culture, history, landscape, meeting, photography, seasons, travel, world

Monthly photographers roundtable

dsc_6738-e_wYesterday I met with some other photographers for our monthly roundtable. You know, it’s not literally a roundtable for sitting and chatting, but walking and taking photographs.

This time we were in a valley nearby. The valley proposed several remains from the industrial revolution, back in the 18th and 19th century. We expected to see some of the old grinding shops, groundwood mills and knife forges. But, we only found creeks, ponds, forest and signs, telling what kind of workshop once was in that place. Once, more then 10 of these workshops were beside those creeks. Nevertheless, we have had a wonderful afternoon: November 1st and t-shirt weather, what a surprise.

So, instead of showing some industry culture, I’m able to show some autumn photos from one of our local forests.

Enjoy and
take care!

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architecture, art, culture, history, landscape, meeting, people, photography, seasons, travel, world

Park Güell – Inside the monument zone

600_7681-e_wAs I mentioned in my last post, I focus on the monument zone of Park Güell in Barcelona.

We started at the terrace and enjoyed the fantastic view over the city down to the ocean. Although it was extremely crowded we were lucky enough to get a free spot on the bench that surrounds the terrace.

It was also very hard to get a chance to photograph the tiled lizard fountain, the well-known emblem of the park. The pillar halls, planed for being a market place, were less crowded. Most people were interested in the tiled terrace bench and the lizard fountain.

For me, it was nice having been there and a fulfillment of a long-lasting dream. But, I won’t go again. It’s small, expensive and crowded. A Barcelona visit won’t be complete without this visit. But, there are other spots being worth a second visit, this not – sorry!

So, decided yourself!

Take care!

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architecture, art, culture, history, landscape, meeting, people, photography, seasons, travel, world

Park Güell

600_7626-e_wThis park is divided in two parts: the public park and the monument zone.

The idea for this area was, to create a closed urban quarter with houses for the rich surrounded with walls and guards. Some infrastructure buildings were set up in advance and one house. Unfortunately no-one was interested in buying one of the estates.

Later the area was converted into a park and donated to the public. It’s a nice park and freely accessible expect the monument zone. Although the entrance fee is quite high for such a tiny area, it is really a magnet for the people.

When we arrived, we first climbed up the left hill for getting an overview. Than we walked over to get our tickets for the monument zone. After waiting for nearly an hour, we got aware of an access limitation: Access in about 90 minutes! Because of this limitation many people in the queue before us, started walking away. And we used the meantime for visiting other parts of the public area.

So, you can find photos of both sides of the public park as well as some taken at the main entrance of the monument zone. The monument zone has three entrances: the main entrance is at the lowest part of the monument zone, while the other two are in the upper part to the lest and the right.

I’ll show some of my photos from inside the monument zone in my next post. Stay tuned!

Take care!

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architecture, art, culture, landscape, meeting, photography, technic, travel, world

photographers monthly roundtable

600_1313-s_wYesterday we have had our monthly roundtable a.k.a photo walk, because we usually don’t sit around, we walk around. At a beautiful sunny afternoon and a mild evening we walked little and photographed more.

The Ruhr area is well-known as the source of the coal and steel industry for many decades. Beginnig from the  1970s  the industry a downturn started. Many coal mines, coke oven plant and steelworks closed. Some of them were removed, some were turned into a museum and others were used to give home to other companies. One of the steelworks was turned into a park and gives home for leisure time. People can play games on big free grass spaces, have a barbecue, use the old coal bunkers and other parts for climbing or even walk up the former high oven and watch, where workers used to cook steel. In the evening parts of the steelworks are illuminated.

I like that park as a destination for taking photographs every now and then. As always I’m a bit upset, when seeing the huge amount of light pollution in the air. The reddish sky, instead of a blue or black, is the result of this light pollution. Light from the streets and the houses goes up in the sky and is reflected by the dirt and the moisture in the air.

I hope, you like them anyway.

Take care!

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architecture, art, culture, meeting, people, photo-of-the-day, photography, seasons, travel, world

Casa Batlló

600_7240-s_wCasa Batlló is another building constructed by Antonio Gaudi and not far away from Casa Milà. Although it’s definitely worth a visit from inside, I wasn’t. One of our group, who already knew Casa Milà, visited Casa Batlló, while we were in Casa Milà.

Although all entrance fees are high in Barcelona, Casa Bathlló has the highest fee of all. Be prepared, to spend a lot of money on entrance fees.

– Palau de Música 18,00€
– Casa Milà (La Pedrera) 16,50€
– Casa Batlló 21,50€
– La Sagrada Familia  16,30 + tower 3,00€ €
– Park Güell  8,00€

And, although the entrance fees are so high, they are full of people. So, you better come early and be in place before opening. You also better buy your tickets in advance, wherever possible. The most crowded place was La Sagrada Familia, where the queue in front of the cashiers was several hundred meters long. Also at Park Güell, where we had to wait in queue for an hour or so and only got tickets allowing to enter about 1,5 hours later.

