Jemaa el-Fnaa is the main Square and main hub of life in Marrakesh. Besides all the tourists, overpriced food, Souvenirs, fake branded stuff and curiosities such as snakes, and performance artists, there are surprisingly a lot of locals hanging around.
I hadn't been away for close to two month and worked so much, that I just needed to get away for a few days.
A little bit of sun and warmth, as well as a new culture can go a long way, even if it's just for a couple of days.
Since Ella was on Majorca with a friend for her birthday, I decided to get out of Hamburg as well.
Three days of Berlin, seeing old friends of mine,
Like so many others, I decided to travel Japan by train. The most commonly used ones are pretty expensive, but include the fast bullet trains (Shinaksen).
Being the low budget guy that I am, I went with the cheapest option which includes only local trains.
It saved me quite a bit of cash but took a lot longer. This however meant that I got to see a lot more from the countryside and since I wasn't in any rush, it was a good idea.
Tokio to Kyoto in 8+ hours.
Kyoto itself is incredibly different from Tokio. Having been spared from WWII a lot of historic temples, palaces etc. are to be explored.
Sadly this meant that Kyoto is just packed with tourists .. something I tend to avoid.
Aside from all the culture and touristy stuff, there was a certain store that I absolutely needed to visit - the Leica Store Kyoto
While the City certainly was interesting and had lots of places to go sightseeing, I couldn't wait to get to Osaka.
After my week in Tokyo and a few days in Kyoto, I used my JR Pass to get to Osaka.
Despite being quite a large city, everything in Osaka seems to be more concentrated and dense.
When I was in Dubai for around 24 Hours in 2011, I had a day full of activities.
Despite usually not being into touristy stuff, such as guided tours, the Dubai Desert Safari seemed like a good deal. Around 30€ to get out of town, drive through the desert, enjoy dinner in a camp with traditional bellydance and fire shows.
Back in 2011 that was a great deal. Driving through the dunes was incredibly fun and from what I remember, there weren't that many tourist camps.
Now though it seemed overcrowded. The drive was short, the driver lackluster, while the pakistani food was quite nice, we had to wait for a few hours before dinner and the shows started. There wasn't really anything to do, besides listening to the abismal DJ or buy colored sand in bottles (in the desert ...)
So, was it worth it? Well yes and no. For me, having had the experience before, being miserable outside in the heat, no. Then again, probably still better than spending another day inside a mall ...
Probably my weakest Set: Dubai - it was just too hot - no one was outside and I basically spent the entire time inside huge malls.
Day three of London was quite hectic, but nonetheless fun. We started with a little photoshoot at the Hotel, as we had postponed it until the last minute. As I had the shoot with Dee right after, we only spent around 20 minutes or so.
While I went to my photoshoot Ella packed up and checked out. We had around three hours in the City, so we decided to go shopping once again. This time for me. I got my new Lomo lens and a pair of Reeboks.
The rest of the day was basically a rush to the airport including Gin & Tonic and bread & hummus.
Thanks to Ella this was one of the most amazing trips in recent memory.
Also: thanks to Zenmasterdeej for sneakily taking our picture on the subway ;)
Our second day started surprisingly early, so I decided we should go to a flea market. The one we decided on was marketed as a car boot sale although it was on school ground and there were only about 20 cars or so.
I didn't really take too many pictures as we just started a shopping frenzy. All in all we spent around 30 pounds and got loads of stuff, including a nice leather jacket, a vintage reebok track top, an Allsaints merino wool sweater and a few other cute pieces for Ella.
All in all we were incredibly successful.
The third day of our trip was again dominated by shopping. This time in in Camden, followed by Carnaby street and ending with Bibimbap at a wonderful Korean restaurant near chinatown.
I know the quality of the selection lacks compared to most of my other sets... but this was a rather personal trip and I didn't really focus as much as I usually do.
For me it's about the memories I made with Ella.
Quite a large set for only one day, but it was a long first day in London.
Ella and I touched down in London Stansted around 7 am after barely having slept and stayed up until midnight or so.
Our first day, aside from travel, mainly consisted of running through thre streets, sightseeing, trying to not do much touristy stuff, visiting the Tate Modern (my favourite museum), going shopping and to portobello market and eating a burger for good measure.
I will probably spilt our four day trip into three sets, as I think that will be easier to follow.
Overall, as you can see, having someone with me while traveling changes the the subject matter of my pictures. Even though we really didn't shoot much in the sense of a "real" photoshoot, I did take a lot of shots of her exploring the city. As you can see not all of the shots have been taken b me, as she frequenlty took my camera in order to take pictures of me...
It's not that my other pictures are impersonal, but it's just different than I imagined.
As always: shot on M9 and 35mm Summilux - and my Q. - there will be a few shots added later that I took with my recently accquired M4-P ... I still have to scan them though ...
Just another day at the most beautiful work place in Hamburg.
Since I've started working at the Elbphilharmonie I had never experienced a sunset from the inside.
This was it. The first sunset. It didn't disappoint. The Elbphilharmonie ist stunning in it's own right .. but the combination of windows, light and the city of Hamburg just makes it magical - especially if you're basically alone.
