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!


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!


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!


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

Monochrome Monday 9-45

Today, I have a more abstract image for you. Before reading any further, guess what you see in the image.

It’s a little dune of snow created by the wind. This was one of the pro sides of the regular strong snow storms we were suffering in Norway. The structure is approximately 20 cm long and 7-8 cm high. The low-standing afternoon sun trow that long shadow. It was located right next to the path we were walking from a panoramic viewpoint back to the parking ground.

Take care!


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

Monochrome Monday 9-44

recently, I stumbled upon an image of this tree online. My own images of this tree are all in color. But, that fellow photographer developed and showed a monochrome image of that tree. Seeing his image, I copied mine and played a little bit around. This is a second, more traditional, version of the image.

Do you like it? Or do you like the inverted version from last week more?

Take care!


art, landscape, monochrome, nature, photography, world

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #240: The Road (most often) Taken

Ok, guys. It’s Saturday and so my contribution to LAPC is due. This week, John is our host. He asks for “the road most often taken”. But, instead of following the idea literally, he explains, he understands it more metaphorically and projects it to photography. So, he wants us to show images, more or less typical for us.

There are so many kinds of photography like landscape, architecture, people, street, fashion, macro, or food, to name only a few of them. Since I started photography back in the early 1980s, my focus is primarily on nature and monochrome. Thus you can find me more likely in rural environments than in urban ones. I love observing natural landscapes and wild animals (wildlife), especially birds.

In my early years, I took over photography jobs for an advertising agency on a regular basis and photographed the given subjects with monochrome films which were developed and printed in my own lab. I still have my love for monochrome images, as you can easily see when browsing my blog.

Thus, I decided to pick a few examples for today, where nature and monochrome are combined. All of the images are taken during my latest trip to Norway, from which I returned on Wednesday 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 John’s inspiration post. Don’t forget to tag it with LENS-ARTIST, so we can find it.

Take care!

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

Monochrome Monday 9-43

recently, I stumbled upon an image of this tree online. My own images of this tree are all in color. But, that fellow photographer developed and showed a monochrome image of that tree. Seeing his image, I copied mine and played a little bit around. In the end, I got this: monochrome and inverted.

Do you like it?

Take care!


art, landscape, nature, photography, travel, world

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 233: “A one lens walk”

This week, Anne is our host for Lens-Artist’s photo challenge. She invites us to a photo walk with only one lens. The idea of doing so is quite old and goes back to the film days when zoom lenses became increasingly popular. In those days, some (many) images taken by non-pros became boring. They overused the ability to zoom into a scene. The advice was (and still is) to use your feet. The famous photographer Roper Capa once said, if your photo is not good enough, you were not close enough. That’s the reason for the advice “go on a walk with only one lens”. Each focal length has its own characteristics. So, when having only one (prime) lens, you have to think about composition more carefully. Thus, this advice is a kind of exercise for your photographic eye and is meant to help to develop your composition abilities.

My first camera was a fixed-lens film camera for 126er film cassettes. Next, I got a 35mm focal length film compact class camera. My first lens for my first SLR was a zoom lens: 35-70mm, later accomplished by an 80-200mm.

Nowadays with all the mega-zooms, the advise is more and more important to improve your photography skills. When you don’t have a prime lens, you can also fix the focal length to a certain focal length with a piece of duct tape or go out with your smartphone, as their cameras usually don’t have the ability to zoom in. Limiting yourself can help a lot. Give it a try.

A few years ago, I led a Photo Walk. I limited myself and went with a 35mm prime lens. You can see some of the results here.

As I sold all of my primes last year, I took my standard zoom (24-120), fixed it to 35mm, put my warm jacket and my boots on, and went out for about half an hour. My first photo walk this year.

Thursday last week, we were surprised by some snow. But it didn’t last long. By Friday nearly all of the snow was gone. Only a few heaps at the roadsides remained where people shoveled the snow from sidewalk removals. But, last night some fresh snow fell and there was still some fine snow falling while I was outside.

Click on the images to enlarge them.


Near the end of the walk, I removed the fixture and allowed some other focal lengths.

I love especially this lens. It gives me the freedom to walk with only one lens when i.e. on a city trip or a photo walk. But, I don’t want to miss my others: a 12mm + a 20mm prime, my 105 macro, and of course the long telephoto lenses for wildlife photography.

