Tuscony …

Have been traveling here over Eastern also to find some nice spots for October  – when the early morning fog creates these magical scenes.  Its a region that was cultivated long ago and it breathes the culture of the old romans and the etruscans. Difficult not to be impressed here. The landscape is full of nice and explicit elements that you can freely move – thanks to all these empty spaces: perspectives change constantly – its not without reason that there are so many photo-workshops in this region of Italy. If you add the great wine culture here (Chianti Classico and Brunello de Montalchino) and various possibilities to enjoy the eve with great meals – its just the perfect place to relax and look for new inspiration. In March/April this year it was mainly too cold to get these strong misty early morning shots, but enough to look for some of the classical perspectives and for some more that are not everywhere written down. The area must be one of the most photographed regions in the world and its hard to do anything that differentiates from what is in all these books and guides. It is however a great training for picture composition because you can move comparably free in this landscape. To circumnavigate a hill with an old country house to look for the perfect perspective is easy. In southern Tuscany there is not too much forest and this clearly simplifies everything.


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Schlachtensee Panorama

The higher resolution version of the Schlachtensee Pano shot / panorama from early February. This was a magic week. Temperatures and light were just perfect and the ice was incredible untouched. This pano is from the P3A.

For those not familiar with the Berlin south west. The Schlachtensee region is known in Berlin as the area where the people who love dogs used to have some conflicts with those that go for a run and/or the other way around.  I think the conflict has been cooling down now somewhat fortunately! In summer its great to have a swim here early in the morning. Skating in winter only works every 5-10years – so these days in February were kind of unique. (Pano from 4 different shots: resampled to 4300×1300).


Wave-Tube Power

The wave gallery from 2015 is online now. A selection of the best 300 shots mainly captured at the baltic sea and at the north sea coast of Skagen/Denmark in July/August 2015. Some shots were done with the Aquatech ELITE sports housing setup. This is a very small subset of lots of images. In summer 2015 I spend a lot of time in the waves testing perspectives, lenses and various exposure speeds with the D800. The online selection comes from the 10.5mm fisheye, the 14-24 wide and from the 300mm f2.8 – I never really managed to keep up with the constant stream of RAW files that summer. So over NewYear I made a first selection and finished last weekend with this extended gallery. This was a huge project in 2015 and I hope to extend this  with some new ideas in summer 16 on Crozon at the Atlantic coast.

Gallery goes here


Some “Micro-Waves” shots from Skagen are here:



Wave-Tube Photography

Preparing the Wave-Tubing gallery from 2015 – there is so much nice stuff in my archive ;) – I am right now seeing some of these pictures for the first time … – mainly because I was shooting waves like crazy last summer and especially  in August – I basically never managed to catch up with post processing of these thousands of RAW files. So the wave art pictures that will be in the gallery within the next 2-3 weeks haven’t been published somewhere in 2015.

Here are some shots from the macro approach with the Aquatech Elite Setup –  experimenting with very small waves (mostly baltic sea). I will post more when I have more time and finished the post processing.











Brittany Selection Online

A selection of my 2014 Brittany shots is now online available under http://soeren.zenfolio.com/bretagne .

The coastline is full of remarkable spots for coastal/landscape photography. We travelled 4 weeks from Cap Frehel to St.Brieuc to Plouha, Paimpol, Lannion, Roscoff, Plouescat, and than towards Brest and Crozon.  Its one of these regions where it is a lot of fun to frame new perspectives although most of these spots have been photographed to death – there is hardly a coastal area in Brittany that hasn’t been photographed in stormy/twilight/foggy or in any other condition and at all times of the year in a professional quality and with lots of appealing concepts. But never less – its a lot of fun to travel this coast and photography always lets you experience colors and textures – nature in general – in more intense way imo.  You also get used to not only watch for the sun position but also for the tide rhythm. The appearance of this coast is very much dominated by the tide – to get the color of light /evening or morning light in tune with your preferred tidal situation can be very challenging.

Plage Palus

Pointe de Pen Hir

Pointe des Capucins


Le Chateau de Dinan



Underwater Worlds

Hab mal das verlängerte Wochenende genutzt, um das Aquatech Gehäuse etwas im Uferbereich einzusetzen. War eigentlich schon zu Ostern dieses Jahr auf der Agenda, aber dann konnte Aquatech das Gehäuse ja erst mit 5 Wochen Verzögerung liefern.

