landscape, nature, photography, travel, winter

Throwback Thursday: snowy landscape

A wonderfully bright and friendly snowy landscape in Norway. When looking at the shadows of the bushes, you can see, the scene is backlit. The light source is slightly above the upper edge of the image. The color temperature is quite cool as a result of the silvery light. A real winterly image as there is no warmth in it. But, something’s wrong with the image. Look carefully and try to discover, what’s wrong before reading further. As usual, you can enlarge it by clicking on it.

On the right, you can recognize lights: there’s a restroom on the parking ground and a car with switched-on lights is driving on the street. Far in the back, there are a few more lights from houses and a town.

Although in Scandinavia you have to drive with lights on during the day, the lights were not visible in an image taken at daytime. Same with the lights issued by houses. During the daytime, you would not be able to see them even when being closer to them.

This image instead is taken at night: 22:32h at full moon. We were out there to photograph the Aurora, but she didn’t appear. So, I was using the time to do also other things.

I hope, you like this image and the idea. Try it on your own and be surprised by the results.

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!

landscape, nature, photography, travel, winter, world

Throwback Thursday: I’m back …

… from northern Norway again. During the last 12 days we tried to meet the Green Lady again, but the overall outcome is quite disappointing considering the current peak of solar activity which is the cause of the Aurora.

At first, we had 2 days in and around Tromsø with snowy and rainy weather, but no Aurora. Next 4 days on Senja: snowstorms, thick clouds, and partly rain 😲 to melt the snow, and such even prevented nice winter images.

Thus, after checking the weather forecast for the greater region, we left 1 day early, canceled the next location, and postponed another one. Instead, we escaped to Sweden, which was proposing the best conditions for the next few days.

It was a horrible 320km drive to Sweden crossing a mountain pass: towards darkness during a snowstorm on such a steep and small road is quite a challenge, even with spikes. At first, we lost an hour because the pass was closed for rescuing a truck stuck in the snow. Snow chains were an absolute necessity for trucks. The bad sight demanded further delays because of the quite slow speed for driving. Driving convoy was also necessary to make sure to not lose sight of the car in front of us. 

After dinner on the arriving day, we noticed a greenish glow above the town. So, two of us (me included 😁 of course) decided to give it a try. Despite being quite late (in comparison to their usual schedule), she popped out and danced for us. We were back at the hotel at about 2 a.m., tired, but with happy smiles on our faces. My companion even wanted to stay way longer. The first meeting with the Aurora for this trip. The others were too tired from the drive. 

Unfortunately, the next two days she was shy again and didn’t show us more than a weak glow between the clouds, that already arrived there, too, although the weather forecast said differently. 

After 3 nights in Sweden, we headed back to Norway for the remaining 3 nights.

When we arrived at our last location, we struggled again with bad weather. One day and night got lost to another snowstorm, but we also got two crisp clear nights, but she didn’t pop up. While we got at least a short and weak Aurora in one of these two nights, the other one was completely Aurora-free. At least we got some wonderful sunny winter days.

Overall, this year’s trip for seeing the Aurora was quite disappointing although the conditions are extremely good this year. Solar activity is at or near its maximum. Surprisingly, a green Aurora was visible even in the middle of Germany but not in northern Norway. I guess, because of the high level of solar activity, the center moved south so that we couldn’t see Auroras north of the polar circle in Norway as expected.

The green lights are at about 40km high, while the reds are up to 100km high. Thus, middle Europe usually sees the red lights of an aurora, when a strong Aurora happens. But green lights are extremely rare at these latitudes.

On the other hand, this was again a nice winter trip with nice company and quite well-prepared (although it seemed a bit chaotic sometimes). 

Surprisingly, I have more the half of my images already developed and even started creating an ebook with some of my monochrome images taken during this trip. So, even the days with bad weather delivered. During the last third of the trip, I definitely had the best weather. So, be prepared to see some of the images in the future. 

For today I have one Aurora image for you (how could it be otherwise). You might have already seen it on Instagram.

Second, an image taken while coping with the bad conditions on the pass. Coincidentally at that time, the shuffle function of my audio collection decided to play „May it be“ by Enya from the first Lord of the Rings movie where it is underscoring how the fellows hiked upwards the Caradhras pass.

The third image is one of the last images, taken near sunset on our last day. 

