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.
Haven’t we all taken a shot like this? Specially if we like black and white photography. Stairways shot from above provide lines, structure and … boredom. Lets face it.
Anyway, lately I decided to take my Monochrom more often for a walk. After all you only take photos if you also have a camera with you . Yes, I know, we all have a cellphone and therefore alway have a camera with us but lets face it…. I prefere shooting with a “real” camera. Don’t get me wrong, you can take great pictures with a phone, but when taking pictures, it just doesn’t feel the same.
But let me get back to the shot here. The stairway is at my office and I had the Zeiss 50mm f1.5 lens on my monochrom and was just fooling around, taking random shot to get back into the practice of rangefinder photography and manual exposure when this gentleman entered the stairway and did me the favor of braking the boredom of the lines.
Not a great shot, but at least an interesting one.
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.
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
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…
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?
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 🙂
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 🙂