. Instead of that we are screaming “MINE, MINE, MINE!”. That’s so sad. I nearly completely lost my trust in humanity during this year. Ozzy Osbourne sang: “Without each other’s help there ain’t no hope for us.” and we all should think about it, think about helping each other to establish this world community aiming for world peace. But I’m pretty sure humanity won’t reach this goal during it’s existence. Those are dark thoughts these days, but what we can do is to concentrate on what our strengths are, not what our weaknesses are. So please leave those ones behind who don’t understanding the complexity of nowadays and who think they have an easy solution that ends in hate and protectionism – those are wrong and those haven’t learnt from our cruel downfalls in history.  Be smart, don’t get infected by them. That’s my appeal for 2018.

But what the private review differs from the reviews on TV is, that you are primarily showing your good times and less the bad times. So here you concentrate on the strengths – what’s actually good. 🙂

My biggest topic this year was wedding photography, again. It’s so nice to see the business growing from year to year, to meet new people and new clients with great weddings!
2017 I could see the market changing from all day to partly wedding day coverage. Of course there is still much of all day coverage, but it seems to decrease from year to year. That’s okay, I don’t have an issue with that. Especially in times where nearly everyone has a digital camera and smartphones that technology gets better and better, anyone has the opportunity to capture wonderful wedding moments on their own. If people are satisfied with that quality – fine. I’m delivering high-quality solutions with an professional approach that goal is to meet the customers expectations on covering their wedding day in way they can re-experiencing it in their future days.

It was a nice year of wedding coverage and I’m really looking forward to 2018 with very cool already signed weddings! 😀

2017 began in London. Julia and I had a great time there and welcomed the new year in a foreign country which was symbolic for us in terms of breaking new ground in our life. This year will end and begin at home because home became something wonderful this year. This year showed me that it’s possible to make a living on the countryside in times where a lot of people moving into cities. Digitalization will help us out here on the countryside to make our living from a place where our heart is ingrained.

Also the Quarter-Horse Shooting was a personal highlight for me as it shows also how to live on the countryside. In 2018 I expect more shootings like this.

Travel and photography maybe not that big topic in 2018, but I want to do more picture stories next year.

I will also write posts that give you an insight on photography like this years “Lighting on Location” and “Imitating the Sun Light” insight blog posts that help you to increase your photography skills or just to get ideas and tips.

Well, a fast and compact review, but expect more to come in 2018! 🙂

I wish all of you a great ending of 2017 and a much better start of 2018!
All the best for 2018!

Yours,

Chris

 

 

USA Short Trip 2017 – Three States in Seven Days – 11/2017

Hi there,

When summer ends, vacation begins! :)))
This year Julia and I visited the USA, and my beloved California plus two other states: Nevada and Arizona. Okay, I pretty much missed that we hadn’t enough time to drive along the coast on highway 1 and 101, but – believe it or not – the desert has also its charm! 🙂

With every visit of your favorite place it’s getting harder to decide what to shoot and therefor which camera gear to take with you. This year I took my Nikon D700 DSLR and my Nikon FM2 film SLR with me. Why the SLR? Because of nostalgic reasons. I mean, those film prints have more emotion and power of the moment to me. But this time I’ll have to find a better photo lab than a drugstore.^^

Finally I ended up with those two cameras, my smartphone and a YI action cam. Never had that effort before to gather all the files and save them onto the hard-drive. :/

But lets get back to our trip. We had seven days whereof two days were only half days because of arrival and departure.

Our USA Route 2017

Day 1

We started at Frankfurt/Main airport, as always. Best airport beside LAX! 😉
We arrived by BMW 5 Series with a chauffeur (thanks to my father! ;P) at Frankfurt/Main Airport on Friday around 8 o’clock and – WOW! What was that?! It was SO crowded! I’d never experienced that bunch of people on my US flights. Plane was the A380 which was booked out. Unfortunately it took us 2 hours to check in our luggage, passing security and an additional hour because of a flight delay. While waiting, we met a young mother with her baby and she was also waiting because there was no priority boarding for parents with baby’s – strange. We met her again later in the plane. She was visiting her brother who lived in LA. The rest of the flight we dreamed of having relatives in LA. Haha.

