My journey into photography began with this blog and of course it has sentimental value for me. Nevertheless I have decided to close this blog. I will not delete it, but there won’t be any further updates to it in the future. Don’t worry though, you can still follow my work on my other blog. I have had two blogs for quite a while and with time it became too much of a headache to keep them both updated. In the end it caused a lot of confusion as well and of course we don’t want that! So, if you are interested in following my work, please do so over here:
All pictures taken with: Olympus Pen E-PL3 and Panasonic Lumix 20mm f/1.7 ASPH.
On Friday I travelled from San Sebastian back to Berlin. Honestly, it was a journey from hell. I was supposed to land at Tegel airport, but just as we were approaching Berlin the pilot made an announcement that Tegel was closed due to an emergency landing. We were being diverted to Schönefeld airport which is in the far south of Berlin, at the other end of town. I already saw myself trying to figure out trains and wondered whether I should take a cab from somewhere, so that I wouldn’t have to deal with luggage on the subway. However, I was being rather optimistic there. It turned out that Schönefeld airport just didn’t have enough ground crew to deal with all those extra planes from Tegel. For one hour they couldn’t even get stairs to the plane to let us get off. The planes to the left and right from ours were in the same predicament. My thoughts of trains and cabs inevitably shifted to the evacuation slide. Finally after one hour the pilot made another announcement. Apparently the best solution would be to refuel and fly to Tegel after all, because it would take at least another 1 1/2 hours to get us off the plane, not even thinking about luggage or transportation to Tegel yet. The announcement caused quite a bit of laughter. Imagine your plane lands at an airport and nobody comes to let you out! It’s almost like a rather absurd hostage situation. Ironically for safety reasons refuelling is only permitted with the stairs in place, so after half an hour escape seemed finally possible. However, since there was nobody there to handle the luggage or even let us into the seemingly abandoned airport building, we were stuck anyway.
The whole situation was somewhat ridiculous and surreal, especially since the only food I had left was half a raw courgette meant to go with my dinner that apparently was still ages away. Then finally …
“We welcome you to our flight from Berlin Schönefeld to Berlin Tegel. [-applause-] The flight-time will be approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Please switch off your electronic devices now …”
[-20 minutes later-]
“… We are delighted to FINALLY have managed to bring you to your destination [-applause-] … and thank you for your patience.”
In Tegel it was the fastest I ever got my luggage – it was basically already waiting for me when I entered the building – but of course that couldn’t make up for lost time. And just as my thoughts started to revolve around cabs instead of the courgette one big problem manifested itself. There were no cabs and the queue for getting one looked about half an hour long. Swearing I made my way to the bus stop and waited another 15 minutes, while pondering why the 10°C lower temperature in Berlin seemed like it was approaching freezing. By now my mood was rather subterranean and the [expletive deleted] guy eating a kebab on the bus while my stomach was grumbling definitely didn’t help matters, even though I would never eat kebab! Ah, believe me, there is no more appropriate way of arriving in Berlin than hearing a youth shouting Turkish insults into his mobile phone for 10 minutes followed by having someone else stink up the bus with kebab and then finally watching this same person drop something on the floor and eating it anyway.
Another 20 minutes later I finally arrived at the bus stop near my house. You can’t imagine how very long a 10 minute walk can stretch when you’re absolutely exhausted and have to drag two suitcases behind you while you’re freezing off your bum. The first thing I did when I came home was to sit down on the sofa with a big sigh. And that’s exactly where I stayed for the next hour or so, because I just couldn’t face the thought of getting up on my feet again. At around 12pm I finally managed to drag myself to the kitchen to prepare some dinner and soon later I devoured a chicken leg with … dun dun dunnn … half a roasted courgette.
Well, the silliest part of the story is probably that the plane that had caused my journey to take 13 hours instead of 9 or 10 actually had no apparent fault at all. There had been smoke in the cockpit, which is why the emergency landing happened, but when the firefighters arrived, it was gone. They checked with heat sensors, but apparently there was no problem whatsoever.
You see, this is a story of absolute and utter incompetence, which one nowadays can easily associate with Berlin’s airports after the disastrously failed attempt to open a new one last year – with some luck it might open 2015, but at some point I also heard talk of possibly tearing it down again because of its dismal fire safety arrangements. Oh the irony! Not without cause one of the stewardesses joked during one of the many announcements that we must have landed at the yet to be finished airport instead of Schönefeld.
Ah, Berlin, it’s good to be home. (Translation: “I think it’s time to move.”)
PS: No, your eyes are not deceiving you, these pictures are actually in colour [Space for sufficiently exasperated gasps here]! In my defence, although it might seem rather out of character, this Stalkeresque display actually strikes me as a rather appropriate fit for this surreal experience.
All pictures taken with: Olympus Pen E-PL3 and Panasonic Lumix 20mm f/1.7 ASPH.
To me San Sebastian smells like sand and sunscreen, and it tastes like paraguayo peaches. Before coming to San Sebastian I never had these before, but ever since I had them here I also encountered them in Germany. They are definitely my favourite fruit at the moment. San Sebastian also has lots of seafood to offer and the tastiest vegetables ever. Speaking of vegetables, do you know how I learned the Spanish word for pumpkin? Well, I bought something that looked and smelled like sliced melon. It wasn’t melon though, which I figured out after biting into it. Raw pumpkin? Yuk!
