art, photography

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 210: “Three Favorite Images”

Sarah Wilkie, who hosts Travel with Me, asks us to share “Three Favorite Images“.

What does favorite images mean? Mine? But in which category? People, beloved ones, most favorite places I’ve been, countries, animals, memories, or ….. you name it. My archive is full of such images. How can I select the “favorite ones”? How to narrow it down? By complexity, clarity, used skills, connected emotions?

Regardless of which side I’m trying to narrow it down, I don’t come to a reasonable end. Therefore I decided to try it in another way. I let others decide. When following the links for each image, you can read a bit more about the background.

This first image is from 2008. I took it during a fun fair and sent it in in 2009 for a competition. The topic was, as you probably can imagine, fun fair. And it won the 3rd prize.


The second image also won a prize. I sent it in in 2012 for a competition on landscape photography run by SanDisk. It’s a huge coal mine in our state. It’s still in operation. I took the image on a very cloudy day with my fish-eye lens and a graduated ND filter. The huge hole creates its own weather (at least a bit). So, the conditions are quite unpredictable. It’s only about 40 km as the bird flies from where I live, but the conditions can really change dramatically. Latest in 2038 the digging ends. Then, the area is supposed to be converted into a huge lake.


The third image is taken in the old town of the town, where I live. Hanging out laundry is an old tradition in the old town during the traditional fun fair. Photographers in our region were asked to send in photographs taken in our region. Each photographer was allowed to send in up to 6 photos in 6 categories (one in each category). More than 2.600 photographers took part. The winners of each category got a prize and another 170 photographs got in the book, too. Mine was not only selected for the book, but also taken in the state archive because it documents local customs.



If you would like to participate weekly in our Lens-Artists Challenge, just click this link and join us: click here, where you can also find some more information.

A new challenge prompt is posted each Saturday at noon EST.

As always, please link to Sarah’s post either as a comment or as a pingback and use the Lens-Artists tag.

Take care!

art, photography

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 209: “surrealism”

This week, we have a tough topic. Tracy, who posts at Reflections of an Untidy Mind, has chosen Surrealism. When thinking of Surrealism, I assume, that most people think of the painting by Catalonian artists Salvatore Dalí or Joan Miró. Surrealism began in the wake of the First World War when the horror and violence experienced by so many had shifted perceptions of sanity and reality.
But, what is surrealism?
What are the key characteristics? Surrealism is the doctrine of something going over the edge of reality. It is the try to imagine ideas, dreams, and/or emotions. A painter or sculptor can follow her inner voice to picture her imagination. But a photographer? Cameras are supposed to capture reality. So, how can they capture surrealistic images?
There are a few photographers active in this field like Brooke Shaden and Kyle Thompson. They create dream-like images by transporting the methods and ideas from painting to photography. Strange shapes, floating body parts, and bizarre landscapes: the Surrealists sought to challenge notions of normality through the power of photography. 

What makes a photo Surrealism?

“Surreal images tend to be dreamlike and tap into people’s unconscious,” says Tryforos. “They’re often made of different elements that are put together in unexpected ways.” Surreal images almost always contain recognizable elements from real life.
Features of Surrealistic Art
  • Dream-like scenes and symbolic images.
  • Unexpected, illogical juxtapositions.
  • Bizarre assemblages of ordinary objects.
  • Automatism and a spirit of spontaneity.
  • Games and techniques to create random effects.
  • Personal iconography.
  • Visual puns.
  • Distorted figures and biomorphic shapes.


Having this in my, I have a few images to show:

details: a fairie’s dream

following an idea from the fairytale “The flying suitcase (Der fliegende Koffer)” by Hans-Christian Anderson

  • wrong white balance or using coloring filters / colored light

  • focussing on shapes and shadows instead of recognizable subjects

  • find surreal settings around you to capture

a shop-window in Rennes, France, a couple of years ago.


tree mummies of Dead Vlei


huge parts of the Icelandic landscape are looking so surreal

  • settings were parts don’t fit

here, you can read a bit more about that shower


  • dreamy scenes


a dreamy forest on Kerkyra



surpresed landscape


  • infrared

photographing in infrared


You see, you don’t have to be a painter to be able to create surrealistic images. And, as you can see, the border between surrealistic images and abstract images can be quite small sometimes.

