31 December 2010 - As it's the end of the year, I decided to back up all my 2010 photos on my computer (again) and whilst I was doing this, I came across some decent shots from my trip to Hannover zoo in July, which hadn't yet been published. As the 'Animals' page is a bit short on content, I decided to add a few more pictures to it.
26 December 2010 - Spent a few hours trudging through the snowy forest in search of little critters to photograph. The squirrels were fairly forthcoming, so I've added a few close-up shots to the 'Animals' page, along with a picture of a scary looking dog (which looked to be more wolf than dog to me, but I'm no expert).
22 December 2010 - Despite the freezing, overcast weather, I took a walk down to the lake behind the Rathaus (Town Hall). After taking a couple of shots of the willow trees there, I came upon a flock of gulls (various species), all very busy trying to catch small rudd (freshwater fish) from a small hole in the ice at the edge of the lake. They let me sit and watch and I struggled to catch a shot of a gull with a fish in its beak. In the end, I managed two or three, before the cold drove me away. Results are on the 'Birds' and 'Landscape' pages.
21 December 2010 - After a few days of lying in bed, sick, it was a great feeling to get up, get dressed (properly) and head off out into the snowy forest with my camera. The birds were pleased to see me too, as I went armed with seeds to put down for them. A couple of them obliged me by posing for the camera, whilst a rather naughty squirrel was busy eating the entire contents of a nearby bird seed dispenser. Pictures are on the 'Birds' and 'Animals' pages.
15 December 2010 - Had my first real opportunity to do a 'proper' portrait session, courtesy of a friend's daughter, who happens to be a part-time belly dancer. The intention was to come up with some new photographs to update her website with and I think that we succeeded in doing that. To be honest, although it was a nerve-racking experience for me to light and photograph someone who has worked with professional photographers before (as opposed to an amateur like me), I was secretly rather pleased with the results, especially the few shots in which I tried to use the repeat/strobe function on the flash gun to create a multiple exposure kind of effect. You can see my handy-work on the 'People' page.
04 December 2010 - Here are two seemingly unrelated facts: 1. Hannover is a very flat city, with lots of built-up areas and forests. 2. I am extremely lazy. Now, there is a connection between these two - they help to explain why I never get to see the Sun rise and set :-(! With all the snow that's around now (and given that the forecast promised clear skies this morning), I wanted to go somewhere where I could capture the unique balance of tones that nature displays when low, orange sunlight meets shaded, blue iced crystals (i.e. snow). So, I hauled myself out of my (warm) bed at a very un-Saturday like hour and hopped on the train to Weezen (20 mins from Hannover city). There isn't a great deal to see there, but they do have an abundance of ploughed fields, trees and man-made adornments (wind turbines, electricity pylons, tractors etc.). I was pleasantly surprised with the results from my trip and even concluded that it was worth taking the 15kgs or so of kit, that I took with me (the photos will outlast the shoulder ache, I hope). You can see what winter in Germany looks like, on the 'Landscape' and 'Still Life/General' pages. 03 December 2010 - As we have a fair amount of snow right now, I took my camera to work with me and snapped a few things on the way home (after leaving the office early, as it's Friday). Results are on 'Architecture', 'Industrial Decay' and 'Landscape' pages.
28 November 2010 - 'Twas -5 degrees in the forest, at 9 o'clock this morning - too cold for me and too cold for the buzzards, which I had hoped to photograph. So, I swapped lenses and went and took some abstract nature shots (which was actually quite engrossing in itself). The results are, predictably enough, languishing on the 'Abstract/Processed' page. I particularly like the "Frozen Forest" shot, which I had to turn upside down (hint) to create the effect that I was looking for.
23 November 2010 - I don't know where time goes, I really don't ! Actually, I do - it goes on sitting behind a desk, trying to earn enough money to pay for my next lens! Anyway, I haven't done much this month, apart from taking some family pics for a good friend of mine, who has just recently become a father again for the second time. These were private photo sessions, but as he has such a photogenic family, I took the liberty of adding a handful of the pics that we made to the 'People' page.
