art, landscape, photography, travel, wildlife, world

Monochrome Madness 4-28

 

IN THE OPEN

Standing on top of the dike and looking at the sea or the low tide. Every now and then, a bird or a cloud catches your eyes. Listen to the sound of the wind, the waves and the birds. Enjoy the surroundings. You’re in the middle of an open space. So many invisible things are around you. Discover them by closing your eyes and open the ears instead. Next, open your eyes and try to find the sources of the sounds your ears has heard.

We have a theme this week at Monochrome Madness organized by Leanne Cole. Look at here site on Thursday (Australian time), to see many more monochrome images created by many other talented photographers from all over the world.

I’d also encourage you to participate. The conditions are  published in each of her Monochrome Madness posts.

Take care!

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

Come In

Here you can see a few further images

 

Monochromia

Guess what’s behind this portal.

This is the main entrance to the machinery hall of a mining company. The mine was operated from 1899 to 1955. Now, it’s a mining museum and keeps the memory to the operation years alive. They display machines, typical clothing, tools, security and heath facilities as well as habits around mining in the Ruhr area.

More of my images can be seen at my own blog.

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landscape, travel, world

Throwback Thursday: Dresden Frauenkirche

FX, 22mm, f16, 6s, ISO 100

Once Dresden was the capital of the Saxon kingdom. The last king had to resign in fall 1918.

At the end of WWII huge parts of Dresden were destroyed by the allied air-force bombs, but after the war they were rebuild and reconstructed. The last reconstructed building was the Frauenkirche from 1994 – 2005. The reconstruction costed about 180 million Euro. Donators collected 115 million Euro, while the city government and the state government covered the remaining 65 million Euro.

Take care!

art, landscape, photography, travel, world

Monochrome Madness 4-27

 

This panorama image consists of four hand-held single images. It’s taken two years ago, when I was in Saxon Switzerland.

First, I developed each image with my raw development tool, exported them to TIFF and used the open-source software Hugin to assemble the TIFF files to the final image. Last step was converting the final image to monochrome with MacPhun Tonality Pro.

This is my contribution to Monochrome Madness organized by Leanne Cole. Look at here site on Thursday (Australian time), to see many more monochrome images created by many other talented photographers from all over the world.

I’d also encourage you to participate. The conditions are  published in each of her Monochrome Madness posts.

Take care!

animals, bird, insect, nature

The vanishing of insects and birds

probably a large carder bee or moss carder bee (Bombusmuscorum) / Mooshummel

Last week I noticed a report saying biologists have discovered an enormous decrease in the amount of insects around over the last 25 years. They set up catches and caught insects over a certain time at the same places all over Europe. At the end of the catching period they weight the catch. Over the last 25 years they discovered, the catch shrink every year. Compared to the catch 25 years ago, they caught only 1/4 of the amount they caught 25 year ago. That’s a descent of 75%.

I believe this. When recalling the memories to my childhood, I remember very dirty front-screens of the cars after each longer trip in the countryside. Thousands of insect were smashed and have had to be removed. And nowadays? I’m still living in the same area, but I have to clean my front-screen only 2 or 3 time over the whole summer.

What does this mean? First of all, less food for the birds and other insectivores. But, it also means, there are less insects for pollination our food-plants. Over the next years we have to find a solution to bring back insects. This would also have an effect to the insectivores, especially the birds.

Don’t forget, not only the insects die. The vanishing of the local insects gives room for insects from other areas that don’t have enemies here but could endanger our health (think i.e. of the tiger mosquito bringing different kinds of dangerous illnesses).

So, don’t spray insecticides over your plants. Try to find natural ways to keep the unwanted insects away from your house and your garden. Give insectivores a home in your garden or near your house. Try to buy your food from farmers which avoid the usage of spraying insecticides (this is also a benefit for your own health because there is less poison to remove before you eat the food!)

Btw. there’s also a post from Solveig of “Penty of Amelie” focused on the vanishing of the birds that might get your interest, too.

Take care!

 

architecture, art, culture, photography

Throwback Thursday: At the flea market

Last Sunday, we have had our traditional huge flea market in town. Twice a year it is held in the middle of the town. It starts very early and for the really good snaps you should go very, very early. Get your torch and start at 3 a.m. or at least at 4 a.m.

This time, they have had perfect weather for the flea market: warm and sunny during the day, so many people were in the town. The last times before, they have had back luck with the weather. Bad weather = less visitor = bad sales Thus, I guess, the dealers were happy about their sales this time.

