27 Feb, 2014
Photography - What happened in 2014 so far?


... a lot, here are some snaps from the last two month ...


Südstrand, Friesland


Ferry to Constance

Some very nice front garden in Baden-Württemberg ;-)




At Lake Constance and wine


An arty case from Thailand in 2009



Double Bounce

Books from Cambodia

Stretch Bus

Berlin Industry at Night


Last Party at old Picknick


First Teaser



Street Lights




Red Bounce


New National Gallery

Green Week

Russian products

Kyrgyz Brandy and chocolates

Eye Art


Mai and me


Last photo of Lilith, R.I.P.

On old snap from Las Vegas

Stratosphere Tower

Fukuoka 2009

Organic food

Old and New



Old & New

Old & New


The Box

Tidied up desk

Ukraine and Putin

Facebook profile pic and sun in my room



Sun coming back

Park in the morning





New Setup

Guitar Rig






A snap from Hong Kong airport last autumn

Somewhere in China in the middle of the night

Laos 2009





In two days it's March, spring is coming, yay!





12 Feb, 2014
Weddings 2014



With wedding season ahead make sure to pick a photographer for your special day that takes images you can enjoy for the rest of your life. If you like my style I can cover your day from dress up till last dance. These are some of my photos from the last years ...



If you're interested just drop me a line.





6 Feb, 2014
Photography - What makes a great photo?



What is it that makes a great photo?


The answer is nearly as difficult as the one to what great art was. Photography has so many different types and genres that it‘s quite hard or nearly impossible to define a special type of photograph that is great. You could pick hundreds of completely different photos that could be all great in a different way.


The quality of a photo lies in the eye of the beholder. One photo may be great to me but pretty average to others. But I can try to explain what impresses me about photos and how I as a photographer try to achieve a good photo.


When I think about photographers those like David LaChapelle or Gregory Crewdson come to my mind quickly, but it‘s more because they create impressive artworks, that are loud and in your face and stay in your mind. I do not particularly love them as photographers but more as artists. Their images have more of a painting or a staged play captured with one exposure. But to be honest it‘s actually not what I love about photography.


Great photography to me means capturing a moment, to freeze life in one photograph. That creates a whole lot of different scenes you can imagine to fit that purpose. It can be a portrait of a person that is happy and the capture of this happiness, during a wedding or just a stranger in a restaurant. It can be a sport event and a fascinating moment of the hit of the ball. It can be a sad moment in your family. It can also just be the sky and a crazy formation of clouds. It can also be a flower and its intriguing colours. It may as well be just a normal daily street scene in your hometown.


The subject doesn‘t really matter, life gives you endless opportunities to create a great photo. But what is it that makes your photo stand out?


It‘s hard to define one way that makes a photo great, I think there are many. Let me give you an example, a photo of a woman I shot in Vietnam. To me it's pretty much a perfect portrait. I saw this beautiful old woman in a little village. She allowed me to take her photo. Not only does she look amazing, it's also her clothes and this perfectly balanced background that just emphasized her magnificent expression. You could have done the same in a studio with someone casted and pose this way. But the great thing about this image is it's completely natural and I managed to just captured this graceful attitude. It's one of my most favorite portraits ever, I just love it.



But a photo of houses in Hongkong may be as interesting to you. What I like about this photo are those crazy lines that give it dramatic expression. I shot the image late in the day and the light was just perfect and created all shades of crazy colours. It's a completely different genre of photos and still I love them both in their own way.



A photo to me has to tell a story at best in an arty or powerful way. For example you can take a photo of someone in the streets by just point the camera straight towards her or him. But you can make it a better photo by including some of the surrounding into the photo in an interesting way.



You can try to compose a photo in a very symmetrical way to make it look more appealing. Photographing only straight lines sometimes make a great photo.



There are different factors each possibly contributing to a good photo. Subject may be one factor. A photo of a beautiful woman may be great just because it‘s a great looking person. But to me photographing obviously beautiful people or things often lead to not so interesting photos although the subject may be interesting. That‘s why I never really liked photographers like Helmut Newton or Peter Lindberg too much. Without a doubt you have to be recognized and proven to be a really good photographer to get the chance to shoot celebraties or Supermodels, but there‘s not such a great story behind it in the end.


