As announced earlier we want to talk sometimes about the making of of some photos to show how we work.

Let’s start with the Cycle Marathon Tannheimer Tal 2017.

Our aim was clear: Document the Cycle Marathon 2017. It was important to catch the mood and the preparations. But also to show where the marathon takes place. You should see that it is the marathon at the Tannheimer Tal.

We arrived on Sunday and moved into our flat at the start-finish area. On Monday morning we had our first meeting:

On that day it was important to learn about what will happen when and where and what we should cover. One thing was the above mentioned showing where the marathon takes place. For the athletic photos other photographers have been hired. They have been waiting at spectacular places for active scenes.

So it was quite clear for us: We have to be at the route. But where are the most beautiful spots for photos? It is helpful to ask around but it is not enough. If a landscape is rather beautiful it does not mean that also the photo will be great. You have to have a look through the viewfinder.

Location Check

We have got some tipps for nice places and went off with a map to drive along the route.

Drive there, get out of the car, look through the view finder, take a photo…

Again and again and again. Drive on. Sometimes do not get out of the car because it is clear that the surrounding offers not enough for a photo. Drive to the next point.

Mark a point while hoping that something better will come up like this hairpin bend in the photo below. This hairpin bend is lovely and would be a great motive but there are also some disadvantages: Our car was in the photo. We could have parked the car in the country lane, but the entrance to this farm lane was very deep. Our car is not really an off road version and the lane was narrow. We would not be able to turn around there. On Sunday around 2000 bikers were expected plus cars, tourists and participants of a meet up of woodstock vans and of vintage cars. So it might be a problem to get backwards out of the farm lane with our car.

So we went on. And looked further. Searched for a photo point. The route stretches about 130 km. We nearly drove all of them. The end of the route with the turning point we did not see as we thought that it would take us too long to drive back. Taking into consideration all those points that I mentioned above it was clear that we could not drive as fast as on a normal day without all those special traffic.

We went back with our test photos, had a look at them and sent them to our customer for coordination.

Timing is everything

The next challenge was: Time. Race bikers like to go fast in-between. So we had to plan when we could possibly be where realistically to be able to photo shoot the leading bikers group. What a relief that there exist lists for that. It is marked at where a driver will be when he bikes with a tempo of x kilometers per hour. Great!

With this knowledge and the places that we picked we were able to plan. Some photo points would be a challenge. At others we would have to wait.

To reach the first photo point right after the start of the long distance was very sporty. Our planning even considered the ‚race track‘ where we could jogg along to our car. And where would we park our car so that we can drive to the photo point.

Streckenplanung für das Startfoto beim Rad-Marathon 2017

That was not easy. With nearly 2000 participants plus company we were talking about a lot of cars that wanted to park somewhere near. The start would last several minutes. During that time we would not be able to cross the street. So we also were thinking about from which side we would capture the start. Because the way to our car depended from this position.

As there were three starts it was clear that right after the first one a lot of people would be crowding the area. Also in the middle of the street. So we were not able to drive with normal speed through the village. But we had to be careful and consider a lot of obstacles. So we were thinking about which street we would take. We also thought about where we had to turn left and wouldn’t it be better to be able to turn right because it would be faster.

Workflow

After a while we had all made up. The photo position will be at the right side on a ladder. Shortly after the start we would run on the right side to our car. I would have to push the protective grating to the side. Achim would drive through. I will push the protective grating back. Then we would make our way through small streets to the federal highway. There we will turn right and drive directly to our fist photo point.

So far we had already invested some hours of work without any presentable result. It was just preparation.

We also thought about wearing a high visibility vest so that we could be seen when standing at the side of the road.

Rad-Marathon Tannheimer Tal 2017 by AchimMeurer.com .

From the organizing team we got some T-Shirts and matching reflective vests. Our car received a sticker to show that we belong to the event.

At some points we parked right at the roadside so it would be great to be able to explain what we are doing there.

So far so good. Everything talked over. Everything planned…

But we forgot one thing: I was standing at a different position as Achim for the twitter start video. So I had to run through the tennis hall. He was running along the street. So I ran directly to the grating to open it und after that jumped into the car.

We could not have arrived later at the first photo point. The first biker already had 20 seconds or more lead….