Waiting for our plane at Frankfurt/Main Airport

Finally arrived at LAX we jumped onto the ALAMO bus which transferred us to the rental station where we got the keys to the expected Chevy Tahoe with a V8 engine and 345 hp. I really need this car here in Germany. Haha! 🙂 After 1h LA traffic we arrived at our motel in Lynnwood. After a short break we headed to Pizza Hut. That’s always the second action when arriving at the 1st motel.
The day ended with a TV party at the motel.^^

Downtown L.A. Night Drive

Arriving at our Motel in Lynnwood, LA

L.A. Downtown Skyline

 

Day 2

Getting up early was our plan and we got up at – 10? xD No hurry when we reved up with our brand new 2018 Chevy Tahoe in blazing whiiiiite! Haha, all those jealous  m… nah, okay. 😉

First stop: HOLLYWOOD – Walk of Fame, Stores, Stores, Stars and uhm Stores, yup. After walking along the Walk of Fame we drove to the Hollywood sign – bling, bling sign view! Please feed the meter!^^

Hollywood Love

Hollywood posing *lol*

After funny driving we arrived in Santa Monica where we walked through the Palisades Park to the center with all its shops and restaurants. I was wondering why Tesla hadn’t those jackets to sell anymore and I was also missing the Model 3.
That day it was Halloween and when we walked back to the park we saw that garden which was decorated with Halloween stuff. So cool!
Before leaving Santa Monica, we were standing arm in arm in the Palisades Park, watching the sun go down. So romantic! Lovely! =)

Halloween Gardens

Well known tower of the TV series “Columbo” 🙂

Palisades Park Sunset, Santa Monica

 

Day 3 

Sunday started with a great breakfast at Black Bear Diner in LA! My friends Mikey and Kristina showed me that place years before and I remembered it so we went there for PANCAKES! To keep it authentic I wore a forest camo hunting cap that morning.^^

Having Pancakes at Black Bear Diner

Strengthened we drove to Las Vegas, so the half day we were on the road what really was NOT a boring time. Julia was driving and I had time to took some photos out of the car during the drive. We had also several stops at diners and so. Really enjoyed the monotone landscape and atmosphere.

Desert Road

Desert on the Fly

Endless Desert Roads – Rear View

Driving the Desert – Vegas, here we come.

After a five hour drive we arrived in Las Vegas, ready to hit the bed in Palms Resort. But not before having strolled along the strip and through the casinos (without wasting money). 🙂

Las Vegas View from PALMS Resort

Water Show at Bellagio’s, Las Vegas

Bellagio’s Romance

 

Day 4

Our last day in Vegas, we had breakfast at iHop and afterwards visited the Hoover Dam before we were heading south to Lake Havasu City, Arizona.

Hoover Dam, Nevada

In Arizona we made the first stop at Buckskin Mountain State Park. A more luxury campground along the Colorado River. In the summer here you can watch the Americans driving their speed boats and doing water-ski. In the late fall it’s already too cold, so we had just silence and no sports action or any camping neighbors – a bit boring for 30 bucks.^^

Camping at Buckskin Mountain SP

 

Day 5 

The next day we arrived at Lake Havasu City where we bought everything for our upcoming stay at Joshua Tree NP, visited the city and made a boat trip (better: a ferry trip) across the Colorado River and finally settled the Tahoe heading off to Joshua Tree NP after having ice-cream from this cool ice-cream shop (cannot remember the name, but you should visit it) and a walk over the originally rebuilt London Bridge.

Along the Colorado River, Lake Havasu City

Havasu City Sunrise Reflection on our Chevy Tahoe

As we arrived at Joshua Tree NP it was the same feeling I had five years back when I first visited the park on my own. Although it’s just desert and trees, it has a special atmosphere that I like.
We drove around, looking for a nice campground, but the most ones were almost full. There were that “hipster” campground we wanted to join first, but because we felt too old in our mid-thirty’s, we decided to choose Jumbo Rocks campground with families and so. Haha. I really like Jumbo Rocks, its big rocks allow you to overview the whole wide desert and watching the sunset on the horizon. Wonderful! Especially when sitting with your partner on the rocks eating your steak or salad, watching the sun go down and thinking about life.

