reto mag

about the land and the people

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Entries from July 30th, 2013

New Zealand 2009/2010 series – Hello Auckland!

July 30th, 2013 by Addy · article, auckland, new zealand

Before I came here I did not know much about the world. My holidays had so far solely been to places in Europe but that was not the point: My world was small as I was a girl of 18 with typical interests as party, clothes and boys but nevertheless anxious to find out what was waiting outside there for me. I was doing an internship at a German newspaper and had one of those typical, surfing in the internet sessions, when I clicked on a map and decided that, for my Gap year, I would go as far as possible: New Zealand. It was my father who did not want me to do work and travel but to do something „useful“ in his eyes. So I ended up doing three month of language school, three months of internship and one month for a trip to the south island. A decision which, I do not regret. For Retomag I will present my most impressive and intensive experiences in New Zealand as good as my memory is able to recapture them.

Day of arrival: Hello Auckland!

My flight to New Zealand was already an experience for itself: I had this unique feeling, which you have when you do not know what to expect but you are sure that it must me something great.

After 24 hours I finally arrived , went out of the plane and a man was waiting for me with a sign of our language school in his hands. We drove into Auckland and I could not stop watching out of the window. I did not know what I had expected to see but I was surprised that Auckland in regard to landscape seemed relatively normal to me. I did not know at this point that the full beauty of this country was yet to discover. The driver dropped me off at my place to stay for the next months. A student accommodation called Empire: A gray and high building with the charme of the 70ties. I noticed that there were mostly Chinese people around there. Later I got to know that Auckland is a very popular city to study for young people from China.

I knew that I would share my room with another girl, which was already in the room when I came in. When she turned around I saw a very beautiful girl. She was from Hungary and directly said. „Oh, you are from Germany. Dann können wir auch Deutsch sprechen.“. Luckily I directly said no because I did not know at this point that she would become a very good friend and talking partner to me. We went into the city and despite being the the biggest city in New Zealand, the city center itself seemed relatively comfortable to me. I had a „New Zealandish Italian Pizza“ and found out that „German Italian Pizza’s“ are much more heavy and greasy. Being exhausted by the Jetlag I went into bed at 5 o’clock in the afternoon, just to wake at the same time in the morning and to have breakfast with my roommate at this rather unusual time…


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30/2013 image of the week: New Colors

July 26th, 2013 by Evangelia · image of the week, infrared, photography, the north


Last morning in Copenhagen and first morning that I saw the sun in this city. I just took a memory of a tale.

© by Evangelia Kalogeraki

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The principle of give and take: The german start-up project “Photocircle”

July 25th, 2013 by Julia · 7 questions - 7 answers, berlin, germany, photography

© Photocircle


1. The german magazine “Wirtschaftswoche” called you one of the most exciting start-up projects in germany (issue 26/2013). What is exciting about you?

Thomas: Apart from the great photos from our photographers, I guess it’s mainly our concept. We pay a lot of money for stuff that costs almost nothing in the making and the people that produce our sneaker and t-shirts get buried under their factory buildings. I think more and more people question the way our economy works. We and more and more other social businesses show a new way of consumption. Instead of spending our money on Google and Facebook ads we support social projects. Our products are produced 100% in Germany under fair conditions. Our photographers can choose themselves how much they they would like to donate and keep for themselves. We also do marketing for them and created a platform where they can present their works to a broader public. We are also a new fundraising channel for our partner ngos. As to us….if everything works out, we can hopefully live from the earnings as well one day. So we created a win-win-situation for all parties involved. Our customers get high quality art prints at fair prices and the opportunity to do something good.

2. You established this project last year – am I right? What happened to you and your project since 2012 becoming that famous

Thomas: When we went online we issued our first ever press release which actually wasn’t really that professionel. The same day we got calls from “Der Standard”, “Gigaom” and several other big newspapers and blogs. We could even read about us on the blog of the wall street journal the next day. I guess, if we were just a normal photo platform, no one would probably be interested in us. But our innovative concept helped us a lot and made people talk about us.

