art, history, landscape, nature, photography, travel, world

Monochrome Madness 2-17

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This week’s Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness is a themed post again, and the theme is “K” – simply the letter “K”.

While there are so many words in english, starting with a k, I didn’t get an idea for this week’s posts. You know, I’m currently developing my photos taken on Corfu. And, certainly some of them will be developed in monochrome. Thus, I picked this photo showing a big part of the old town of Corfu town. You might ask me, why I mix up “C” and “K”. Sorry, I don’t! Although, the town is well-known as ‘Corfu town’, it’s not their real name! The town and the island as well are named Κέρκυρα (= Kérkyra).

Here you can see the ‘new’ castle at the foot of the hill, the mediterranean sea, the tower of Ekklisia Agios Spiridon in the middle and the hills of Albany on the opposite side of the sea.

Take care!

art, landscape, nature, photography, seasons, world

Weekly Photo Challenge: Muse

This week the Challenge at “The Daily Post” is, to find a photo of something or someone that / who inspires us. Something that is photographed quite over and over again. Something, we don’t get tired of photographing it again and again.

The word ‘muse’ comes from the ancient Greece mythology, where they were the tutelary goddesses for several arts: poetic, lyric, music, writing and so on.

According to Hesiod (6th century) there are 9 muses. All of them are daughters of Mnemosyne (the goddess of remembrance) and the greek godfather Zeus. Later, each of them got a certain art:

  • Klio = historiography (paper roll and pen)
  • Melpomem = singer in tragedy (mask with a serious face and sword)
  • Terpsichore = happy dancer (lyra)
  • Thalia = festivities for comedy (mask with a bright face)
  • Euterpe = lyric and flute playing (double-flute, Aulos)
  • Erato = lovingly, love poems (lyra)
  • Uranina = heavenly for astronomy (celestial globe)
  • Polyhymnia = hymn-ful singer (lyra)
  • Kalliope = wonderful voice for epic poems, rhetoric, philosophy and science (writing tablet and stylus)

My muse, in this context, is mother nature. Nature has sooo many different aspects. Especially the very special light around sunrise and sunset are my muse.

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Take care!

(as usual, you can see the photo enlarged, when clicking in it)

landscape, nature, photography, travel, world

glacier run

600_6654-e_wAs I wrote in my last post, you can find lots of glaciers in Iceland. Thick packs of ice flowing slowly downhill. The landscape looks cold, but peaceful.

Near Þjóðvegur there is a huge plain. Although the whole country is quite empty nearly everywhere, this area is special. Beside the street you can only see rocks and black ground. Three bridges crossing three wide but dry river beds. At the edge of this plain you can find a parking ground with something like modern art and info signs explaining the plains and the art installation.

It’s not really art. It a remain from the last glacier run, a few years ago. The glaciers in the background became liquid and overflooded the whole plain, destroying the street and the bridges. The steel beams from the bridges were deformed. When the flood was over, two of these steel beams were kept and formed to this art installation as a memorial.

Our guide told us, the government would observe the glaciers very carefully to predict such a glacier run and to warn all people in the certain area by radio broadcast and text messages to the mobiles to leave a jeopardized area. The advance time is very short. But, the flood is extremely quick and dangerous.

Enjoy!

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landscape, nature, photography, travel, world

glacier land

600_6585-ec_wInside the name Iceland, you find the word ‘ice’. That’s not by chance. Many parts of Iceland are covered by thick ice sheets and the glaciers reach down to the valleys and even reach the ocean level as I showed at the lake Jökulsarlon.

But, you can see, how far the glaciers shrinked and pulled back their tongues as a result of the global warming. While the moraines right and left the former glaciers still exists, the ice itself is gone.

It’s really a funny experience, when crossing a glacier while the wind comes down over the glacier, it is really cold – way colder than the surrounding air.

Enjoy!

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art, history, landscape, nature, photography, travel, world

Monochrome Madness 2-15

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Currently, I’m developing my photos taken on Corfu. And, every now and then, I stumble over an image that might look great in monochrome. Just like the one above chosen for this weeks issue of Monochrome Madness by Leanne Cole.

First of all, I make all my usual adjustments to a raw file: white-balance, color-balance, balancing the horizon, lightening the darks and sharpening. Finally saving the edited file with all layers and export it to jpeg.

