Life

2016 December In Pictures

So this is it – not just another month flown by but another year. Both people around me as well as people online have been saying – albeit in more elaborate words – “good riddance to 2016“. Every time I heard or read that, I was thinking that it hadn’t been that bad for me, really. Considering my life as a middle class European and the fact that I don’t live in a war zone, I think complaining about what I have would feel like complaining about the price of champagne.

Having said that, we all have our baggage to carry, and it’s always subjective how we feel about that. Personally, I’ve been complaining about being uninspired regarding photography almost all through 2016. This last month, though, I’ve picked up my camera more often, and I’m having fun taking pictures again, and I feel like I’m no longer down in the dumps there.

Not so pleasant for me is the fact that I’ve been feeling a very big psychological strain this past year due to absolutely horrible neighbours. This one is more difficult to solve than my photography blues, as finding adequate living space has become quite difficult here with more demand for than supply of apartments. I also feel like I’ve been paralysed in the situation instead of being more proactive with regards to moving, because I have lived and felt at home in my place for a very long time. Now I feel no longer comfortable in my own home, and I’ve finally woken up to the fact that if I don’t get a move on (pun intended) and help myself by doing all I can to find a new place, I’ll be stuck here. So fingers crossed.

Here’s my personal recap of 2016, which despite being frustrated about the above mentioned things did also bring wonderful experiences:

  • my friend E left the country early in 2016 – far from wonderful, but we’ve been FaceTiming, which makes every chat special;
  • another friend & colleague whom I basically saw almost every day had a baby and is on parental leave – when we see each other now, that time is even more precious;
  • I did a few photo collaborations with Ines from imonnet, which was both fun and challenging;
  • I made a new friend who has a let’s do it mentality, to which I owe many, many fun (photography) outings in 2016;
  • I traveled to the UK, my favourite place;
  • I met up with Laura from eljaygee while in London, a definite highlight;
  • I rang in the New Year with the same people as the past 2 years, which is a valuable kind of continuity of our friendship.

I don’t really have any resolutions for this new year except to try as best I can, and not to write such lengthy (and personal) novels for my posts, which should really be concentrating on the pictures.

And here’s my selection for 2016.

Happy New Year everyone, and much fun & success in your own photographic & personal endeavours in 2017!

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2016-xmas

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Season’s Greetings

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Life

Visit To London, Pt. I

After leaving York last week, I took a train down to London, where I spent another three days. There’s obviously a vast difference between the two cities; while York can be explored in 3 days you can likely spend three days in one area of London and still not have seen everything.

Luckily I had a little help. I had seen one of Helen Ogbourn‘s London pics on Instagram and asked her where exactly it was taken. So I went to South Kensington on my first day out, then went on to Canary Wharf, and from there to Greenwich on Mike Osborn‘s suggestion. Thank you both for your suggestions – I had a lovely day out!
I also walked from my hotel in Bethnal Green to Brick Lane in Shoreditch, and on to Spitalfields, which was an interesting trip with all the food establishments along the way as well as the graffiti I encountered.

On day two I finally met Laura, whom I was supposed to meet last year but technology had kept us apart. This time we made a time and meeting point, and we managed to find each other at the Southbank. We’d only known each other from commenting on our respective blogs, so it was quite exciting to see whether we’d get along in person. I’m happy to say we did, and I had the best day out in a very long time. With Laura being a native Londoner, I had the privilege of having my own personal tour guide.

We spent the day walking from Waterloo Bridge towards London Bridge, and while I’ve been complaining here for a while about being uninspired – well, that flew right out the window. I brought back an abundance of pictures, and I was really content with 90 % of them, which is a rare occurrence for me these days.

Here’s part one of my pictures, a mixture of graffiti, architecture, reflections, and lines.

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Trip To York

The other week I visited England, starting with three days in York. I found York to be a beautiful city with lots of old brick buildings, which I love. Everything I wanted to see was very close to my hotel, and I walked the city several times, to take pictures, go for breakfast and lunch, and to shop.

When I returned home I found I’d taken more mobile phone pics than DSLR ones, so the majority of pictures shown here are unfortunately phone pics. I say unfortunately because while they look great on a phone, they’re definitely not made for the bigger screen.

I really enjoyed my time in York and am planning on visiting during summer next time.

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2016 {Half Of} November In Pictures

As you can gather from the post title, for the first time in four years I didn’t take enough pictures to pick 30 for the monthly review. Usually it’s either cutting it close and taking a pic or two on the last day of the month, or having an overabundance of pics that make it hard to choose. But this is a new low for me.

Motivation-wise the month was split – for the first half I tried out a lot of things that were new to me, like using a tripod with a 90º coloumn, trying out darker photography, trying new angles (in food photography). Most of this was inspired by a wonderful photographer I’ve been in contact with for the past couple of years – Rachel Korinek from twolovesstudio.com .

