There’s Nothing Like Film / Part 2

Hola everyone.


How are you all doing today? I hope so far you’re having a lovely Friday and that your week has been nice. Lots of good and bad stuff happening right now, huh? On the one side, there’s the world being in literal shambles, dumb politicians and us being stuck at home, on the other one there movements finally changing the world, Taylor Swift releasing a surprise album and us finding new ways to connect. When I look at the world, I often remember what I read online about a month into quarantine – if this never happened, this version of you right now would never exist. And I see that as both something good and something bad. And it makes me wonder a lot, mostly about which version I would prefer. I think it makes you reflect on life, which I think is really important.

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What a philosophical start, huh? But truly, I think taking a good look at the world is so important right now. Which is probably why I love photography so much, because it makes you look at the world, and in most cases in different ways. It makes you see the beauty in things that you never saw before. And now that I have this film camera, that I’ve been carrying around with me basically all the time, I see this beauty in the world in a way where I have the power to capture it in that very second that I’m taking a picture. Including the surprise of not really knowing how the picture will actually turn out. Which makes me feel a bit nervous and super excited at the same time. And it has kinda also made me love imperfection. You know, with a digital camera you can just perfect every shot, because you can change just about everything. But with a film camera, there’s only so much you can do besides just taking the picture. So when a picture turns out to be blurry, that’s just what it is. That’s how you captured that moment. And it might not be perfect in the way we know it, but it’s still that moment in a picture, so full of life and creativity, and that’s what I love about it.

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So last week, I finally got my second roll of film developed and I’m just so happy to share the finished pictures with you all today. I haven’t been photographing with film for that long now, but it’s already been such a learning curve. I’ve been trying out different types of film for now and I think with the roll I’m currently shooting on, I think I’ll try out different stages of light, just to see how the camera really works with that. But so far every shot has been super fun and I love seeing how the pictures turn out depending on how I’m taking them in those very moments – the pictures down below were taken at home, during a holiday, when we went hiking, at all kinds of places.

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I think compared to the first roll you can clearly see how both the type of film and me getting acclimated and more used to the camera have changed the quality of the pictures (here’s the link to my first roll of pictures). Which again is super fascinating. I’m already super excited to see how the next one’s going to turn out and I can’t wait to show the pictures to you once they’re developed. And until then I hope you enjoy the pictures down below. As always, I’d love to hear your opinions, so please don’t hesitate to leave your comments and thoughts down below. As always, I wish you all a lovely weekend and, of course, thanks for reading. x

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Live Music is Back (kinda)

Hola everyone.


And welcome back to a new post and a new week. I hope you’ve all had a great weekend and a fantastic Monday and that your Tuesday is going well so far. I, for my part, had a great weekend, which is partly thanks to the topic of today’s post that we’ve all gathered together for today. I’m here to share something very very very special with you guys and something that has made me more emotional and happier than quite a lot of stuff that’s happened the past few months. And yes, we’re talking about music. Good old live music. But let me start right at the beginning.

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Those of you who’ve been following my blog for quite a while now will probably already know this, but for those of you who are new to this blog (welcome. thanks for being here.), let me tell you a fact about me. I freaking love Amber Run. And no, I’m not talking about some cool movie or a crazy online game, I’m talking about one of the best and most underrated bands of this current time. And this in itself could still be understood as a massive understatement. That’s how good these guys are. Last year in October, I had the absolute pleasure of not only seeing this crazily talented trio live for the first time, but also getting to interview them before their show in London. And let me tell you, they weren’t just three of the kindest and most grounded people I’ve ever met, but the overall night was one I will definitely never forget. The only way I can possibly describe the experience of seeing them live is by comparing it to stepping into pure musical heaven – check out the full review here. I mean, Joe, their lead singer, could sing me the alphabet and I’d quite certainly call that the best song of the century. It’s a voice I wish I could crawl into and surround myself with like a blanket. That’s what it feels like – a warm, cuddly blanket. And don’t even get me started on the other two guys, Tom (their uber-fantastic bassist) and Henry (the beast on the piano). All three of them singing together and harmonizing the way they do is what true heaven must sound like, for sure.

