My first Cover

by Dirk Moeller

I've been lucky enough to have been published quite regularly, due to the fact that I work closely with a publisher in Hamburg and have become one of their "go to"-photographers, which means a steady trickle of work is coming my way.

What I've been missing so far was a larger spread or even a cover. I'm not really a fashion/beauty/celebrity photographer , yet ;) , so my opportunities are limited.

I was approached prior to my "year's end" holiday in Miami and asked, whether I could shoot a couple of photos while I am there. They were needed for a Florida story in the new and relaunched "Go", a corporate magazine for the premium customers of Sixt Car Rentals.

Needless to say that I jumped on the occasion, payment was sound and Sixt was nice enough to provide a rental car for the duration of my stay at a very special rate.

My girlfriend was asked to provide "some copy" along with the photos and off we went. It seems that we did our job better than expected, because we ended up with a ten page spread and easy over 4,000 characters of copy in the magazine :)

Here are the pages:

The cover of the issue - since it was a relaunch, it was hand picked by Regine Sixt, owner of Sixt Car Rentals. 

So here it is, my first cover. I quite like it, works well in my opinion. 

What's at least as nice as the cover: two two-page spreads opening the story.

Opening Spread I

Opening Spread II - Miami Downtown

On it goes with the story itself. 

The upper right corner is not mine. I had no "typical" Miami street scenes.

Key Biscayne, Miami Design District and Everglades.

South Beach Scene and a portrait of the writer ;)

All shots are Leica M9 or Sony A7r/A7II. 

[Updated] The fail that is Photos on Amazon Prime Cloud Drive

by Dirk Moeller


Fellow Photographer Chris Zielecki (circle him if you haven't yet, he posts great stuff) pointed out that you can't download multiple files from the web interface, nor folders. 

I tried it out, it's true. So, in case you want to restore a hundred files, you need to download one hundred single files.

I suggest you don't read any further and forget about this crap, but if you insist, here's my original text:

The first time I heard about it, I thought it a brilliant way to have an additional backup of my photos. You can never have too many, right? RIGHT?  

Any photographer should take backups seriously, and I do my share: the drive on my workstation is two hard discs in a RAID1, which will then be backed up on two additional drives next to the machine and a time capsule in a different room. It also is continuously backed up to a could service.

So, of course, I thought Amazon Cloud Drive could become my new addition to the family and maybe a midterm substitute to my current cloud service, (which works fine, but hey, since I already pay for Prime, I might as well use all of its services).

Granted, the Amazon solution states that it is intended for non-pro use - doesn't bother me much, considering that I often shoot less than the average enthusiast. 

What does bother me is the atrocious interface I have to deal with. 

There is no auto syncing of folders. There is no program that allows you to queue files for uploads. 

There is only this: 

The web interface: the only way for a Mac user to upload and maintain files.

The web interface: the only way for a Mac user to upload and maintain files.

Yes, it's a very basic web interface, to which as a Mac user, you're fixed to - there's no alternative for that. As a Windows user, you also can use their Windows application:

Windows users can use this - but only to upload.

Windows users can use this - but only to upload.

This is the Windows application of Amazon Cloud Drive, which allows you to...wait for it...upload files. For everything else, like "view files on cloud drive", your browser opens and you'll be sent to the same web frontend everyone else uses.

You have two options for uploading: drop a complete folder in there to upload it, or drop files in there to upload them. They always end up in the root directory of your cloud drive.

It's easier that way, you're welcome.

The upload speed is good - no reason to complain there. The standard german VDSL pipe has not a lot of upstream power anyway, so it really doesn't matter - it'll be a matter of days to get a couple of thousand files up there. But that is most likely not the use that it is intended for anyway. There are mobile apps that I haven't tested yet, and those seem to enable automatic uploads to the service - something that's not really necessary, considering that Google as well as Apple have that integrated in their OS already.

So, who is this for then? It certainly is useful if you don't have any backup at all. It probably still is if you only have local ones, but none offsite and you "just" want to save your holiday photos. But then the bad interfacing strikes you already and you're probably better off with a Dropbox account - or use the brilliant Copy who'll not only give you 15 GB for free, but will also throw in additional 5GB if you use this link!

The Rodeo

by Dirk Moeller

When I saw that there will be a rodeo "nearby" on Labor Day weekend, I knew instantly I want to go. I've never been before and my knowledge of the whole thing was down to a couple of Episodes of "Beyond the Bull" - a reality TV series. And this was the second largest rodeo in the world! (which probably means, like so often with american sports, the USA and maybe Canada).

We figured it would be ok to arrive there in the afternoon - unfortunately that was a mistake. The rodeo started at 11am and when we arrived we had trouble finding a parking lot that wasn't full. Finally we made it to the ticket office, only to be told that the rodeo will be on for another 45 minutes and then back at 8 in the evening for the "Xtreme Bulls" finals, which would be virtually sold out.

