Thunderclouds and lightning strikes

Taking impressive photos of lightning storms

Natural phenomena arouse a particularly great photographic interest in many of us. Thunderclouds and lightning are a popular subject. In order to be able to capture such weather events, you need some luck and some technical skills. Since thunderstorms are only partly predictable for a certain region as well as relatively temporary, a thorough preparation is recommendable for the eventuality.

Your safety always comes first

The enchanting photo motifs of thunderclouds and flashes should always be taken from a safe location, because the risks of thunderstorms should not be underestimated. Shooting from the inside of a house or a car can also be an appropriate location, despite the presence of windows in between. Perhaps the raindrops on the windscreen offer a special charm for the photo.

So always remember: Your safety comes first. You should always keep a sufficient distance to the thunderstorm.

Which camera settings you should use with a DSLR

First, you should select the desired image section so that an interesting scenery can be seen. We also recommend a small focal length, which makes it possible to take large photographs of the surroundings and the sky and thus increases the probability of catching a flash.

Ideally, you should use a camera that allows you to make manual adjustments, such as an SLR camera. The camera settings depend on the time of day or night when the pictures are taken. Night shots of thunderstorms are particularly interesting. A high exposure value, i.e. a long exposure, is recommended. The shutter speed, which usually lasts several seconds – depending on the frequency of the thunderstorms – requires a stable and quiet exposure of the camera. A stand – preferably a tripod – is therefore the ideal companion for these shots. Furthermore, a remote shutter release is recommended, which can also be replaced by the self-timer or an interval function of the respective camera, so that you do not blur the picture by pressing the shutter release.

Blitz schlägt bei Nacht in ein Feld ein

The long exposure time should be set depending on possible light sources, such as street lighting or moonlight.

Since a long exposure time does not produce good results in daylight photography, you should use a neutral density filter during the day. This ND filter is a suitable tool for blocking excess incoming light. The exposure time should be adjusted again and again, as the lighting conditions can tend to vary greatly. The ISO values of such photographs should be in the range from ISO 100 to ISO 200. The aperture must be set individually depending on the situation. You should adjust the f-number in relation to the exposure time. The longer the exposure time, the less the contours of the clouds can be seen in your photos. An average aperture value of 8 tends to be a good start.

You should also adjust the focus manually, as the autofocus of a camera is not suitable for such brief snapshots. The short period of time during which the flash is visible is usually not sufficient for automatic focusing. The focus should be set to infinity. Alternatively, you can select a point further away within the image section for focusing.

Blitz schlägt in Berge ein – das helle Licht zwischen dunkelblauen Wolken ist gut erkennbar

Alternative to DSLR – Take photos of lightning with compact cameras and smartphones

Thunderstorms often occur unexpectedly and of course you are not always prepared for them. Since the SLR camera and its lenses are not always at hand, thunderstorms and flashes can also be photographed with compact cameras and smartphone cameras. The result is of course a different one than with professional equipment and manual adjustment possibilities.

Smartphone cameras offer numerous filters and settings that allow us to take photos of ever higher quality. If the aperture, the exposure time and the ISO value can be set manually, the relevant conditions for the success of such photos are met. In addition, burst mode functions make it easier to capture thunderstorms. With this method, numerous photos are taken one after the other in the shortest possible time, among which a good result can certainly be found.

You can also use apps that allow you to insert or even photograph a flash up to three seconds after the event. For Android devices, there is the Lightning Camera app, for iOS users the iLightningCam Lite app.

Nowadays, manual focusing can also be used with some compact cameras. If the essential parameters can also be set manually, there’s hardly anything standing in the way of your dream photo. As with SLR shots, a tripod and a remote or self-timer are also useful when shooting with a smartphone or compact camera. Subsequent image processing completes the results of the photographs.


The best results can be achieved with SLR cameras and the corresponding manual settings. Although some smartphone cameras also offer manual adjustment options such as ISO values and f-numbers, it is almost impossible to adjust the focus to infinity. Only a lot of patience, some luck and subsequent image processing remain for the smartphone photographers. Alternatively, you still have to resort to additional apps.

And always remember: In the mountains, at home or on holiday – never endanger yourself. Good luck trying it out!

Battery life – Power banks, solar chargers and other alternatives

When your phone or camera turns from a practical device into a brick.

Even the most carefully planned trips often have some surprises in store – some pleasant, others less so. The latter includes the battery life of mobile phones and cameras, especially for photo enthusiasts. To avoid missing excellent photo opportunities because of a dead or weak battery, many turn to portable charging devices. As there are countless products on the market of many different types and styles, there are a couple of things to consider before making a purchase:

  1. How intensively do you use your camera?
  2. How often do you have access to sockets?

Fresh from the socket

Let’s start with the simplest case: you go on day trips and can connect your charger regularly to the power supply over a longer period of time. The power consumption of the camera depends on your photographic behaviour and your camera model. From several batteries per day to only one in 14 days, everything is possible. The best thing to do is to test it out beforehand. Apart from the possibly necessary socket adapter, one or two well-charged camera batteries are normally sufficient. These are offered by various third-party manufacturers for the most common cameras at low prices (10 -20 CHF), original batteries often cost many times as much (50-70 CHF). To recharge, it is worth investing in the purchase of a dual charger in order to make efficient use of your time in your accommodation.

Professionals swear by it – Battery handles

Digital single lens reflex cameras (DSLRs) are expandable with battery handles that dock to the battery compartment and provide room for two batteries. Although this makes the camera heavier and more bulky, the maximum service life of the device is significantly increased. Another advantage is the improved handling, because the device offers more grip area due to the extension and is easier to hold, especially when shooting in portrait format or with heavy lenses. In an emergency, some battery handles can even be equipped with standard AA batteries instead of lithium-ion ones. Third-party suppliers offer battery handles starting at approx. 30 CHF, original parts are available from approx. 100 CHF.

Batteriegriff auf hellem Untergrund

Compact bundles of power – Power banks

If you are away from your accommodation for a longer period of time and photograph a lot, you might want to buy a power bank (sometimes called power pack). These portable power storage devices have much larger capacities than single batteries. Some models offer enough reserves to fully charge end devices several times and may have different connection options available. However, a USB port is standard, which can be used to power compact cameras, action cameras and some bridge cameras. The advantage here is that smartphones, MP3 players and other technology that you don’t want to do without during your holidays are compatible with it. With DSLRs, direct charging is usually not possible, but there are chargers that are supplied with power via USB. Alternatively, you can also use a power bank with an integrated charging slot for your DSLR battery or insert a special battery dummy (CHF 20 – 40) into the battery compartment, which you connect with a power bank.

