Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #251: Buildings and Other Structures

OK! Challenge accepted. Anne challenges us with a topic outside my comfort zone. On my trips, I also visit (usually smaller) towns. Indeed, they have houses. But do they also have ‘buildings’? And what about structures? Finding structures in nature is easy. But it’s hard, when not visiting cities.

Let’s have a look, at what I can find.

First, follow me to Lisboa. In the old town, you can find so many structures.

Second, I want to take you to Helgoland to show you the famous Hummerbuden. Although the island is so small, keep your eyes open and see, what’s in front of you.

Next, came with me to Parha (and avoid to get lost), …


…, via Barcelona (you can lose yourself so easily in Barcelona), ….

…, Duesseldorf (some areas seem to be constructed with a long ruler), …

…, and a few random places.

When digging through your archive, it’s likely you find more images than expected.  These challenges are a very good opportunity to walk through your archive and see your images from a different perspective. Those of you following me for some time can easily see, this is not my usual style. It’s different

As usual, click on the images to enlarge them.

Thanks, Anne for this wonderful challenge this week.

Maybe, I inspired you to dig in your archive and find some images, you can publish your images on your blog and set a link to Amy’s inspiration post. Don’t forget to tag it with LENS-ARTIST, so we can find it.

Take care!

animals, bird, nature, photo-of-the-day, photography, wildlife

Throwback Thursday: puffin

Since my first visit of Iceland, I’m following the Icelandic news online (the English version of course 😁). Earlier this week, I read a news initially published by ruv.is about the Atlantic puffin.

These cute birds only come to land for breeding and Iceland is the breeding home for about 40% of the worldwide population. Two years ago, I already published a similar post focussing on the enormous decrease of the puffin population. Now they state, the population decided by 70% since 1995!😳😩😡

According to the news, the vanishing of their food is the primary reason for the decline. I already wrote about it. Thus, I simply ask you to follow this link and read the second and third paragraphs.

Take care!


photo-of-the-day, photography, spring, world

Travel Tuesday: awaiting a new day

OK, guys. It seems the polling part worked and you voted for some more UK: Northern Wales.

This tree grows near or in the lake, depending on the water level. As you can see, approximately half a meter of water was missing to make the tree an island.

We were based near the lake during our stay. Thus I got up early to be there for sunrise and left the house at about 6:00 in the morning. I was only about 1 kilometer to walk. As the weather seemed to become perfect for such a morning, I planned to go here right at the first morning. You know, weather is able to change fast and not taking an opportunity can lead to waste a chance. Thus I went out before the planned breakfast to be back at right before the time aligned for breakfast. 

Side note: I wasn’t the first one out. When leaving the house for the lake, I met another photographer. But, he was outside to smoke instead of taking photos. Even when I told him about my plan, he didn’t want to come with me. Later he regretted to not having joined me for the little walk.

The silence, calmness, and serenity of this scene gives so much of power. A perfect start in such a week.

Take care!

nature, photography, world

Lens-Artists Challenge #250: cloudscapes

Building a castle or a chateau in the clouds is an idiom in German for working on an obviously unrealistic dream. I’m quite sure, that idiom has its origin in distinct clouds and cloudscapes.

A few years ago, I was sitting on the balcony of our hotel room looking out at the sea and saw this castle, illuminated by the setting sun, floating up in our direction.

I was waiting there for the blue hour to photograph the castle. As I’m unable to read clouds, I wasn’t aware a thunderstorm was coming closer. Fortunately, it passed without starting to rain or throwing more bolts of lightning than this single one.

I experienced this dramatic sky when I was in Iceland. After more than a week of more or less constant rain, finally some light.

The most beautiful cloudscapes can be found at the sea.

But, clouds are also nice when they lay to your feet like a carpet.

Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish between the sky and the sea.

As usual, click on the images to enlarge them.

Thanks, Amy for this wonderful challenge this week.