29 October 2010 - Took a little walk around the city on my way home, armed only with my cheapest camera (D90) and cheapest lens (Nikkor 50mm f/1.8). Found a few new images for the 'Still Life/General' section and was rather perturbed to find that, once cleaned up a little, these images looked to be of equal quality to the pictures taken with a lens twenty times as expensive (the 70-200mm f/2.8)!!! Maybe it's time I sold some of my kit and spent the money on an advanced photography course and a long distance train ticket!?
27 October 2010 - Updated the 'Published Photos' page after discovering that a local band had used some pictures that I took of one of their gigs, on their website.
25 October 2010 - Took my camera out into the forest, despite the heavy rain, and snapped a few autumn-themed shots. Results are on 'Still Life' and 'Landscape' pages.
Early October 2010 - Didn't get much photography done in the first three weeks of the month, but did some major work on the website to reduce the file sizes of the images on each page. Now, you should find that the pages load more quickly (and I should have less problems with publishing the website every time I add a new picture, I hope). Re-instated the 'Guest Book' feature too (feel free to go and use it), after I lost the old one when version 1.0 of the website crashed and burned. The new version of this website (version 2.1) also has banners at the bottom of each photo album page, which allow you to return to the Home Page with just one click.
September 2010 - not traditionally a productive time for my camera and I. This year was no exception, as no pictures were added to the website in this month :-(.
20 August 2010 - After a rather disappointing month, weather-wise, things picked up a little and we were lucky enough to have some sunshine on the evening when the annual bicycle race around the centre of Hannover city took place. I managed to get some (in focus) pictures of the riders as they shot by me, so I put those on the 'People' page. I also added a couple of late evening shots from around the lake to the 'Landscape' page.
26 July 2010 - Visited my Dad in Ampthill (England) today. As I'd (stupidly) opted not to take my own camera along, he kindly lent me his Minolta 'Dynax' DSLR when we went out to see some of the surrounding villages. There are pictures on the 'Architecture' and 'Graveyards' pages, from Elstow (birthplace of John Bunyan) and also some of Houghton House.
22-25 July 2010 - Had a mini holiday in good old Blighty and took a fair few photographs in that nation's capitol. The bulk of the half-decent shots can be found in 'People' and 'Architecture', although there are also a couple in 'Birds' and 'General'.
20 July 2010 - Left work a little early and went into town armed with a very wide lens and a very long one (with nothing in between). Felt a bit 'serious' and took a few photos which have been given overly-pretentious titles on the following pages; 'Architecture', 'Still Life & General' and 'People & Portaits'.
18 July 2010 - Made a bike tour around Hannover with my brother, who was visiting me for a holiday. It was a very pleasant summer's day and we both took a fair few photographs. My new ones are on; 'Architecture', 'Landscape' and 'Still Life/General'.
16 July 2010 - Visited Hannover's zoo for the first time since I arrived here, eight years ago! Didn't pick a very good time though, as it was 32 degrees, cloudless and midday. Consequently, I deleted most of the 500 pics that I took, as they all suffered from 'bad light', with the white highlights glowing like they were radioactive. The handful of pics that were OK are on the 'Animals' and 'Birds' pages.
11 July 2010 - Today I have been mostly photograhin' rusty old trains! Yes, I got up at silly o'clock and went to visit a train station near Hannover airport, where there are a lot of abandoned and rusting train trailers. As it was a lovely sunny morning, I thought that it would make for a nice contrast with these sad, old machines. You can judge for yourself just how wayward that idea was, by looking at the 'Industrial Decay' page.
10 July 2010 - Got up at 3.30am and cycled off into the city to find some things to point my new (Tokina 11-16mm) wide-angle lens at. The results are all on the 'Architecture' page.
04 July 2010 - Spent most of this Sunday morning up to my chin in stinging nettles, or part way up various trees, trying to photograph a rather lazy buzzard who was obviously on his 'day off' from buzzardly activities. Couldn't get any shots of him flying, as the trees (and camera operator) were too dense, but I got some shots of him falling asleep. Upon returning home to nurse my grazes, stings and bruises, I began to think that I should have followed his example and stayed in bed! He's on the 'Birds' page, as you'd expect.
21 June 2010 - Today was the annual "Fete de la Musique" in Hannover. 200 bands playing on 30 stages, all around the city, just for one day! I found two of the more photogenic bands and put the results of my paparazzi-snapping on the 'People' page. 05 June 2010 - Found some new graffiti to photograph and posted the results on the 'Industrial Decay' page.
