Remontoir Watch

posted in: Hangar Project, Product & Still Life | 0

A historical golden Remontoir watch with cylindrical works and 10 rubys – an heirloom from my wife’s family. Difficult to see without a reference, but it’s only about 25mm in diameter

The lighting setup is “Melodi” and follows Martin Botvidsson fantastic tutorial utilising an IKEA lampshade. You can see more of Martin on instagram @botvidsson and his website.

Classic Deutsche Mark Coins

posted in: P52, Personal Work, Product & Still Life | 0

Front and back of the classic five Deutsche Mark coin (also called a “Heiermann” for whatever reason). It was a pretty large and heavy but also somehow reassuring piece of currency. Despite that it clearly shows some wear after years of service. I somehow like the memory of how handling it feels. The other one is a 10 Pfennig coin from 1949 balancing on a 100 EUR note. The 10p still has “Bank Deutscher Länder” instead of “Deutsche Bundesbank” written on it.

While doing research on these old coins, I found it interesting how the obverse depicting the German Eagle changed over the years. On the 5-Deutsche-Mark coin, that was designed 1952 closer to the second world war, the eagle looks very meagre. The design on the fiver shown here is from 1975 and the bird does seem to have been fed much better....   READ MORE

Australian Cricket Ball

posted in: P52, Personal Work, Product & Still Life | 0

My friend Luke gave me his leather cricket ball when I visited him in Melbourne in 1998. I love the way it looks and feels and also the memories it stores of a trip to see the other side of the world and, ultimately another side of myself. It has been sitting on my desk for all that time now, and posting this I realise it is more than a quarter of a century. Not to get too philosophical, but time flies like a cricket ball, fruit flies like a banana…

She Sells Sea Shells…

…with a glow.

This one is from the Hangar Project which I started with fellow photographer Rob Scamp. Our theme was “Something from the Sea” and I spent an hour with this shell, exploring angles, backgrounds and lighting set ups. On this one I particularly liked how the warm light radiating from inside contrasted with the toothed, rough outside.

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!

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

Baume et Mercier Watch

posted in: P52, Product & Still Life | 0

Years (really: decades) ago, my wife won a beautiful Baume et Mercier wrist watch. I decided to shoot it to practice a one light setup, following a tutorial by the incredible Max Bridge. I ended up focus stacking 200+ picures for a 15 image composite and learned the hard way that from up close you see every. single. tiny. little. scratch. And dust. And misalignment. So the fun really began when I started reconstructing, cleaning and healing. Here’s the before and after:

Baume et Mercier wristwatch (before clean up) Baume et Mercier wristwatch (after clean up)

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

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.

Project 12: Julia

posted in: 12, Photography, Portrait | 0

The (rather late) October portrait for »Project 12« was taken in January and finally edited only a few days ago. It is of Julia, who is not only a close friend, proper hiking buddy and HR professional but – and this points to the root of the lag – godmother to my daughter, who was born in November. Julia recently moved into a new flat and redecorated it, so we decided it was an suitable setting.

On new year’s eve she at one point donned a turban, looked stunning and someone took with a camera phone – and as we had the gear in place anyway we thought it was worth recreating the opportunity. At the end of our 5 hour session we were both pretty happy but also pretty knackered (and one of us still needed a haircut – desperately).

Project 12R: January

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

In 2014 »Project 12« gets a slightly different spin and is now »Project 12R«. The plan is to take 12 pictures of Rosina. Starting in February, we shoot one photo a month that derives its theme from the events of her preceding weeks.

 

The first installment involved a poster for a party that was stuck onto many distribution boxes. We narrowed it down to two location options that were close to each other: one spacious and quiet, the other at a busy tram stop in the middle of an equally busy crossroads. We decided to opt against comfort and for better looks, which unfortunately meant I had to shoot from the tracks with trains rattling in from three different directions by the minute. Thus, I was constantly shifting my light and tripod and Daniel, who was kind enough to act as assistant, not only patiently braved wind and coldness but in addition held on to the contraption for the black background with cars whooshing past very close by – thanks a lot Daniel!

Project 12: Rosina

posted in: 12, Photography, Portrait | 0

In September I photographed my friend Rosina for »Project 12«. It was a new experience in a couple of senses:

First of all, Rosina is a designer by profession and it was as interesting as instructive to take a picture of someone who is both meticulous and knowledgeable when it comes to composition, colours, set design and furniture. I enjoyed it tremendously as it allowed me to concentrate on the lighting.

Secondly, it was the first time I shot tethered, which meant we continuously discussed all changes, thus the final images really feel like a joint effort.

And finally (probably also a result from second), the approach was very methodical. Usually I move around quite a bit while shooting, but this time we first looked for a frame that worked, then nailed the tripod to the floor. Then moved furniture in and out, tried a bunch of clothes to match the environment etc. So in the end, we settled with just two shots: her favourite (first) and mine (second).

Theresa

posted in: 12, Commission, Photography, Portrait | 2

When I last photographed my friend Theresa, she had just secured her first job after graduation. A year later, the resourceful health and safety professional sticks to the good advice my friend Rob once expressed: the best time looking for a job is when you have one.

Since a picture is mandatory for almost all job applications in Austria, we put my spacious living room to good use one last time before I had to move out and shot some formal portraits. Luckily there’s also one to sneak into »Project 12«. This, that and the relocation got into the way, so it took me way too long before I managed to get round to editing (and seeing the barber).

