Within the last 25 years I traveled a lot but this year I broke all records. In total I spend more than 120 days away from home. Here is 2016 in pictures.
*Noh all daenne Johre – After all those years.
To travel is great. You learn new things on every trip even if you have visited the place before. I love to see foreign places but I also love to come back home. The more I travel the more I can appreciate the place where I live.
OK, the photo above is from Austria but it’s not exactly from where I live. It’s a three hours drive away.
The reason I traveled so much this year was work. I visited Asia seven times. On average I stayed for two weeks. And of course there were two great vacations. One was our trip number five to the South West of the USA and the other one was a one week trip to Croatia in late autumn.
Above images were taken in China town/Bangkok and in Hong Kong this January.
Here is the list of the places that I visited through the year. Some I visited multiple times.
- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- Bangkok, Thailand
- Taipei, Taiwan
- Jakarta, Indonesia
- Manila, Philippines
- Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
- New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Agra (India)
- Tokyo, Osaka (Japan)
- USA (the South West)
- Croatia (mainly Dalmatia)
The two images above are from Taipei/Taiwan. It was my first visit and it was the coldest winter in a decade. There was snow outside of Taipei.
Since most of those places are very far away from my home I collected many miles and I literally know all new movies because I watched them during my flights. All this traveling is tiresome but I have not spent a single day at the hotel pool so far. I rather go for a walk with my camera.
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (56mm, f/2.8, 1/220 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (14mm, f/8, 1/350 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (56mm, f/3.6, 1/2700 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (56mm, f/2, 1/1000 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (14mm, f/2.8, 1/40 sec, ISO2000)
The images above are from Singapore taken during my stay in September.
This year was crazy. I visited the Taj Mahal twice. I saw snow in Taiwan and experienced the Monsoon in India. And I slept next door to the Dalai Lama.
About the Dalai Lama experience: Unfortunately I didn’t meet or even saw him. The hotel put my in the executive floor (I think by accident) the night before the Dalia Lama arrived with his entourage and his body guards. So when I went for breakfast next morning my floor was full of people with pistols and machine guns. I felt a little uneasy about the army in my floor so I asked at the reception. They explained that the Dalai Lama was staying with them.
I was excited but as stated above I never saw him leaving his room. I only had to pass his security guys on my way to the room. I didn’t like the way they stared at me but I guess they were just worried because of my suspicious trolly. My wife suggested that I should just knock on his door but I guess that the only unarmed body guard protecting the door had some tricks up his sleeve so I decided to stay away.
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (14mm, f/4, 1/60 sec, ISO1600)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (27mm, f/5.6, 1/80 sec, ISO4000)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (24.3mm, f/3.2, 1/125 sec, ISO640)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (42.5mm, f/4, 1/1700 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (27mm, f/8, 1/125 sec, ISO800)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (16mm, f/4, 1/60 sec, ISO400)
Pictures from Bangkok, Singapore, Bangalore, Chennai and HCMC.
I haven’t wrote anything about cameras and lenses so far but 2016 was an important year regarding gear too. I sold my Canon DSLR and the lenses. Last week I also finally traded my Sony A7R plus my last two FF lenses to get the Fuji XF 100-400 OIS. After ten years with full frame cameras I’m back to APS-C. It seems like a big step but it wasn’t a big step for me. Since I got myself a second hand Fuji X Pro-1 (for Christmas 2012) I exclusively shot this camera on all my trips to Asia. Of course AF was slow especially with the 35/1.4 but the handling and the files were special. I still shot my DSLR/Sony combo on vacations but that changed when I saw the files the X Pro-2 produces.
Yes the Sony A7R files are still more detailed and dynamic range is still a little bit better but the difference is not huge. The files of the X Pro-2 are better than what I got from my Canon 6D. Since I prefer auto-WB and colours from the Fuji the decision was easy: I went all Fuji!
I think a DSLR still makes a lot of sense for wildlife or sport photography but if your main subject is travel photography you would be a fool not to consider the Fuji X system. This camera system is made for travel photography. For me it even replaces a DSLR for occasional wildlife or bird photography. When I go to Canada next time I have a very good 100-400 zoom for birds, bears and deer and when I switch to a small lens like the 23/2 I have a compact camera to take with me in the evening.
And the best part is that thanks to excellent auto-WB the files need almost no post processing at all. Perfect if you come back with thousands of pictures. You can even shoot JPEG if you like.
FUJIFILM X-T1 (55mm, f/7.1, 1/125 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (200mm, f/9, 1/1800 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (16.6mm, f/8, 1/60 sec, ISO320)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (24mm, f/11, 1/950 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (23mm, f/1.4, 1/60 sec, ISO640)
The pictures above are from our vacation in California in June.
Of course most of the traveling this year were business trips where photography was restricted to after work and weekends. A vacation is different. You can shoot whenever you like. But when you go on vacation in June you should limit photography to morning and evening hours (that’s for the northern hemisphere). That’s what I have learned after all those vacations: Stay away from the harsh midday light.
But the most important thing is: no matter how important photography is for you it should not dominate your vacation.
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (23mm, f/1.4, 1/90 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (14mm, f/8, 1/200 sec, ISO640)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (14mm, f/2.8, 1/200 sec, ISO4000)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (23mm, f/1.4, 1/160 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (14mm, f/6.4, 1/15 sec, ISO200)
Five images from Tokyo, Japan except the Aquarium shot which was taken in Osaka.
It’s always exciting to visit a place for the very first time. Especially if it is an exotic place. That’s also true for Japan. Japan is maybe the most developed country on the planet. There is high tech and amazing toys for boys everywhere but on the other hand it is also very traditional and full of behavioural rules.
Too bad that this trip came so late in the year when I was already tired of all the traveling. I decided to leave on Saturday morning but I really regret that I did not stay for the weekend. I consider to have a vacation in Japan soon to be able to focus on photography and to further explore the country.
Three from Croatia: Split, Plitvicer Lakes and the Adriatic Sea after sun set.
A short late autumn break before the cold and dark winter. Croatia is perfect for that. It’s a little paradise and it is just a five hours drive away from where I live. Great old towns, amazing waterfalls and most important: the sea! What a place!
Two from my third visit at the Taj Mahal, Agra/India and the last image below is from Mumbai.
The last images are from India. From my last business trip in 2016. I returned back home two weeks before Christmas. I was in India many times before but this was the first time that I stayed for two weeks. India is an amazing place. It is dirty, poor, overcrowded and loud but it is also one of the best places on earth for photography. Just be prepared to be outside of your comfort zone as soon as you leave your hotel.
But that’s the whole point of traveling. To get outside of your comfort zone, to learn what’s behind that next corner.
- I have to explain the title of the blog post. It’s one of my favourite songs and the reason is its lyrics. The closest translation is: After all those years. Here are the lyrics: http://www.bap.de/start/musik/songtexte/titel/noh-all-dänne-johre