Teilnehmer Rad-Marathon Tannheimer Tal 2017 by Array.

But it was worth while, wasn’t it?

After that we went back to the start-finish area for the second and third start and after that drove to the chosen points.

Here we had some discussions with other car drivers who insisted to park right in the middle of the photo. We told them to park behind our car because they would be otherwise in the photo. Some reacted quickly and drove their car behind ours but some really wanted to discuss the matter.

So in case you read this here. It was all about photos from this position:

Teilnehmer Rad-Marathon Tannheimer Tal 2017 by AchimMeurer.com .

And this was just about the preparations.

As mentioned above the preparation ist not everything. But we hope that we could show an insight into our work and also show how much effort and work is sometimes needed for a photo.

The other 699 photos from the racebike week you can admire here:

Cycle Marathon Tannheimer Tal 2017

 

There will be a new series here in our blog:

The story behind the photo…

Every now and then we encounter astonished customers when we explain how we work. Though we have a checklist for potential customers there still remains questions. In the mean time it is legendary that we insist on ironing the bed sheets and curtains for a hotel room photo shooting.

But this preparation is by no means the whole work. For many photos it will need much more preparation work. And of course editing. But might be a different blog post series.

For now we stay with the preparations. Why do we put so much effort into it? Well it is quite simple:

The quality is right.

We are booked because of our quality of work. Everybody, that calls for us, wants such beautiful photos. We are astonished all the more so since that some are not willing to contribute to the photo or even thinks such photos occur by a simple fast click.

Lately a customer asked us: „Can we make some concessions?“. It was again about ironing. Our answer was: „Quality is not negotiable.“ After the photos have been edited, the customer regretted that at the first day of photo shooting the ironing has not been perfect. He admitted that you can see the difference. And he confirmed – like others before – that the results are worth the effort.

Therefore we decided to once in a while describe how different photos come into being.

Here we start right away with part 1:

Cycle Marathon – The Story Behind The Photo

Soon the stories about these photos will follow…

 

Week 93 was all about wood and constructing. Our new Waltzing Vehicle ‘Matilda' was equipped near Graz – where we have lived for four years – and got beautiful wooden furniture.

We already hat thought about the interior for hours and have drawn sketches. But now it got serious. The material was ordered and we were ready to start the equipping.

First the car got an isolation. Some parts got two or even three layers.

Achim has been all the time in the workshop and helped.

IMG_7564 by .

After that the cabinets and storage rooms was built.

Again and again the pieces had to be adjusted because inside of the car there was no straight line. Everywhere something stood out or there were slants.

The furniture had to carried in and out each time and had to be assembled anew. What a job.

But Günther from ‘Creative Service' did a great job and designed everything exact and fondly and – nomen est omen – very creative. Unbelievable.

Shot with DxO ONE by AchimMeurer.com.

Shot with DxO ONE

Everything is not only functional but also beautiful. Everything gets rounded and smoothened and gets a personal touch.

We additionally bought a self inflating mat and a mobile cooling box. Now we can store all our belongings and do not need to carry so much into the accommodation facilities.

Here is a video about the equipment:

With our new furnished car we went on to our former home – towards Bonn.

 

 

After the kitchen party at the Weinbergschlösschen we went to our old homeland – to Graz – for a pit stop. This week had not been booked so one day we decided to put no further effort in it to sell it but to use it as a break.

So we planed the interior of our new car, which wasn’t that easy. Plans were changed several times. Things were measured, discussed what could fit where, and plans redrawn. Sketches were complemented only to be discarded afterwards. At the moment there exists one version which has not been changed for a couple of days… Let’s see…

Achim tried to get rid of his horrible cold. I have been to another therapist with my shoulder. He thinks that it is an over expansion of the joint capsule. He showed me some exercises that I am doing now. It looks like a shoulder problem is lengthy, though.

It’s time for our holiday I think. So we can care for our little aches and pains.

We met good friends and old companions and were cooking together and partying. We chatted and developed ideas and exchanged experiences. That was nice. And we noticed that we miss barcamps and would love to visit one soon.

And we also worked on our new business concept.

And so we started fresh into the new week.

