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

Weekly Photo Challenge: descent

600_6394-ep_wThis weeks photo challenge at The Daily Post is called “descent”.

I picked this photo, taken in Castillo del Morro / Castillo San Pedro de la Roca above the entry to the Bahia de Santiago de Cuba, because of the nice view from above. This is the view, the Spanish soldiers have had, when on guard to watch for the pirates of the Caribbean in order to prevent attacks.

Take care and beware of the pirates!

architecture, art, culture, history, photography, travel, world

The Christmas Front of La Sagrada Familia

600_7419-e_wThe Christmas Front was the first of the four fronts, to be finished.

This is one of the side entrances to the church. This entrance is for guided groups. The entrance for the common people is on the opposite side.

I really advise you, to buy your tickets in advance to avoid the enormous queues at the cashier desks. When we arrived at about 8:30h the queue already surrounded one side of  church, approximately 300-400m. (And we were there on early March!). Our tickets were for 9:00h, so we passed the queues and went straight to the entrance on the Easter side, opposite to the Christmas side.

I’ll show some more details from the Easter side in my next post. The Christmas front is rich decorated with small and filigree details. Very hard to take photos of these details because of its size and the distance.

The both finished fronts are completely different. Not only in their theme, but also in the sculpturing style. Both of them are fantastic.

Antonio Gaudi was inspired by organic structures. Leaves, animals, shells, trees, fruits, flowers and many other organic structures gave him ideas for modeling his buildings. You can find all of those structures in nature.

Take care!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

Monochrome Madness 35

600_2312-he-scbx_wIt’s Tuesday afternoon and thus it’s time to prepare for Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness.

Today I have a beautiful photo for you, taken last week in Belgium. It’s taken near sunset while low tide. As you can see, the off-running water left some poodles and moisty sand. Not much water, but enough to be a mirror to the sky.

For this photo I took two shots with a difference of two EVs. Although the sensors of current cameras are highly developed and cope with high contrasts and high dynamic ranges very good, they are weak compared to analog film or the human eye. I found a post on an Austrian web site on this, saying: While our eye is able to cover a range of about 14 f-stops, the (professional) SLR reach 10, high-quality Point-and-Shoot cameras 8.5 – 9 and a print only 5 f-stops. The dynamic range of analog film differs a bit from 8 to 10 depending on the manufacturer and the film type (negative film or slide film).

So, this technic (called bracketing) helps me, to capture the highlights as well as the lowlights. this means, I get, in this case, two photos covering the whole range. Now, the two photos have to be integrated into one.

First I developed both photos in CaptureNX2 (my RAW-Converter), made my usual adjustments and exported them to TIF. Next I assembled the two TIF-Files with HDR efex for not loosing any of the highlights or the darks. Here comes another export to TIF. Next I converted it twice with MacPhun Tonality Pro basing on different presets. Although I liked both results, I wasn’t completely satisfied with the results. So, I decided to add another step and made a pseudo HDR from both of the monochrome TIFs, by keeping the ground from the first conversion and the sky from other one. The last step was the conversion to JPG.

Take care!

Btw. I’d encourage you to give it a try. You can download a trial version for free and you can also use a 10% discount by using this code: solaner10

art, General

A new theme

Today I changed my blog theme after 1,5 years.

Instead of ‘notepad’ I now use the theme ‘Abel’. I like a clear style with columns. And I also like having all those buttons below each post and always accessible for the reader. On the other hand, neither the buttons, nor the categories and tags should eat up notably room. The content is the main part of each post, and not the administration data and metadata.

As far as I can see, all the functionality is still there, but the look is fresher. Both columns changed position, to give more room to the content in the main column, when the browser windows gives the space.

What do you think? Do you like the new style?

Take care!

photography

macphun Focus for free

Yesterday evening I got aware of an interesting offer for photographers:
macphun is giving away their Focus for Mac (standard, MAS version) for free this week & till the end of October.
You can do a lot with Focus. Easily highlight the most important subject in your photos, add a professional look to portraits, enhance landscapes, create miniature masterpieces & more.
Mac users should visit www.macphun.com/getfocus and order a copy. Everything is quite simple and straightforward.
Focus is also good as a stepping stone for an upgrade to Pro or the Creative Kit Plus at a reduced price. So, don’t miss your chance!

art, culture, landscape, Music, people, photo-of-the-day, photography, travel, world

Weekly Photo Challenge: Cover Art

lp_wThis weeks photo challenge at The Daily Post is called “Cover Art”.

This time, they ask for our creative mind. Everyone should create a book-, magazine- or record cover. Every now and than I do so with one of my model photos just for fun. Thus I already have some photos in my box, that would probably fit in here. I decided for this record cover and I hope, you all like it.

Take care!

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

La Sagrada Familia

600_7409-s_wThis iconic cathedral is, although not finished, probably the best known symbol of Barcelona.  It’s also designed by Antonio Gaudi and, in my humble opinion,  his real masterpiece! This church is really adorable! I’ll show more of this fantastic building in my next posts.