Then, however, when the first buzz was over, it’s just been a lot of hard work. We have a lot of competition with a lot more money to spend on marketing then we have. So we continously have to find new ways to get the attention. In the end what counts is a good product, though. And that’s what we have: we offer great quality at fair prices and give the people the opportunity to make the world just a little bit better by choosing us over our competitors.

Another thing that kept us going and motivated in the past year was the support of our community. We have many photographers and customers that help and promote us in so many ways. Even some kind words can be incredibly supportive. Sometimes you just have a bad and everything seems so hard. Then you get a nice email from a customer or photographer, and the sun shines again.  

© Julia Dreier (


3. How did you realise buying photos of strangers in foreign countries isn’t fair, if they don’t get money back. I mean, the photographer profit by selling pictures, but the people on these pictures not. What happened to you, you want to change it? Was it a special moment on your travels? Or a conversation with a foreigner/ friend/ family?

Thomas: I’ve always had a strange feeling when taking photos from other people feeling like an intruder or something like that. When I got back from my latest travels in South-East-Asia I brought a few nice photos with me. Some friends of mine said, I should try and sell them on one of the photo platforms. So I checked them all out. None of them really convinced me. Not only did they pay very little to the photographer and kept the rest for themselves. They also had a very poor user experience. Worst of all though was that it just didn’t seem right to offer my work for sale on these websites. If people would really buy my photos they would probably do it because of the pretty landscapes or the people on the photos not because of me. I would be the only one to get credit for them though. The money would go mainly to the gallery.

I have this one photo from a young muay thai in Bangkok and the expression on his face just wouldn’t leave me alone. I really wanted to give back somehting to him. So I started thinking of ways how to do it. The idea of Photocircle, to support social projects in the region the picture was taken in, is our opinion the only feasible way to do this on a big scale. Still we can support only a limited amount of projects but hopefully, if we manage to spread our vision, one day we’ll be able to help development projects in most regions of the world.


4. You’ve got a lot of impressive photographs and photographer in your project already. Are you proud?

Thomas: Of course we are very proud that we can represent these great photographers. We’re honoured that they put so much trust in us. We’ve talked to quiet a few phtographers who actually wouldn’t want to sell their work anywhere else, but just on Photocircle because they like the conept. Considering that we’ve just started that’s a great achievement..

© Eric Lafforgue (


5. Which picture do you have on your mind thinking of photocircle? For me it’s this portrait of the little boy, wearing a helmet and he’s completely surrounded by colorful colours. It’s very impressive and he seems so lucky and open-minded.

Thomas: This is one of my favorite photos as well. I think that it represents very well our concept. Another photo I love is “a colorful life” from Rada Akbar, a female Afghan photographer. We are really proud to have her on board and incredibly happy that even photographers from Afghanistan use our website. I also really like the photos from Jakob Berr. He portrayed some fisherman in Bangladesh working for the ngo Netz which has become our partner. So if we sell one of his photos, the money goes back directly to the community he has been living and working in back then. That is exactly what Photocircle is about.

© Rada Akbar (

6. One of these impressive photographer in your project is me. :) I have six of my photographs available on your platform since january- and i didn’t sell any. What will happen to these pictures in one year, if noone is interested in? Will I get an email of you, writing:  “Dear Julia, I’m so sorry, but we couldn’t sell any of your pictures. We kicked you out of the project. Greetings from Berlin, Thomas”

Thomas: We would never do that to you Julia :-) Of course we still have quiet a few photographers that have not sold anything up to now. That doesn’t mean that people aren’t interested in them though. We are still at the very beginning of our project. Since our launch we have continiuously increased our sales and visits. So we are confident that you’ll sell some futures maybe even faster than you would expect.


7. How does the future of Photocircle look like? How should it be?

Thomas: We think that for people who want to print their own photos or buy high quality art prints from great photographers there is no reason not buy from us. We are even cheaper than the XXLs of the market and we simply offer more.

Of course we have a problem if no one knows about us :-) So we have to work hard to spread the word. This is hard with a very small marketing budget, but we are still optimistic that we can make ourselves a name in the market. Establishing ourselves in Germany is our first goal. However, we would also love to find some partners in the US for example.


