Masked ball in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea
© Meiko Herrmann

Always in pursuit of the next intriguing story, our reporters and photographers attended parties in the desert, climbed up mountains and took to the skies in balloons and atop airplanes. Twenty journalists share their most vivid memories.

Masked ball in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea

Masked ball in Mount Hagen, Papua New Guinea

© Meiko Herrmann

Photographer Meiko Herrmann
Reporter Adrian Pickshaus:

“Every year, the tribes of the island country come together for a dance contest. It’s a chaotic spectacle that attracts some 50 000 visitors. Having the best sense of rhythm isn’t the main issue here – it’s all about the masks, the makeup and the costumes: the more colorful, the better! ”

A culinary melting pot in Jerusalem, Israel

A culinary melting pot in Jerusalem, Israel

© Malte Jäger

Photographer Malte Jäger
Reporter Vanessa Schlesier:

“What the Azura on ­Mahane Yehuda Market plates up is an appetizing mix of Levantine specialties, Jewish and Arab traditions and the history of a city thousands of years old. As well as preparing old standards according to Turkish family recipes that go back as far as the Bible, the Azura also includes new interpretations of old favorites on its menu.”


 

A fairy-tale palace in Agra, India

A fairy-tale palace in Agra, India

© Michael Peuckert

Reporter Anuradha Hanig
Photographer Michael Peuckert:

“I was here shooting the palaces of the moguls, the rulers of ancient India. The rising sun had just transformed Agra Fort into an entrancing scene straight from an oriental fairy tale, when suddenly a horde of monkeys stormed the balcony and set upon my camera equipment with their long fingers and sharp teeth.”


 

Dancing out of the past in Kosovo

Dancing out of the past in Kosovo

© Meiko Herrmann

Reporter Florian Sanktjohanser
Photographer Meiko Herrmann:

“We met this folk dancer in the mountains on her way to a festival in Albanian national costume. She was happy to be able to ­celebrate her traditions openly.”

Ballooning in Bagan, Myanmar

Ballooning in Bagan, Myanmar

© Chiara Luxardo

Photographer Chiara Luxardo
Reporter Laslo Seyda:

“The balloonists in Myanmar sail above the famous temples of Bagan in their baskets. It was my first trip in a balloon, and the view was amazing. Up in the air, there wasn’t the slightest breeze, not a whine or a whistle. We were completely at one with the wind.”


 

Stand-up flying in Gloucestershire, ­England

Stand-up flying in Gloucestershire, ­England

© Jens Görlich

Reporter Tim Cappelmann
Photographer Jens Görlich:

“I’ve taken photos in all kinds of crazy situations and would love to have gone for a ride high above the ground on the wing of a biplane like reporter Tim Cappelmann did here. Sadly, I wasn’t even allowed to try the stunt because I weighed one good kilo too many.”


 

Together at daybreak in Tankwa Karoo National Park, South Africa

Together at daybreak in Tankwa Karoo National Park, South Africa

© Malte Jäger

Reporter Sara Mously
Photographer Malte Jäger:

“A sweltering heat hung over the desert, dust was everywhere, including in my eyes – and still the ­AfrikaBurn was the best festival I have ever been to. People are friendly and helpful and hugs are the only currency because you cannot spend any money there. One day I will definitely go back– not to work, but to party.”

Topsy turvy world in Aarhus, Denmark

Topsy turvy world in Aarhus, Denmark

© Gerald Hänel

Photographer Gerald Hänel
Reporter Bernd Hauser:

“Aarhus is exceptionally friendly even by Danish standards. It’s a young, modern city whose citizens are confidently going about shaping their future. In 2017, as a European Capital of Culture, Aarhus will be showing the world what it has to offer, such as the Magic Mushrooms installation showing at the Dokk1 culture center – a city turned on its head.”


 

Sleeping with the fishes in Cancún, Mexico

Sleeping with the fishes in Cancún, Mexico

© Jason deCaires Taylor

Photographer Jason deCaires Taylor
Reporter Emily Bartels:

“Sculptor Jason ­deCaires Taylor sends his concrete figures to the bottom of the sea, where they form artificial reefs and a habitat for marine creatures. The man in the picture stands on the ocean bed off Cancún, Mexico. His closed eyes make him look as though here, underwater, he can finally breathe freely.”


 

In search of self-knowledge in Chiang Mai, Thailand

In search of self-knowledge in Chiang Mai, Thailand

© Aaron Joel Santos

Photographer Aaron Joel Santos
Reporter Sascha Borrée:

“The expats you meet in Chiang Mai are not what you would expect. Instead of working at international corporations for a hefty salary, they are here to work on themselves, and study Thai boxing, dance therapy, macrobiotics and Buddhist meditation.”

