Retrospective: 2018

The year is winding down fast and even though I have spent more time with photography as ever before it seems like I have only barely held up achieving 50% of what I originally envisioned to do not having the time to put in as much of it into shooting and processing as I had hoped. The year had a slow start due to a spinal injury I suffered and which took me several months to recover from.

As you can read in my last retrospective most of what I had planned originally worked out however. I went to the US again, I revisited Teneriffe and Rügen (actually I gave a workshop in Rügen as well) got to shoot the Alps with Philipp Lutz again and so on. I actually also visited Iceland on two occasions as well and did some smaller ventures on top of that. It was a year of working with my sponsors FLM and Haida more closely on product development and working on the Photokina, meeting a lot of new faces and friends. Last but not least it was a great year for my Podcast Project having put out episodes on a regular basis with some of my favorite photographers as guests. It was a successful year not doubt. Hopefully I will get some more time, or more effective management of my resources to improve my photography further in 2019.

Now let us take a look at some of my favorite shots of the year!

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#11 Coming in at number eleven is this shot from the heart of Iceland for which I had to walk 8km through deep snow in order to get to the spot because the highland roads were long closed in December. It was a pretty interesting shooting since we had almost no time with the sun already dipping below the horizon at 3pm in those parts. Thus I had to be quick with the hiking despite the difficult conditions. On the location the snow however offered some great foregrounds to experiment with and I am more than satisfied with the outcome.

#10 One of the classic cases where everything just fell into place; coming in at the last second, finding my envisioned composition within a couple of minutes, the light goes off on the mountains and the shutter makes a sound, done. One of the easiest but somehow very rewarding shoots of the year.

#9 This one would be further up the list had it not been that I felt like had I been able to spent more than a day in the area I would have gotten away with something even more amazing. But an incoming storm forbid that. None the less having the geothermal area all to myself for my stay that evening was in itself greatly rewarding. One of the perks of travelling alone from time to time is that the experiences become even more immersive.

#8 One of the images that was fairly hard to get due to the weather conditions. You would think that in the desert blue skies are common, but of course this year during my stay in the Moab area it was abysmal. Two days of overcast sky and rain and even fog, so loosing some time in order to reel this one in was the only solution. After waiting three days revisiting this spot a couple of times for the right light culminated in this shot at dawn, long before the masses arrived with only two other photographers on the spot when I took this.

#7 Is this surreal display of light over one of the many lakes in the foothills of the Alps. Philipp and I were enjoying the cool water after a hot summer day all the while taking long exposures of submerged fireplaces along the shoreline. The light was simply amazing with all sorts of color palettes present in the image I felt like I had captures something special. One of the most relaxed shots of the year and that relaxing atmosphere translates into a great image I suppose.

#6 Again one of the shots from the heart of Iceland far away from the tourist bustle. It is interesting to see that sometimes simplicity is all that it takes. This shot stands symbolically for the shots I did not get when I actually made it into those mountains a day later and the weather turned bad. Nonetheless the anticipation to be there for me is oozing out of this shot. One of the reasons why I just ordered a metal print of this mountain vista.

#5 Already on my wall is this Iceland shot which I took on my birthday this year. Only 2 weeks before I stood up one Sunday and out of a whim decided I should go to the island again, booked a flight that was surprisingly cheap and started marking the locations I wanted to hunt down this time. So this one is a testament to simply doing something spontaneous once in a while. Also I love that rugged part of the coast only few people shoot while visiting this gold mine of country.

#4 A simple sundown at the Baltic coast with not much to go for it graphically, but a lot for me personally, travelling with a very dear friend and partner of one of fellow landscape photographers Jan Pusdrowski. I was a this spot with him back in 2011 and coming back so many years later with his partner taking about what Jan and I been up to last time we visited those shores was a treat. Also I was already full of anticipation for my Rügen Workshop that would ensue only weeks later. Somehow this warm sunset shot captured the feeling of the trip perfectly, pure bliss. That is what Rügen does for me every time I am there; also the fish is great. Check out my Rügen workshop for 2019 if you want to be part of this special treat next year.

#3 Is an abstract from Colorado. I arrived a couple of days early in order to capture the last leaves of Indian Summer before driving down to Utah. One of the goals was to try some alternative techniques for capturing the fall feeling and even though this may not be appealing to the masses, for me it does what it I wanted it to: capturing the essence of fall among aspen trees in Colorado.

#2 One of my telepanos of this year and one of my definite favorites because I finally managed to capture some of the might of the Chamonix valley I have been visiting over and over again the last eight years. I just had to visit six times in order to finally produce something that really resonated with me in this way. Instead of the usual lake shore and reflection with a sunset this shot encapsules the feeling of being the mountains when it is not pleasant, when the wind rises and you can feel the onset of a rain shower far away from shelter.

#1 Goes to the classic Tenerife seascape. I love the dynamism of the scene because the convergence of light, form and texture sets this apart from all the other shots I took this year. This is one of those shots that makes you think, „no need to come back here, I just got the best shot I can possibly take“ and will certainly be one of my best for years to come. Not to mention I spent the evening in the best possible company as well.

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What more to ask then having so many images that I would like to add another one to the list? Well, there is much more to do in 2019, hosting more workshops as I love sharing my love for the craft with other photographers. Holding seminars and lectures to improve other peoples understanding of landscape photography and during that process get in touch with more interesting folks who enrich my life.

Hopefully I will have time to create a new calendar for 2020 again. Sadly this year I just didn’t have the time as September to November were extremely busy and didn’t allow for much personal work.

Either way, maybe you’re interested in knowing what I will be doing in 2019 photography wise? I will shoot down in Lesotho which will be my first time shooting in Africa, I intend to go to the states again this time to hunt storms with my friend Jonas Piontek, or later in the year to shoot the desert monsoon. I will visit the beautiful Saxony Switzerland again in preparation for my fall time workshop in the area. And then there is the annual alpine hike with my pal Phil. Other than that there is much in my head which yet needs to take concrete form. So let us see what the next year will bring. I wish everyone that all your had work pays of whatever you may be up to!