The secret society

Most people don’t know about it as it is not a very well known fact. Actually, its a rather well kept secret. Mostly, because if people knew about it, they would not understand it, it might even cause great harm to the members of the society. After all, it is less than 250 years since the last member of the society has been publicly executed. To the public, they don’t exist. Well, there are of course tales about them, but if you ask people on the streets of Zürich if they have heard of them or believe in what they practice, you’ll get a puzzled look and if you insist, people will probably look at you as if you’ve lost your mind.

After all, nobody believes in magic these days and to insist that magic exists and is practiced within our city is puts you on the doorsteps of Burghölzli, Zürich’s infamous asylum. And yet, the little signs are there, if you walk the city with open eyes. People who remain dry when it’s raining. Or the old woman you watch on a full moon night, who vanishes the moment you look away and the only living being you see crossing the moonlight street is a black cat.

Though sometimes, they drop their guard and can be caught practicing their art. Either, when they think they are alone and nobody will see them or when they get incautious while playing with their kids. Needless to say they don’t like being caught and more than one person has vanished from the face of the planet after having seen things she or he was not supposed to see. After all, they are a secret society and the really prefer keeping it that way.

I think you might now understand my surprise when I caught this magician practicing his telekinesis spell. At a first glance, it looked as if he would, like anybody else, give the person on the swing a push, but a closer look revealed, he actually never touched the swing! Don’t ask me, how he did it, but boy, did he make that swing fly! As you can see, he didn’t use a magic wand to practice his art (so much about that, Harry Potter) nor did he whisper mysterious words. He was simply standing there, his hands pointing a the swing and made it swing so violently that I was afraid the chain holding the seat might brake and make his friend fly across the place.

To witness such an even and even more, being able to take a photo is an event that is rather unheard of and I consider myself being lucky to have done it. Or maybe not so much, should he ever find out I saw it and am crazy enough to show it to the world…

Sunsets in black and white?!

“I’m gonna shoot a sunset in black and white”

“You’re gonna do what?!”

Yeah, I know, sunsets are not a typical subject for black and white photography. And neither am I too fond of climbing up on high towers. Not that I would be afraid of heights. Not me, now way. I just don’t like these stairs, Ok? Can we please change topic?

Thank you.

So, shooting sunset’s in black and white is a rather pointless thing one might think. After all, sunsets are all about these beautiful colors, fireworks in the sky, and a good sunset looks like a LSD trip. Not that I would know how THAT looks like, trust me. That’s the reason why I didn’t bring the Monochrom with me when I went to the Albis Pass a couple of weeks ago to look if I could get a nice sunset.

So I hiked to the tower and climbed it. When I was on top, I realized it would be dark once I had to climb down. I checked in my camera bag and guess who forgot the flashlight at home? Right . I know, the best way to get rid of your fears is to face them, but that was getting ridiculous. I mean, hypothetically. Not that I would be afraid of heights. But we’ve been there, so lets continue, shall we?

The evening was rather cold and the despite the few clouds that were there, the sky didn’t light up as much as I hoped. The view from the tower is actually quite nice, but to my disappointment, isn’t ideal for sunset photos as there is not really a good foreground to the west. It might be a better location for sunrise in winter when the sun will rise at the far end of lake Zurich.

South of the pass is a small lake, Lake Aegeri if I’m not mistaken.  On a clear day, you can have a lovely view of the mountains surrounding Lucerne just behind that small lake. Waiting for the sun to get lower, I enjoyed the view in the company of two puppets somebody had left on the tower. You know, I’m really not afraid of heights, its just the stairs leading up I don’t dig. For a few minutes, the low sun created some faint god rays that were barely visible but I took a shot, hoping I would be able to intensify them a bit in postprocessing.

Turns out, you actually can shoot sunsets in black and white :)

Sunset in black and white? Sure, why not
Sunset in black and white? Sure, why not
Little puppets keeping me company. Isn't it a lovely hug? :)
Little puppets keeping me company. Isn’t it a lovely hug? :)

The old tree

The old tree looked at the metal structure that slowly rose next to the place he was living and sighed. He had been here for many years, not as long as the mountains that surrounded him but long enough that even the oldest of the people who lived nearby only remembered him as an old tree. The tree of course remembered how they arrived many many years ago, first only a few and how they only stayed for the warm summer months, but then they stayed for the winter as well. He watched them cut down his neighbors, old friends and family members to build the structures they lived in until the forrest was gone and he was the only tree standing and sometimes he wondered ,why they had not cut him down as well.

