Focus on the Little Things

Before going to the rainforest, I did tons of reading. How would I have to prepare myself and my equipment for this trip? I found a lot, but no definite answers. Some completely ruined their cameras in the environment, others had no trouble at all. In the end, I choose to take as little equipment as possible. So I just packed my Sony NEX and one lens, the Sigma 30 mm F2,8 (didn’t have a zoom lens at this time). I thought this was the best choice for the rainforest. And then I came across ants…

Ants in the Rainforest

These leafcutter ants, carrying pieces of leafs many times there own size, are for sure impressive – but damn hard to shoot when you have the wrong lens. Usually in these moments you would go for a macro lens and be happy, but I didn’t had any choice.

Ants in the Rainforest

At the same time, I wanted some parts of the picture out of focus, of course making it harder for me to shoot. What I did was switching to manual focus, aiming at a certain point and then wait until the ants came into focus. You shoot some pictures and hope one snapshot GOES well. I learned that it’s best to look up from your screen or viewfinder in order to best anticipate the moment when the ants come into focus. Still, it’s incredibly hard because they really don’t feel like stopping for nice photo. The little bastards keep running 😉

Ants in the Rainforest

In the end, I managed to get some nice shots with the equipment given at this moment. What do you think?

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Chillin’ in the sun

Last year I had the chance to visit some of the Galapagos islands. Every morning we went by boat to the various islands. It was a bumpy ride and usually you would always find someone at the rear of the boat throwing up into the ocean.

Galapagos Islands

But once you reached your destination after the 2 hours ride, it was completely worth it. I was blown away by the paradisiacal landscape and the diversity of animal life.

Galápagos sea lion

This friend here, a Galápagos sea lion, waited for our boat on my second day there. As they cool down in the water, sea lions (just like some of us) love to heat up before they take a swim. Just chillin’ in the sun, carefree and untroubled.

Wintertime Sadness

Last winter I visited Frankfurt and while being on the subway I took this photo. What fascinated me were the faces of the people – all of them seemed to be depressed and in a bad mood, sick of the long winter in Germany:

On the Subway

The floor of the train is still full of water from the snow, carried by the shoes of everyone. It makes everything look dirty and not like a comfortable place. For this mood, a black and white picture felt appropriate. I think it’s the perfect portrait of a long winter – without showing any snow.

The Pirate Bay

There is a place that you always dreamed of: A place where you can find clothes of all brands, a collection of movies and games bigger than you have seen in any shop or videostore, the newest phones, biggest TVs – and everything cheaper than you’ll ever find it. Too good to be true? Well, there’s a downside: One way or another, it’s all pirated.

La Bahia

La Bahia (the bay) in Guayaquil, Ecuador is a street market full of copied DVDs, stolen phones and fake brands. While this is not true for all the market, it’s true for a large part of it. If you have been robbed some days before, there is a good chance that you can buy back your phone right here.

At the same time it is a fascinating place. Most of the market consists of little stands that stretch across various street blocks, other vendors sell from houses, for some business you might even walk into the backyards.

La Bahia

Now, how do you take photos in a place like this? As a friend told me before, people there are not too excited to see someone running around with a camera – and this coming from a local, now imagine a white boy with his Sony NEX. I decided to go for my old Nokia N95. Even though being from 2007, the camera in the phone has 5 Megapixels and decent image quality. In order to shoot fast I switched the autofocus to infinite. The results were surprisingly good. First of all, shooting was incredibly fast, I didn’t raise too much attention with my small phone and the image quality was overall satisfying.

La Bahia

If you ever come to Guayaquil, make sure to check out this market. It is worth a look. However, while it might be tempting, I wouldn’t buy any used electronics, then after all in many cases this means supporting armed robbery. So just enjoy some window shopping in the pirate bay.