Yesterday morning I was woken up from a feverish sleep by a strong eartquake, shaking the windows and doors of my room. It was accompanied by a deep rumbling. As I found out later on the news, this rumbling had actually been the eruption of a volcano less than 10 kilometers away.
Later I went out on the streets to see how people were reacting. You would find little groups gathering around the radio and listening, but aside from that it was business as usual.
As on any sunday the masses were streaming down the streets on their way to church. If it were more than usual praying to god for sparing their town from disaster? Maybe, maybe not. Most likely, everyone who lives in Baños has just gotten used to having a highly active volcano in the neighborhood. In 1999 the entire city even had to be evacuated because of the Tungurahua volcano.
On this day, you couldn’t even see too much activity as the volcano was hiding behind a thick mix of ashes, smoke and regular clouds. Only from above and cities further away there was more to see.
Sad part of the story is that now many of the people living around the volcano will most likely lose all their crop. Even though later they help to make the soil more nutrient-rich, once the ashes come down (a thick layer of the grey dust had already everywhere on the ground) they will for now destroy everything.
Some weeks ago I uploaded a bunch of photos of a deserted university campus during Winter Break. As I took many photos during these boring days, I decided to present Part II. So here are more photos of the UNT campus how only few students might have seen it:
Continue reading Campus of the Living Dead
Lately I’ve been experimenting a lot with image editing on my smartphone. There are so many apps out there for taking photos and editing them, but in my opinion only a few of them are really useful. One of my latest photos is this one:
I didn’t take it in or anywhere close to a war zone, neither have I experienced (not counting Left4Dead) a zombie apocalypse – I just edited an average photo to give it a more interesting look.
But how exactly did I edit it? Let me tell you. Continue reading Aftermath
This week, we saw carnival celebrations taking place all around the globe. Even though I’m not a big fan, I couldn’t completely avoid the festivities. This year I was in the city of Flörsheim and I could show you some photos of the parade; but honestly, I don’t really feel like it. For me, it’s all the same. Mildly funny costumes, drunk people and lot’s of Heiterkeit (german for cheerfulness). Just not my kind of fun (and don’t worry, I have fun in my life).
So I was looking for an interesting shot this day anyway. At the end of the parade I had given up, there was not really anything that caught my attention. Then however I saw what all this cheerfulness left behind after the parade had passed and people started to return home. The streets were flooded with trash: empty bottles, plastic cups, confetti, all kinds of sh*t.
I guess this is the ugly side of each event that only few people ever see. It’s like your own birthday party – the guest leave and you are left with the aftermath. Just try to walk through a fair at 4 a.m. or check out a concert after it’s over. I promise, it will look like World War 3. And the next morning, magically it’ll all have disappeared. What’s sad is that most don’t even question their behavior or think about the people who spend their night cleaning our mess.
Last october I took a walk through an area of my city called “Schlachthof” – slaughterhouse. Back then this must have been a pretty bloody and creepy place.
In 2006, the last steaks were made and the place shot down. Right now it’s in the process of becoming a home for arts and creative business. A bunch of mostly media and advertising agencies have opened offices there, as well as nightclubs, restaurants, etc. In a nutshell: the place to be for any hipster. So of course there is always a swarm of folks, who instagram every inch of this place … something that I would never do…
What can I say? Couldn’t resist to check it out. And yeah, I had fun. It was a pretty cool place after all. You wanna explore more and more. Walking around I suddenly came across this little piano workshop. While I can’t explain why the owner decided to store some of his pianos outside the building, I kinda loved the look of it. These time-worn pianos surrounded by buildings that looked like they would come down any minute … it really fascinated me. I’m excited to see how this place will change as construction goes on.
For many years -until I moved to another city- I had been a firefighter at the local Fire Department. As I was already into photography at this time, I was trying to document our work as good as possible. In this time I learned a lot about how to discretely shoot photos, as you don’t want to take a photo right in front of some people whose house is burning down. When I come to think about it, I took really few photos of actual fire – because as long as its burning, you usually don’t have a moment for that…
At this time, I was working with a Olympus C-960, which was back then a quite good camera. The resolution wasn’t too high, but the images were really sharp and had brilliant colors. For a camera in 2001, that was already a lot to ask. But most of all, this camera was tough. It fell down, got wet, was in freezing cold and burning houses, but that old thing still works like it just came out of the factory.
So, what happened on this photo? We were called to a fire in a barn. When the first car arrived, it was already completely on fire and the roof coming down. I took this photo maybe 15 minutes after I had arrived. We had surrounded the burning building and were gradually extinguishing the flames. What you can’t see, is that I was in full gear, just as my comrade in front of the lens. That was pretty exhausting work, as it was mid-summer and already freaking hot. Now imagine sitting in the sun, in front of a fire in thick clothes, breathing trough a mask. Pure fun 🙂
When I arrived at the old factory, some people had gathered. Not many, but at least some. Good sign! Before I hadn’t been sure if there would really be something happening. News were going around that a controlled demolition team was about to blow up something. For them it was no big deal, they hadn’t announced this anywhere in the newspapers, just involved the necessary officials. However, the news had found its way to some people and I was one of them.
It would be excagerating to speak of a spectacular event. To be honest, the actual explosion was neither loud nor involved any impressive fireworks. It was a subtle boom and the tower collapsed in itself. Show over.
At this time, I didn’t had the best camera, so I was pretty happy to have got at least one decent shot. Oh, and note the little pink toilet both on the left side. Which cruel boss sends his heavy duty guys on a pink John?