Hiking toward heaven in Hong Kong, China

Hiking toward heaven in Hong Kong, China

© Fabian Weiss

Photographer Fabian Weiss
Reporter Jenni Roth:

“Hong Kong is a concrete and glass behemoth – a city of banks and skyscrapers, replete with shopping malls and neon signs and elevators that climb to the clouds! But nature beckons just beyond the urban sprawl.After only an hour’s climb, you’ll find yourself perched high above the concrete ocean.”


 

Trial by fire in Kila Raipur, India

Trial by fire in Kila Raipur, India

© Meiko Herrmann

Photographer Meiko Herrmann
Reporter Sara Mously:

“Every February, the unassuming little village of Kila Raipur becomes an important sports venue, attracting athletes ready to compete in taekwondo and wrestling, but also motorcycle stunts and truck unloading contests. Farmers, school children and office workers prepare for months for this big sports event.”


 

Street workout in Harlem, New York, USA

Street workout in Harlem, New York, USA

© Dustin Aksland

Reporter Emily Bartels
Photographer Dustin Aksland:

“We were just about to do a shoot inside a restaurant in the heart of Harlem when through the window, I saw this gentleman doing pull-ups on a busy street. I walked across to talk to him and he told me he worked out with the crossing signal and the trash can on this corner every day.”

Gentle giants off the coast of Florida, USA

Gentle giants off the coast of Florida, USA

© Julian Walter

Photographer Julian Walter
Reporter Florian Sanktjohanser:

“The manatee was enormous, its tail fin split by an encounter with a boat. Cool as a cucumber, it bobbed up and down in the water and let us swim up close. We stayed very still so as not to frighten it. All of a sudden, the manatee swung around in my direction and stared at me with its button eyes.”


 

Lord of the flies at Lake Starnberg in Germany

Lord of the flies at Lake Starnberg in Germany

© Lothar Schiffler

Text and photo Lothar Schiffler (photographer):

“My wife and I were once eating dinner at Lake Starnberg in Bavaria when we saw a group of mayflies perform a near-perfect sine wave over the water. The flies were considerate enough to be dancing right near the restaurant terrace where I happened to have my camera equipment handy. To make the flight patterns of birds or insects visible, I lay the individual images I take with my high-speed camera on top of each other.”


 

The treasure of Lalibela, Ethiopia

The treasure of Lalibela, Ethiopia

© Kirsten Milhahn


Text and photo
Kirsten Milhahn:

“Asheten Mariam stands high in the mountains, 3150 meters above sea level. During a tour of the 800-year-old monastery, my guide, a priest, suddenly disappeared behind a heavy wooden door in the chapel and reappeared with this sacred artifact: the life of the Virgin Mary written down on ox-hide 600 years ago.”

Shrimp run in the mudflats of Wremen, Germany

Shrimp run in the mudflats of Wremen, Germany

© Heike Ollertz

Photographer Heike Ollertz
Reporter Tim Cappelmann:

“Twice a day during low tide, shrimp fisher Erhard Djuren used to drive out with his dogs, Beppo, Donna and Felix, to empty his traps – even if that meant collecting his catch at night. He’s retired now and to my knowledge hasn’t yet found anyone to replace him. I briefly considered applying for the job myself.”


 

Keep smiling on Jeju Island, South Korea

Keep smiling on Jeju Island, South Korea

© Jens Boldt

Photographer Jens Boldt
Reporter Sören Kittel:

“Jeju is an island for lovers and newlyweds. It’s also where I learned that in South Korea, you can never claim that anything ever happened unless you have a photo to prove it. Everywhere we went, we encountered young people dancing, bathing and feeding each other ice cream – while documenting every move. A dream vacation meant to be shared!”


 

Comic relief in Brussels, Belgium

Comic relief in Brussels, Belgium

© Peter Bialobrzeski

Photographer Peter Bialobrzeski
Reporter Andreas C. Knigge:

“Many a comic book story began life in Brussels – including André Geerts’ ‘Jojo. Le Temps des copains’. Since 1991, Franco-Belgian artists’ works have been immortalized on the city’s facades (some 60 motifs so far). In 2015, Ralf König was the first German to join them.”

Hospitality writ large in Georgia

Hospitality writ large in Georgia

© Fabian Weiss

Reporter Pia Volk
Photographer Fabian Weiss:

“The WiFi connection was bad and the toilet paper was all gone, but the Tusheti region of Georgia, around 2300 meters above sea level, has very different things to offer. We encountered incredible hospitality and a star-studded night sky that moved us with wonder. ”