JOURNEY

RECENT ADVENTURES #2

Springtime is a spectacular time. Everything gets back to life, there's more trouble in the cities, more people in the parks enjoying the beautiful weather. Since everybody is back home around easter, two friends and I decided to explore the forest a bit more. The end of April is that time of the year where the thimbleweed starts to grow and fills the leafless scenery with color again. 

Beech forests are a very endangered habitat on our earth and a few of the older ones are counting to the UNESCO world heritage sites. It makes me very happy to see this young beech forest starting to grow and develop again. But what totally brought my mood down was this pile of trash dumped between the trees.

It still frustrates me to see so much waste laying around in our ecosystems. Dumped where it's very hard to find. At least, I'm able to share photos of this so more people will see it...

We continued our walk to see if there's more trash. A tiny valley showed up, which looked like a very common place for the animals to get some food. The local hunter set up a tree stand, which was perfect for us to hide while a short shower came down. We even spotted around 10-15 deer a couple of hundred meters away, but there was no chance to get a photo of them with my wide angle (I should have taken a zoom lens with me). 

It's always a new experience to explore the nature around your home...you probably won't recognize how beautifull it is, until you stop living your daily routine and start to discover new places again. Give it a try, it's awesome! 

RECENT ADVENTURES #1

Gamechanger

First I was skeptical, followed by a cringed feeling caused by my wallet, which turned into the best purchase I've done till yet. It's not my camera. It's this little guy.

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A camera holder, which allows you to attach your camera to your chest. You probably wonder, why I write about a small gadget. The thing that makes this little guy so important for me is the opportunities it creates. Over the last few months I had quite a few adventures and without being able to have my camera always in a place which is easy to reach, I couldn't take that many photos. 

Because my camera is always with me, I decided to start a new Blog category with more recent photos. Photos want to be shared, so I guess this is a really good way to get everything started! 

Unplanned Creativity 

Going outside and breathe some fresh air always reactivates my creativity. Normally we are trying to improve our slacklining, but things can change, especially if you're discovering a new spot in your city. So did we a couple of weeks ago, I was aiming for a few new perspectives and decided to climb up the tree next to us. 

 

While we had our short "Climbing session" my adrenalin addicted friend Foivos became the idea to jump on to his fixed gear bike, so he could try to balance it on the slackline. I haven't seen any pictures of a bike on a slackline before and tried to capture the action as good as possible. The day totally surprised me with its outcome. Leaving the desk with the expectations of chilled slackline session and returning with pictures of a good friend balancing his bike on a line which is meant to be used with your feet. Diffenatly a success.

MOUNTAIN LAKES

I do remember the time when I was a little kid. Hiking didn't amaze me that much...it was boring in my opinion. The happiness of reaching the top of the mountain just didn't full filled me. Well, things changed a little bit, here's why. 

 

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The first hike

I was taking a lot of mountain photos from the valley, but that wasn't enough for me. I knew that if I wanted to take better landscape shots, I needed to go up there, even if I wasn't a huge fan of hiking at that point. One morning, I met my friends in the kitchen downstairs and they looked kind of busy, they told me about their day trip to Garibaldi Lake and invited me to join them. I didn't really have breakfast except for a small bowl of cornflakes, so I grabbed some food, water and my 5D Mk II. 

Step by step

The hike itself wasn't the most interesting one. Trees beside trees and no real landscape views. It took us between 2 or 3 hours to reach the first mountain lake. We weren't completely sure if the Lake in front of us was Garibaldi Lake or not. We weren't  really satisfied with that Lake as well, the glacier we heard about wasn't there and it could've been better for photos. A little bit of disappointment started to come up. One guy remembered that he heard about three different lakes, not just one. New motivation came up as we continued our hike. The second lake appeared a few minutes later. Even more beautiful than the first one. More colored water and a more photogenic landscape. But still not the thing I was hoping for. We were so stoked to reach the third lake and it blew our minds as soon as we got there. The perfect lake on top of a mountain surrounded by glaciers. 

First Mountain Lake

First Mountain Lake

A creek going into the second lake

A creek going into the second lake

First view on to Garibaldi Lake

First view on to Garibaldi Lake

Resume

That hike was my first one with a camera and it addicted me. I guess my camera helped a lot. You should diffenetly try it yourself, if you haven't been wandering. The pure nature, good talks with the people around you, challenging your own body and many more things make this activity as awesome as it is. 

 

 

BACK IN TIME

Black and White... if you would have told me a couple of months ago, that I would write a blog post about pictures with those two colours, I would probably call you crazy. We all know how life happens sometimes, so here‘s my story. 

