This weekend I walked with friends from Leiden to Hazerswoude. Leiden is a beautiful old town, home to the oldest university in the Netherlands and birthplace of Rembrandt. Hazerswoude is a small village in the ‘green heart’ of the Netherlands. The green heart is an area of 2.500 square km, situated between four largest cities of the Netherlands: The Hague, Amsterdam, Utrecht and Rotterdam.
Growing up in different places in this green heart, the hypothesis that the world was flat seemed to make sense. The green heart is one of the flattest pieces of the earth I have ever seen, and, after seeing some of my pictures, I am sure you will agree.
As a side note: the weather provided a great opportunity to test the weather sealing capabilities of my Lumix G81 camera and Panasonic 12-60 mm 3.5-5.6 lens. Pretty good actually…
Lumix G81 camera | Panasonic 12-60 mm 3.5-5.6 lens
Although I prefer taking pictures of people instead of objects, I have a soft spot for black & white pictures of industrial objects. Hence I just had to stop when I drove through France and saw this old iron bridge with the marshalling yard part of Gare Niederhausbergen.
LumixGX80 camera | Olympus 17mm 1.8 lens
Pictures taken with the Dynamic Monochrome setting on the Lumix GX80. Post processed in Lightroom.
One of the greatest happenings in our church in Thalwil is the yearly performance of our local Gospelchoir. The choir consists of 30 singers, accompanied by a band consisting of Felix Bachmann (leader, dobro and banjo), Heidi Bachmann (bass), Andrea Vontobel (flute) and Hanspeter «Bibi» Honegger (drums), as well as choir member Sibylle Häfliger (violin).
On February 2, 2020, they performed their latest program ‘Rock my soul’. A mix of gospel classics and more modern songs (‘Sailing’!), choir songs and duets. This year’s performance was even more special, since, Felix Bachmann, the leader of the choir, announced his retirement. The choir thanked him by performing the Abba classic ‘Thank you for the music’.
Fortunately his successor is already know, so I am looking forward to another great performance next year!
Nikon D750 | Nikkor 20-35 mm 2.8 | Tamron 28-75 mm 28
Last Saturday I had the opportunity to participate in a photowalk organized by Amazing Views in Zurich in cooperation with Fujifilm. The idea was to do some streetphotography in Oerlikon (a part of Zurich).
That proved to be a great idea. I was very pleased with some of the pictures I could take. I hope you like them as well!
Lucerne is one of the most beautiful Swiss cities I know. The only problem –it is overexposed. The famous Kapellbrücke must have been photographed more than a hundred million times, the slightly less famous Watertower bridge and the Jesuit church probably millions of times.
The light conditions were sub-optimal due to the time of year and timing of my visit (grey skies). However, fortunately, I had my Olympus 9-18 mm f/4.0-5.6 wide angle lens with me during the shoot, and could use Adobe Lightroom for postprocessing.
I love the Olympus 9-18 lens when I travel to cities. 9 mm enables me to capture almost everything that is interesting from an architecture point of view, 18 mm is the bare minimum for a portrait. I remember one trip to London where I almost never took this lens off the body, despite the fact that I have multiple other lenses at my disposal. Obviously, I had my Lumix 20 mm f/1.7 lens with me as well. You know, the lens I have a love – hate (colours, depth of field, sharpness versus slooooooow and awful aesthetics) relationship with. With this lens I took the first two pictures of the series below.
During the shoot I became slightly worried about the fact that the autofocus of my GX80 camera occasionally stopped working, and only started again if I took the lens off the body, and put it back again… It happened only a couple of times when I switched lenses, and only after I successfully used the lens after taking a couple of shots. I would hate to have this camera bring in for repairs. I love using it for street photography and already hear a ‘… we could not recreate the issue’ from Panasonic.
Anyway, I hope my pictures of the beautiful city of Lucerne add some value to all the pictures that are already out there.
Being born and raised in the Hague, Scheveningen always had a special place in my heart. Due to the fact that my brother was confined to a wheelchair, we often went for a walk to the pier heads of the Scheveningen harbour.
Nowadays, I still like to walk there to get some fresh air and to clear my head. I love to come here with my camera on a clear day during the golden hour, because the colour schemes are so magnificent.
All pictures taken with a Panasonic Lumix GX80 camera and the Lumix 20 mm 1.7 lens. Despite the fact that this lens focuses XXL slow focus in low light conditions, it is incredibly sharp, fast and the versatile.
Grindelwald is small town in the Swiss Alps, surrounded by a number of famous mountains: the Wetterhorn, the Mönch, the Jungfrau, and of course the most (in)famous one of all: the Eiger.
In the village a beautiful small idyllic church is located. A number of graves in the church yard behind the church are from mountaineers who died during climbing expeditions.
We also visited the church on Sunday to attend a baptism service led by Pfarrer Klaus-Dieter Hägele. Not only did he preach about the cornerstone of our lives (Isaiah 28:16), he also gave a demonstration by stapling one stone on top of another. Andreas Menzi accompanied the service on organ and piano. One of the pieces he played is an old time favorite of mine from the great American songbook: ‘Love is here to stay’ by George & Ira Gershwin.
This morning I attended the Christmas services of the Ekklesia Leiden (Holland). A liberal church community in the university town of Leiden which gathers every week at the Hooglandse Kerk. A beautiful building stemming back from the 14th century.
A 2013 review in the newspaper Trouw already noted that ‘…apart from ‘Our Father’, the score of Huub Oosterhuis songs was 100 percent’. This morning, apart from ‘Our father’, only 4 out of the 6 songs from were from this author; a decrease to 67%…
The ‘participant pastor’ Christiane van den Berg -Seiffert meditated on Matthew 2: 1-12 (from the translation of Naarden), the story about the magi. She noted that they must have had patience (to watch the skies night after night), and did not know exactely what they were looking for and where (hence they visited king Herod first). She concluded by pointing at the mystery of X-mas: People longing for God (symbolized by the shepherds and the Magi,) and God longing for people.
On December 14 I had a wonderful trip to Basel to attend the book signing at Orell Füssli by my dear friend Johannes Czwalina and his fellow author Dan Shambicco. I am looking forward to reading their book ‘Draussen spielt ein Leben’ at Christmas.
It was also a nice opportunity to stroll through Basel whilst taking pictures with my LumixGX80, in combination with my latest acquisition: a Lumix 20mm 1.7 pancake lens. Everything that has been written about this well-known lens turned out to be true. It is extremely sharp, compact, performs very well in low light…but the autofocus is extremely slow compared to all other MFT lenses I have.
On my way back in the train I managed to successfully upload the pictures from my camera directly to Facebook on my smartphone, without editing them in Lightroom first. I have high hopes of shortening my workflow in the future!
A couple of weeks ago I made a couple of publicity pictures for Kai Bischoff and Gordon Schultz to promote their upcoming Christmas concerts. It was a pleasure to work with them, and I am looking forward to hearing their music!