Since rodeo tickets would grant us access to the Kittitas County Fair as well, we went for it anyway. Cheap seats and the longest lens being 75mm resulted in these photos.

This was the first event we watched and it was interesting to say the least. The cow was released from the gates in the back of the photo, then the rider tried to lasso it, jumped down and wrangled it down, while a second guy came in to milk the cow and then run to the announcer to present the milk in the jar. All had to be done under 60 seconds. While a lot of them failed at lassoing the cow, one actually did it on sound of the 60 second bell. Impressive.

Milk run.

The next event was a barrel run, where the (female) rider had to circle around three barrels as fast as possible - and whoa, were they fast!

Barrel run.

Barrel run.

Then the bull riding was up - impressive bulls, not so impressive performance by the bull riders, which was understandable, given the fact that they had the biggest event of the year in the evening with $ 75,000 at stake.

Shortly after some very short bull rides the rodeo was officially over. On we went to have a look at the attractions. It was interesting to see that the bulls were totally cool and chilling behind the scenes.

That's a lot of muscles.

Bull enthusiasts. 

But not only the cattle was on display - so were the rodeo princesses, which handed out autographs to people interested in autographs from rodeo princesses.

Hardly a queue.

On to the County Fair - which is a mixture of carnival, food stands and livestock exhibition. I wanted to see the exhibited pigs but couldn't, because they were judged at that time. 

I ate a pulled pork sandwich (which wasn't great but overpriced) and we walked around and took the vibe in. It was an interesting glance into a part of american life.

It's a huge event for the whole community and it is great to see that pretty much everyone in Ellensburg was working to make it a great one, too!


Here they queued - tickets for the rides.

Where else can you reach most of your target group with minimal effort?

Quote: "Thanks to some great scheduling here today you now hear an a-capella group immediately after you heard another one."

The next time I would try to get good seats for the "Xtreme Bull" event and probably skip the fair. But I would go again :)

All shots are Sony A7r with 28-70 kit lens or Leica Elmarit-R 2.8/24.

The Vernissage

by Dirk Moeller

Start of the week my good friend and artist Mia Florentine Weiss asked me if I would do her a favour and shoot some "behind the scenes" material for the upcoming exhibition she was featured in.

I turned up on Wednesday while they were in the middle of unpacking.

Mia Florentine Weiss

Fellow artist Ali Eckert is helping out

The show is organized by Jenny Falckenberg's Unique Art Concepts and opened two days later on Friday in a Midnight Vernissage.

PR shot of Jenny Falckenberg and Mia Florentine Weiss

Interesting fact about Mia's art, where not everyhing is as it seems - this sculpture spelling "love" from this side, turns into hate in reflections or if you look at it from behind.

Jenny and Mia unpacking

What I didn't know: the "Hanging" is the essential part of an exhibition. While some artists have a clear concept of "what is supposed to hang where why", there is also a lot of input from the agency. It's a process that creates a unique look fitting for the location.

A lot is discussed on site

Ali Eckert has unwrapped the first of his large pictures - Mia and Martin Gremse are keen to have a first look

The hanging part - taken literally

After seeing how much work went into the preparation and how much fun was to be had, I was excited to see the result on Friday night.

First of all - here are some shots of the final setup, shortly before the Vernissage opened.

The lighting by Martin Gremse plays an important role

Pegasus series

Sculpture, photos and video in the mix

Photos by Ali Eckert - I like the idea of rough black paint borders to enhance the contrast

The colourful paintings of Christian Awe

The press arrived...

Finally, the first guests arrived and so did great musical entertainment in the form of Mousse T.

Mia, Mousse T. and Jenny

Mousse T. appreciating Mia's "Muttertier", only seconds before his battery went flat :)

The first guests arrived - the first of over 300 in the next hours...

Here are some impressions.

A rare moment of solitude.

The size of the whole exhibition floor is massive.

The size of the whole exhibition floor is massive.

The "secret" bar in between the rooms...

One happy Hostess: Jenny Falckenberg

24mm in a Field or "Gestrypfotografie" at it's best.

by Dirk Moeller

I've spent some time in a field, testing my theory that a wide angle shots should include a nice bit of foreground to gain pleasantness. Here are my results in "Field Photography", all shot with the Leica Elmarit-R 1:2,8/24.

A Rapeseed field with Poppies.

Same field, works nicely in portrait mode, too.

One big advantage of shooting nature is that there are rarely straight lines, so you won't have to bother much with correcting wide angle lenses.

Camomile and Poppies.

Some grain. (seriously, I'm a city kid, I have no clue)

Also, here's the same field as above, with a touch of red and slightly different processing. Leads to a totally different result. 

Almost split in half by the horizon.

Mind you, all these shots were in the early afternoon - so the light was harsh. I processed them with a lot of contrast and wanted to have them pop without getting too artificial. I think it worked alright. 

I guess I will have to find a couple more fields ;)