Powerbanks mit USB-Anschluss

The capacity of the power banks is given in milliampere hours (mAh), just like that of rechargeable batteries. The higher the capacity, the more you can charge with it. Another factor to consider is the current output. If this is too low, devices whose energy consumption is designed for higher strengths will take longer to charge. Powerbanks are now available in a tremendous variety and in numerous price ranges, starting from less than CHF 10 to an average of CHF 30 – 50, up to several hundred Swiss Francs for professional equipment.

When the wildernis calls – Solar modules

Experience has shown that it is difficult to find a power socket on an extensive hike where you spend the night in the great outdoors. If the tour lasts several days or even weeks, the capacity of your electricity storage devices will eventually be exhausted and they will need to be recharged. For this purpose, solar modules are available in many variants: The larger their surface area, the more solar radiation is absorbed at the same time and the higher their output power will be. But this also means that the modules become heavier and take up more space. Some manufacturers offer portable versions for backpacks or power banks and solar modules in a combined device, but these are usually weak and not recommended for consumers who are hungry for electricity.

For DSLRs, for example, you should use solar modules with sufficient output, which cost around CHF 400 – 500 in a kit with matching power banks. If you do not use a DSLR, simpler solar modules and power banks are sufficient for a total of around CHF 100 – 200. You should always bear in mind that they are dependent on several hours of sunshine for charging – you can find out how many exactly on the respective product pages.

Tragbares Solarmodul liegt am Strand auf dem Sand und lädt ein Smartphone.

A special case would be the road trip, during which you may not or rarely be able to connect to the mains, but you can recharge your batteries or your power bank with the help of adapters (10 – 20 CHF) via the car’s cigarette lighter.

Work in progress – New alternatives

If, on the other hand, you travel by bicycle, there are even chargers (20 – 160 CHF) that can be connected to the hub dynamo, but which do not work efficiently enough to serve as a reliable solution. Other unconventional but not yet fully developed options include fuel cell power packs filled with lighter gas or camping stoves that heat a power module that generates energy.

App introduction: Photo Pills

In the App Store and the Google Play Store you can find a collection of apps for all kinds of situations. This is equally true for photography. But there are not only programs for image processing. Especially in the fields of landscape and astrophotography, the Photo Pills app has made a name for itself.

Among others, this app offers you:

  • Information about the exact course of the sun, moon, its phases, and the Milky Way.
  • Various features and tools to avoid unwanted shadows and take full advantage of the blue and golden hours.
  • A finder function to determine the perfect time for your dream scenario.
  • Two augmented reality modes that simulate the course of the sun, moon and Milky Way so that you are perfectly prepared.

All the information and applications of the Photo Pills App make it easy for you to always be in the right place at the right time and to skillfully plan, stage, and capture the various light moods of the sun, the moon, or the Milky Way for your own shots. You will learn how to use all these functions correctly in this post.

The Photo Pills Planner: A useful companion in landscape photography

Location, display, and meaning

The most extensive and important feature of the app is the Photo Pills Planner. When you open it, the first thing that catches your eye is a satellite map. On this map you will find an orange pin with several lines emerging from it. This pin always shows your current location when the app is opened for the first time, provided you grant the app access to your location. However, the pin does not necessarily have to represent the current location, but can be placed at the position from where you want to take the photo. You can touch the pin with your finger and move it to the desired location. Alternatively, you can tap anywhere with your finger for a long time, causing the pin to jump to the desired position.

Screenshots der App Photo Pills, die die verschiedenen Bereiche des Planers zeigen.

Several coloured lines emerge from the pin. There is a thick yellow line, a thick orange line, and a thinner line that can change its colour between yellow and orange. The thick yellow line represents the sunrise and the thick orange line the sunset. The thinner line represents the current position of the sun. If the mode is changed from sun to moon, the orange-yellow lines disappear and new lines appear in blue tones. Here, too, the brighter thick line represents the rising of the moon and the thicker darker line the setting of the moon. The same goes for the thinner line, which indicates the position of the moon.

The mode can be changed by clicking on the sun symbol in the field above the map (information bar). The sun symbol changes to a moon symbol. If you click on the field again, both the lines of the sun and the lines of the moon will be displayed.

Movements over time

The third part of the Photo Pills Planner is the timeline, which can be found directly below the map. This timeline displays the current date and time in its default setting. If you move the timeline to the left or to the right, not only the date and time will change, but also the alignment of the lines. As the thin lines approach a sunset or moonset, the colour of the line becomes darker. As a sunrise or moonset approaches, they become brighter. But time and date cannot only be changed by dragging the bar. To enter a specific time, simply tap the clock to enter the information manually. This lets you make larger jumps, especially when it comes to the date.

Below the timeline is the last part of the planner, the options bar, which contains other useful features. These include the Finder, two augmented reality modes, and other features, but more on that later.

Sun, Moon, and Milky Way always in focus with the help of the information bar

Position of sun, moon, and azimuth

Beside the change between the courses of sun and moon, the information bar contains a lot of other information and settings. The basic position of the bar gives us insight about the azimuth, the height and the phase of the celestial bodies sun and moon. The term azimuth refers to a horizontal angle that aligns itself with the points of the compass.

Screenshots der App Photo Pills, die die verschiedenen Bereiche des Planers zeigen.

If you swipe your finger once to the left on the bar, more detailed information about the rising and setting of the sun and moon will appear. You can also switch between the individual phases of the moon by clicking on the large round symbol. You should pay attention to the changes of the date in the timeline to find out when the next moon phase, for example new moon, occurs. Next follow the exact times of the blue and golden hours, which both bring wonderful light moods that every landscape photographer likes to use for their pictures.

Visibility of the Milky Way

The next two tabs in the information bar deal with the Milky Way. By clicking on the left Milky Way symbol in the first of the two tabs, several circles around the orange pin and two thick lines in light and dark grey appear on the map. The light grey line stands for the time when the Milky Way becomes visible and the dark grey line for the disappearance of the Milky Way.

Screenshots der App Photo Pills, die die beiden Reiter zum Thema Milchstrasse in der Informationsleiste zeigen.

