Saturday, 28 November, 2020

Read this in: German

Unfortunately, Instagram and blogs do not come without photos. Or you read a blog post without pictures?

Pictures are simply a must today – not just in social media. If you look at textbooks as times when my grandfather teacher was in the 1970s / 80s, then the book was full of text. Today, on the other hand, school textbooks are full of happy cartoon characters, graphics and painting exercises. Because with pictures you can indeed transport more than 1000 words.

Photography then and today

I was fortunate that my father had become a passionate hobby photographer during his training in Hamburg since the 1970s and spent many years buying small treasures. Our currently oldest camera is a Zeiss from the year 1937 and we also have other analogue cameras, all of which still work perfectly. As a child, I had the opportunity and the privilege to take photos at primary school age and in 5th grade to learn how to develop photos yourself. This is something you can probably no longer imagine today, because even in my teens, the trend towards a digital camera came on and when I graduated from high school, the trend was that every teenager wants a mirror reflex for a birthday and starts a blog. At the time I already had my second SLR, an Olympus E400. Today you can take photos everywhere and always. This is a curse and a blessing at the same time.

The entry area of Das Kranzbach

Mass instead of class?

Previously, if you had the problem that you only had three films with 36 or 24 images for a whole holiday and also had to wait a week for the lab to develop the photos, then we can fall into the trap of having thousands from photos coming from vacation and do not know which are now the best. Each of us knows how to experience hours of photo lectures or slideshows of friends or relatives. Or Facebook picture albums of the last holiday, which usually have hundreds or thousands of pictures. If you’re on Instagram or as a blogger, you really have to watch him choose only the best pictures.

In general, it is already a crux to work with ever-changing social media platforms and algorithms – while many photos have helped well on Instagram in the past, today it is more of a daily not more or less than a photo to post and daily the story too use or even daily make a livestream. So I have some good friends who make great pictures on Instagram, but do not have more than 5000 impressions a week. Although I have fewer likes, but much more impressions, as I post daily or sometimes even twice a day a photo online. If I do not post anything else, my creases break down in the statistics. If you do not just want to do blogging or Instagram as a hobby, you not only have to be able to take good pictures, but also post the right picture at the right time. And such an account needs a lot of care. Reply to comments, create stories or even provide a blog post with pictures or write once – it does not all by itself.

Sometime you can take some amazing sky pictures

Smartphone or professional camera?

While in my youth a mirror reflex was still a must for a beautiful blog and often even a guarantee that one is overwhelmed with compliments for beautiful pictures, today it is rather the case that one does not necessarily need a camera. It’s always saying, “The best camera is the one you always have with you.” And that would be the smartphone for most of us. Also, I often catch myself, as I leave the camera at home simply because of laziness, because I can work on the phone directly and thanks to dual camera also have a depth of field function, which sometimes creates great photos and times does not work so well.

I would not say basically, “Do not buy a camera anymore.” I love this technique too much. I am not a friend of the Liveviews, because to look through a viewfinder is still a completely different feeling and a picture with the SLR often has a nicer depth than the photo with the smartphone, which I notice especially in portraits and close-ups again and again.

When you take landscape pictures you need some foreground to capture a good picture composition

Photos in the midst of an alpine scenery

As part of a blogger trip, I was fortunately at a photo workshop in the Alps at the Wellness Hotel Am Kranzbach. There we have under the direction of Monika and Gerhard von Isarblog, a Munich city blog with a large audience. They also gave me good tips for my first visit to Munich.

Anyone who has been on a blogger trip or a press trip knows how often one program point chases the next. Here, however, we deliberately had plenty of free time to relax and to enjoy the ambience of the wellness hideaway a bit. So I must confess that many of my pictures in this blog post not only in the time of the photo safari, but also in the morning in the pool house in perfect sunlight or even in the evening, before I retreated to my hotel room.

You will also be able to read a detailed report on the Kranzbach as a hotel here in the near future – it is best to subscribe to the newsletter or follow @nonsoloamoreblog and follow me @aufgerouget to stay up to date.