Maybe, I inspired you to dig in your archive and find some images, you can publish your images on your blog and set a link to Amy’s inspiration post. Don’t forget to tag it with LENS-ARTIST, so we can find it.

animals, bird, nature, photo-of-the-day, photography, wildlife

Throwback Thursday: Eurasian hoopoe

Eurasian hoopoe (Upupa epops) / Wiedehopf

Each year in spring I see images on Instagram with this small bird. It’s quite rare here although they are common in Europe (except Great Britain and Scandinavia)  and Asia. You can even find them in Africa. The European part of the population is migratory. They fly south over winter because they can’t find insects to feed themselves during winter.  In Germany, you can find them only in certain areas. 

For a long, I had them on my bucket list and I’m really happy to finally met one of them. 

We, humans, try to get rid of vermins by spraying poisons over the fields. But, poison has side effects: the fruits take in portions of the poison and beneficial insects are also harmed. With the death of insects, insect-eating animals like these beautiful birds are also affected. 

Make your garden attractive to insect-eating animals. They help to protect your harvest.

Take care!


photo-of-the-day, photography, spring, world

Travel Tuesday: infinity



On our last night on the Isle of Skye, we were sitting together in the living room of the vacation home and chatting about many different topics i.e. reviewing the just past week when suddenly the topic Astro Photography popped up.

When I started with photography back in the 1980s, I got a magazine in my hands having an image in it showing how the earth spun under the Northern Star, Polaris. I was fascinated at the first moment. I thought carefully, about how the photographer could have created that image, because there was no further information in the magazine. 

Needed equipment:

  1. camera, able to keep the shutter open for a long time
  2. tripod to keep the camera in the exact position
  3. film – what kind and which ISO?
  4. cable shutter release with a screw to keep the shutter open (had to be bought at once)

So, that was the easier part. I opted for a slide file with ISO 400 and kept the shutter open for an hour. No problem at that time.

Surprise, surprise – the settings were guessed right and the spinning stars were on my slide as planned. Unfortunately, the lab decided to cut that slide because they assumed having an underexposed image in that place. Thus, I was still without such an image.

I took that image in a rural area, quite far away from my home. So, there was no option to retake it. Over time, I forgot it. But, on that night on the Isle of Skye, all these memories came back. I had everything with me. The only difference is the approach how to capture the starts. Back in film days, it was no problem to keep the shutter open for so long. Nowadays, you have to make sure, your sensor does not overheat. Therefore, you take many, many images of each 30 seconds or so and stack them in postprocessing. We were in a quite dark place on the Isle of Skye and had a clear sky. So, I set up my tripod, put my widest lens on my camera, and dialed in a timer to automatically do a series of 30-second long exposures for a total of about 15 minutes.

The image above is not perfectly aligned with Polaris, but I like it anyway.


Next week, I going to start a new series. You have the opportunity to choose:

a) Northern Wales  – 70%
b) Iceland 
c) Norway – 10%
d) Graubünden (a Kanton in Switzerland) – 20%

Simply type your wish in the comments. I don’t trust the polling tool below very much.

Update: the poll tool seem to have worked. I put the results behind the options-

Take care!

art, monochrome, nature, photo-of-the-day, photography, winter

Monochrome Monday 10-01

Today, I challenge you with a song from Münchner Freiheit published in 1987 (together with the London Symphonic Orchestra): Solang′ Man Träume Noch Leben Kann. Münchner Freiheit is also the name of a famous square in Munich and translates to “liberty/freedom of/in Munich”. They were very successful at that time and published many top-10 hits. This is one of those top hits. In Germany, this was their second most successful song.

  1. Ein Jahr ist schnell vorüber,
    Wenn der Regen fällt,
    Ein Meer voller Fragen.
    Ich steh’ dir gegenüber
    In Erinnerung vergangener Tage.

A year has passed quickly
when the rain falls
A sea of questions.
I face you
Remembering days gone by.

Versuchen wir es wieder,
So lang’ man Träume noch leben kann.

Let us try it again
as long as we can live our dreams.

