Hotels IV

2014 wasn’t my best year photographically speaking. I didn’t shoot much, and hadn’t it been for two assignments I would have ended up with almost no photos at all. What I did a lot though was travelling, almost exclusively for work. So my hotel series grew quite massively. Here’s a new selection, edited down aggressively. Again – it’s not about aesthetics, just about how those rooms made me feel. Mostly work stays, mostly alone, luckily not all the time though! A bit of holidays made it in as well.

IMG_0874Bournemouth, UK.

IMG_1676Poole, UK.

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IMG_1897Berlin, Germany.

IMG_2052Poole, UK.

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IMG_1530Essen, Germany.

IMG_1258Norderney, Germany.

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IMG_1332Hamburg, Germany.

IMG_1927Berlin, Germany.

IMG_2229Poole, UK.

IMG_2351Bournemouth, UK.

IMG_2628Norderney, Germany.

IMG_2679Hamburg, Germany.

IMG_2735Bournemouth, Uk.

IMG_2736Bournemouth, UK.

IMG_3022Essen, Germany.

Remnants of War

Even though this doesn’t exactly look like a holiday post, these are pictures I took during my holidays in Noderney. Norderney is one of the German islands in the North Sea, just across the border to Holland.

Right behind one of the dunes at the beach I found some bunker structures dating back to the Second World War.

During the First World War the island was used as a fortress and large amounts of construction material were transported there. Beginning from 1935 the island was developed into a Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine base as part of the Atlantic Wall. More then 60 gun and anti aircraft emplacements and so called Regelbaus (a standardized bunker built by the Germans along the Atlantic Wall) were built in the dunes.

After the end of the Second World War most of the bunkers have been blown up, but some of them resisted and are still strewn across the dunes.

It’s eerie to stumble upon such a remnant of war amidst holiday joy, but they are important reminders of history, and that’s why they should be preserved, even if those memories are painful ones.

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Also make sure to check out Marc Wilson’s project The Last Stand, he documented many of those remaining bunkers across several countries in beautifully done large format photographs.

Film: Agfa APX 100 in Xtol 1+1.

Norderney 2014 – Hipstamatic

A first set of holiday pictures – all shot on the iPhone with Hipstamatic. The film stuff still needs to be developed and scanned and the few digital ones need to be edited (holidays, you know – I decided to be lazy), so stay tuned for another entry or two.

IMG_2376We flew into Hamburg and took the train from there. Passing through Leer (“Empty”).

IMG_2395Hotel room detail.

IMG_2397Sunset. Be prepared for more.

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IMG_2403It is recommended to swim only in guarded parts of the beach. Apart from the tide turnings there are strong undercurrents that can sweep you away or drag you out. So better stay inside the cordoned-off parts for swimming.

IMG_2405I had already read about some WW2 bunkers hidden in the dunes, but didn’t find them last year. Turns out I had been trying too hard. We discovered them pretty close to the beach this time.

IMG_2407Kind of strange and surreal to be reminded about war and death amid the beautiful scenery. Took a whole series in black and white, will post some in an extra entry.

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IMG_2427No entry. Really.

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IMG_2438Told ya. And there are even more.

IMG_2439This already cracked me up last year. Highest elevation on the whole island. 27 meters above sea level. But of course you need a cross on the summit.

IMG_2443Beach chairs saved my skin – the sun is really harsh and I burn very quickly anyways. Couldn’t have spent a whole day at the beach otherwise.

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IMG_2452Of course there are people who can easily lay in the sun and read without burning. ^^

IMG_2459Seagulls everywhere.

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IMG_2469Norderney version of a crowded beach.

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IMG_2478Mud flats with lighthouse in the background.

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IMG_2480Feels great, but you won’t get rid of the smell for some time.

IMG_2483Think my eyes will never get bored of that scenery.

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IMG_2492Oh yes. There are bunnies everywhere. Alive and dead. And mummified ones.

IMG_2494Same goes for seagulls.

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IMG_2507Oh yes, the light…

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IMG_2511Sandy fella.

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IMG_2537Arrrrrrr, pirates!

IMG_2541Hotel room view.

IMG_2545We took a day trip to Juist, a small neighbour island inhabited by vicious seagulls (they stole a bite of my Fischbr├Âtchen).

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IMG_2558Apart from the firebrigade and the ambulance there are no cars on Juist, so everything relies on horse carriages. This is a lorry Juist-style.

IMG_2562More “lorries”.

IMG_2572Prickspears. Basically birch branches that are stuck into the ground to mark the navigable channels for ships. If you don’t stick close to them you will be stuck in the ground. They need to be re-arranged every year, as the channels move with the tide. Apparently even the islands do.

IMG_2578Further out there are buoys to mark the channels. A shrimper in the background.

IMG_2585Yes, buoys.

IMG_2587Yep, another one. But you cannot not take a photo when you’re there.

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IMG_2602This ship was anchoring and waiting for the tide to come in to pick up some excavators. Yep. Really.

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IMG_2614Flare, flare.

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IMG_2625Last evening.

