Ok, this one is really hard, Ann-Christine. First, I assumed I’d have to give up this time. The only striped thing in my archive coming to my mind were cats.
But, fortunately, I found at least a few things.
Ok, this one is really hard, Ann-Christine. First, I assumed I’d have to give up this time. The only striped thing in my archive coming to my mind were cats.
But, fortunately, I found at least a few things.
Today, Patti gave us a hard topic for LAPC: Emotions!
This is a mixture of model, engagement, wedding, concert, event, street, travel, and still-live photography. Enjoy!
This week’s Lens-Artists photo challenge is hosted by Anne and she takes us with her in the tiny world of macro photography. She’s right, one can discover a lot with a macro or even a micro lens. Macro photography is defined by everything up to a scale of 1:1. When using a lens able to use at scales between 1:10 and 10:1 you’re talking about micro photography.
A common macro lens is usually working up to the scale of 1:1. But, there are options available to boost the scale being this i.e. by involving extenders, bellows and reverse adapters. I own a set up extenders and a revers adapter und use them sometimes.
Below, I assembled a collection of images taken with my 105mm macro lens, a 35mm prime lens attached via retro adapter or with a 400mm telephoto lens by using extention tubes. You see, there are different ways to do macro photography. Btw. the easiest way is using a macro lens, but the most fascinating one is the retro adapter (end even the cheapest one😊). In case your interested in a howto, drop me a line and ask, what you want to know😊.
Btw. you can find many more examples here in my blog.
This is my first bi-lingual blog-post. Text in Deutsch weiter unten.
A friend of mine started a challenge to inspire the reader to travel without leaving the room and and calls it Zimmerreisen,which translates to room-travel. The German word can be a plural noun as well as a verb. I really liked the idea and I wanted to participate. As she writes her blog in German and addresses people living here I would also write this post in German. But, the majority of my followers don’t understand German, so I decided to write this post in both languages.
Puzzleblume named a few of rules for the challenge:
I’ve chosen “Alpes”, “Balloon” and “Carnival” for this first roundtrip from the back of your seat to have
A few years ago, I was in Bavaria with some friends for having a hot-air balloon flight in front of the Alpes.
You know, flying balloons depends very much on the weather. While for most time of the year a balloon can fly safely only during the morning or evening hours, during winter they can also have good conditions during the day. So, we met at about 8:30 with the pilot and tried to find a good spot to start. The sky was covered with thick clouds, but the weather report (not the forecast) said, it would be possible to fly. And we did! After a couple of 10 meters, we touched the clouds and when we came out of the clouds, a sunny blue sky was above us. We went up to 1,000 meters and enjoyed the view to the Alpes.
Where’s the “C” you might ask. This happens during the core time of the carnival season while we were escaping the carnival festivities. In German, carnival translates to Karneval. The origin of this word is Latin “carne vale” and means “meat, farewell”. This festivity is the last before the start of the lenten season, which ends on Holy Saturday.
Btw. I’d encourage you, to join. I guess, it’s a lot of fun 😊
Eine Co-bloggerin von mir hat eine Challenge gestartet Post zu schreiben, in denen man reisen kann, ohne das Zimmer zu verlassen und nennt das “Zimmerreisen”. Ich fand die Idee so gut, dass ich mich auch daran beteiligen möchte. Da mein Blog aber in Englisch ist und Ihre Idee in Deutsch, habe ich mich entschieden diese Post Zweisprachig zu schreiben, denn die Mehrheit meiner Leser verstehen kein Deutsch.
Sie hat ein paar Regel aufgestellt:
Ich habe mich für “Alpen”, “Ballon” und “Carnival” für diese erste Runde entschieden.
Vor ein paar Jahren war ich mit ein paar Freunden in Bayern um eine Fahrt in einem Heißluft-Ballon vor der Alpenkulisse zu unternehmen.
