abstract, art, autumn, culture, fall, flowers, food, photo-of-the-day, photography, technical, world

Lens-Artists Photo Challange 118: “communication”

LAPC is hosted this week by a guest host again: Biasini. She asks for our understanding of “communication”.

The first thing coming to my mind is the famous statement by the was an Austrian-American family therapist, psychologist, communication theorist, and philosopher Paul Watzlawick. He said, “you can not not communicate”. It’s not a typo doubling the word “not”.  It’s simple. Whenever people come together they communicate. They communicate by their clothing, posture, mimic, and gesture – the body language.

Besides direct (oral or body language) communication between humans, we also have signs, i.e. traffic signs, lighthouses, writings, and so on.

Take care!

abstract, art, autumn, culture, fall, flowers, food, photo-of-the-day, photography, technical, world

Lens-Artists Photo Challange 117: “A Photo Walk”

LAPC is hosted this week by Amy and she asks for images of a photowalk.

At least, once a month I go on a photowalk. That our monthly photographer’s roundtable. It’s always fun: walk, talk, take photos, and discuss the results afterward online.

These images are taking during my last photowalk two weeks ago. I had to take care of my grand-son that day and took him to the hills above the town. Our goal was a visit to the deer enclosure, a round trip of about 3 km or so. From the parking ground, our path first led us through the fields where we saw corn, apples, horses, and cows. Next, we entered the forest to reach the enclosure, soon. We also passed an area, where the lumbermen cut many trees and prepared them for transport. Many things for such a young guy to discover. Finally, we reached the enclosure. Unfortunately, only one deer was visible. The enclosure is big enough to offer a lot of hides to the animals. So, we only saw one. Fortunately, the little guy wasn’t disappointed and walked back with me willingly. Btw. yesterday, he turned 4!

Take care!

abstract, art, culture, flowers, food, photo-of-the-day, photography, technical, world

Lens-Artists Photo Challange 116: “symmetry”

This week, Patti is the host for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge and she asks for symmetric images.

You can find symmetry in nature, but more often you can find it in architecture or man-made gardens (i.e. around renaissance chateaus). In nature, the petals of blossoms are very often symmetric and the leaves of many plants. Also, legs, arms, eyes, ears, wings, and many inner organs of animals and humans.

 

inside a Venetian castle
on top of a mine’s winding tower
The public library in Tromsœ, Norway
a great tit with her mirror image
a modern bus stop at night
the Menai suspension bridge connecting Anglesey to the mainland in Wales, UK
Kochelsee, Allgäu, Germany

 

tram station in Oberhausen, Germany
A view inside the outside walls of Harpa in Reykjavik, Iceland
Inside the garden of Claude Monet in Giverny, France

 

The working platform around a chimney in a steel plant
the colonnade of an old castle
The lighthouse in Pilsum, Germany
water lily blossom

Take care!

abstract, art, culture, flowers, food, photo-of-the-day, photography, technical, world

Lens-Artists Photo Challange 115: “Inspiration”

It’s Tina‘s turn, this week. She picked “Inspiration” as the subject for this week’s challenge. Challenge accepted 🙂

I’m always inspired by nature. Mother nature (or the God behind) found so many different ways to solve problems of life. Where i.e. one species of insect-eating bird would be enough we find thousands. Where one kind of plant would be enough to keep the soil in place, we find thousands. Gazillions of different kinds of living creatures inhabit this wonderful planet: mammals, birds, saurians, amphibians, fishes, trees, bushes, plants, and so on. And all these different kinds of landscapes. Our wonderful planet is so rich. Or, like Sam Cook once sang: Its a wonderful world.

Now, I could simply add nearly all of my images here in a gallery. But, I only pick some to demonstrate the beauty of this planet.

Take care!

abstract, art, culture, flowers, food, photo-of-the-day, photography, technical, world

Lens-Artists Photo Challange 114: “Negative Space”

Negative space isn’t something negative as you might assumed when reading the subject of this blog post. It’s a kind of emphasizing your main subject in photography by having quite a lot ’empty’ room around your main subject. You can find many examples here in my blog or on my Instagram account.

This week Lens-Artists Photo Challenge is hosted by Amy and she picked “Negative space” to challenge us.

 



Take care!

abstract, art, culture, flowers, food, photo-of-the-day, photography, technical, world

Lens-Artists Challenge #112 – “Pick a Word…”

Ok, Leya, I picked my word from your list. I’ve chosen simply the first one “comfortable”.

Although it’s still summer (according to the calendar), it feels much more like a fall. The apples in our garden are ripe and we picked already some of them to eat them, make juice, and apple purée. Also, the blackberries are ripe to make juice, jam, crumbles, and liqueur.

