Category Archives: Black & White

Tranquility

Tranquility. Relaxation. Meditation.

No matter how you call it, if you would ask somebody what is essential, when you try to achieve it, most would probably say that you need to be at a quiet place, so you can listen into yourself. And you would probably be  right about it. Silence does help, when you try to relax and be one with yourself.

However, I found something else that helps me to calm my mind. It’s water. It doesn’t matter if it is the sound of water dripping from leaves, the sound of waves at a beach or the murmuring sound of a little river. I simply sit down, listen to it and feelhow my breath and heart are slowing down. It’s almost like magic. and I love it☺

And so it is probably not surprising, that I sometimes like to take long exposure shots, as it almost always involves water and time. Loug exposure photography is a very slow process after all.

The shot abovehas been taken at the Foroglio watefall in Switzerland on a very cold morning. But despite the cold it was a very pleasant, relaxating experience.

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The photography bug didn’t leave

So for those of you who wondered why the blog got so quiet lately, it is not because I lost the photography bug or felt off the edge of the world. It is simply that I was very busy and the photos I have taken in the last couple of months were pictures of family and friends. And I hope you understand that I don’t put these on the internet 🙂

But now you can cheer up, I have a couple of days off and I plan to spend them going to the sunny southern part of Switzerland and spend them taking pictures. Lots of pictures. And if the bug is still in my blood, there might even be some worth showing off 🙂

So, I wish you all a nice time, lots of laughters and a good time!

Oh, and for those who wonder where this lovely mountain is located – Just head over to Switzerland and then visit the small village of Wildhaus. A marvelous place of earth and an area I used to live for a couple of years.

the lovely village of Wildhaus, located in Toggenburg, Switzerland
the lovely village of Wildhaus, located in Toggenburg, Switzerland

 

Passes are open!

Oh joy, oh joy!

It’s June, and this means only one thing. I get on the motorbike and drive to the heart of Switzerland, where all the beautiful passes are strung together like pearls on a string.

You can start with Susten, then cross the Grimsel, head down the Vallais to the Nufenenpass which will bring you to the italian side of Switzerland. There you stop for a nice Capuchino and if you feel like it, you head south to the Lago maggiore and visit Locarno. I’m sure, you’ll find some nice spot by the lake to have yummy ice cream and then you head back north, using the old cobble stone road over the Gotthard and if you feel like adding one more pass on your way home, you simply add the Klausenpass. Although, this is a road I only recommend if you’re not afraid of heights….

It will be a very nice day and you will see some stunning landscapes on your way, not to mention beautiful roads that make your head go dizzy. It is basically a 500 kilometer roller coaster ride. Ideally you don’t go during summer holiday season and not on the weekend, that gives you empty roads (and fewer speed checking police officers).

Unless of course, mother nature decides to throw a few rocks down a hill and block the road as it happened to me last weekend. But hey, it was a nice ride never the less, even if I could not add all pearls to the string 🙂

Clouds over Klausenpass
Clouds over Klausenpass

Back to school

Turning back time ….

Going back to the “good old times”, making all these memories come back and see them turn from memories to reality. Wouldn’t that be nice? I don’t know what time you would pick if you’d happen to stumble across a time machine, but for many, it would be back to university. That great time in our life, when we were no longer a teenager but also not yet grown up with tons of responsibilities. It was the time we felt it would be totally possible to conquer the world and change it, it was the time when we, beyond the shadow of doubt, were sure that our dreams would come true.

Now, I haven’t found a time machine yet, but thanks to a good friend I visited the university of Zürich and spent a bit of time there, soaking in the atmosphere and reviving that feeling of being back to school. I was there in the evening after work and the halls were rather empty, missing the bustling life that probably fills them during the day. On the other hand, nothing distracted from the grandeur of these old walls and there were still enough people sticking around adding a human touch to the white walls.

Later in the evening I left the building and went to the square where you have a very nice view over Zürich and found the students, having a bit of a party and hanging out. Just like we did it the old days. Some things probably never change. Although, when I was in school, there was always someone around playing the guitar. Or is that one of these deceiving memories as well?

Oh, you wonder what time I would visit if I had a time machine? Hey, I’ve read my Calvin an Hobbes. I would of course visit the dinosaurs! And on my way there I would probably do a short stop to shake hand and have a coffee with an old Gentleman in Germany

I watched the guy for a while, wondering what he was watching or who he was waiting for
I watched the guy for a while, wondering what he was watching or who he was waiting for
The building is huge and I was quite glad having a person in the frame, helping to see the massive size of the stair
The building is huge and I was quite glad having a person in the frame, helping to see the massive size of the stair
I think i might start to like architecture, if I continue to discover these nice shapes :)
I think i might start to like architecture, if I continue to discover these nice shapes 🙂

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? 🙂

It’s time to go south

It’s been a long winter, a winter with a nice amount of snow. And although the days are sunny now, it is still below freezing in the morning and it somehow feels as if Spring is just teasing.

The clouds yesterday promised a change in the weather and I think I’m gonna travel with them. I’ll go south, where the air is warmer, Spring has arrived and people speak french.

I feel like I deserve a nice glass of red wine, some baguette, fine french food and the smells and windy streets of La Provence.

So, stay tuned for a few pictures and impressions of southern France, captured in black and white as you know, 2015 is the year of black and white photography for me 🙂

Lake Zürich, Leica Monochrom, 24mm and red filter
Lake Zürich, Leica Monochrom, 24mm and red filter

Where the Snow Queen lives

Many of us have heard of her. Either through fairy tales or by watching a Disney movie. The queen with the cold heart, who turns the world into ice and covers it in snow, a woman of such cold beauty that no man can resist her once he has tasted her pale white kiss.. What ever she touches freezes and she is watching it with a cold, icy smile. You know who I’m talking about, It is her, the Ice Queen.

Last weekend I went into the mountains, hoping for some sun, but was instead greeted by a world hiding in white fog. I ventured on never the less, after all, I wanted to stretch my legs a bit too. It was a quiet walk, nothing but the sound of my boots in the cold frozen snow could be heard. Although I knew I was alone, I somehow felt watched. I even at some point thought I hear a woman laugh, a sound that sent chills down my spine as it was a cold sound, like Ice shattering a frozen lake.

A cold wind had started to blow, making my ears hurt and I wished, I would have remembered to bring a warm cap with me. I thought the sun would melt the fog, but I was wrong, it even seemed the world got colder with each step. The wind carried the laughter to my ears again, a cold chilling sound that made me feel cold from inside.

The track turned around a bend and, across a clearing, I could see the trees, standing tall and frozen. The woman laughed again and despite the coldness of it, it taunted me to get closer. I watched the fog move across the trees towards me, slowly, at a steady pace and I heard the trees crackle as it covered them making them freeze and I suddenly realized who was hiding in the fog, coming slowly towards me.

I turned and walked back the way I came from, hearing her whispers behind me, feeling her cold embrace as she hugged me and made my ears freeze. I walked quickly, only looking back once I reached my car. I heard the laughter again, chilling and haunting. Maybe my eyes tricked me, but, as the fog withdrew, I thought, that only for a moment I saw a glimpse of her, her white skin and the icy blue eyes as she looked back at me with a smile that made my heart freeze in fear and longing.

I know where she lives, just don’t ask me where this is. it’s better ifyou don’t know it, trust me.