Dave's Photo & Travelblogue

Photo shoots. World travel advice. Tips on Munich & environs.

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Carving up the Glacier

While a volcano melts the glacier in Iceland, carvers are cutting up the Austrian glaciers on raceboards! Here’s Lowcarver this past weekend, riding his Virus snowboard at Hintertux…

Lowcarver at Hintertux

Below is a gallery of the best carving photos from Hintertux (and a couple of a friend who skis). I can’t wait for Carving Masters in just one week at Soelden! Hopefully I’ll get great shots and video of lots of carvers there.

For more on Hintertux, please see this earlier post with info of how to get there.

Photos were taken with a Nikon D90, 18-200mm VR lens, and a circular polarizing filter.

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Posted 7 years, 5 months ago.

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Surfing in landlocked downtown Munich!

Eisbach Surfing in Munich

For the surfers I met briefly today at the Eisbach in Munich: the gallery of my best photos is below, after the YouTube video. Val from Killians (hope I remembered your name right), I didn’t find any pics of you – but I can certainly meet up sometime and try to take a few! I live right near the Eisbach. Just leave a comment and I’ll email you.

Photos were taken with a Nikon D90 and the 18-200mm VR lens.

YouTube Preview Image

Go to YouTube to watch the video in HD!

Getting to the Eisbach Surfers’ Wave:

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Posted 7 years, 5 months ago.

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Who needs pads? This is rugby!

I’d never been to a rugby game before, but decided to check it out when a friend from my German class invited me to see his team play. March 27th, 2010 in Munich:  this was Stusta vs. Stuttgart!

Over the years I’ve sprained ankles and knees playing Ultimate Frisbee. (Ultimate photo gallery here). But I can safely say that rugby is a slightly more contact-oriented sport. Here are a few photos to demonstrate, along with my commentary on the game. Maybe I have some of the rules wrong, so just correct me if I’ve misunderstood something…

Players pile on top of each other until the weight of their bodies causes the ball to pop out from underneath. An unlucky player that was left out of the pile grabs the ball and hopes to be the base for the next pile.

Stusta vs. Stuttgart Rugby

When the ball goes out of bounds, it’s thrown back in, and both teams see who can lift their teammates higher in the air to snag the ball. Again, the winner gets to start the next pile.

Stusta vs. Stuttgart Rugby

Here’s an example of what happens when there aren’t enough players nearby for a pile. Turn the opposing player upside down and shake until he drops the ball.

Stusta vs. Stuttgart Rugby

I’m tied as to the best tackle I caught on film. Was it this one:

Stusta vs. Stuttgart Rugby

Or this one? (due to the angle it almost looks like #14’s left leg is twisted backwards)

Stusta vs. Stuttgart Rugby

By a nice trick of the camera (which often couldn’t focus fast enough, or I didn’t focus the right point)… the only guy looking at the ball is the only guy in sharp focus! (far right side)

Stusta vs. Stuttgart Rugby

One way you can score in rugby is by reaching the end zone. You do this by diving over the line, being sure not to touch the tripwire rigged to the sharks with laser beams on their heads.

Stusta vs. Stuttgart Rugby

One last HIT…

Stusta vs. Stuttgart Rugby

See below for an album with even more photos, where you can also see these choice shots in larger size. Rugby is a lot easier to photograph than Ultimate Frisbee!

If any of the players from Stusta or Stuttgart want one of the shots in a larger size, just leave me a comment, and I’ll email it to you.

Congratulations to Stuttgart, who won the match. But both teams played really well, and I can honestly say it was the best rugby match I’ve ever seen.

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Posted 7 years, 5 months ago.

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Family & Friends Plan

This January I made a plan to meet with a lot of family and friends in the US. Here’s the photographic evidence…

My brother has a knack for making funny poses in front of the camera

My brother has a knack for making funny poses in front of the camera.

Not Park 'n Eat, but Eat 'n Park... with 20 eat 'n smart menu items!

Not Park 'n Eat, but Eat 'n Park... with 20 eat 'n smart menu items!

Sometimes the best shot is the one just AFTER making funny faces at the camera.

Sometimes the best shot is the one just AFTER making funny faces at the camera.

I heard someone once fell in the water here?

I heard someone once fell in the water here?

This tree had nice, sweet-smelling flowers despite that it was the COLDth of January.

This tree had nice, sweet-smelling flowers despite that it was the COLDth of January.

These friends of mine could not stop laughing.

These friends of mine could not stop laughing.

These portraits were taken in Pennsylvania and in Richmond, VA with a Nikon D90. Most are just the 18-55 VR lens, but the last one is the 70-300 VR to provide a short depth-of-field and get some blur going.