Valentin Rosegger, Physiotherapist

My good friend and physiotherapist Valentin Rosegger is about to open his own practice and asked me to provide some visuals.

I gladly obliged, because in the past I received countless hours of Valentin’s skilled treatment and profound advice. Creating the images for his information material was a great way to repay the services (and I could also sneak in my – late – August portrait for »Project 12«).

If you are looking for a thorough physiotherapist, I really recommend him. He is setting up shop at Lindengasse 27 in 1070 Vienna and offers very work-compatible times. For an appointment dial +43 699 17161420.

Big thanks to Valentin Rosegger’s colleague Julian Gullner, who played the patient in a manner that can only be described as patiently. It involved holding a very strenuous position for a very long time (see above), neither minding Valentin (»straighten the back Julian, involve the abs a little more«) nor me (»great, stay just like this, only a few more shots, almost done«).

Project 12: Anke

posted in: 12, Photography, Portrait | 0

Since the beginning of the year Anke, who teaches German Literature at Vienna University, and me tried to put an idea for a portrait into practice, which for this, that and the other reason never quite happened.

So there was a vacancy in »project 12« since at least the beginning of 2013 – when, by the end of May, somehow several things just fell into place: a friend of ours gave Anke a bunch of hefty peonies in a colour she absolutely adored and that coincidentally also matched a dress in her wardrobe.

Furthermore, I had just bought her a used mini trampolin (after I had a go it unfortunately is now defunct) that coincidentally matched her urge to jump with joy after a streak of successful undertakings. And lastly, I had just thought up a contraption for a home grown diy beauty dish which I really wanted to try. And so it went and I am extremely happy about my wife finally being part of my project, too.

Project 12: Karin Peschka

posted in: 12, Editorial, Photography, Portrait | 1

In February this year, I met up with author Karin Peschka (whose story »Watschenmann« recently won the Wartholz-Literaturpreis) to discuss a portrait. We agreed to wait for spring and in mid May I took the Lilo to Eferding, where we were lucky enough to experience some of the rare sunny moments this year. After a lovely family lunch in a beautiful garden, we went over to the former family run restaurant and explored the house from top to bottom.

The building’s arresting atmosphere provided photographic opportunities galore, so we tried to realise a few, starting in the attic, working our way down through the kitchen into the basement and back up into the »green room« (where I also took the May-portrait for »Project 12«).

Project 12: Mirko Krause

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

The library of the Viennese Arbeiterkammer (Austrian Federal Chamber of Labour) is quiet, well stocked, has a sensible policy on water in the reading room and comes with a garden, so on most days this is where I work – and so does Mirko. He is an architect and writes his Ph.D. on Peter Eisenman and Rem Kohlhaas (which is a a funny coincidence because I am writing on Kleist’s Michael Kohlhaas). Most of the time we share the better parts of our days and in the past year we went from being just library-buddies to being lunch-buddies, too.

A while back I had made a mental note about a lovely spot in the Arbeiterkammer lobby/waiting area and had hoped I could use it for a portrait one day. With the extraordinary architecture (by NMPB-Architekten) surrounding it, what better subject could there be than an architect who even happens to spend most of his working hours in that very building? So for my April portrait for Project 12 I am grateful that, despite his super busy week, Mirko was willing to sit in the gorgeous sunset light for me.

I am also very grateful to Roman Berka of the Arbeiterkammer Directorate, as he didn’t hesitate for a second when I asked for permission to shoot at that wonderful place. A big thank you also to the porter for his relaxed attitude during the shooting.

Certain people keep saying that apparently asking for forgiveness is easier than asking for permission. Not only was the opposite true here but while asking for permission, I also learned something: Mr Berka told me that Barbara Kruger’s »Questions« was due to be taken down at the beginning of May. This meant that a) I wasn’t going to run into unexpected construction work and b) I could do the shooting when the opportunity was still there to incorporate one of her pieces which is a very apt motto for every Ph.D. student: »Is work ever done?«

 

The Tricycle

A week or so ago Christian Bazant-Hegemark said he had an idea for a picture involving himself, a children’s trike and one of his paintings. Was I interested in helping him shoot it? Of course I was – he is very easy in front of my camera and I knew it was going to be fun.

He wanted to combine a photo of himself with a painting he is currently working on. The painting shows a boy on a children’s tricycle and my job was to place Christian so that his position would resemble the trike-boy’s as much as possible and at the same time keep the background relatively easy to edit out.

In the words of Douglas Reynholm: I am no Truman Capote when it comes to Photoshop and I am excited about what Christian is going to do with it, but what I pictured while shooting was something like this:

It goes without saying that Christian riding an imaginary tricycle whilst resting his feet on a broom and sitting on a bar stool that was itself placed on a table was also calling for a more serious portrait.

Projekt 12: Schlosserei Alex Stahl

posted in: 12, Corporate & Industrial, Photography | 0

Shortly before Christmas I visited Alex, who is a metalworker. He kindly paused building a motorcycle to turn my old cymbal boom stand into a light stand. I took the opportunity to take some welding and grinding pictures of him, his friend Lippo and his little apprentice.

At this occasion I also completed my »Project 12«: Alex is my final portrait for 2012 (with Lippo adding a nice touch through sending some flying sparks up and down the room).

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