The new 24-120 is so good in comparison to the old one, that I even sold my holy trinity: 35 f2.0, 50 f1.8, and 85 f1.8. Those three lenses were constructed back in the film days, when it was impossible to correct distortions or uneven sharpnesses in the camera like it is possible nowadays when photographing digitally. (In case, you’re curious about what I’m talking about: take an image with lines in it in RAW format, transfer it to your computer, and view it with the automatic lens correction turned off. Now wonder, how badly the image looks. Even very expensive lenses have that problem. It’s much cheaper for the manufacturer to maintain additional firmware to be installed on the camera to apply the necessary corrections to the jpg than to spend money to do a proper job in lens construction. To have similar good corrected images when using 3rd party lenses (lenses from other manufacturers than from the camera’s brand), computer software comes into action, which is able to do the corrections. Software published by the camera manufacturer only supports their lenses. Commercial software like Lightroom, Photolab, or Luminar is able to do this. But, there is also free software available on the Internet: RawTherapee or Darktable.

Photographing in raw and using such software is nowadays more than ever necessary when using compatible (3rd party) lenses for your camera besides the other pros!

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 Anne’s inspiration post. Don’t forget to tag it with LENS-ARTIST, so we can find it.

Take care!

art, landscape, nature, photography, travel, world

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 232: “Looking back”

This week, Sophia is our host for Lens-Artist’s photo challenge. The new year inspired her to look back and recognize what changed over time.

When I read her inspirational post yesterday, I started considering how to respond.

In the beginning, many millennia ago, our farthest ancestors took water and clay or mud in their mouths and either sprayed the substance against the walls and ceilings of caves or used fingers and twigs to apply it. They created iconic images from animals around them and from themselves or sprayed negative shadows of their hands. Unfortunately, I can’t find an example of these taken nearly 40 years ago on an analog slide film when I was visiting such a cave.

Then, painting seems to be not important for thousands of years until it got rediscovered by some whimsical people. As their ancestors, they had to create their paint them. They used minerals, saps, and different kinds of clay and mud to create different colors and reinvented the art of painting.

Nowadays, we can simply go to a grocery store and buy watercolors, crayons, or felt pens. Artists instead,  go to special stores to buy the raw materials for their paints to have the highest possible quality to express their imagination.

choose the right pen


Find your style!


work carefully


regardless if your model sits or stands right in front of you or creating a painting from a small photo


some artists invent something new like painting with coffee


even the style of painting developed over time. From simple lines to complex scenes and even capturing certain lighting situations

In recent times, another new style developed: street-art

The first paintings were assumingly intended for religious purposes. About 500 years ago, religious and political leaders started demanding portraits created showing themselves. Starting from the 18th century painting found their way to the houses of the common people. By the middle of the last century, a new kind of art came even closer to all common people’s lives: street-art, art in the streets, sometimes covering a complete wall of a large house or building. While the first pieces were considered as daub and scribbling, over time the technics developed further and even the acceptance by people as long as the artists got permission in advance of creating their paintings. Now you can find some of these paintings in many cities.


Although, some of the quite modern pieces seem to remind of their roots millennia ago.



and hands

This is also quite old kind of painting: street painting. I can remember to have seen such artists in the pedestrian areas of bigger cities when I was a child. They were painting on the boardwalk to collect money to make their living. This one was taken during the street art festival I visited last summer.

afraid of water


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 Sophia’s inspiration post. Don’t forget to tag it with LENS-ARTIST, so we can find it.

Take care!

art, photography, review

My yearbook arrived!

It’s a tradition to create a yearbook by the end of each year containing the essence of the past year. This book does not necessarily have the best images taken during the given year. Instead, it’s a review of the year. I’m trying to have images from significant activities like trips, vacations, and special events to remind me of these activities.

I just got the book. The book has 100 pages and to create it, I worked through my images from 2022 again. In the past, I already explained the process of how I narrow down the images to find the essence of the relevant year. This year this wasn’t different. But, the number of images was quite high because of the number of wildlife images i.e. from Namibia.


I really love this type of photobook for creating my yearbook, although the manufacturer is quite expensive and the software running inside the web browser is very inflexible and kind of a torture to use. Having this kind of front page is unique and only available from that one company.


This is, how my yearbook looked before I got to know that manufacturer respectively before they came up with the cut-out year numbers. You read right, the numbers are cut out and you can see an individual image behind the digits. The chestnut on the front of the black book below is also created that way. But it’s less attractive than having the year named on the front and seeing my own images shining through the digits.

These yearbooks are a fantastic opportunity to remember the really important activities or trips in a certain year like vacations or photo outings.

Now I have a few pages from my 2022 yearbook to show you, how such pages look like. Each page is approximately DIN A4 (= 21×29,7 cm = appx. 8,27×11,7 in). You can click on the images below to enlarge them.

