photo-of-the-day, photography

Monochrome Monday 9-02


Three weeks ago, while scouting a location, I saw these kite flyers. It was amazing to see them bringing their kites up in the air. Although there was not much wind the man in the middle didn’t have any problems bringing his kite up. The lady to the left, instead, struggled a lot. I don’t know anything about kiting, but I like watching them. So, I can’t tell, if it was a lack of physical power, less experienced, or simply bad luck. Apparently, the guy in the middle was waiting for her and while waiting he had to fight hard with his kite and the wind to avoid being lifted up.

The guy to the right came later. He was still preparing everything. Although his kite is already in the air, the kite wasn’t connected to his body. So, he was unable to start. He even didn’t have his security backpack pulled on.

Unfortunately. I wasn’t alone. So, I couldn’t wait long enough to see them in the air.

This plateau is about 100 meters above the ground. It’s a heap built from the dead rock remaining from digging for stone coal in the underground mines for centuries. As the mine is closed since 2001, the area is converted into a park. There’s a path around the heap. This path is about 6.4 kilometers long. The whole park is around 7.5 square kilometers in size and offers a lot to the people.

Although the park was opened to the public in 2011 and has a very interesting sun observatory to visit, I wasn’t there up to now. The main reason was, that the sun observatory was closed again only shortly after the opening because of construction problems. In a documentary I watched the week before the visit, I noticed a demonstration of a part of that observatory: the point for observing the solstice. Apparently, the film team got access to the closed area for that sequence or it was taken from their archive. What a pity. Next week, I showing you the observatory.

Take care!

art, landscape, nature, photo-of-the-day, photography, travel, world

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #199 – Mechanical/Industrial

OK, guys. Weekend! Time for my contribution to LAPC. This week John is our host. He went back the memory lane a couple decades and directs our view to the time when machines started to first accomplish and ease, and later replace human labor.

 

I guess, I have to pause the next two or three weeks for LAPC because I’m on a trip. My usual posts are prescheduled.

Take care!

photo-of-the-day, photography

Monochrome Monday 8-52

Wow! Another year of Monochrome images is over! Before starting the 9th year next week, I’m showing you my personal highlights from the last 52 weeks.

Deutzer Brücke, Cologne, Germany

 

Ghost Town, Kolmanskop, Namibia

 

stair case, Germany

 

Skógafoss, Iceland

 

ostrich

 

I didn’t order them for any purpose. I hope, you like the reminder.

 

Take care!

art, landscape, nature, photo-of-the-day, photography, travel, world

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #198 – Lights and Shadows

It’s Saturday again and while others are preparing for going to a party, I’m publishing a post for LAPC. It’s Patti’s turn this week.

We have a saying here “Wo Licht ist, ist auch Schatten” (Where there is light there is also shadow) and that’s definitely true. In photography as in painting, you can play with light and shadow. The human eye is always attracted by the bright parts of an image. Thus, you can use the shadow parts to may the main object pops out. The interaction between lights and shadows works in general best with black-and-white images, but also in color images it’s worth to have an eye on them.

A group of small decorative side towers at one of the towers of Colone’s cathedral at full moon. Here, the dark parts are the main subject also only seen as a silhouette.

During winter, the sun is able to paint wonderful structures on the ground.

This image taken in Sossusvlei is also a good example for what shadows can contribute to you final image.

Not only for abstract images, shadows can help making your main subject really key: the shadows in the back help this cheetah really popping out. Especially, because the low standing sun also models out his muscles.

Shadows can bring some depth in your architecture image. Especially for Lost-Places images this works well in monochrome and in color.

 

This is another example of very strong shadows. The sun was only able to enlight the top parts of the structures of a mountain side on Iceland.

This mushroom pops out from the dark surroundings. Although growing in the shadows, you can recognise it very well and the surroundings doesn’t distract form the main subject.

In this image, take a few weeks ago, the sun paints beautyfull patterns on the ground. The sun itself is positions near the sweet-spot (following the rule of thirds). In addition, the patterns are painting a positive diagonal from the lower left to the upper right and ends in the star-shaped sun. Thus, the patterns lead your view from the dark to the light.

The remaining two images are a bit different. Here we have a partial solar eclipse and total lunar eclipse. In the first one the moon is shadowing a part of the sun, while in the other image the moon crosses the earth shadow. In that image I put together 6 phases from the transition as well as the main image of the bloodmoon itself.