This photo is taken from one of the two small parks beside the church. We were on location early to get a good spot. But, unfortunately they forgot to switch on the lights in time. Instead of getting photos of the illuminated church at twilight, we only got them at black night. How disappointing.

Antonio Gaudi died in 1926 because of an accident. The people at Barcelona tried to finish the cathedral, but without plans and the genius architect, it was nearly impossible. Thus, the works stopped quite often and were stopped completely in 1935.

Although many people voted to leave the ruin alone or to remove it completely, they started another try to finish the cathedral during the preparation for the 1992 Olympic Games. And it makes a good progress. Entrance fees are used to continue building the cathedral and back in 2010 they reached a point, that the cathedral was able to be sanctified.

There is a hope, to get it finished until 2026 (the 100th anniversary of Antonio Gaudi’s death), because of the good progress. We will see.

Take care!

 

art, culture, landscape, photography, travel, world

I’m back …

600_2370-e2_w… from the beautiful Belgian coast in West-Flandern.

OK, those of you familiar with the Belgian coast might say – uhhh, ugly, all those high buildings right next to the beach. And they are right. But every now and then, there are big holes between the building rows, where you have natural dune areas. The beach itself is everywhere broad and equipped with fine sand.

Although we have fall now and weather is becoming worse. Hard rain and strong winds are preparing us for the upcoming winter with darkness, coldness, ice and snow. So, why going on a beach trip in this season? I love the ocean, the beach, the special light and clearness in the sky at a shore and the sound of waves, wind and seagulls.

Here we have a kids story of some mice. They all live together and work together. They are working hard during summer and fall to collect fruits, nuts and other seeds to stock them for the winter. But, one of the mice didn’t work. She sits around and watches the sky and the sun, listens to the birds, the bees, the crickets and the soft wind in the grass. During fall she also watches the colorful leaves. She was asked by the others, what she is doing. She was supposed to help collecting stocks for the winter. But, she answered, that she is working. She is collecting colors, smells, noises and memories. And when the winter comes, she is the one who is able to tell the other mice about spring, summer and fall. She entertains the other ones and keep their memories fresh. She also encourages the other mice to endure until next spring.

I also catch memories. I catch them in my photos.  Many of them are here in my blog. Feel free, to click back in time to see them. Nearly every single post has several of them.

Back to Belgium: I already developed a few of the photos. So, today I can show you some of them. I picked the most colorful ones for you and hope, you like them as much as I do.

All theses photos were taken during the last bright hours of the days. I started at about 6 p.m. and lasted until around 7:30 p.m with a sunset at around 6:55 p.m. Most of the photos were taken with a tripod and a ND-filter.

Take care and remember, there is always a sunny day after the stormy ones.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: refraction

600_6708-e_wThis weeks photo challenge at The Daily Post is called “refraction”.

Water, plants, ice, volcanos or earthquakes  are natural cases, that have huge refracting powers.

I picked this photo from Iceland for this challenge to show the power, nature has. It’s a valley made by tectonic movements. The small black dots right to the river are hikers!

Although, rock and stone seem so solid, but they have to give room, when mother nature comes and forces it.

Take care!

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

Park Güell – Inside the monument zone

600_7681-e_wAs I mentioned in my last post, I focus on the monument zone of Park Güell in Barcelona.

We started at the terrace and enjoyed the fantastic view over the city down to the ocean. Although it was extremely crowded we were lucky enough to get a free spot on the bench that surrounds the terrace.

It was also very hard to get a chance to photograph the tiled lizard fountain, the well-known emblem of the park. The pillar halls, planed for being a market place, were less crowded. Most people were interested in the tiled terrace bench and the lizard fountain.

For me, it was nice having been there and a fulfillment of a long-lasting dream. But, I won’t go again. It’s small, expensive and crowded. A Barcelona visit won’t be complete without this visit. But, there are other spots being worth a second visit, this not – sorry!

So, decided yourself!

Take care!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

art, history, photo-of-the-day, photography, technical, travel, world

Monochrome Madness 33

dsc_8847-e2_wbIt’s fall here. Leaves are getting colorful before falling down and making the street slippery.  Mist is able to give landscapes a certain dreamy and unreal atmosphere. Having these ideas in mind, I picked this photo from may archive. It’s taken at the beach in Belgium 3 years ago in the evening hours of a hot and sunny summer day. It is one of the passages to the beach.

Photography is literally painting with light. Different light situations result in different color moods in the photos. Although post processing is quite easy nowadays, compared to the situation back in film days, you can’t modify the ambience and the mood freely. You still depend on the natural light conditions and have to keep the impact on the final photo  in mind.

For this photo I have had a low standing sun in my back to the right giving me long shadows and wonderful enlightened dune grass. The sky in the background was covers slightly with fleecy cloud. The slightly overcasted sky gave me distinct, but not hard, shadows. Combined with the small field of depth and the decreasing grass in the background I got a nice looking evening photo of the dune with a feeling of great depth.