Wie jeder weiß, Ballon-Fahrten sind sehr Wetterabhängig. Die meiste Zeit des Jahres können sie nur in den Morgen- oder Abenstunden starten. Im Winter hingegen besteht in den Alpen auch die Möglichkeit tagsüber zu fahren. So haben wir uns morgens gegen 8:30h mit dem Ballon-Piloten getroffen und einen Start-Platz gesucht. Der Himmel war mit dicken grauen Wolken überzogen, aber der Flugwetterbericht sah für einen Start gut aus. Nach einigen Duzend Metern haben wir die Wolken erreicht und nach einigen weiteren Duzend Metern erfolgreich durchstoßen, wo wir von der Sonne und strahlend blauem Himmel erwartet wurden. Bis zu 1.000m sind wir aufgestiegen und konnten die Aussicht auf das fantastische Alpen-Panorama genießen.
Was ist mit dem “C”? Die ganze Aktion fand in der Karnevalszeit statt. Zwischen Weiberfasnacht und Tulpensonntag, während unserer järhrlichen Karnevals-Flucht (darüber habe ich schon ein paar Mal geschrieben). Karneval, oder in Englisch carnival geht zurück auf das mittel-lateinische “carne vale”, das “Fleisch, Lebewohl” bedeutet. Aschermittwoch, mit dem Karneval abschließt, ist der Beginn der Fastenzeit, die mit Karsamstag ihr Ende findet.
Btw. Eventuell möchtest Du auch teilnehmen. Tu es!
This image is taken during our photographer’s roundtable in January 2010. It’s 11 years old. But I guess, it’s a symbol for this year: a vaccine is available, distribution of the vaccine hast started and the bright area in the sky is proposing a “back to normal” to come soon. Until then, keep safe!
Ok, it’s January 1st. So, it’s time for a look back on the past year. Did you like it? Did you love it? Or did you hate it?
My top landscape images are already published. So, what’s missing now? The birds are missing! And here they are:
In addition, I have the top 9 by votes of Instagram for you:
This post is part of the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. This time it’s organized by Tina Shell. Head over to her site to see her motivational post and links to many other posts inspired by hers.
December 31st, the last day of the year! Time for a look back. I guess all of you are happy, this wired year finally came to an end. All of us are tired of the regulations, limitations, and lockdowns we were faced this past year and had to follow even if we didn’t want to.
Right before Christmas, I got my 2020 yearbook. During the lockdown in March-May, I feared, my 2020 yearbook would be quite thin, there was no possibility to go out and take photographs. But, I was wrong. I even had to work very hard, to reduce the number of images to fit in a book. So, I want to name the major topics now:
In the end, I created 4 books this year Iceland, Iceland monochrome, Iceland wildlife, and my yearbook. So, 2020 was a very productive year and without the limitations, it wouldn’t have been possible to have all my 2020 images developed up to now.
But, there were also a couple of downsides this year. Our vacation at the sea in April was canceled because of the lockdown. Our family vacation in May was also canceled because of the lockdown. The extended weekend trip end of September for visiting my brother in Switzerland was also canceled. But this time for bad weather (first heavy snowfalls and closed streets). Our plan was to make a trip to a wine-growing area in October. But, because of the increasing number of infections. We didn’t book a hotel in advance to be able to react short-term to the weather conditions. So, we stayed home instead. Around the first of Advent, my wife wanted to visit a couple of Christmas markets. You guess it: canceled – no Christmas markets were planned or set-up. Visits for Christmas with my parents or our moved-out children??? Very distributed and no gathering.
When looking at my job, it came out, I’m not affected by the lockdown and the limitations to go out for work. I can do my work perfectly from home. All I need, is my company notebook, a headset to telephone, and a connection to the internet. Lucky me! My wife is working at a pension home to keep the inhabitants mentally active. So, she’s working in a secure place.
All in all, it’s good to know, the first vaccines are already approved, and also the pop-up vaccination centers are ready. So, the most endangered people are getting their vaccines now (if they want) and all others will follow during the next months following a priority plan.
