So this happend – A retrospective of 2017

2017 is over and a new year is ahead of us. It has been a very different, but very successful year for me and my photography. I have visited numerous new locations and I reckon I can offer some retrospective of last year.
I have been to Tenerife, the Northwest Highlands of Scotland, Kenia and South-East-Asia. Those journeys can somewhat be regarded as my ‘main’ photographic trips. Adding to this list are several new images from my hometown area in Haltern am See as well as some images taken in the Netherlands.

So what are my favorite images of the the year, and what do you think of this list?
I will include all images in a chronological order, starting with my first trip.

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Tenerife Canary Islands El Teide blue hour red rocks nightsky espana islas canarias

After sunset I was walking around the caldera basin and just observed how the light changed. I noticed a change in the hues about 45min after sunset and also the clouds were rolling in behind the Teide. So I hiked back up in oder to get a better overview over the basin by that time the top of the volcano was already coverd by a layer of clouds which locals call the somrero. (Mostly the use that phrase when heavy lenticulares clouds are covering the top) What a surreal experience it was to witness the blue hour amidst the caldera of the volcano. The last remnants of light increased to reddish colour of the rocks and produced an amazing scene.
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[caption id="attachment_734" align="aligncenter" width="1100"]Anaga tenerife islas canarias canary island espana spain fog forest laurel The Anaga mountains on Tenerife offer infinte potential for creative exploration of oneself.

A'Mhaighdean-Sunrise-Scotland

This peak offers one of the vastest views over the Great Wilderness of Scotland. In terms of distance to the next road this is close to the most remote area in the entire United Kindom. It took us 26km and a 950m ascent to reach the summit of A’Mhaighdean – well worth it given the conditions we got for sunrise. A’Mhaighdean is one of the least accessible of the munros in northern Scotland.
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[caption id="attachment_942" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] The light at sunset offered great opportunities for more intimate images like this one. I really like the combination of light and shadows in this image to emphasize the bending river.

Blue Hour Kakamega

Kenya has been struggling to increase its forest cover. The Kakamega forest has retained its glory over years and is now the country’s only rainforest. Once upon a time this forest was part of the rainforest that stretched from Kenya to Uganda and all the way to the Congo. Walking through the thick forest it feels like walking through a living museum of rare trees, plants and animals. Witnessing the blue hour and the sound of the forest from from this viewpoint was an unforgettable moment.

Westruper Heide im Sonnenlicht

A path winding though a local heathland. In order to properly capture this landscape with it’s trees and smaller forest I thought I include only a small patch of heath in this frame. You can still see the full heathland below the leaves.

Cambodia is an overwhelmingly Buddhist country with 97% of the population being Buddhist. Yet we stumbled over a small Muslim community at the Cambodian coast. As we were strolling over the local fish market I took a few images of women selling and preparing all sorts of sea food. This image turned out quite well.

This image was taken at Bayon temple which stands in the center of Angkor Thom – at the temple there are more than 210 faces of Cambodia`s most celebrated King. One more day of exploring the ancient temples of Angkor ahead

Tak Bat in Luang Prabang

The famous morning procession ‘Tak Bat’ in Luang Prabang. This is one one of the most sacred Lao traditions, the Buddhist Alms Giving Ceremony. Despite being a highly revered ritual for locals, visitors are encouraged to be involved as long as a level of respect is maintained throughout. Alms giving takes place daily as the sun rises, beginning on the main street of Luang Prabang before spreading out to all the side streets.

In AngkorThom and around #Bayon temple there are several active places of worship. While I was shooting sunrise at Bayon temple I noticed several Monks preparing a ceremony. Luckily there were only very little tourists around since Bayon isn’t a popular sunset location.
This was indeed something special, to witness this ceremony with monks and local people was special.
I tried my best to keep my distance, in order not to disturb this ritual.

Laotian Mountains

I rose at 4:30 in the morning and started the 1 1/2hr ascent to this viewpoint. During November (dry season) Laos experiences very stable weather conditions. Literally everyday starts with low hanging clouds above the valley, which creates great photographic potential once you are above them for sunrise.
I am glad that this image work out that well since I was not aware of the compositional opportunities on the peak, hence I am happy to show you the potential of landscape photography in Laos.

This scene could be described as the most emblematic of Hoi An. It really isn’t nothing new composition wise, and frankly it has been done before, but I still enjoy most of the images I see of this place. It shows Hoi An’s beautiful riverfront and the picturesque yellow walls of the old town. Since the town is flooded every 5 years or so, and is currently (!) under water, the colour often crumbles, rendering the plaster aged. For some it might be ugly, but for others it is one of the last anachronist in a more and more sterile world. I waited quite a while for the old fisherwomen to move and to be in the exact right spot between the colour barrier. (Luckily the street was so empty). Sometimes photography is more about patience than skill.

In northern Vietnam you’ll find impressive mountain scenery with peaks reaching higher than 3000m asl. This view is very close to the Chinese border. I find it fascinating being that close to a country which still makes my mind think “I am far away from home”. I dont know what it is – China feels further away from home than any other place in south east Asia.

Stranger Things in Luang Prabang

Three boys riding their bikes in Luang Prabang. This scene reminded me a lot of Stranger Things. I must admit, I stumbled over this scene just days after finisih season two of Stranger Things on Netflix.

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