Alumni Relations Management

Quails in tropical forests, grandpa’s beard and rooftop whisperings – on a photo-safari at the InstaMeet by Kiel University

Social media and conveying knowledge - is that possible? Is it fun? You bet it is! At Kiel University, we work and study right by sandy beaches and the sea - surroundings which give ideas and knowledge exchange wings to fly. Living where other people go on holiday is an experience that you like to hold on to and share - especially in photos! read more

Same places, different perspectives

On the world’s largest social media and photo network, Instagram, we have been sharing moments for almost a year now, from life on the Kiel campus, showing special places in Kiel and Schleswig-Holstein. Together with Igerskiel, the local Instagram community, we are meeting today, 5 August 2017, for the first time with 15 students, alumni and hobby photographers from the region. At the so-called “InstaMeet”, we walk around together and take photographs on the University campus of the same places, but from different perspectives and angles. This allows us to experience our familiar surroundings in a new way and other viewpoints emerge! Aspects which also play an important role in science and research.

Fotografen im Gewächshaus
Photographers in the greenhouse (click to enlarge)Photo: M. Mika, Uni Kiel

What brings us together today?

A love of photography, the connection to Kiel and curiosity for the world around us. We start in the greenhouses at the Botanical Garden. Here, biology student Christian Langkabel takes us on a knowledgeable and extremely entertaining tour through the wonderful world of plants.  In the first greenhouse we are greeted immediately by a humid, tropical climate that makes the camera lenses steam up - but when surrounded by banana trees, bamboo, cocoa fruits and screeching birds, this special atmosphere produces amazing, slightly ghostly-seeming images. “The birds are quails,” explains Christian Langkabel. Quails in a tropical greenhouse - now that’s something you don’t hear every day!

Our photo-safari continues through the cloud forest greenhouse. Here, we see exotic red-eared terrapins and so-called grandpa’s beard - a type of fern which grows like a long Father Christmas beard and often causes power cuts in the USA, because it collects condensation and reflects the sunlight. Something else we didn't know before! Btw - did you know that there is a tree in Australia that protects itself from bush fires and whose permanently black leaf tips are the only parts that burn? Or that the seeds of the carob tree fruit always weigh 0.18 grams and are therefore used to determine the weight of diamonds (carat)? We stare in astonishment and take photographs. One of the visual highlights is the enormous Victoria water lily, which can carry a weight of almost 45 kg, and the titan arum, one of the world’s largest flowers. I happen to brush past a mimosa while taking a photo in the Viktoriahaus - and its leaves promptly roll up at my touch - and this is actually where the name for sensitive people comes from!

Ausblick über Kiel
View from the roof terrace of the University tower building (click to enlarge)Photo: M. Mika, Uni Kiel

High up over the roofs of Kiel

We then wander over the sunny campus grounds past the pond and back to the University tower building. There, we go up 14 floors to an exclusive inspection of the roof terrace, which offers a spectacular 360-degree panorama view across Kiel, right out to Laboe - and all under a bright blue sky today! From 55 metres up, we photograph the best views from all corners and angles, which you, FYI, can find on Instagram under the hashtag imkiel8, along with all the other pictures from the InstaMeet. Or have a look at the article about the event in the Kieler Nachrichten. At the small get together afterwards, more ideas are already forming for joint photography.

Perhaps you’ll come along next time?


Best wishes from the CAU

Unterschrift M. Mika

Mareike Mika M.A. 
Alumni Relations Management
Kiel University (CAU)


P.S.: @marcopolo71, a CAU alumnus, received a prize for his wicker beach chair photo which was the winner of the Igerskiel photo competition. Well done from us!