There’s something about Madeira

There was a lot for me to unpack when I read and saw Sascha’s post last week. I was wondering how he could not like Madeira as much as I had and naturally assumed that he had done something wrong. What could that be? Having been ill might have been part of that and would naturally bias someone against an experience. Then again, I lost twothousand euros worth of camera equipment there (into a ravine – I won’t go into the hows and whys of that here) and though that sent me down a phase of depression for a couple of days, I liked the island just as much.

Another aspect was how different our experiences were. My friend and I were there for only a week and we did a lot of roadtripping along the meandering cliff-roads, went on whale-watching trips and Saskia went canyoning while I explored Funchal. All in all I guess we spent very different days there and that – for me – gives an idea of how varied the possible experiences are on Madeira. I thoroughly enjoyed the clouds and the weather, the sun and the driving-around. I do agree that Funchal will not make it into my top 50 of cities, probably not even the top 100, I just don’t think about it that much, apart from the cable-car up the mountain. But as we saw such different things and because I lost a whole day of nature images because of gravity and a healthy dose of clumsiness, my selection looks decidedly different and are mainly shot on a 50mm prime lens, the only one I had left and not the worst, I might say.

My main goal was to shoot nature, especially whales, and I did not lose my telephoto lens, but that is a project I will pursue more in the future. So here are some shots from Funchal and our main roadtrip and I think that they are quite different from Sascha’s, simply for the reason that we did not hike as much and thus got very different imagery. I made them black and white, cause I felt like it and because I wanted to renew my take on Madeira as the images have sat here for three quarters of a year.

I hope you enjoy them!

Oh, and before I forget. I know we are both busy at the moment, but how about a fine art/abstract image of food?

rewind to the past

This post is about the first time I took photos for the sake of photography, that is to say the first time I thought of pictures as more than snapshots. I realized I wanted to take pictures of places and people two years before, when I first went to Africa, but I did not have a camera back then and only bought it some months before I was set to return to Tanzania. As I went on a short holiday in Wiltshire for summer college at Marlborough, I brought my brand new Olympus Pen EPL 2 with its 14-42 (equiv. 28-84mm on full-frame). 

Wiltshire is a wonderful county that showcases the typical landscape of Great Britain, rather rural, small towns with their parish churches and patches of farmland, whimsically cut up by hedges. Inside all of that there are spectacular and unique remnants of the past scattered all around. Apart from the old towns, you can find the Avebury Henge and Stonehenge, both being UNESCO World Heritage sites. Moreover, there is a functional Roman Bath in the aptly called town of Bath. 2012 saw a stunning summer with golden light every day and that holiday still is one of my favourites.

In terms of photography, I took my first pictures and some of the first that I really liked. It’s hard to be sure, though. One’s own pictures are always infused with the emotions you experienced back then, so that it’s hard to be objective. An acquaintance of mine asked me recently if starting out with photography was hard, meaning that in the beginning almost no one produces one’s best work. I think that I was lucky that my holiday there made it easy to take nice shots, but you be the judge.

Enjoy!

p.s. hey Sascha, why not share some of your favourites from the past that made you follow through with photography?

Absence of life

Landscape-Photography is something I really appreciate, especially when nature shows its raw character. Landscapes can look very unique.

What affects me most are pictures that seem to threaten you, because of the unreal landscapes that look like from another planet. You won´t believe that life is possible there. That always fascinates me and somtimes I would like to put a human being into the picture to get a surrealistic component into it. But when you are standing in the middle of nowhere it´s hard to find someone who would do that for you.

These pictures I have taken a few years ago in Namibia, Vietnam and Jordan.

My favorite subjetct

This time I have only one picture to share. In his last post Torsten asked me what is my favorite subject to shoot. It´s easy to answer: People! Or more specific: Street-Portraiture.

I like shooting people in a raw and authentic style as they are, but I always have to overcome my fears to talk to strangers and ask them for taking their picture. Although nobody ever rejects me, it´s always an exciting situation and sometimes I lost the chance of getting the picture when I start thinking about what to tell them. So now I try to force myself to stop thinking and just start shooting.

The people I´m interested in are those who are living a differend kind of life or besides society. I do not judge anyone, but sometimes I think, if I do not get their picture, maybe no one will ever know that they exist or what kind of problems they might have.

I met the guy in the picture in Los Angeles while I was travelling along the West Coast. We got eyecontact and when he saw my camera, he asked me to take his picture. So I positioned him in front of a garage and he started posing. He might be a drug addict or just a strange guy. I had no chance to know more about his background, because as soon as I took 3 or 4 pictures he went away. I really liked that guy, but probaly I will never see him again.

I think the real subject of this picture is the prejudice. You see a black guy with a gun pointing at you. But when you look closer you will see that he is holding a toygun in his hand. Things are not always what you expect. And if you follow the „Black-Lives-Matter“- Compaign you will get the point. That´s why this is my personal favorite photo I have ever taken.