“Hope and Freedom” by Hans-Juergen Sommer

It’s an important part of my life to take photographs. In the past, my pictures had to be nice and beautiful, not full of meaning. Something to hang on the wall. But some years ago, I’ve learned that there is more. A picture can convey a message. Not every picture, but some have the potential to be narrative.

For my wife and me travelling is very important, because it makes us, we think, open minded for other cultures. Two years ago we travelled to Berlin in Germany, a city with history. It was forbidden for the population of East Germany to travel and there was no freedom of speech. One day we visited the wall museum and near to this museum I saw this scene. A high site fence with a barbed wire, a watchtower and a balloon, a cool scenery. For me the important part of the picture is the “Die Welt” – balloon in the background. Welt means world. The balloon stands for freedom, no borders.

I love it to take pictures with fast prime-lenses. In Berlin I used my Fujifilm X-T2 with the Fujinon 35mm f/1.4. The camera is compact with this lens, perfect for traveling, and the quality is great. I always shoot in aperture priority mode, because then I’m faster than in manual mode. Shooting in RAW has more potential for editing as JPG, so I always use RAW for my images. I work with Lightroom and the NIK filters, especially with Silver Efex for my black and white images. In this case I used Silver Efex to give the photograph a gloomy atmosphere.

The photograph from Berlin is also nice in color, but I prefer the black and white version.

What are the TWO most impactful features that make your image a good photograph? Don’t be shy!

For me it has a simple composition with the three layers (wall with barbed wire, watchtower and balloon), which is good. I don’t like photographs where you must search a starting point. And the picture has a message, for me: freedom. It’s narrative..

If you could make this photo again, what would be the ONE thing you would like to do better or different?

I love prime lenses. But with them you are not so flexible. With a longer zoom, the balloon would be bigger.

Hans Juergen-Sommer shared this photograph in the FRAMES Facebook Group.


Hans Juergen-Sommer, Ludwigshafen, Germany


Equipment and settings

Fujifilm X-T2; Fujinon 35mmF1.4
35mm (APS/C); f/11

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