A healthy response

That was quite a junk-food massacre last week and the rosemary did not save it a bit. Still it made me order a burger with fries, so go figure.

But still, Sascha and I had a short conversation about our food habits over deluxe Lebanese food in gentrified Hamburg-Ottensen. Over lamb-chops and turkey filled with fig-paste we arrived at the conclusion that even though we both like to cook we lead lives filled with convenience food and … probably guilt.

So this weekend I unearthed an old idea of mine (and millions of others), i.e. to pre-cook some healthy stuff for a couple of days over the weekend. After going to the supermarket where I decided on pasta for the weekend and pumpkin-carrot-ginger-soup for the week, I put everything on my kitchen table. Looking at it I thought it was the perfect response to Currywurst Pommes Mayo and I arranged it in the style of a classic still-image. So everything you see there is already digested or in the process of it (actually the last pot with soup is on the stove while I write.

I put an old black piece of cloth on a rack for the background and arranged the rest of the shopping with leading lines in mind, the „payoff“ for the lines being the pumpkin of course. My kitchen has a north-facing window, so there was a lot of soft light coming in from camera-right and almost no bounce from camera left. I shot this with my 35mm 1.8 and my 50mm 1.8 lens handheld even though it was getting a bit dark. (Over)processing was done in photoshop, just to darken the shadows and some 3D-Luts for filter effects.

btw:

1kg of carrots, 1 small pumpkin, one red pepper, one chili, one green onion, 500g of small potatoes, 4-6 cups of vegetable stock, one handful of ginger, salt, pepper, curry to taste. Fry the onions and the vegetables in olive oil until glazed, fill up with stock and potatoes. Cook for 45′ or until all the vegetables are very soft. Purée until the desired texture is reached. Season to taste. If you like add sour cream.

Enjoy!


the power of portraits

This post is really late. I was sick for a couple of days, so I didn’t have the peace of mind to write up a post – that is also, why this one is short and also contains only one image.

I agree with Sascha, shooting images of people is really the greatest thing to do with a camera. It is also the most threatening in a way. If you misrepresent a landscape, the grass and trees, rivers and mountains won’t be mad at you. It’s hard to be unflattering to something that has no agency, feelings or emotions itself.

If I take pictures of people, I feel a special responsibility. I want to capture a part of their personality – are they funny, serious, optimistic or grumpy in a way that speaks in a positive way about them. It does not have to be flattering in an aesthetic way, but the picture has to be representative of one aspect of the person, ideally – to me – one, that they think is representative of themselves, too.

I started with street portraits in Tanzania, for reasons I might tell you about later, and did some street photography portraiture, mainly of street musicians, because they are already public. Last year I began to set-up a small pop-up home studio with a backgrounds, speedlights and light-modifiers. I really like that situation, because one the one hand you can control every aspect of the light and on the other hand you can connect to the model with some intensity (and a coffee on the side).

This one was done for a co-worker who is a classically trained singer. What I really like is that it tells a great story of him as a person and of him in a stage-personality. It’s from my first studio-session ever, and still one of my favourites.