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DECEMBER 31, 2021


The river Inn

My goal for this year was to take four good pictures. I've achieved that goal, but more importantly I've realised it was the wrong goal. It came from a place where I was almost exclusively a landscape photographer. It came from a place where I didn't try new things. It came from a place when I hadn't yet learned the value of telling stories with sets of images. This blog has helped me to overcome all this. I've hopped genres more than ever, I've tried new styles, motives and mediums. Most importantly, I've started to understand how to convey an experience with a few photos and words instead of hunting for a singular great image without context. At the end of the year, I stand here with an eclectic collection of images telling the story of a truly eventful year. Let me take you through my favourites.


From a hike with my dad

The cliffs of Normandie disappearing into the mist


The most beautiful beach in Bretagne

I've taken a lot of landscape photos this year. I'm not a classic landscape photographer - I never carry a tripod or filters, and I rarely do the "creek and flowers in the foreground" kind of thing. I still enjoy the genre a whole lot. Especially on the road, I've seen gorgeous places - the cliffs of Normandie, the beaches of Bretagne, the green hills of Auvergne, snow-capped mountains in Switzerland, canyons in the Cevennes, wild river valleys in Slovenia, and more. I've brought home good photos, but I struggle with finding a consistent style for landscapes. I like every photo in its own right for very different reasons, but they lack a signature, a shared idea. I strive to see a lot of beautiful landscapes next year, so I'll just keep shooting and see.


Heuberg, Germany


Boulderers at night in Magic Wood, Switzerland

One genre I love and do way too rarely is adventure. The hikers in the snow are probably my favourite image I've taken all year, and one of my all-time favourites. Being out in the snow, glasses fogged up, taking shots more on chance and intuition than actual technical control makes a photo like this all the more rewarding. The same goes for the climbers; I was hungry, I'd cut my hand a few minutes earlier, and it was dark and slippery - but the drive I felt when I saw that picture made it worth it. And I've tried to pursue adventure, I've carried my cameras on many hikes this year, I've been out in snow, fog, sun, and rain, I've shot boulderers and longboarders - but I do notice I want to do more. That's a project for next year.


Ebb in Normandie

Lake Zug, Switzerland

Then there's a bunch of random images from places on the road. I don't know how to categorize them, and I don't even want to. They are just coincidental finds, brief moments with their own beautiful vibe. There is this orange tractor I walked half a mile for because I spotted it and thought, hey, that's cool. There are our breakfast chairs, so absurdly poignant in their loneliness. There is the memory of a summer's night with friends that makes me feel warm whenever I think about it. And there is the best place I've ever woken up in. They are not coherent in style or form, but they belong here.


Lake Thun, Switzerland


Waking up on the coast in Bretagne

Apart from these little side quests, there have been two big developments this year. The first one is my advancement into people photography, portraits if you will. Just like with landscapes, I'm not interested in the classic side of it, no lighting, make-up or retouching for me, thank you very much. I like taking candids, and any of my set-up portraits will be as close to a candid as I can get it - I feel like they have more soul. When I do capture someone the way I see them, it's very fulfilling, and certainly the most emotional of the things I do. The importance of these images only grew during the year, as I realised that photos of people that you like are the ones you keep - some landscapes become dull the more you look at them, people just grow more interesting.


From my mum's birthday


The first portrait on film I've ever taken

The second big development is - obviously - film. I picked up a 35mm camera in spring, and then got nudged to try medium format -  and I'm so thankful for that nudge. Shooting with my dad's old Mamiya 645 has been one of the most fulfilling and exciting experiences of my life. There is so much to it - the intuition, the waiting, the simplicity, the age, the texture, the unlearning and relearning, the reduction in quantity, the focus on light - it's photography as it should be. I'm not swearing off digital altogether, it's way too fast, cheap and easy. But that new old world of film, that strange diva, is so appealing to me - and I cannot wait for next year's rolls.



My grandma

Portraits and film are not the only new things I did this year. This was the year I went camping for the first time. This was the year I learned how to drive mountain passes. This was the year I graduated, broke multiple toes, went trailrunning next to the ocean, got my hair cut next to a river, almost rode my longboard into a canyon, moved out of Germany, fell onto a camera, made friends from all over the world, brought one of them home for Christmas, discovered my love for almond croissants, 90s Italian hip-hop, yogic arm balances, and so much more. This has been the best year of my life so far, and I'm so grateful to you for following along. 2022's stories are just around the corner. Come on, let's go find them.



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