If you move the timeline into the blue area, i.e. into the night, the Milky Way also appears in the form of a dotted, curved line. Here, the accumulation of several thicker points represents the galactic center of the Milky Way. Furthermore, the curvilinear line gives an idea of how the Milky Way will be seen in the sky. If it is very bulbous, then the Milky Way extends horizontally across the sky. However, if it is close to the centre line, the Milky Way will rise vertically into the sky.  The exact time of visibility, the azimuth, and the height of the Galactic Center are also specified in this section of the information bar. The second tab for the Milky Way, in the form of a blue scale, indicates how well the Milky Way will be visible in the sky. If the bars are filled, the Milky Way can be seen well on the horizon.

Pin-to-Pin geodetic info

By swiping from the starting position to the right, further options open up. The first is pin-to-pin geodetic info. By clicking on the button, a second pin in black appears on the map. This pin should be placed on the desired motif. Once this is done, you can quickly see whether the sunset is behind the desired motif on the chosen day. Looking at the first picture in the illustration below, it is easy to see that the desired scenario cannot be captured at this time. However, by moving the timeline, you can determine the correct time. In our example, this would have already been on October 6 and is now in the past. The next suitable date is almost a year in the future – so the motif can no longer be photographed in the near future.

In addition, the course of the sun must be observed. If this line is dotted when the desired motif is reached, this means that the sun is already too low and has therefore disappeared behind the horizon.

Screenshots der App Photo Pills, die die Pin-zu-Pin Option und das Schattenwurf-Tool in der Informationsleiste zeigen.

Calculating shadow cast

The second option, which results from swiping to the right in the information bar, is a tool to estimate the shadowfall of a building or a tall tree. In order to use this function, however, it is necessary to find out about the height of the building or to be able to estimate it well. Once the building has been selected with the orange pin and a height has been entered in the information bar, the shadow is displayed in the form of a black line. This allows you to determine in advance which side of a building should not be photographed due to the amount of shadow.

The Options Bar – Find, schedule, and share with friends

Simply find a dream scenario

The information bar already offers many possibilities to find the right place and the right time for the perfect photo. Especially the pin-to-pin geodetic info is very handy if you want to take a photo of a motive with the sun or moon rising or setting behind it. It is easy to find out whether this arrangement is available on the desired day. If this is not the case, it is very tedious to find the suitable time by moving the timeline. The Find function in the options bar can help with this.

Screenshots der App Photo Pills, die die Finder-Funktion in der Optionenleiste zeigen.

When selecting the Finder function, there are four different constellations of criteria that can be searched for: “Sun at Azimuth”, “Sun at Azimuth and Height”, “Moon at Azimuth”, and “Moon at Azimuth and Height”. In order to be able to determine more precisely how and where the sun or moon should stand for the planned image, it is advisable to select “at azimuth and altitude”. Once the azimuth, altitude, and desired time period have been determined, the app displays a list of exact dates where you will find the desired scenario at the desired location.

: Screenshots der App Photo Pills, die die beiden Augumented Reality Modi der Optionenleiste zeigen.

Augmented Reality – Simulating photo motifs

In addition, the options bar contains two AR modes (Augmented Reality). These two modes are more or less Live View modes that display the position of different celestial bodies using the smartphone camera. The AR mode is responsible for the course of the sun and the Night AR for the course of the moon and the Milky Way. By using these modes, the exact position of the desired celestial body can be simulated on site, so that you can align the camera to the situation in advance. If one of these modes is activated, the current point in time is displayed for the time being, but here, too, the point in time can be shifted on the screen by swiping to the left or right in order to determine the exact point in time at the correct position.

Save and share with friends

In addition to the Finder option and the AR modes, the options bar also lets you save your own project and then even share it. To do this, press the “Save” button and select “Plan”.  You now have the choice of overwriting an existing plan or creating a new one. Once you have given it a name and created it, go back to the main menu and select the category “My stuff” at the top and then select the plans. If the plan is opened in this mode, a field called “Action” will appear at the bottom right, through which you can send your plan by SMS, WhatsApp, or e-mail. This is especially useful for sharing plans with a friend who is also a photography enthusiast to go on a photo tour together.


The Photo Pills App with its extensive planner is a very useful aid for all enthusiastic landscape or astrophotographers who don’t like to leave their success to chance. The numerous options to plan light moods and the positions of different celestial bodies increase the chances enormously to come home with successful and impressive photos from your photo tour. The app is available in the App Store for CHF 10 – we think it’s a worthwhile investment.

Image processing with the VSCO App

Image editing using an app on a smartphone is becoming more and more popular. This is not only due to the fact that apps and their functionalities are getting better and better. One of these popular apps is “VSCO”. This app is particularly well suited for fast, but high-quality and modern image processing. In addition to a number of tools, the app is also known for its many filters. These are especially popular with Instagram users and amateur photographers to give their own images a uniform and modern look. But many users also use the community function to exchange ideas with other creative users and discover trends in image processing.

Here you can download the free app for Apple and Android devices. What’s particularly pleasant is that the free version of the app doesn’t come with any advertising.

Below, we explain what possibilities the app provides for image processing in detail, what secret functions there are, what the community function is all about and what advantages “VSCO X” has to offer.

Possibilities of the VSCO app for image editing

To edit pictures with the app, you can use your smartphone to take them directly with the app or upload images from memory. A variety of filters and tools are available for image editing.

The main feature of the app and the reason why it is so popular with many photography enthusiasts are the numerous filters. In the free version, the app offers a lot of interesting filters you can spice up your photos with. If that’s not enough, you can buy additional filter collections directly through in-app purchases. The price range here is between CHF 0.50 and CHF 8.

VSCO filters are titled with letters and numbers and target different photographic situations. For example, the U1 to U6 filter series has been specially developed for different lighting conditions to improve urban photography. On the other hand, there is the filter series G4 to G9, which was designed for portrait photography.

Once you have decided on an image that you want to edit, the VSCO filters can be applied with a touch of a finger. If you are satisfied with the result, you have the option of saving the edited image directly in the app. If you like, you can also save it to a central folder on your smartphone or you can share your work on Instagram, Facebook and the like as well as in the VSCO network at the touch of a finger.

Screenshot VSCO app: Overview filters for image processing

Overview: Filters for Image Processing in the VSCO App and the Filter Shop

In addition to the multitude of modern filters, the app also offers a range of standard tools for classic image processing. Beside the normal tools for brightness adjustment or straightening, the VSCO app also has tools to make images sharper, to adjust the skin tone or to play with the light colour. All tools can be adjusted in their intensity.