We were here in early March. How about in typical travel times? I won’t imagine this.

Take care!

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culture, landscape, meeting, photography, travel, world

weekend paddling

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYesterday I was paddling on a small river with a few friends.

One of our friends is about to get married next Saturday, so we donated him a bachelor farewell trip.

this habit seemed to develop over the last years, maybe only in certain regions – I don’t know. I knew about the habit from colleagues coming from another region. I’ve never heard about this here in my region before.

The story is, the (to be) groom is taken out by his male friends and invited. The whole trip is paid by the friends. Some go on drinking trips, other give the groom funny and often awkward tasks to do: i.e wearing a funny costume and trying to sell condoms to passersby.

We decided to behave more conservative and went on that boat trip and later to a restaurant. The only challenge ha have had to pass, was wearing a t-shirt saying on the front side “I know the secret of a good marriage” and on the back “yes, my dear”. The other thing he had to pass, was cleaning a few steps from waste with a children’s broom.

One habit for men growing 30 and still being unmarried is, to clean the steps of the city hall in the night of his birthday. So, we modified that idea a bit. I guess, all of this wasn’t that embarrassing and thus acceptable. At least, we had a nice trip with perfect weather.

I only took along my old waterproof Olympus µ1030SW. I use this one only once every other year. This only pro of this cam is, being waterproof. And you can see easily that the cam was unable to cope with the light situation. I hope, you like them anyway.

Take care!

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culture, meeting, people, photo-of-the-day, photography, travel, world

Weekly Photo Challenge: humanity

600_4234-s_wThis weeks photo challenge at The Daily Post is called “humanity”.

Funny enough, I send my post unfinished. Accidentally I forgot to write the right title and left ‘adventure‘ from last weeks challenge. But: I guess ‘adventure’ also fits to ‘humanity’. Living a live as a human being always means, living the adventure of live on you own.

Take care!

culture, landscape, meeting, people, photo-of-the-day, photography, seasons, travel, world

Weekly Photo Challenge: adventure

600_5908-ec_wThe photo challenge at The Daily Post is called “adventure” this week.

What does adventure mean? Is it the challenging crowd in a mega city? Or is it covering the wilderness? Maybe it is something you haven’t done before.

Here you can see three guys on a hike upwards in the icelandic mountains. Look on the pebbles on the ground, look on the landscape, look on the weather, look on your equipment, food and water.  And, don’t forget the time.

Each adventurer has to plan his or her trip very carefully to came back in good shape. So, you too.

Take care!

architecture, art, culture, landscape, meeting, Music, people, photography, technic, travel, world

Magic Fountain of Montjuic

600_6989-s_wHere it is: the Magic Fountain of Montjuic!!

It a huge, illuminated fountain. At night you can see a fantastic light show with music here in the fountain. According to the played music the lights change their colors and the water nozzles inside the fountain modify their direction and their intense. What a spectacle!!!

During winter this only happens on week-ends, but during summer every night. It was very crowded, so go early to get a good spot. I can only remember the song played last: “Barcelona” by Freddy Mercury and Montserrat Caballé.

A very impressive experience (although a bit wet in some places because of the wind distribution the fine water in the air).

Enjoy the fountain.

Take care!

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art, culture, history, meeting, Music, people, photography, seasons, travel, world

“dancing in the street”

600_6842_wWho expected to read a post on David Bowie? Sorry, guys.

This post is also on Barcelona. You know, we were in Barcelone to escape the Carnival processions and fetes hold here in the metropolises at the river Rhine, as well as getting some sun and warmth during winter. Our plan on that certain saturday evening led us to the Magic Fountain of Montjuic (I’ll explain this in my next post). When we accidentally run into a carnival procession – what a funny coincidence.

Several groups of people were coming down the street dancing to music. As far as I understood, this procession was organized by people originating from south america.

Maybe, someone is here, who is able to confirm this and explain it bait more detailed.

Take care!

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art, culture, history, meeting, people, photo-of-the-day, photography, seasons, world

Weekly Photo Challenge : contrast

20140517_130814-600_9778_wThis week’s assignment for the photo challenge by The Daily Post is quit hard, but I like it. It’s “contrast”.

At once I got several ideas, but none of them are currently in my photo bucket (although some of them are on my wish list). Though I have to pick something else.

After some considerations I came to a decision, as you can see in the photo above.

Light and dark, fire and ice, solid or liquid, black and white, male and female, old and young and examples for a contrast. But, the biggest contrast is IMHO between live and death.

I met the two girls above a few weeks ago on Japantag in Düsseldorf. They arranged their costumes in a way to fit perfectly together. When I looked at them, I notices a similar style, but completely different. On the second look, I noticed a few of their accessories brining me on the right track: I asked them, if they are Demeter and Persephone, mother and daughter from the ancient greek mythology. They told my, not knowing the two divines and they were Nature and Death.

