The First Resolution of a Serious Amateur Photographer

Germany didn’t look impressive to me. I realized that German daily life does not attract me any longer since I had been to Europe too many times. Before leaving for Europe, I had already expected the dull impression from European daily life, and I had reminded myself that this trip must be my last long trip. However, despite the expectation, experiencing the not-so-impressive surroundings wasn’t a thing that I’d like to welcome. During my stay in Stuttgart, I didn’t feel like taking pictures, except for pictures of my ordinary life occasionally; I didn’t even feel like talking to any people either.

One day, as I saw clouds through the window after rain, I happened to have a gut feeling that sunset of the day must be violet. Because of the rain, a vision of a road at dusk reflecting silky light emerged in my head. Although such an ability to imagine sunset through the weather was probably the only distinguished skill that I, as an amateur photographer, had obtained from my previous experiences, no other sign of good photography would make me excited more than it does. Ten years ago, I used to wait for such a chance like this to take a fine picture, but my mind nowadays became too dull. I shouldn’t feel this way.

Feeling like photographing whatever I could, I stormed out of my friend’s house and took a train. Stuttgart is well known for wine; I had heard that I could join a wine tour in the outskirt. After being reminded of the suggestion, I guessed that seeing sunset over a vinery on a hill would look great. I didn’t care about the wine tasting tour. When I took the train, it was already past 5 PM; basically my intention was purely for photographic chances.

I didn’t even know where I should go to after getting off from the train. I saw a sign of wine tasting tour, but there were neither tourists nor a tour guide. Probably because it was a week day, even the street per se was quiet.

I just checked which side is west and where a hill I could stand on to see sunset. A hill in the distance seemed gentle slope, so I headed in its direction without any hesitation. Between some German houses, an alley appeared up, seemingly guiding to the hill. I guessed that it must be the entrance of the hill. Thinking so, I kept walking for a while.

As was often the case with a landscape photographer, the sunset I saw on the top of the hill was quiet. While landscapes in my imagination always splash fantastic lights, actual landscapes in real world always draw questions to me quietly: why do you think this is beautiful? With all photographic materials scattered messily, I couldn’t answer it well. In fact, if I could answer it easily, here would be a famous touristic spot.


What broke the silence was a high pitch sound of engine of a car driving up the hill. To me who stood there to answer the question of which I couldn’t know the right answer, it sounded as if it nagged me to answer now.

So I answered, like this.

Stuttgart, Jul. 2014
E100VS / Leica M7 / Summilux 35mm 1.4