art, landscape, nature, photo-of-the-day, travel, world

WPC: Inspiration

The guys over at The Daily Post asked for our source of inspiration for this weeks photo challenge. That’s easy: Mother nature with all their natural beings, people as well as animals and of course all the different landscapes. In my blog you can find lots of photos documenting this. Thus, I picked one as an example.

Take care and handle our planet with care. We only have this one!!

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animals, nature, photography, travel, world

puffins

600_7242-sc_wwooohoooo!

These funny guys were another absolute highlight on my trip to Iceland!

A young male puffin has to dig a cave with two rooms, which lasts a few years. When the cave is finished he is able to date a female and found a family. One room is for the single egg, while the other room is the toilet.

We were told, puffins stay on sea the whole day and only come back at night to guard the cave entrance. Fortunately arctic mid-summer nights are quite bright – but still a big challenge for the camera. To give you an idea: the above photo is taken at 21:41h with1/125s, f/5.6 with a 400mm FX lens at ISO1600.

When we arrived at about 21:00, only very few birds were already on the cliff. But, when we left at about 0:30h the cliffs were full of them. Unfortunately, now it was way too dark to take a usable photo. Even, when pitching the ISO to the maximum, the aperture times were too long to freeze the constantly moving birds in a single frame. Thus, I only have the overview photo  (155mm, f/5.1 1/40s, ISO 1600 taken at 0:02h) I included in the slideshow below

Just like the arctic terns, they eat fish: lesser sand eel

But, sand eel are disappearing at the south coasts of Iceland. So, I’m very glad to were able to see them.

Take care!

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art, nature, photography, travel, world

Monochrome Madness 2-21

For this weeks Monochrome Madness I picked a piece of dead wood I found on one of the beaches of Corfu, back in May.

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(Btw. as always: click on the photo to see it in a higher resolution)

I wish you a great summer and don’t get sunburnt, like this wood.

Fullframe fisheye lens, f8, ISO 200, shutter speed 1/1250, 12:49h local time (10:49h UTC)

Take care!

Btw. as always: click on the photo to see it in a higher resolution

art, flowers, photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: close-up

Friday is the day for the weekly photo challenge organized by The daily post. This weeks topic is “close-up”

Close-up photography literally means taking your photograph from a short distance. but, in particular it is usually understood as macro photography. So, usually flowers, flowerparts, insects or tiny mechanical parts are subject to the photo.

For this image of an apple blossom I used an extension tube in addition to my macro lens. A macro lens is designed for very short distances. The extension tube is for shortening it a bit more and to enlarge the reproduction scale.

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

Have fun!

 

Take care!

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

photography

Our Work Has Been Stolen

Follow the advice given on this post/site. David did a great job, finding this image thief, who sells posters from images without permission of the photographers. Investigate as he described by using the private or incognito mode of you internet browser to find out, if you’re a victim, too. Good luck!
I assumed, I’d be save, because I’m posting only small images. But, I was wrong 😦

Until now, I’m not sure, how many of my images are stolen, because of the bad response of their so-called web shop. When investigating, try it again and again. At least, I got different results for each search: the results differed from 0 to more than 700.

David also set up a post, on how to reclaim you images as yours and report a copyright violation. Hope, it helps.

iPhone Photographer | David Pasillas

I think I always knew this was going to happen. In fact, I caught someone a few years ago that had stolen one of my iphone photos and was distributing it to people that wanted to create composites. I wasn’t too upset about that because it wasn’t a great photo, and it probably wouldn’t have been used for anything since it was heavily edited. At any rate, a simple cease and desist worked.

This recent discovery is much more upsetting. It’s a bit of a rabbit hole that myself and other artists have been delving into the last few days. At first it looked like another poster website selling photographs that didn’t belong to them. A bit of research has lead us to believe its much worse.

I actually found some of your work on their site too. I’ll mention the names in a minute, but I honestly don’t want…

View original post 307 more words

animals, nature, travel, world

Arctic Terns

600_3925-ec_wIn my last posts, I gave you a slight overview on the birds living around Iceland. Today I picked some photos taken at Jökulsárlón. Between the lake and the parking ground, there is a huge breeding place of the arctic terns. Thousands of birds are constantly commoting from their nest to the lake from fishing and back. Skuas are also in the crowd. Always ready to force a tern to give up her prey.

Take care!

