Travel Tuesday: I’m back …

Last week I was on Helgoland again. For the third time (after 2011 and 2016), I met with some friends in January on Helgoland.

You could ask, why I travel to the North Sea in mid winter. It’s dark, wet, cold and the sea is rough. Only very few people find their way to Helgoland during winter. In summer, it’s a destination for yachtsmen and day tourists for duty-free shopping. But, in winter?????

We’re going there for seeing nature, animals (birds and seals). The grey seals get their babies during winter. While the first wild grey seal was born in winter 1996/97, there were about 100 babies in 2011. 2016 there were already more than 316 and this year more than 426 babies from October 1st until January, 21st (when we left Helgoland).

The baby in the above image was born only a few hours ago.

Although, these animals look so cute. Keep in mind, they are the most dangerous animal in Germany. A male wights up to 300 kg and is much quicker on the beach than a human. So, many signs advise the visitors to pay much attention and keep a distance of at least 30 m between you and a seal. Winter is not only the season for giving birth, it’s als mating season. So, you can also see some fights between the adults (also there are fewer fights in January, because both, birth and mating season have reached their end).

Fortunately, most of the visitors behave good. But, every time you can see some people behaving very bad: going too close, standing between mother and baby, standing between animal and the see and so on. You got the picture. I guess, one day a seal could attach such a rude and ruthless human and I fear, that animal will be killed because of that. Next, they will be declared as too dangerous, and no-one will be allowed to visit them so easy.

During the 1970 they were completely exterminated in the whole Deutsche Bucht (German Bight). From the late 1980s they re-conquered a sandbank near Amrum. That sandbank became a bridgehead for repopulating the German Bight again. Recently, I saw a report saying there were more than 12,000 grey seals in the German Bight again.

Seals don’t attack humans. As long as you keep the distance, they stay calm. They look at you when you come nearer to check up the situation, but calm down again very easy. When they think, they are in danger, they start to hiss loud and show their teeth. A male might try to come a bit nearer to you (a few steps), but generally they tend to flee instead to attack.

Take care!

P.S. when interested, I could help you to arrange a visit next winter 🙂

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Monochrome Madness 4-39

 

This is my contribution to Monochrome Madness organized by Leanne Cole. Look at her site on Thursday (Australian time), to see many more monochrome images created by many other talented photographers from all over the world.

I’d also encourage you to participate. The conditions are  published in each of her Monochrome Madness posts.

Take care!

Throwback Thursday: Yearbook

Last week, I mentioned my yearbook. Today, I want to tell you, how to create one 🙂

Each December, I copy all of my edited / developed images from the past 12 months into one folder of my hard-disk and rename them to have a naming schema YYYYMMDD-HHmmss- in front of the original file name. Next, I remove all tags and stars from them by using a light-table software to have no filtering at all. Now, I can flip though all of my images and give them stars again. Starting with 1 star for the outstanding images. After that, I can filter again and select all images with 1 star and start again flipping though the already marked images and give a second star to the outstanding images. Repeating this three times I got the top images marked with 5 stars.

You can also ask someone for help: a friend or a family member. But, what are the  quality characteristics? An images must be sharp (expect, you’re looking for a kind of abstract images), well exposed (having details in the highlights as well as in the dark shadows), a balances horizon and have a good composition. Although, inexperienced people can’t name, why an image is better than another image, they are often able to rank them.

What does good composition mean? It’s not that easy. You can study for years to try to learn what composition mean. Different teachers stress different aspects. But, there are a few basic rules. Instead of writing my own thesis on this, I have a link to Wikipedia for you as an entry point.

Now, that you have a selection of your images taken during the last 12 months, you can start composing the book.

Here you have several options as well. I’d recommend, first finding a print shop and use their software for composing the book instead of creating a pdf and upload the final pdf. Try to tell a story in your book and align the images along that story. You could i.e. order the images chronologically (like a trip through the year), by topic (flowers, animals, landscapes, people, still-lifes, macro, …. ) or by the main color of the images (reds, yellows, greens, blues, monochromes and in-between the mixed colors like purple, orange, turquoise and so on to describe the whole rainbow in your book).

Don’t put too many images on one pages. Keep it simple. Your yearbook is the gallery of the best images of the year. Thus, put only one image in landscape format or max two images in portrait format on one page. Or one image in landscape mode on the left page and 4 complementary images in landscape mode on the right page. (i.e. a big landscape and 4 details in that certain landscape). Pay attention to have the images of the same size throughout the whole book. That makes the book look more even. Look for matching or complementary images on the two pages laying side-by-side. Choose a neutral background color for the pages like white, black or a grey tone and keep this color for the whole book. Don’t use cliparts and big texts. When necessary use a simple and neutral font like Helvetica, Times or Courier in sizes up to 10 point for regular text and 12 point for headlines (that’s bigger than in your newspaper! – try it with your home printer for a single page).

When you need an advice for a certain kind of software for any of the above tasks, drop me a note and I’m going a bit more in detail and name the software I’m using.

Take care!

 

Monochrome Madness 4-38

 

This image is from January 2011. It’s taken on Helgoland. While you’re reading this, I’m on Helgoland again. It’s mid winter here and I’m here with a few friends. Helgoland isn’t faced with snow very often.

Once, these booths were used by fishermen during the lobster season for their seasonal workers to sleep here. Nowadays, you find a bar, an information center, shops and so on.

This is my contribution to Monochrome Madness organized by Leanne Cole. Look at her site on Thursday (Australian time), to see many more monochrome images created by many other talented photographers from all over the world.

I’d also encourage you to participate. The conditions are  published in each of her Monochrome Madness posts.

Take care!