17 June 2010 - Finally had the magical combination of good weather and time off work, and used it to go down to the local lake and take some candid shots of people enjoying the evening sunshine ('People'). Also found a few new 'Abstracts' and a couple more means of 'Transportation' to photograph.
23 May 2010 - Went to a 'World' Festival in front of the local town hall and photographed some dancers. The girl dressed in black on the 'People' page was doing some kind of Andalusian variation of flamenco dancing, although I'm not sure where she came from!? Anyway, she was very photogenic, so it doesn't really matter ;-).
04 May 2010 - During a trip back to England to visit the family, we took a walk in Ashridge forest and photographed the bluebells. Results are mostly on the 'Landscape' page.
02 May 2010 - Today saw the 20th Annual Hannover Marathon, taking place around the city. I'm not a sports fan, but I really wanted to get some experience with photographing this kind of event. Guess what - it's harder than it looks! Anyway, I got some fantastic pictures of the winner and recorded him braking all previous records in this event. Now all I have to do is sell them to the sports press and then retire to The Bahamas (dream on)! Results are on the 'People' page.
Rest of April - Took various pictures, but couldn't update the website, as it was 'broken'. Have now rebuilt it in a more simplified form (Version 2.0), with less content. I hope to upgrade it in the not too distant future, to include more features.
10 Apr 2010 - Being Saturday (again), I went to the woods (again). Light wasn't very good, but I came back with a couple of new 'Birds' shots.
04 Apr 2010 - Went into the woods again and met a baby owl who had fallen out of his nest, some frogs and a mouse. See 'Animals' and 'Birds'.
02 Apr 2010 - Had a great day out in the forest. Saw some things that I'd never seen before - a crow diving for bread and a buzzard ripping a mouse's head off and then swallowing him whole. Mmm, nothing like nature to put one off one's feed! I photographed some vegetation as well, just for good measure! Anyway, the gory results can be seen on the 'Birds', 'Animals', 'Still Life' and 'Abstract' pages.
30 Mar 2010 - 'Photo of the Month' page updated.
23 Mar 2010 - Had a wee wander around the town and the woods after work today. Found a much overlooked piece of sculpture, which found its way onto the 'Architecture' page and covered many kilometres on foot in order to try and get some decent buzzard pics. I didn't get quite what I had hoped for, but the results are on the 'Birds' page, nonetheless.
21 Mar 2010 - Went to a local train station, where the walls covering the steps to the platform are made up of blue glass 'bricks'. I've been meaning to take this photograph for years and have only just got around to it. It's on the 'Architecture' page.
11 Mar 2010 - Added a new temporary section to display some snapshots that I took at a friend's birthday party recently. (See, "Andre's 30th Birthday Party"). I will delete this section in April, so please take the chance to 'steal' any photos that you want before then.
02 Mar 2010 - Updated 'Photo of the Month', albeit two days late. 21 Feb 2010 - Went to the local graveyard again and came up with so many pics, which I wanted to display, that I created a new page for them (as well as the best of the ones that I took last Sunday). See the, aptly named, 'Graveyards' page for details :-).
20 Feb 2010 - Replaced a few of the older red squirrel pics with some newer ones taken this morning (see 'Animals').
14 Feb 2010 - So, it's Sunday again (it always seems to be Sunday these days)! This week, I was feeling a little morbid, so I went to our local cemetery and knocked myself out, taking pictures of the fantastic headstones and statues that they have there. Results could have been better without the snow and resultant high contrast of the images, but they'll do for now. (See 'Still Life' section).
13 Feb 2010 - Went out for a full English breakfast with my 'homeboy', Joachim, and discovered that there was a carnival going on in Hannover (even though it was snowing). I took a few snaps of some of the more interesting participants and posted them on my "People & Portraits" page.
09 Feb 2010 - A new section, "Published Images", is formed to celebrate the fact that I have just had my first ever published photograph! Read all about it by clicking on the 4th option down in the side menu.
08 Feb 2010 - 'www.andyhearnphotography.com'celebrates its 1st birthday. A massive party is held in its honour in the streets of Berlin, but sadly, due to an unforeseen train and bus strike, nobody is able to attend and U2are forced to play to an audience of street sweepers, in the pouring rain. Next year, I'll just send out paper hats in the post instead :-(.
