This is a hand held shot from a little camera test ride through Kiel. Since quite a while I’ve been looking for a small, lightweight, and weather sealed camera that performs well in the high ISO department. The idea is to have a little companion to take night images anywhere without carrying a tripod and heavy lenses. Since more than 8 years I used the Canon 5D Mark II and since the last couple months I used Steffi’s 5D Mark IV. That makes almost a decade of full-frame bliss and a good workout every time I go on a nightly city exploration. I never thought I would go back to a smaller APS-C sized sensor until I noticed what the Fujifilm X Pro 2 is capable of. I might write a larger and nerdier comparison post later. For now I’ll cut a long story short by saying that I can take these kinds of photos now with a camera I barely notice when it’s on me. I don’t know, maybe that’s a useful hint for those of you who do similar stuff and are still carrying big camera bags around.
If there is one thing I have learned from the first ten months with my gallery, it’s the fact that people from Kiel love to see (and buy) pictures of Kiel. Challenge accepted! Here are the first three which I’m printing these days.
Got myself a drone this week. After realizing how extremely simple it is to fly these things I just couldn’t resist anymore. I also realized that flying a drone in your good old home town has a special charm to it. It’s fun to freely move around and enjoy all sorts of views after you have been bound to the few perspectives those streets had to offer.
What can I say? I started to come across images of Burg Eltz years ago and kept being astonished every time I saw it somewhere online. I was thinking that I would travel there one day where ever that might be. Now I finally made it. Guess what…it’s an hour drive from my parents’ house.
My knowledge of local history is so extensive that it’s scary sometimes 😀 Here is some more information.
I’ve always found it hard to find interesting subjects or compositions in German cities. To me personally America is still one of the places most inviting to dive into photography. All those fruits and problems of unleashed capitalism and individualism make it tempting for a German small-town guy to explore and get lost. The US offers a good balance between ‘easy’ and ‘interesting’: the culture is western and familiar while most things are a little off in German eyes – which seems to cause a constant tickle in those brain regions that process little weirdnesses.
Anyway, back to Germany. Unless this is exactly what you are trying to capture, Germany is too tamed and regulated to show an interesting surface to the brain-tickle-spoiled random walking camera man.
It must be the fact that everything is so extremely in order and taken care of. When roaming German streets it becomes visually evident that efficiency, practicality and conformity rules the German mind. That’s all fine, but how do you take stills that tell interesting stories or set a certain mood in such streets?
One way could be to deliberately misinterpret the things you see and turn them into something mysterious. Maybe I will try this more often. Is this artistic or a survival strategy? Is it a Burning Man withdrawal symptom, or is spending your evening with a phone booth the next step to insanity? Whatever it is, it can be fun. Fun as long as you manage to deal with the lurking German eyes behind the window curtains that keep hiding every time you look up.