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Okay, so, that’s Amber Run. I love them. I think you got that. But let me get to the point why we are really here today. This talented indie group just gave me the chance to attend my first concert ever since the Corona hell broke loose – but in a different way you would probably expect. Actually, I was meant to see them live in May, but thanks to the pandemic it fell flat. And in order to reconnect to their fans, the guys decided to still put on their show, just a bit differently than they are usually used to. Because instead of a crowd, there were cameras in the room with them and instead of being there with them, I was sitting on my couch at home. Sounds weird, but that’s what concerts look in 2020. And still, it was a concert, and every time I closed my eyes, I imagined myself there at Omeara with them and the feeling that gave me is indescribable.

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During all these weeks and months without being able to attend gigs and without live music, I’ve been feeling like a part of myself, a part of my soul, has been ripped off me, like I haven’t been complete anymore. Which figures, as gigs are literally my life. There isn’t a place on earth where I feel happier than when I’m standing in the middle of a crowd, music blaring through the speakers and one of my favourite bands smiling down at me from the stage. That’s my kind of heaven. The heaven I’ve been missing more than anything else ever since our world got hurled into utter chaos. So when I saw that Amber Run would be doing a real gig, at a real concert venue in London and streaming it live to everyone’s homes, I felt like I had got some part of that heaven back. Suddenly I was able to buy a real ticket for a real concert again, have something I could get excited for, something I could count down the days for.

 

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In a weird sense and despite not really being able to attend the concert in a way I would nearly do anything for right now, the show gave me something back I had been missing for so long. The happiness I can only ever experience while listening to live music, while being at a live show. Obviously, the streamed show can’t really hold up against the show I got to attend in October, but it’s the closest to a live gig any band has brought me to the past few months and for that I’m eternally grateful. Naturally, that is also because of the guys’ phenomenal talent that only seems to grow and improve over time. My parents watched the show together with me and I think my mum fell just as much in love with them as I did while seeing them live for the first time. Thankfully, we both still have our tickets for their unplugged show in December, which I’m hoping won’t have to be rescheduled again, and I seriously cannot wait for this special evening to finally come around.

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And I know you’re probably thinking that live-streamed gigs can never be the same as actual live gigs, and I couldn’t agree more, but that show on Sunday also made me rethink my opinion a little. Obviously, it wasn’t the same, but I haven’t felt the excitement of going to a concert in so long and that show gave me parts of that back. For example, when they suddenly started playing ‘The Weight’, which is easily one of their most heartfelt and beautiful songs and one I discovered and fell in love with after seeing them live, I nearly jumped off the couch and shouted OH MY GOD THEY’RE ACTUALLY PLAYING THAT SONG!!!!!????!?! And whether that moment happened at home while watching a stream or live at an actual gig, that kind of shock and happiness I felt right in that moment would have always been the same. Even more so when Joe suddenly started singing a new, yet to be released song titled ‘I Hope It’s Not Like This Forever’ (very fitting for the current time), which I’ve still got stuck in my head.

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What that show made me feel even through a screen is proof for the fact that music always has and always will find a way through all the hardships that will come its and our way. It will always be stronger than that and will always reunite us. Always. And I’ll always be in love with it. And Amber Run. Simply for making me feel at home when I’ve felt lost for so long.

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So yeah, and that’s that. Here’s a very loving and very excited review of my first concert after four long months. I will honestly be forever thankful for Amber Run putting up this show and letting me experience live music again. I hope you enjoyed reading all about my experience and if you check the guys out, which you really should, I hope you fall just as much in love with them as I did – you can follow them on twitter and Instagram or listen to them on Spotify or YouTube. Please don’t hesitate to leave your thoughts and comments down below. And until then I wish you all a great week and, as always, thanks for reading. x

Let’s go for a hike

Hola everyone.


