Friday, September 30, 2011

{ goodbye roadtrip } tuscany I

After one day in Florence we hit the road again on the search for the picture-perfect Tuscan landscape... Happy to annouce that we found it and that I am in love - so much beauty in one place, incredible.
See for yourself :)



We drove from Florence to San Gimignano which was packed with tourists (a bit too many for my taste), so we tried to roam the backstreets and bought delicious bread, salami and cheese for a picnik. San Gimignano is famous for its many towers and it is a pretty place indeed!!

We made our way down south to an area called La Crete, which boasts the famous tuscan landscape that I have been dying to see and photograph. So imagine me sitting in the car, shooting out the window and screaming every 500 meters "stop the car". My boyfriend almost collapsed - haha.
Oh yes and on the last picture you see me with the best icecream I have ever tasted in my entire life: dark chocolate (no extra sugar), homemade by a small gelateria in the town of Pienza. D-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s.

Next up:  some more pics of pretty tuscany

Thursday, September 29, 2011

{ goodbye roadtrip } firenze

So, lets start the picture marathon from my two past weeks in Italy and Croatia, shall we? :)

We wanted to do a "goodbye europe roadtrip" before we leave to Australia and this is what we did.
14 days, 1 car, 3.000km, 2 happy travellers!

Our first stop on our way south was Firenze.






Firenze is all about museums, palazzos, Michelangelo and food. We spent a lovely day roaming the streets of the old town, soaking up the sunshine, eating icecream and fabulous buffalo caprese salad. Mmh, so good. I decided to never ever buy the normal Mozzarella cheese again in my life, such a difference!! We passed the long queues for the Uffizi museum and instead visited the Palazzo Pitti with its lovely gardens and a great view over Firenze and its surroundings. Ending the day with a glass of Spritz at the riverside.
Perfect day!!

Next up: Tuscany

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

// weekend stories // 36 - 38

How were your last weekends?
Mine were like this:

Firenze. Roma. Hvar. Split. Primosten. Venezia.

I spent two wonderful weeks on our "goodbye-Europe" tour which took us all the way down to Rome and then with the ferry across the Adria to Croatia and back again to Switzerland.
Loved the Italian lifestyle, the red wine we bought in Montepulciano, the ferry rides, the blue water of Croatia's coast, the fresh seafood (octopus salad, I will miss you) and the freedom of vacations!! So lovely! And no worries, there are many more pictures to come :)

Now I am back to Switzerland in the office and the countdown starts to our big move! Only 5 weeks left to go, crazy!! I hope you enjoyed the // travel snapshots // during my absence, there are more to come in the near future. Thanks again to Sarah, Clare, Krystal and Liz! You girls rock!!

Have a good start into this new, sunny week! *K

Thursday, September 22, 2011

// travel snapshots // cambodia

I have been following Liz of devoured on her adventures through Asia (she used to live in Vietnam and Cambodia, you know!). Now she is back to Australia and I am looking forward to be soon on the same continent as her :) Liz will share her adventures in the small towns of Kep and Kampot in Southern Cambodia today. Such wonderful places! Enjoy!!

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What is your most favorite place to take photographs?
I really enjoyed visiting and photographing the small towns of Kep and Kampot on Cambodia’s beautiful south coast. Kep was once the playground of Cambodian royalty, international stars and jetsetters in the 1960s (Jackie Onassis was a fan). It is now a low-key village with a ghost town feel, with a scattering of places to stay and a row of local crab shacks to eat at. Set amongst rich green tropical foliage, Kep is dotted with abandoned villas, most of which you can explore if you pay a small tip to their caretakers. Nearby Kampot is set slightly inland on a picturesque river backed by Bokor Mountain. The town itself has rows of gorgeous old shophouses and French colonial buildings, some in a state of disrepair and others restored by a new generation of entrepreneurial expats who have established small guesthouses and restaurants.


What makes this place so photogenic in your eyes?
Kep’s combination of a stunning oceanfront setting, tropical southeast Asian foliage, French colonial era relics and mid-century architecture, albeit crumbling, makes it a captivating place to photograph. Photographing the once palatial villas captures the essence of Kep as a shell of its former holiday hotspot self. Its heyday was during a happier time in Cambodia’s history pre the turbulent Khmer Rouge era, and the old buildings serve an eerie reminder of what Cambodia once was and how far it fell. Kampot has a charming ambience and is relatively unspoilt, hotel development on Bokor Mountain aside. Similar to Kep, the combination of aged yet charming buildings and a gorgeous natural scenery are immensely visually appealing.