A small time travel of photography

At first our workshop started with basics – photography, what does that mean? The answer is very poetic: we write with light. And basically, it’s very clear what we do in photography and how the original technique worked. Since about 1820 there is photography, because you do not have to unnecessarily go into detail – you can read so if you’re interested in specialist literature.
In the beginning, photography was seen as an alternative to painting – painting with famous names of the time such as Casper David Friedrich showed a romantic, idealized world. The new art of photography showed a truth and unadorned reality.

A walk with view on the mountains

But those who now think that one can fool photography are wrong. I interjected when we were asked how old photography was, that Abraham Lincoln had photographed himself for his circumstances with the revolution of photography at the time. The honest Honest Abe was tall and lanky and had a long neck, which was not very handsome – a photographer had the great idea that one

For the time, photography was a technical revolution and, above all, popular with those who did not have that much money. While the upper ten thousand of the time immortalized themselves as a portrait costly, now everyone could acquire relatively cheaply by photography the portrait for the masses.

From about 1935 there were also color films, at some point came the Rollfilme and thus cameras for everyone. And how quickly it came from SLR cameras on instant cameras to digital cameras and now powerful smartphone images, we know today even.

The painters of yesterday are the inspiration of today

Where we were with Casper David Friedrich, now came a little digression to art itself. In fact, it is also worthwhile for photography to go to a good art museum like Braunschweig or the Kunsthalle in Bremen and to look at the perspectives of the pictures exhibited there. A truly fascinating thing in the history of painting is the rediscovery of the central perspective in Leonardo Da Vinci’s time. If you are interested, you can find really interesting connections with the world of photography and architecture.

In addition to the romance, we were introduced to the New Objectivity, which arose in the times of the Weimar Republic. – as you can see, we have only dealt with some art epochs. We looked at a couple of curvy images with geometrical shapes by Werner Mantz. There it is about simple motifs and the play with colors and shapes. If you look at Alexander Kanoldt’s picture “Still Life I / Flowerpots” from 1926, then you think “Yes, you could find that in every instafeed as well, because a crazy plant lady shot her latest plant haul from the plant market with a smartphone. ”

A final example was given by Picasso, who had already experimented with light painting in 1949. Gjon Mili had captured these great photographs.

steel wool photography is beautiful but dangerous

So it’s not all new, what we see in our feed! Many a picture of the travel photographer Max Manch, which you can find on Instagram as @maxmünch, seems like a painting from the Romantic period. Elsewhere too, old motifs are reproduced. The mentioned photography of the New Objectivity can also be found in many places on Instagram, for example under the hashtag #spiralstaircases.

Conclusion is therefore – at least for me – even if you find painting quite boring and art exhibitions to fall asleep. It is worth reading a book or watching a documentary to get some inspiration for your own photography. Today we have the internet and can watch the most amazing pictures and photographs comfortably from our sofa or bed. Take this opportunity!

Nobody can past Instagram

It is probably an open secret that Instagram is currently the most important social media platform in Germany. Often people even say in marketing circles “If something is not on Instagram, it does not exist.”

Also many bloggers are partly or completely changed to the platform. Something I personally quite skeptical, because a blog for me personally is something else. A blog belongs to me or myself and the rest of the team, on other platforms I often give away my image rights. But even every blogger or Youtuber knows that he will not get past Instagram and Instastory.

Of course we also talked about the current trends on Instagram, so note and pen on hand or note app and copy and paste command: What goes on Instagram, of course, are the first bright, friendly pictures of all kinds. Personally, I would like to add that you can work wonderfully with negative space in white and you are very welcome to refine your feed blue or with a blue cast, so that the viewers stay in the picture longer and longer. Blue used to be such a rare color that the human eye gets caught in the paint. In addition, it has a calming effect in contrast to colors such as red.

In a forest somewhere in Sweden

Another theme is of course sunset and the golden hour. Golden hour, what is it? The hour after sunrise and before sunset. Actually, the perfect time for beautiful portraits and great landscape photos with beautiful reflections. For example, the sunset theme is a wonderful subject with contrasting colors. Whether yellow and blue like a sunset at the sea or teal and orange like a golden hour in the forest. It’s a play of colors and I can confess that I like to shoote red clothes in botanical gardens because it also creates a contrast.

