Cantina Pizzolato Bottle

posted in: Food & Beverage, P52 | 0

This wonderfully crazy bottle by Cantina Pizzolato jumped out at me while shopping, so I had to take it home. if I remember correctly, it was even available in two more colours.

The best part of bottle photography: it comes preloaded with stuff to celebrate after the shoot. Looking forward to this organic sparkler!

Brandy Stemware by WMF

Working with fine glass is always a pleasure – if challenging. This time because I dropped a heavy steel washer into the liquid for a nice splash effect one too many times and destroyed my beautiful WMF brandy bucket (as a friend once called it because of the sheer size). At least it was a sacrifice for art…

Composer & Organist Martin Herchenröder

posted in: P52, Portrait | 0

Composer, organist and music professor Martin Herchenröder at the historical Martinikirche in Siegen.

We met early in the morning and while I was setting up the planned shot at the piano, Martin Herchenröder played the organ. I noticed the gorgeous light he was sitting in, so in addition to the planned shot showing him as a composer at the piano, I came home with one of him as an organist, too. ...   READ MORE

Hand Hammered Wok

posted in: P52, Product & Still Life | 0

To me not only a beautiful piece of craftsmanship but also a reminder of generosity and kindness as Birgit, whom I only know via Grace Young’s lovely and very helpful “Wok Wednesday” group, lugged that rather unwieldy pot all across China and then back to Germany just because she thought I might enjoy having it. And I really do.

For the lighting concept I am grateful to Swiss photographer and Broncolor ambassador Urs Recher for his Aubergine setup which I used here (after testing it on an Aubergine first, of course)....   READ MORE

Everything you Need to Make Ramen

In early June I reached out to Ramen-Chef Erim Kreidel of Monaco Ramen to ask if he was interested in a collaboration on a kitchen utensils project. He was and we met at the Gasteig where he currently has his pop up location at Kulturdachgarten. Inside his incredible and custom made beauty of a Yatai (a Japanese food cart) we produced a shot that has all the tools you need for Ramen.

After finishing up with the kitchen utensils shoot, I asked if he had time for a portrait. Erim has been serving his incredible Ramen from various pop-up locations over the past years and instead of a more conventional approach we wanted to picture the taxing logistics, creativity and dedication involved when you have to move your whole restaurant to a new location every couple of months....   READ MORE

Wine Bottles

posted in: P52, Product & Still Life | 0

A nice editing exercise.

Each bottle bottle, surface, background, grapes and glass shot seperately and then composited in photoshop. Here’s the behind the scenes:...   READ MORE

Easter Trip to Weimar

posted in: On the Road, Travel | 0

It has been a while since I last rubbed elbows with Goethe, Schiller and the likes in this neat little town — close to a quarter of a century to be precise. In total everybody in the family loved the experience, the only place we found somewhat disappointing was the Bauhaus-Museum.

Trauma (the book)

 Today I received TRAUMA, a beautiful and very personal gift from Austrian painter Christian Bazant-Hegemark, for which I am deeply grateful. The volume spans fifteen years and tells the story of searching for a visual language dealing with trauma.

I was surprised how many of the paintings and drawings I still knew from my time in Vienna, some of which even appear in portraits I took in 2013....   READ MORE

Jördis Tielsch: Virtueller Hut im Lÿz

posted in: Commission, Event, Photography | 0

Am Samstag, 28. April 2020 spielte Jördis Tielsch gemeinsam mit Peter Schneider ein Benefizkonzert im Kulturhaus Lÿz.

Möglich wurde die Veranstaltung trotz Corona dank des virtuellen Hutes – einer Initiative, die zusammen mit dem Kulturbüro des Kreises Siegen-Wittgenstein lokale Künstler und Kulturschaffende unterstützt und in Zeiten des Kontaktverbots heimische Kultur in die Siegerländer Wohnzimmer bringt....   READ MORE

Possible Worlds

posted in: On the Road, Photography | 0

In a possible world I would live in the old family farm by the forest. I’d have a wood fired oven, plenty of vegetables and fruit from the garden and more space in- and outside the house than I could possibly fill. I would eat my home baked bread for breakfast in the old chicken yard while enjoying the most stunning view over the Weser-valley.