Which popular sights did you like best?
In Kep, King Sihanouk’s deserted retro-style villa, perched high on a hill with stunning view of the sea, and in Kampot, the river and surrounding streets lined with old shophouses, the colourful local market and the vibrant green rice paddies and hot pink lotus flowers seen while driving between the two towns.


Every place has its own beauty, essence and specialities. How can this be captured on film?
In both Kep and Kampot, beauty can be found in the old, the crumbling and the abandoned. The architecture in both towns help tell the story of Cambodia’s rich history and cultural influences, from times of prosperity to war and back again, as the area is slowly revitalised. When captured on film, the details of these buildings can evoke another era, from a shot of an old patterned French colonial era tile, to a crumbling wooden doorway on an old shophouse. Scenes of everyday Cambodian life can also make fascinating subjects, from fishermen and their colourful wooden boats to people driving makeshift vehicles or tending their fields.


Are there any specifics to take into consideration while shooting and do you have any special

recommendations on how to get the "perfect picture"?
The Cambodian midday sun can be scorching, and like most places, the best photos can be taken in the early morning and at sunset. The sun setting over Bokor Mountain can be particularly stunning, and can be seen and photographed from hillside vantage points in Kep. Local caretakers may request or expect a small fee for entering and photographing Kep’s abandoned villas. It is polite to ask local people before photographing them close up.

While traveling, what camera equipment do you normally take?
I use a Canon EOS 450D with an EFS 18-55mm lens for most travel photography and a Canon Ixus 220 HS for everyday shots.

What is your most favorite picture of this place and why?
I like the picture of the abandoned villa in Kep behind the barbed wire fence, which belonged to a Cambodian royal, King Monivong. It reveals a bygone era of luxury when Kep was a seaside resort town, yet has an ominous look hinting at Cambodia’s dark and destructive past, and subsequent abandonment of the building.
 
All pictures by Liz of devoured

Monday, September 19, 2011

// travel snapshots // mexico


Today my dear friend Krystal of Village will share wonderful details about Mexico, where she took fantastic pictures of the locals and their everyday lives. I have been to Mexico a couple of years ago and I agree with Krystal that every picture speaks a story. Enjoy!!

//

What is your most favorite place to take photographs?
Mexico, around the state of Michoacán.



What makes this place so photogenic in your eyes?
I can only speak for this area but it's photogenic to me because every picture seems to portray some of the sadness and despair that permeates some of the areas and people - I think it makes for some vivid photographs that has the potential to move the viewer. On the other hand, it also brings about the beauty of their culture... the people we interacted with were among the nicest, hospitable and giving people that i've ever met- even though they don't have much to give.

Which popular sights did you like best?
I was pretty amazed by an old pre-hispanic archeological site in Tzintzunzan that used to be pyramids I think - it was on a hill overlooking the city and Lake Patzcuaro - we got to walk around it, it was a gorgeous area (I barely took pictures and none are good!).

 
Every place has its own beauty, essence and specialities. How can this be captured on film?
I like to take an aerial photo of our meals so that you can see everyone's dishes...But I guess the thing that I like to do the most is to take pictures of the people going about their daily life in a city - I think the normalcy that is capture is pretty cool and does a lot to portray the essence of a place.  


Are there any specifics to take into consideration while shooting and do you have any special recommendations on how to get the "perfect picture"? 
I like to capture the movement of a place - I was actually inspired by our Kristina's venice pictures from awhile ago - I love how she used a long shutter speed to capture the movement of the boats in the canal and now, these are my favorite kind of pictures to take whether it's people, boats, cars, etc. Also,  I've never done it but I think that getting up really early before everyone is out would be a great way to get some specific shots if you didn't want so many tourists in them. Oh and one more thing! To me, the perfect picture is of a sight or situation that moved me...so at least it is my favorite picture :)


While traveling, what camera equipment do you normally take?
I take my big camera and my small one for when I'm tired of carrying the huge one! And a camera bag. And always a cloth to dust off the lens. Oh and I've been obsessed with my wide angle lens lately.