One of the other highlights of the trip was our visit to the Ice Hotel in Kiruna. You can rent a room for a night made of ice. Sleep in a sleeping bag on a bed made of ice covered with reindeer furs set up in a room made completely of ice. They offer three different kinds of such rooms. First, they have the standard rooms, where you feel like standing in a room of the gigantic crystalline fortress made by the green crystal thrown by Clark Kent (the later Men of Steel) in the Canadian Arctic. Other rooms were more individually decorated, like the one in the image below. All of these are supposed to melt as soon as spring starts and return their water to the lake beside the hotel. In a separate huge hall, there are individually designed rooms by some ice artists. I suppose those rooms are not for rent. According to the website, “the room holds a temperature of -5 to -8 degrees Celsius. The bed is covered with reindeer hides and you sleep in a thermal sleeping bag. Instead of doors, the hotel rooms have curtains that you draw to give you and your company privacy.“ So, I wish you a good night and sleep well 😁

 

In this room, the lights are changing colors constantly but slowly. An amazing show. Look carefully to recognize the details.

The entrance fee for seeing these rooms is quite high but definitely worth the money. While I was expecting only a bar made of ice set up in a room made of ice and equipped with chairs and tables made of ice, I was visiting an art gallery where not only the rooms were made of ice, but also the pieces of art itself. Btw. they also have the bar 😁.

The final image for today is one of the monochrome images taken at a beach in the greater Tromsø area.

Here, the different layers work best in monochrome. The foreground is made of gray rocks, the middle ground is made of dark rocks and the background is formed by the mountains. All of them are well parted by the moving water of the fjord and the white splashes stand out well from the dark rocks while the shoreline leads the eye from the lower left right to the splashes and thus makes them the main subject. The color version is on Instagram for comparison. 

So, my advice for photographing on a trip. Don’t stick to the ideas you have on your bucket list. Instead, try always to get the best from the situation you’re in. There is always something for you to take. Use your time well and the location will pay back. When sticking to the ideas from your bucket list, remember that you will never be in the same situation, in the same conditions, and probably in the same place as the photographer whose picture you saw. But, it will limit your ability to see the scene with your own eyes and capture the beauty laying in front of you. Be a creator and not a copycat.

Take care!

 

fall, landscape, long exposure, nature, photography, travel, world

Throwback Thursday: working on my backlog

For a couple of months, I work to reduce my backlog of undeveloped images whenever I have some spare time. Over the years, some (many) folders of undeveloped images found their way only to my external disk The oldest folder is dated from 2009 😲. In general, these folders contain quite often only images of flowers, birds, cats or so and nothing from more important trips. But, also a couple of trips are among these, just like the one, I’m talking about today.

Back in October 2014, I was in Flandern at the Belgium coast. A few images were already developed, but the majority were still waiting.

When looking at the image files, I remembered at once, why they were still waiting for development. Especially in the upper parts of the images, the sensor captured a lot of dust spots. I haven’t counted them, but I guess, each image had more than a hundred of these spots to be removed. Fortunately, I took those images raw, so that the removal didn’t cause any quality problems and the raw development software is so well developed to remove these spots in general without any glitches.

Although having dust spots is not that uncommon, the enormous number of them, I was faced with, is. You have to clean your sensor when photographing with a camera with interchangeable lenses regularly. Back in film days, you did this each time when putting a new film in. Now, having a digital sensor, the sensor has to be cleaned regularly. In case, you’re not familiar with this, drop me a comment below.

As I said, having dust spots is annoying but not uncommon. But, the camera I was using at that time, had a huge problem. Those spots were not only dust. In addition, each shutter release distributed a tiny amount of machine oil being used for the mechanical part of the shutter over the sensor. Fortunately, this issue was accepted by the manufacturer and a portion of this camera model based on a certain range of serial numbers was called back for repair. Also, I would have been glad, if the call back was much earlier.

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.

 

lines

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, 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!

 

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landscape, nature, photography, review, travel

2022 in review or “The Best of 2022”

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 each significant activity like trips, vacations, and special events to remind me of these activities.

I just finished the book and I hope to have it in my hands when this post is published. 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.

This time, I don’t want to simply select my most loved 10 images or so. Instead, I want to show you the most memorable image from 2022 in a few categories.