At the Botanist Have in Copenhagen

Another topic is and remains cat content. Not just as a video, but also as a photo subject. Crass Instagramgirls even manage to artfully drape their cat in a flatlay. I really do not know how they manage that. Selfies are also an evergreen of the Instagram themes. Especially here it is nice that it is often not about perfection of the pictures. An Instagram image can sometimes have rough edges or be a bit noisy.

In a cat cafe in Berlin, Germany

And it is just as Monika explained: For every trend there is a counter trend – just make dark pictures. Night photography and light painting, as we know it from Picasso, or for bold photography with burning steel wool are trends that contrast with the pastel-colored, clan Instagram world.

Why always the same motives?
Fortunately, the two bloggers from Isarblog have also clarified this question, which surely has been on everyone’s mind many times. The answer is relatively simple, once you think about it: Wi all have a short attention span while scrolling and rather click on something familiar to motives, because well-known gives security – this is a guarantee for many likes and comments. And every one of us knows that. If we take a picture that does not even fit our remaining feed, it’s often punished with fewer likes. On the other hand, I have made the observation in the comings and goings of the followers, that by some fresh wind you can also quite new followers for themselves and bind to. Of course, a mix of familiar and surprising is not easy, but you have to find your own balance and style.

The individual challenge

The most beautiful part of our little round I found that we were individually encouraged and challenged. I’m such a girl who runs around trying a lot. Better erase a bit more and learn that this or that does not work.

In addition to keywords we got tasks. My intention was to focus on totals instead of details, as it is better for blog posts when using landscape mode. Unlike Print, where portrait is more in demand. And on Instagram we have the square that plays a big role as a preview. Another task was to photograph portraits – so I immortalized the little Tobi from Bamberg. My approach is very inspired by my friend Katharina from Hamburg. People take pictures without consciously posing and simply capturing the moment.

Tobias Thomann at our excursion about the topic forest bathing

Editing is half the battle

As good as a photo is itself, editing is half the battle. Unfortunately you can not pass Lightroom as a blogger, because by screwing in brightness and contrast or even functions like removing haze with Lightroom you get a lot more out of his pictures.

Another topic is how big a picture should be. If you take pictures, a file can not be big enough so that it does not get pixelated even with a picture. For an Instagrampost but worth nothing more than a resolution of 1080 by 1080 pixels. And also for the blog: No, bigger is not better! Rather: size down, compression high. The reason for this is that the page loading speed plays an important role in Google’s ranking.

Get started with apps

At the photo workshop the free app Snapseed was recommended. Personally, I can extend this list, because with Facetune you do not just have to make faces. Above all, I use the brightening function if the background of a picture gets too dark or if the filters are also suitable – I recommend the lighting filters of this app. If you have to wipe away a big pimple, I can recommend YouCam Perfect to your heart. And if you’re looking for something like Photoshop or GIMP for your phone, you can try PicsArt.

Do not forget the fun

After all these many sub-chapters and words, some of you are surely confused. There is so much to consider that you do not dare to press the trigger. I want to reassure you. Just do it and try it out. Nowadays we have the privilege of being able to take an infinite number of pictures. So if you know the basics, you can just go out into the world, maybe just in the next forest or park and try to take pictures.

A forest near Das Kranbach hotel

“If the pictures do not become anything, then you can delete them – make 100 pictures and there are 10 good ones as you only make 10 pictures and there is not a single one.” At that time my mentor told me in the first photography practice, when I did 16 years old. And he’s right to this day. Be honest with yourself and maybe you’ll let a second or third party view and judge your photos. It all starts this way and taking pictures is no different than riding a bike or drawing. Over time we get routine and maybe even a look at how good pictures are made.

Some of these pictures were taken as part of a blogger trip and associated photo workshop. Many thanks to Das Kranzbach, a big thank you to Catharina, our hosts Mr. and Mrs. King and of course also to Gerhard and Monika von Isarblog and all other participants for the great time and the great experiences that I was able to collect.

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