Much of rain, cold winds even the first November storm (I know, it’s still August) rushed over the land. When the sun comes through, the air stays cold. Soon, the t-shirts have to make room for the thick pullovers.

But, that’s the time for cozy evenings at the fireplace, if your house has one (ours has not). Otherwise, you could put a DVD with a movie of a fireplace in your DVD player. Enlight some candles and some joss sticks. Take a cup of coffee or tee and take a seat. Watch how the wind plays with the fallen leaves.

 

I took this photo a couple of years ago when I was in Brittany with some friends. We had rented a former farmhouse with 6 rooms, a large kitchen, and a nice garden. But, we didn’t use the house that much, because we were a lot outside for discovering the country, taking photos and visiting the beaches. We were there pre-season in June and enjoyed the evenings with the fire.

Take care!

abstract, art, culture, flowers, food, photo-of-the-day, photography, technical, world

Lens-Artists Challenge #111 – “everyday objects”

This week it’s Patti’s turn to challenge us and she has chosen the topic “everyday objects” because she recently started unpacking stored things packaged about two years ago.

So, let’s try and have a look, what I found in my archive.

 

Children are eager to pick them, but adults usually don’t pay attention on chestnuts on the ground, especially when wet.

This is a carder wool bee. We don’t notice them while they are working. But, we’re happy when we get fruits as a result of their successful work.

We’re also happy when all of our machines work properly. We only pay attention, when something goes wrong.

 

Have you ever seen straws like this??

What do you see? It’s a toy for very small kids. The can learn to grasp.

Insects are annoying. But, did you ever saw their beauty?

When you’re going in the city, have a look up along the buildings. It’s often interesting how they are constructed.

 

 

Everyone is every now and then waiting at a bus stop. See, how the night can change the appearance. Light changes everything. Open up your eyes and see!

 

Guess, what I have here for you!

Five eggs in their box. Were you right?

A candle enlights a room. But, what happens when you blow out the flame?

 

 

You’re sitting in front of a computer, right? See, what’s inside of it!

Fall again. The hazelnuts are ripe. Without color, it looks unfamiliar, right?

 

Did your eyes follow the pipes? Do so. Look, where they will lead you!

Old buildings usually have beautiful staircases. Count the floors and wonder!

A straightened light works out the shape of the keys.

You can have so much fun when looking carefully at the surroundings. Change the way you look at them. Change the light and / or the position of your eyes.

A very special kind of seeing the world around you in a different kind is converting your camera to ‘see’ either infrared or ultra-violet.

Take care!

abstract, art, culture, flowers, food, photo-of-the-day, photography, technical, world

Lens-Artists Challenge #110 – “creativity in the time of COVID19”

Covid19 – a term, rising memories to the pest epidemics from the medieval ages, where town became nearly deserted.

The current pandemic is kind of worse. An epidemic is limited to a certain region. A pandemic, instead, is worldwide. Here in Europe, the pandemic started end of February, that’s more than half a year ago. In the beginning, our government ordered us to stay at home. Only the most necessary or essential leaves were allowed. We were ordered to go into lockdown.

You know, I’m meeting with other photographers once a month for our monthly roundtable. Certainly, this wasn’t allowed. So, we had to start something else. We needed to become creative for coping with the new situation. Tina Shell asks this week for the Lens-Artists Challenge to show such creative ideas. Here is our (my) answer.

Instead of meeting in a certain location and doing our photo-walk as usual (the location is always negotiated online in the week before the meeting), we met online in a conference call for talking about 2,5 hours. To have a relation to our normal main topic (photography) I had a special idea. I own a deck of inspiring cards. Each of these cards has a special idea and is meant to train creativity in photography. This time, I picked one card for each participant in advance of the meeting and sent a photo of the card to them. One week, each of us had to think about the content and find a solution for presenting up to 5 images during the meeting. It was a great success!

My topic was: backlit (others were: hot, cold, yellow, from below, from above, from behind, blue)

Here are my results:

 

moss, about to start blooming very soon equipped with some dew drops (macro)
oil drops (macro)

 

product image of a collectible bottle

 

star magnolia in the garden

 

amaryllis petals in our living room

 

white tulip blossom in a vase on our kitchen table

 

oil drops (macro)

 

All of these are photographs! During raw development, I only adjusted the lights and the darks slightly and did some post-sharping.

Take care

art, culture, flowers, food, macro, nature, photography, review, still life

hard time for photographers!?

You know, each first Saturday of a month I meet with some other photographers for our monthly roundtable. We’re not only sitting somewhere and talking. But, we meet somewhere to walk around and take some photos. Later we’re visiting a restaurant for having dinner.