At the same time I heard from several photographers that they felt uninspired and didn’t take many pictures in the past months. I could also relate to that.

Then in the second half of November I got upset by this reblogging thing again; don’t worry I’m not going to rant here as well, I’m over that. But earlier this week someone actually stole a complete post from my food blog, and asking them nicely to remove the post showed no result. So another very helpful photographer suggested to write a post on it and do some naming & shaming, which I did. I think in the end, though, I’ll have to file a DMCA notice. I just can’t abide people who create a blog just to steal from someone else, and for their very first post, too. It’s just a matter of principle for me, I’m going to fight this.

But as you probably can imagine, this whole episode leaves me with no joy for blogging, at least at the moment. I’ll be going on vacation this weekend, and I’ll just try to have more happy thoughts.

I’m still burning for photography, though, even if I don’t have enough material for this month; I took a lot of pictures but they were of very similar things, so I will have to diversify my subjects next month. Which hopefully said vacation will help with.

And on this maudlin note – see you in a bit!

 

 

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First Sunday Of Advent

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2016 October In Pictures

Most of October I was looking forward to yesterday’s Halloween party. When the day finally arrived, it turned out to be the real highlight of this month. Fantastic costumes, scaring people and getting scared, and so much fun and laughter.

Aside from that, half of October surprised us with the most beautiful weather, some of my balcony plants survived until almost the end of the month, and I had fun cooking again, which hadn’t been the case for a while.

Photography-wise I still took a lot of plant pictures but I’m sure – or at least hope – that will change now. I’m still looking into architectural photography courses but haven’t found the one for me yet.

One thing that I’m hoping to get back to is exploring my own city. I really, really miss my friend E – who moved back to the US in February – because she was the one I went on excursions with, and together we explored our city. There is still so much to see, which strangely I had to be reminded of by Instagram, where I’m following several accounts about Stuttgart and found myself quite in awe to see what’s out there that I haven’t been aware of.

How was your October?

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2016 September In Pictures

Welcome to not only the end of another month but also the end of summer. I know I often say this, but this month seemed to fly past even faster than the previous ones to me. I was aware I’d been shooting lots of flowers – albeit with a purpose – but even though I knew I’d be needing more than flowers for this monthly overview, somehow my mind kept telling me that I’ve got lots of time yet.

When I looked at the date yesterday, I wanted to shout WHAT!? HOW!? Suddenly I was looking around me wild-eyed to see if I could get a picture out of nothing and nowhere. In the end, though, I decided to make do with what I already had. It turns out I quite like this month’s mix.

Apart from photography, my September was very relaxing, mostly due to my two week vacation and the fantastic weather we had. I also went out with friends more than I did before, which was nice for a change.

Now I’m looking forward to my photography crop in October, the month of harvest. Fingers crossed.

How was your September?

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2016 August In Pictures

August. Hopefully next year people won’t complain that we didn’t have a proper summer in 2016… For me, personally, it was way too hot. Over 30°C for two weeks showed me once again that I prefer varied weather to a heatwave, and that I appreciate the occasional rainfall in summer. Still, it was great to see everything blooming on my balcony, to sit out there until after midnight to cool down a little and watch shooting stars.

I really did get my butt off the couch this month, went out to the weekly street food market, shopping with friends, having breakfast out, and going to BBQs, visiting my parents’ garden and enjoying the harvest – nothing better than vegetables fresh from the garden.

How was your August?

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2016 July In Pictures

Welcome to the month in pictures. What a multi-faceted month, and not just weather-wise. We’ve had many heavy rainfalls in July, but we’ve had equally hot days, too, which made people complain. I’ll take the heat over rain any day, thank you very much.

My friend E from Dubai visited, so we hung out together; we had our annual company picnic, which was good fun; I ventured into the city for breakfast a few times, which I love; I went to my parents’ garden for the first time this year, which provided me with lots of pics; I completed another photo collaboration; and I found people willing to be photographed, which means I’ll have to get my people photography act up to speed.

How was your July?

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2016 June In Pictures

The year has reached its halfway mark, just as my level of personal discontent seems to have reached its peak. When there are things in every aspect of your life that you’d like to change, you tend to want to change everything at once. Naturally you have to prioritize and be patient. So I’ll try patience.

Looking back, I’ve been very impatient with my lack of motivation photography-wise these past six months as well, as I’m sure you’ve noticed in my often negative musings here. However, I’ve had so much fun getting (most of) my motivation back this past month that I’m trying to project this progress onto the other areas of my life and keeping my fingers crossed that everything there, too, will all work out for the best.

Let’s hope for the good weather to continue in July, for motivation, and for good photography subjects!

How was your June?

 

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A Quick Trip To Dresden

Last week I was able to visit Dresden for business; I’d never been but it’s been on my to-see-list for a long while. Although it was only a three day trip, I had two evenings to myself to wander around. As usual – because I’m lazy – I didn’t look up any of the sights or check what’s worth seeing. It wasn’t necessary, though, because the event I attended included a bus tour through Dresden where we also had some stops to get off the bus and explore. We had probably the best guide I’ve ever had on such a tour, he was knowledgeable, fun and had excellent social/people skills (not always a given…).

