Sub-framing is a composition technique in photography, where you put the subject or an object in a frame within the image. You can frame it with lines, other objects, out of focus areas, light and shadow areas to name a few.

I like to use sub-framing in my street photography to provide a more interesting point of view or show a bit of context. In general I want to create more visually interesting images and I like juxtaposing people with their environment. Framing interesting people or situations within their environment, especially other moving objects, just adds another layer to the idea of capturing a unique moment.

When I am taking pictures of sights (e.g. World Trade Centre or Big Ben) I usually can’t stop thinking that these have been photographed before millions of times. So when I am travelling I of course take the obvious choice of photos, but I also know that it has been done before and certainly has been done before way better. I am always striving to get a different picture of the sights, a different angle or some detail I find interesting, something a little bit unexpected. Often I achieve this through sub-framing:

Most of these compositions are different to the usual image of these sights, but just taken from a different point of view. However, I also try to find frames that are just there temporarily, e.g. the World Trade Centre framed within a graffiti within a building site window; can you call that “double sub-framing”!? ;-) The important point is though that in a few months when the construction work is done, this view will not exist anymore, making it also just a moment in time.

When I went to Washington I already knew what to expect from the sights. I’ve seen the Capitol, the White House, the Washington Monument  and the Abraham Lincoln memorial many times before, in the news, on photographs and in movies. However I didn’t expect to see so many food trucks on Capitol Hill! Maybe I was just hungry, but it really captured my interest. Furthermore I am a foodie anyway and especially love street food, so I tried to incorporate the food trucks in my photos of the capitol, while still putting the emphasize on the main subject.

Hong Kong

This year I finally was able to go to Hong Kong, where my girlfriend’s parents are from originally.  One of her sisters is currently living there as well, so it was a great opportunity to visit and stay with her for two weeks!

I could write a very long blog post about Hong Kong, but in a nutshell it is one of the most amazing places in the world! Great city (very modern, but also traditional), great people, great food, great mountains and islands for trekking and beaches. So you have pretty much everything in one place, and pretty good warm weather all year round as well.

 And you just can’t get bored of that skyline:

There is so much to explore, obviously the views from Victoria Peak, architecture, temples, markets, shopping and lots more.

Here is an iPhone panorama shot from Victoria Peak, whilst we were waiting for the light to drop:

If you are planning a trip with your camera to Hong Kong, I highly recommend watching David Hobby’s “The Traveling Photographer: Hong Kong” on lynda.

It is full of very useful, time and money saving travel tips, and of course lots of great photographic advice too.

If you have some more time in Hong Kong, I would suggest to also explore the other islands. Firstly go to Lantau Island and take the cable car to the Big Buddha. After that you can take a bus (approx. 25min) to Tai O, a small fishing town on the western side of the island, which turned out to be one of my favorite places.

You can take ferries to the other islands very easily with your octopus card too, some are great for trekking and some have nice beaches. (The octopus card is like London’s oyster card, just better, you can even use it to pay at seven-elevens!) One of the nicest beaches is apparently on the south eastern side of Hong Kong Island, called Shek O, which I have to check out on my next visit.


In the second week of our holiday I actually also increasingly tried to take some street photographs. I always loved that genre of photography, especially looking at great street photographers work. It is definitely something I want to explore further in my free time.


I can’t wait to go to Hong Kong again! You should go too!

More about street photography in my next post.

10h in Dubai

On our way to Hong Kong, we had a stop over for about 11h in Dubai, which gave us enough time to leave the airport and go to the Dubai Mall and the Burj Khalifa.

I had all my camera gear in my hand luggage, so I thought I want to get at least one good shot of the highest building in the world. I know it has been shot before thousands of times from many different viewpoints, but I thought I want to get a simple, very graphic  black and white image.

We arrived at 8am in Dubai, after a 7h night flight from London. Unfortunately I couldn’t get comfortable at the flight and was not able to sleep (and I was actually working on this website pretty much until we had to go to the airport). Although I was obviously already very knackered, the excitement of being in a new place kept us going, but the temperature of 42 degrees Celsius and my heavy camera backpack didn’t really help.

First stop was the Dubai Mall, nicely air-conditioned, but because it was so early in the morning the shops were still closed, so I wanted to get my shot first. Going from pretty much freezing air-conditioning into the hot air makes your camera and lenses fog up in seconds and it takes quite a while to clear up. About ten minutes later I was ready to shoot, but walking around in this heat with that heavy bag is far from enjoyable. I spent about one hour shooting, and got lucky in the end as some clouds came out of nowhere and made a more interesting picture.


Back in the Dubai Mall I had to buy a souvenir in the form of a fresh T-Shirt, as mine was completely wet after an hour outside. This experience really showed me, that next time I will travel a lot lighter, maybe even just with only one camera and one lens.

I cannot say much about Dubai after just ten hours, but the first impression was, that all the people we met there were very friendly. It is not really on my list of travel destinations, but I will hopefully see more of Dubai, when I finally get to go to the Gulf Photo Plus (maybe 2016?), so it is definitely on top of my list of workshop destinations!

Back at the airport, after a sleepless night and 10h in Dubai, I certainly didn’t look forward to another 7,5h flight. So when we started boarding, it was the perfect timing to get a free upgrade to Emirates Business Class for the first time in my life. What a nice surprise,…nice dinner, most importantly lots of space to sleep and a great breakfast before landing in Hong Kong!