In my personal life, there were also a couple of changes. I started a completely new job. I changed from being a project manager for IT projects to vendor management. Instead of reporting to clients, I now get the reports from our vendors. A very interesting change of view.
My daughter also started working again in February. Back in 2016, she started getting educated in nursing but had to quit because of her baby. Despite being a single mum, she’s working shifts (early and late, but no nights) as a nurse in a pension home. She got employed in March after 4 weeks of working voluntarily in that pension home. For 2021 she’s planning to start again to get educated in nursing so that she will be able to earn a bit more money. She also moved to a new apartment in June (after living again with us for about 9 months, because of some problems with her apartment and since February because of her work). Now, she lives only 300m away from us, so that we can take care of her son when he’s not in kindergarten.
Our older son was able to convert his fixed-term contract into an unlimited one and our youngest wasn’t limited too much by the lockdowns to learn for his job. By the end of 2021, he has to pass the written exam and in January 2022 he has to pass the oral examination.
My wife is currently recuperating from the lung inflammation she got surprisingly early December.
This is the sun at noon on Dec. 24th. That’s a very typical winter sky here in my region. You can see, how low the sun is in the sky. It’s taken from your bathroom window on the second floor. From the street, I would be unable to see the sun at all. The trees are not that large and are about 100m away from our house. But the sun is standing so low during winter.
The image above is also a good illustration of my year 2020: there was a lot of struggling and complicated situations. We were pained by strict regulations to fight against SARS2-CoV. But, there was still some light. Think about your past 12 months. I guess you are also able to find some enlightening memories. Keep them well and let them carry you through the remaining time of the pandemic.
See you next year! Happy New Year!
Yep! Holiday season. A strange holiday season at the end of a strange year. I know, this year is strange for all of us, all over the world. Many families in many countries looking back in anger because of a personal loss. Lots of fear for many people: will I get infected? Will a family member get infected? And when having symptoms, the fear changes to “I hope, it’s something else”. And after a confirmed infection, this changes again. Now the question is “will I survives and will I recuperate completely”. I guess I can understand these feelings as I got tested in June in Iceland and waiting for the result was not enjoyable. Earlier this week my wife got tested because of an infection. She (we) had to wait about 30 hours for getting the result. It turned out, the test was negative, but instead, she was diagnosed with a lung infection – also not good, but better as COVID19.
In a ‘normal’ year, December is the worst month of the year. Besides the necessary Christmas-related happenings, I have 13 birthdays during December in my closer family circle plus the close friends. 8 of them are still upcoming, including mine. So, it’s a lot of stress to get all the necessary visits and festivities coordinated. The other thing is, in general, I don’t like the early start of Christmas decorations and products in the supermarkets (really, is it necessary to start end of September selling this stuff????) and playing the same 5 or 6 Christmas songs for months in the shops (yes, Band-Aid, Wham and Mariah Carey are among them 😫). Similar situation, when turning the radio on. Call me Mr. Grinch, but I can’t stand this anymore. Ok, ok, I’m not that extreme as Mr. Grinch. I don’t hate Christmas at all and I don’t try to ruin it for others. But, I don’t like how we are showered with music, decorations, smells, and so on for such a long time each year and always the same kind of stuff. This has nothing in common with the idea of Christmas.
OK, this year is different. No driving to work and working from home instead saves me from hearing these songs over-and-over again in the car (I’d need to commute 2 hours per day). I also try to avoid entering a shop as I’m one of those with a high risk for a dramatic course. Christmas shopping is done either online or I delegated it. Even all the birthday parties are skipped and there no necessity to attend an Advent or Christmas celebration in the office, society, or church. Staying home a lot. I even participated in my first ever virtual Christmas party organized by a lady from my department. It was nice and entertaining. Among other things, she had a Christmas-related quiz organized: 20 questions around Christmas. I had 10 correct answers (it would have been 12 if I would have followed my first idea and not corrected) and in the end, I ranked #13 out of 96. I guess that’s quite good despite the questions were sometimes very American and British. You could ask me, are there no happy feelings bound to Christmas? Sure, there are some 🙂
Here, we have a saying: Die Dosis macht das Gift (the dose makes the poison). Another one is “putting sugar in the honey”.
