Thursday, March 22, 2007

Other Side

This photo is a very important one. It's my step out of the office into incredible 3 weeks of vacation.
I guess I'm really ready for a holiday. My internal batteries are almost empty.

This time I'm about to visit the other side of the planet and I'm really excited.
There is a very small atoll in the Pacific Ocean called Truk Lagoon. Within that lagoon sleeps a huge ghost fleet of sunken japanese WW2 wrecks and I'm going to scuba dive some of them [more on Wikipedia...].

My song for the two weeks is "Oh My God" from "Kaiser Chiefs" [Video on] - especially the refrain.

No new postings for the next two weeks. Stay tuned until my return to cold Germany (at about Eastern).

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Stairway Rolls

Some days start with a smile.
For example when you open the door of your apartment and you notice that your neighbour put a little basket with fresh rolls and some pastry in front of your door.

Monday, March 19, 2007


Check out your life for hands. I'm sure it's full of them. I found the hands on this posting in less than 30 minutes.
But sometimes it seems that every time you need a hand in the figurative sense, no one seems to notice you.
Probably the hands are needed to keep eyes and ears shut.

Sunday, March 18, 2007


Fürth is kind of a jewish city. At least compared with other German towns in which the Nazi a**holes wiped out all jewish life almost completely.
Today I visited a Festival in Fürth with Yiddish Klezmer music.
I love this kind of music very much. It's that incredible combination of sad and melancholy melodies and vitality and happyness at the same time. It seems that a clarinet can change it's mood within a second.

Several local Klezmer bands played in pubs in Fürth and people hopped from one place to the next. It was great to hear different styles of Klezmer on one evening. Although all places were were crowded I forced my way to the stage (or the corner of the pub in which the band played) to shoot some photos.

The bearded guy was sparkling with vitality. Not just a little but really really fond of life. Great to watch and great to listen to.

The other band was called "Global Shtetl Band" and played not only classic Yiddish songs but also Klezmer songs that sounded like Buenos Aires or Miami. I was not able to stand still.
I learned that the Yiddish language sometimes is richer than German. It has even an affectionate form for the simple word "You" - called "Duzhe". I like rich languages.

Too bad that no one joined me. For some reason none of my friends like this kind of music.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Monologues / Dialogues

Click on photo to enlarge

Most of the time we are communicating. Most of the time we think we are in dialogues. Dialogues? Really?
I have the impression that most of our so called dialogues are simply monologues - one after another.
For me a dialogue is about listening and reacting to what the counterpart is saying.
Except a few exceptions no one is interested in what you want to say at all. When someone is listening he/she most of the time simply waits for your next comma to start the next monologue.
When was the last time that you had the feeling that someone is really intersted in what you are saying?

You might ask what the woman on the photo has to do with that? A lot.
I was never sure whether praying is a monologue or a dialogue.
The woman looked very sunken and to me it appeared more like listening than speaking.

I had kind of a fight with myself whether I should take a photo of the woman. Did I lack respect? I came to the conclusion that noticing and thinking about other people is also a kind of respect.
The woman started something inside me. For a start I will print out the photo right now and place it somewhere in my apartment just to remind me how important listening is.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Window Posing

During a walk through Vienna I saw two salesgirls decorating the shop window of a clothes shop. I liked the coexistence of lifeless display dummies and human beings.
I waved at the girls and tried to asked them with gestures through the window whether I can shoot a photo of them.
Instead of a simple nodding instantly both of them started posing like models. They moved, turned around, put their hands on their hips and looked like on a real photo shooting. Crazy how fast girls can change their behaviour completely. No man would be able to do so - at least not me. So I turned into a famous fashion photographer and jumped around in front of the window with a big grin on my face. I guess the girls liked it, too.

Some passers-by stopped and watched the fashion shooting and I'm pretty sure that they had no clue what was going on. I tried to capture the reflections of the watching passers-by in the window but I failed on that.
Anyway, the scenery was great even without capturing the whole thing.

Maybe I should send some paper prints to the shop.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Mrs. Crow

I'm back from Vienna. A long and exhausting week but far more interesting and far more funny than I thought it would be.

I even met Mrs. Crow. She had something important to do in front of the Hofburg in Vienna. It took me quite a while to get that close and it wasn't obvious to me whether Mrs. Crow liked me or not.

Vienna is awesome - especially on the first warm sunny day in spring. I'll show you a few more glimpses of the city in the next days.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Vienna Week

I'm on a business trip to Vienna for one week. Therefore the next posting probably won't be published until Wednesday, March 14th.

Let's see whether I will manage it this time to get a glimpse of the Vienna outside the exhibition halls of the European Congress of Radiology.

Same procedure as last year. Life is spectacular.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Willow Catkin

Click on photo to enlarge

I like these kind of twigs a lot. In German they are called "Palmkätzchen" and literally translated it means "palm tree kittens".
For me they are a very strong indicator for the spring.

