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!

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.

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On our way to the Airport FRA

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Cycling along the Coast using Google Maps. 🙂

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Blanes Castle

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Cycling along the Coast, Pineda de Mar

Botanic Garden, Blanes

Botanic Garden, Blanes

Botanic Garden, Blanes

Botanic Garden, Blanes

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Aloe Vera, Botanic Garden, Blanes

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Relaxing at the Coast, Blanes

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

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Great architecture along the coast:dsc_6264 dsc_6265 dsc_6267 dsc_6269

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Railroad Line, Pineda de Mar

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On a Train to Barcelona

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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.

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

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Hotel LED-TV View

Thanks Spain, was nice to be here again!