And welcome back to my blog and also, depending on when you’re reading this, another lovely start of the weekend. I hope you’ve all had a great week and that you’re doing well. I, for my part, am doing pretty good. I’ve been spending the past few days tinkering about either in the garden or the kitchen and I’ve also recently taken on doing yoga again, which is making me feel at ease, thank god. I seem unable to get this feeling of like I’m hanging in the air off of me. One second I feel great, and the next the realization of everything that happened the past few months and the longing for the summer that should’ve been hits me like a train, which always drags me back to that sad hole I was stuck in for so long. I guess that’s what all the newspapers have been saying – this whole ordeal hits and affects us, the youth, way harder than anyone would think. But I know that we as a whole are strong enough to get through this together. I will do too.

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Anyway, spending a lot of time surrounded by nature has helped me quite a lot in processing all of this, and thankfully I went on another little hike a few days ago with my parents. Actually, I visited them on their holiday for a day to wander across the mountains together, which actually wasn’t that far away from where we were on our last trip (click here), and I’m so glad I went because it was just so damn beautiful. There are only so few things that can beat the view you have when you’re up on a mountain and looking down on the world. It kinda makes you feel infinite.

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And as I knew the trip would be absolutely magnificent, I obviously took my camera with me to take a few shots, which I would like to share with you today. Basically, the whole hike consisted of lots of greenery, little to no people but even more cows. It was lovely. And I hope you think just the same about the pictures. The only bad thing that came from the whole day was that I had immensely underestimated the strength of the sun, which lead to a little surprise in the form of an intense sunburn on my shoulders that I’m still coming off of. I’ve now moved onto the shedding phase, I feel like a snake.

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Alright, and now I’m gonna stop oversharing again and let the pictures do the rest of the talking. As already mentioned, I hope you enjoy the pictures and please don’t hesitate to leave your comments and thoughts down below, I’d love to hear them. And until then I wish you all a great weekend and, as always, thanks for reading. x

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Brad Heaton – The Man Behind The Pictures

Hola everyone.


Welcome back to my blog. How are you doing today? I hope you all have had a great week so far. I’ve been once again jumping from one thing to another, like a ball in one of these old pinball games – from my job to the new role as editor in chief for LDN to the cat shelter I’ve started working for to the stuff I need to do at home and lastly to stuff I would like to do in my free time. I know, I already said it once, but I really enjoy it. I just feel like I would really enjoy a good holiday now. But that will come too.

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Anyways, I hope you’re all great and excited for today’s post. For all of those who’ve been following my blog the past few weeks and have had the chance to check out the design I made for my own magazine ‘Lemon’ – click here – you will probably feel like this post seems a bit familiar. Because it is. For my mag, I wrote an article on Brad Heaton, the boys’ (Twenty One Pilots, ofc) official photographer, who I absolutely adore and admire. And as I love the piece so much, I thought it would be nice to upload it separately. Unfortunately, I couldn’t reach out to Brad to ask him for an interview, so I used quotes from past interviews and his Reddit Q&A.

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I really really really hope you enjoy the piece. As always, please don’t hesitate to leave your thoughts and comments down below, I’d love to hear them. And, of course, I wish you all a lovely weekend and thanks for reading. x


 

The man behind Twenty One Pilot’s stunning pictures

Interview with Brad Heaton

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To a gig, there are several parts that make or break a good concert experience and turn it into the special events we all know and love – the live music (obviously), the hyped crowd, the sometimes very pretty, sometimes a bit tacky merch and, last but certainly not least, the photographers. They are the ones running from one corner to another in the pit behind the barricade, hands stuffed with cameras the size of their own heads. And while we as the concert-goers usually overlook those busy bees, to the musicians and the industry they have always been a vital part. More often than not, the photographers and the artists build up a bond during the weeks or even months they spend on the road together. Their workflow changes and soon enough they become one. Brad Heaton and the oh so popular pop-rock duo Twenty One Pilots are the prime example for such a symbiotic relationship. Among the group’s fandom, the clique, Heaton has acclaimed a popularity status that could easily compete with Tyler’s and Josh’s, with fans greeting him at gigs all across the world and selling out thousands of his prints within minutes. For the community, there is no Twenty One Pilots without the beautiful shots by Heaton. But it wasn’t always like that.