Mojave Desert Sunset

 

Day 6

Before we were heading back to LA, we visited some palces, hiked and drove some “backroads” at Joshua Tree. Unfortunately without 4WD you cannot drive the real backroads, but I did that one time and I was lucky when escaping the desert. Not funny doing this all alone, but great memories.^^

Hitting the Mojave Desert Backroads (2013)

Mojave Desert Panorama, Joshua Tree NP

Joshua Trees

Barker Dam

Driving Dirt Roads

Mojave Desert Fauna

A Day in the Desert ends

The last stage: Huntington Beach. Always worth a visit to get this surf city feeling and watching the greatest sunsets and surfers on earth. 🙂 We had diner at Sizzlers and you should have too, even people say it not that delicious – to us it was delicious and cheap. 😉

Surf City Huntington Beach

Surfer, Huntington Beach (2013)

Huntington Beach Pier Sunset (2013)

But no trip to LA without visiting the best place of the city: Griffith Observatory! I felt in love with it the first time I was there when space shuttle Endeavour had it’s last flight above LA. <3

LA Overlook from Griffith Observatory

And so the last day ended with cleaning the car, throwing away the whole camping equipment and checking in for the flight back home.

Well, maybe not that interesting trip for you, but often there is more than just doing a lot of things – because often you are in a wonderful mood, experiencing a feeling just by driving, walking sitting, watching or talking to people and enjoying the lifestyle instead of trying to make it an educational leave. Enjoy! 🙂

Back Home – Frankfurt/Main Skyline

Thanks!

Produkt-Test: Acryl-Wandbild von saal-digital.de

Wow, there it is!

"Sailing on Lake Tahoe" by Chris Knoch

“Sailing on Lake Tahoe” by Chris Knoch, 5mm x 500mm x 750mm Acryl

Kürzlich nahm ich an einem Produkttest des Druckhauses saal-digital.de teil und durfte mich von Service und Druckqualität dieses Druckhauses überzeugen. Das Ergebnis kann sich sehen lassen.
Aber lest selbst …

Saal Digital ist ein Hersteller von Fotoprodukten für B2C- und B2B-Kunden. Angeboten werden Fotobücher, Fotoabzüge, Poster, Fotokalender, Karten, Wandbilder auf Alu und Acryl, Infotafeln sowie Fotogeschenke. Bereits vielfach ausgezeichnet, durfte ich mich nun selbst als Produkttester von der Qualität von Saal Digital überzeugen.

Ich entschied mich ein Wandbild auf Acryl zu testen, da ich Fotopräsentationen auf diese Art wegen der Tiefen- und Transparenzwirkung, der Fabbrillanz sowie des hochwertigen Präsentationsstils ohne störende Elemente wie Rahmen liebe. Damit das Bild entsprechende Wirkung entfaltet, habe ich es in der Größe 0,5cm x 50cm x 75cm drucken lassen.

Als Motiv wählte ich “Sailing on Lake Tahoe” aus meinem USA-Portfolio 2012.
Dieses Foto im Slim Aarons Stil (photographing attractive people, who were doing attractive things in attractive places) wirkt auf Acrylglas besonders gut und macht einen hochwertigen als auch zeitlosen Gallerie-Eindruck.

Die Abwicklung über saal-digital.de ist sehr gut durchdacht und einfach zu handhaben.
Das Druckhaus stellt zur optimalen Anpassung der Druckdatei ICC-Profile der jeweiligen Produkte (bei mir: Wandbild Acryl) für Photoshop und Indesign bereit. So ist es möglich vorab ein Farb-Proof durchzuführen, um das Druckergebnis zu simulieren. Die Übertragung des Bildes geschieht unkompliziert mit der Saal-Design-Software. Hier wird man von der Auswahl des Produktes, der Wandaufhängung, der Versand- und Gutscheinoptionen über die Qualitätsprüfung und Anpassung des Bildes bis hin zum Upload verständlich und transparent durch den gesamten Kaufprozess geführt.

Mein Bild habe ich Freitag abends hochgeladen und erhielt bereits Montag früh die Versandbestätigung. Den Auftrags- und Versandstatus kann man übrigens jederzeit via saal-digital.de abrufen.