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architecture, art, photography, travel, world

Monochrome Madness 2-20

mm20-610_3291-t_wThis time I picked a photo from my archive, taken a few months ago during our photographers roundtable. I was held in our state capitol. I already sent in another photo taken during that trip for mmc. You can have a look here.

14mm (full frame), f8, ISO 200, shutter speed 1/50s and converted to bw by using MacPhun Tonality Pro.

It’s my contribution to Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness Challenge.

btw. there is currently a special 25% discount upon applying a coupon JulySpecial25 ’til end of July. There is also a bundle promotion running. Check it out!

Take care!

Btw. as always: click on the photo to see it in a higher resolution

art, photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: half-and-half

This week, the photo challenge at The daily post is really challenging.

Half-and-half could be interpreted literally by showing a photo splitted in two half, like having the horizon in the middle of the photo – usually a no go in photography.

Or, it could be an object consisting of two parts forming something that is a single subject now.

Instead, I picked this photo of an illuminated object at night. It is half black and half white.

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

Take care!

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

animals, nature, travel, world

birds, birds, birds

600_3951-ec_wWhile my last two posts on Iceland were about plants, I now switch over to birds. Many, many seabirds come to the northern atlantic each year for breeding. Some of them are also well-known in the North Sea, at the German coast.

Surprisingly, I didn’t spot many of the common seagulls, which you can see usually in big numbers at the European shores.

I saw skuas and arctic skuas, oystercatcher, common eider (unfortunately only from a distance at night), harlequin ducks, common snipes (which make a beautiful noise at flight), snow buntings and lots of arctic terns.

Stay tuned!

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art, landscape, nature, photography, travel, world

Monochrome Madness 2-19

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Here we are again: driving  around on Corfu, stopping every now and then for having a look and taking some photos.

You can find thousands of olive trees on Corfu. This ist not so special, because this is true for Italy, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, the Greek mainlands and other countries around the Mediterranean Sea as well. But here, the trees are very old and big. Many of the forests were planted back in the 13th – 15th century, when Corfu was part of the Venetian Republic. (I already wrote about this in one of my last posts).

In this forest, the treetops aren’t too thick. They still let some light come to the ground. So, many other plants are able to grow here. I also like the light-patches on the ground.

Do you like such monochrome photos, too? There are much more to explore here and at the blog of Leanne Cole, an Australian photographer from Melbourne. She organizes Monochrome Madness, a weekly event for lovers of monochrome photos, now running in the second year. Check it out!

Take care!

Btw. as always: click on the photo to see it in a higher resolution

history, landscape, nature, photography, seasons, travel, world

Short weekend trip

610_9541-e_wOn Saturday we have had a quite summerly day. Sunny and warm.

My son’s girlfriend just bought her first DSLR with a kit lens. Before she bought it, she has asked me to show her how to use it properly.

Our first lesson was two or three weeks ago, when I introduced her to the basic functions and terms: aperture, ISO, shutter time, magic triangle, white balance, image stabilizer, focal length, field of depth and so on. This time, we went outside to a park. Here we tried some of the settings in practice lessons. A third lesson, a feedback session with reviewing her images, will be held soon.

I certainly brought back some images on my own. Our Sunday was cold and wet again. Thus, I developed the images, instead of being outside again 😦

You can see the river Wupper, a side river of the river Rhine. The Wupper is about 116 km long and crosses the town Wuppertal. Wuppertal was founded in 1929 by combining the older towns Elberfeld and Barmen, now quarters of Wuppertal. Instead of choosing one of the old names for the new town for several reasons, they created “Wuppertal” (= Wupper valley), because of their location in the valley of river Wupper. Nowadays Wuppertal has about 350.000 citizens, a university and some industry. Only few houses survived the massive attacks with aircraft bombs during WW2, thus Wuppertal is not really attractive from a photographers perspective. Although, there are still a few interesting houses around.

Wuppertal is famous for the Schwebebahn. Also, Aspirin was developed in the Bayer laboratory in Wuppertal. Once, Wuppertal was important for producing textiles in weaving mills (often home weaver) and dyeing yarns. But, these industries died. The last weaving mill was closed more then 40 years ago.

In the 1970s the peek of water pollution was reached. Many companies used the river as a cheap and easy way to get rid of their liquid remains from their production. Lots of chemicals from weaving mills, dyeing mills, groundwood mills and forges were channeled in the river. Locals told me, schools beside the river often got “stink free” in summer. In those times, the water got a different color nearly each day, depending on the different chemicals used for dyeing yearns in different colors.