To me a photo is more interesting when the person is not amazingly beautiful in the first place but becomes beautiful the way you take a photo of her/him and tell their story in one exposure, maybe by including some of the natural environment the person is working or living in. A photo to me is more interesting when you see someone on the streets that could be a Supermodel but simply isn‘t. I rode a bike on the countryside in Myanmar and passed this young woman. I turned around after a couple of meters and went back to take her photo. It‘s one of the most beautiful people I‘ve seen last year and on this trip. She was just sitting beside the street in a little booth to sell some goods to the village people. It‘s a completely natural portrait.



Good photos draw peoples attention and stay in their heads. But it‘s very difficult to tell what this special something has to be. Light for example plays a huge role in almost every photo and morning or evening light is much more pleasing because its softer and often gives interesting skies and colours.



Compostion has a huge impact on a photo. Placing a person or couple right in the middle of the frame is not as interesting as placing it on the sides or the bottom sometimes.



Timing is a key factor in making a photo special. To capture the exact moment of a unique situation sometimes make the photo a winner.



Sometimes it's simplicity that makes a photo powerful.



Very noisy images with lots of different things going on like in a street scene can be as interesting, too, though.



Sometimes it‘s one factor alone that make a photo good but often it‘s only a combination of all those factors that make a photo great.



I‘m very critical for example. One photographer that I am probably the most amazed of is Henry Cartier-Bresson. He used to shoot for Magnum, one of the greatest photo agencies in the world. Bresson's photos are outstanding. They often combine a very special moment in life with incredibly interesting people, his ability to hit the exact neccessary moment and an incredible talent in composing all this in an image you will never forget. Bresson is one of the very few masters that I consider an idol for me. And his images keep me hunting for those moments in life that are very, very hard to put into a photograph quite the same way. If you succeed you got a great photo, only others may tell if it was truly outstanding.



As photographer you always think you could have done better ...


I think this can only be a Part One of what makes a great photo, there's so much more to write about it ...





31 Dec, 2013
Photography - 2013, Personal Best


2013 was a crazy year in many ways. Apart from setting up a new business and founding NIKOLAIKIKI with everything involved, creating the website, developing the clothing collection, collaborating with Berlin fashion agency Common Works and cloth merchant Lebenskleidung, travelling to Turkey to document the organic and fairtrade production, promoting NIKOLAIKIKI in Germany and other countries, doing commissioned works like company portraits, weddings and shooting the Olympus OM-D, doing a dedicated 10 weeks trip only focussing on photography, I was taking a lot of photos in the first place.


I especially did a portrait project in Cambodia for a planned exhibition and accompaning book in spring 2014. A lot of the images below are from my autumn trip through the East. Of the 25.000 images I took in 2013 12.000 originated from the trip. I took three cameras with me, shooting mostly with a Canon 5D. My most used lens was a 50 1.2, followed by the 16-35 II. I used the 70-200 4 IS only for some landscape shots and almost never used my 35 1.4, I found the 50 much more useful on this trip. It's also my most used lens for weddings.


The following 100 images are my personal favorites from 2013. I didn't choose any of the calender images, because you know them already. I couldn't help to include the monk from Myanmar, though, I simply love it.


Check them out (I included personal notes for every image) ...


2013 started with celebrating New Year's with family and friends in Berlin


This is the old Kaufhaus Jandorf on the other side of our road looked through my Canon 50 1.2. I bought this lens especially for the autumn trip, but as I had to rent it every time for a wedding I thought it was the right time to invest in this beautiful optics.


