Winter is here!

Finally, it is freezing cold and even snowed a little here in Zurich: the right time for a few chilling nearby compositions. Before, we had only a few wintery days between Christmas and New Year. On three or four mornings, everything in my neighbourhood was covered by a frosty icing. This winterly decoration was beautiful and impressive from afar, but it was even more amazing the closer I looked. When I bent down and kneeled on the ground (until my knees hurt because they were so cold) I did not only discover tiny ice crystals, but frozen drops of morning dew. It almost looked like frozen Christmas tree balls.

I must have been a strange sight, kneeling and lying in the frozen meadow, slowly moving back and forth, left and right. I did indeed catch the interest of some dogs and walkers who were wondering what on earth I was doing (at least this was my interpretation of the former's barking). I was of course trying to arrange the frozen blades of grass, in the fore- and background, to my liking. Nine results of these attempts are shown here -  I hope you do not mind the repetition. One additional composition of frozen morning dew has already been shown in the last post.

Thank you for visiting!

2016/01/18 by Florian Freimoser
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Old year summary - new year outlook

An old year has ended, a new one has just begun a few days ago. For many, this is a reason to look back and forward, to reminisce and to plan ahead. Sometimes I contemplate radical changes or think about (over-)ambitious goals for my photography: A photograph a day, a one-camera-one-lens project for an entire year, printing every week .... or stopping this blog entirely. Since I cannot bring myself to do any of this, I will try to continue as I did and to respond to opportunities that present themselves. I will try to become more efficient with my time in order to be able to write and photograph more regularly than during much of 2015. Of course we have also a few trips planned for 2016, to which I am looking forward already now!

With respect to photography, 2015 was a mixed year for me. I remember it as the year I destroyed a lot of gear (2 cameras, 1 lens; a third camera had a defect but could be repaired). On the positive side, one lens miraculously survived an entire day in water and one camera, although a total loss according to the manufacturer (servicing company), still takes photographs and only the screen is not working anymore (and battery life has dropped significantly).

My work (as a mycologist) has become and is still getting more interesting, which is a highly welcome development, but also takes away energy and time for photography. In addition, I have started cycling to work about twice per week during much of last year, thus had to get up earlier (it is almost 30 km one way), and as a consequence was more tired in the evenings, when I usually write for this blog or work on my photographs. On the other hand, I am in much better shape (physically) than since a very long time - a great feeling!

Scrolling through my photographs of 2015 first of all brings back memories of our trips: a fantastic holiday in New Zealand, a wonderful wildflower springtime stay in southern France, summer hiking in the Swiss Alps, and autumn in Bavaria. There are also a few nearby compositions, but less than in previous years; the large majority of this years photo compositions have been taken during our trips. I have taken a lot more macro photographs than in a long time (partly stimulated by the purchase of a new macro lens), in particular wildflower photographs, and I will show these, little by little, in the Flora section. In this blog post I am showing 12 of my favourite photographs of this year. It is a combination of diverse genres that comprises previously shown, but also a few new compositions. I hope you enjoy.

View from Säntis towards Altmann (in the foreground) and Graubünden, Switzerland

, Factory building reflection, Zurich Oerlikon, Switzerland

PWC building facade detail, Zurich Oerlikon, Switzerland

Autumnal willow, Kraxenbach, Ruhpolding, Chiemgau, Germany

Foggy christmas tree forest, Zurich, Switzerland

 Frozen morning dew, Zurich, Switzerland

2016/01/03 by Florian Freimoser
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Happy new year 2016 !

A happy, healthy and interesting new year 2016 to everybody! I thank you for visiting my blog and the six lightpainters for being the highlights of this little new year greeting.


2016/01/01 by Florian Freimoser
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Do you hang what you shoot?

Alpine sunset as seen from the Rigi.

This blog post is related to the one about "boring landscapes" that I have recently written and a somewhat similar idea was also elaborated in a podcast by Brooks Jensen. Although I like and appreciate beautiful landscapes and the outdoors, these subjects are not the ones that I seek the most as a photographer. I find it more challenging and satisfactory to search for hidden details that are only discovered by the careful observer than documenting a beautiful landscape. Interestingly though, if I had to choose a preferred photograph, or select one to be printed in a large size and hung in our apartment, I would choose a landscape composition! Strange, isn't it? Maybe a contradiction even.

Thinking about this topic made me realise that the two types of subjects refer to two completely different disciplines. For me, landscape photography is mainly about the location and moment in time where and when it is conducted. It is about an experience in the outdoors and photography is (only) a documentation of such adventures. It aims to capture the grandeur of a scene as closely (often better) as one remembers it, but the photography does not alter the experience (it may even prevent us from fully appreciating a scene). What does alter the experience is the adventure: the hiking, camping or whatever activity that was necessary to get to the spot where a particular photograph was composed. In my opinion, landscape photographs are about adventures, small or large, and such compositions exclaim "I have been there in this extraordinary moment and it looked like this!"

In contrast, the photography of hidden details is like a riddle that needs a creative solution. It is about finding a composition, at any time and in any place, that will captivate the viewer. Hidden detail photography is a quest for interesting compositions, also in places where I would never seek an adventure. It requires and practices a positive and inquisitive attitude and thus transforms my experience of the environment: it changes how and what I see, my appreciation for a particular place, and even my attitude at my life in general. Being and becoming more conscious of small details that I like makes me more appreciative overall. Most hidden detail photographs ask "Did you notice that?" and encourage me, and hopefully some of you, to experience our everyday environment more consciously.

But let's come back to the question stated in the title of this text. Apparently, often I am not shooting what I would rather hang on my walls. I long for adventures in the outdoors, for majestic views over natural wonders. Photographs that address this longing are the ones that I prefer to be hung as posters on my walls. On the other hand, as a creative activity and a complement to work and family, the photography of hidden details is incredibly satisfying and fulfilling and enriches my life.

I think this is enough about this topic for the moment. Let me know if you have other thoughts, opinions or additions. This post started with a photograph that I may enlarge and hang on a wall, and it ends with a composition that I am proud of having found.

Zig-zag reflection, Forum Chriesbach (EAWAG), Zurich.

2015/12/26 by Florian Freimoser
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Foggy christmas tree forest

The subject that lead to this photograph was a forest full of large christmas trees (spruce) and heavy fog. It is not a very original type of composition, camera movement is a widely-used technique to catch attention, but I like the result and think that the style is used to good effect in this case. For me, it embodies the essence of the scene.

The photograph was created in a forest close to where we live; it is thus also a nearby composition and part of the "trees collection". I hope you enjoy, thank you for visiting, and if you are celebrating and on holiday I wish you happy festivities!

2015/12/23 by Florian Freimoser
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