Der Ersteindruck ist positiv und auch bei genauer Betrachtung ändert sich daran nicht viel.
Das Wandbild ist sauber gearbeitet ohne Fransen, Risse oder sonstige Beeinträchtigungen der Kanten oder Acrylfläche. Das 5 mm tiefe Acryl ist klar und sorgt in Kombination mit dem hochwertigen Direktdruck für eine wundervolle Tiefenwirkung und Farbbrillanz meines Lake Tahoe Motivs, das überwiegend in Blau-Cyan gehalten ist.
Als Aufhängung habe ich die Standard-Aufhängung gewählt, da diese nicht zu sehen ist, sich unkompliziert und schnell aufkleben lässt und das Wandbild damit einfach an die Wand gehängt werden kann. Saal Digital bietet aber noch weitere Aufhängungsvarianten.

 

Das Saal Digital Acryl-Wandbild hat sehr saubere und glatte Kanten

Das Saal Digital Acryl-Wandbild birgt eine prima Tiefenwirkung und Farbbrillanz dank glasklarem Acryl und hochwertigem Direktduck

Die optionale Standard-Aufhängung wird aufgeklebt

Acryl-Wandbilder machen sich super in zeitlosen Räumen mit hellen Wänden

Das Saal Digital Acryl-Wandbild entfaltet seine Tiefenwirkung und Farbbrillanz auch bei Halogenbeleuchtung

Dieses 50 cm x 75 cm Acryl-Wandbild mit Standard-Aufhängung beläuft sich auf 87,90 EUR zzgl. 5,95 EUR Versand. Damit liegt Saal Digital preislich im klassischen Bereich. Dank toller Aktionen und Gutscheine kann man hier aber auch noch preislich etwas rauskitzeln.

Für größere Formate empfehle ich 10mm dickes Acrylglas, da 5mm Tiefe bei Formaten größer diesem hier unter Umständen etwas Wölbung entstehen kann.

Abschließend lässt sich sagen, dass die Acryl-Wandbilder von saal-digital.de hochwertig und sauber verarbeitet sind und das klare Acrylglas in Verbindung mit dem Direktdruck eine tolle Farbbrillanz und Tiefenwirkung entfaltet. Weiterhin ist der Service prima und die Produktionszeit fix.

Probiert das Druckhaus Saal Digital für euer kommendes Wandbild, Fotobuch oder Fotoabzüge doch einfach mal aus. 🙂

2017 started in London

Hi everybody!

I wish all of you a happy 2017!
Hopefully you had a great and healthy start!

We had – in London! Fantastic!
Enjoy a few of our London impressions!

Tech info: I used the NIKON D700 and the Nikkor 24-70/2.8, in some cases with a Formatt ND Grad filter to raise the contrast and avoid a blazing white sky.

Both of us never where in London before and that made it a good trip. Flying by Lufthansa we checked in at the Holiday Inn near the business area and 2 kilometers away  from the Tower Bridge.
Sadly we didn’t get access to the bridge during the new years eve fireworks, but I read about good places to watch in the Daily News. Honestly we didn’t had a plan to watch the fireworks and where to eat, so we made random choices and – lost. Haha. Oh boy, we laughed so hard on our lack of plan. If starting that way into 2017 how should 2017 become and end? We didn’t know and we didn’t care. We had us both and our love. That’s what was important for us.

First and most important thing to do when arriving is to go to the super market and get some chips and Pepsi. Next is to get a delicious meal. The first evening we ate at an Indian restaurant – the Lahore One. Simple and authentic restaurant serving very tasty food!

On Friday we went cultural, visiting the British Museum, the Natural History Museum and the Photographers Gallery. The city was in a real hurry and when we entered Harrods I had enough for that day. Haha. We were the poor and exhausted ones and decided to have a good burger and live music at The Blues Kitchen. Luckily no table was free, we had to sit on the bar and here we met two barkeepers who both had worked in Germany for a while. I like it when people telling stories of their lives.

Well, on Saturday we started the day with a delicious breakfast and a guided city tour. I really love to explore places on my own, but if you don’t have that much time you better make a guided tour. And it was a interesting and funny tour. Our guide Barbara studied history and knew a lot and she knew how to tell stories in a mesmerizing way. Barbara also timed everything well so we were able to watch the changing of the guards in front of the Buckingham Palace.