1. birds

I saw so many amazing birds in Namibia and got so many really impressive images. I also got images from the white-tailed eagle (and here), cranes in flight, European spoonbills, a hunting common kestrel, and the first sight of an osprey. But, I decided to this hunting Southern Carmine bee-eater. Different from their relatives, the kingfishers, they are hunting for big insects like dragonflies, beetles, moths, and butterflies. I captured this guy in Namibia. They were capturing the insects from the surface of the river. While the kingfishers are plunging into the water to catch fish, the bee-eaters only scratch the surface to catch the insects flying close above the water or even swim or run over the water. Nevertheless, they get wet and have to dry up their plumage in one of the trees aside from the river.

Southern Carmine bee-eater (Merops nubicoides) – Scharlachspint

 

2. nature

the fantastic blue-bells in spring.

 

3. landscape

I’ve seen so many documentaries about this river, but I’ve never imagined going there one day. And now, I have to say, I’ve been there. OK, I’ve not been to the river delta in Botswana. But, I traveled the Okavango river for a few hours.

Okavango river

4. reportage

I already wrote a bit about this image. Follow the link above to find it.

 

 

5. street

I already wrote about the background of this image. Follow the link above to find it. I really love, how the painted face looks at the painter while creating him.

6. wildlife

Although we saw lions, hyenas, jackals, bathing elephants, dancing giraffes, and hugging zebras besides warthogs, wildebeests, and uncountable antelopes, this leopard with her (or his?) prey (an antelope) up there in the tree, is my absolute favorite this year.

 

How about you? Do you create yearbooks? Do you publish a year review in your blog? If so, put a link in the comments and a link to my post somewhere in your post as a reference. I’m curious to see your favorites 😃.

Take care!

 

culture, landscape, nature, photo-of-the-day, photography, plants, seasons, winter

Monochrome Monday 9-34

Happy New Year!

The calendar says it’s January now. January means we’re in the middle of winter in the northern hemisphere and winter is related to snow.

Freshly fallen snow lays on the ground like untouched and clean linen. The same is true for the first day(s) of a new year. Everything is still unclear and uncertain. Although some topics might already have been planned, everything still has to happen.

Take care!

 

art, landscape, nature, photography, travel, world

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 230: “Last chance”

Curtain up, for the last Lens-Artist’s Photo Challenge in 2022. This week LAPC is hosted by Tina.

When preparing a post, you have a couple of images for the given topic. In the end, you have to skip a few of them to maintain the post on a reasonable level. This week’s theme gives us the opportunity, to show a few of these skipped images. But, she added two additional conditions: taken in 2022 and not previously published!

As my images are usually taken from my archive and are not created especially for the challenge, I’m interpreting this slightly differently: Today, I’ve chosen only unpublished images taken in 2022, but selecting one of the challenges from this year, I didn’t participate because of some reason.

Wildlife in your backyard or next to your home (#225):

geringelte Mordwanze (Rhynocoris annulatus) – I was unable to find the English name for the bug. Maybe one of you is able to help based on the scientific name in Latin.

 

hummingbird hawk-moth (Macroglossum stellatarum) / Taubenschwänzchen

 

European garden spider aka diadem spider (Araneus diadematus) / Gartenkreuzspinne

 

large red damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula) / Frühe Adonisjungfer

 

great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major = Picoides major) / Buntspecht

 

European green woodpecker (Picus viridis) / Grünspecht

 

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 Tina’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 229: “patterns”

OK, break is over (at least I guess so). 

This week, Ann-Christine invites us to think about patterns in photography. You can find them in nature as well as in man-made environments. You simply have to walk around with open eyes.

I captured the first one in Lisbon a couple of years ago. The sun painted this on the ground.

 

On the shelves of this small shop in Lisbon, you can find many tins with sardines. 

The next image is taken with a macro lens in a kitchen. You can see a part of a rub.

Next, I have a few natural patterns: grain on a field 

ocean waves painting patterns at the shore.

Intentional camera movement in a forest

A part of a palm tree leave

The wrinkles in the dress of the Green Lady of the North.

And finally, a railway track.