Available tools in the VSCO App:

  • Exposure
  • Contrast
  • Straighten (Rotate)
  • Horizontal perspective
  • Vertical perspective
  • Cutting
  • Sharpening
  • Satiation
  • Light colour
  • Shadow
  • Temperature
  • Colour
  • Skin tone
  • Vignette
  • Grain
  • Fading
  • Shadow colour
Screenshot VSCO app: Overview tools for image processing

Overview: Available tools in the VSCO app for image processing

Tips for image editing

As with any other image editing app, the VSCO app also has a few “secret” functions that simplify image editing and save time. We will introduce two of these functions to you in more detail.

Adjusting the intensity of the filters

Each filter can be adjusted in its intensity. This function is a little hidden and not visible at first sight. To adjust the intensity, simply tap the selected filter again. Each filter can be adjusted this way. The intensity levels range from 0 to 12, where 12 is the highest intensity of a filter. Adjusting a filter is particularly important if, for example, there were light fluctuations during a shoot. With the customisable filter, you can now edit each photo individually to create a consistent look.

Screenshot VSCO App: Bildreihe Intensität des Filters: 2, 6, 12

Copying edits

The “Copy Edits” feature saves a lot of time, especially if you want to edit more than a handful of images in the same way. This feature allows you to transfer the editing steps from one image to another with two taps. To do this, simply tap on an image in your overview that you have already edited and tap on the three dots “…” in the lower right corner. There, you have the option to copy the changes. If you want to transfer the changes to another image, first tap on this image or the desired images and then tap on the three dots at the bottom right. There you can now “Insert edits”.

Screenshot VSCO App: So lassen sich Bearbeitungen kopieren

Community functionality of VSCO

In addition to classic image processing, the app also has a community function. Similar to Instagram, you can follow people and interact with their images. As part of the VSCO network, you can also share your own work with the world. To do this, you register in advance with a few clicks in the network, define a user name and a profile picture and you can create individual images or entire collections and interact with other users or be inspired.

Screenshot VSCO app: Overview of the community functionalities

Community Features – Left: Follow people, right: share own pictures with the community

Possibilities of VSCO X

While the free version of the VSCO App comes with a number of preset filters and tools for image processing, there is still “VSCO X”.

“VSCO X” is a membership which is subject to a fee and offers the user even more possibilities for image processing. In addition to over 100 classic VSCO presets, the paid service also offers Film X™ presets and other tools, as well as monthly app add-ons. These include, for example, the new “Frame” tool, which allows you to place creative frames around your shots. There is also an info area where selected photographers can give photography and app tips.


The VSCO App offers a variety of possibilities for image processing. Especially the numerous modern filters make the app a good alternative to other apps for image processing. But the different tools with which you can fine-tune brightness and image noise are also convincing. All in all, with this app for image processing you always have a kind of mini lightroom in your pocket with you, with which you can develop your very own picture language.

Bilder auf dem Smartphone mit Beauty-Apps bearbeiten


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Facetune: Strahlende Zähne und Augen im Handumdrehen

Die Beauty-App Facetune bietet dem Nutzer zahlreiche Retusche-Werkzeuge, um aus einem Portrait das Beste herauszuholen. Insbesondere die Aufhell-, Detail- und Glättungs-Funktion lassen Augen, Mund und Haut strahlen. Daher ist die App besonders bei Instagram-Nutzern sehr beliebt. Denn nicht nur dunkle Stellen um die Augen lassen sich mit einem einfachen Wischen aufhellen, sondern auch Hintergründe. Eine zu dunkle Aufnahme, lässt sich somit schnell optimieren. Ebenso kann der Hintergrund auch unscharf gezeichnet werden, wodurch das Bild mehr Dynamik bekommt.

Funktionen in der facetune App

Auszug der Funktionsübersicht in der facetune App

Mit Hilfe der «Details» Funktion lassen sich vor allem die Augen und der Mund perfekt in Szene setzen. Und dank der Glättungsfunktion wird der Teint im Gesicht fast schon makellos. Dazu wählt man das gewünschte Werkzeug aus und wischt mit dem Finger über die jeweilige Partie. Je häufiger man wischt, desto intensiver wird der Effekt. Damit man es mit der Retusche nicht übertreibt, kann mit einem Klick auf das blaue Symbol unten rechts auch immer wieder schauen, wie sich der Bearbeitungsprozess entwickelt hat. Hält man das Symbol gedrückt, erscheint nämlich das Ausgangsbild. Zudem bauen sich die Effekte aller Retusche-Werkezeuge in ihrer Intensität mit jedem Wischen auf. Ein stark verfremdetes Bild ist somit kaum möglich. Eine kleine Auswahl an verschiedenen Filtern und Retroeffekten rundet das Angebot der Bildbearbeitungs-App ab.

Facetune ist in einer kostenlosen Version im Google Play Store erhältlich: Android Version

Beauty Retusche mit Facetune - Selfies bearbeiten

links: Bild ohne Bearbeitung, rechts: Bearbeitung des Bildes mit den folgenden Facetune Werkzeugen: Filter «Lighter»; Augen aufgehellt; Augen, Mund und einzelne Haarsträhnen mit «Details» Funktion hervorgehoben, Gesichtshaut geglättet.

YouCamPerfect: Der Klassiker unter den Beauty Apps

Die Beauty-App YouCamPerfect ist ein Klassiker unter den Retusche Apps und bietet sicherlich den grössten Funktionsumfang, um ein Selfie zu optimieren. Dabei verfügt die App sowohl über klassische Bildbearbeitungsfunktionen, wie beispielsweise das Anpassen der Kontraste, als auch über eine Vielzahl an Beauty-Tools. Neben einer automatischen Verschönerungsfunktion gehören dazu auch Hautglättungsfunktionen, eine Nasen- und Gesichtsformkorrektur sowie ein Augenvergrösserungs-Werkzeug. Aber auch das grösser und schmaler schummeln des eigenen Körpers, stellt für die App kein Problem dar.