I love to capture crazy patterns, this image is from Zurich airport


I love the North Sea, that's where I grew up. The above image is in the harbour of Hooksiel, this one is my mother with the cat Blacky on a friend's property in Friesland


Harbour Cologne


Depeche Mode venue at Kaufhaus Jahndorf, Room of a friend in Hamburg


Arendt at Bobby Reich at the Hamburg Alster


Building in London, with Henning in the dome of the Reichstag


Festival of Cultures in Berlin


These two are from a trip to Lago Maggiore with the Olympus OM-D


Berlin Street Art


I really like this one, it's a quality control of the GOTS production with Common Works and Lebenskleidung in Izmir, Turkey


I really loved the project Stadtlabor Weinbergspark against gentrification


I was shooting the Olympus OM-D in London, these guys are two of my best friends from New Zealand


A friend from Switzerland visited us in Berlin and we had this delicious olives in Mitte


A different perspective


I was invited to Biennale Arte in Venice this time, the above is an artwork with spices


Decayed sunflowers lit by a fire


I liked to attend this wedding as a friend


Party in late summer


Artwork from Art Basel


Audience at Mauerpark karaoke


Die Bäume at King Kong Klub Berlin


Crazy sky out of my window


SEA + AIR at Freifeld Festival, Oldenburg


Squirrel in Warsaw


Old men playing chess in Kiev


Kiev underground


Moscow is crazy, some musicians in the streets and impressive buildings in black & white


St. Basil


People in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on a market and kids on a bench


The Kyrgyz were really cool and they liked to be photographed, as those women in a car. Women wear headscarfes when they are married.


Animal market, Karakol, Kyrgyzstan


Children on the way to school in Tasma, Kyrgyzstan


Three men on a carriage, love this


Our host mother in Tasma


Those kids were incredibly cute, we couldn't get the little one with the yellow sweater to smile :-)


Kyrgyz landscapes were pretty amazing


Approaching crazy Beijing


Beijing resident


Ancient cities in China


... and their residents, look at the ham right above!


Guards in a park, China


Cutest twins


Different ethnic people in Shanghai


Gorgeous Guilin, China


Crazy Hongkong, The Peak and bamboo scaffolding


In Singapore I liked Little India and the Muslim quarter


Man kicking a coconut, great


A mirror artwork at Singapore Biennale


Angkor is incredible, many people seem to find that as well


I have to thank my travel partner Carmen who shot a lot of images, too. The tropical flower above and our friend Chamroeun were shot by Carmen


My project in Cambodia involved a lot of handicapped people who lost arms or legs due to landmines


This is one of my favorites from Cambodia, it's a young woman with her son in a hospital


I interviewed an Apsara techer and photographed her students


Oops, tried grilled tarantulas for dinner in Phnom Penh


Soldiers on Cambodian National holiday


I tried to capture the Khmer smile, I'm confident I succeeded


I love this Khmer style, covering every part of the body


One of my most loved places in Thailand, secret


The most impressive pagoda in Myanmar, the Shwedagon in Yangon


The banana shop, Yangon


This is one of my favorite pictures from Myanmar, a woman in her kitchen on the countryside in central Myanmar


The Burmese are fun and you can see that


Incredible landscapes in Myanmar as well


My best action shot this year and the most beautiful woman 2013 in my mind


The Burmese go by bus and they are packed like sardine cans


Crazy trees in central Myanmar


We've been invited to a Burmese wedding on the countryside


July preparing dinner on the countryside


Monastery with monk in morning mist


Father and son on the way to the fields and woman with typical Burmese headscarf


Inle Lake


Young monks in the morning and people in Bagan, early evening


Mandalay hill after sunset


On my last day in Myanmar we were driving around with a motorbike, I took photos from the backseat, this snap of a melon vendor is one of my favorites


I flew back from Bangkok with a Boeing 787 via Stockholm and could capture the sunset over Sweden in this special shot


You don't need to travel far to see great sunsets, this is my favorite of 2013 in Wilhelmshaven, Germany


Last one is my personal favorite, a monk in Amarapura, Mandalay region, Myanmar (thanks, Neill, for telling me!)


Phew, this was 2013. I'm really looking forward to next year, I'm pretty sure it'll be awesome as well with lots of new things coming up.


All the best to all of you, a happy 2014 and thanks a lot for supporting NIKOLAIKIKI, I'm very happy to do what I do!


See you next year!






9 Dec, 2013
Photography Trip - Myanmar, Best Of


Oh Myanmar, what a beautiful experience at the end of an already incredible journey!