So on day 1 after my arrival and finding my hotel just a stone’s throw away from the famous Frauenkirche I walked around for a bit just using my new phone camera. On day 2 we had the bus tour, and on day 3 I went back to some of the sights we saw earlier by foot with my DSLR.

I didn’t take that many pictures (but found I’d taken an unusually high amount of the Frauenkirche), I still have to learn making better use of the phone camera, and I was really exhausted after the event and then walking around town for 2 hours, so these are just a few of my experiments that you see here.

I’d love to either take a photography workshop on architecture and then go back, or even see if there’s a course in Dresden. Currently checking out such courses as I found I’m better at food photography than architecture – I’m very willing to learn, though 🙂 .

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2016 May In Pictures

May was a great month for us here in Germany with three short work weeks due to public holidays and some very hot summery days.

For me, personally, the month had its ups and downs. The downs were terrible hayfever like never before, a week at home with sinusitis, the urge to move because of inconsiderate noisy neighbours. On the up side, I let myself be persuaded that I needed an iPhone because of the 12MP camera, a renewed interest in photography, and despite my hayfever I’m happy to see the world around me go green and everything growing.

Having a good phone camera definitely helps with regards to taking more pictures, as it’s really inconvenient for me to carry my D300 in my handbag at all times, so even though buying an expensive mobile phone just for its camera to me is overly decadent, it seems worth it right now. I just need to remember to not only take pics in square format but regular format as well – as you can see if you open the gallery below, I kept forgetting to switch formats.

How was your May?

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2016 April In Pictures

Hello again at the end of yet another month. As I’ve commented in most of my Friday posts, the weather showed us all it had. Let’s hope spring finally stays come May 1st.

How was April? I really, really miss my friend E who moved back to the US in February. Our monthly photo outings were always inspiring, and I still haven’t managed to go out by myself much.

I’ve been meaning to buy a second DSLR – a used D700, which I was hoping would be cheaper now that newer models are out, but so far I haven’t found one on the “used” market that fulfills all my requirements.

However, a friend has persuaded me to buy something else entirely, and I will receive this something else by the end of May. It’ll get me clicking more, I’m sure – I’ll keep you posted.

The month in pictures for April is mostly plant life;  with so much growing right now as well as my visit to the park plants made for the most obvious photo subject.

How was your April?

 

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2016 March In Pictures

Three down, nine to go! I’ve already been talking about mulled wine and our next visit to the Christmas market with my friends yesterday, even though I’m really looking forward to a proper spring first 🙂 .

March brought us the whole spectrum of what the weather has to offer: snow, sun, wind, rain, 3°C, 14°C… Let’s see what April will bring.

Photography-wise, for once this monthly retrospective is not full of food pics because I didn’t do much for the food blog. I guess plants feature most in my recent photographic activities but then that’s appropriate for the season.

I planted seeds for my balcony flowers at the beginning of the month, and they’re all growing nicely. I hope to plant them out sometime in April and can already envision them adorning the balcony.

All in all, I’m still a bit uninspired with regards to photography but have been picking up my macro lenses again in March and am hoping to get more passionate about it all again soon.

How was your March?

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2016 February In Pictures

The less said about February the better, I think…

I was sick for a week, my friend E and her husband left Germany for good at the beginning of February, and the weather sucked. Need I say more?

We did get some beautifully sunny days but the majority was a mix of strong winds, rain, and a bit of snow that never stuck. On the sunny days I didn’t manage to take pictures, so this month’s collection consists mostly of pictures taken inside and ones lacking colour. I did get to play around with new presets as well as with new surfaces, though, and that was fun.

Last week I sowed flower and herb seeds for the balcony, and I’ll be watching those grow for a while. The knowledge that daylight will last longer and that spring is on its way makes me look forward to next month.

So – bring on March! It can only get better 🙂 . How was your February?

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2016 January In Pictures

Welcome to the first monthly picture review of the year! What happened in January?

I cooked – not as much as I wanted to despite being on vacation and having the time. I still had some great ideas, though, but they’ll keep.

I went outside twice for a change to take pictures – yay! A walk when we had our first (and only, so far) snowfall as well as a visit to our botanical gardens where they have beautiful 19th century greenhouses with lots of exotic plants.

I’ve been thinking a lot about various things – the possibility of moving house/apartment this year, where to go on vacation (people keep asking me but I have no idea), and I’ve also been rethinking this blogging thing. I know I want to do some things differently and/or freshen things up with all of my blogs, but I don’t know what exactly or how.

As the year’s only just started, I guess I’ll have time to think about it all a little more, I don’t have to come up with all the answers at once. Often recognising the need or desire to change something is already a first step.

How was your January?

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