Funktionen in der YouCamPerfect App

Auszug der Funktionsübersicht in der YouCamPerfect App

Ebenso lassen sich mit der App auch unschöne Augenschatten, Hautunreinheiten und die Farbe der Zähne korrigieren. Besonders interessant ist bei dieser App sicherlich die Smile-Funktion. Dieses Werkzeug bringt jeden noch so grimmigen Gesichtsausdruck zum Lächeln. Anders als bei der Facetune App analysiert die App automatisch das Bild. Der Nachteil dabei: Der Nutzer kann bei fast allen Beauty-Tools lediglich die Intensität des Effektes einstellen. Selbst aber nicht bestimmen, welche Partien bearbeitet werden sollen.

Dank der umfangreichen und sehr gut funktionierenden Werkzeuge besteht die Gefahr, dass das Gesicht zu sehr verfremdet wird. Ein Blick auf das ursprüngliche Vergleichsbild ist daher ratsam. Ebenso das vorsichtige justieren der jeweiligen Werkzeugregler.

YouCamPerfekt ist in einer kostenlosen Version im Google Play Store erhältlich: Android Version

Beauty Retusche mit YouCamPerfect - Selfies bearbeiten

links: Bild ohne Bearbeitung, rechts: Stark bearbeitetes Bild mit den folgenden YouCamPerfect Funktionen: Haut geglättet, schmalere Gesichtsform, Hautfarbe verändert, Nasenverschönerung, Tränensäcke entfernt, Augen vergrössert, Hautunreinheiten entfernt, Rouge aufgelegt, Lächeln intensiviert und die Augen aufgehellt.

Airbrush: Ein neuer Look per Finger-Klick

Die Airbrush App verfügt ähnlich wie die Facetune und die YouCamPerfect App über eine Vielzahl an Beauty-Retusche-Tools und Standardfunktionen zur Bildbearbeitung. Während diese Funktionen bei der Airbrush App vom Ergebnis her nur mittelmässig sind, punktet diese Beauty-App vor allem mit dem automatischen Make-up Tool. Mit nur einem Klick lässt sich ein neuer Make-up Look auf das Bild legen und in der Intensität anpassen. Auch das Überlagern der Looks ist kein Problem. Wollten Sie beispielsweise schon immer mal Sommersprossen haben oder testen, wie Smokey Eyes an Ihnen wirken, dann ist diese App zu empfehlen. Für das beste Ergebnis ist es ratsam, wenn das Make-Up des Ausgangsbildes eher neutral ist. Dadurch kommen die einzelnen Make-up Looks, die die Beauty-App bietet, besser zur Geltung.

Funktionen in der Airbrush App

Auszug der Funktionsübersicht in der Airbrush App

Beauty Retusche mit Airbrush - Selfies bearbeiten

links: Bild ohne Bearbeitung, rechts: bearbeitetes Bild mit dem Make-Up Werkzeug der Airbrush App


Bei all den Möglichkeiten, die diese Beauty-Apps bieten, sollten Sie es mit der Bearbeitung nie übertreiben. Ist man auf der Suche nach einer App für eine natürliche Optimierung des eigenen Selfies, so bietet sich die Facetune App an. Hier lassen sich alle Bearbeitungsmöglichkeiten in kleinen Schritten anwenden. Möchte man hingegen ein wenig mit dem eigenen Bild herumspielen und schauen, was alles möglich ist, dann ist die YouCamPerfekt Beauty-App das Richtige. Einen neuen Make-up Look schnell und einfach auszuprobieren, ist mit der airbrush App mit nur einem Klick möglich.

Wir wünschen viel Spaß beim Ausprobieren!

Instagram: Hashtag-Guide für Fotografen, Selbstständige und Blogger

Wenn es eine Sache gibt, für die die Fotoplattform Instagram berühmt ist, dann sind es Hashtags. Bereits in unserem Artikel „Fotografieren für Instagram & Co.“ haben wir erwähnt, dass Hashtags einen entscheidenden Beitrag zum Erfolg eines Bildes bzw. eines Accounts leisten können. An dieser Stelle möchten wir das Thema Hashtags auf Instagram noch ein wenig vertiefen und klären, wie man sie richtig benutzt und welche Hashtags für Fotografen, Blogger und Co. die Beliebtesten sind, um seine Reichweite und Interaktionen zu steigern.

So nutzt man Hashtags auf Instagram richtig

Grundvoraussetzung für die Verwendung von Hashtags ist ein öffentliches Instagram-Profil. Stellt man sein Profil auf „privat“, wird man nicht über die Hashtag-Suche mit seinen Beiträgen gefunden.

Bevor wahllos Hashtags unter das Bild getippt werden, sollte man sich zuvor Gedanken machen, wie viele Hashtags angemessen sind, ob diese direkt in die Profilbeschreibung oder via Kommentar gepostet werden sollen, ob man internationale Hashtags verwendet, wie man passende Hashtags recherchiert und das Wichtigste, welche Hashtags für welche Branche relevant sind. Alle diese Fragen wollen wir nachfolgend klären.

Drei Arten von Hashtags auf Instagram

Bevor wir auf die Recherche-Möglichkeiten und die richtigen Hashtags eingehen, wollen wir zunächst einmal klären, welche Arten von Hashtags es gibt. Grundsätzlich lassen sich Hashtags auf Instagram in drei Kategorien einteilen. Da wären zum einen Hashtags, mit denen man ein grosses Publikum und somit auch eine hohe Reichweite erzielt. Diese Hashtags sind meist sehr generisch, lassen sich für eine breite Masse von Bildern verwenden und werden sehr häufig von vielen Usern verwendet. Beispiele hierfür wären #instadaily, #sunday oder #photooftheday. Sucht man auf Instagram nach diesen Hashtags, werden einem mehrere hundert Millionen Bilder angezeigt. Diese Hashtags eignen sich vor allem, um schnell ein paar Likes für sein eigenes Bild zu bekommen. Allerdings besteht bei der ausschliesslichen Verwendung dieser Hashtags auch die Gefahr, dass man schnell wieder in der Hashtag-Suche untergeht, da bereits die nächsten zehntausend Bilder mit diesen Hashtags gepostet wurden.