I don’t use photo paper or lay-flat bindings for my books anymore. First, lay-flat binding is only possible with thick pages. These pages look more like card-box than book pages. Next, when using photo paper, the pages often stick so tight to each other that you risk damaging the pages when haven’t looked through the book for some time.  In addition, I don’t like the thicker material when turning the pages and the glossy surface creates disturbing reflections that make it hard to watch the images. Thus, I use digital print and regular paper.

The books are usually more or less chronologically created and the contents of both sides should (have to) complement each other. I also try to ensure the same dominating colors and/or mood/ambiance on both sides.

In total, the creation process took about a week. Not full-time 😊. As I explained on the other page, I copy all developed images into a special folder of my disk and make sure the filenames follow the same structure: YYYYMMMDDD_hhmmss-xxxxxx.jpg. So, they are already in the right order. Next, I’m resetting the star ratings. This time, there were nearly 4,000 images in the folder. Now, I start rating the images again. In the end, there were 2,000 left with 1 star. The next day, I reviewed the images rated with one star again and ended with 300 having now two stars. On the next day, I reviewed these 300 again and gave 3 stars to the keepers. In case, there are still too many images in the folder, a fourth and fifth iteration can help.

Thus I ended with 150 images to populate the book 😀. The final steps are uploading the images to the web and placing them on the pages, reviewing the final product, putting it in the shopping cart, checking it out, paying, waiting for delivery, and enjoying the final product after delivery.

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 John’s inspiration post. Don’t forget to tag it with LENS-ARTIST, so we can find it.

Although it’s a lot of work, I love this process. A whole year gathered right at my fingertips and considering, which of the images represents a valuable memory. A few years ago, I told you about two mice (scroll down that page to find it).

There’s a kid’s tale about a group of mice. All of them were working hard during summer and fall to collect food for the winter. But, one of them was not working that hard as the others did. Instead, he was looking around for the sun, the green grass, the colorful leaves in fall, and listened to the wind and the birds. The other mice were complaining to get the one mouse to help them. I do, the one mouse said. I’m collecting memories. And when the dark and cold winter days came, he was able to cheer the other up by telling them about the warmer days. He told them, how the wind sounded and smelled. Which colors the leaves have had and how the sun rays felt on their backs. That way all of them survived the hard winter.

That’s what I do, I’m collecting memories. Memories are important. Today, I’m about to go out and travel. A time might come when I’m not able to do so either because of a lack of money or because of health problems. When I was much younger I was told, what you have learned, can nobody steal. First hand this sounds right. But, in the meantime, I know about a thief stealing your memories: dementia. Several years ago, my wife lost her mother first to dementia, then her father. This disease is cruel. Not only to the victim but also to the people around them, friends and family. The disease attacks the victim’s brain. The most recent memories die first. That way, the victim goes back in time. At some point their children will no longer be recognized, then their partner. Sometimes it can happen, a child might be addressed by the name of a victim’s sibling or parent because of the family similarity. You know, my wife is working in a pension home as a care assistant and works with elderly people to keep their brains active as long as possible. So, she is quite often faced with the symptoms of this cruel disease. A person might have recognized her yesterday during her visit, but today she is completely unknown to the person.

A yearbook can bring back some memories, just like told in the story of the mice. Looking at images taken during a beach vacation can bring back memories i.e. how the sand felt when walking bare feet along the surf, how the air smelt when leaving the plane, or the taste of a wonderful dish at a warm night in a restaurant near the harbor. I guess you can name many more similar memorable events. File them and keep them to cheer you up when you need a cheer.

Although it takes more room, it’s still usable without any technical device. Different from a book with images taken on a certain trip or event, the yearbook represents all memorable events of a year and can tell, what you have done during that year. Don’t get me wrong, I also have a lot of books dedicated to certain destinations and I really love them. But, the yearbook has the essence, distilled from the bulk.

Take care!


art, landscape, nature, photography, travel, world

Monochrome Monday 9-35 and Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 231: “Favorite Images of 2022″

A new year also means reviewing the past year. As a good tradition, I already did it under two different aspects. First, I published my “Top 9 of Instagram” and second, I picked my favorites from six categories.

Today, I’m presenting my top monochrome images.

Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe


a hippopotamus swimming in the Okavango river


wooden gears inside an ancient wooden windmill


a bud of Nigella damascena, love-in-a-mist, or devil in the bush (Nigella damascena) / Jungfer im Grünen (literally: damsel in the green = countryside)


Staircase inside an education center


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 John’s inspiration post. Don’t forget to tag it with LENS-ARTIST, so we can find it.

Take care!



Incredible news! Skylum gives you access to their 7 already published Luminar plugins. 

Everyone who already has a Luminar Neo license can add the plugins to Luminar by clicking on the puzzle icon and testing the plugin(s) of choice for 10 days for free.

These 7 plugins are already available: