architecture, art, landscape, photography, travel, urbex, world

Monochrome Madness 3-08

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This is my contribution to Monochrome Madness organized by Leanne Cole. For this first week of June we have a theme again: it’s closed.

Check her site on Wednesday evening to see the other contributors images. It’s always great to see the great variety of monochrome images from different photographers from different parts of the world.

Here, we have a look inside the chemical laboratory of a closed coke oven plant. During the last decades many coal mines, steel plants and depending industries have had to close because of economic reasons. this one isn’t an exception.

Take care!

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

WPC: spare

This week’s topic for the weekly photo challenge by “The Daily Post” is “spare”.

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I picked this image from my trip to Iceland back in 2014. At once, I felt in love with these wild and spare landscapes.
Currently, many books, maps and reports about Iceland are on my desk. I’m already planning for my return in August 2017. Thus, I’m working to assemble a round trip. I want to explore some new areas.

Take care have a great weekend!

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

culture, landscape, photography, travel, world

A trip to the desert at lake Korision

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Although, Corfu is a very green island, there is a sandy desert located near the west coast.

A lake, parted from the sea by a small land tongue, is surrounded by a sandy desert. This landscape is very different from the parts of the island, we have seen up to now. The ground is covered by a thick layer of sand, similar to a sandy beach. Bushes with thorny twigs and leaves are growing here, as well as some smaller crops, which love dry grounds. Thick, black insects are flying from one blossom to the next, by paying no attention to the visitors. Shady places are very rare here.

It seems, the locals use this area for driving with dune-buggies and quad bikes through the hills. At least we found many skid marks here, implying this.

The lake itself, unfortunately, is surrounded by reeds. These plants are about 2 m high. So, it’s quite hard to get a view to the lake. From some of the sandy hills we were able to see many herons and other big birds standing in the shallow water and on sand banks or swimming around. But, even 1200mm (400mm + 2x tele-converter attached to a camera with an APS-C sensor) were enough to fill the frame. Furthermore, the sand didn’t give a solid ground, to get sharp images. You also have to plan with heat haze, when trying to photograph over such long distances. What a pity.

When trying to come here, pay much attention to the road. The last mile is an unpaved trail with many thick stones and deep road-holes. Here, at our first short stop, is a small parking ground for about 6 or 7 cars.

Take care!

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art, landscape, people, photography, sport, travel, world

Monochrome Madness 3-07

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This is my contribution to Monochrome Madness organized by the Australian photographer Leanne Cole. Check her site on Wednesday evening (CET) to see the other contributors images. It’s always great to see the great variety of monochrome images from different photographers from different parts of the world.

My image is from my trip to the coast the weekend before last. I like the evening mood very much. It’s so calm. The sun got reflected on the sea and the warm ambient in the original image hides, how strong the wind blew that day. You know, without the strong wind none of the kites would have been out there 🙂

I like the contrast in the image. Although it is split in two halfs, which usually has to be avoided in image composition. But, here it works very well in my opinion. We have the rough sea opposite to the calm woman on the bench in the lower half and the calm sky to the very active kites in the upper half. And also, the calm sky verses the rough sea. Additionally, the resting woman sits opposite to the bulk of the active moving kites and looks at them. An image full of contrasts.

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When looking at the original image (the lower one), you can see, it is kind of natural-born monochrome image. We have black silhouettes and the brownish-orange mood of the setting sun in the rest of the image. That’s all (ok – except the small area inside the two kites in the middle which are illuminated by the sun).

So, a monochrome image does not need to be converted to black and white for being a monochrome image.

Take care!

culture, landscape, nature, people, travel, world

I’m back ….

610_5609_w… from East Frisia at the German North Sea. Frisia is the region, where the ancient frisian people settled. Nowadays it’s devided in North-Frisia in Germany (state of Schleswig-Holstein) and Denmark, East-Frisia in the German state of Lower Saxony and West-Frisia in the Netherlands. Big areas on the main lands are part of Frisia as well as several islands, located in front of the coast in the tidelands called Wadden Sea. During tide vast areas fall dry in the tidelands. You can even walk to some islands in these times.