So, the grouching hour is over, Christmas season is around the corner. Here are a couple of Christmas related images from the past years. Btw. I want to tell you the greatest and most valuable Christmas present ever that I got: my daughter, my first child, was born the night before Christmas (Dec 23rd at about 22:00h). She really has Christmas spices in her blood! During December she’s always wearing a Santa Clause-like jelly bag cap either in red or in dark-blue with tons of little stars. But, both are having a white edge and pompon. Even her son has such a hat (he only has a red one). So, it’s quite funny to see them walking along the street like two of the dwarfs searching for Snowwhite.
In the past, I wrote a small series of posts on how Christmas and Advent look like here in Germany. Maybe your interested and check them out. They are all tagged with “Advent” and have “Cultural notes” in the subject.
So, thank you Ann-Christine for this wonderful theme, and forgive me for my grouching 😊
I wish you and your beloved a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! See you in 2021!!
8 years ago! What a day. Perfect weather. Even stars above the scene!
Our monthly photographer’s roundtable led us to this closed former steel plant in the north-western Ruhr area. Instead of tearing it down, the area was converted into a park and many parts are accessible for the people. This was neither my first, nor my last visit. Unfortunately, it’s nearly a 100km drive.
This week’s challenge is easy for me. Amy is asking for “precious moments”. Everyone has so valuable memories. Memories as precious as gold, silver, or diamonds like i.e. your wedding, the birth of your first child, getting a certain job, getting a promotion, you name it.
But, I’m telling you a different story now. You know, in 2014 I was in Iceland for the first time. And that country captured me. Right after my return, I started collecting hints and started planning my next visit. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find someone willing to accomplish me. Either the plan was too exhausting or the costs too high. You know, Iceland is quite an expensive country. By the end of last year, out of the blue, a mail arrived in my mailbox: a friend was looking for company for his own trip. As he regularly organizes such trips to different countries he knows a lot of people. His initial plan and my plans were mostly congruent and he was willing to add my additional destination to the plan. When the Covid19 pandemic started in China, I didn’t assume it would reach Europe. But, it did! When it came over to Europe End of February, there was still hope to be already over. We were about to start on June 13th. But, the pandemic lasted longer and longer. At some point in May, Iceland was virus-free again. But not the plane and no ferry was operating. Even the airlines didn’t cancel the flights. We were kind of locked. Finally, we the cancellation and were able to book seats on the first flight from Frankfurt to Reykjavik. What a precious moment, when I left the airport after the COVID19 test. Everything went well from that point on.
The other touching moment was near the end of our trip. During my first trip, I was guided to a beautiful waterfall located on private ground, as usual. No path was leading to the waterfall, no parking ground available and I even didn’t get a name. Unfortunately, the sky was dull and I didn’t get a nice image. Fortunately, I was able to find the waterfall during the last years in the maps. Since 2014 I’m following Icelanding news (in English) and had to read, the landowners had closed every possible way to reach the waterfall because of the misbehavior of many tourists: leaving their waste, trample down the sensitive plants, and even shit (yes!) behind the bushes! So, I assumed, I’d never see it again. But, while preparing the tour for this year, I noticed, the landowner created a small parking ground and prepared a path river-up to the waterfall. A one hour hike over quite challenging ground leads up to the waterfall. Unfortunately, we were unable to find the parking ground. Instead, we parked our car near a path leading river-down to the waterfall and started our hike. After 20 minutes or so, we reached the river, about 20 meters broad. We saw the river flew too strong to cross it. The ford seemed to be passable for horses, but for humans. There was too much water running down. We walked a bit up and down the river to see if there’s another option. but, there was no other option for us. At least we didn’t see one. So, we started walking back. Halfway back, a group of Icelanders came to meet us. Surprisingly, they asked us, how far it’d be to the river. We got to know, they were also on a hike to that waterfall and invited us to join. They said, one of them would know, how to cross the river even as a human. So, we joined the group. But, when arriving at the river again, they saw, the river had too much water to allow us, to cross it. But, they had a plan B. A short distance down the river was a bridge. So we were able to cross the river save and finally reach the waterfall.
