Reportage Photography

Technology and business dominate what I write about, but my photo assignments have taken me in many directions. Some of my favorite topics are below. For more, please see my photo website. Thank you for your interest!

Urban Farming

More and more American cities try to revitalize downtown and foster healthier communities by supporting urban farming. California is, naturally, at the forefront of this trend. I visited several farms and urban farmers in Oakland with my colleague Laetitia Mailhes for an article in French daily Libération. Extended gallery here.

The City Slicker Farms garden at Union Plaza Park in Oakland
Volunteer Lyn Wenzel checks for insects
Neighbors in front of the Center Street Farm in West Oakland
Keyetta Williams grows tomatoes in her backyard
Mandela Food Cooperative staff pose for a group photo
The NO cookie, made in Oakland: NO sugar, NO milk, NO eggs
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The World’s Most Famous Chimp

He used to be in Hollywood, he used to be a star. Now he lives in Pasadena – and is still a star. I visited Tarzan’s old friend Cheeta for an article in the Financial Times Germany and also shot a video for More images here.

Cakes are a messy affair
Cheeta’s autobiography was written by a ghostwriter
Naturally, he’s curious himself
Here comes the cake!
Cheeta and his caretaker, Dan Westfall
How about some entertainment for the audience?
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Honey, Where Are All the Bees?

Suddenly, the buzz dies down and the hives are empty: a mysterious phenomenon dubbed “Colony Collapse Disorder” is threatening the livelihood of bees, as well as the future of many fruits and vegetables. Bees, after all, are needed as pollinators for much of what you see at your local supermarket. Alongside my Swiss colleague Katja Schaer, I headed out to almond orchards near Modesto, California, to meet with beekeeper John Miller of Miller Honey Farms.

Longtime beekeeper John Miller inspects one of his hives
Many bees vanish through a mysterious
illness named “Colony Collapse Disorder”
Beehives among almond orchards in California’s Central Valley
John Miller kneels down to take a closer look at his beehives
An assistant helps with a “smoker.”
The smoke has a calming effect on the bees
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Singularity University

These days, technology advances at a speed that’s hard to keep up with. And at some point sooner rather than later, progress in IT, biotech, nanotech and other fields will converge and eclipse the capacities of the human mind – welcome to the point of the “singularity,” as defined by author and inventor Ray Kurzweil. Intrigued, Google and other investors provided seed money for the Singularity University. I got a chance to follow the first class in 2009 for a couple of days and witness their graduation. See a larger selection of images here.

Justyna Zander came from Berlin
to study at Singularity University
PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel during a lecture
One ring to bind them …
Nice place to study
The first class of 2009: members of “Team Global”
Yes, we have astronauts!
Former spaceman Dan Barry teaches at SU
Not without my cello: Graduate
Holley Abrams with her favorite instrument
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San Francisco and the Beat Poets

San Francisco was home to Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and other famous poets of the Beat Generation – so it makes sense that there’s a whole museum dedicated to them and their work. Right next to the Beat Museum is the legendary book store City Lights. More here.

Welcome to the Beat Museum
Vintage Beatnik items on display upstairs
Beat Museum director Jerry Cimino
The 1948 Hudson co-starred in “On the Road”
A legend in its own right …
City Lights Books in North Beach
A whole floor at City Lights is devoted to the Beat Poets
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Behind the scenes at social gaming pioneer Zynga: I had a chance to take a closer look at the maker of  “Farmville,” “Bubble Safari” and other popular games for a company profile in the German trade publication Gamesmarkt. If you’d like to play a little more, a full gallery is here.

The games begin
with a multimedia tunnel
Zynga founder Mark Pincus and his late dog Zinga
The FarmVille team at work
Shooting hoops across from the cafeteria
UI designer Marshall Smith and his dogs
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