Now, the river is clean again. Pew! Rare bird are back. You can see dippers, kingfishers and grey herons finishing for larvae and small fishes. Renaturation was successful!

This park has a secret. It’s not hidden. Rather it’s very large. It’s built more than 100 years ago. So, it’s worth its own post. But, not today.

Stay tuned!

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photography, postprocessing, software

Hey guys, you know, I do monochrome photos quite often. Most of the times I use Tonality Pro by MacPhun for doing my post processing for my black-and-white photographs. Last night I got an email saying, there is currently a special promotion for getting this wonderful piece of software with a 25% discount. Go over to the MacPhun webstore, process your order as usual and then use the coupon code JulySpecial25 to redeem your discount. The coupon is valid until end of July.

There are also 2 bundles available: One is with Intensify Pro and the other with Noiseless Pro. These are also great tool for your post processing.

As always, you can download the software for free to test them for a few days, before buying.

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Many more examples are available here:

Take care!

art, landscape, nature, photography, seasons, technical, world

Weekly Photo Challenge: Symbol

dsc_2791-ecp_wYou know, I live at the southern border of an area called Ruhrgebiet, the area around the river Ruhr. Here, coal was found first, several centuries ago. This area was the starting point of the industrial revolution here in Germany. It has a long tradition of coal mining, as well as steel production. Unfortunately, it’s way more efficient to import coal and steel, than to produce them ourselves, nowadays. Thus, nearly all mines are given up and the last ones will be closed in 2018.

A few years ago our region was elected to be the European capital of culture. To celebrate this, a committee got the idea, to make all the given-up coal mines visible again, by flagging a huge yellow gas balloon over the former mine. Although in my town once there were several tiny mines, we only have had one balloon for that certain week, which was elected to flag the balloons. For the nights, the balloon was illuminated and guarded. It was placed in the park of our small Chateau.

While we have had only one balloon, other towns (further north) have had many of them. Those towns have had many more mines. They were visible from far away. I’ve had seen photos with many of them in it.

This is my contribution to the weekly photo challenge at “The Daily Post

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Take care!

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

culture, flowers, landscape, nature, photography, seasons, travel, world

plants in the Icelandic highlands

In my last post I started to show you some of the Icelandic plants. Today I have some more plants. These plants grow in the highlands.

600_2530-ecc_wIn the highlands you can find many, many mosses and lichens. But, can also find tiny blooming plants: i.e.

  • Silene acaulis, known as moss campion or cushion pink (Stängelloses Leimkraut)
  • Silene uniflora Roth (Klippen-Leimkraut / Einblütiges Leimkraut)
  • Armeria (Grasnelke)
  • Chamerion latifolium (formerly Epilobium latifolium) known as Dwarf Fireweed or River Beauty Willowherb (Arktisches Weidenröschen)
  • Dryas octopetala, common names include mountain avens, eightpetal mountain-avens, white dryas, and white dryad (Silberwurz)

I’m not a biologist, nor a botanist. Thus, I might have errors in the latin names. I got them by using Wikipedia and a German web-site dedicated to traveling Scandinavia. I’m quite sure about the German names noted inside the brackets, because I made notes from the explanations by our guide on Iceland and compared my photos very carefully to the sample photos on Wikipedia to be as accurate as possible.

Take care!

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art, landscape, nature, photography, travel, world

Monochrome Madness 2-18

mm18-600_1728-ect_wToday’s post for Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness Challenge is taken from my currently running Iceland series.

This is one of the many waterfalls you can find everywhere on Iceland. This one is called Gjáinfoss and is located in a wonderful valley called Gjáin. You can see more photos taken in that valley in a post I wrote a few weeks ago.

Nevertheless, I picked this photo from my archive for this MMC. It’s Gjáinfoss on Iceland. I took that image on July 1st, 2014. One year ago.

Take care!

Btw. as always: click on the photo to see it in a higher resolution

seasons

Thunderstorm results

While I wrote yesterday about my assumptions on emergency missions for fire brigades, I now have confirmation by the newspapers and the news on TV for nearly the whole country. Many trees were broken by the storms with speeds up to 133 km/h. Several tornadoes have been running over the land. Railroad tracks were hit by fallen trees. Broken trees have to be removed from the tracks and the electric overhead wiring has to be repaired. Hail storms with huge hailstones – up to 9 cm diameter in one region – destroyed many cars, roofs and roof-lights. Several people, horses and cows died outside, because of lightning strokes.Some streeets and cellars were overflooded from the heavy rain. All these storms lasted until Sunday night.