But, this is my contribution to Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness. Thus I took the photo back to the lab and processed it again. Because of the already existing mood, I felt, a slightly overexposed processing (called highkey) would perfectly support this mood and here we are.

I used MacPhun’s Tonality Pro for this photo. The base was a preset called “overexposed” from the Base-Group of presets and from that starting point I modified the settings, to get my final image. I hope, you like it!

Take care!

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

My Iceland calendars are also available at the stores

uk-cover

There are also calendars available with photos taken on Iceland. Here are the ISBN numbers for ordering the 2015 calendars showing some impressions of the fantastic landscapes of southern Iceland. They are available in 4 country editions: Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

According to the publishing house, the ISBN numbers are internationally valid, and you should be able to get your copy by ordering it at a bookstore where you’re living. At least you can order them via amazon.de (*), amazon.at, amazon.ch and amazon.co.uk. At amazon.de you can also find an option for global delivery. so, take you chance!

UK:  Traveling the South of Iceland

Format DIN A4 wall:  978-1-325-00809-4
Format DIN A3 wall:  978-1-325-00808-7

Germany: Unterwegs im Süden Islands

Format DIN A4 wall:  978-3-660-96550-6
Format DIN A3 wall:  978-3-660-96549-0
Format DIN A2 wall:  978-3-660-96548-3
Format DIN A5 table:   978-3-660-96551-3

Austria: Entdecken Sie den Süden Islands 

Format DIN A4 wall: 978-3-660-97076-0
Format DIN A3 wall: 978-3-660-97077-7
Format DIN A2 wall: 978-3-660-97075-3
Format DIN A5 table:  978-3-660-97078-4

Switzerland: Impressionen aus Islands Süden

Format DIN A4 wall:  978-3-660-97081-4
Format DIN A3 wall:  978-3-660-97080-7
Format DIN A2 wall:  978-3-660-97082-1
Format DIN A5 table:   978-3-660-97079-1

(*) this link brings you to an amazon partner shop, showing a certain subset of the regular basket of goods at amazon.de. You get the regular amazon.de prices, but I’m able to compile only these certain products for you.

uk-back

at-back ch-back de-back

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

My Cuba calendars are available at the stores

cuba_calendarDo you remember the Cuba calendars with photos of mine? They are back for 2015 – yeah!

Here are the ISBN numbers for ordering the 2015 calendar showing some of the fantastic vintage cars from Cuba as well as some insights into the old town of Havana. They are available in 5 country editions: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, United Kingdom and USA.

According to the publishing house, the ISBN numbers are internationally valid, and you should be able to get your copy by ordering it at a bookstore where you’re living. At least you can order them via amazon.de (*), amazon.at, amazon.ch and amazon.co.uk. At amazon.de you can also find an option for global delivery. So, take you chance!

German Edition:

 2015 La Habana / Havana Havana Portrait Cuba Cars
Wandkalender DIN A4 978-3-660-71359-6 978-3-660-71493-7 978-3-660-69920-3
Wandkalender DIN A3 978-3-660-71357-2 978-3-660-71491-3 978-3-660-69919-7
Wandkalender DIN A2 978-3-660-71360-2 978-3-660-71494-4 978-3-660-69921-0
Tischkalender DIN A5 978-3-660-71358-9 978-3-660-71492-0 978-3-660-69922-7

US-Edition:

2015 La Habana / Havana Havana Portrait Cuba Cars 
wall calendar DIN A4 978-3-660-90709-4  coming soon
wall calendar DIN A3 978-3-660-90708-7  coming soon
wall calendar DIN A2 978-3-660-90710-0  coming soon
table calendar DIN A5 978-3-660-90707-0  coming soon

UK-Edition:

2015 La Habana / Havana Havana Portrait Cuba Cars 
wall calendar DIN A4 978-1-325-01576-4 978-1-325-01516-0
wall calendar DIN A3 978-1-325-01577-1 978-1-325-01517-7

AT-Edition:

2014 La Habana / Havana Havana Portrait Cuba Cars 
Wandkalender DIN A4 978-3-660-90700-1 978-3-660-90488-8
Wandkalender DIN A3 978-3-660-90701-8 978-3-660-90489-5
Wandkalender DIN A2 978-3-660-90699-8 978-3-660-90491-8
Tischkalender DIN A5 978-3-660-90702-5 978-3-660-90490-1

CH-Edition:

2014 La Habana / Havana Havana Portrait Cuba Cars 
Wandkalender DIN A4 978-3-660-99897-9 978-3-660-99845-0
Wandkalender DIN A3 978-3-660-99896-2 978-3-660-99842-9
Wandkalender DIN A2 978-3-660-99898-6 978-3-660-99843-6
Tischkalender DIN A5 978-3-660-99895-5 978-3-660-99844-3

(*) this link brings you to an amazon partner shop, showing a certain subset of the regular basket of good at amazon.de. You get the regular amazon.de prices, but I’m able to compile only these certain products for you.