Simply put, I am an IT consultant. In a number of international projects I bring together companies, their people, and their interests in order to jointly work on complex technical tasks. I studied mathematics and philosophy – and depending on the project, I sometimes need more of the one, or the other. The wide variety of characters and cultures creates an environment that keeps me far from getting bored for more than 15 years now.
Away from work, I live with my wonderful family and an entire zoo of animals – some real, some virtual, and some cuddly – in the beautiful south of Hesse – somewhere between Odenwald, Bergrstraße, and the Rhine river… close enough to the big cities to have everything we need, and far enough away from them to have our peace.
One of the things that have always fascinated me in my spare time is old technology. For almost 30 years now, I am volunteering at the Railway Museum Darmstadt-Kranichstein, guiding visitors through the exhibition or explaining how old mechanical switch boxes work. And then there is my trusted VW Beetle, who has crawled all over Europe with me over the past 20 years, from the Alps to the Arctic Circle.
I also like to read a lot; primarily American thrillers. My favourite authors include: Lee Child (Jack Reacher series), Michael Crichton (all of them), Jeffrey Deaver (Lincoln Rhyme series), John Sandford (Lucas Davenport series) – but then also everything by Terry Pratchett, or totally crazy books such as “One of Us” by Michael Marshall Smith.
My favoured types of photography of course follow what I do in my spare time. The railway museum is a grateful provider of motives. In particular the details of the old machinery, or capturing the mood “behind the scenes” at events, are things that appeal to me. I am no portrait photographer, but I love to “pick out” individual persons or small groups from a larger crowd, thus capturing the conversations and moments – ideally, without them feeling observed. Of course, none of these images are distributed without the subjects’ knowledge and consent.
When travelling, either job-related or on vacation, I like to capture landscapes and city motives. Or I go hunting for pictures in our garden – with the macro lens. I like the challenge of finding unusual perspectives; showing things in a way you don’t usually see them when walking by.
In the summer of 2015, a number of reasons for me to take a deeper look at photography came together. So I thought: well, let’s have a look, there should be something on the internet… and indeed there was! The search engines and video portals of your choice easily render thousands of results on that topic. But I quickly realised: only a few of those are actually useful. In the beginning, it was quite cumbersome to separate the wheat from the chaff.
With the first good photos I made came the questions from friends and coworkers: how did you do that? Where do you get your information from? Can you send me a few links?
I am not (yet) at a point where I can create my own tutorials. But I have read and watched many instructions, books, and videos – and by now, a good overview on which ones of those are good (for me), and which not. What I have learned from them. What I might do differently today. I am not (yet) an experienced photographer – but I am experienced beginner. In German, the word “einsteigen” means to enter or get into something – a new skill, for instance, or a train.
Hence: All aboard!