 

New years eve came near and while taking a rest at the hotel we planned from where to watch the fireworks and where to eat. As I said, the places were random choices. So we ended up eating a better kebab in a Turkish restaurant. Really good and a very crowded place. A black family celebrated a birthday there and also Turkish people were celebrating and many other nations. It felt so good to know that there are places on earth where many nationalities and religions can have a meal together without hating each other.

The best spot to watch the fireworks in London is Greenwich Park/Hill – NOT! Haha! The police locked the park and on Greenwich Hill there were so many trees that we couldn’t really see anything. 7 minutes before midnight we decided to walk down to the River Thames. That was a better spot, but still too low and too far away to see the fireworks well. In general it seemed that London didn’t had that much fireworks going on. Disappointing.

While on our way back to the hotel we met a few guys celebrating in the Overground. Sadly we were too tired to follow their invitation to come with them to celebrate in the 29th floor.

Sunday was our last day and we made a last sightseeing visiting the Tower Bridge. And when the rain started we had a rest and meal at a quaint  restaurant, the Barrowboy and Banker’s having a typically British meal.

It still rained when we entered Heathrow Airport, but we were lucky it hadn’t rained the days before during our stay. With one hour delay our plane arrived at Frankfurt Airport and a icy weather welcomed us back home. 😉

What about your start into 2017?
Where have you celebrated and how?

 

Impressions of a Costa Brava Holiday – October 2016

Whooo, we’re back from Pineda de Mar, Costa Brava, Spain! Got some wonderful impressions of that area.
All images were shot with the crappy 1984 Nikon Nikkor 35-70, f/3.3-4.5 AI-S – although this lens is crap, it made good retro images in combination with my Nikon D700 and no one cared about it – perfect for travelling! 🙂

But back to our holidays: Julia and me had one week chill out at the beach with cosy temperatures around 25 °C, visiting cities, cycling and running, eating well, enjoying spa and being happy to relax and having fun. We stayed in Pineda de Mar at a hotel with the beach nearby. The railroad line separated the beach from the city. This railroad line along the coast really has its charm when travelling to Barcelona. You’re lucky if you can get a window seat and have a camera! The trip takes around one hour and that’s a lot of time to take experimental images out of the train’s window. 😉

Okay, less talk, more images. Well, here are a few impressions for you.

dsc_6143

On our way to the Airport FRA

dsc_6152

Cycling along the Coast using Google Maps. 🙂

dsc_6154

Blanes Castle

dsc_6161

 

dsc_6246

Cycling along the Coast, Pineda de Mar

Botanic Garden, Blanes

Botanic Garden, Blanes

Botanic Garden, Blanes

Botanic Garden, Blanes

dsc_6220

Aloe Vera, Botanic Garden, Blanes

dsc_6200 dsc_6202

dsc_6236

Relaxing at the Coast, Blanes

dsc_6244

A short Rest at the Beach, Blanes to Pineda de Mar

dsc_6234

 

Great architecture along the coast:dsc_6264 dsc_6265 dsc_6267 dsc_6269

dsc_6275

dsc_6294

Railroad Line, Pineda de Mar

dsc_6369

On a Train to Barcelona

dsc_6370

Rev up, On a Train to Barcelona

Sunset Beach. I really missed the surfers and wished to be at Huntington Beach, California that moment. 😉dsc_6272dsc_6276 dsc_6292

 

Impressions of Barcelonadsc_6374 dsc_6377 dsc_6380 dsc_6382 dsc_6386 dsc_6389 dsc_6390 dsc_6398 dsc_6400 dsc_6403 dsc_6410 dsc_6415 dsc_6418 dsc_6422 dsc_6427Unbelievable rush here! We didn’t understand the importance to visit the Familia Sagrada. 😛

dsc_6431 dsc_6433 dsc_6444That was worth 1,5 hours hiking! Barcelona overlook – Bunkers del Carmel.

dsc_6448 dsc_6453 dsc_6456 dsc_6466

On our way back to the hotel at Pineda de Mar:
dsc_6479 dsc_6483

Getting ready for our way back home. Really hard to pack after that short trip and nice impressions of this part of Spain as seeing cultural stuff, exploring different cities and areas per pedes and bike as running along the coast, laying on the beach and having great breakfast and diner at the hotel.

dsc_6491 dsc_6494

Hotel LED-TV View

Thanks Spain, was nice to be here again!