 

We stayed in Rhineland-Palatinate and drove from the Ahrtal to the Westerwald. We stayed at hotel Zugbrücke. A great conference hotel with perfect rooms and very fast Wifi. Hallelujah! A small meeting room was our office for this week. That was pure luxury.

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After our usual schedule planning we strolled through Grenzau. Well we admit, this is done fast, but you will recognize quickly that there is one main topic: ceramic. Everywhere you see things made out of ceramic. Pots, vases, house numbers, figures and even the village map. It seems there is nothing that cannot be made of ceramic.

Because the weather has not been very cooperative this week we first did everything indoor. For example hotel photos. From the bar, the huge buffet or the staff. But also from the spa department… Sometimes it is good, when you have to be the model…

Wednesday has not been so great, because we had an appointment with the dentist. Yes, that is a must; even when traveling. Unfortunately Achim came back with one tooth less than he went in… Very bad. Some days he only fed from mashed potatoes. Very annoying!

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Right next day we went to explore the Kannenbäckerland. Which has some hiking trails to offer. You even can walk them in both directions. We never understood why you so many hiking trails or round tours are not described and sign posted in both directions.

Apart from hiking trails there were also the potters which are called ‚Euler‘ here. There are a lot of them. And you can visit them. But it never gets boring. Really. Because every one of them does something different. That is fascinating. The range goes from traditional salt-glazed stoneware to artistic sculptures. Luckily you do not have to visit them all by one but there are certain centers in old fabrics or in an former cinema. And there is often a cafe attached with yummy cakes.

In case you have enough from ceramics you can go back to nature. We visited the Landhuber Weiher. Four former fish ponds in the middle of a nature reserve. Very idyllic with water lilies and reed and everything.

In the evening went to Grenzau castle to make a night shot. We were flocked by lots and lots of glowflies. Wonderful.

Finally we visited some places in Ransbach-Baumbach and in Höhr-Grenzhausen. Here you will find also a lot of ceramics. There we visited a traditional pottery. You will surely know the colours and forms…

Bureaucracy still takes time. We are desperately trying to get our no-claims bonus transferred from Austria. It is not easy at all… But we keep on trying.

Again a week full of ups and downs.

Today we walked a part of the Malerweg, Stage 4. For the whole Malerweg or a complete stage we unfortunately do not have the time. But a part of a stage is just as interesting.

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We choose the Schrammsteine and started in Ostrich. From the first meters on the way is beautiful. You walk through the forest and after each curve you have a new view. You walk through a hollow way. Or walk on a broad way with light woods on the side. Or you walk through a darker part where plants grow thickly and stones carry moss. It will never get boring.

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Everywhere small paths depart from the trail, which are for climbers. We let them best and stayed on the track of the Malerweg.

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By the way: Each rock here has its own name. Some are chosen after the form others are from the climbers that reached the top first. Or there is a legend.

We Meurers had of course to go to the „Meurerturm“. That was a must! According to a detailed description in a climbers handbook we found it quite fast. Very impressive. Nice that our namesakes have been here before.

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A short while later we reached the Schrammsteintor. Here you spend quite some time. The rocks have incredible forms and colours. Everywhere you see faces or figures. And there is something special about the place. For photographers it is a treasure. I guess nobody can just walk past here…

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At the gate you will also see the first treads. A small foretaste for the next part of the route… There are wooden steps or those that are carved in stone. All that makes the way picturesque.

Every now and then there is a beautiful view or a vista and after that you walk on through shadowy parts of the woods. Small paths with blueberries at the side or broad ways with roots crossing. Again the route is diversified and beautiful.

The ascent to the Schrammsteinaussicht is made out of steps, ladders, grids and rock steps. Not suitable for everyone. There are nearly always alternate routes, which are not that challenging. You should inform yourself before the hike. You should also check whether the way is suitable for dogs. Not every dog likes to walk over grids and might have to be carried.

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For all those that are sure-footed and get to the viewpoint there is a stunning view. Panorama and vista and a proper style bench for a rest. Again photographers will get crazy. Just breathtaking.

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The descent will be the same path as the ascent. Again over ladders and steps. A real highlight on the stage of the Malerweg. But also the whole route without the junction to the Schrammsteine is worth a walk. Here you can really say: The journey is the reward.