All shots taken with the Leica Q - which arrived earlier that day, due to Leica's extremely quick turnaround time!
So this is probably the most pretty, stylized and postcardy set I have posted of Cuba.
Everything evolves around the color blue, the sky and the overall feel that one gets when viewing pictures of Cuba.
The pictures don't reflect the feelings I personally had on Cuba whatsoever...
It's beautiful to look at, the old cars, buildings, the blue sky ... but mostly it's just a very pretty facade.
The overall poverty, greed and pollution are difficult to capture photographically.
So this was basically it. Seven days of Cuba coming to a conclusion.
After returning to Havana from Cinfuegos I walked around the city to enjoy the last last hour or so before sunset.
When I arrived at Rolando's Backpackers it was obviously booked, but a dorm was found nearby - more or less immediately.
Asking for someone else going from Havana to Varadero, I met Carolina whom I spent the last couple of days with.
Those were basically the most enjoyable days of the whole journey - we didn't really get ripped off too much, bought cheap fruit on the market, drank insanely cheap and delicious sugar cane juice ate ice cream and got a relatively inexpensive ride to Varadero.
Our plane was delayed, so naturally after a couple of beers we decided to catch a cab to a nearby (coral) beach.
Pretty good decision since it was easily the nicest sunset I had seen this trip - and I had great company.
Pretty bad decision, since we arrived kind of late, had trouble checking in and were the last passengers on board sharing the middle seats on a 9 hour flight.
Overall one of the best travel days I had. Thank you Carolina
Trinidad is quite a touristy place. Located in the hills about 20 minutes from the next beach.
It's relatively high up and quite steep in places. The buildings are newly renovated, prices are high and there are tourists everywhere.
Nice enough place, but I don't think this is the "real" Cuba at all.
Cinfuegos was probably the most modern town - at least in the center.
Very quiet with lots of renovated buildings - stores that had more to offer than the stores in Havana - and at least some nice locals.
Not much of a nightlife - not that many tourists overall despite a big cruise ship being there.
The lack of tourists sadly also meant that it was very difficult to get back to Havanna. This was probably my most frustrating moment of the whole trip.
Waiting for hours, being traded like cattle not getting a cab - because of greed.
I have been seeing the pictures and romantisizing about cuba for a long time. It's one of the places I always wanted to visit, but usually it was pretty expensive, or I just had other things going on.
So this Christmas, since I had a few days off in the new year, I was looking for cheap last minute flights.
Eurowings had a sale going on, so I just went.
This place was just down the road from my Hostel, and I only found it by chance.
An absolutely gorgeous building complex funded by Prada. Odd mixtures of factory buildings, sterile concrete, glas, golden paint and a cafe designed by Wes Anderson himself.
This place was fascinating to me, maybe more then any other building complex I have seen in the past few years. Nothing on paper makes any sense - it's an odd mix of materials, shapes and emptiness.
Utopian, industrial, concentrationcamp-like 30s modern something. It doesn't make sense - and it's perfect
Bergamo - the town Ryan Air flies to.
I probably wouldn't have ended up here otherwise, but it's a lovely small town in the hills.
Beautiful architecture - probably the best Pizza I ever ate and just overall a pretty place.
I had not been to London since around 2011 - and always had wanted to go back, but for whatever reason never did.
So when I got a return flight with Ryanair for only 12€ I had to go.
Having less than 48 hours, it was a bit stressful but still totally worth it.
Was the name of the party I went to. Trashy, and fun.
Astra Stube just has this look. I love it.
Never went to the Photokina before, train tickets were pretty cheap so Jonas and I just took a day trip.
Here are some impressions ;) - mainly from the Leica Exhibition - which was amazing.
My first time in a Helicopter.
This had been a dream of mine for a long time. Mostly because it's pretty expensive, but also because usually the doors are closed. FlyNYON changes that. Doors open helicopter flights over NYC. Still pricey, but absolutely worth it. Sadly it wasn't the bet day light wise, but overall I'm pretty happy.
Shot with M9 and Summilux wide open as well as the S (006) and 70mm Summarit
I know it seems like an odd choice for the first uploaded set of my six-week NYC trip.
This set was actually shot on three different ferries on two days and in a helicopter on another day.
The Staten Island Ferry is one of my favorite (and free!) attractions in New York and I always take a couple of hours to just spend time on the boat. Not only do I like to shoot downtown Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty, it's just a really quiet and nice ride.
Usually there is only one ferry which you can take back to Manhattan immediately after getting of the boat (which you have to do), but the second time around the return trip had already left when we docked.
Forced to wait half an hour I decided to go upstairs and shoot the skyline from that distance. Luckily I brought my really cheap Mamiya-Tele and Gorillapod, because the thunder storm that was brewing over Manhattan was gorgeous to look at.
All shots with Leica S and 70mm Summarit, 110mm Mamiya 645 or M9 with 35mm Summilux Asph
An afternoon at my favourite city-scape spot in Manhattan.
"TOP OF THE ROCK", though it's not as high as the Empire State or One World, it's not as iconic either. Therefore you basically get the complete Skyline with all the buildings that make NYC's skyline so distinct.
