A few weeks ago I escaped to the desert. Only a couple hours drive from busy Los Angeles there is a world of quietness and spring flowers.
The month of August was a whirlwind of trips, visitors and celebrations. Between birthday parties, all three kids back at home - friends included, and countless trips to the airport, it can be difficult to stay cool and relaxed.Oh, did I mention my dog, my cat and the extremely cute and playful kitten? You get the picture, right?
As much as I love it when the house is full of laughter, I tend to stress out over the workload of things that need to be organized. While it might sound counter productive, that's the time to take a break and do something for my soul. So I pick up my camera and play.
The more stressful my life is, the more I tend to go for quiet pictures. Twice a week I drop my daughter off at a barn for her horseback riding lessons. It nests in a gorgeous neighborhood with an abundance of trees. Once the sun sets behind the mountains, the light is warm and inspiring.
Continuing last month's trend, I decided to whip out my Lensbaby Trio 28 lens. Within minutes I felt my body and soul relaxing. Picture by picture, click after click I could feel how the combination of nature and love fixed me.
At the beginning of the year I came across a saying that I made my personal motto for 2018:
IF YOU GET TIRED, LEARN TO REST, NOT TO QUIT
Going out and taking pictures, I must admit, is a very active form of rest. Nevertheless it get's me in the moment. I love how it recharges my batteries. Go try it out yourself and let me know how it worked for you!
This blog post is part of the blog circle I joined in January. We are a group of Lensbaby enthusiasts from all around the world. Each month we share a blog post of Lensbaby images. Every blog in the circle will end with a link to the next member. Please continue your journey and head over to Seonaid's blog. Thanks for reading and see you soon again with more stories!
Have you ever heard about the city of Lübeck? It's a picturesque small town in northern Germany listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, home of the German author Thomas Mann and many of my childhood memories. My aunt and uncle have lived there most of their lives and I try to fly back to visit them, as well as other relatives, once a year. Much of the old town has kept a medieval appearance with old buildings and narrow streets, which adds another layer of German Gemütlichkeit.
After 12 years in the US, going back to Germany always makes me think and wonder about where I came from, who I am now, and how to define home. With my German accent and taste I will never be a true American, but due to the many years in other countries I am also no longer a real German. And so every trip is a little bit like homecoming while at the same time I feel I discover an unknown universe.
Part of the unknown universe this year was an afternoon at the Schatz Café (Treasure Coffee Store). When my aunt suggested to go out for coffee and cake, I had no expectations. The place is hidden in a quiet neigborhood and only open two days a week. They are famous for their homemade cakes that often sell out within two hours after opening.
But let me tell you, there is so much more to this place than their truly delicious cake. The moment you enter the courtyard from the street, you have just crossed into another world. What awaits you is an incredible collection of gorgeous, yet strange impressions, antiques, friendliness, and all things belonging to the past.
After looking around for what felt like hours I needed to find out who created this magical space. And so I was introduced to Imke, who, together with her husband Jan, first rented and later bought the property. Over the last years they turned it into a world of their own.
To help digest the cake I went outside where Jan's universe, the Schatzkammer - in many ways also the other half of Imke's world - waited for me to be explored.
Thinking about why I felt so at home at this place of random connections, I realized that it looks a lot how I feel: a good mixture of cultures, decades, and colors. Welcoming in its strangeness, and at the same time a little odd in a world of order and rules. I think this sums up how it feels to come back home once a year and realizing it no longer is home, but still a place where I feel very comfortable.
Thank you Imke and Jan for a wonderful afternoon. I hope to come back one day and enjoy more of your art of welcoming strangers and all things odd!
So long, Germany, it's time for me to go. Leaving the old and known behind, returning to my home far away from home.
This blog post is part of the blog circle I joined in January. We are a group of Lensbaby enthusiasts from all around the world. Each month we share a blog post of Lensbaby images. Every blog in the circle will end with a link to the next member. I hope you enjoyed reading about my Lübeck adventure with the Lensbaby Burnside 35. Please continue your journey and head over to Keri's blog "Walking with the Burnside" at Keri's photo adventures. Thanks for reading and see you soon again with more stories from my upcoming trip to the Turks and Caicos!
Ten days ago I went to Florida to attend Click Away 2018, a conference for photographers. Imagine being surrounded by the beach, good food, even better company, all things photography related: you get the picture.
My lens of choice for this event was the still new to me Lensbaby Burnside 35. Looks like our relationship is turning into a longterm thing. I really enjoy the storytelling quality that the 35 mm focal length gives every picture, as you can see in following beach shots.
In between workshops there was plenty of time to make new friends and explore the beautiful island. I started every morning with a long, foggy beach walk.
With a view like in the following picture it's hard not to be excited about photography. It's safe to assume that I took this picture every single day, because I loved watching how the colors changed over the course of the day.
The best part with these kind of events is hanging out with friends who get you. So here is a glimpse behind the scenes. And yes, it is normal for us to belly dive into a picture.
This blog post is part of the blog circle I joined in January. We are a group of Lensbaby enthusiasts from all around the world. Each month we share a blog post of Lensbaby images. Every blog in the circle will end with a link to the next member. I hope you enjoyed reading about my Florida adventure with the Lensbaby Burnside 35. Please continue your journey and head over to Birgit Fostervold's blog (Lensbirdie). Thanks for reading and see you soon again with more stories from my upcoming trip to the city of Lübeck in Northern Germany!
Last month I was approached by Lensbaby to beta test their newest creation, the Burnside 35. Once the lens arrived at my house, I could not wait to try it out. Like all Lensbaby lenses it is a manual lens, which I like a lot, because it makes me think harder and slow down before I take a picture. An added bonus is the little switch at the side of the lens, that let's you add a vignette to the photo. But the true beauty of this lens lies in the circular bokeh that it creates. So I ventured out and tried everything from landscapes, to selfportraits, to street style photography and of course environmental portraits. Let me tell you, it did it all. This lens is extremely versatile. To create the delicious bokeh I learned there are some rules that need to be followed. Distance from subject to background is key. In the beginning that was a little strange, but once I got the hang of it, I fell in love with the pictures, that you can create with this lens. But please, have a look. Because a picture says more than a 100 words.