In the case I feel an image might look good in monochrome, I switch to monochrome mode in my raw development tool for a sneak preview to check, if it would look great in monochrome. Just in case, this preview looks great, I do another export. But, this time I choose tiff for my export image format. That’s because I want to preserve all information in the image. This tiff file is the source for my monochrome conversion.

Most of my monochrome images are created by using Tonality Pro by MacPhun. Sometimes I use it as a plugin for Adobe Photoshop, but most times I simply use it as the standalone version. Even the standalone version is capable to work with layers, similar to Photoshop. And, so I develop several parts of a monochrome image differently.

Just in case, you didn’t have tried Tonality Pro, I’d encourage you to download the trial version and give it a try.

Take care!

landscape, nature, photography, travel, world

diamonds at the sea

600_6055-ec_wThis is another aspect of the combination of ice and sun: shiny little diamonds laying on the back sand at the beach, just like they were laying in a jewelry store’s window decorated on black velvet.

The setting sun was able to illuminate these compact blocks of clear ice from behind. Where the sun reaches the ice, it is illuminated in a warm, soft orange. While those parts of the blocks, not hit by the sun, stay in their cold, blue appearance.

The sun must have a very low stand to illuminate the ice blocks in this way. Unfortunately, this didn’t last long. It lasted only for a few minutes, before the sun hided behind the mountains.

Many other people also were on that beach as we were there. So, it was kind of hard to avoid people somewhere in the background of my own photos. Some people even were taking ice blocks to drape them on the beach.

Enjoy!

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art, history, landscape, nature, photography, travel, world

Monochrome Madness 2-14

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This week’s photo for Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness is also taken on the greek island Corfu. In the north-western part of the island you can find an old castle, built when Corfu was part of the Venetian Republic at the end of the 14th century. In the same place, there was already a byzantine castle from the 11th century, which was overtaken by the Venetians.

In the image, you can see the final part of the track up to the castle, where you have a wonderful view over some parts of the western coast and the Adria. The exhausting trail uphill is definitely worth the effort. But, bring water with you! You’ll need it!

Take care!

architecture, art, culture, flowers, history, landscape, nature, seasons, travel, world

A tiny trip to Japan

610_9232-e_wNot, literally! But, you know, every now and then I told you, that in my area you can find the city with the third biggest number of Japanese inhabitants, outside of Japan. Only in London and Paris there are living more people from Japan.

On Thursdays we have had a public holiday and fantastic weather (one of the two days of summer 🙂 – the other one was Friday – grin ). All jokes aside. I still hope for more hot days this summer. Although a thunderstorm ended the current summerly period Friday night. For next week we are supposed to get only 15-20°C, just like last week, before the temperature jumped to 28-36°C on Thursday.

Nevertheless, I want to tell you about the Japanese garden I visited. It’s built about 100 years ago as a part of a huge private park. An industrial entrepreneur has had a mansion with these park. After a visit in Japan, he felt in love with the Japanese garden culture and decided to set up his own Japanese garden. He invited garden architects from Japan to create the garden for him.

Although his company grew enormously because of their success in the chemical sector , the park still exists. Currently the park’s size is about 22 hectare (= 220.000 m²) and 15.000 m² of this park are formed to be the Japanese garden. On weekends this park (and the garden) are visited by many people. There’s no entrance fee. The company still cares for the park. It’s located directly beside their headquarter. So, it’s a slight problem to get a free parking slot on weekdays, because the employees need the room for their cars. While the park is always open to the public, the Japanese garden has restricted opening hours and is always guarded.

Enjoy!

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landscape, nature, photography, travel, world

ocean on the rocks

600_6503e_wI haven’t seen such stuff before! Ice laying on the beach. Ocean waves come and flow around them. And a wonderful sky above.

Mother nature is extremely talented in using her powers to compose scenarios with her colors, structures and other decorative stuff. What an extravagance – simply for impressing us?

No repetition. Everything is a unique piece of art.

Enjoy!

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art, landscape, photography, world

Monochrome Madness 2-13

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For this week Leanne asked for a themed post again: water

I guess, Iceland is the perfect destination for this competition. So much water, so many waterfalls. My first idea was, to send in a photo taken at Gullfoss. Unfortunately, I already sent in the powerful photos taken over there. You can see them here, here and here.

Most of the waterfall photos put the waterfall itself into the picture and don’t focus on the water. I don’t want to show you a landscape photo simply with water in it. Instead, I want to set the water itself into the picture. So, I picked that photo taken at Seljalandsfoss.

Take care!