Eine zweite Art von Hashtags könnte man als Nischen-Hashtags bezeichnen. Diese Hashtags sind in den meisten Fällen sehr speziell auf den Bildinhalt zugeschnitten. Ein Beispiel hierfür wäre ein Foto eines Desserts von einem Food-Fotografen, der sein Bild mit den Hashtags #foodinspiration oder #foodfotografie versieht. Natürlich liessen sich die Hashtags für solch ein Bild noch individueller gestalten, wenn man z.B. die Hashtags #dessert oder #dessertrezept wählt. Hier kommt es ganz darauf an, welche Zielgruppe man erreichen möchte. Die Vorteile dieser spezielleren Hashtags sind die längere Sichtbarkeit über den Zeitraum hinweg und die höhere Interaktionsbereitschaft der User. Allerdings können der erste Like und der erste Kommentar auch ein wenig auf sich warten lassen, da diese Hashtags nicht so häufig verwendet und dementsprechend auch nicht so häufig gesucht werden.

In der Regel bietet sich eine bunte Mischung aus generischen Hashtags und speziellen Nischen-Hashtags an, um sein Bild zu beschreiben. Soll mit den Bildern und dem Instagram-Account eine spezielle Zielgruppe angesprochen werden, ist es sogar ratsam, nur branchenspezifische Hashtags zu verwenden. Dies bietet sich vor allem für Business-Accounts an, die über Instagram ein Produkt oder eine Dienstleistung verkaufen wollen.

Neben diesen beiden Hashtag-Arten gibt es noch die sogenannten Spam-Hashtags, die nur Likes, Kommentare und Follower zum Ziel haben, aber gar nicht zum Account und zum Bild passen. Daher sind diese Hashtags für eine sinnvolle Bildbeschreibung auch nicht zu empfehlen. Beispiele hierfür sind #like4like oder #follow4follow.

Hashtag-Suche auf Instagram

Die Suche nach dem generischen Hashtag „Instagram“ lässt eine Vielzahl von unterschiedlichen Bildern in der Suche erscheinen.

Die richtige Anzahl und Platzierung von Hashtags auf Instagram

Nachdem wir geklärt haben, welche Arten von Hashtags es auf Instagram gibt, beantworten wir nun die zwei Fragen nach der Anzahl und der richtigen Platzierung der Hashtags.

Grundsätzlich gibt es auf Instagram für beide Fragen zwei Lager. Die Einen sagen, man solle nur eine Handvoll Hashtags verwenden, während die Anderen der Meinung sind, dass man die volle Anzahl an möglichen Hashtags verwenden soll. Und auch bei der Frage nach der Platzierung schwören die Einen darauf, die Hashtags direkt mit in die Bildbeschreibung zu posten, während Andere sie lieber separat in den ersten Kommentar posten.

So oder so, es ist und bleibt eine Geschmackssache. Fakt ist aber, dass man auf Instagram unter jedes Bild bis zu 30 Hashtags posten kann und man wertvolle Sekunden verliert, wenn man die Hashtags erst als Kommentar verfasst. Insbesondere, wenn man sehr generische Hashtags verwendet. Hier besteht die Gefahr, dass man nach einer halben Minute in der Suche für diesen Hashtag schon so weit nach unten gerutscht ist, dass man gar nicht mehr wahrgenommen wird.

2 Varianten der Hashtag-Platzierung

links: Hashtags wurden als Kommentar gepostet – rechts: Hashtags wurde gleich mit in die Profilbeschreibung gepostet

Hashtag-Sprache: Deutsch vs. International

Hat man sich für eine Strategie zur Anzahl und Platzierung von Hashtags entschieden, sollte natürlich noch die Frage geklärt werden, ob man sich nur auf deutsche Hashtags festlegt oder ob man auch internationale, z.B. englischsprachige Hashtags verwendet. Auch diese Frage lässt sich mit einem Blick auf seine Zielgruppe bei Instagram klären. Möchte man beispielsweise sehr lokal eine Dienstleistung mit seinem Account bewerben, ist es ratsam, sich auch nur auf deutschsprachige bzw. lokale Hashtags zu konzentrieren. Ist die eigene Zielgruppe oder die Strategie auf Instagram aber offener und nicht auf einen lokalen Radius beschränkt, sollten internationale Hashtags verwendet werden. In der Regal erzielen englische Hashtags eine höhere Reichweite.

Passende Hashtags für seine Branche recherchieren

Nun geht es an das eigentliche Recherchieren von passenden Hashtags für seine Bilder. Dafür gibt es direkt auf Instagram gleich mehrere Möglichkeiten. Zum einen die interne Suche und zum anderen die Analyse der „Konkurrenz“ bzw. die Analyse von ähnlichen Profilen. Über die interne Suche kann man sich beispielsweise nicht nur beliebte Hashtags anzeigen lassen. Instagram unterbreitet seinen Usern auch gleich Vorschläge von ähnlich relevanten Hashtags. Aber auch die Analyse von Top Beiträgen aus seiner Branche ist ein legitimer Weg, um für seinen Account und seine Bilder relevante Hashtags zu finden.

Die interne Instagram Suche

Über die interne Suchfunktion auf Instagram lassen sich ähnliche und relevante Hashtags finden.

Beliebte Instagram Hashtags für Fotografen, Blogger und Co.

Für ein wenig Inspiration haben wir nachfolgend ein paar relevante Hashtags für einzelne Branchen aufgelistet, die sehr beliebt sind, aber auch spezielle Hashtags für mehr Interaktionen.


#instadaily #instamagazine #instainspo #instadaily #monday #sundaymood #visualsoflife #dailyinspiration #nothingisordinary #amazingday #throwbackthursday


#fotoshooting #chasinglight #makemoments #vscocam #photography #postmoreportraits #justgoshoot #makemoments #toldwithexposure #acolorstory


#feedfeed #eatclean #foodporn #foodphotography #commontable #lifeandthyme #eeeeeats #onmytable #tastemade #foodlicious #foodshot #foodandwine #onthetable #foodstyling


#livethelittlethings #thatsdarling #pursuepretty #flashesofdelight #thehappynow #nothingisordinary #petitejoys #darlingmovement #darlingweekend


#bloggerlife #bloggerstyle #blogger_ch #ontheblog #blogger_de #germanblogger #germanblog #bloggerin #blogging #instablogger #bloggerlifestyle


#whereiwork #workmode #workaholic #handsandhustle #creativeentrepeneur #startuplife #attheoffice #entrepeneurlife #startups #workharder #workhardplayharder

Design & Architektur

#minimalmood #minimal_graphy #abmhappylife #chairaffair #lovedesign #designinspiration #designporn #interiordesign #modernism #architecturelovers


#fashionblogger #fbloggers #streetstyle #styleblogger #whatiwear #outfitoftheday #todayimwearing #styleiswhat #fashionnista #fashiondaily #mensstyle #mensweardaily #styleguide


#exploremore #getoutside #takeahike #wilderness #campvibes #wonderfulplaces #naturephotography #natureshots #mountainlife


#travelmore #travelandlife #welltravelled #takemethere #takemeback #traveltheworld #travelgram #travellife #traveldiaries #wanderlust #passionpassport

Two photos on top of each other - birds and dog

For smartphone photos with special effects: The most unusual photo apps for Android and iOS

Thanks to the latest technology, high-quality cameras and social networks such as Facebook, Instagram and Co., taking good photos has become one of the most important tasks of the smartphone. But even the best pictures can be made even more exciting with a filter or a few small edits here and there – preferably quickly and easily directly on the smartphone. A glance at the probably most popular photo platform “Instagram” shows that the most spectacular effects and edits are used to attract attention with one’s own photos.

