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

 

 

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. 🙂

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