I’d also have had an idea why I would and could live in the sticks, I’d have had another idea that would fill ex-barn and ex-stable with something sensible – preferably something sensible and income-generating so it would provide me with yet another idea on how to pay for maintenance of the gigantic roof....   READ MORE

Telephone Boxes

posted in: On the Road, Photography | 0

For several years now I have been taking pictures of a dying breed: telephone boxes. I managed to upload a few yesterday.

at_wien_u4karlsplatz_201512

While some of the boxes have been upgraded to a non-box shape with huge screen and WiFi, many are in a sad state and some even stripped of their primary function. The variety of shapes and types of boxes and telephones even in a single country is astonishing and even the gutted ones continue to serve as advertising space, rain shelters, smoking rooms and toilets for dogs and humans alike.

KUNSTFORUM Publication

posted in: Infringement, Photography, Publication | 0

KUNSTFORUM International 230 (2014), p 127.

A short while after my last portrait session with Marianne Vlaschits, KUNSTFORUM International did an interview with her and two fellow artists and she asked if it was ok to use one of my portraits to go with the interview....   READ MORE

Amsterdam Family Portrait

posted in: Commission, Photography, Portrait | 0

Earlier this year my dear friend Nic had asked if I would be interested in shooting a portrait of his family. Since they live some 1200 km away, the crucial question for me was not so much if but more when. Then, in early September, I was in the vicinity (meaning: only 400 km away), and spontaneously opted for the detour to pay a long overdue visit to Amsterdam – and also finally meet their daughter.

I did not have my gear with me and there only was an hour left in between the idea to go for the shoot and me having to be through the door for the train station, so in order to put the opportunity to good use we had to move fast and I had to borrow Marlene’s old Canon. Of course time was even scarcer after the usual displacement of furniture had taken place, and the combination of time pressure, borrowed equipment and a different camera maker resulted in a couple of technical blunders on my part, but we all had a fun time and in the end were pretty pleased with the results.

Los que me acogieron

posted in: Commission, Photography, Portrait | 0

My friend and colleague Doc Babel not only taught me rudimentary Spanish, he and his wife also provided me with a home in Munich during the last few years, which made many things easier than they easily could have been.

And now that it’s their turn to look for a new home, they pack some aluminum boxes bound for South America and thought that some decent head shots would make their new start easier. I was of course more than happy to provide that part of their luggage....   READ MORE

Hochschwab Hiking

posted in: Landscape, On the Road, Outdoor, Photography | 0

Second time Hochschwab, second time no summit. This time better pictures, though.

In late May, I started in Präbichl and, through considerable amounts of snow, made my way up to the Sonnschienhütte where I had the dorm all to myself. Unfortunately, I had my eyes at the wrong place at the wrong time and so I fell and injured my finger. Thus, instead of summiting the Hochschwab the next day, I went down to Tragöß (via Grüner See) – and straight into hospital where the trip ended with an »Eintrittsaufforderung«. Luckily nothing serious came to light in Koje 1, but damn you Hochschwab, next time I do want a summit. Please.

Determine Your Rates

posted in: Photography, Publication | 5

I recently had an issue with a newspaper using one of my images without permission (see here). When I tried to determine how much I could/should charge, I discovered a few lists and thanks to Manuela Schwendener, who sent several more yesterday, I now have these for future reference:

Germany

Austria

Switzerland

 

Infringing for MSF

posted in: Infringement, Photography, Publication | 0

Several weeks ago I learned that Austrian newspaper Niederösterreichische Nachrichten without permission had printed a portrait I took of painter Christian Bazant-Hegemark – my first real copyright infringement case.

Christian Bazant Hegemark shot by Jan Söhlke – Crop from Niederösterreichische Nachrichten

I pondered and wondered what to do – since I did not yet start a formal business as a photographer, I did not know whether or not I could just bill them – and if so: how much? Also, I feared the conundrum that would possibly result from it regarding my taxes: billing would once again give me a »world income«, additionally complicating matters by being employed as a researcher in Germany plus effectively becoming a self employed photographer in Austria. I figured I needed a lawyer, yet despite soon learning that the Rechtsanwaltskammer is offering free first advice, I did not find (= make) the time going there.

Then I read »Would You Die For The Photo?« by Chase Jarvis (warning: graphic images), it led me to war photographer James Nachtwey’s talk at TED where he mentions working with Médecins Sans Frontières. Their work and courage impress me a lot. I also remembered that whenever a corporation uses a Tom Waits song for advertising, he sues them to then donate all the money he receives.

I thought I should try the same thing (if on a much smaller scale) and posted a registered letter a week ago, requesting a donation of EUR 150,– to MSF in my name. And voilà, today I receive this:

Spendenbeleg »Médecins sans Frontières«

According to MSF, 150 EUR buy food for 15 malnourished children for two weeks or treatment for 300 children with pneumonia or 6 weeks basic medical services for 400 refugees. Donations can be made here.