And today: only 15°C, but dry and sunny.

But, now the air humidity is very high and the air inside the houses is muggy. It will last several days to cool the houses down again.

The forecast says, it will become hot again. And Wednesday evening the next thunderstorm is expected to arrive.

It seems to me, the monsoon belt moves way north 😦 because of the global climatic changes.

Until now, we only got 3 days when we were able to sit outside until at least 10 p.m. Is this a summer? No, I don’t think so. 😦

Take care!

Btw. the ‘official’ temerature record was 40.3°C (104.54°F)

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

Bang!

610_7850-e2_wSince Monday, June 30th, summer finally is here. During the week we have had temperatures above 30°C with a maximum of 33 – 36°C. Friday morning, I have read in the newspaper about a town nearby. They have trams and in some areas the railroads are embedded into the streets. Because of the heat, the material, used for embedding the trails into the street, became soft and a tram stuck in. What a disaster.

I like these temperatures. But, many other people are mourning about it. I guess, that’s because of all the sudden temperature jumps. Last Sunday 16°C, Monday 30°C. Thus, people don’t have a chance to get used to it.

This morning at about 4:00 a.m. a thunderstorm started and lasted until about 11:00 a.m. While we have had 37.6°C yesterday, we only have had 20°C today. Probably, the temperature will get lower for a few days (or weeks) now, ’till they jump up again.  I few time I heard the sirens of emergency vehicles this morning. I don’t know, if it were ambulances or fire brigades. Maybe a lightning flash enlighten a fire in a house or a tree. Maybe rain flooded a cellar on someone got frightened to death (heart attack) by a thunder.

The hot weather yesterday made me to skip the monthly photographers roundtable, I usually attend on the first Saturday of a month. Because my car stood in the sun the whole day, it’s way too hot inside for a quite longer drive. I would have to drive for an hour and my air-conditioning system is not able to cope with these temperatures. The maximum is the outside temperature. And, that’s still too much to drive concentrated on the motorway. Thus, I stayed at home and sat in the garden.

But, even though I have a photo for you. No, that photo is not from here, where I live. It’s taken on Corfu. It’s the new castle of Corfu town. I went over for taking some photos of the illuminated castle, when out of a sudden a single lightning flash hit the earth while my shutter was open. No further lightning flashes came down that night and only a very few raindrops felt to earth.

Take care and enjoy your summer 🙂

art, landscape, nature, photography, seasons, world

Weekly Photo Challenge: door

Another wonderful photo challenge organized by “The Daily Post“. It’s called “door”.

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Doors tear apart. Closed doors hinder you to enter or see, what’s behind. Open doors give access. While solid doors force your mind to imagine, what’s behind, tittle doors letting your eye pass.

Take care!

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

culture, flowers, landscape, nature, photography, seasons, travel, world

plants on Iceland

600_6597-e_wUntil now, I showed you much of the fantastic landscapes of Iceland. I guess, you noticed, there aren’t lots of trees around although many parts of the landscape are green. And that’s true. So far in the north, trees need very long time to grow. And in the past centuries (the vikings arrived more than 1.000 years ago and started settling back in lat 9th century). Over the centuries the trees were cut for building houses, ships and for cooking / heating. Thus you can’t find any forests anymore expect small grove, planted by farmers.

Nowadays, you can find many greenhouses for growing food (i.e. sweet pepper, tomatoes and so on). They are heated by geothermal sources. But this is not our todays topic.

Today and in my next post I want to show you several plants, I found. I want to start in the lowlands and more urban parts of Iceland, while my next posts will be dedicated to the plants in the highlands.

Many parts in the lowlands are covered by different kinds of grass. In wet areas you can find blooming cotton grass during summer and angelic, the source for a schnaps (kind of hard liquor). Huge areas are covered by lupines (did you know, you can use the seeds of lupines to make coffee?). They were planted to modify the soil and prepare it to plant other useful plants afterwards, but they spread out widely and now cover huge parts of the land. A photo can’t transport the beauty of these huge fields of blooming lupines.

Take care!

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