Everybody understands, that friends can influent your life. I knew that as well, but never thought that it would happen in such a way. The day I met Patryk Urban probably marks day 1 of my black and white journey. My first and only opinion about black and white was „What‘s so special about a picture with no red, blue and green?“ 

Fraser River - Lillooet

Fraser River - Lillooet

A revolution in my head

Vancouver - Chinatown

Vancouver - Chinatown

Over the time in Canada, my photography brain was changing heavily. I was looking for more compositions, more structures, more art. But it still took a while, till I killed the thought that black and white would be a step back in time. I mean, why would we develop modern camera sensors with better and better colours, and then just use black and white. A slap right into my face would probably express how wrong I've been. 

Patryk and I were sitting on a sofa, going through our latest pictures. It wasn't the first time I was looking at those photos I shot in Vancouver a couple of weeks ago. We played around with a shot of a Chinese archway until Pat gave me the hint to put it into black and white. Then he was talking about the masking tool in lightroom to create darker areas on streets or buildings. 

 

Change of perspective

That moment was game changing for me. The idea of creating new lines which aren't there if you take the photo blew my mind. You can only guess what would look great, but that's such an interesting way to explore the scenery around you. Black and white photography is such a powerful tool, you reduce the photos to their basics, the colours are less important. The only things that matter are composition and the story behind your picture.

You probably ask yourself now: Why is black and white photography such a big change for him? Well, it isn't the change of photography itself...it's more the lesson I've learned. I was ignorant for a couple of years and didn't let any other point of view into my head. The black and white photography showed me, that I should be more open-minded to things I don't know. Not only to photography techniques but also to people's opinion, food and all the other things out there. It makes the world easier to understand. 

I collected a few photos over the last year, have a look and let me know if you like them! At this point, I just want to express how thankful I am, that Patryk changed my point of view. All my B&W shots wouldn't exist without him. Thank you for your inspiring words! Visit his Website (patrykurbanvisual.com) and take some time to look at his pictures. 

 

Oatman - Arizona

Oatman - Arizona

Alexander Falls - British Columbia

Alexander Falls - British Columbia

Train Wrecks - Whistler

Train Wrecks - Whistler

Route 66

Route 66

Valley of Fire - Nevada

Valley of Fire - Nevada

Somewhere - Nevada

Somewhere - Nevada

Squamish - British Columbia

Squamish - British Columbia

Somewhere - British Columbia

Vancouver - British Columbia

Where everything started - Vancouver

One year ago, I fulfilled my dream and spend 8 months in British Columbia, Canada. The trip changed quiet a few things in my life, the element which caused most of the changes is photography. I've taken photos for a couple of years now, but suddenly I developed a new love to my camera. This blog will be about my journey, lessons I've learned and the things I love to share. Hopefully I can influence a few people, to see the world a little bit different than before. 

Ready, Set...Go? 

I haven't had a real plan, except that I wanted to go skiing and learning a new language. It wasn't easy for me to leave everything behind, family, friends, girlfriend and my dog. Especially if you have to set up a new life, in a place which is known as a world class ski resort. I've read a couple of articles about how hard it would be to find an accommodation in Whistler. The fact, that I didn't know if I could find a nice little room for myself paired with no experience in managing life (setting up a bank account, signing contracts, looking for a serious job) made me afraid of leaving home. The new language wasn't a bonus as well. Somehow I managed it to overcome all those feelings and I finally sit on the plane.  

The first shot I took. (First lesson I've learned: Never take a 3rd row seat, it's not easy to take photos from there) 

The first shot I took. (First lesson I've learned: Never take a 3rd row seat, it's not easy to take photos from there) 

Vancouver

Pure happiness overcame me, as I realized that I could take a few photos of the skyline. 

Pure happiness overcame me, as I realized that I could take a few photos of the skyline. 

I was super amazed by the time we landed. Mountaintops covered in snow, an ocean and the skyline of Vancouver? Not bad at all for the first minutes of seeing British Columbia. My fear was immediately blown away by all those impressions. The city just waited for me to get explored. The weather was perfect, trees began to change their colours. Everything was screaming "Take pictures! Common take some photos!" and so did I. 

As you can see, we were quite lucky with the weather and it got even better during the evening. I've heard that Canada Place would be a good place to take a few pictures of the sunset. The timing was perfect as our travel group reached the place. I still can't believe how lucky we were.  

Fog of the Pacific Ocean started to flood into the bay of Vancouver. This scene was the trigger for my landscape photography addiction. The perfect lighting, the first time I saw ocean fog and everything else in that moment blew my mind. The decision of going to Canada went from fear to totally worth it. A life changing moment. I just wanted to see more of those nature happenings.

In the meantime, my group continued their walk while looking for some food. I was starving as well, but I just couldn't resist the beauty of nature so I stayed there for 30 more minutes, watching the scenery.  

 That was my first day in Vancouver. The fact that I would be able to do this kind of stuff for the next few months amazed me more and more, my head started to think a bit more differently than before that day. Hopefully the following images are speaking for them selves. Stay tuned for my next post. The journey will continue.