architecture, art, photography, technic, technical, travel, world

Weekly Photo Challenge: Object


This weeks photo challenge is quite hard: object!  Finding a tangible subject, that inspired me and is still the subject of my photo. 

I took one photo out of my series of abstract architecture, taken last summer. I guess, I didn’t show any of that series here.



landscape, photography, seasons, travel, world

Las Terrazas

600_6932-e_wLas Terrazas is a cuban community. After a deforestation the people build flat terraces in the sides of the hills and planted trees again. Now, the have forests again around their village. They can pay their living by the products of the forests without cutting trees and by showing their community and their achievements to visitors.

More on the plants, flowers and animals we saw on out guided tour through the hills, I’ll put in another post.

Take care.

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landscape, photography, seasons, travel, world

It’s green here

600_6718-s_wFirst stop: Artemisa.

This region is very green, but we had a slight problem with fresh water. You know, I mentioned it a several times, we were there during the dry season. So, the government was rationing the fresh water. From 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. there was no water. Nevertheless, the area was still very green and the plants seemed in proper shape, although the dry period lasted nearly 5 months already.

In case, you plan hiking trips, this could be the region to do so. Hills, forests, many birds make the area interesting.

Stay tuned for the next posts on this area.

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architecture, culture, landscape, photo-of-the-day, technic, world

Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge

dsc_9151-e_wI like the idea of Cee to organize an open photo challenge with only one topic: “way“. I found it the other day and got an immediate idea, of what to post. But, I spared it until today.

So, here is my contribution: Choose your way and choose it right. There are many options, but not every option leads you to your planed destination.

Take care!

culture, food, landscape, people, photography, travel, world

Heading back north

600_6786-ec_wWe started in Havana and went south after a few days. We saw many different cities and regions. We visited cities, historical places, beaches, mountainous regions and rural areas. In Santiago we reached the most southern point of our journey. When you look on your map, you’ll see, that there is another region left, where we weren’t until now: the north-west, west of Havana. So, we took a plane for a domestic flight from Santiago de Cuba back to Havana, to visit the remaining provinces Pinar del Rio and Artemisa. This time we arrived at another airport. Originally we arrived at José Marti International Airport, but this time we arrived at Ciudad Libertad. It’s smaller and less crowded.

Here in the north-west the areas are widely used for agriculture. Although we saw much agriculture in all parts of the country, I felt agriculture is a bit more present here in the north-west. Here you can find fields with sugar canes, rice, beans, manioc, pineapples, bananas, coffee, flowers and of course tabacco. We also found plantations growing flowers. Here they grew flowers, than I knew as indoor plants (i.e. the Amaryllis) or from exotic flower bouquets.

You know, we were in Cuba during the dry period. Here in the north-west we had some problems with water rationalisation. From 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. there was no drinking water available for taking a shower, cleaning your hands or using the toilet.

Take care!

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landscape, photography, seasons, travel

Weekend wanderings

600_4742-e3b2_w This weekend I was out with my camera at a location nearby, where I didn’t was before. I started a wonderful sunny weather, but after a 20 minute drive the sky was covered with thick gray clouds.  I started my walk anyway, to get familiar with that area.

At first I noticed, I parked my car too far away. There is another parking ground much closer. Next, because of the dark sky it was hard to photograph, because the exposure time was quite (too) long. Much too long for the geese and other birds I met.

For landscape photographs the sky wasn’t that attractive. But, for a first visit and to check the opportunities it was OK. Unfortunately another half an hour later it started raining quite hard and I was drenched when I arrived at my car.

As expected, the exposure times were way too long for the birds, even for those drifting with the slow flowing river. But some of the landscape photos were nice in black and white.

Black and white photos need structures in the subject, like in the photo above. The many twigs and branches of the tree, the other reed at the bank around as well as the plants on the hills behind bring back live in the photo. Also, the sky. The sky isn’t plain gray. It also has some structure in it. The clouds aren’t all of the same thickness. Some clouds are thicker than the surrounding ones. So, some are more opaque than other. This gives lighter and darker areas in the sky and makes it more interesting.

Next time, your outside with your camera at such gray weather, look for structures and give black & white photography a try.

Take care!

architecture, art, culture, food, landscape, photo-of-the-day, photography, travel, world

Weekly Photo Challenge: Window


Window is the subject of this weeks photo challenge at The Daily Post.

Window. What does this mean? Let’s have a look. Windows are everywhere. Your house base some. Your car, also. Busses, trains, shops or even log cabins. Windows let light in and let you view pass. You can easily look in or out. They connect, even when departed.

Sometimes a window is more than this: a mirror. In case you’re standing in the right direction, you can use a window as a mirror and be able to see in different levels. Count the levels. How much do you find?

Have fun!

art, culture, history, landscape, people, photography, travel, world

La cathedrale

600_6669-s_wde Santiago de Cuba.

Finally we were lucky enough to see a cuban cathedral from inside. One evening, when we came back to our hotel, I saw light from inside shining through the wide open door to the square below. Going upstairs we had to pass the beggars again. They started again following us through the cathedral and didn’t left us alone watching the paintings, the decorated ceiling and the other interior. Our guide advised us, don’t give them anything.

Half of the cathedral was closed with a wooden wall, because of reconstruction works. The cathedral was hard damaged by the hurricane Sandy in December 2012 as several other parts of the old-town, too.

Take care.

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culture, history, landscape, photography, technical, travel, world

Cee’s Black & White Challenge: Cars, Trucks, Motorcycles


Here is my contribution to Cee’s photo challenge for black and white images. This week she asked for cars and other transportation vehicles. I picked a photo of a steam train taken nearly two years ago.

I hope, you like it.

Have fun!

art, culture, landscape, meeting, people, photography, seasons, travel, world

Weekly Photo Challenge: beginning

600_0642-e_wThis year the people over at “The Daily Post” continue to organize their weekly photo challenges. This weeks subject is “beginning“, which fits perfectly to the first week of a new year.

I picked a photos taken at the very early morning when the ancient Greek goddess Eos (or Aurora for the Romans) were about to climb over the horizon and break the path for her brother Helios (or Sol for the Romans).

The photo is taken at 4:17 in the morning from a flying balloon. We started at 2:30 in the morning and enjoyed a very remarkable flight and the sunrise. I’d recommend to everyone, to get up very early and go out somewhere at a lake, a shore, on a hill or a mountain with free sight to the east to experience a sunrise. It’s a really unforgettable impression.

Take care!

architecture, culture, landscape, people, photography, travel, world

walking around in Santiago de Cuba

600_6606-e_wOnce, Santiago de Cuba was the capital of Cuba. But, the capital moved north to the new built city Havana back in 1552.

As you can see, Santiago is quite old. But, you can find less old buildings then in i.e. Trinidad. OK, you won’t find much modern building in the old town, but the majority of the buildings were built during the 19th and the early 20th century.

As I mentioned in my post on the island Granma in the bay of Santiago, the southern part of Cuba was affected very hard by the hurricane Sandy. And, although Sandy happened more than 3 month ago, we were still able to see, how much the city was affected. Many buildings were destroyed. some of them were only tentative repaired to give the inhabitants a roof. Others were so much affected, that the people set up tents inside the houses. Or put signs at the door, saying that there is still someone living.

Although, many houses are damaged, you can still see, once Santiago was rich. Now, it is quite different. Santiago was the only city where we were hassled by beggars. They even followed us constantly begging for money. In other cities we also met poor people. But, those tried to offer a value for the money. They tried to sell something like cigars, water or soft-drinks. They made music or offered services like guidance or recommending restaurants. But here they were only begging. Fortunately they didn’t departed much from the place Parque Cespedes and thus left us alone after a few minutes.

During our visit we were also affected by the national mourning because of the death of Hugo Chaves, the president of Venezuela. For 1 week all dancing shows and even music plays were forbidden. So, we missed nearly all of our visiting plans here in Santiago.

I, personally, won’t visit Santiago for a second time. There are other places that are more interesting.

Take care!

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culture, seasons

Happy New Year

dsc_6831_wfor everyone!

Many people use the beginning of a new year to negotiate some resolutions with themselves. Do you or did you?

Some want to stop smoking, others want to lose weight, learn another language, do more sports or spend more time
with the kids / family.

I usually don’t make such resolutions. I don’t need such an event for making plans for change. But for many people such New Year Resolutions are very helpful, although many of them fail. Why aren’t they successful? Often the resolutions are phrases up in a bad shape for being a resolution.

But what should one do, to make a resolution work? In case, you have a plan for a resolution, write it down, regardless when you get the idea. But, make it a goal!
For making a plan be a goal, you have to
– write it down
– keep a realistic timeline
– express it proof-able
– make a (realistic) plan, how you could reach the goal
– make a review appointment after half the time for adjustment purposes
– make another review appointment at the final date for proofing the goal

Here’s an example:
Say, you want to lose some weight. So, you shouldn’t say “I want to loose weight”. Instead you have to say “My goal is to lose 10 kg until easter”.  This is an example. You could certainly plan to lose 20 kg until the 1st of June. But keep it realistic. In case you have difficulties to estimate, what is realistic and what is too much, ask your friends, doctor or another advisor on that specific subject. Than write it down! Next write down the steps you want to execute to reach the goal. You could i.e. make appointments with yourself for a certain amount of time on certain times (i.e. every Monday and every Thursday at 6 p.m. go jogging for an hour) and record your status every month. Stay with your plan. Maybe you have to adjust some steps after some time. But try hard to stay on the line. At easter you could easily stop on your balance board to check your current weight and compare it to you starting weight. This it proofing your goal. Did you pass or did you fail? In case, you failed, how far away are you from your goal? What do you do now? Extend the time? Be satisfied by the reached result? Did you learn something during the time that is useful for the future? Write it down!

If you want to, you can use the space below to write about your resolutions. Do you make some, why and maybe which.

A new year is just like an empty sheet of paper. And it’s on you, what you’ll write on it. And next you can have a look back, and see what you have reached.

I assemble a book each year in December. A book containing the best photographs of that last year as an essence. Only about 40 – 60 photos out of 10,000.  My personal year in photographs. It’s an interesting way for a review.

Happy new year!