Standing in the same place again as 6 years ago, I was touched to tears.
In my opinion, this is the most beautiful waterfall of Iceland: mostly because of the color of the water: turquois!
So, finally I can say, the more complicate it is to reach a certain goal or the more efford you have to invest to reach it, the more preciuos the goal becames!
I took this image a couple of years ago, but it could be taken today.
This image is illustrating, how I currently feel: bored, annoyed but at the same time lacking drive. I have so much to do, but I’m not motivated to do anything. So, I’m waiting for the time passing by when I’m back from work.
Only three weeks until winter solstice. Today, sunrise was at 8:24h and sunset is at 16:22. On Dec. 21st the sun will rise at 8:33h and set at 16:22h. But, when having so deep hanging clouds and fog, the days don’t get bright. People living further north even have way shorter days at the moment.
The weekend before last, the temperature was below 0°C even during the days with crisp blue skies. But, on the next Monday, the temperatures rose again and brought this uncomfortable weather: slightly above the freezing point, drizzling rain (with the ability to create black ice on the frozen surfaces of the streets), and the bad sight. A thick, warm jacket or better coat is important. Not because of the low temperatures, but because everything feels colder because of the moisture in the air. An umbrella does not help much. The drops are so fine, they find their way under the umbrella and make your clothes wet.
Unusually we have this kind of weather during November (but with much more rain). This year, November was way too dry. Forests are dying because of the lack of water. Lakes, and especially the artificial lakes for ensuring we have enough drinking water, are dramatically empty. Three hot years in a row without enough rain to refill all the reservoirs have consequences. Nature is fighting back!
We need more large forests to make sure, the rain will come back. But, without water, no forest can grow. Even, if it could, it would last decades.
This is flu weather. Keep yourself warm and take care of not getting infected by any of the bad viruses roaming outside at the moment. You know, there are a few viruses around much worse than flu.
Hands up for the weekend! Half of the weekend is over. So it’s time for the Lens-Artists photo challenge and Patti challenges us with the Letter “A”.
This was a very hard one, at least for me as a non-native speaker. Many things popped up in my mind, but none of them was an English word beginning with the letter “A”.
One week ago, I got an email from the Photokina team, the team behind the (former) world-leading fair for photography. Since 1950, every second year in September all eyes worldwide were directed to Colone in Germany to see the latest products and services for photographers: cameras, lenses, tools, gear, paper, printing machines, and so on.
Over the last couple of years, there was already a change visible. In my 2016 Photokina review, I already talked about it. 2018 was the last year the fair was held in the traditional way. Starting from 2019, they changed the frequency and the time of the year to face the changes in the photography business: Starting from 2019 the fair should run each year in May. (I wasn’t at Photokina in 2019, because I was in Wales at the same time). In my opinion, changing the time to May was a bad idea. It’s already vacation time. New consumer electronic products are already introduced at CES in January and for the shops, it’s too early to order products for Christmas. So, I really wonder which audience they want to address.
The other problem is, although we’re taking more photos than ever, only the tiniest part of them is ever printed and put in an album. In my opinion, more than 99% of the photos are taken with a cell phone and will never leave the device (expect from being put on FB or Instagram or being forwarded by a messaging service like WhatsApp, signal, or telegram to only name a few of them). And instead of printshops and laboratory, we only need a computer, software and maybe a desktop printer. And, we have an enormous diversity spreading from the pro wedding or product photographers to the ordinary snappers.