We have set out on a search for free apps with which you can effectively stage your snapshots.

Little planets with “RollWorld”

With this free app for iOS, the wow effect for your photos is guaranteed. “RollWorld” transforms images into small circular planets, so-called “Tiny Worlds”. For the best effect, it is best to use landscape panoramas or skylines where the horizon clearly separates sky and earth.

Die Ausgangsbilder: Ein Panorama einer Seebrücke und ein Wasserfall

Screenshot RollWorld App with landscape or panorama picture

Left: The result: “RollWorld” app with landscape image in 3:2 format | Right: “RollWorld” app with panorama image

“RollWorld” can be used as a direct camera function which conjures up the tiny-world effect on the display before triggering. However, the best way to use the app is to apply it to photos that have already been taken. For example, you can upload panorama images to the app and rotate them into a small world with various setting options. In addition to panoramas, all other images can of course also be creatively edited with the photo app and turned upside down in order to create crazy and abstract masterpieces.

For Android users, “Little Planet” is the counterpart – also free of charge.

«RollWorld» in the App Store

«Little Planet» in the Playstore

Impressive morphing effects with “Photo Lab”

Photo from two images and morph effect tiger and human

Left: Photo from two pictures | Right: Morph effect tiger and human being

The versatile app “Photo Lab” is available for Android as well as iOS for free and offers a huge range of features. With numerous filters you can turn your photos into paintings or combine them with an unusual background. For example, an old book in the picture shows your image on one of its pages or it seems as if it would be reflected in a champagne glass. But the absolute highlight of “Photo Lab” are the impressive montages, which can be created automatically from a photo and a template. Simply select a portrait or Selfie and let it merge with a tiger or the mystical silhouette of a forest. These so-called “morph effects” create unique pictures that stand out from the crowd. You can apply different styles such as pop art, graffiti and many more to these and various other photo montages, similar to filters.

«Photo Lab» in the App Store

«Photo Lab» in the Playstore

Extraordinary backgrounds with “Fabby”

Portrait with flower background and pop art style

Left: Portrait with flower background | Right: Portrait with colourful Popart background

With this app for iOS you can spice up photos with crazy backgrounds full of fantasy. The focus here is on Selfies or photos of people. The app automatically recognises them as foreground and inserts them into any background. The editing can be done afterwards, but also during the shooting you can activate the desired background and align yourself or the person to be photographed for the perfect position in the picture. In addition to the numerous ready-made backgrounds, you can also use your own photos. From the white winter landscape to colourful donuts on a pink background, there are no limits. If you want to bring some more life into your project, you can use the “Fabby” app to record small videos with bright backgrounds.

The free app “Fabby” is currently only available for iOS devices in the App Store.

«Fabby» in the App Store

Bright comics and colourful collages with “PicsArt”

Picture in mosaic look and portrait with fancy colour filter

Left: Picture in mosaic look | Right: Portrait with fancy colour filter

For all hobby photographers who like to experiment with colours, the photo app “PicsArt” is exactly the right tool. The free image editing program for Android and iOS provides not only countless filters with comprehensive settings, but also a whole repertoire of features. Extraordinary effects, colourful collages or comic-like decorations with speech bubbles and stickers – with “PicsArt” there are no limits to your creativity. To individually adjust the respective effects, you can manually adjust their intensity, colour tone and the like. If a certain area is to remain in its natural appearance, such as a person or their face in the centre of the image, this area can be freed from the set effect with an eraser function. For example, a person or object can be highlighted in colour against an otherwise black and white background, or it can appear as if it is moving in a painting. For those who like it less unusual, “PicsArt” also offers subtle filters and basic image editing tools such as red-eye correction, contrast adjustment and the like.

«PicsArt» in the App Store

«PicsArt» in the Playstore

Swiss flag in nature

Image rights in Switzerland

Every day, numerous pictures are posted, linked and shared on blogs and on social media. This can involve certain risks – both for the author and for the people depicted on them. We explain what to look out for when distributing images on the Internet.

The right to one’s own image

In Switzerland, the right to one’s own image is understood as part of the general personality right. This means that each person can in principle decide for themselves whether and in what context images of him or her are published. It is regulated in the first part of the Civil Code and in the Federal Act on Data Protection. A ruling by the Swiss Federal Supreme Court in 2010 stated that the right to one’s own image can be contractually regulated. Other rights, however, such as the right to physical integrity, are non-negotiable. Strict contractual provisions are made, for example, when working with models. A so-called Model Release regulates, among other things, the purpose of the photographs, compensation and copyright.

The dilemma of photographing in a public space

It only becomes problematic if no agreement is made between a person depicted and the photographer. This is often the case, for example, in street style photography. The point here is to photograph passers-by with a particularly individual look in unaffected everyday situations. The shots look especially natural when the subject does not even notice that they are being photographed. If they notice they are being photographed, the authenticity of the photo is often compromised. However, the photographer has the obligation to obtain consent if the person can be clearly identified as the central object of the photograph. Thus, photos should not be published without the consent of the person concerned, although it is a legal grey area and ultimately an individual decision.

Street Style Fotograf bei der Arbeit

No agreement is required, however, if the person is not the specific focus of the shot. No personal rights are violated if several people are photographed together, for example at public events or in crowded tourist locations. However, if a person stands out optically from the crowd, the photographer must obtain consent in order to obtain legal protection.

Konzertbesucherinnen in der Menschenmenge – von hinten abgebildet

Unintentionally published on the Internet – What now?