Take care!

animals, bird, landscape, nature, photography, seasons, travel, world

Travel Tuesday: waiting for …

These 2 common black-headed gulls (Larus ridibundus) seemed to wait for something. During low tide I found them sitting on these piles of a Lahnung at the coast of Schleswig-Holstein.

In German the are called “Lachmöwe”, meaning “laughing gull” because of the sound of their cries.

Take care!

 

art, culture, people, photography, seasons, sport, travel

Monochrome Madness 4-24

 

This is my contribution to Monochrome Madness organized by Leanne Cole. Look at here site on Thursday (Australian time), to see many more monochrome images created by many other talented photographers from all over the world.

I’d also encourage you to participate. The conditions are  published in each of her Monochrome Madness posts.

Take care!

animals, bird, mammal, nature, photography, travel, wildlife, world

I’m back …

… from the Baltic Sea (again).

Those of you, following me on Instagram might have guessed I’m on a trip again, and they were right. For a few days the pendulum inside me as a nature photographer turned from ‘landscape mode’ to ‘wildlife mode’.

I was part of an excursion team for photographing the common cranes while they rest in that region and before they start to the second part of their fall migration. For the first days of my trip I started alone and got some amazing results. Cranes are extremely shy. They have a fleeing distance of about 300m (some rangers even said 900m – but, I can’t believe that). You have to avoid to disturb them. Every start to fly costs much of their energy. And this energy is needed for the migration. They have to eat much to have enough energy for the long and exhausting trip. On the second part they fly from north-eastern Germany to Southern France or Spain. The birds are big. They are about 120cm high (females a bit smaller) and have a wing spread of about 200 – 240 cm.

Most of them life in wet forests in Poland, Russia and the Baltic, but also in Scandinavia. They have only 1 or 2 eggs and each of the parents take care of one fledgling. Now, the fledglings are nearly as big as the parents. But, you can still recognise them easily.

With the excursion team, we got permission to enter some restricted parts of the National Park “Mecklenburgische Boddenlandschaft”. We observed the arrival of the cranes in their sleeping area and the morning start.

Another high-light was the morning trip on our last day: observing the deer rut. About 15 males bellowed in the huge lighting and trying to collect females. Nearly all of them didn’t have had a female, while one stag has had a harem of 21 females (just, like ABBA sang: the winner takes it all). Nevertheless the stags were comparing their strength in bellowing, walking and fighting. Amazing time.

During the excursion I got lent a f/5.6 800mm lens that I used on my APS-C camera (so, I got 1200mm). A very heavy lens, usable only with a tripod. Fortunately, mine was strong enough the carry that burden. My own longest lens is only 400mm. In combination with the tele-converter I also get 800mm, but with lower quality. That combination is less bright and thus less fast. While the 800mm lens does not have an image stabilizer (but a tripod), but I have a working AF. On my 400mm with tele-converter the AF only works under good light conditions.

Most of my images are taken with ISO 3200 and ISO 1600 at f/5.6 or f/6.3 at distances of more than 200 – 300 m. So, the 800mm lens was a necessity to get good images.

Don’t forget, to view the gallery below this post. I already developed a few images an attached them to this post in no particular order.

Help saving our environment and the animals to make this planet a good place to live in for us and the following generations. Also, keep this planet in good shape for your kids, so that the following generations are also able to gaze at the marvellous events and places through their own eyes instead of having to trust ancient documentaries.

Take care!

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animals, art, landscape, photography, travel, wildlife, world

Monochrome Madness 4-23

Those of you, following me on Instagram, already know this image.

Although oystercatchers have these beautiful catchy red legs and packer, I do love this image in monochrome, too.

This is my contribution to Monochrome Madness organized by Leanne Cole. Look at here site on Thursday (Australian time), to see many more monochrome images created by many other talented photographers from all over the world.

I’d also encourage you to participate. The conditions are  published in each of her Monochrome Madness posts.

Take care!

architecture, Computer, culture, history, photography, postprocessing, review, software, technical, work

Review: Aurora HDR 2018

For a few days the latest version of Aurora HDR from MacPhun is available. This new version is not only for Mac, it’s also for Windows. I got a review version for testing.

Yesterday, while out with my photographers roundtable, I visited a former coal mining building, now a museum. That mining buildings are notable because of its wonderful architecture made from brick-stones. The mine was open from 1899 – 1955.

Most of the time I was inside the machinery hall, a very modern building for that time, but with an unusual architecture style for a mine. Many parts inside reminded me to the movie “Metropolis” by Fritz Lang from 1927.