IMG_2638On the ferry back to Norddeich.

IMG_2648North Sea.

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IMG_2659One evening in Hamburg. The everlasting construction site. Elbphilharmonie.

IMG_2667Hamburg port.

More to come soon.

Jetsam & Flotsam

This is a kind of mini-project that happened during my vacations last summer in Norderney, a small German island in the North Sea. Whilst we were walking through the most beautiful landscapes, out on the beach, no people around us, just nature, we stumbeled across rubbish. Rubbish that at some point happened to end up in the sea, and the sea had washed it up on the beach. There it created a bizarre, surreal art show for us. Obviously some things were arranged, but not by us. I just documented what we found.

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The list of what we found on that day:

8 pallettes

3 safety helmets

1 empty bottle of Asti (who drinks this stuff anyways)

1 red plastic box

8 shoes

1 council garbage bin

1 TV

2 couch pillows

4 orange gloves

3 pieces of fishing nets

1 rope

uncounted numbers of plastic bottles

And I think I need to get my camera’s shutter fixed, by the looks of the negatives…

Kodak Portra 160

Norderney & Hamburg

Some holiday snaps, iPhone only this time.

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On the sleeper train to Hamburg, still in Austria.

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Our hotel in Norderney.

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First evening at the beach in Norderney. Tail of a kite – lots of people fly their kites everywhere on the beach.

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Santa’s lost his beard…

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Sunset at the beach on our first evening.

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Mudflats, hiking tour along the shore.

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Seagull. Or, along the lines of Monty Python, an ex-seagull.

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High tide moving in.

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Jellyfish.

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Morning light.

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Highest “mountain” on the island – ever seen a mountain where the cross on the summit is higher than the actual mountain?! ­čÖé

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We had planned a day at the beach, but a thunderstorm came rolling in, just as we had rented our wicker beach chair. So what do you do? We decided to sit it out in our comfy beach chair.

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Minutes before the rain started washing down.

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Most people had fled the beach, so we were surrounded by deserted beach chairs.

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Only two of our neighbours had stayed.

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20 minutes later everything was over and the sun reappeared.

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Best investment ever – our beach chair!

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Hiking tour to the eastern part of the island.

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Back home in our hotel room.

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We needed a rest from all the hiking.

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Blue jellyfish.

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RGB still life shortly before leaving.

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Hamburg. Hotel still life (shot by my boyfriend).

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Fish puzzle @ Altonaer Museum.

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They had funny mirrors as well.

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Under Lombardsbr├╝cke (again, shot by my boyfriend).

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Leaving Hamburg, homeward bound.

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Early morning in the sleeper train, almost home.

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Norderney

Seems like summer needed to come to an end before I’d finally come around to do an entry with my summer holiday pictures. We went to Norderney, a small German island in the North Sea, close to the border of The Netherlands. The landscape is stunningly beautiful, so I couldn’t resist shooting a bit of landscape and shooting it in colour. Had the negatives scanned by the lab, not really happy with the quality, but after the pictures have been sitting on my hard disk for weeks now, I decided to put them up without tinkering around too much. So no need to tell me the scanning quality sucks – I know!

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Mudflats at low tide. It’s lovely to walk bare feet in the soft, squishy mud.

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Grass covering the sand dunes.

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Wo/where?

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Those wicker beach chairs are really great, especially when you need to sit out a sudden thunderstorm at the beach. Plus they look lovely!

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In total we walked over 46km in those 5 days, and most of the time we didn’t realise we already were walking for hours. It’s really, really relaxing to walk along the beach and enjoy the nature, the sea, the noise of the waves, the smell of the sea, look for sea shells, take pictures…

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Once you’ve walked past the swimming beaches you are more or less alone.

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The  neighbouring island (Baltrum) already coming up in the distance, as we walked to the easternmost part of Norderney.

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The weather that day was changing constantly, so we had the most amazing light.

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Ship-wreck at the eastern shore.

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Amazing change of scenery on the inside of the island.

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Possibly thousands of different hues of green.

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Our last evening. Thunderstorm approaching. Lots of people were flying their kites on the beach.

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The seafront.

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On the ferry back. Neighbouring island Juist in the distance.

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The ferries need to stick exactly to their routes, especially during low tide, as the danger of running onto a sandbank is very high. Buoys mark the right way.

All pictures Kodak Portra 160.

Hotels III

I thought it was time for another entry. December saw me travelling a lot, so my collection of pictures for my Hotels series grew some.

It’s a random collection of my favourite shots – favourite means anything from favourite hotel, favourite memory, favourite shot, favourite representation of how that particular room made me feel, basically a really personal selection. Not meant to look nice or show how the rooms really looked.

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Fancy radio. Aschaffenburg, Germany.

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The light… Loved it… Innsbruck, Austria.

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Laa, Austria.

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Laa, Austria.

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Graz, Austria.

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Graz, Austria.

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Graz, Austria.

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Lieboch, Austria.

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Lieboch, Austria.

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Graz, Austria.

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Paris, France.