I translated the first verse and the last two lines of the chorus for you line by line to keep as much as possible of the meaning. This song came to my mind when I started preparing today’s post.  For 9 years I have published weekly a monochrome image here on my blog. Initially, this was my participation in Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness (Thank you so much, Leanne). When she stopped it a couple of years ago, I continued it on my own. (I’m happy, she restarted it recently). I love monochrome images. I love photography. I love capturing nature in all its glory. Often, I take images with the intention to process them in monochrome. Sometimes, I feel while processing an image, it would look great in monochrome.

You know, back in the 1980s, I run my own lab and monochrome films were more often in my camera than color (slide) films. I still love the gameplay between Lights and Darks.

The song “Solang′ Man Träume Noch Leben Kann”  (as long as we can live our dreams) brings a couple of aspects together:

  • today marks the 9th anniversary of publishing monochrome images regularly
  • this year passed quite fast (again)
  • don’t allow bad weather to stop your progress
  • there’s so much more to discover in this beautiful world
  • in each post, there are 2 people: me, as the writer, and you, as a reader
  • each image contains at least one memory  (open the link, scroll down, and read the second last paragraph)
  • collect memories, store them, and repeat
  • try to live your dreams. Enjoy the moment.

Today, I’m reviewing the monochrome images published here during the last 12 months and republish those of them, I like most. Maybe, you enjoy seeing them again, too.

In a background tab, you could have Münchner Freiheit sing Solang′ Man Träume Noch Leben Kann for you by clicking on the link. In case you’re interested in the full lyrics, they are also available in the usual suspects. Google Translate can help you translate them into your language or at least into English.

Btw. in 1988 they also published a version in English: Keeping the Dream Alive by Freiheit (they staged with this shortened name internationally), which was re-published i.e. by Kim Wild in 2013. Follow the link to Youtube to listen to that version, too. Although the English lyrics are nice, they differ from the German original. So, maybe it’s worth checking both versions. 😁





So, I’m starting today the 10th year of Monochrome Monday / Monochrome Madness. Stay tuned and

Take care!


culture, nature, people, photography

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #249: Art in the park and in other public places

Today, John challenges us for The Lens-Artists Photo Challenge this week with “Art in the park (and other public places)”.

I start with re-posting an image from my last week’s collection:

cemetery in Paris


fear and schadenfreude in a fountain in Aachen

I told the story behind this monument in the past. You can find it in this blog most easily when clicking this link.

What do you think, could this be a proper piece of art for your garden?


How to illustrate “Kafkaesque”?


Don’t hinder the wind!


Out of Africa

Last summer, I stumbled upon this art exhibition. Sculptors from Zimbabwe presented their amazing pieces of art.

Street Art in Lisbon


Street Art in Dusseldorf


How about war-knitting????


Art in public has been around for centuries and was a sign of wealth

Even light is (or at least can be) art. You can read the full story when clicking on this link.

I intentionally left out architecture and old buildings i.e. created by Antonio Gaudi. They are quite often richly decorated and wonderful pieces of art.


As usual, click on the images to enlarge them.

Maybe, I inspired you to dig in your archive and find some images, you can publish your images on your blog and set a link to John’s inspiration post. Don’t forget to tag it with LENS-ARTIST, so we can find it.

Take care!



abstract, art, flowers, nature, photo-of-the-day, photography, plants, spring

Throwback Thursday: during a short rain break

It’s mid of May. So, we’re in the middle of spring. To be honest, usually, spring starts in March over here outdoors, sometimes even in late February. First trees getting their leaves, spring flowers are blooming, temperatures are rising, and blue skies replace the grey blanket above our heads.

This year, we have spring flowers, but quite late and the trees are getting their leaves, but the temperature won’t rise. We still have temperatures between 10°C and zero. The sky is merely still grey without any structure and it’s drizzling very often. Not much rain, but enough to annoy us, while nature does not benefit because the amount is too small. 

