Wordless Wednesday: abandoned
Throwback Thursday: huge machines pt. 4
This is a follow-up post to last week. Go back, to read my post from the week before last, if you not already did.
Throwback Thursday: huge machines pt. 3
This is a follow-up post to last week. Go back, to read my post from last week, if you not already did.
Btw. I’m currently running a raffle. You can win a license of Excire Foto. Check it out!
Throwback Thursday: huge machines pt. 2
This is a follow-up post to last week. Go back, to read my post from last week, if you not already did.
Monochrome Monday 8-02
Monochrome Monday 8-01
Today I’m starting in the 8th year of this continuously running series of presenting monochrome images and I still love doing it.
Today, we’re back in Iceland again. This is Djúpalónssandur beach located on the south-western edge of Snæfellsnes peninsula.
Throwback Thursday: a different kind of light in the night
Monochrome Monday 7-52
Throwback Thursday: revived for the night
You can consider this as a follow up to my post from Monday. An old railbus parked in a former steel plant, now a museum. That night, they illuminated the remains. It was a great opportunity for a photographer to expore a known area under way differernt conditions.
Suffering form a virus? – Room travel trip #4
In German below the images / In Deutsch unter den Bildern
This post is part of the room travel challenge of Puzzleblume. After skipping two opportunities to participate, I’m in this time again for the letters “H” and “I” for hobby and Iceland! Here, you can find my first room travel where I also noted the rules for this challenge. Have a look and participate! I also have certain tags for this challenge: “roomtravel” and “Zimmerreisen“.
You know, last year I was in Iceland again. On my flight back, I watched a documentary on my mobile “Leben anderswo – Island – Von strickenden Männern und Pullovern (Living Elsewhere – Iceland – Of knitting men and sweaters)”. The documentary was about a knitting man in his mid-30s from Reykjavik who started investigating the source of Icelandic wool and the tradition of knitting sweaters. We were also introduced to his (nearly) all-men knitting club and the general information, how popular knitting in Iceland still is. We were also introduced to wool production and dying and a company giving work to women who make their living from knitting. These women get the wool from the company and making sweaters from them. In the end, they get pain per sweater minus the wool costs. It was said, you can get these hand-made sweaters in many places in Iceland.
In the documentary they also showed, all kids in Iceland are learning knitting: boys and girls! When I was in school, I also had to learn some basic knitting, sewing, and crocheting. I wasn’t talented for this kind of craftsmanship (crocheting was the worst of them). Despite this, I feel sorry for these topics aren’t taught anymore at school. Also, many of the now-parents don’t know how to do it and usually, the grant-parents are not nearby to take over (usually the women). Much of the culture and abilities are about to get lost. Because people have to move to keep their work, family structures are destroyed and no one steps in (to be honest, most of the kids don’t have any interest in learning this, when being forced to – nevertheless, they should at least have tried this before becoming a teenager as well as painting or acquiring abilities in mechanics or wood-working). So, either you’re eager to learn it from books, magazines, an already experienced friend, or from videos on youtube.
I liked the documentary very much and was eventually able to persuade my wife to watch it, too. (she hates documentaries in general, regardless of the subject).
After these 45 minutes, she was eager to start knitting an Icelandic sweater herself. After a couple of minutes of googling the internet, she found an online shop dealing not only with dyed Icelandic wool but also knitting packages containing all necessary wool and the pattern for about 40-50 different sweaters and jackets. One of those packages was ordered quickly. Because of the summer holiday of the shop and the pandemic, the delivery lasted quite long. But by mid-August, the package was delivered.
About 6 weeks after the delivery she finalized the jacket. Wow! During the final phases of the first jacket, another package was ordered to make a jacket for herself. Next, our youngest son got one (he’s 21). Seeing this, our grandson (he’s 4 1/2) also asked for a jacket. But, this one should get buttons instead of a zipper as the others have. While waiting for the delivery of the wooden buttons, (2-3 weeks of delivery), my wife started a fifth jacket (a second one for herself). Until the end of February, she knitted 5 Iceland jackets in 6 1/2 months. Wow! She only knitted in the evenings while watching TV to have something to do for her hands and she even knitted and crocheted a few other things like sponges for washing dishes or egg-warmer (Amigurumi) as well as a woolen VW Bulli for a friend as a birthday gift. And there are already plans for two further jackets to start after finishing the current project: a crocheted shopping bag.
Tell me, is she suffering from a virus? Maybe an Iceland-fever-virus despite she never was there?
Dieser Post ist Teil der Zimmerreisen von Puzzelblume. Nachdem ich zwei mal pausieren musste, bin ich diesmal wieder dabei. In meinem ersten Post findest Du die Regeln, um auch selbst mitmachen zu können. Meine Posts hier im blog kannst du mit den Tags “roomtravel” und “Zimmerreisen” finden. Diesmal sind “H” und “I” die Buchstaben. Für mich heißt das “Hobby” und “Island“.
Letztes Jahr war ich ich wieder in Island. Auf dem Rückflug habe ich an meinem Smartphone ein paar Dokus gesehen. Eine davon hieß “Leben anderswo – Island – Von strickenden Männern und Pullovern”. Wie der Name schon sagt, handelte sich von strickenden Männern in Island. Der Haupt-Charakter, ein Mann mitte 30, aus Reykjavik und Mitglied eines Strick-Clubs starte eine Reise zu den Ursprüngen der Isländischen Wolle, dem Färben, und was sonst so damit zusammen hängt. Er stellt uns auch seinen Strick-Club vor, der sich regelmäßig zum gemeinsamen Stricken in Reykjavik trifft. Fast ausschließlich Männer! Aber auch eine Firma, für die Frauen im ganzen land die Handgestickten Pullover aus gestellter Wolle erstellen. Man soll diese Pullover wohl an vielen Orten auf und In Island kaufen können.
In der Doku wurden auch Isländische Kinder gezeigt, die in der Schule stricken lernen: Jungen und Mädchen. Als ich in der Schule war, musste ich auch stricken, häkeln und nähen lernen. Allerdings war ich dafür nicht sonderlich talentiert (Häkeln war das schlimmste davon). Meine Kinder hatten das nie in der Schule. Und auch in meiner Altersgruppe war das eher die Ausnahme. Auch wenn ich es nicht mochte, finde ich es gut, dass das Kindern nahegebracht wird. Wie Sport und Malen sollte auch Handarbeiten und Werken erlernt werden bevor sie zu Teenagern werden. Wenn sie es mögen, können sie später darauf aufbauen. Wenn sie es nicht mögen, haben sie es zumindest probiert. Eltern und Großeltern können so etwas heute nicht mehr leisten. Beide Elternteile müssen arbeiten (wenn überhaupt beide Elternteile da sind), und haben es in der Regel selbst nicht mehr gelernt. Großeltern müssen ebenfalls noch arbeiten oder sind weiter weg. Die heutige Notwenigkeit der Arbeit hinterher zu ziehen zerstört leider solche Familien-Strukturen. Und Schulen fehlt die Zeit, das Lehrpersonal und die Fähigkeiten bei den Lehrkräften, Handarbeiten anzubieten. So bleiben für wirklich interessierte Personen das lernen ahand von Büchern, Magazinen, erfahrenen Freunden oder Youtube-Videos. Schade!
Ich fand diese Doku so interessant, dass ich meine Frau überzeugen konnte, sie sich ebenfalls anzusehen. Normalerweise schaut sie überhaupt keine Dokus. Aber nach 45 Minuten war sie nicht nur begeistert, sondern angesteckt, selbst einen Island-Pullover zu stricken. Nach weinigen Minuten suchens im Internet fand sie einen Online-Shop, der nicht nur original Island-Wolle anbot, sondern ganze Pakete mit Wollzusammenstellungen für komplette Pullover und Jacken. Etwa 40-50 verschiedene Modelle waren im Angebot. So wurde ein Paket bestellt. Aufgrund von Sommerferien und Pandemie dauerte die lieferung zwar etwas, aber Mitte August war das Paket da.
Etwa 6 Wochen später war die Jacke fertig. Wow! Während der letzen Phase wurde schon das nächste Paket geordert. Dann ein weiteres für unseren jüngsten Sohn. Dann wollte unser Enkel auch eine Jacke haben. Diesmal sollte die Jacke aber Knöpfe statt eines Reißverschlusses bekommen. Wie haben tolle Holzknöpfe gefunden. Leider aber wieder eine längere Lieferzeit. In der Zeit wurde die fünfte Jacke begonnen, ebenfalls mit Holzknöpfen. Fünf Island-Jacken in 6 1/2 Monaten. Wow. Und sie hat nur in den Abendstunden beim Fernsehen gestrickt, um eine Beschäftigung für die Hände zu haben. In der gleichen Zeit wurden auch noch andere Dinge gestrickt und gehäkelt: Eierwärmer, Spülschwämme (Amigurumi), ein VW Bulli für einen Freund als Geburtstagsgeschenk. Und es gibt schon Pläne für zwei weitere Jacken wenn das aktuelle Projekt fertig ist: eine gehäkelte Einkaufstasche.
Hat sie sich ein Virus eingefangen? Vielleicht ein Island-Fiber-Virus obwohl sie nie dort war?
Wordless Wednesday: locked-down
Throwback Thursday: connecting lights
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!
Throwback Thursday: 2020 – what a year!
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:
March - forest animals April - blue forest May - birding + stars June - Iceland July - comet Neowise August - birding (bee-eater) September - heathland October - fall
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.
So, 2020 was a bad year in many perspectives, but it wasn’t a complete disaster. There is always some light in the dark.
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!
Throwback Thursday: industry on magic mushrooms?
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.
Throwback Thursday: November blues in December?
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.
Throwback Thursday: RIP Photokina ?!?