07 Feb 2010 - Being Sunday, I took my camera and wandered the deserted, frosty streets of ol' Hannover Town ... aarghh (to be read in a 'pirate' voice). Being Hannover, it was freezing bloody cold (-6C), as usual! All that I have to show for my efforts are a couple of buildings ('Architecture';) and a very bitter and twisted view on mankind's (supposed) 'struggle' against climate change, in the form of a broken bicycle ('Still Life'). I'm definitely becoming far more cynical in my old age. There's also a tiny little mouse on the "Animals" page, for those of you that can find him ;-).
31 Jan 2010 - Had my usual Sunday wander around with the camera and found one or two things to snap at. New pics are on the 'Abstract & Processed', 'Birds' and 'Still Life' pages.
17 Jan 2010 - A busy day for photography! I spent 2 hours in the woods in the morning and came up with a wood pigeon shot and some more red squirrel pics to add to the 'Birds' and 'Animals' sections. Then, after a full English breakfast at the local tavern, I popped into Hannover's (famous) Marktkirche (an old church from the 12th century) and snapped away at their organ! One of the resulting, close-up shots turned out to be one of my all-time favourite 'Abstracts', although I reserve the right to change my mind about that in a week's time ;-) . The more traditional shots can be seen on the 'Still Life' page.
16 Jan 2010 - Being Saturday, I set off for a stroll in the woods again and this time was fortunate enough to see a female Black Woodpecker at work! These birds are not found (wild) in England and are mighty impressive creatures. They are almost the size of a crow and can inflict massive damage to even thick tree branches in no time at all. My photos aren't great quality, but they're on the 'Birds' page, nonetheless. I also snapped someone's dogs (see 'Animals') and a couple of frozen bikes ('Still Life').
10 Jan 2010 - Had my first 'proper' day out with my new lens (the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II). My God - this lens is something else! It does; sharp focus, shallow depth of field, neutral colour rendition and wide colour contrast! Add to that the incredible Vibration Reduction function (which allows you to hand-hold at very slow shutter speeds) and the extensive zoom range, and you've got a lens which can provide high image quality shots with a very neutral/distance-reducing perspective. A wonderful piece of kit! Be that as it may, it didn't stop me taking it out in the snow and putting it through it's paces. The captured images are now residing on the 'Abstract', 'Birds', 'People & Portraits' and (especially) 'Still Life' pages. You'll be seeing a lot more from this lens, once the air quality improves and I can shoot at longer distances without it looking hazy.
03 Jan 2010 (again) - Went out again at 8pm, armed with a tripod and a flash gun and tried some experimental 'Landscape' and 'Architecture' shots, using the ambient light of the street lights reflected by the snowy sky, and then finishing off the exposures with a burst from the flash gun (using the 'rear curtain flash' function). The results were quite novel, I thought, so I'll post them here until I eventually decide that they're crap and need to be removed ;-).
03 Jan 2010 - Today was a 'bonus day off for me'! I got up at 6.30am, had a shower and caught the bus to the main train station, ready to go back to work. I was puzzled by all of the holiday makers and the lack of 'regulars' standing on the platform, but didn't think too much of it. Then, when my train arrived and the drivers tried to join their two trains together to make one long one (as they do on my route), they managed to break something (as both couplings were totally covered with thick ice) and the service was cancelled. I phoned the office to say I was going to be late, but got no reply. Fearing that it might be some sort of bank holiday Monday that I hadn't heard about, I phoned a different office where the people work H24, 365 days a year. My colleague there informed me that, no, it wasn't any special 'holiday Monday' ... it was just a regular SUNDAY !!! What an idiot I felt (I only work Monday to Friday ;-) ). Still, I was a happy idiot, because I got to turn round and get back on the bus home. Once home, I packed my camera, new 70-200mm lens and the 1.7x tele-convertor, to see what kind of bird shots I could get with this combination. The results were fairly pleasing and can be seen on the 'Birds' page.
02 Jan 2010 - Went out for a walk in the forest with my new Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II lens (Xmas present to myself) and photographed a few red squirrels, who were out for a midday frolick (see 'Animals')! Saw lots of interesting birds too (Jay, Woodpecker and Tree-crawler), but only had marginal success photographing the Tree-crawler - that's now on the 'Birds' page.