Take care!


art, photography

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 208: “Summer Vibes”

A few weeks ago, I got asked to be a guest host for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. What an honor!

It’s mid-summer in the northern hemisphere, and most schools are closed. Many people are enjoying their summer vacation. This is the time, most people are longing for. But, when it comes to the style of spending this most valuable time of the year, wishes differ following their personal preferences.

Show us your favorite activity (yes, chilling is also accepted as an activity in this context) in summer. In my gallery below, I have some of them as inspiration:  biking, mountain climbing, hiking, swimming, diving, sailing, surfing, kite-surfing, beach sailing, chilling, bbq-ing, beach partying, traveling, sightseeing, reading, dreaming, loving, dancing, and I’m sure, you’re finding lots more like i.e. Midsommar in the Scandinavian countries or the White Nights


So, I’m curious to see your interpretation of summer vibes. Make us envy and wish to be with you while you’re enjoying your summer and your favorite summer activities! Whether you are in the Northern or the Southern Hemisphere and having your summer now or in 6 months. Tell us about your summer vibes and share some images about them.

An additional hint for you when selecting or taking your images for the challenge: pay attention to the composition and avoid having distracting spots in your image like waste, bins, or parts of things. Also, a balanced horizon is usually important for a great image. You can correct it easily, if necessary, in post-production. But, sometimes, even an unbalanced horizon works well, as you can see in my wind-surfing image where the unbalanced horizon highlights the speed of the surfer. Fill your frame like I did i.e. in the bbq image or accept negative space like I did in the cycling image above. Both concepts are right. It depends on the messages you want to tell, and which one supports the message best. These small things divide a great image from a bad or an ok-image. In the past, we had a couple of themes focusing on composition. I assembled a shortlist and put it at the end of this post for your convenience. Check them out, when you’re not familiar with them. They can help you get great images.

I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with and I hope you enjoy joining this Lens-Artists Challenge. As always, use the Lens-Artists tag and link to this post so we can easily find you.

Thank you, Jez, for last week’s challenge “Seeing Double”. Next week Tracy from Reflections of an Untidy Mind will host LAPC #209. So make sure to have a look at her site.

If you would like to participate weekly in our Lens-Artists Challenge, just click this link and join us: click here, where you can also find some more information.

A new challenge prompt is posted each Saturday at noon EST.

As always, please link to this post either as a comment or as a pingback and use the Lens-Artists tag.

Take care!



In the past, we had a couple of themes focusing on a composition like leading lines, rule of thirds, change your point of view, focussing on the detail, cropping,lights-and-shadows, bokeh, and moving closer. Also, you can incorporate opposite colors, like red-green, yellow-blue, black-white, or complementing colors like blue-green.


leisure, photography, seasons, summer, vacation, world

Throwback Thursday: Shona-Art


A few days ago, I was scouting a location. When I arrived, I was welcomed by a number of stone sculptures, like the one above. In size, they ranged from about 1 meter small up to the gorilla above in nearly life-size. I was impressed by the material, the details, and the kind of craftsmanship.

All of the sculptures were made of only one single serpentine stone. One of the artists was working on one of the sculptures. He was working on the glossy black part of one sculpture with a paste  (similar to shoe polish)and a gas burner. Thus, I talked with him. Because black men are quite rarely seen here, I asked him about where he’s from and why he’s here. The answer was quite simple, he’s a member of a community of artists from Zimbabwe and in Germany on invitation for a couple of months to present their art. As I only saw those sculptures standing in the parking lot, he directed me to the inner part of the building, the atrium, where a lot more was presented and offered for sale. Pieces of art made of stone, driftwood, old and rusty metal, as well as from metal sheets were there.

