Fotoeins Fotopress

One photo at a time – one journey to last a lifetime

Posts from the ‘Photography’ category

Steveston’s seafood bounty from the Salish Sea

First time sweetness at Heidelberg’s Café Gundel

Moving to Germany

In 2001, I moved across the big Atlantic pond from Canada to Germany. Knowing only “bitte” (please) and “danke” (thank you), I flew sight unseen to Frankfurt am Main, followed by a shuttle-bus to the German university town of Heidelberg. I would live and work in Heidelberg for two years, and I couldn’t have known the experience would change my life.

Heidelberg is one of my favourite “hometowns” in Germany, my adopted country.

1st Time in DE, 1st Time in HD

An early memory is a stroll down Heidelberg’s Hauptstrasse (“main street”). I spend a long afternoon up and down streets, through small cobbled alleys, learning locations of stores and services, and getting an immediate lay of the town.

At the eastern end of the Altstadt (Old Town), I step into an attractive and brightly lit Café Gundel and sit down at one of the tables. My eyes are bigger than my stomach. I decide to do the sensible thing, and order the first reasonable thing that comes to mind: Apfelstrudel and a latté macchiato.

It’s relatively quiet in the café, and I’m quickly served “coffee and cake”. The strudel has large chunks of apples, surrounded by very light flaky pastry and topped with a fine dusting of powdered sugar. The cake isn’t too tart or sweet, and there’s a generous mouthful of cinnamon and nutmeg. Did I also mention there’s fresh whipping cream (Schlagsahne) on the side? That’s not spray-on stuff from a can, which, as I learned later, is sacrilege of the highest order.

I walk up to the counter to pay and I express my gratitude. With hand gestures and attempted English, I ask to buy an additional selection of cookies, small cakes, and sweets. I’m sure the lady behind the counter thinks I’ve completely lost my mind. In broken English, she tells me there’ll be more tomorrow, and plenty more the day after that.

This memory has served as an introduction to both Heidelberg and Germany, and has stayed with me over the years. I’ve returned many times to Heidelberg since leaving in 2003, but I’ve returned to Gundel only twice.

Guess it’s time to go back “home”, back to Gundel, and make some new memories …

Cafe Gundel, Hauptstrasse (Karlsplatz), Heidelberg, Germany

Café Gundel

Cafe Gundel, Hauptstrasse (Karlsplatz), Heidelberg, Germany

Do I have room for these? Why yes; yes, I do …

If you’re in Heidelberg, walk to the eastern end of Hauptstrasse to Café Gundel. Press your nose up against the window, and look, drool at the sweets on display. When you’ve worked up an appetite, head inside, relax, and enjoy your “Kaffee und Kuchen” (cake and coffee).


Café Gundel is both Konditorei (pastry shop) and Bäckerei (bake shop), making a wide assortment of sweet pastries and hearty breads. The main and larger Gundel is located at the eastern end of the Hauptstrasse at Karlsplatz (Charles Square). The smaller version, der kleine Gundel, is located at Universitätsplatz (University Square).

You can easily walk the mile-long Hauptstrasse. Alternatively, you can take a bus or tram from the train station to Bismarckplatz, and transfer onto bus 31, 32, or 33 into the Altstadt.

This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com.

Vancouver embraces spring in grand style

Photo Essays on the Web, March 2014

As we breeze past the quarter-pole in 2014, the following photo essays from the web highlight Instagram, doodling, black-and-white format, 19th-century Paris, and finding life in the town called Death.

From chaos one finds order, and I often moments of stillness in the noise …

Is Instagram Helping to Democratize Photography?

Love it or hate it: Instagram has been a part of a huge wave worldwide making photography far more accessible to an ever increasing number of people. The World Photography Organisation takes a “insta-look”.

Bored Commuting: Doodling on the Train

What happens if you’re a commuter on a train and you’re bored? Draw caricatures of your fellow passengers, and photograph the very funny results. Here’s the hilarity from October Jones, who’s also the creator of the very funny “Text From Dog” tumblr website.

Alex Webb’s view of the world

Magnum photographer Alex Webb has a wonderful way of viewing a world in black and white. When asked how he views the relationship between ‘documentary or journalistic content and purely aesthetic concerns in your work’, he says they’re both ‘simultaneous and inseparable, both in vision and the world, of form and content.’ He always asks questions through his photographs, his experiments with form are sometimes by themselves the literal process of asking those very questions.

Mastering What You Have

There are good reasons why I made tens of thousands of clicks on my old camera. One of those reasons was how I’d get used to the camera until it became second nature. That when it was time to make a shot, I wouldn’t have to think about what to do, or what button was where. Shoot, shoot, and shoot some more, so that getting the shot was 1st nature, and making the shot became 2nd nature. It’s what photographer David duChemin writes in his latest article, about mastering one’s own camera gear, whatever gear you might have.

Glories of 19th Century Paris

In the second half of the 19th-century, the French capital city of Paris experienced massive urban transformation, and Marville was charged to document these changes. His photographs are now seen as a “standard” to urban documentary photography and as historical documents to what Paris was like before redevelopment. I’d seen some of his work over the past few years in exhibitions in Hamburg and Essen, and the fascination is just as fresh as the first time I laid eyes on these beautiful photographs.

Welcome to Death! (in Finland)

“Welcome to Death!” That’s the sign you’ll see outside the town of Kuolema in Finland. Swedish photographer Eva Persson was captivated by this, and spent time in town to photograph ‘life in Death’. I also laugh at the “simple” contrast she draws between Swedes and Finns about life and death in general. To Finns: you’re born, you suffer a long time, and then you die. To Swedes: you’re born, all is “Jätte bra!” (very good), then you disappear … to somewhere warm, preferably the Mediterranean.


This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com

First signs of life: first day of spring in Vancouver

Many have suffered through a long, difficult, cold and snowy winter. Here in the Canadian Southwest, the first day of northern spring has brought blue skies, warm sun, and the appearance of cherry blossoms. Fresh colours and fresh flowers provide encouraging signs of new life, and warmer sunnier days lie ahead for everyone across country and continent.

MacLean Park, Strathcona, Vancouver, Canada

1st day of (northern) spring

Fortunately, the morning light illuminated these blossoms beautifully, and I created the right depth of field to get pink splotches of bokeh against blue sky in the background. The settings were 1/1000s, f/4, ISO200, and 95mm focal length.

Spring/autumn equinox (northern/southern hemisphere) for 2014 occurred at 1657h GMT on March 20. I made the photo above at 1658h GMT (958h local), about a minute after the moment of spring equinox, at MacLean Park in the Strathcona neighbourhood of Vancouver, Canada, on 20 March 2014.

This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at fotoeins.com.

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