Currently, this isn’t possible because of the governmental restrictions because of the Covid19 pandemic. Although the restrictions here in Germany are not so hard as they are in France, Spain or Italy, where you’re not allowed to leave your home for other topics than going to work, doing your groceries or walk your dog (only very short distances are allowed). Here in Germany, we’re still allowed to go out, but we need to keep a distance of at least 1,5m (~5 ft.). Only the essential stores are allowed to open: supermarkets, gas stations, pharmacies, doctors, hospitals. Everyone else should work from home, wherever it is possible. Even doing your groceries is quite hard under these circumstances. Some products are rare in the supermarkets and out for weeks now like flour, toilet paper, pasta or yeast. But, most products are available even though not in every supermarket.

Back to our monthly photographer’s roundtable. We met yesterday as usual, but not at about 14:00h as we usually do. Instead, we met at 19:00h. And we did not meet in person somewhere, but we set up a video conference to see each other and talk a bit. To have a specific topic to start with, I organized a theme for us. As I have some inspiring cards for photographers, I drew one card for each participant and transmitted a photo of the card via messenger last weekend. So everyone had one week to prepare some images to show during our video conference. As everyone had a different topic to work on, it was very interesting to see the results. 8 of us 10 regular participants were there. The two missings were prevented for private reasons on short-notice. Nevertheless, it was a nice evening (considering the circumstances).

My topic was “backlit”. All images are taken with my DSLR camera and were not a result of post-processing or some other graphical works. All images are taken last week. The images are looking way better in a bigger size. So you can resize them by clicking on then.

 

 

So, being not allowed to leave your home must not hinder you to take your camera and take some photos. In case you don’t have an idea, drop me a line and I’ll give you an assignment for the next week 😀

Take care and stay healthy

 

culture, food, photo-of-the-day, photography, travel, world

Throwback Thursday: Scones

Last year I was in northern Wales. During one of our trips, we had a pause at a very small café where they offered these scones. They were so delicious. I included parts of my hand in the image to illustrate how big the scones were.

I wonder if one of my followers from England is able to send me a good receipt for scones and for clotted cream as well.

Take care!

 

culture, food, history, landscape, nature, photography, review, travel, world

I’m back ….

…. from North-Wales.
The week before last, I was in Great-Britain again. My destination was the Snowdonia National park and the island Anglesey, both located in North Wales. Wales is a part of the British main island and is located in the southwest, right next to the Irish Sea. Those of you, being able to understand German, can read this post in German language here.

Wales is a long-time part of the British empire and the integration path was very bloody. So, you can see impressive castles built by the Norman king Edward I. at the end of the 13.th century to overawe and rule the native Celtic folks living in that region. Also, he established roads for moving his soldiers more easily and more quickly.

Wales is dominated by agriculture: mainly sheep growing. You can not only find them on many meadows, but also in impassable mountain regions. Although, Wales is located at the sea, there are quite high mountains right behind the coast, just like the Snowdonia National Park with the eponymous mountain Mount Snowdon with a hight of 1085 meters.

In the past, there were many mines in Wales: coal, copper, and silver were dug out of the ground. But, these times are long ago. Compared to mining costs in other parts of the world, the costs in Wales were too high. Thus, mines (and other factories, too) were closed and people got unemployed. Just like in my own region, mining towns got deserted. Nearly everywhere in the small towns, you can see signs at the houses or in the front yards telling that that house is for sale. Rural exodus or rural depopulation seems to be an important topic here, too.

On the other hand, Wales is changing to become a tourist region. Hikers and climbers are to be addressed. The National Park lends itself to this. Many supermarkets are around to support hikers with food. Even in small villages, the supermarkets are open 7 days a week from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. or even longer. You can not only find the regular products for a supermarket, but you can also find a large variety of prepared sandwiches and other convenient food to take away on your hike. You can also find a lot of small restaurants, pubs, and inns with quite a good value ratio. Often you can find very good products like cake, scones, or sandwiches far away from regular life in the middle of nowhere, but in touristic interesting places. Only with the coffee one notices that the British drink tea. Don’t get me wrong. You can find coffee nearly everywhere on the menu: filter coffee (coffee americano), cappuccino, or latte macchiato. Unfortunately, the taste is sometimes not good. Either you taste the usage of instant coffee or the coffee is way strong or too thin. But, you nearly always get a nice topping made from frothed milk and some cacao powder.