In case you’re interested in participating in this challenge either once or on a regular basis, check out this post published by Amy to learn about the rules and where to find the weekly topic.

Take care!

flowers, photography, spring, world

Throwback Thursday: A blue morning

Last week on Saturday morning, my alarm clock rang very early again: at 4:30. Many people don’t like getting up so early. They even don’t like getting up earlier than necessary or earlier than on a weekday morning. Me, usually, too. But, sometimes, the plans say different. So, this weekend: getting up early, drinking one coffee, having a shower, and jumping in the car.

Depending on the general temperatures of spring, around mid-April, the bluebells start blooming and their blooming time only lasts about 3-4 weeks. They depend on loose and nutrient-rich soil and must not become overgrown with bushes. The flowering cycle must be finished before the canopy of the surrounding deciduous trees closes and no light reaches the ground anymore. Although they were very common in Europe after the last ice age, they are very rare now, except in England and Wales. This small (tiny) forest is about 1,5 hour’s drive away from my home. Thus, I had to get up early if I want to be there at sunrise. And it’s only a very small timeslot to find rich blooming ground as well as not too dense foliage.

This forest is a nature-protected area. So, leaving the few paths is not allowed. I’m fine with that rule. But, there are many others not caring about it. The locals usually complain about the reckless visitors. When I was there for the first time, besides me only a few joggers were passing by. During my second visit, 10-15 photographers were also there, most of them equipped with apparently good equipment and a tripod. But, they should know better. When walking through the flowers to get ‘better’ spots / sights, they are trampling down the flowers and compacting the ground to make it next year harder for the flowers to breakthrough. They withdraw their energy into the onions. When I was there last year for my third visit, only very few flowers were blooming. Because of the cold weather, nature was way behind normal development. This year the timing was perfect. Many, many blooming flowers were covering the forest ground. Even from the parking ground about approximately 200 m away as the bird flies, I was able to see the blue glowing in the forest. And only a couple of quite well-behaving dog photographers (dog among the bluebells) were there. But, it was still quite full for the small area.

In the end, I was back at home at about 10:00. Time for breakfast!.

Take care

 

 

art, landscape, nature, photo-of-the-day, photography, travel, world

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #192 – Rule of Thirds

It’s Saturday and therefore it’s time for The Lens-Artist’s Photo Challenge. It’s Tina’s turn to challenge us this week. And it’s again a quite technical challenge. She calls for images demonstrating the “Rule of Thirds”.

To understand, what “Rule of Thirds” means, think of 2 horizontal and 2 vertical lines parting your image into 9 equal-sized rectangles. The most important part of the image should be places on one of the 4 points, where a horizontal and a vertical lines are crossing each other. In the screenshot below of an unedited image, I switched on showing these lines. Some cameras are even able to show these lines either in your view-finder or on the big display. Even many smartphones have the ability to help you get more interesting images by overlaying these lines while taking your images.

You don’t need to have your main subject exactly on one of these points. It’s not always possible. But, it gives you a valuable hint for getting better images. And, it’s so easy to incorporate.

Below, you can find some more examples from my archive from different genres.

 

Don’t get me wrong, following this rule is not a force. It’s a good rule, even many of the old and now-famous painters followed them. But, there are some cases, where it is necessary to break the rule. But, that’s for another post 🙂

My advice for a beginner: stay with the rules until it becomes natural for you, to see the world that way. Then begin to experiment by breaking the rule intentionally and knowing the exact reason why it is necessary to break them in a certain image to reach the next level of photography.

Take care!

photography, spring, world

Throwback Thursday: Rewarded!

I assume, most of us like sleeping a bit longer on weekends or public holidays. Me, too. But, sometimes certain ideas require something else.

The week before Easter, I got a hint about a special occasion on Holy Saturday morning in Cologne. Cologne is not that far away, only a nearly 1-hour drive. So, I set my alarm clock for 4:00 a.m. When it rang, I got up and checked the sky if stars were visible. They were. So, starting the coffee maker was the next step before heading to the shower. Less than half an hour later, I sat in the car heading to Cologne.

Unfortunately, there were a few fleecy clouds between me and my target. Nevertheless, the results are quite satisfying, except for the black sky. Approximately 20-30 minutes later, the sky would have been perfect.

I gave it a second try on Easter Sunday morning, but now, the moon went down in a different position, so the composition wasn’t possible anymore. According to the source of the hint, this image is possible only once a year. So, Easter Sunday was already too late. The last image is taken on Easter Sunday morning, the others are from Holy Saturday.

Take care