Project 12R: February

posted in: 12, Lifestyle, Photography, Portrait | 0

In March »Office« was the topic for our second portrait. We went scouting at Caritas Mall »Carla« (first three images). Thanks to the generosity of the employees there, we obtained permission to shoot there during the hour before they opened the doors to the masses.

Three days later, we showed up with enthusiasm, a general idea of what to shoot, loads of gear and little time. Once more: »don’t let good light ruin your picture«. When there is no time, one really only has two options: either everything needs to be checked and nailed down before the shoot or one has to KISS (keep it simple, stupid). Otherwise much of the positive energy is eaten by all the wrong things (an SB800 under a vow of silence for instance). Consequently, we picked a test shot as the final picture from when we were both still relaxed and hadn’t set up the light.

Hanover by Night

posted in: On the Road, Photography | 0

In January I went to Hanover. While my wife attended a conference, I took care of our daughter and walked around quite a bit, morning to night. I grew up in the area and always thought of Hanover as by far the ugliest potato in the bag of post-war architecture – Max Goldt once claimed that »every German city had something of Hanover«. The city suffered a lot from bombings and after the war people quickly rebuilt it, aesthetics clearly towards the end on the list of their priorities. Yet, this time I was surprised to discover some really pretty areas, both pre- and post-war. Here are a couple of b/w shots of pretty Hanover by night:

 

Gerd Ludwig at NHM

posted in: On the Road, Photography | 0

Last Wednesday the »Long Shadow of Chernobyl« exhibition opened at the Natural History Museum in Vienna. During several visits to Chernobyl, National Geographic photographer Gerd Ludwig documented the people, the remains of the plant and life in the exclusion zone (see a short video here and more content here).

Thanks to the generosity of NHM’s communication department, I was lucky enough to receive an invitation for the opening function/book presentation last Tuesday. Apart from recommending to go and see the exhibition (until September) I took away some food for thought from the opening talks.

Constructive Overlapping

Christian Köberl, the museum’s director, explained how the Natural History Museum – an institution that is widely associated with stuffed animals and a vast collection of rocks – came to host an exhibition covering a problem that is clearly man-made. He linked it to two other exhibitions currently on display: Trading in Death – the Final Mass Extinction? has the commercial interest and its impact on nature as a common denominator. Experiment Life – Gabonionta overlaps as it shows the oldest complex life forms known to man, which share the time and the place (Gabon, 2.1 billion years ago) of a highly above average activity in natural nuclear chain reactions similar to the counterparts in man-made reactors nowadays. Whether there is a causal link to the advent of the first complex, colonial organisms is unclear but interesting.

The museum can shape the context and thus shape perception. By putting three different, seemingly unrelated temporal exhibitions on at the same time, a very constructive overlapping is created – interferences come into being simply through putting three seemingly unrelated things next to each other.

The power of a book

Lois Lammerhuber (of the book’s publisher Edition Lammerhuber) recounted the media reception. Despite the lack of a Chernobyl jubilee, all the important news outlets had already covered the publication and exhibition. When he asked German state TV, who filmed for two hours in the exhibition, why they were doing it, they answered: »Weil ein Buch erscheint« (»because a book is being published«, where the German »erscheinen« can both refer to an »appearance« as well as an »epiphany«). Lammerhuber was visibly impressed by how he, in letting a book appear, can force something onto the agenda of a world that would otherwise not have taken notice at that point in time.

As the two preconditions he identified Ludwig’s willingness to commit to such a long term project and his capability to make something visible.

Making a difference

Gerd Ludwig gave a few insights into the way he works. Even though the subject of his images is suffering and destruction, the are aesthetically pleasing. Aesthetics to him is the grammar of photography.

He views the fact that he does not have to work under a tight time constraint as his biggest privilege because it means that he can talk first and then take the pictures. The trust he establishes through the conversations greatly helps reduce the momentary amplification of suffering he inevitably causes by taking a picture.

He finished by telling a story from Sicily: one night an enormous number of starfish were washed ashore. In the morning, when the sun rose, they started to dry out and die. The children of the village noticed and started carrying them back to the water. An older man from the village stood and watched and said: »you can’t save them all, your enterprise is futile – the little you can do doesn’t make a difference«. One child, holding up a single starfish, replied: »And yet for this one, it does make a difference«. Ludwig wants to be this child always.

Access to our World

Finally, the section chief Michael P. Franz closed the circle Christian Koeberl established by opening the exhibition with a Gottfried Boehm quote: an image, he says, pre-formulates the access to our world.

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