I was up there for an extended weekend. Last Monday we have had a public holiday here: Pentecost Monday – Whit Monday. Because of the wonderful warm weather the week before, many people started on Friday around noon to a short vacation. Many states here have had a school holiday on Tuesday. So, this is the perfect weekend for a short vacation. Unfortunately, many, many people got that same idea – so the motorways were very crowded on Friday afternoon. Instead of 3 1/4 hours, we needed 2 1/2 hours more for the way. But, it was worth the effort. Although, the temperatures dropped significantly, we have had a wonderful time ’til our return on Wednesday.

As usual for an “I’m back …” post I attached several photos. The gallery below has also some images, I already posted on Instagram (consider following me at Instagram: @tuxur)

Take care!

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culture, history, landscape, photography, travel, world

Visiting Sissi

610_8114-e2_wI guess, I already mentioned Empress Sissi (Elisabeth of Austria-Hungary) used to live some years on Corfu. Here palace Achilleon (called after the ancient greek hero Achill, who died during the Trojan War) is above the cliffs not far away from Corfu Town. Today, it’s a museum. Although, we were quite early (before 10 a.m.) and before the beginning of the main traveling season, the parking ground was extremely crowded. Many, many travel busses with tourists from everywhere and even more rental cars stood in front of the palace. Finally we found a tiny free parking slot and walked up to the entrance. This fact and the high entrance fee held me back to enter the area. You can visit the park and the palace. Despite I guess, it’s interesting, I skipped the visit. Instead, I walked around to find a viewpoint to see the palace from the street, but unfortunately, that’s not possible because of a fence and dense bushes behind the fence.

So, we went back to our car, followed the street downhill and came back to the coast to look for a place to spot the palace from here. Below the palace, there uses to be a bridge crossing the coastal street to connect the palace to the ocean. While the pier is still there, the bridge is gone. We stopped near the pier and tried to see the palace from here. Unfortunately, high palm trees hindered your eyes from seeing the palace from here.

Take care!

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architecture, art, landscape, photography, travel, world

Monochrome Madness 3-06

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Today, I have a single shot HDR for you from inside the “New castle of Corfu Town“.

The image is edited with MacPhun Aurora HDR Pro first and than converted to monochrome with MacPhun Tonality Pro. I guess, this is a good example of the dynamic range available in current digital sensors when photographing in raw instead of jpg. In camera I’d have to decide either exposure to the bright door in the upper middle and lose all the darks or to the dark walls in the rest of the image while loosing all the highlights. The light comes only through the door and similar windows in the floor where I’m standing, but farer away from me to both sides.

1/25s, f/6.3, ISO 800, 24mm, full frame, hand-held

This is my contribution to Monochrome Madness organized by Leanne Cole. Check her site on Wednesday evening to see the other contributors images. It’s always great to see the great variety of monochrome images from different photographers from different parts of the world.

Take care!

photography, technic

making your camera strap interchangeable

DSC_7430 KopieEach camera comes with a strap. Usually a branded strap, shouting out the brand and sometimes even the model name of your camera. There are also unbranded straps available in the shops for those, who don’t like the design of the default strap or don’t want to show everyone “I have this high-pricy camera”.

There are also some camera straps for certain purposes available, i.e. a diagonal-strap. I own one of these and like it for certain purposes.  I always have the default strap on my camera. But i.e. for city tours I like the diagonal strap more, because it’s easier to change lenses out of my backpack. Usually I have a shoulder bag with me. And, having a shoulder bag, the default strap is fine. But, when having my backpack, the diagonal strap brings more security for the gear while changing lenses. Also on hiking tours with my backpack. Or, when having two cameras with me: the full-frame body with a wide-angle lens and the crop body with a tele-zoom lens.