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.
Throwback Thursday: Rear Window
Today’s subject is inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s famous movie as I kind of felt like the main actor of the story (played by James Stewart) might have felt. No, I’m not sitting in a wheel-chair, nor I’m handicapped otherwise. But, the remaining parts have some similarities.
Last Sunday morning I was attending a personal video conference from our living room. I was sitting on the couch with my notebook standing on the coffee table in front of me. So, I was able to easily watch out of the big window when I suddenly recognized a movement in the garden. That day was already winterly: cold (around 3-4°C), a gray covered sky and it was drizzling. Very uncomfortable being outside. Fortunately, I was sitting inside.
I tried to discover, what kind of movement I recognized from the corner of my eye. It was different from the regular bird’s movements. About 20 meters away from me I saw a gray subject laying on the lawn. But, I was still unable to determine what it was. After staring a couple of seconds on the subject, I got the idea, it could be a bird of prey with its prey after a successful hunt which it now covers with its wings to hide it from greedy competitors. Hurring upstairs for getting my camera, but I was too slow. The gray patch was already gone when I returned.
But, after a couple of minutes, it flew into our apple tree for a short rest. This time my camera was ready.
Here he sits, still having the prey in the left claw. I’m not perfectly sure, what it is (was). I guess it could be an Eurasian blackbird.
Btw. the German name “Sperber” is derived from the Old High German words Sparo (sparrow) and Aar (eagle). So, we have a sparrow-eagle 😊
Btw2. The German title of the movie is “Das Fenster zum Hof” and translates to “The window to the courtyard”, which is in my opinion a better description for the movie. But, as it is Alfred’s creation he has the right to name it whatever he thinks is right.
Wordless Wednesday: there’s still a light in the fire watch
Wordless Wednesday: Common wood pigeon
Wordless Wednesday: closing time
Travel Tuesday: strange encounter
After a short time, we were used to seeing sheep often on the streets in rural Scotland or laying beside the street. But, this encounter was really strange: a few cows were walking slowly along the street without any human being.
Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #76 – on display
It’s time for Lens-Artists photo challenge. This week’s challenge is “on display” by Amy.
During the pre-Christmas time, all shop-owners want to sell as much as possible to make some profit. Thus, they decorate their goods in the windows of their shops as well as in the inside. Additionally, they try to attract possible customers with special (so-called rebates) discounts. But, they simply try to sell as much as possible.
When looking in my archive for a good image, I first scanned the folders containing images taken on different markets in France and Barcelona. But, I ended with this image taken in the Galeries LaFayette in Paris a few years ago. It’s taken in the basement in the perfumery department for ladies. These flacons contain a kind of fragrance. I liked the kind they were decorated.
Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #69: Seeing double
This week it’s Tina‘s turn and she asked for doubles.
Here I have 2 common cranes about to land. I took this image 3 weeks ago.
It’s fall and the cranes are coming together after the first part of their trip south. Thousands of them meet in this region near the baltic sea to feed themselves and prepare for the second part of the fall migration to the south of France and southern Spain where they stay during winter.
This is probably a couple. Cranes live in a lifelong partnership. Despite this fact, they have specific courtship behavior: a courtship dance. While there is no specific difference in the appearance, you can’t decide well between males and females. You can only distinguish between males and females when they stand near each other: the female is slightly smaller.
Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #68: Layers
Long-time followers know, I used to big a big fan of the weekly photo challenges run by the WordPress team each Friday. Unfortunately, the series stopped some time ago. Now, I stumbled upon a post telling me, 4 ladies also missed the challenges and created a follow-up. Round robin, they challenge their followers with a topic. This week Amy, one of the 4 ladies, demands us to show “layers”.
As a first time contributor to this challenge, I’m not perfectly sure, how it works. But, I try to find out.
My image is taken a few years ago at a huge environmental sin here in Germany: open brown coal mining pits.
You can see one kind of the huge machines used at an open brown coal mining pit for digging for brown coal. The machines in the image are so-called stacker. They are at the end of the digging process. The huge diggers standing on a layer and shave the soil with their rotating shovels from the side. The brown coal isn’t that deep in the ground. So, it’s possible to dig for the coal in an open pit instead of digging tunnels deep in the ground. But, it spreads to the sides and the hole in the ground becomes wider and wider. The brown coal isn’t as solid as the stone coal. It’s not pressed that much and contains more moisture. So, it’s much heavier. That’s the reason for not to transport it to the power plants. Instead, the power plants are right beside the pit. Flat conveyors bring the brown coal to the power plants and the useless soil to the stackers.
In the image, you can see 2 stackers in the foreground on 2 different layers and 2 more in the background.
Here you can see an overview image taken with a fisheye lens and some more background information. In this post, you can see some more images taken at daytime. It also contains some of the diggers.
Thanks to the many environmentalists, this will finally come to an end. Unfortunately, the damage will last a few additional years until these mines finally are closed and the renaturation process can be started.