Anyone who feels that their right to their own picture has been violated should first try to talk to the person who published the photo and ask them to remove it. If this doesn’t work, a consultation with a lawyer helps to clarify to what extent an interest worthy of protection can be asserted. In this case it has to be decided to what extent the photo can put the person on it in a bad light. It is also weighed whether the photo shows a public, private or even intimate area of life. It makes a difference whether a person is photographed on the street or in a private home.

In some situations, on the other hand, consent is tacitly assumed on the basis of gestures, facial expressions or occasion. This is the case, for example, when someone clearly poses in front of the camera or lines up for a group photo. Especially when dealing with social networks, it is advisable to read the general terms and conditions carefully. Facebook, for example, reserves the right to utilise the uploaded photos of its users according to its own interests.

Finally, a complaint is only recommended in the case of really serious violations. Litigation is often costly and lengthy. However, no one should feel encouraged to post defamatory photos of other people on the Internet. When dealing with social media, decency and respect should have top priority.

Copyright in Switzerland

Copyright covers the creator’s right to their individual intellectual work. In Switzerland, photographs must be marked in a certain way in order to signal copyright. This includes the copyright notice with the © symbol and the name of the copyright holder with the year of first publication. While in Germany, for example, almost every picture is protected by copyright, in Switzerland it is not so easy to claim it. The prerequisite here is that a work must be an intellectual creation. The photograph must have something unmistakably individual about it, such as a specific staging or a special photographic technique. Finding unambiguous criteria, however, is often problematic in jurisprudence.

Nevertheless, applicable copyright law must not be violated in Switzerland either. No one is allowed to download photos from Google at will in order to use them for their own blog or social media profile. The search engine protects itself legally by pointing out that the material may be protected.

So-called Creative Commons licenses facilitate the handling of image material on the Internet. This allows the authors themselves to decide under which conditions their images may be used on the Internet. A certain symbolism indicates to both the user and the search engine to what extent a photo may be used for commercial purposes. In addition, there are picture agencies, such as istockphoto, which offer licenses for your stock of pictures for sale. However, these are also subject to certain terms of use.

Please note that this article is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice in the strict sense. The content of this publication cannot and should not replace legal advice that addresses your specific situation. In this respect, all information provided is without guarantee of correctness and completeness.

Pokémon GO in Hamburg

Tips for Pokémon GO

The Pokémon Go App is the talk of the town these days. The Augmented Reality game enables the user to catch the cute virtual Pokémon in your real environment.

The game uses GPS data to access the player’s location and projects the Pokémon into the player’s current environment via the smartphone’s camera.

Capture memories with Pokémon GO

If a wild Pokémon has appeared, you have to catch it. Tap the Pokémon to switch to camera mode and catch the creature. Since the app already has access to your smartphone’s camera, you can take pictures of your Pokémon adventures. Simply press the camera button on the screen and take a snapshot.

But a photo of a Pokémon sitting on the asphalt or grass is not really exciting.

We have taken the trend as an opportunity to explore Hamburg with Pokémon GO and to take great photos.

Dratini in front of the Michel in Hamburg

The famous main church Sankt Michaelis is affectionately called “Michel” in Hamburg and is a landmark of the metropolis. Address: Englische Planke 1, 20459 Hamburg. Maybe you’ll find a wild Dratini here?

Fortunately, there are also many Pokémon in lively places and so you usually do not have to wait long until one appears in the city. It is important that the Augmented Reality mode is switched on. You can activate this mode directly when you catch the Pokémon by pushing the small “AR” slider.

Now all you have to do is put the Pokémon in the limelight. The little creature has its own place in the real world. When you move the camera, it doesn’t always stay in the centre, but changes its position on your screen. This allows you to place the Pokémon by changing your location or perspective. Especially if you’re trying to photograph the creature in front of a tall building, you might have to squat down or even lie down flat to get the right perspective. If you tilt the phone too far, the Pokémon will disappear from the screen.

Poliwag on a fountain

Water Pokémon like the Quapsel prefer to be close to water. So you have a good chance of catching one at the famous Hygieia Fountain in the courtyard of Hamburg City Hall. Address: Rathausmarkt 1, 20095 Hamburg

Attracting Pokémon – how it’s done

It’s annoying if you really want to take a photo of a certain place or in front of a famous sight, but no Pokémon appears. Before you wait forever – after all, you also want to enjoy the trip through the city – you can also attract Pokémon.

There are two possibilities: Lure modules and so-called smoke.

Players activate Pokémon lure modules at a fixed location. There they are active for 30 minutes from the moment they are switched on and attract the small creatures in heaps. The nice thing is that the modules are accessible to all players at this location. If you don’t have a lure module at hand, you can use existing modules from other Pokémasters. A little tip: these are often found in front of schools and universities during the lunch break.

Unlike the lure module, smoke attracts Pokémon only to the player in question. It has the advantage that it accompanies the player for half an hour. This makes it ideal for a tour of a city to take Pokémon souvenir photos.

If you want to explore a new city with Pokémon, you can easily find a route from Pokéstop to Pokéstop. Close to the centre there are many of these stops and thus the player is guided through the city on a route unknown to them and also gets Pokéballs and other valuable items as a gift.

Among other things, the Pokéstops supply you with Pokémon eggs. These eggs can be incubated with the help of an incubator by walking a fixed number of kilometres. The more kilometres it takes to hatch the eggs, the rarer the Pokémon that hatch from the eggs are. You can hatch quite a few eggs during an extensive discovery walk through Hamburg!

Small tip for hatching Poké eggs: You can also hatch them while driving a bus. The bus travels slowly enough due to the many stops. But you can’t trick the app by car.

Horsea in the Hamburg Speicherstadt

The Hamburg Speicherstadt is photographed a thousand times a day. But who has a souvenir photo with a freshly caught Pokémon? The water Pokémon Horsea feels very comfortable here, by the way.

Pokémon Safety Notice

During the cheerful hunt for the little creatures you must stay aware of your surroundings. The danger of accidents is too high when crossing a street or a busy square.

So instead of constantly looking at your smartphone, you should rather activate the vibration mode. This can be activated in the settings (small gear in the upper right corner). Whenever a wild Pokémon is nearby, the mobile phone vibrates and alerts the player.

True to the Pokémon motto “Catch ’em all”, you can start your hunt for the creatures and take funny Pokémon souvenir photos.

Zubat on the Hamburg fish market

The wild Zubat got lost on the famous Hamburg fish market early in the morning.