Over the last couple of years, we can notice an increase in camera and lens prices, while, on the other hand, the revenues of the manufacturers are decreasing. In 2015 I was asked by a fellow blogger about my opinion on the future of cameras and wrote a post on it (sorry, it’s written in German, but hopefully, this link works for you to translate it into English). When looking into it today, I see, many things I prophecized are already a reality.
Back to Photokina. In 2020 Photokina was canceled because of the Covid19 pandemic. 2021 now is also canceled because of the still ongoing pandemic and no-one is able to predict if we’re able to run a fair for several hundred-thousand visitors safely. So, this cancelation was already overdue. Now, the email is titled by “Photokina bis auf weiteres ausgesetzt” (suspended until further notice).
Now, the Photokina team has to use the time very carefully to re-invent themself and come back with a (new) concept attracting the manufacturers as well as the audience. CeBIT is an example, where the management did the wrong decisions. CeBIT is history (1986-2018). Is Photokina also already history? When looking at Gamescom (2009-), you can see, a renewed concept can make a fair successful. In the beginning, in the early 1990s, one of the fair halls at CeBIT was dedicated to gaming. Over time, gaming became more and more room. But, at some point, someone came up with the idea to dedicate a complete fair to only gaming, and it became a huge success. Even changing the location from Leipzig to Colone wasn’t able to stop the success.
As I stated above, the audience is extremely diverse in their needs and interests. Photokina could stay relevant when concentrating on pro-level photographers, and leaving out the consumer part. But, the fair needs to refinance itself by getting the entrance fees. During the last years, the entrance fee was already quite high and raised each time. So, I was wondering about many of the visitors. I had the impression their only purpose was filling the room. Many, many visitors seemed to be completely uninterested in the exhibitions. When planning with fewer ordinary visitors (this would probably re-attract more pros), the entrance fees would need to be increased even further. Although pros might be able to deduct the entrance fees from their taxes, I’m not sure if that’s enough.
CeBIT has had similar problems. Once, computer and IT were a small part of the Hannover Messe Industrie (industrial fair). Spinning the computer sector off, was a great and successful idea. But, with the upcoming success of computers, more and more ordinary people interested in computers became attracted by the fair the halls became extremely crowded. Gamescom was able to absorb many of the people interested in gaming, but still, too many people were visiting the fair making it more and more uninteresting for the businesses because they were unable to talk to their business customers. House fairs, organized by either the manufacturers or by big distributors, were taking over and the importance of CeBIT decreased. In 1995 about 755000 visitors and 7500 exhibitors were visiting the fair. In 2018 only 200000 visitors and 2800 exhibitors found their way to Hannover. That was less than during the first CeBIT in 1986.
For this week’s challenge, Tina really challenged at least me. In her text she explained, we should use this challenge to show something of us to share with the community that is describing a part of us not that well-known to the audience. This is harder than expected.
Finally, I’ve chosen this image taken more than 10 years ago at a funfair in one of our neighboring towns.
I still love this image. I love the movement surrounding my main subject. I also love changing conditions while photographing: light, movement, ambient. I guess that’s why I love photographing outdoors, wildlife, or moving water.
I filed this image to a competition and won the 3rd prize: being part of an exhibition and money to spend on a certain big and important funfair in our region.
This image is taken with my first DSLR, a very slow working camera, and shot in JPG. I wasn’t happy with that camera and its limitations. I owned it on that day for only about a month. I kept it for less than half a year. It had an APS-C sensor and came with 2 kit lenses: 18-55 and 55-200. The whole kit was lightweight and slow (AF as well as the power-on process). Even the saving process lasted quite long. My old film SLR was using 35mm file. So, you would call it full-frame nowadays. For my film SLR, I owned 3 lenses for that camera: 28-70, 70-210, and a 60mm macro lens. When converting the focal lenses of the DSLR, you would result in 24-82 and 82-300. I’m using an SLR camera since 1984. Some of my first own earned money went into it.