 

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

Take care!

art, landscape, long exposure, nature, photography, summer, travel, world

Throwback Thursday: I’m back …

… from Africa again. This time seeing wild animals was the central aspect of the trip. For my trip, I headed to Namibia again. But instead of traveling around through the deserts, I headed north. Starting from the Etosha pan we traveled eastwards crossing the Caprivi strip and ending the trip after a more than 2,100 km drive in Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.

It was a very different experience compared to the last year’s trip. Although it was more or less the same time of the year (end of November = start of the rain season) and the same temperatures of between 36 and 38°C. Last year we visited deserts, saw lots of dried-out rivers, and were not sweating much. The humidity was much lower.

The Etosha pan is a large endorheic salt pan, forming part of the Cuvelai-Etosha Basin in the north of Namibia. It is a hollow in the ground in which water may collect or in which a deposit of salt remains after water has evaporated. The 120-kilometre-long (75-mile-long) dry lakebed and its surroundings are protected as Etosha National Park, Namibia’s second-largest wildlife park, covering 22,270 square kilometres (8,600 sq mi). The pan is mostly dry but after a heavy rain it will acquire a thin layer of water, which is heavily salted by the mineral deposits on the surface. (source: Wikipedia)

We were very lucky to be able to see many different kinds of wild animals. Among others, we met all the Big 5: lion, rhino, elephant, leopard, and buffalo.

Leaving Etosha eastwards, the environment changes slightly, but noticeable. The brownish dusty dries were accomplished by more and more trees and rivers filled with water instead of sand and dust.

I even was lucky enough to be able to capture a few images of the other signature animal of Namibia: the African fish eagle (the other one is the Oryx).

Although we traveled at the beginning of the rainy season, we had only two occurrences of rain: hard rain and a thunderstorm one evening and night at the end of the first week and another one on our last day, which was already without any specific pre-planned activity.

African fish eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer) or the African sea eagle / Schreiseeadler

 

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You don’t know, what Excire is? No problem. It’s the perfect solution for finding images in your archive. Excire Foto helps you find the searched images without manually tagging your images. Tags are set by the AI. Excire Foto analyses your images by content and colors. In the past, I published a review. Although the review was for version 1.0, it’s still a good starting point. The latest version can even find duplicates and much more. Give it a try. There’s a free demo available to test all features with your own images. Try it and be amazed.

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Take care!

art, landscape, long exposure, nature, photography, summer, travel, world

Throwback Thursday: abstract

 

 

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I’m in a hurry, but I want to share some information with you.  With the discount code “Excirefire30” your customers can get a 30% discount on all products in the Excire shop. The code is valid from November 21st until December 4th, 2022.

You don’t know, what Excire is? No problem. It’s the perfect solution for finding images in your archive. Excire Foto helps you find the searched images without manually tagging the images. Tags are set by the AI. Excire Foto analyses your images by content and colors. In the past, I published a review. Although the review was for version 1.0, it’s still a good starting point. The latest version can even find duplicates and much more. Give it a try. There’s a free demo available to test all features with your own images. Try it and be amazed.

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Take care!

art, landscape, nature, photography, travel, world

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 223: “Flights of Fancy”

John invites us today, to imagine the unthinkable and go behind the border of imagination for this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. He writes:

“According to Dictionary.com, the idiom “flight of fancy” refers to “an unrealistic idea or fantastic notion, a pipe dream. For example, ‘She engaged in flights of fancy, such as owning a million-dollar house.’ This idiom uses flight in the sense of ‘a soaring of the imagination,’ a usage dating from the mid-1600s.”

and

“For this week’s challenge, consider sharing images of interesting or unusual subjects that represent notions or ideas that seem incredible even today or seemed. “

So, the jump point is set.

The French Brothers Montgolfiere used to have a dream, an incredible dream! And, in fact, they were able to realize it. On June, 4th of 1783, they presented their self-constructed vehicle to the amazed audience: the Montgolfière, the ancestor of today’s hot-air balloons. Their courage has opened up a new world for mankind.

This image is taken a few minutes before sunrise during my second flight looking east

.

The people of the North are used to this incredible glowing in the dark during the long and cold winter nights: Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis. But, unlike us nowadays, they did not have an exclamation for the moving lights above them. The old Vikings found a saga to explain it: At night the valkyries ride along the battlefields to collect all the past heroes and lead them to Odin’s table in Walhalla. The rays of moonlight were reflected by their arms and shields which are supposed to result in the amazing lights.