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“When I was playing in baseball tournaments as a teen, there’d be photographers taking shots. I’d always end up watching them instead of our games. That sparked the interest,”, states the Ohio- based photographer, “A few months later, my niece received a camera for Christmas. It was so neat that I told my mother, ‘I want something better than that’. It was partly out of jealousy, but luckily enough that first camera would transition into a full-blown career.” Having grown up in a blue-collar family and as the only not interested in literally climbing trees for a living, choosing photography as his future career felt like both an insane risk and the most exciting step in Heaton’s young life. It wasn’t until the age of 16 that he finally started shooting bands and artists, mushed in a local music scene that was packed with small venues and musicians trying to become the new real big thing. So instead of paying five dollars to be able to attend those gigs, Heaton decided to simply offer the bands his skills as a photographer. And back then, in an era when the internet had just started to flourish and MySpace had become the coolest platform on earth, having a few nice pictures on your band‘s page was definitely worth more than five small dollars.

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But it wasn’t until 2012 that Heaton finally met Twenty One Pilots – the band that would later lead him to a level of popularity and fame that only some of us can call their own. After Mark Eshleman, the band’s creative director and childhood friend of frontman Tyler Joseph, had introduced them, Heaton went on to shoot more and more of their shows, until he finally became their official photographer in 2016, which he still is today. Suddenly, he had gone from being a guy with a mediocre camera shooting his favourite bands from somewhere in the back of the pit to being the exclusive music photographer of the biggest bands of our time and one of the most admired artists today. There is only one thing that hasn’t changed – he’s still shooting his favourite bands. “I’ve always lived by the motto ‘you’re a photographer, not a fan’, just so I don’t distract myself with the celebrity status. But music is a different story entirely. I’ll get lost in the environment of a concert, but still do my job. That’s why I’m there.”

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But in an industry that is nearly overflowing with talent and people trying to make it, sticking out of the crowd and making it to the top hasn’t been easy, but it seems like Heaton has achieved the one thing so many of us strive to get to – he has found his own voice in a world that is nearly deafening and has turned his photographic style into his trademark. He has made it, he has become one of the special ones. But obviously, that didn‘t come on its own.

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“I have never considered myself strictly a concert photographer. I’ve been well-rounded with photography since the day I picked up a camera. I started with darkroom and film photography, worked as a sports photographer, done studio work for some major brands, spent weeks studying light and compositions from films, created conceptual stories and narrative tales through photographs. I like to treat every single concert like it’s a sporting event. The shots of the players standing around are cool, but the photographs of the player making a diving stop at third base and tossing out the runner at first is the one that’s going to make the front page,”, explains Heaton while talking about what makes his shots so special, “I do my best to do something different at every concert. The more unique perspectives you’re able to tackle, the more your work is going to stand out.”

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And truly, as crazy as it might seem, for Heaton, the shows can turn into sporting events really quickly. “During shows I think I run around 12,000 steps according to my iPhone. Add the weight of the cameras and it‘s quite a workout.”

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The one thing that has made Heaton’s work shine like a bright star on a clear night’s sky is the closeness he has developed to the fans, and especially the clique. More often than not, the crowds and fans have turned into the photographer’s favourite objects to turn his lens to, which has sparked many different reactions and slowly turned into great story material: “If I‘m taking a photo of a fan, they see my camera, then completely freeze up and awkwardly smile. I think some of the most genuine photos are the ones where I can catch a fan completely enamoured by the show.” This is one of the reasons why his photos have become something like infamous artworks among the members of the clique and are lining the walls or radiating from thousands of phone screens of devoted Twenty One Pilots fans.