He didn’t mind the little people gather old branches that fell off like old hair and carry them to the houses, but one day, when he watched a small group of men approach him with saws and axes, his heart sank. They came closer, looking up at him and discussed, as the old tree told himself that maybe, it would not be so bad to meet his old friends and family soon again. To it’s amazement, one of the men started to climb up his body and out to his many arms and started to cut away those old aching branches that hurt so much when the cold winter winds howled from the icy mountains.

And so, over the years, the little men and the tree became something similar to a family with children playing in his shadows at day and lovers whispering words about eternal love at night as they kissed and he spread the branches and leaves to keep them dry when rain started to fall.


He watched them change the wold around him, houses grew and roads started to cover the hills like cobwebs, one after another, connecting the houses to each other and the outside world. It amazed him how these little beings were able do all this, first slowly, as men worked using only the strength of their arms and little tools, but soon they invented machines and they changed the land like children playing in the sand. He sighed again. He definitely preferred the gentle, slow way mother nature changed the world.

While he had been pondering what happened to the world around him, the metal structure had been built and now it was as tall as him if not taller, a slim metal tree with cold steel cables connecting it to it’s neighbors. In a strange way it was majestic, but it was also without life, as everything the little men had built. The old tree tried to talk to it, after all, it looked like a tree and maybe they could become friends but the metal tree never answered. The old tree sighed. Sometimes he felt very lonely, being the only tree standing.


Then, one day, a wind swept across the land from the mountains. It was the warm wind from the south, the old tree new it well, as it always liked how the wind played with his leaves. Sometimes the wind was a very strong, rough wind and the tree had to dig his roots firmly into the ground, but this day it was a gentle wind, playing with his leaves like a lover plays with his dearest soft hair. The leaves rustled in the wind, giggling and chattering like little children.

The old tree suddenly got aware of a sound he had never heard before. It was a soft humming sound, faintly first but as the wind grew stronger, it changed and to the old trees amazement, the cables hanging from the metal tree started to sing. He listened to them and as a sudden gust made all his leaves laugh loud, the cables answered with a deep, humming sound. The wind chimed in, adding his howling voice and the sounds filled the night as the old tree and the power lines slowly began to learn each others language. As the sun rose, the wind ebbed, retreating to the mountains heights it came from and the world was silent until birds welcomed the new day.

The old tree looked at the metal structure that stood cold and silently next to him and smiled lightly. He knew the wind would raise again soon and he and the cables would sing again and he would listen to the stories they would tell him.

Welcome back Spring!

I know, I intended to shoot only black and white this year. But I admit, I just couldn’t resist taking a few colorful shots of Spring. I tried in black and white, and I’m sure I’ll get some good black and white springy shots eventually, but right now I simply wanted to capture the beauty of Spring :)

Blue sky, warm sunshine, pretty white flowers and yes, Jack is back :) Maybe he will introduce me to his new family again this year, we’ll see.

Jack, checking if everything is tidy and nice. I know I will have to do a bit of cleaning to get his approval...
Jack, checking if everything is tidy and nice. I know I will have to do a bit of cleaning to get his approval…
Flowers! No clue what kind, but they are pretty and that's all I ask for :)
Flowers! No clue what kind, but they are pretty and that’s all I ask for :)
Just a few more weeks and we will be able to jump into the water again! Of course, with some screaming, shivering and goosebumps, but hey, it's well worth it!
Just a few more weeks and we will be able to jump into the water again! Of course, with some screaming, shivering and goosebumps, but hey, it’s well worth it!

Kids Parade at Sechseleuten

Sometimes I love these public events, specially the ones that are not hugely crowded. Here in Zürich we have two major events, the first one is Sechseleuten, where we burn a snow man to officially welcome Spring and the other one is the Streetparade, which is sort of a ravers mardi gras in summer.

However, with the Sechseleuten event, there is also a smaller parade on Sunday, which for kids to do an official parade in historic costumes and feel important.

Here are a few shots from the event, enjoy! All shots were taken with the Leica Monochom, which is of course the perfect camera for a colorful event like this one :)

Leica Monochrom, Philipp Weimer, Streetpixels
A jester, making huge bubbles for the kids. Bubbles!!


Leica Monochrom, Philipp Weimer
Up on Lindenplatz, I found this Blacksmith, making bells. Of course I tried not to interfere with his hammer :)
Leica Monochrom, Philipp Weimer
I really wonder what she was telling her friend :)


Leica Monochrom, Philipp Weimer
The moment he realized he lost his lucky charm was way more important than the parade :)


no parade is complete without a brassmand :)
no parade is complete without a brassmand :)


Leica Monochrom, Philipp Weimer
I know chinese dragons are not typically Swiss, but who cares if they have fun?