Now, I knew I was right and told them the story: Demeter the goddess of the nature, responsible for the harvest had a daughter named Persephone. She married Hades, the god of the underworld where all death people live after death for ever and get punished for their doing and behavior. When Persephone followed her husband in his realm, the mother became deeply depressed from the lost of here daughter and neglect her duty. So, the earth became devastated and all plants dried up. As a result of Demeter’s neglect the people started starving because they didn’t have and fruits, vegetables and crops. So they started praying the Zeus, the gods boss to help. He found a solution for the problem: Persephone was allowed to stay half a year with her mother, while she stays the other half with her husband in the underworld. And that’s the reason, why we have summer and winter.

You might have guessed it:

– summer is, when Persephone is with her mother
– spring starts, when Persephone arrives at her mother
– late fall is, when Persephone leaves her mother to go to her husband Hades
– and finally winter is, when Demeter is so depressed about her missed daughter

This family tragedy might still occur when kids grow up and leave their parents to stand on their own feet. Encourage parents to let their kids go, when it is time!

Take care!

 

architecture, culture, General, history, landscape, meeting, people, photography, travel, world

Welcome to ..

600_6471_w.. Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.

This years destination for our carnival escape was Barcelona. While I just finish my series on a spanish speaking country, I start with another spanish speaking city. OK, literally the people here speak Catalan and not Spanish. All signs are first in Catalan, next in English and third in Spanish. So, it’s quite easy for a tourist to come around.

Barcelona is a very interesting city at the Mediterranean Sea. An old town with many interesting buildings downtown, some famous buildings planed by the genius architect Antonio Gaudi and some remains from the 1992 Olympic Games.

But, first things first. We arrived at Thursday night and took the public transportation from the airport to the inner city. It’s easy and interestingly cheap, compared to Germany. Buying a ticket valid for 10 rides, each valid for an hour or so inside the inner tariff area. Although most of the interesting points are reachable by foot, it’s sometimes quicker to take the subway or even a bus.

I attached some photos taken in Barcelona Continue reading “Welcome to ..”

art, culture, meeting, Music, people, photography, travel, world

Düsseldorf Jazz Rallye

600_0531_wWhat’s that, you might ask.

It’s a weekend with lots of music in the old town of Düsseldorf. In many public places, pubs and restaurants jazz bands were playing. On Saturday, when I was there with my friends on our monthly photo trip, they were playing Dixieland. Some parts of the old town were very crowded, especially one place, where the Dixie band600_0366_w played opposite to one of the famous brew house which the old town of Düsseldorf is famous for.

At the same time another event was in Düsseldorf. Not far away, on the promenades along the river Rhine, a french weekend took place. Stands offering french literature, food, wine and art were set up to interest the passersby. And … huge fenced areas for playing boule. It seemed to me, they were holding a boule championship. So it was quite interesting to watch on both events.

Usually the promenades have a solid surface of tar and stones. But for the boule patches, they brought pea gravel the set up the boule patches. Only a small area was left for the passersby. But, it was still enough room to have a look. Although I said, it was crowded, it was much less crowded than it was here 3 weeks ago at Japantag. Neither on the promenades nor in the old town you got stuck.

Take care!

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culture, General, meeting, people, photography, technical, travel, world

Weekly Photo Challenge: Split-scecond Story

dsc_1920-s_wThis weeks assignment for photographers at The Daily Post is again very challenging. They asked to tell stories at several layers of the photo. This is what I picked from my archive. It’s taken at a soap box car derby.

The one driver has beaten his opponent, and looks back, where he is. But he has steered his car in the side fixing and it looks like he wants to flee.

Have you ever visited such a race? Our neighbor town organizes one every year in fall.

Take care!

art, culture, meeting, people, photography, travel, world

Japantag 2014

20140517_130814-600_9778_wI introduced Japantag here last year and the years before, too. On Saturday the 14. Japantag was held in Duesseldorf and (according to official announcements) 750.000 people showed up.  The festival area is about 700 m long and goes along the river Rhine. Beside the promenade on 2 levels there are 3 squares directly connected to the promenade. Festival stages were set up  on the squares for music and dancing performances.

This was my fourth visit in a row, but probably the last. I was way too crowded. Everything seemed worse than ever. Being with my car in a traffic jam is annoying, but being in a jam as a pedestrian is even worse.

Nevertheless, we have had wonderful summer weather. Just like the years before. But I missed out the fireworks although the fine weather.

As usual I admired the wonderful (usually homemade) costumes most of the visitors were wearing. They came from all parts of Germany, The Netherlands, Austria, France and certainly Japan. So, it was really a feast for a photographer. I attached photo gallery at the end of this post with a small selection for you to have a look. Enjoy!

Take care!

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