Nearby photo subjects

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Leutschenbach school at dawn. The Leutschenbach School is a minergie building in Zurich that was designed by the architect Christian Kerez and finished in 2009. Most walls and the facade of this fascinating construction are transparent or semi-transparent and the entire top floor is a gymnastic hall.

Sometimes, I am gripped by wanderlust and long for remote places and adventures far away from my everyday routine. Such feelings overcome me particularly in moments when I think of pristine nature and remote places. However, this longing for wilderness in foreign countries has somewhat abated in recent years. The turning point was when I started to photograph where I live instead of only on occasional trips to the mountains or on holiday.

Although I have always been attracted by geometric patterns and man-made beauty, for a long time I have not considered it worthwhile photographing such subjects. An early example of a man-made beauty photograph that I still like is the school building shown above. On a Saturday morning I had seen from the train that several people with huge tripods and view cameras were photographing it. Out of interest, I passed by in the evening and there was still one photographer left. It was the weekend before the building was being opened and he took photographs with different floors and sections of the building lit up. I was even offered to have a look at the building inside and climbed all the way to the top. What a nice building - the top floor is the gym and the glass walls permit terrific and far views over the north of Zurich. For the first time ever I regretted not being a pupil anymore! 

Since then, I have returned to this beautiful school and to other buildings in my neighborhood regularly and I have started to take more and more photographs. As soon as I started to regularly photograph in my man-made habitat, I became aware of things I had never observed before, which encouraged me to photograph more, which made me look even more carefully and consciously, and so on. I had entered an upward spiral of positivity! This blog post is the starting point for a new "nearby" series and gallery highlighting the fruits of this spiraling.

It is my utmost concern to emphasize and to try convincing you that moderation can make you a better photographer (and a happier human being). Moderation not only concerns equipment purchases, but may also - and this is the topic here - apply to traveling to distant and famous places. I will try to convince you that interesting subjects can be found nearby your home and that the closeness and the intimate knowledge of your environment will open your eyes and thereby reveal subjects that an occasional visitor would never notice.

Like the photograph above, all compositions that will be shown here were captured nearby where I live, in Zurich, within walk, bike or public transport distance of my home. Since I live in the northern part of the city of Zurich, which is called Oerlikon, the large majority of the photographs are from this area. The photographs will reflect the different themes that I have been or am pursuing - lights and shadows, reflections, facades, or other intimate details of man-made beauty (a few "Zurich-photos" have already been featured). I hope that you will find the mixture interesting and that one or the other photograph may encourage you to seek subjects that are close by. I am sure that it is worth it, because you will take your best photographs in the environment that you know best!

2013/06/26 by Florian Freimoser
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