This year I escaped most of german's winter while being in New Zealand. When I got back, snow was bascially completely gone. In March I met up with Florian Wenzel, an amazing photographer living close by and we explored some areas in the Black Forest. While driving up higher and higher into the mountains, we were quite surprised about how much snow we still found. Walking through the forest was pretty exhausting sometimes because we didn't wanna stick to the paths but it was worth it. We ended our trip on a place called "Hornisgrinde". I've been there a few times and it's a nice plateau on the top of a mountain with a beautiful view. This time it's been a proper ice-desert.
All those photos are taken on the Fuji X100s
All of those photos are shot on a Sony a7rII and ZEISS Loxia 21mm, 35mm & 50mm
As a born and bred Waikato kid, my beach of preference has always been Raglan. The laid-back atmosphere of the town and the wild, usually empty beaches provide an escape from the stresses of everyday life, and is only 35 minutes drive from Hamilton. But since we went to Raglan several times on our last trip (see here), I thought we could try a different West coast beach, and so we ended up at Kawhia. The road to Kawhia is a stunning combination of native forest and rolling hills with the coast on the horizon, and we stopped many times to admire the view.
Like Raglan, the ocean beach at Kawhia has sooty black sand, caused by molten lava from the nearby volcanoes hitting the water and shattering into billions of fragments. It’s magnetic, so be careful of your cameras and phones! The rough black sand gives the beach a natural, untamed look; it’s a whole different experience to those pristine white powder beaches that are overcrowded with tourists baking in the sun.
The beach is also thermal, meaning that if you dig a hole in certain places, hot water bubbles up through the sand. We saw plenty of people digging their own hot tubs on the beach, but in the 30 degree heat we were more interested in cooling off in the waves instead.
After a few hours exploring, we were getting hungry. For some reason, all of the places in Kawhia that sell fish and chips seemed to be closed. A friendly resident saw us wandering up and down and asked if we were looking for somewhere to eat. He pointed us to the Kawhia Hotel that does takeaway fish and chips that are “the best in town”. We ate them next to the wharf with the seagulls circling hungrily, a delicious end to a perfect day trip.
At the beginning of 2015, I wrote an article in a german photography online-magazine about how and why i use manual focus. I turned out that ZEISS read that article and they contacted me a few days later. They asked me if I would be interested in doing some photos and texts for them with some lenses they would send me. Who would say no to that? I ended up with the Distagon 25mm 2.0, Apo Sonar 135mm 2.0 and the Otus 85mm 1.4.
For about a month I took these lenses with me everywhere i went together with my Planar 50m 1.4. I tried to deliver as much variety as possible and as much bokeh as possible 'cause I guess that's what they wanted. I took trip to the Black Forest, areas in Switzerland and France and just walks in my hometown. On many of those photos you'll see my girlfriend but also Luke was with me for a few days. He studies photography in Leeds and contacted me over the internet to ask, if he could join me on a few trips. So he came over and visited me.
They must have been pretty happy with a few of those photos as they used them for their brochures and in photography magazines to advertise their lenses, which is a great reference for me now. Also i have to say that i'm more of a fanboy now. I always imagined ZEISS as a pretty old and conservative company but the contacts I made there were so nice and open for all ideas that i brought to them. It was great working with these guys.
I did a few very simple portraits with my girlfriend. My goal was to try some new lighting and processing-techniques and keep everything as simple as possible. All these shots were done with only one speedlight and one reflector. Some people asked me about the sharpness already, it was done with my Photoshop action "Sandbox Painterly Sharpness", the trick was just that i used it two times! Thanks a lot to my girlfriend for the trust and perfect execution of these portraits.
Jeannine Wilkerling is three times german champion in Pole Dance Artistic and runs several schools for Pole Dance Artistic. A few days ago i got asked to shoot her portraits. She wanted authentic and natural portraits of herself with the typical light and style of my people-photos. Although it's been a pretty cloudy day and the sun only came out for a few minutes, i was able to create some nice results by using just a silver reflector. The make-up and assistance was done by Anna Kammermeier.
Lately when i come home, i'm always welcomed by the sound of a cello.
This is what the Fuji X100s is made for and what i bought it for! I left my big DSLR at home when i left the house to wander around with my girlfriend. The light was cool and the location was unexpected and also cool (and of course, there was this beautiful lady with me 😉 ). Good thing there was this small, lightweight, really powerful and useful tool in my pocket. ALWAYS! So i took out the camera and started playing around and snapping photos and stuff. It would have been a shame if didn’t have any camera with me at this moment. After testing it for a few weeks, i really got curious about the other, “big” Fuji cameras and lenses. I hope that I can maybe find a way to get my hands on them for testing purposes.
One of the most difficult things for a photographer is (imho) still to produce great photos with no big concept and just simplicity. So i practise it over and over again because it's extremely useful in many situations i find myself in. The room we had for this shooting was like a giant reflector. It had light coming in from two sides and many white walls and even a white, reflecting floor. So the photos turned out to have beautiful soft light and Lisa just did the perfect job to add that special kind of mood to the shooting.
Maybe you remember this series from about a year ago. This one is pretty similar and even with the same Model! Again, the only light here came from the light-chains that i bought at Ikea. They were brighter than expected and it was interesting, to rely completely on this kind of available light. I hope, you guys like it as much as the series from last year 🙂
The original plan was to capture some mountains in the fog but we couldn't find the right place and there wasn't enough fog but my girlfriend and i found this awesome windpark near Stuttgart and so she had to model for me anyways! 🙂