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.
I still love shooting with my iPhone and while the camera of this little piece of technology get's better and better, i enjoy mobile photography more and more. It's not only great for capturing memories but also for serious photography when I don't have a big camera with me.
My Instagram-stream became something like a social diary with highlights of my year. I've been on as many hikes as never before, was on trips to shoot photos for ZEISS and Mercedes and went to Mallorca to take promotional photos for a german musician.
I still use VSCOCam for processing most of the time but also got hooked with RNIFilms. Some time ago, i even bought proper lenses to go onto the iPhone from Moment. So far i only own the wide angle lens but i like it so much that i will definitively give the 60mm a go too!
For 2016 i decided to use my Instagram account not only for my mobile photography but also for my other shots, just like i use Flickr. It seems like the days where Instagram was a mobile-only network are gone and i feel like i'm missing out on sharing and discussing in this big community. So it'll be best, if you simply follow me 😉
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.
It's been nearly two years since I shot those photos but i still feel like they're worth showing. I shot them in New Zealand, in the area of Rotorua. It's a little town based on a big lake that we tried to drive around as far as possible (basically until we were in the middle of the woods and rising night got us a little scared). But Rotorua has more. It's got a Maori Village, wonderful landscapes and i really loved that awesome breakfast at the "Fat Dog".
After not really being able to shoot many photos during this year, i'm really looking forward to the beginning of next year. In the middle of January we'll be off to New Zealand again. This time for about 6 weeks and we've got many things planned so this will be the time for some new pictures!
Although those photos are already over a year old, I felt like it's worth posting them (as well as some other unpublished New Zealand photos). This is again a "traveling to..." post. Most of you have anyways seen the famous places in New Zealand on other photos. What really took my attention was driving to those locations on endless highways and through changing Landscapes. My girlfriend had to stop many times while we where taking this 5-hour-ride from Queenstown to Milford Sound because I was so fascinated by what I saw out of the car window. Sometimes, i even just snapped photos right out of the car 😉 As we got closer to Milford Sound, the landscapes changed more and more from open fields to big mountains disappearing in the clouds with curvy streets. Looking at those photos really makes me wanna be on the street again. Lately it feels like i'm spending all my time in my office, processing wedding photos. So i guess i have to try to get out a bit more to show you guys new stuff!
Traveling became a big part of my life. Not only am i traveling a lot between my new hometown and my family but also I started discovering the area around Stuttgart, the place I live. The national park called "Black Forest" contains many different shapes and views and i love traveling and exploring the mountains, forests and lakes. My Fuji X100s does a really great job when it comes to document all those travels and all the things i see and think are worth capturing.
May The Tempest is a pretty new metalcore band based in Munich. They asked me to shoot photos so they can set up a website, facebook page and everything a modern band needs ;-). I had a great time with these funny guys and althought it was freezing cold, they didn't complain a single time!
Maybe you remember my blog-entry about Glenorchy? Not only that little town was blowing my mind but also the surrounding area. The drive from Queenstown to Glenorchy is filled wit great views, mountains, a big lake and a lot of wind! Basically you can stop every 10 meters, get out of the car and have new stunning view. If you're very adventurous, you can drive through Glenorchy and further into the mountains, mostly over gravel roads. You will cross a giant dried out river and a forest that's very well known as "The Forest of Middle Earth" from the "Lord of the Rings" movies. And at the end of all that, there is a sign, saying "Paradise". A village with about 3 houses. Paradise's population definitely has more horses than people and if you drive further, your at then end. Simply at the end. No more roads, you can't go any further. You see a few sheep behind a fence but that's it. Well done, New Zealand.