Leica Monochrom, Philipp Weimer
Proudly representing her organisation. Very proudly, and very beautifully
Leica Monochrom, Philipp Weimer
Don’t worry, I managed to dodge the drum :)


Du pain, du vin…

I don’t know what it is about french bread that is so special. But only very few breads beat the taste of a fresh Baguette. Add some cheese, a bit of parma ham and I’m a very happy camper. So, when you visit France, take your time to visit a local bakery. Step inside, inhale deeply and I bet the smell will put a smile on your face.

Should you not feel like getting some fresh bread, just have a look at the other counter and you will find some creamy sweet delights that will melt on your tongue. And if these don’t put a smile on your face, you’re probably dead :)

I guess by now you can imagine the joy I felt when I discovered this little marvel here. And it was right next to a lovely cheese shop and the butcher wasn’t far away either. Life got even better when I saw the sandwiches they had prepared. They were just perfect, so I skipped the trip to the little cheese shop and the butcher. Which maybe was a mistake…

Hmmm… maybe i’ll have to go back :)

Tales of a little car

The bike opened it’s sleepy eyes when the garage door opened late in the evening. It blinked, the headlights of the car were terribly bright. The bike was just ending it’s hibernation cycle and as you can probably well imagine, it wasn’t pleased by being awaken by big bright lights shining at it’s face. It took a long look at the car that was about to roll into the garage. It was a small red convertible and it had a bit smile on it’s face as it looked at the big bike.

“I’ve done it”, the little red car said proudly.

“You’ve done what?” the big bike asked, still a bit grumpy for being pulled so rudely from it’s hibernation sleep.

“I’ve been on a big tour. You know like the one’s you’ve been with him. It was so cool!

“Oh you were? Where have you been? I’m sorry that I didn’t see you leave, I was sleeping.” The big bike remembering its tours it had been with the man, yawned once more, but the news that its little friend had been on a tour chased the sleep from his system. It always loved to hear about foreign places.

The little care admiring the view. It had never ever been so far away!
The little care admiring the view. It had never ever been so far away!

“We were all the way to the South you know? The sun was shining and it was already getting warm, so I had the roof down all day and it was really beautiful, with palm trees and colorful houses and there was a lake, a lake so big you couldn’t see the shore on the other side!”

The big bike chuckled. “It’s called the sea you know. And yes, it is really huge. Just don’t go into it, the waster is salty and before you know you’re all rusty. So the South you say. You were in Italy?”

The car shook its head. “No, when he talked on the phone about where he was, he called the place Provence. He said he’s in France now.”

The bike nodded slowly. “Ah, I’ve heard from this place. I’ve never been there, but some of my ancestors have bee there with him. It’s a nice place, isn’t it. They told of small bendy roads and how much fun they had. How was it?”

The little car’s headlights shone with excitement. “Oh it was so much fun! Those roads are really cool, going up and down, left and right like crazy. We even played a bit with a bike and he really let me go like wheeeee! but then we ran into traffic and he let the bike pass.” The little care was all excited as it remembered how it was chased by the bike and how much fun it had been to zip around the corners as fast as it could.

The big bike listened and smiled, remembering the times when it had been chasing cars. “So you liked it? The pesky little french cars didn’t scare you?”

The little red car grinned. “Naw, you know, I’m a mean little car myself. And you know, I even speak a little bit french now, beep beep!”

They both laughed and the little car kept talking of the journey, it told of the pretty villages, how it saw the first trees start to blossom and how nice it was to feel the warm Spring air in it’s face.

“You know, it’s a shame you were not with us, you would have loved it.”, the little red car said, it’s voice finally getting sleepy.

“Maybe another time, when it is a little bit warmer and I don’t have to drive back through snow like you had to on the way home. You know how much I hate snow.”

The little car smiled, remembering how glad it was it still had snow tires mounted as it felt asleep, dreaming of the big journey it had just done.

The big bike watched it with a smile and then inhaled deeply. Yes. The air smelled like Spring. It stretched it’s legs and yawned. Yes, Spring was around the corner but it sure could not hurt to get a bit more sleep. Just a few more days and then  Winter would finally be over.

Pont du Gard, I finally managed to visit it!
Pont du Gard, I finally managed to visit it!
In Summer, there will be a yellow corn field here, i'm sure
In Summer, there will be a yellow corn field here, i’m sure
Lonely tree
Lonely tree by the sea
Lonely seagull
Lonely seagull… can you spot it? :)

Pictures and thoughts from someone exploring photography


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