 

My third image is to honor the genius Catalan architect Antonio Gaudí. In the past, I already donated a few posts to him and his absolutely incredible work. He was able to think outside the box when planning buildings and was able to make heave stone seem to be light plant parts. All the shapes were derived from nature, just like this hall of forest trees forming the main ship of the cathedral La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. I got aware of parts of his work first when I was in my 7th or 8th class at secondary school. I’m so happy, to have been there a couple of years ago and I hope to revisit when the cathedral is once finished.

 

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 the tag LENS-ARTIST, so we can find it.

Take care!

art, landscape, nature, photography, travel, world

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 222: “mountains are calling”

“You stand up there, whith your head in the clouds” – John Lees

This line of Barkley James Harvest’s famous song Hymn came to my mind when I read the topic, Amy has chosen for this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge.

In Norway, the mountains grow straight from the bottom of the ocean

But, there’s another line, tied strait to the other one:

“Valley’s deep and the mountain’s so high”

A mountain can’t exist without a valley.

In the Bavarian Alpes, the valleys in between the mountains are used to build houses

 

The Bavarian Alpes seems to grow out of a plain when coming from the North. Seeming to be a barrier, and they are. The Alpes are the main reason for the quite stable weather in Europe.

 

Again, mountains having their heads in the clouds.

towns are embedded in the valleys and areas not so steep.

 

When discovering the tiny rail track you’re getting an idea of the dimension.

 

Isle of Skye

 

Iceland

 

Water finds its way down, simply following the gravity

 

Humans have to walk or invent something

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

Take care!

art, landscape, nature, photography, travel, world

Throwback Thursday: “Lisbon”

wow, I’m coming closer to the bottom of my backlog. The pile of undeveloped images decreases. Last week, I finished another big folder. That folder contained the images taken during the carnival escape in Lisbon from February 2015 😳😲! Seven years!

During our stay, I already developed a handful of images, but the majority was only moved to the to-be-done disk.

When I walked now through my images to decide which to develop, many memories came back.

  1. old architecture, Art Deco, tiled facades, tile decorations
  2. many narrow cobblestone roads
  3. trams everywhere
  4. a lot of amazing street art

In the past, I already published a few images. But in the future, you can expect more. For now, I have one of the most amazing images. Not because it shows one of the topics mentioned above. But, because of the selection of products for sale in the shop.

I know i.e. butchers, bakeries, milkmen, as well as shops selling shoes, clothing, wine, beverages, tracking or sports equipment, or shops offering only products of a certain brand. But, I’ve never seen shops before selling only gloves! Or another one selling only oil sardines, a specific kind of canned fish.

It’s not a tiny shop. But, the only product they offer is canned fish. Amazing!

Take care!

art, landscape, nature, photography, travel, world

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 221: “Flower Favourites – and Why?”

It’s Saturday evening here in Germany, the sky is gray, and it’s raining. As we’re in the northern hemisphere, October means fall. So, I have to dig in my archive to find suitable images of blooming flowers instead of going out to a botanical garden or so. Nevertheless, Ann-Christine‘s challenge fits well in this gray and dreary time of the year to cheer us up.

Although I don’t have strong preferences when it comes to flowers, I do have some regarding photographs of flowers.

First of all: the Strelitzia

This is a closeup image taken with my macro lens from a backlit strelitzia blossom. I love them, because of the friendly warm base tone featuring smaller violet, blue, yellow, and green stripes. In addition, their shape is so unique.

 

Second: the Schlumbergera or Christmas cactus

This is also taken with my macro lens. I was laying below the plant equipped with a remote-controlled Speedlight and a black card box above. Here we have again a very unique-styled blossom.

 

Third: a pasqueflower, a protected plant because it’s quite rare nowadays.

pasqueflower

 

Fourth: Pulmonaria Officinalis, or lungwort. In German, one of their common names is “Brüderchen-und-Schwesterchen”, which translates to “little brother and little sister”

 

You might notice blossoms in lite blue and in lite pink. One plant has blossoms in blue and pink at the same time.

 

And finally the Amaryllis:

 

Here we have again a uniquely shaped blossom. Although you can buy onions each year starting in November and enjoy the blossoms for several weeks from approximately January, I picked an image taken in Cuba, where they were blooming outside in the gardens.

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

Take care!