The National Park is equipped with a cog railway. It needs an hour for climbing uphill to Mount Snowdon and after a pause of half an hour back to the foot of the mountain if you don’t want to walk down on your own. We walked down. but, I don’t recommend this trail to an untrained person. Often the path looks more like a creek bed than a beaten path. Big stones and very steep parts make the path quite challenging. We needed about 4 hours for the way down. High shaft hiking boots are the absolute minimum for mastering the path. And take a lot of drinking water with you. There is no option to fill up your bottles after leaving the top station of the cog railway. There’s also no opportunity to change your mind after leaving the top station on foot. Buy your tickets early, they get sold out quickly. Diesel engines drive the carriages on the track and one old steam train is also still in operation.

You have a fantastic sight in all direction from the top of the mountain and during the hike up- or downhill you get fantastic views of the side valleys.

The hike is very rewarding. Personally, I got impressed by a group of three young men hiking uphill. One of them was blind. He walked up to the mountain as calmly as if he were walking in the city on a flat walkway by trusting his friend on his right arm and his blind man’s stick the left. Several people came to us in different places that jogged up the mountain in bright sunshine and temperatures beyond 25 ° C. Amazing to what the human body is capable of with appropriate training.

As I said earlier, you can also find places for bouldering.


But there are also spots for more relaxed sports like canoeing, fishing or paragliding. The many lakes and treeless mountainsides are ideal for these many different sports in such a small area. Small parking areas beside the streets make it quite easy to stop every now and then, enjoy the landscape, take photographs or start a hike or a walk. Most of the lakes we passed, were easily accessible. On some of them, canoeists took their quiet laps. At the coast, you can start sailing or enjoy the beach life with sun-bathing, swimming, beach volleyball, and other typical beach activities. But, beach lovers should check in advance whether the location is equipped with a sandy beach. The beaches, I saw, were usually very flat-angeled, so that the sandy area was broad while low-tide but very small (or even completely gone) while high-tide.


Off the coast of Wales, you can find the quite big island Angelsey. It’s connected to the mainland by two bridges. Angelsey is even calmer than the Welsh mainland and the town are even smaller. The agricultural areas are mainly used as meadows, too. Despite you won’t see many cows or even horses, you can see lots of sheep of different races.


In the restaurants, you can usually find a small menu containg fish&chips, burger (much, much better that those you can find in the big burger restaurant chains)


steaks or local food. They use beef, lamb and pork. Some restaurants have some dishes for vegetarians on their menu. The offer is usually supplemented with soups and salads.

As a special feature you should mention, that often the order at the counter is expected (the food is then brought to the table), where partly also directly paid. Some restaurants also expect that guests do not just sit down somewhere but ask a receptionist to be assigned a table.

Just like in Germany, I noticed the missing of flying insects. Although this mad hiking a bit easier, by when looking on this from an ecological point of view, this is a disaster. Beside gulls, I saw many common birds: tits, robins, white and grey wagtails, magpies, crows, and ravens but very few swallows. I also saw ducks, geese and grey herons. Unfortunately, I was able to spot the national bird of Wales, the red kite, only once: from inside the cog railway uphill to Mount Snowdon.

You can reach Wales via the airports of Cardiff, the capital of Wales in the South (~150 miles), Birmingham in the east (~200 miles) or Manchester north of Wales (~100 miles). The distances are relative to the Snowdonia National-Park.

Take care!

culture, food, photography, seasons, world

Cultural notes: Cookie time

Advent time is cookie time. In many private kitchens the oven has a hard time during the 4 weeks before Christmas. It’s time for baking Christmas cookies.

There are many receipts available for baking the special Christmas or Advent cookies. Every region has some specific specialities, while others are (nowadays) generally known in the whole country.

Have a great Advent time!

 

art, culture, food, people, photography, still life

Throwback Thursday: picking raisins

Here we have a German saying: someone is simply picking the raisins. Such a guy is called a raisin-picker. What does this mean?

Raisins are dried grapes and often used as an ingredient for baking cakes, torte or bread or while cooking food. Despite, they don’t have much liquid left after the drying process, they taste great. They are soft and sweet. Most people like them. But, because of the way they are produced, they are quite expensive and thus a valuable ingredient.

So, when we say, someone is picking the raisins, he or she is taking a lot of something good and does not leave enough for the others. In this context the ‘good’ not necessarily needs to be food. It could also be public holidays inside the vacation time. Or, when it comes to pay for a round, one always pay only the cheap drinks and leaves the expensive drinks to be paid by the others. Or doing the easy work while leaving the hard work to be done by the others. I guess, you got the idea.

Do you have a similar saying? Leave me a note in the comments.

This little guy is picking a raisin out from a Dresdner Christstollen (or shorter Dresdener Stollen), a typical German sweet, spiced bread. It’s made with a lot of butter, sugar, raisins, candied orange peel, candied citron peel, nuts, almonds, mild, rum and a lot more. Although, it’s known and made in many more parts of Germany, the Stollen from Dresden is best know.

Take care!