Sometimes Life Wants You To Change – My Year In Review

Hello and welcome to this years final blog post!

Well, it’s been a few months ago since my last post and I’ve missed some promised topics. I’m sorry for that, but there was a lot of change in my life this year. And so I want to give you a personal review of my 2012.

Sometimes life wants you to change in a dramatically way. Well, I’m fine – don’t have any kind of disease, luckily. But also “trivial” happenings can touch your mind and cause a change in thinking and acting.

Anyways, my change in life started in January when my girlfriend decided to break up our 11 year relationship. My whole world collapsed that final day in January and I lost the most lovely person in my life that always gave me the power and encouragement to go on through hard times and to realize my ideas and create new visions during all those years of our relationship – from school to apprenticeship to university education and the vision of getting a great job to feed a family. She was always my motivation and inspiration. Nevertheless we failed on our sorrows during the last year which was the most hardest time we went through …

Breaking fresh ground

After I’d lost the love of my life, I still wanted to realize the visions I had all those years, but couldn’t realize for lack of time because of my university education, yet.

Anyways the year began in a good manner. I got a photo assignment of a company that develops and produces technical wallpapers. They hired me to create new product photos and this was a great assignment. Also one of my motocross photos was published in a physics schoolbook of a notable German publisher. That really drove me in terms of commercial photography this year.

In February, Tina, a fellow student, invited me to shoot one of the games of her volleyball team. There I met Fiona and some other nice people which helped me to forget about the trouble of the past month. During spring I had a good time with all those people – no matter if we had barbecue in the garden or had board game parties, visited music events, went snowboarding or just hanging around and talk. I met interesting people and discovered new places and it was worth it.

Due to the snowboarding with Fiona I rediscovered skateboarding for myself. I just wanted to stay fit for snowboarding during the summer so I started to skate again at the age of 29. Well, the most people at home think that this is a silly idea, but it really helped me to get through that hard time of realizing that my girlfriend left me. I found some new kind of sense of life in skateboarding. It’s like music – it helps you to recharge and to strengthen your character and mind for upcoming tasks. And so skateboarding took a big part of my free time this year. And yeah, it brought me new friends, too. Meanwhile I’m loving to cruise through the streets, watching for new spots and coming home totally exhausted, noticing: “Yes, you are still alive!”

Me skateboarding again after canceling it 11 years ago

There was a point where I couldn’t live in our flat anymore because it reminded me of my broken relationship, so I decided to move away just for a few months. I moved to Giessen, the city where I studied and shared an apartment with five other people. I never shared a flat before with so many people so it was some kind of an adventure for me. Here I met Jan, an ambitious amateur photographer. We learned a lot from each other in terms of photography and talked nearly everyday many hours about photography and projects.

I also met another talented professional photographer this year – Kae Hall. She’s a wedding and portrait photographer from Alsfeld. For me she is the best wedding photographer in this area because she has an awesome clean, timeless and modern, bright style. She invited me to take part as a second photographer in a wedding reportage in June. This was the preparing for my first own wedding reportage of my friends Jessica and Timo. Maybe you’ve read last years November posting about my first Engagement Shoot with them. After that they asked me to make a photo reportage of their wedding near Hamburg in July. I accepted and was allowed to document a lovely and cheerful event. Thanks Timo and Jessica!

The Wedding of Timo and Jessica

While living in the shared flat in Giessen Tina told me that she and Fiona wanted to travel to New Zealand, Australia and Fiji. I thought that this would be a great idea to clear my mind from the separation. So I decided to come with them and booked a flight, too. But than I  was dubious about it and if I should spend so much money for this five month trip because my dream was always to travel the USA. I just was a bit anxious about traveling on my own, but accidentally I found an old acquaintance on the internet again – Doreen. I read Doreen’s blog and well, she was traveling on her own through South America. She gave me a lot of needful tips and finally I decided to cancel the New Zealand Trip with Tina and Fiona and booked my flight to the USA in late August to travel along the West Coast from Seattle, WA to Los Angeles, CA to Tijuana, MX.
I made thousands of images and they keep alive billions of impressions that I got during the journey. Here are just a very, very few ones:

