Portrait Session with the Lensbaby Edge 35

If you are a Lensbaby beginner and wonder which of the many Lensbaby lenses to use for a portrait session, the Edge 35 is your friend. What I really love about this extremely versatile piece of glass is that it makes finding focus really easy. Unlike other manual lenses, this one is fast and very accurate. It's simple to take sharp and beautiful pictures while staying connected to your subject. I also really like the 35 mm focal length which gives you a great variety from close up to environmental portraits.  Here are some of my favorites from last month's portrait session. A big thanks to Jé for working so well with me:)

Questions? Ask me anything!

For more info on the Lensbaby Edge 35head over to their website!

This blog post is part of a blog circle. We are a group of Lensbaby enthusiasts from all around the world. Each month we share a blog post of Lensbaby images. Please continue your journey, head over to Gizella and read about her March adventures.

(Not sponsored by Lensbaby)


How I Create Art, Even When Life Is Busy

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!


Treasure Hunt in Lübeck, Northern Germany

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. 

 

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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. 

One of the many cozy corners that make you want to hang out a little longer and order another cup of coffee while dreaming and time traveling.

One of the many cozy corners that make you want to hang out a little longer and order another cup of coffee while dreaming and time traveling.

Looking up into a world of all things music.

Looking up into a world of all things music.

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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. 

Imke Dürken, a master of many trades, soul and owner of the café is also working in the back of the place as a carpenter.

Imke Dürken, a master of many trades, soul and owner of the café is also working in the back of the place as a carpenter.

A look into her kitchen where coffee and cake are prepared for customers

A look into her kitchen where coffee and cake are prepared for customers

A little touch of color that adds to the overall feel of being welcome is found everywhere

A little touch of color that adds to the overall feel of being welcome is found everywhere

Past and present in multiple frames

Past and present in multiple frames

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Reserved emergency seating for Hubertus. Who is Hubertus? I did not meet him, but sure loved the sign. Maybe next time...

Reserved emergency seating for Hubertus. Who is Hubertus? I did not meet him, but sure loved the sign. Maybe next time...

And who is this moose?

And who is this moose?

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. 

Jan and his Schatzkammer is a great resource for anything related to the past. From antique dolls to random knick-knacks, you can literally spend hours in his kingdom of forgotten treasures.

Jan and his Schatzkammer is a great resource for anything related to the past. From antique dolls to random knick-knacks, you can literally spend hours in his kingdom of forgotten treasures.

Big red barn doors welcoming you into the Schatzkammer (House of Treasures)

Big red barn doors welcoming you into the Schatzkammer (House of Treasures)

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Collection of signs from all over the world

Collection of signs from all over the world

Everything you see is for sale; even the bike hanging from the ceiling.

Everything you see is for sale; even the bike hanging from the ceiling.

If only this bear could tell his story.

If only this bear could tell his story.

Once loved.

Once loved.

These guys are ready to report for work!

These guys are ready to report for work!

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. 

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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!


Click Away 2018, Amelia Island, Florida

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.

Amelia Island Beach inviting you to walk for hours

Amelia Island Beach inviting you to walk for hours

Soft light, the ocean and white sand equals photography heaven

Soft light, the ocean and white sand equals photography heaven

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. 

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A random stranger showing me a sand dollar she found that morning taken with Lensbaby Burnside 35. I love the circular bokeh and how it helps to separate the main subject from the background.

A random stranger showing me a sand dollar she found that morning taken with Lensbaby Burnside 35. I love the circular bokeh and how it helps to separate the main subject from the background.

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. 

Afternoon glow at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort

Afternoon glow at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort

Morning light with ocean view

Morning light with ocean view

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.

Lucy in action...

Lucy in action...

...and this is the result.

...and this is the result.

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!