In German, we have a weather rule “Der April weiß nicht, was er will” (April does not know what he wants). This describes the overall fast-changing weather conditions we experience in April. Even snow and ice are still possible and could possibly remain for a few hours. But, the overall statistics say, April 2023 was colder and wetter in comparison with the average since the beginning of weather recording more the 100 years ago.

Take care!


culture, nature, people, photography

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #248: mood

Today, Sofia challenges us for The Lens-Artists Photo Challenge this week with “mood”.

Fortunately, this topic was announced ahead, so I was able to prepare this post ahead of knowing exactly, what Sophia had in her mind. But, otherwise, I had to pause this week.

I like working this way on the weekly challenges because I have to and I have to deal with the respective topic myself without having gotten a predefined direction of thinking. So, I decided to not stick to moody scenes around sunrise or sunset but also include other moods.

In general, we tend to consider a scene moody when having certain light conditions. This can be the warm light around sunset or sunrise flooding a scene, artificial lights at a party, or ambient light for a romantic situation. In nature, foggy scenes are also often considered moody, or when there are very distinct light conditions with hard contrasts. But, in my opinion, there is much more. Getting into a certain mood is usually triggered by an impulse from the outside. This can be a certain light condition, an incident, a situation, a location, or even a piece of information.









happiness through sports


glowing at dust


heart-warming sunrise






before sunrise


relaxing or being together


burning nature


longing for light


burning sky




warming and inviting




awed amazement




morning glory


magical night






As usual, click on the images to enlarge them.

Maybe, I was able to inspire you to dig in your archive and find some images, you can publish your images on your blog and set a link to Sofia’sSofia’s inspiration post. Don’t forget to tag it with LENS-ARTIST, so we can find it.

Take care!



art, Cosplay, culture, leisure, people, photo-of-the-day, photography

Throwback Thursday: Star Wars Day

“May the force be with you!” is the blessing used several times during the Star Wars movies. So, I tried to find and Star Wars-related image for today. But, as expected I don’t have one in one of my cosplay folders. You know, I photographed the cosplayers at Japantag a few times, but Star Wars is usually not to find as the origin is not Anime or Manga. I probably would have more luck at a ComiCon or a Star Wars-themed convention, but I’ve never visited such an event.

Instead, I incidentally met a group of clone warriors, a few Jedi, Princess Leia Organa, and even Lord Vader a few years ago at a photo + adventure fair. You can read the whole post here in my archive.


I’m not into anime, manga, or these computer games. But, I love how much effort these people invest to not only create the clothing and ‘weapons’ of their favorite characters, they even bring the characters to life. 

Take care!


art, monochrome, nature, photo-of-the-day, photography, winter

Monochrome Monday 9-51

That day was a bad one. Heavy winds pushed low-standing clouds over the sea towards the coast. Clouds, full of water and ready to pour it over the scene. So, we had to secure the doors when getting out of the cars. A mixture of rain, hail, and snow welcomed us. No hard rain, but enough to keep some of us inside the cars. To make it even worst, the ground was covered merely with ice and rain poodles on top of them. Very careful movements were an absolute necessity. These were not the conditions we came for. What a difference to 2016, when I was there for the first time.

This time we needed the shortest shutter speeds, even when using wide-angle lenses. While setting up a tripod was possible in those conditions, it was impossible to use it. The wind not only pushed the tripod and made longer exposures impossible, but the guts were also even so strong to make the tripod tumble down.  So, I opted for another way to get a long exposure of the waves: I put my beanbag on top of the concrete wall securing the parking ground from the cliff, and pressed the camera in the bag. That way, everything was stable enough for a 20-second exposure at 97mm.

For a long, I was hoping for such a location and the right conditions. You see, you have to be open-minded when arriving at a location. Don’t stick to the idea of recreating the images you have seen online, in books, or have on your bucket list. Look around and discover what the scene and the conditions have to offer. Benefit from what you have in front of you. In German, we have a saying: better the sparrow in the hand than the pigeon on the roof (Besser den Spatz in der Hand also die Taube auf dem Dach.).

Take care!