What is your most favorite picture of this place and why?
My favorite picture of the place was taken by one of my best friends (below) who was also on that trip - it's of one of the little students playing with bubbles that we brought. They have SO little and were absolutely amazed and in love with the bubbles (and stickers too) - and so thankful! so seeing the picture always reminds me of being able to share that with them.

All pictures by Krystal of Village

Thursday, September 15, 2011

// travel snapshots // berlin

Berlin! As you might know, my most favorite German city what-so-ever!!
I was so happy when I saw that Clare of Pampelmuse and Me chose Berlin for her favorite destination for travel snapshots. On top, she is also so lucky to actually live in Berlin and enjoy the great life there together with her sweet family! So jealous! Enjoy!!

//

What is your most favorite place to take photographs? 
I have had such a hard time deciding a favourite! I was very, very tempted to choose Australia. Australia will always have a special place in my heart. It is where I grew up and the colours and the space are like nothing else. It is a wonderful place for landscape photography. The beaches, the desert, the enormous sky that seems to go one forever... it really is a landscape photographers dream.


(Central Australia, Dec 2010)

But as much as I like landscape photography, what I really love is people watching and capturing the mood of a city through it's street scenes. And whilst Melbourne and Sydney both have the feel of big cities they don't quite cut it for street cred in the same way that my current home town, Berlin, does.

What makes this place so photogenic in your eyes?
Berlin has a real urban, gritty, lived in feel. For a European city it's incredibly afordable and so it attracts lots of artists and musicians. The people watching is great and it has developed quite a reputation as a place of wonderful street art. Walking the streets of Berlin and taking picture of the street scenes is what makes Berlin so great for me.


                                                                                                                                                                
Which popular sights did you like best?
The area around Museum Island is a popular tourist hang-out. There are lots of 'beach bar' style cafes along the Spree in the warmer months and the State museum's are just across the bridge. In terms of museums, for me the Pergamon is definitely a must, although the German History Museum is also great and offers some wonderful views down Unter den Linden from the first floor.

Spree
A little bit further a field, the suburbs of Prenzlauerberg, Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain are wonderful to walk around. Lots of cafes, boutique shops and people watching if you have the time to slow down for a few hours and see how the locals live.

Berlin

Every place has its own beauty, essence and specialities. How can this be captured on film?
For me Berlin's beauty or essence is in her flea markets and cafe culture. Every Sunday Berlin's fleamarkets come to life; my favourite is Boxhagenerplatz Flohmarkt although Mauerpark Flohmarkt is also great and for high-end things you can't go past the Flohmarkt in Charlottenberg.  There are some great photo opportunities at all of the Flohmarkts and if you begin your morning with brunch at one of the local cafes you'll be on your way to capturing a 'typical' weekend for many Berlin locals.

Fleamarket Girl


Are there any specifics to take into consideration while shooting and do you have any special recommendations on how to get the "perfect picture"?

Berlin Mitte
It rains a lot in Berlin and for a lot of the year it's pretty cold and grey. This doesn't necessarily make for great tourist photos with blue sky backgrounds, but if you embrace the weather in your photos you can end up with some interesting photos that really pick-up on Berlin's unique character.  But don't forget to make the most of it when the sun does come out - the sunset over Museum Insel from the east bank is really quite wonderful as the colours of the sky are reflected in the sandstone of the buildings - definitely worth waiting for over an Aperol Spritz (or two!)


While traveling, what camera equipment do you normally take?
I always travel with my DSLR. For a long time I had an old and trusty Canon Rebel but I've recently stretched out and up-graded to a Canon 7D! I have two main lenses that I use; 90% of my photos are taken with a Canon 50mm f/1.4, although I also have a telephoto lens (80-300mm) which I occasionally use. I don't think this is necessarily the best combination, you loose out on lots of architectural shots, and on my wish-list is a wide-angled lens - something like a 24-70mm f/2.8, but I think I'm going to be dreaming about that for a long time before it becomes even close to reality!

What is your most favorite picture of this place and why?

66/365 : Rain
For me this picture is quintessential Berlin. Cobbled footpaths, rain, bikes and people walking home on a chilly November evening.  The picture isn't perfect - it was shot with a high ISO so there's a lot of noise and it's still not quite in focus but this somehow adds to the feel of the picture and also how I see Berlin - a little bit dirty and battered around the edges but with a look and feel that keeps you going back for more.

All pictures by Clare of Pampelmuse and Me. 

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