Also östlich der Müritz die herrliche Havel Quellregion für ein langes Wochenende mit der Family besucht und lange kalt baden gewesen bis mich die Kälte wieder in die Wäsche – und zum Kaminfeuer getrieben hat – Ist recht schwierig ein Bild sauber zu komponieren, wenn man durch das Wasser von seitlich/oben auf den Objektiv-Port schaut. Man kann erkennen wenn Pflanzen den Port von der Sonne abschatten, aber die präzise Positionierung ist praktisch nicht möglich ohne Sucherkontrolle. Die Ergebnisse sind aber ganz ordentlich, wenn man sich die Bedingungen klar macht. Man entwickelt ein Gefühl für die Perspektive. Wichtig ist auf jeden Fall sich im Wasser absolut langsam und vorsichtig zu bewegen, damit man keinen Schlamm/Sand vom Grund aufwirbelt. Aufsteigende Blasen vom Seegrund sind ganz klasse als grafische Elemente, aber das Timing für das Bild ist schwierig und mit den Blasen kommen auch andere Partikel hochgeschwommen. Eine Zeit lang schwamm mir immer ein Fischschwarm hinterher, aber hier muss man sich wohl noch erheblich ruhiger verhalten, auch den Schwarm vor der Sonne zu positionieren wollte nicht recht gelingen :) – naja und irgendwann wurde es dann echt kalt. Im Oktober nehme ich dann meinen Neo mit – die Wassertemperaturen sind nicht mehr so nett.

Kleine Galerie später – hier schonmal eine Vorschau (hier: Dambecker See/MVP):




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14-24 and back online

Back from the summer break – what a summer! Did some nice shots with the Nikkor 14-24 f2.8G. This lens seems to be worth every penny (but if you spend so much pennies for a lens – than this is a good thing! isn’t it?  : ). I will have some more thoughts about the lens but here are some uncommented samples from the last weeks. If you havnt been a wide angle fan so far than you become one with that piece of glass. At least thats my impression.










In Nikons FX Land

In Nikons FX land:

This year seems to be the upgrade time within the photography business, I completely switched to FX cameras recently and I sold my trusty Nikon D2x. Right now I am not sure if the new D800/E is the right package for me.  The D3(s)/D700 is the perfect couple for the sports and wildlife photography crowd with a matured firmware status and identical AF-layout / sensor technology. But the massiv 36 Megapixels you get with the D800 are kind of the technology heaven for the nature photography aspects and everybody seems to think “I want these pixels!” … well I seem to have the same virus, but am still fighting it : ).

As a low DOF imaging junkie I was longing for the big sensor since a while.  While on a DX sensor your 300 mm lens has a FOV of an 450 mm lens, I find myself now shooting with a 400 mm lens combo much more often than when I was shooting with  the D2x.

The other important function you get switching to the new cameras is called AF-calibration. If you are very much into extreme low depth of focus kind of visualizations, than AF-calibration can save your day. This is mainly due to the fact that lenses do not always focus correctly or they change their focus point over time. In the past you had to send your lens arsenal to a service center to calibrate your lenses for your camera body, now you can do that with the AF-calibration option within the camera. You can even define various AF-calibration profiles for different serials of the same lens type and different TC-combinations (though you cannot define different calibration factors for various zoom positions or focus distances or different focus sensors. The last one really hurts the D800 fans as some of the D800s are coming decalibrated from the Sendai factory). What you usually do is to calibrate your lens with a focus target and a calibration ruler where you check potential front/back focus. Finally you check the focus again with AF-calibration set to Off and set to On and than you verify if your setup also is working fine within the usual shooting distances.

Obviously other arguments for the FX sensor also apply: much better high ISO performance: with the D2x I was limited to the ISO100 – ISO320 range – with the D3 the new high ISO area where I usually stop is at ISO1600!   Others are shooting at ISO3200 regularly!

What I usually prefer is a sharp clean image with a high “at pixel” level acuity instead of huge files with lower overall acuity.  Additionally speed or responsiveness is the second parameter that makes a difference.  I do not argue that the D800 will not create sharp images. The point is that getting there is much more a question of lens performance (and using these lenses at their optimal setting) and good shooting techniques with this camera than it was before AND where I am shooting 75% of the time, this is mostly the weak part of the lens performance diagram (with the lens wide open! So the overall resolution gain can be much smaller with a D800 when you are working f.e. on a moving boat, using lenses at f1.4-f2.8 or above f11 (diffraction kicks in here), btw: this is already very visible with the recently announced D3200 with a 24MP DX (APS-C) Sensor that would scale up to roughly 50MP on a FX sensor – this camera resolves a lot but you need pro lenses, a good tripod and you will have to work in the golden aperture range of your lens to really drag this resolution out of the sensor.

Right now some FX cameras are also reaching a very sweet price/performance ration – for 1700€ (right now in summer 2012) the Nikon D700 is a bargain even when the D600 with a 24MP FX sensor surfaces. Used D3 prices are down as well.

I believe the D800 should have been a 16-24MP FX camera with the low-light performance of the D3s but that obviously is the recently released D4 : ).

Although most people seem to adjoint to the statement “technology doesnt matter”, the high ISO performance let you do things that have not been possible in the past. Moving light in the darkness is a beautiful example: light house shots of 0.25 seconds exposure at  ISO1600 stacked together to create a multitemporal fused dataset:

Light house Keldsnor Fyr (Langeland/Denmark), Nikon D3, processed in LR4 .

The full Light house trailing gallery is online in the gallery section now: