architecture, culture, history, landscape, photo-of-the-day, photography, seasons, travel, world

Monochrome Madness 31

600_3897-scb2_wToday’s photo for Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness was processed in this quite antique style primarily last year, when I developed all my photos taken in Cuba.

In my opinion, this style fits wonderful to the old car in the foreground and the iconic metal decoration of Che Guevara, here at the Ministry of the Interior in Havana.

Take care!


An unexpected symbol

anniversary-1xWhen I checked my blog a few minutes ago, I got aware of a new symbol in the upper right corner, where usually a white star or a white bubble underlayed with orange waits for me and notifies me about likes or comments.
This time the symbol of a goblet got my attention. It was the notification of the 4th birthday of my blog.

Over the years I wrote 444 posts (this included). 289 people are following my blog here at and left 1,183 comments and much more left likes. Many others are also following and commenting on Facebook or on Google+, where my posts are cross-posted and there is an unknown number of followers via RSS. I also received some award nominations. Thank you very much!

Thus, I want to thank you, my dear followers, for your feedback and your loyalty. That’s what motivates me keeping this blog running and writing new posts on a regular basis.

Take care.

art, culture, people, travel, world

Street Art in Duesseldorf

600_0815-c_wYesterday afternoon I attended a very interesting guided tour on local street art. I got aware of this offer a few days ago and decided to go. The tour was led by an artist with detailed know-how on the certain kinds of art, as well as the artists, people like  Pixelpancho, Mayo Brothers, Findag or Harald Naegeli, the sprayer from Zurich.

Street art is much more than simply polluting walls with ugly colors. Indeed, graffiti is a certain part of street art, but there is much more.  Some pieces are very big and are to oversee, other small and hidden. Some are made of spray colors, other similar to wallpapers, others of plastic foils and some woolen knitted art. So, interesting.

I attached a (quite big) gallery. Although I reduced the selection, it is still big. My aim was, to show different kinds of art as well as different artists and a few details from the facade paintings.

I knew some of the facade paintings before, and I know, there are some more. It’s kind of hard to find them again, after passing by without taking a photo. So, I took the opportunity to see some more and I wasn’t disappointed. I hope, to find some more on my own soon.

As usual, you can click on the photos to enlarge them and browse through easily.

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: nighttime

dsc_0332-e_wFor this weeks photo challenge at The Daily Post Ben called for night shots.

I really, really love night shots, thus I have lots of them and it’s kind of hard for me to pick one, and only one to show here.

Take care!

architecture, art, culture, meeting, people, photo-of-the-day, photography, seasons, travel, world

Casa Batlló

600_7240-s_wCasa Batlló is another building constructed by Antonio Gaudi and not far away from Casa Milà. Although it’s definitely worth a visit from inside, I wasn’t. One of our group, who already knew Casa Milà, visited Casa Batlló, while we were in Casa Milà.

Although all entrance fees are high in Barcelona, Casa Bathlló has the highest fee of all. Be prepared, to spend a lot of money on entrance fees.

– Palau de Música 18,00€
– Casa Milà (La Pedrera) 16,50€
– Casa Batlló 21,50€
– La Sagrada Familia  16,30 + tower 3,00€ €
– Park Güell  8,00€

And, although the entrance fees are so high, they are full of people. So, you better come early and be in place before opening. You also better buy your tickets in advance, wherever possible. The most crowded place was La Sagrada Familia, where the queue in front of the cashiers was several hundred meters long. Also at Park Güell, where we had to wait in queue for an hour or so and only got tickets allowing to enter about 1,5 hours later.

We were here in early March. How about in typical travel times? I won’t imagine this.

Take care!

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architecture, history, landscape, photo-of-the-day, photography, seasons, travel, world

Monochrome Madness 30


Silver Efex Pro (Stand Alone)
Silver Efex Pro (Stand Alone)

Another Tuesday and another photo for Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness. I picked this photo of hazelnuts I took last week. Currently we have lots of hazelnuts in our garden. Most of them are already laying on the ground waiting to be collected.

Today’s post is a little bit different, because I let different kind of imaging software run against each other. So, who are the competitors?

First of all: my regular raw developing software Capture NX2 for the color image. It’s the source for this comparison and you can see it at the end of this post.  I also used it for a first monochrome conversion, although I usually don’t use this feature of Capture NX2.

Next, my favorite bw-tool Nik Silver Efex Pro 2. In this comparison I used it twice: the plugin for Photoshop CS6 and the standalone version.

The third competitor is (at least for me) the new kid on the block: MacPhun Tonality Pro, that is also usable as a stand-alone software and as a plugin for Photoshop.

The last competitor is Photoshop CS6 without any plugin.

There are really huge differences between the competitors. While Nik can only work with TIF or JPG-Images, Tonalitiy Pro is able to handle Photoshop PSD files as well as native Nikon and Canon Raw files. So, you don’t need another kind of software for your raw development. Another pro for Tonality Pro is the native file format, that stores your complete history with layers just like Photoshop would do. Silver Efex Pro depends on Photoshop for this. Thus, running the standalone version is only a quick-fix-tool. For a straight workflow you definitely need Photoshop and run Silver Efex Pro as a plugin.

Native Photoshop is in my opinion the weakest conversion. Silver Efex and Tonality, both produce very good results with only minimal differences.

Both, Silver Efex Pro and Tonality Pro, come with a bunch of presets organized in several groups. And both can save your own presets. But only Tonality Pro can handle RAW files, can save your editing history and does not depend on Photoshop.

Just in case you want to produce high quality monochrome versions of your photos, I’d recommend giving Tonality Pro a try. There’s a demo version available for free.



Take care!


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

Weekly Photo Challenge: endurance

This weeks photo challenge at The Daily Post is called “endurance”.600_9867-ec_w

From the beginning of this planet and as long as it remains, the sky will endure.  Oceans might drain and mountains fall and decay when men go on with their disastrous behavior. The air might be contaminated and polluted, but the sky will remain.

Take care!