2016 – Welcoming the new year

Dear all,

The new year has already made progress and I’d like to take some time to look back and forward.

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2015 was a packed year. While it started with an explosion for my eyes with my trip to Iceland, I then realized that I don’t have a clue about photography. I neither had a good image organizing tool, nor was I able to use any photo editing software. The importance of post-processing has become quite clear to me during this trip. So, from Jan 2015 on I have started to learn as much as I can and as often as I can anything about technology, in-camera techniques, image organization and post-processing. It was quite bitter sometimes to know the direction I want my photograph to be, but not being capable to reach that point. However, it is such a passion and learning is a gift in the internet times. The results basically was that I went over the same images again and again and again and again, always recognizing more things that have to be improved. The most important insight for me was the non-desctructive workflow in Photoshop that helps me to easily go back and modify what I am not satisfied with.

Mainly because of some outstanding personalities and teachers, I have accessed a path that is currently leading me to a more standardized workflow. Mentioning just a few of these great instructors is difficult. Just to name four: Phlearn.com is a great platform for free Photoshop tutorials (look at those on making selections). Elia Locardi’s courses on landscape photography are just fantastic, because he has great eyes, is an outstanding photographer and teacher. He shows how he made the photographs, but also how he processed them. In addition, Jimmy McIntyre offers extremely important, hands-on insights into luminosity masks that are very helpful for landscape photography. Finally, Bruce Percy‘s  ebooks are amazing to learn about composition, light, and a lot about finding oneselves. I am very grateful to all these sources as I can still learn…

During lots of hikes to our local mountains, especially my trip to the Matterhorn, and some other trips I was able to experiment a lot (and created in consequence lots of images that have to be processed :).

In between the years, I then finally invested some time to build up my social media platforms (that I also use to practice internet marketing for my courses). While working with these platforms, I have again realized how dynamic the developments on the internet are and how difficult it is to predict anything that will stay. What seemed to be sure: There are lots of things to learn and always will be. After having some alpha versions out, I am glad to be able to return to daily routines and hiking tours with my camera.

In the first days of 2016, we have had some heavy snow in the last week, and last night it was close to minus 29 degrees in La Brévine, an area not that far away from where I live. In consequence, I packed my bag and went out there early in the morning heading towards the Creux-du-Van. The air was icy and some strong winds were around. It was however beautiful to see the snow dancing in front of the trees.

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Being out there in silence always makes me feel small, grateful, and silent. Discovering the world and oneself through “strange lenses” (to borrow Jimmy McIntyre’s brand name) of photography is a wonderful gift. For 2016, I’ll plan to add more thoughts photography and helpful sources to learn (if I have time). So stay tuned.

Meanwhile, i am dreaming of a peaceful, all-over positive world. How wonderful would it be if everyone would just recognize and respect the beauty in the world and in us.

Happy 2016.

Rendez-vous