It started on the bus to Don Muang Airport in Bangkok where I met Neill, an Australian globetrotter from Perth, who shares many of my passions, travelling and photography in particular, we also love to meet new people and take life the easy way. The fact that we spent my whole 15 days together travelling Myanmar without knowing each other speaks for itself, it really was a great time and we met so many nice people along the way.


In Yangon we came across two Burmese guys, Wunna and Thura, the latter spent three days with us introducing us to normal Burmese life, especially on the countryside, everything without ever asking for money, incredibly friendly.


We also met a very nice Belgian couple in Yangon, Lies and Jhony. We did a magnificent trek from laid-back Kalaw to beautiful Inle Lake together with a bunch of very friendly travellers from around the world.


Bagan was just divine and Mandalay and its surrounding cities provided endless picturesque subjects, a dream for any photographer.


It seems this whole trip really was worth while in every way. It took my photography a good bit further, I improved my portraits of strangers for example, I will bring back around 12.000 images, enough material to completely update the website when I'm back in Berlin and to make portfolios for individual applications and purposes. My portrait project in Cambodia was very successful and I hope to realize my second exhibition in Spring 2014 with an accompanying book.


This trip was more than I expected, much more to come, but now it's time for my Myanmar Best Of ...



WONDERFUL! I'm in love with Myanmar, what a beautiful journey, I will come back someday ...


I am relaxing on Ko Samed, Thailand, for two days now editing images and choosing the 12 for the calender, will show them soon ...


See you





13 Nov, 2013
Photography Trip - Cambodia, the people


The whole trip this year was built around Cambodia, my main destination. When I visited this fascinating country in 2009 for the first time I was so impressed by the postive attitude the Khmer express. This little country with such a terrible past manages to smile and look into its future with confidence, you can see it in people's faces. I wanted to capture this smile, be it a little damped in some cases, but how could you expect otherwise, some Cambodians have lost their arms, legs, eyes or most of their family. Even more impressive to see how far Cambodia has come since the worst days and there's still a lot more to expect. Look at those people, I truly fell in love with them ...



This is only a selection, I shot a whole lot more, but I am planning an exhibtion for next year, so I wanna make sure there are more images to show you from this stunning country!

Thank you so much, Cambodia, can't wait to come back again :-)





13 Nov, 2013
Photography Trip - Angkor 2013


I'm making it two Cambodia posts, Angkor first ...



That's the impressive Temples of Angkor, my second visit to this amazing place after 2009.


People and country coming next.


Check it out,





2 Nov, 2013
Photography Trip - Singapore


This is Singapore, well, at least in a couple of days. I liked Little India the most, I was lucky they celebrated a special holiday today and I could shoot some nice photos in one of the temples ...



Bye-bye, Singapore, it's been the farthest Southeastern point, from now on we will slowly head homewards, but the most important part is yet to come. Taking the plane to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, tomorrow.


Keep looking back





1 Nov, 2013
Don't fart, see art! - Singapore Biennale 2013 Special


My full Singapore set will come the next days, today we've been to the 4th Singapore Biennale 2013. It's been very interesting with artworks mostly from the Southeast Asian region, pretty political, too. I'm too lazy to write about them as there were quite a few, but fortunately I took some pictures. You may as well check the Biennale website with all the artists. Have a look ...



And then we went to my most favorite shop on Orchard Road ;-)



See you the next days





29 Oct, 2013
Photography Trip - China, holy countryside ...


Wow, the last days in China we spent in the spectacular region of Guilin in the south. We took a cruise boat down through the karst mountains that reminded me a lot of Halong Bay in Vietnam. The last day we took the bike and cycled through this magnificent landscape and I tried to get in touch with the farmers and capture their life on the fields. It's a really breathtaking part of China and well worth to spend much more time there. Have a look ...



We took the plane from Gulin to Shenzhen at 8 this morning and after a bus ride just arrived in Hong Kong, having a coffee in Kowloon and overlooking the impressive downtown skyline. I will try to shoot some different photos from the ones I took back in 2009, but I'm afraid we need to go up to the peak again tonight, the view is simply too good.


Taking the plane tomorrow afternoon to Singapore ...