As a child I even liked the name. I can remember that for me the little catkins really looked like little kittens with grey fur and sometimes I created little cat families out of them.

Sometimes language is poetic just by giving things names, isn't it?

I shot these twigs on a farmer's market in Fürth. The owner of the booth was an old man with a furrowed face. He saw me taking photographs and stepped by. Instantly I thought he was about to throw me off his booth. This wouldn't be unusual. But it was quite the contrary: He said in a funny Franconian accent "Hey, follow me. I'll show you some twigs that are even more beautiful".
An old man that love twigs can't be a bad person, can he?

Oh, that's what he showed me:

I'm not absolutely sure whether willow catkin is the correct English name. Hints are appreciated.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Duckbill Machine

I love to look for hidden faces in my all days life. Sometimes I can't stop myself and end up finding animals and faces almost everywhere.

This one I already saw in January while having brunch in a Café. A little while ago I stumpled upon the photo and remembered that I intended to post it.

For me the machine wasn't for creating orange juice but simply a duckbill-like animal that eats oranges. I didn't dare to drink orange juice that day.

Today I saw that the machine is not for making orange juice but for crushing ice. Mmh - this means I avoided the orange juice on that day for no reason.

Missed Eclipse

Yesterday was an eclipse of the moon. Luckily there were lots of clouds. Therefore I hadn't a guilty conscience, because I went to the theater instead of watching the moon.
One hour ago while sitting at the computer I spotted the full moon out of my window. It looked so big and bright, it was really amazing. I instantly removed all the flowers from my window sill, opened the window and tried to shoot photos of the moon - even without eclipse.
It didn't work out well. My zoom lens is way to weak and the rotation of the earth is even worse. I shot approx. 20 photos and on each one the moon (or the earth?) moved a little bit. At least it was great to realize that things move.

No, I won't buy a bigger lens. No, I won't. No, I won't.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Shopping Cart

On our way to our lunch break we found an abandoned shopping cart. I forced my colleage to jump in and we did some rallye experiments. I was surprised that he trusted me as a pilot.
I like shopping carts and I like thinking about what one can use them for instead of shopping. Once I heard of a guy that constantly stole carts and use them as cages for his rabbits. I guess I'd use it on my balcony to put flower pots inside.

Sometimes shopping carts remind me of life. You know exactly what it takes to be happy. All you have to do is to grab it, put it in your shopping cart and drive it to the checkout. You are about to grab a cart but you lack the right coin to unlock it.
You search your pockets, as always you don't dare to ask a passerby for a coin and after some minutes you feel bad. All you can do is to leave the happyness on its shelf and go away even unhappier than you arrived. But at least you can blame the locked shopping cart for feeling sad.

On our way back to the office we passed by a bargain sale in a factory hall. It was the same place were we organized the "useless thing competition" a few months ago. We couldn't resist in searching for more useless things. I liked a little prayer drum best. The funny thing was that no one dared to stare at us when we played it. Germans are so damn polite.

Here is a small completely useless video of the cart experience.

High Sensitive

As soon as you handle technical stuff that is a little bit expensive you put big orange stickers with "High Sensitive" on it and store it on a cushioned flight case.
On the other hand if it comes to human beings no one cares about handling with care.
I guess life would be easier if one would have such an orange sticker on the forehead on bad days indicating that today there's a bit more sure instinct required.
Yes, I know there are a lot of orange-sticker-like gestures in human behaviour that one could read. But I'm neither good at using that gestures nor in spotting them.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Bavarian Reggae

Click on photo to enlarge.

A colleague and I agreed in trying to visit a concert at least once a month. Today we attended the one for March and it's only the first day of the month. I really hope that therefor the rest of March won't be free from Live music.

We listened to a German Guy named Hans Söllner. His music sounds like Reggae with German lyrics in a very strong Bavarian accent. I don't think that the audience outside of Bavaria understand a single word. Lucky me.
The stories behind his songs mostly accuse politicians or grievances in our very compassionte society.
Hans Söllner entered the stage and instead of playing the first song he started to talk about Joints and the German Chancellor Angela Merkel (he always addressed her as "der Merkel"). He said that sometimes he forgets to play more or less completely because he talks too much while standing on stage.
Since many years he is in constant fight with the law because of some Mariuhana stuff and because some politicians sued him because they felt offended.

It was a lot of fun listening to the music while nodding from left to right.

I managed to bring the Fat Lotte (my camera) in but I had to promise the guy at the door to only shoot photos during the first two songs. You know what? I held my promise although it was a hard thing. Shooting the photos was also difficult because of my decision to shoot the portraits of Hans Söllner in manual mode without having aperture and shutter speed calculated automatically. Facing the fact that I'm not used to that yet I'm kind of satisfied.

Click on photo to enlarge.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Thumbs Up

On a window sill in Nuremberg I saw strange plants. In some very small flower pots there were green thumbs.
I liked the idea a lot and the sight made me a big grin. I tried to imagine how to grow bigger body parts like legs or if noses get red if you spill them too often.