Author Archives: Jan Hapke

The 5 Day Black and White Challenge

My old friend Thomas Hendele recently nominated me for the 5 Day Black and White Challenge, a thing on Facebook where, after being nominated, you have to post 5 different black and white photos over the course of 5 days. I thought I’d share my entries on the blog as well, for everybody who doesn’t use Facebook.

1. Dom Sculpture

Dom Sculpture

I still had some photos on Disk that I hadn’t gotten around to posting on my Cologne Photoblog before I shut it down, so I processed one of those.

2. The Sun behind Hallgrimskirkja

The Sun behind Hallgrimskirkja

A moody shot from one of my first days in Iceland in 2013.

3. Gdansk Airport

Airport Gdansk

Abstract Architectural photo of the roof construction at Lech Walesa Airport in Gdansk, Poland

4. Breitling Jet Team

Breitling Jet Team

They had some pretty amazing aerobatics displays between runs at the 2014 Red Bull Air Race in Gdynia

5. Speicherstadt Schwarzweiss

Speicherstadt Schwarzweiss

For the grand finale, I actually went out into the cold to capture a new photo of my new home, the wonderful city of Hamburg.

I hope you enjoyed and if you like, you can find me on Facebook under my real name: Jan Hapke.

Close your Eyes and Jump

A few of the major tourist attractions in Dubai are the shopping malls, among them the Dubai Mall. It happens to be the largest shopping mall in the world and it is located right next to the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa. After walking around in the Dubai Mall for about half a day, I came to a corner with a huge fountain that resembled a waterfall. Installed on the waterfall were actual size metal sculptures of men flying down the waterfall. The entire installation spanned from the mall’s basement to the roof, I think about 4 or 5 floors total.
I walked around a lot on all the different levels, looking for a good angle to take a photo and trying many different compositions. Since it was 9 in the morning, not many people were around and the sun was shining through the glass roof at a perfect angle. In total, I spent half an hour here and took 42 photos.

Close your Eyes and Jump

And it wasn’t easy to choose the best one among them, but I ultimately picked the 15th photo I took. The fact that the scene was almost black and white in reality and that the top left corner could be made entirely black greatly simplified the post processing. I am so happy with the result that I got it printed on canvas and put it up on my wall. Now I look at it every morning when I wake up.

P.S.: The title came from a song that was playing as part of a mix I was listening to while processing the photo: Chuckie feat. Maiday – Skydive

Fighting Monkeys in Gibraltar

Taking photos of animals, or people, or anything that tends to move around a lot really is not something I am too interested in. I guess that is because I like taking time to properly compose a photo and I try to capture shapes and colors rather than spontaneous situations.

Sometimes, though, I can’t help myself. Right after walking out of some bunkers in Gibraltar, I spotted these two monkeys fighting on a wall. In Gibraltar, the monkeys aren’t locked away in cages, they just wander around wherever they want, though they usually stay inside a big nature reserve. That’s why you can just casually encounter them while walking around and get really close to them.

Fighting Monkeys

Unfortunately, I still had all the settings in my camera adjusted for taking photos in dimly lit bunkers, so the picture I got came out overexposed. I corrected that as good as I could during raw conversion but the clouds still look a bit funny. I still like the expression on the little monkey’s face, though.

Meanwhile in Kiev

So, I was reading the news this morning when I saw the following video about a statue being toppled in Kiev, Ukraine:

And I remembered that statue. In fact, I only uploaded this photo a few weeks ago.


Interesting to take a photo of something before it has been on the news. Even if only by chance.