Being inside a quite dark building on a dark and rainy day gave me the opportunity to take some images by using bracketing. That is a technique where you’re taking one image just the way the light meter says, but two (or more) additional images with exposure correction (+ and – i.e. 1 or 2 EV) to develop them later with HDR or DRI software like Aurora HDR. Often HDR or DRI images have over-saturated bonbon colours, which I don’t like. So, you don’t see many of them here in my blog.

While the user interface of Aurora HDR did not change much and the preset sections are also still available, I won’t waste too much time on these parts. Have a look at my last review.

I want to focus on the new results and an unexpected feature I discovered: distortion control. The export results are much better in quality, than in the original version. I like the resulting colours more and the results don’t have so much noise in it. The auto-alignment feature works quit good. But ist’s still better to have exact aligned images by taking them with a tripod instead of free-hand. The distortion control feature is nice. I’m using DxO Viewpoint for distortion control. The results are great. Compared to Viewpoint, Aurora is too complicated. Here they have some work to do.

When you own some other tools from MacPhun, you can use them as plugins inside Aurora HDR and vice versa. They are also available as plugins inside Photoshop.

art, landscape, nature, photography

Tiny men, huge nature

Monochromia

Look at the tiny men walking down the path from the parking ground. Look at the enormous spray above the cataract. Believe me, you’ll get wet when walking there.

This is the lower cataract of Gullfoss, one of the huge waterfalls of Iceland.

FX, 16mm, f16, 1/100s, ISO 100

More of my images can be seen at my own blog.

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landscape, nature, seasons, travel, world

Throwback Thursday: at sunrise

I love the certain mood around sunrise. Everything is so quiet. Although, I love the warmth of my bed, I sometimes get up when it is still dark while everyone else in my house is still sleeping and hurry to my destination. Hoping for the right weather conditions – especially, when I have to drive for a long distance to my destination.

Than, upon arriving, I see, if it was worth the effort.

It’s hard to get up so early. For me, too. But, being on location on time and standing in the midth of a daybreak: sunrise and morning fog. It’s such a rewarding experience! It’s cold and dark when getting out of the car. Finding my way to a proper subject in twilight, probably equipped with a torch or a headlamp. Because of the moisture, the fog usually feels icy. So, warm clothes are a necessity. Under these circumstances ons has to check the sky to find out, where the sun will rise over the horizon or the trees, or whatever surrounds you. When the sun gets up, sends its rays through the fog and touches your face or your back, it’s such a fantastic feeling.

No talking, but listening to the nature: the wind in the trees, the awakening birds. Following the vanishing fog and the movements of the shadows.

Sunday 3 weeks ago was such a day with the right conditions for morning fog. Although the weather forecast announced some rain, for Sunday noon I gave it a try and have set my alarm clock for 5:30h. When I got up, the sky didn’t look very proposing. But, I was already up. So, I started to my destination and hoped for the best. You know, weather forecaster think in bigger dimensions. Fortunately, the weather was perfect for my plan and I got what I was looking for. I hope, you like it, too. 🙂

Unfortunately, this magic golden hour only lasts about 30 minutes. Depending on the density of the fog, it needs a bit longer to vanish completely. So, you have to hurry to get some photos. That’s why I want to arrive early on location. I need time to find good spots, set up the tripod and the right lens.

Summing up the trip, I’m very happy about the results: in quality as well as in quantity.

Take care!

animals, bird, nature, photography, travel, wildlife, world

Travel Tuesday: Eurasian spoonbill

Eurasian spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia) / Löffler also Löffelreiher

One evening I was on my way back to our apartment when I noticed a quite big bird flying slowly in my direction. As I saw on the flying style it was neither a goose nor any of the other birds I watched during the last days. I wondered, what bird was coming up to me.

While the distance shrank, I hoped it wouldn’t change its direction. It seems to me like a heron or an egret, but I was still unsure.

A few minutes later, I was sure to see a spoonbill in front of me, a member of the heron family. You can identify this bird easily on the very distinct shape of the spout.

Take care!

 

art, landscape, nature, photography, postprocessing, seasons

Monochrome Madness 4-22

 

First week of a month means, we have a theme for Monochrome Madness: “doors”

I stood in front of this rich decorated old door in October 2012 in Andechs in Bavaria. I also have an image of the closed portal, but I like the open one a bit more. In the post, I mentioned above, you can find a gallery containing both images and much more of the magnificent church.

This is my contribution to Monochrome Madness organized by Leanne Cole. Look at here site on Thursday (Australian time), to see many more monochrome images created by many other talented photographers from all over the world.

I’d also encourage you to participate. The conditions are  published in each of her Monochrome Madness posts.

Take care!