According to a leaflet I got, the relationship lasts already for a number of years. In 1966 a former tobacco farmer who had serpentine stone on his land, founded an artists colony. While the artists initially only worked with serpentine stone, other kinds of art emerged. The artists keep their legacy, spiritualism, legends, and myths alive in their art. It is called Shona-Art after the predominant people living in Zimbabwe.

I was really impressed by their artistry and craftsmanship. I loved also their sculptures. Unfortunates, nearly all of them are too big to set them up at home.

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Take care!

art, photography

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 207: “seeing double”

It’s summer time and thus we have a couple of guest hosts for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. This week, Jez Braithwaite of Photos by Jez is our host. When walking along the streets you can quite often see things in pairs. Get your camera, take an image and share it with us. Here I have a few examples.

Not one, or three, or four. Only two. Have fun participating in the challenge.

If you would like to participate weekly in our Lens-Artists Challenge, just click this link and join us: click here, where you can also find some more information.

Take care!

photo-of-the-day, photography

Monochrome Monday 9-08

Shortly after sunrise at the Fish river canyon in Namibia. While waiting for the sun to crawl higher so that the light was able to reach the remaining parts (poodles) of the water. At that time, the term canyon was right. But, where was the river? The river took a rest. Will be back in the next rain period.

Nevertheless, while waiting, that other car came along raising a huge body of dust from the dry road. Back in the summer of 2020, I was able to see similar situations in Iceland. When seeing such only every now and then, it’s quite impressive. But, I’m glad to not have such each day. On the other hand, when mankind is unwilling to change its style of living, we will definitely see such everywhere on our globe on a regular base.

Here, the low-standing sun makes an interesting scene. But, when the sun dries out the country, nothing remains than stones and dust.

Take care!

art, photography

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 206: “treasures”

It’s summer time and thus we have a couple of guest hosts for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. This week, Aletta Crouse of Now at Home is our host and she asks for treasures.

I’m very sure, the word treasure means something very different for each of us. Thus, I assume we will see a huge variety of images from all the participants.

For me, the natural world is the biggest treasure we have as well as the relationship to my inner family. The natural world feeds us, gives us oxygen to breathe, and ground to settle on. But, all of this is only possible in a small range of changes. Too much heat will kill the environment and us. Too much rain will kill us, the soil, and the seeds. Too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will increase the temperature, make the glaciers melt, increase the sea level, kill water plants because less light will reach them, hinder us from breathing well, and many issues more. Our planet works well, but as a marble on top of a pin of a hemisphere can roll down very easily, all these natural processes interlock with each other like a mechanical clockwork.

Monocultures must be avoided since although they offer a paradise for pests, beneficial insects such as bees starve to death because food is not always available for them. A good mixture of different fields and natural habitats is beneficial for insects and a good force against many pests. So, farmers can even save money and work for not to have to bring out poisons (or at least less of them) which helps keep the soil healthy, because poisons can be absorbed by the plants themselves and of course the ground water.  Instead of planting the same plants each year and pouring a lot of fertilizer on the fields, the outcome can be increased by changing the plants each year. A rhythm of changing between only 3 different kinds of plants would do so. Having 3 different plants of medium to small-sized fields side by side would help a lot, while the enormous large fields we see in some countries need more and more fertilizer each year while having more and more problems with pests and less useable outcomes in the same time. I’m asking you, is this wise? In my opinion not.


grain field


apple tree blossoms


But also the natural landscapes are to preserve. I don’t say, back to the roots to live as hunters and gatherers. I say, use the natural environment without harming it more than absolutely necessary. All the resources are precious and we are not allowed to waste them. We have only lent this planet from our descendants.

Water is key for nearly all processes, on which this environment is based on. Keep it clean and it will refresh you.


On top of these freedom and peace are treasures. I’m so happy, to live in a free country, and be able to go, wherever I want. This image should represent this idea. No more war and the borders set after WWII are torn down.  Pray for Ukraine to give those people peace and freedom back at once as well as in Syria, Etiopia, and the other regions not so present in the news.

Sorry, for the long rant. But, going through the world with open eyes, you can see so many misbehaviors.

Take care!