All this comfort of a diagonal strap is paid with the necessity to remove the default strap. Having both of them on the camera is not a good idea. The diagonal straps are usually attached at the tripod socket. So, the attached default strap would stand in the way. Thus, remove it. Or, …. wait. That’s very complicated. Remove and reattach the default strap over and over again. So, I was looking for an easier solution.

A friend of mine has found some tiny carabiner at a climbing store. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get some too. I didn’t find any store having them. In some Chinese internet stores I found some tiny dongles made from plastic. But, I didn’t trust them. They looked too fragile, although there were offered for cameras. My camera weights 760g and the default lens another 710g. My tele-zoom lens actually 1,570g.

Finally, I got an idea. Lets have a look at a fishing store. Here you can find some tiny gear to attach fishing-hooks to the fishing-line. And, a catched fish brings many kilos on the gear while trying to escape. So, the material has to be very strong. I checked a store and was able to get some suitable connectors. The hooks are good for 88kg!!!! That’s way more than I need. But, hey, it’s fine!

Now I have remodeled my camera straps and I like it very much. I now have it for about two years and I’m very happy with the solution.

Happy snapping 🙂

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

Kanoni

610_8060-ec_wOur first stop on the trip to the west coast was Kanoni, a very picturesque location. A must-to-visit for every Corfu traveller (unfortunately, also the cruise ship travelers know this). It belongs to Corfu Town, but is located some kilometers away from the Old Town. We were here very early: at 9 a.m. right before the first busses arrived. When we left, about half an hour later, we found our, we won’t have got a place for our car, if we only arrive a few minutes later. It’s a very, very tiny parking lot. The busses arrive here, let the people leave the bus and drive at bit further to wait for the tourists to come back. I’d recommend, to be here not later than 8:30 or in the evening.

This is a very iconic view on Corfu, although it’s located in the entry lane of Corfu airport. On the tiny island in the back you can find a cloister. The bigger boats in the foreground are ferries to bring you over to there. We skipped that because of the masses of tourists behind us.

Take care!

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architecture, art, landscape, photography, travel, world

Monochrome Madness 3-05

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early morning fog over river Mosel. This image is from my short trip to the river Mosel last year for May 1st. I was up before sunrise to capture some of the morning fog.

This is my contribution to Monochrome Madness organized by Leanne Cole. Check her site on Wednesday evening to see the other contributors images. It’s always great to see the great variety of monochrome images from different photographers from different parts of the world.

Take care!

animals, culture, landscape, mammal, nature, world

photowalk on a beautiful pre-sommer day

610_4533-sc_w9Yesterday, I attended our monthly photographers roundtable. I guess, I already mentioned, this is more like a photowalk, than sitting somewhere and discussing photo related topics.

This time we were on a small hike (3 hours) through the valley of the river Düssel, not far from the place, where the fossils of the homo neanderthalensis were found in 1856. Today, this valley is also called Neanderthal (Neander Valley). Now, you can find a museum here and some other places donated to the times, when homo neanderthalensis was alive: the ice age. Kids can learn in workshops, how to make fire, spear, bow and arrow. They can even learn how people used to hunt during ice age.

I don’t want to bore you with all these details. Instead, I want to show you some impressions from the nature and the animals, homo neanderthalensis has hunted: the european bison or wisent and the aurochs. While wisents are still around in some eastern parts of Europe, the aurochs is assumed to be lost in the beginning of the 17th century. But, in the early 20th century, the brothers Heck, zoo directors in Berlin and Munich, tried successfully to breed the aurochs back from the common cattle. So, these animals aren’t real aurochs, but heck cattle. Over the years, the heck cattle became more and more look-alike to the ancient aurochs. A small herd of about 30 animals lives here and you can go and see them. I recommend bringing field glasses, just in case they are not near the fence.

Take care!

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