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Z├╝rich, Switzerland.

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Z├╝rich, Switzerland.

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Graz, Austria.

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Weirdest room number sign ever. Graz, Austria.

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Graz, Austria.

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Graz, Austria.

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Graz, Austria.

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Graz, Austria.

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Graz, Austria.

Power II

About two weeks ago I photographed yet another power station, this time a biomass power plant. A selection of my favourite pictures…

A few impressions from the outside:

This power plant replaced and old coal power plant, and instead of coal being fired up, the new power plant uses biomass (which in this case is basically woodchips). The woodchips are burnt to produce electricity and energy for long-distance heating. Here is where the woodchips are stored. The nicest thing about the woodchips is the wonderful smell of freshly cut wood. The downside is the dust…

Woodchips.

Speaking of dust – a delivery of woodchips coming in. Makes for a great photo opportunity, but you wouldn’t want to be in there for too long with your camera. Plus you’d need to wear respiratory protection.

The woodchip storage is separated from the actual power station, the woodchips are brought in via a closed conveyor belt (sort of). This is how the whole power station looks from the inside, picture taken from the highest point inside right under the roof (a tiny bit of climbing was involved, and yet again another step in battling my fear of heights – gets easier every time).

Looking up…

And down again – the conveyor belt where the woodchips come in from the storage room and go to…

…woodchip hell. ­čśë

It’s always impressive and really interesting to see these power plants, but what I love most are all the details.

Unexpected specks of colour…

I have a thing for cables put neatly together…

And again, you walk around a corner and there are more colours.

I just found this beautiful, had an oldschool feeling to it, even though it was new.

Loved these…

Insulation.

Something I enjoy deeply is finding traces of humans, not only in this surrounding, but in general. Something somebody has lost, things that have been left behind, details that tell you that a human being was there and lived and left a tiny sign, probably not even consciously, but when you find it you know that someone has been here before. It’s the same in street photography – sometimes all that is left of the human condition are small signs or things, and the person has long gone.

Finding these in such a technical, organised surrounding is just great. Like the he zip lock bag somebody attached, just in case.

Or the painted arrow that has been there before the real stickers went on.

Or the emergency exit sign weirdly stuck on the wall, probably picked up from the floor and put there in a hurry.

Slight similarities  animals in the next two pictures.

Some might guess why I took this one, has to do with my nickname! ­čśë

Just love this one.

Bliss – had to take this picture.

Knuffig.

Handwheels.

Ash pattern outside the ash container.

More human traces. Btw, this is the entrance to the chimney.

Hope you enjoyed!

Power

My last entry showed just a few moments of two days, where I had the opportunity to take photographs of two power stations. Both of them are combined-cycle power stations. They basically use the hot exhausts of a gas turbine, feed it into a heat recovery steam generator (HRSG), which produces steam. That steam then can either be used to produce electricity, or you can use the steam for something else – like paper production, long distance heating or other technical processes that use or need steam. The gas turbine itself can also be used, alongside producing hot exhausts, to produce electricity. Well, I hope I got that technical bit right, if anyone would like to read more – here’s a link to Wikipedia: HRSG. It was really, really interesting to learn about how these power stations work and to be able to go inside and have a look at stuff you don’t usually get to see.

This is how the first one looks from the outside – actually really nice looking, not what I expected when I thought of power stations.

We started off right at the top, high up the chimney (well, almost at the top). The view was amazing, which was a good thing, as I am a bit afraid of heights, and concentrating on the magnificent view and on taking photos distracted me from thoughts about falling down…

Quite comfortable ascent – stairs!

The platform and the chimney seen from the roof.

Luckily I didn’t need to go up the last part to the real top of the chimney, I would have had to use the ladder, no stairs up there…

The inside had a few surprises for me, one of them being that it gets very warm inside (well, kind of obvious). On the highest floor the temperature is around 60┬░C. Stay for while, and you can cancel your next sauna session! Talking of floors – you won’t find first or second or third floor, have a look at this:

The height is marked in meters rather than floor numbers. So the ninth floor would be 34,75m, like you can see here:

Another thing that surprised me at 34,75m – this:

That’s a water level indicator – beautiful light!

Here a few impressions how the whole thing looked inside:

That was a tricky one, and it didn’t really work out, but you can still see the fire inside the boiler:

A few details I really liked:

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 And this was the second power station:

This power station was larger than the first one, here is a view on the two gas turbines that produce the heat.

Here how it looks from the ground, the cars give some reference size-wise.

On the roof:

Another one with one of the chimneys:

Pipes, pipes, pipes…

Couldn’t resist taking a few photos of this chimney (not part of that power station, but very close by):

And finally – the control room (well, the two pictures I liked the most of the control room). Of course there’s a modern, computer controlled room, but a few bits and pieces were still the old ones, and I liked those far more than the large screens.

And finally – me just climbing down from one of the turbines (a bit stretched and distorted, thanks wide-angle lens! Credits to Salti for this picture):

So long, hope you enjoyed my little power entry!

…and a big thank you to Salti for this opportunity!