Challenge accepted – Food Photography

I love cooking, so I was pretty happy about Torsten’s suggestion to challenge each other in Food-Photography. Unfortunately there is almost no time for cooking in my life, because working und studying troubles me a lot. So I decided to shoot pictures of that kind of food I nearly eat every day and arrange it in a nice way.

I live in colonge, but I grew up in an area called „Ruhrpott“. This area is famous for its coal-mining during the last century. It´s full of people you would call simple workers, but I would say it´s a place where you can find people with a unique mentality, sometimes a bit rough, but always with a heart for what they are doing.

However… This place is also famous for a fast-food-delicacy called „Currywurst / Pommes“, which means a sausage swimming in a curry sauce with french fries. And you better eat it with mayonnaise on top.

So that should be my subject to shoot. Without any experience in Food-Photography and without any lighting-equipment at home I tried to get the best results. So I grabbed my coffetable, positioned it next to a window and arranged the food. I noticed pretty fast how difficult this challenge is and I struggled with my subject to get it into a good position and place some fresh and healthy looking stuff around it (What’s the lemon doing there? I don´t know). The longer I shot that thing I took more and more of that stuff out of my scene till there were no decorations left. You can see the evolution of the shot in the images I posted here. I think for the beginning I did a good job, but I do not want to dive deeper into this genre.

After my shoot I ate my subject. The food was already cold, but guess what… still delicious! Mhhh….

Sick and uninspired… in Madeira

When I thought about where to go for holiday this year, Madeira was not my favorite destination, but there was no time to organize a road trip. I remembered so many people and friends (including Torsten) who told me that Madeira is a wonderful place to be. Well… what should I say? I am not that impressed.

Don’t get me wrong, but somehow this holidays did not work out for me. Unfortunately I was getting ill after we arrived on the island, laying in bed for 2 days, too weak to do anything but resting. After I felt better my wife got the same symptoms, so she was resting for the next 2 days. The first week we nearly did not see anything of the island. After we both recovered we started to explore Madeira by car and the second week we felt good enough try some hiking-trails. But after that 2 weeks I was glad to get back home.

What went wrong? Maybe it was just the wrong time of the year, but the only thing that really satisfied me was hiking. It is pretty nice to walk through nature, but if there is nothing else, I start to get bored.
And that’s it. What I missed was some kind of authentic atmosphere in the towns and cities, but everything looks like made for the tourists. Even the Capital Funchal was not very exciting. I was wondering where do all the locals go to, but I did not find out.

I think that’s why I am not very happy with the pictures I have taken there, because all I found were the touristic hotspots where everyone is going to. So here are some examples and I am pretty sure that Torsten got the same kind of picture when he was there last year. Proof me wrong, Torsten. Time to compare!

Something I nearly repressed

In photography I´m always looking forward, trying to push myself to get better results. The consequence is that older pictures get kicked out of my portfolio. I keep them hidden on one of my hard-drives, but hardly looked at them again.

Torsten asked for my first photos that leave its mark in my photography, so here is the story and the pictures:

I bought my first camera in 2009. It was a Nikon D80 with an aweful kit-lens with a range of 18-55mm. There is really not much you can do with it, but as a beginner I started experimenting with aperture and shutterspeed. At that time I was a Photoshop nerd, so I post-processed most of these images to death. High saturated, oversharpened and somtimes with the use of grunge-textures. Nowadays I´m not shure what I tried to express. Nothing special I think, just developing my skills.

In 2009 I traveled to Croatia and from there I did daytrips to Slovenia, Trieste and Venice. That was a wonderful opportunity to proof that camera. Here are some pictures of Venice I worked on.

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.

Architecture is boring!

Don´t get me wrong. Architecture is pretty exciting. Since I´ve dived deeper into the Bauhaus-era I get a new feeling for Design and the conception of buildings. There is so much to study about, it really enlightens my mind. And if you see impressive buildings nowadays it´s always awesome to see what architects are able to create.

Nevertheless if there is a topic in photography I am hardly interested in then it´s architeture-photography. A building can look amazing, but it´s an static object. You can move around or maybe get a look inside, but the sweetspots are always the same. If you try landscape-photography you can walk through the landscape and see how it changes. If you try studio-photography you can shoot objects in different contexts and if you try street-photography it´s always about that special moment to capture. But a building is a building and the possibilities are pretty limited. I think that´s why architecture-photography always – and I mean always – looks the same. Everyone takes the same picture. From a higher or lower angle, maybe with a different focal length or different focuspoint, but it´s always the same damn picture. And these pictures generate interest just because of the buildingconcept and not because of the photographers skills. That´s why I think architecure-photography is pretty boring.

But maybe I´m wrong. If you know someone who really takes extraordinary architectural pictures leave me a comment or write me a mail. I haven´t found one yet.

In my photography-course I had to take architecural photos, so I went to the artmuseum in Bonn. It was build in 1992 by the architects Dietrich Bangert, Bernd Jansen, Stefan Scholz and Axel Schultes. The modern geometric stucture is international style. That´s why I tried to capture these strict lines and geometric shapes.

I´m sadisfied with what I got, but I don´t think that I found a new perspective. Decide yourself. Here is what I got.

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.

The beauty of black and white… and negative space

When I mentioned that I hate colors I didn´t mean that colors are useless in any way. There are a lot of wonderful colored photos out there. But when I review my own pictures I almost never see colors in them. That´s how my mind works. Even when I press the shutter, the world through the lenses exists in contrasts. So that´s why my pictures are mostly black and white, but I also appreciate people like Torsten, who have the ability to create extraordinary pictures in colors, but I know I am not a part that group.

Besides the black-and-white-photography I really like negative space. So here are some older examples that I want to share with you. I chose the Coney Island picture as an answer to Torsten’s last post. Funfairs can also look great desaturated.

Stormtrooping II.

Being envious about Torsten’s Stormtrooper-photoshoot I decided to publish my own Photoshooting with a 4-inch-Skywalker-action-figure. This picture was made for my photography-course to practice aperture and focal length. Luckily when I arrived at the Rhein to take the picture of little-Luke in front of the famous panoramic view of Cologne the sun was already gone, so that I got very atmospheric photos.

I hate colors, so everything I publish is black and white, but this is an exception. These pictures are probably the only ones you will ever see in my work that are coloured. So enjoy!

A new creative space – new possibilities

„A photograph is a moral decision taken in one eighth of a second.“

This quote by Salman Rushdie describes best our point of view in the development of our photography. Taking a picture is always a subjective expression on how we see the world around us.

As photography entusiasts we desided to start a new creative Blog for sharing our ideas, thoughts and projects in photography.

We have been creative for almost 20 years now, mostly by making shortfilms, but during the years both of us developed an interest in photography as a creative outlet. Sascha – as a media professional – is keenly interested in capturing his spectacular travel experiences in very few images, that tell stories of cultures and people. His images are mainly in glorious black and white and pull the viewer into them, asking for more. Torsten’s interests include animal and people portraiture, landscape and citiscapes. He puts his images in more context to tell the stories of his subjects.

With this blog we want work together again creatively, challenge ourselves and invite others to their take on the world around us as well.