Posted 7 years, 8 months ago.

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Wakeboarding and Slalom on the Pamunkey River

Boats, brews, and planks (whether narrow or wide) make for an awesome afternoon. On my last visit home, we met friends to go wakeboarding–and drove off by truck into the VA wilderness. After a dozen turns (with no navigation system), driving on roads twistier than your average Alpen pass, we finally made it to the Pamunkey River. Thanks to Sattie for his excellent hospitality with the boat… and for driving on so many pulls!

There were tubing and jet-skiing too, but I’m gonna focus on the rooster tails and railslides in this post. The Nikon D90 does pretty well on the river… switching to fixed (manual) focus helps a lot, since the skier is always the same distance from the boat. Then the focus is never shifting to the background trees or foreground water splashes.

Brock in the air above the wake

Brock in the air above the wake

Sattie spraying as much water as humanly possible

Sattie spraying as much water as humanly possible

Pulling hard on the slalom ski

Pulling hard on the slalom ski

A masterful railslide, with a bit of jetski in the background

A masterful railslide, with a bit of jetski in the background

Nice work by the ladies as well...

Nice work by the ladies as well...

Now there's something you don't see every day.  Yep, there is some spray from his fingers...

Now there's something you don't see every day. Yep, there is some spray from his fingers...

My recommendations: if you are visiting a warm area in the States near a lake or river, try a bit of wakeboarding or waterskiing (though if skiing, you might want to start on a pair instead of starting slalom). There are plenty of schools and rental shops where you can learn & get gear. If you’re near Richmond, VA, try to persuade my friend Sattie to open a slalom waterskiing school–just kidding.

If you’re (unluckily for this sport) living in Germany, where powerboats are basically not allowed on the lakes, try a Wasserskianlage where you get pulled around a small lake by a cable from above. There’s no wake, but at least you’re on the water. That’s probably a future “Munich” post, for those that might want to try out the Aschheim Wasserskianlage. Sign up for RSS or email updates with the orange links in the left sidebar if you want to read about it!

Posted 7 years, 12 months ago.

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Ultimate Frisbee in Munich

Okay, so I’m guessing most of you don’t know what Ultimate Frisbee is.  You think it’s just a fancy name for running around in the park and playing with a disc.  I know this by the number of strange looks I get every time I say, “I sprained my ankle playing Ultimate Frisbee.”  So, here’s the breakdown!

Dave’s Simple Rules of Ultimate Frisbee:

  • The field is rectangular with two end zones, similar to American football.
  • There are 7 players on each team.
  • At the start of each point, two teams line up on opposite ends of the field, both facing toward the middle.  The team that scored last “pulls” the disc to the last point’s losers, like a kickoff.
  • A team scores when one of their players catches the disc in their end zone, at the opposite end of the field from where they started.
  • To keep possession, the disc has to be caught in-bounds by a player on one’s team.  No running after one catches the disc.
  • If the team with possession doesn’t catch the disc, it’s a turnover and the other team takes possession.
  • The winning team is the first to reach 21 points in a regulation game (although often games are shorter).

Okay, enough explanation.  On to the pictures!  To score, your first point of contact when landing must be inside the end zone.

Just in the end zone

Just in the end zone

Passing is a tricky prospect, as you have to make sure your target is open, with no defenders who will snatch the disc away.  (The thrower is me!  Can you spot my ankle brace?)

Forehand pass or "flick"

Forehand pass or "flick"

Sometimes you catch it…

An artful catch

An artful catch

And sometimes you don’t.

The most artful miss ever caught on camera?

The most artful miss ever caught on camera?

Now for some gratuitous shots of people jumping and fighting for the disc!  Note that Ultimate is a non-contact sport, but occasionally you may bump into other players when going for the disc.  Play friendly and live the spirit of the game.

High jump

High jump

He who jumps first...

He who jumps first...

Skyhook

Skyhook

Nice jump!

Nice jump!

You can see that Ultimate is quite a physical sport.  Even on a non-competitive “pickup” team like this one (the Toytown Munich group), many people are wearing cleats.  There’s a lot of running and jumping, quick direction changes, diving for the disc, and the occasional (of course accidental) collision.

So the next time someone tells you they tore their ACL or sprained their ankle playing Ultimate Frisbee, just reply, “Whoa, hardcore!  But did you get the disc?”

If you live in or visit Munich and you want to play: follow the link below and check when the next game is on.  Beginners welcome!  Toytown Ultimate

Posted 8 years, 1 month ago.

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