Thanks to Berlin, to Photocircle, to Thomas& his team, living this start-up project. Go for it and get new pictures for your beautiful home and support Photocircle, the photographers and the projects:

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analog 50mm bamberg impressions

July 22nd, 2013 by sophie · germany, photography, reportage

my boyfriends family lives in bamberg, thats why we visit this beautiful city quite often. here are some photographs i did last summer.

when we drove from würzburg to bamberg, we stopped to hang out at a lake for a couple of hours. its a quarry pond and we found pretty sweet photo material.


the ‘bamberger dom’ (the bamberg cathedral).


the ‘altes rathaus’ (the old town-hall).


bamberg is very popular for its brewing culture. you can find traditional art of brewing all over the place.


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traveling pages: paradiso magazine

July 21st, 2013 by nina · france, print, review

this time it’s not about a book but about a magazine. lately i was at the huge magazine-store at the central railway station in frankfurt. i always go there when i am hungry. hungry for words, good paper, the smell of ink and new stories. hungry for adventures, recipes and holidays of my life. so i go there quite often. and let me tell you this: it is really hard to find a good travel magazine. one which is not only for a special area like australia or the german island sylt. but at my last visit i spottet a magazine called paradiso. mainly i took it with me because of its handy size and the way the paper feels to the touch. my magazine was the second issue and all about france. i liked it so much that i came back to buy a second one for my sister but it was already sold out. so i bought it online, along with the first issue about italy. what should i say? i love this magazine. i love the fact that it is small (din a5 – it fits in every bag) and that the paper feels so good. i love the pictures and the stories. stories about favorite places. about holiday-houses at the côte d’azur and vineyards. about tending sheep and crément. with a lot of good tips in different cities, recipes for a gallic four-course meal and interviews with alfred grosser and charlotte ginsberg.
i read paradiso from the first page to the last and i can really recommend it! so go and get it.

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29/2013 image of the week: isn’t it?

July 19th, 2013 by Julia · image of the week, photography

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rough iceland invites to come over. are you in?

July 15th, 2013 by Julia · iceland, photography, reportage, the north






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28/2013 image of the week: Flat Iron

July 12th, 2013 by Jasime · image of the week, photography

Jasime El.

© Jasime El Ouali

Manhatten NYC, USA

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traveling pages: jon krakauer – into the wild

July 7th, 2013 by nina · books, review

jon krakauer
into the wild
first publication in 1996
translated in german, french, spanish, italian, portuguese, turkish and many more

it’s the true story about chris mccandless. a young, affluent college graduate from virginia who decided to leave his former life behind and started living as a dropout, try to equal his idols henry david thoreau and jack london and traveling through the usa with only a view things. he worked as a harvest hand and met a lot of people living in hippie collectives. every now and then he stayed away from the people discovering the wild with its beauty, eating fish and things the nature has to offer. after two years of peregrination chris decamped to the real wild in canada, fairly dewy-eyed without the most necessary items he left the civilization in april 1992. after some days he came across an old bus wreck which was going to be his home. september 6th a group of moose hunters found his about 20 days old corpse.

the story about chris mccandless shows the beauty of the pure nature, living an easy life without luxury and advantages. but it also shows its cruelties and the sacrifices you have to make. his death stays unresolved until today. krakauer abides to the assumption that chris died of poisoning because he ate the wrong plants. but the other, more likely cause of death would be starvation.

by jon krakauer’s book chris mccandless won notoriety. many young men emulate him traveling through alaska’s wild.
what should i say? it is a really good book, you need to read it. and there is this beautiful movie made by sean penn you shouldn’t miss too. the recordings of the landscape are just breathtaking. and it wouldn’t be a great movie without a great soundtrack. composed by pearl jam’s frontman eddie vedder the album is very atmospheric and moving.

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27/2013 image of the week: soap bubbles in venice

July 5th, 2013 by sophie · image of the week, italy, photography, venice

this picture was shot in venice in 2012. © by sophie daum

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