I used a Gorillapod and my S 006, the 70mm Summarit and a few old Mamiya lenses I picked up at Adorama.
On my way to my helicopter flight with Flynyon I had an hour to kill(at least that's what I thought). So I went to Chinatown.
I had just seen this area of chinatown on an instagram picture the day before and it was basically exactly what I was looking for.
It's a tiny area but as soon as you're in it, there just isn't anything american anymore.
All the shots are crooked, lots of them are out of focus and were shot from the hip. It's dirty and poorly executed. I kind of think it fit's the place though. So enjoy my one hour of just snapping away around Pell Street Manhattan.
Oh and the shoes, being white and brand new looked extremely out of place to me, that's why they're in the set.
Leica M9 and 35mm Summilux ASPH as always
A day in Coney Island.
Prior to this visit, right at the end of my New York trip, I had never been to Coney Island.
No wonder Bruce Gilden fell in love with this place and creates a lot of his work right here. Coney Island is amazing. In a very weird nostalgic old-school way. It seems really out of place out of a different time entirely.
Vibrant colors, heat, yet something from another time.
I tried to capture it this way, really candid, on one hand with lots of saturation, on the other rather muted. A mix between old and new, crazy and odd.
I truly fell in love with this place just watching people.
Shot with my Leica M9 and 35mm Summilux ASPH wide open (ND Filter) and the S (006).
My day in Rostock, being awarded first place at the "Rostocker Horizonte" in Warnemünde.
The weather was terrible right up to the event itself.
Saw a photo show, met some wonderful people and had a nice day at the beach.
All shot with the M9 and 35mm Summilux ASPH
Just a quick Berlin visit to see some old friends and shoot with @francafrankenstein
Probably one of the most beautiful sunsets over the village of Masca on the Island of Tenerife.
We did get there a little late, but at a good moment none the less.
A few days later the sunset wasn't nearly as spectacular.
All shot with Leica M9, 35mm Summilux and some of the photos are stitched in Lightroom.
A few hours drive up the vulcano on the island of Tenerife.
The island is truly amazing with such a vast array of different climates, heights and views.
Within a few hours you can lying on a beach, running through snowy forests or be stuck in the desert or on a vulcano.
All shot with the M9 and 35mm Summilux ASPH
Millerntor, St. Pauli vs Red Bull January 2016.
I managed to get a ticket for the sold out game just half an hour prior to the game starting.
St. Pauli won ... it was awesome.
Leica M9 - 35mm Summilux Asph
So Mona and I were invited to go to our friend Ruben's wedding close to Stuttgart.
I did take a few days off to visit Mona at home afterwards. This is where she lives ... not too shabby
Leica M9 - 35mm Summilux ASPH
Rubens Stag was held in Plzn Czechoslovakia.
Of course I had to go .. and of course I had to extend my trip to see a bit more. So I spent a few days in Prague .. the hostel was 4€ a night and it was incredibly modern, probably the nicest hostel I have stayed in.
Leica M9 - 35mm Summilux Asph
In 2005 I graduated High School in Dodge City Kansas ... that's where I learned the principles of photography.
Whenever I can, I try to visit my host family and a few close friends although they all moved to Topeka or Lawrence. It's actually nicer up there, so I don't mind at all.
Leica M9 and 35mm Summilux ASPH, 40mm Rokkor
This was actually a pre- season test game of St. Pauli vs. a spanish team.
The game was alright, St. Pauli won ... for me it was just a day out with my Leica M9 and 35mm Summilux ASPH
I always wanted to visit New Orleans, but hadn't managed despite being in the states for so many times.
It is definitely an interesting place with incredibly lively street life and wonderful street musicians.
Despite that, I somehow didn't really connect with the city (in the extremely short time I actually was there..)
It may have been a bit too touristy .. or I may have been in only the too touristy spots. I'm sure the city is lovely when you know where you have to go.
Leica M9 - 35mm Summilux Asph
So whenever I have a stopover somewhere and it's more than 3 hours or so ... I try to leave the airport and explore the city.
I was in Lisbon for a few days in 2011 so I kind of knew my way around.
Did get a few shots that I liked. It's a lovely city, beautiful and incredibly cheap.
I only nearly missed my flight due to busses not running when they were supposed to.... still had 5 minutes or so. Last call ... oh well. I think the set turned out well, especially for the extremely short timeframe I had.
35mm Summilux on my M9 ... of course
I don't go out explicitly with the goal of shooting something all too often.
One night I suppose I was very bored so I packed my cheap tripod, M9, 35mm Summilux and 50mm Nokton to get a few long exposure shots on the Reeperbahn.
Yeah .. well. It is what it is.
This are the wonderful new headquarters and factory of Leica in Wetzlar, Germany.
After moving from Wetzlar to Solms in 1987, the company returned a couple of month prior to my visit in 2014.
I actually went because I was going to get a quote on my broken M9.
Turns out, Leica repaired it for free, yay.
Since my M8 and M9 were in service, these were shot with the Ricoh GR
Istanbul before the whole Erdowahn madness ...
Leica M9 with 40mm Minolta, 90mm Summicron and 25mm Voigtländer - Ricoh GR