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It‘s this mix of passion for photography, love for music and a huge amount of talent that has made Brad Heaton the popular, sought-after photographer that he is now, while he still stays the grounded, open person he has always been. Together with Twenty One Pilots, he has created photos that should rather be considered pieces of art and have become prime examples of the magic music photography can entail.

The Incredible World of DARK

Hola everyone.


How are you all doing on this fantastic Friday? I hope so far you’ve had a great week and that you’re all feeling well. Personally, I’ve had a super busy week, juggling free time with my new job at my mum’s company and my also new job as editor-in-chief of our uni magazine LDN (link here), which the team and I have been trying to give a huge makeover and thereby rejuvenate it and turn it into the amazing paper it can and should be. And I know it sounds a tad stressful as a whole, but, actually, I’ve really been enjoying it. I’d rather be busy and happy doing more stuff, than wandering around the house, not knowing what to do with myself. And it kinda makes me enjoy and savor some chill and free time even more, which is actually what I want to talk about today – a very specific, but incredibly amazing TV show that has been ruling most of my free time the past two months. As seen from the title and the cover picture, you can probably guess which show I am talking about. Exactly. DARK. Probably the best show I’ve ever watched in my life. But let me start from the beginning.

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For those of you who don’t know DARK yet – my god you’re missing out -, here’s a short intro: DARK is a German sci-fi thriller series co-created by the great Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese and produced by Netflix. Set in the fictitious German town of Winden, the show starts right during the aftermath of a child’s disappearance, which exposes the secrets of, and hidden connections among four estranged families as they slowly unravel a sinister conspiracy which spans several generations. Throughout the series, DARK explores the existential implications of time and its effects upon human nature.

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I’m purposely not going to reveal any more about the plot, as literally everything is a spoiler and as this is literally one of the best, if not even the best series I have ever seen, I don’t want to spoil this perfection of a show for anyone. What I need to add though is that the show is in German (although it has been dubbed and translated into many other languages), so if you don’t speak German, I would highly highly highly recommend watching the OV version with subtitles. No dubbing can come close to how perfect the voices of the German actors go with the show and with the overall feel of it. Seriously.

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I think what makes this show even more special for me, is that I got to watch it with my best childhood friend Maria, who I usually very rarely get to see as I obviously live in London and she lives and works in Vienna. But – and this is going to sound super insane – thanks to the quarantine (crazy, I told you), we were both forced to stay at home and as we only live minutes apart from each other, we spent most of the quarantine watching movies and tv shows together. And DARK was one of those shows – or more like the one show that ruled our weekly and daily tv marathons. I remember googling which shows to watch on Netflix and DARK immediately seemed like the most promising and interesting one, even before I had watched the trailer, which then sealed the deal. Usually, I am not that attracted to German-produced movies and shows, so I think both Maria and I went into that first episode with a bit of uncertainty.

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But after like the first five minutes, that was more than forgotten. I can’t remember the last time I had such a fantastic, thrilling, and exciting TV/movie experience. We fell in love with the main character Jonas in an instant. And the amount of times this show has made us do multiple facepalms, made us cover our faces in shock, even made us jump off the couch out of utter surprise. It’s truly insane but in the best way possible.

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So far, we’ve seen the first two seasons of the show (I even watched it twice) and as the third and last season has been released last Saturday (happy apocalypse day btw, for all my DARK lovers out there), I couldn’t be more excited to finally get behind all the mad secrets and hidden stories of Winden. But as much excitement I feel towards the prospect of finally getting to see the new season, the thought also gives me this somber, even sad feeling. It’s sad to see this show end. But I know the last season will be a hell of a ride. And I’m more than ready for it.

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I probably don’t have to mention that I HIGHLY recommend watching this show, I think I’ve made it very clear that you all need to watch this show right now. Honestly. You will not regret a single second of it, I promise. And for all of my fellow DARK fans, I’d love to hear what you think about the show – but no spoilers, please – so don’t hesitate to leave your thoughts and comments down below. And until then, I wish you all the best weekend and, as always, thanks for reading. x