This was probably taken at the station Zoologischer Garten. I had to think for a while, so maybe I should put that information into my Lightroom catalog. I have developed a rather convenient workflow in Lightroom, but I guess tagging the pictures doesn’t feature in it. I need to change that I guess.
Taken on the subway.
Not sure why the people are holding on while sitting down. Maybe the conductor didn’t seem trustworthy.
I like the boy on the right and the grumpy looking one in the background. I guess in this you can see that the autofocus isn’t always doing what I want when I’m shooting from the hip. Maybe I should try the automatic focussing point selection instead of using center point focussing. In the past it felt like it was only working reliably with the kit lens. I haven’t tried it with shooting from the hip though.
All pictures taken with my Canon EOS 450D and my Canon EF 50mm f/1.4.
Although we went outside yesterday I didn’t take my camera with me. We were going grocery shopping and it would have been just too heavy to take it along. However, of course I edited some pictures in the morning, which has become my daily morning routine. I’m also happy with my drawing progress, since I spent 2 hours drawing yesterday. Over time I’m hoping to increase my drawing time as well, but for now that’s all the concentration I could muster. My daily engagement with art and photography is so far going really quite well. I haven’t missed a day and it’s extremely enjoyable to do in any case. The longer I do it, the more I know that this is how I want to spend my days: with creative things.
I like how the woman on the left seems to be trying to steal the kids pretzel.
Here I like the kid to the far right.
And this is one example where shooting from the hip allowed me to get really close.
All pictures taken with my Canon EOS 450D and my Canon EF 35mm f/2.0.
After editing pictures in the morning I had to go out to do some grocery shopping. Like most chores it’s something I find rather annoying. The people having a slow walk in the aisles, the terrible light, the ad announcements, the supermarket music (luckily not in our supermarket), the queues. In Germany it’s also too efficient and I always have problems keeping up with the cashier to even put the groceries back in the trolley, let alone even packing them in a bag. While I’m still busy trying to put everything in the trolley they usually already want me to pay and impatiently tap their fingers when I’m not quick enough. And I’m not even talking about the issue of utter and complete boredom!
To battle the latter I took my camera with me yesterday. Slowly I’m getting the hang of shooting from the hip. I still screw up some of the pictures, but now in most cases I get the framing just about right.
Since I had to get up early today I didn’t manage to get enough drawing done, only one hour instead of my planned two. It’s something though and slowly I’m working my way through the schedule. Just another 3 hour session and I’m done with the first schedule. It’s going a little slower than I hoped, but I’m making progress either way.
About 2 1/2 months ago I started a new diet. It’s not one of those weight loss diets that you might suspect, no it’s actually a diet that is designed to get my health back. I have celiac disease and I’m one of the quite common cases where the glutenfree diet just doesn’t seem to work at all. Well, now I’m trying the specific carbohydrate diet, which is even more restrictive, but seems to have much better chances of actually helping me. After this short time I already feel much better, I go out more and my symptoms have improved quite a bit. It’s not all shiny yet – healing with this diet may take years -, but the diet seems to already work better for me than the gluten free diet.
On the first day when I was having a bowl of greasy chicken soup with carrots – I don’t like carrots – I actually started to cry. The thought of eating like this depressed me terribly. Bland, boring, tons of meat. It was the opposite of how I was eating! I probably waited 2 weeks after finding the diet before actually trying it, just because it all seemed so daunting! Giving up all those gluten free treats and pasta? Terrible thought! And still, in the end I did it, because I was just feeling that bad.
After 2 1/2 months I actually realise that I much prefer the style of eating to my previous gluten free diet. The gf diet always felt really unhealthy, because I was having a really high carb version of it with too much pasta and sweets. Now I actually eat much less sweet stuff and I really like it. Greasy chicken? Yum, I even leave the skin in the soup! And then I also realised that there is still tons of nice food that I can eat! Today I made banana pancakes for breakfast – healthy since it’s just banana and egg – and later some apple almond muffins. Well, the muffins are obviously less healthy, because they involve quite a bit of honey, but they were absolutely delicious! Even my man liked them and he doesn’t follow the diet himself.
I’m also discovering all these nice ways to eat meat, so I’m actually enjoying this a lot lately. Just now we had some pork chops with apple sauce for dinner. Greasy? Yes, but so delicious! And by now I also know that greasy is actually good for me – if you eat less carbs you have to eat more fats, that’s what the logic of this diet dictates. Yes, at the beginning this diet was really tough and I cried. I just didn’t know that I’d actually eat nicer food than before!
You can quite possibly expect a few more food pictures these days. After all I’m much more focused on food these days and on top of things the weather outside is just miserable! Rain, rain and more rain!
This is the entrance to a housing estate with lots of smaller backyards. There seems to be only one way in and out, and all the people you meet greet you, since nobody would end up there by chance. I just happened to be walking around doing my usual thing of walking into random backyards and so ended up walking behind them when one of them turned to the other.