The Dodge and me on our tour along the US west-coast

Seattle skyline

At Mt. Rainier, WA

Baywatch 😉

Spaceshuttle Endeavour – its last flight, Los Angeles, CA

I don’t know what to say – just WOW! That was the best travel I made so far! I rent a Dodge truck and drove along the coast through all the great cities like Seattle, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, made a short side trip to Lake Tahoe and went on to Los Angeles – I visited a Rodeo in Tacoma and Kurt Cobain’s House at Lake Washington, his memorial park in Aberdeen, Mount Rainier etc. etc. I visited lots of skate parks like the ones in Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Carlsbad and skate spots in San Francisco (thanks to Aaron Kyro), I met a lot of friendly and helpful people. When I stuck in the sand with my truck at Kaweah Beach ten men pulled my car out like it would be self-evident. I really love that country and will come back soon! 🙂
(BTW: If you want to know what camera gear I took with me: Nikon D3, Nikkor 70-200/2.8, Kenko 2x TC, Sigma 24-70/2.8, Tokina 11-16/2.8, SB-800 Speedlights, SU-800 Commander, SuperClamps, ND-Grad-Filters, Gels and a Toshiba Netbook. Everything fit perfectly into my Lowepro CompuTrekker AW. )

Well, beside all that there was also some sports and music band portraiture this year with the volleyball team of my friend Jessica and the band At Eaze.
Those projects were a lot of fun and I am glad they asked me to do the shootings. I did it with all my passion for photography. Thanks!

At Eaze 2012

Ladies’ Volleyball Team  Giessen 2012

After my USA trip I moved to Munich in November – leaving behind my old life on the countryside and finally forgetting about my broken 11 year relationship.
And here I am, living in Munich, Bavaria and starting a new stage of life – on my own, initially.

Home Sweet Home – leaving the countryside …

… moving to Munich, Bavaria

I’m looking forward to new photography projects here in Munich. There’s a lot to experience and many ways to express myself here in terms of photography.

This year showed me that there’s no time to mourn after somebody and believe that life is less livable. There are always people and ways that can help you to find new inspiration and happiness. Just do it! 😉

Well, that was my year in review. How was yours? Maybe you want to post a link to your blog or leave a comment!

Anyways, I wish all of you a great passing of 2012 and that all your good dreams and wishes will come true.

See you next year when I’ll present you my photography agenda of 2013.

Bye!
Chris

This was 2011!

Hi and welcome to my first blog post for 2012!

I hope you had great holidays!

So, what’s up? At the moment I’m working on my Bachelor Thesis in General Management. I will graduate in March, hopefully. 😉
Well, more about the prospects of 2012 in one of the upcoming blog posts …

Today let’s look back on my photographic aspects of 2011.

2011 I began with a new approach: “Going professional.”

In 2010 I already sold a lot of things that I wouldn’t need anymore. From the proceeds I bought photo gear. While the 4th quarter of 2010 paved the way for this approach, with new photo gear, methods and ideas, now it was time to put it into action.

Therefor I started my own flash photography project. This should help me to practice the usage of flash in the field.
I was almost obsessed by using flash and available light in the best way possible just to move on from that dull looking amateur photos – in order to create photos that have that professional clean look.  It’s bad, but I never really mind the light – until now. Like Dave Black says: “Light is the greatest influence.” And he’s absolutely right. It’s so obvious that light MUST be the greatest influence because photography means “drawing with light”! So why don’t we use the light to create awesome “light paintings”? This was the first thing I had to realize before I could go on.

I read lots of books and blogs of professional photographers all year and analyzed their photos. That help me to increase my knowledge while the regular shooting increased my practical skills. I learned the theory than went out into the field to practice until I got acceptable results. It was that easy, indeed.

 

SPORTS
I started my personal flash training with shooting sports. Therefor I asked the local sports clubs if it is possible to take pictures during the training. This also helped me to learn something about the planning of shoots and making arrangements. It was not always that easy to cover a training session or even a game. It needs so many permissions that it is really elaborating to establish a shoot. Often coaches are skeptical toward using flash because they think it could disturb the athletes. So, it needed some cogency to arrange a shoot. But it was worth the effort.
Finally, I shot several indoor and outdoor sports like swimming, motocross, track and field, handball, basketball and football during the year. My favorite sport was motocross. Since I went to the first motocross race with my uncle in 1989  I like it. It was always fun to watch it, but to shoot it was much better! As I shot it the first time and saw the results I was amazed! The results were awesome! I made a quantum leap from dull amateur pictures to high-quality professional images.

I also used professional off camera flash solutions and techniques to realize high-quality images in extreme dark gyms. This effort helped me to contrast from competitors once more. Now I’m ranking  a bit higher in the Mount Olympus of our local sports photographers. 😉

 

 

 

 

 

PHOTOJOURNALISM

Thanks to all these flash tips I got from the pros and the intense training, also my press photos became better. The coverage of the opening of the MUNA museum for example was just fun to cover. Shooting indoors with flash was suddenly easy-going!

 

 

 

 

 

In June the village in which I’m living was underwater because of heavy rainfalls and a dried out soil. When I woke up from a short breathing pause and glanced out of the window on that evening,I saw how the water had flood the meadows in front of our house. It also flood the households near the river. I grabbed the camera and covered this disaster. I sent the photos to the local newspaper immediately. Finally, the German Press Agency (dpa) bought them and the next day I found my photos in well known German newspapers and online magazines. On one hand a success for me, but on the other hand a flooded village. That’s life.

 

 

 

 
COMMERCIAL
Commercial photography was another very interesting thing I did in 2011.
I love the clean look of commercial images and wanted to know more tricks about commercial photography. My sports images had already a commercial look so I used these techniques to create car shots. I also searched the web for great car photographers. Studying their photos helped me to get similar results in my own style.

 

 

 

EDITORIAL and PORTRAITURE

I also acted in the field of editorial and portraiture in 2011. Well, I nearly got through every field of photography that I’m interested in. Portraiture was the most difficult. I tried many lighting setups and read Joe McNally’s Books that helped and inspired me a lot.
This portrait of a bassist was some kind of elaborating. I shot one flash through a window on the 2nd floor, another one through an umbrella from the camera left and a third one I used as contour light from the camera right. I gelled all flashes wit a CTO (except the contour light) to create a sunset look.

Another highlight was my first Engagement Shoot with Timo and Jessica in November. They asked me if I could take nice pictures of them for their marriage invitation cards. And so I did.
They wanted the shoot to be in the nature, so I looked for nice places around our house and found some. For the whole shoot I used flash and 300mm to 600mm lenses to create a smooth background that doesn’t distract from the couple. With a fresh and bright style the images looked great for an invitation card of a happy event like a marriage.

 

 

 

CONCERT

Okay, now we are coming toward the end of my 2011 flash experience. Concerts. At Eaze hired me to cover one of its shows in October. I know the band since 2008 and covered a lot of their shows, so I had the possibility to use flash for the coverage. This wasn’t my first try to use flash in a concert, but it was the first one with an professional approach. Off camera flash helped me to keep the disturbing low, to create clean images and to reveal important subjects like the drummer and the audience. At Eaze loved the results and that’s so much honor. Thanks.

 

 

 

NATURE

From August to September I shot Ospreys at the reservoir and this was the only field of photography where I didn’t use flash. But I will. It’s an elaborating project for this year. I will also use remote cameras to capture unique moments of wildlife. This project will be hilarious – I’m sure.
I went several times to the reservoir nearby to capture Ospreys while they are hunting fish. The problem was: A focal length of 600mm was much to short to get close-ups. Well, seems like I have to rent a larger lens next time – maybe 800mm and use it with a teleconverter. However, the hours at the reservoir were the most extensive photography moments of 2011. I loved the silence and the opportunity to watch some kind of wildlife that people around don’t really notice. Local nature has plenty to offer you just have to look for it. Also photos of mushrooms in the wood can look professional if using fill flash.

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, I learned a lot about using flash and creating interesting scenes and therefor created fantastic images. I learned to use the light because “Light is the greatest influence.”. And I learned that if you want to learn something about photography you better ask the pros. Forums are a great thing to exchange experiences, but you should never use a forum to learn photography. Ask the pros, buy their books, go to professional workshops and practice what you have learned! That’s the best way.

Well, this was my review of 2011. A year of flash photography. A year with a professional approach. A year with much better images than the years before. A year of personal success in terms of photography. So, let’s see what we can do for 2012. 🙂

I wish all of you the best for 2012!

Bye!
Chris