nature, photography, summer, travel, world

Throwback Thursday: starry, starry night

Middle Europe is a mess when you want to take photos of the night sky or of the stars. In the past, I have already complained about it a couple of times. Light pollution everywhere. Recently I was in an area flagged as being an area offering the best conditions for gathering the stars. Fortunately, even the clouds were merciful enough to allow a clear sight. Located at the coast and embedded in an agricultural region, this location proposed quite good preconditions. Even the light pollution map rated that region green. So, I gave it a try for getting an image of the center of the Milkyway. Now, near the end of the summer (and especially near the sea) the humidity is not as high as it is here in my region. So, I expected sight conditions similar to a cold winter’s day. You know, the Milkyway isn’t visible the whole year. It’s only visible from late March (in the early morning hours before sunrise) to the end of August (in the early night hours, right after sunset). So, my window was quite short: Sunset at 20:30h, Moonset at 21:50h, end of twilight at 22:00h (more realistic: 23:00h), Milkyway set at 23:24h.

During twilight, I prepared my equipment and pointed the camera in the right direction. But, when it became darker, I noticed a huge (industrial) area spilling the sky with light. Impossible to get the image I was waiting for. Nevertheless, I tried everything as planned to see, if I can rescue the image in postproduction. Long story short: no! But, while waiting, I noticed crisp clear stars right above me. After finishing the planned shots, I recomposed and directed my camera straight to the sky above me and in the image above, you can see my result. I’m quite happy with that one, although it’s still not the center of the Milkyway!

Take care!

nature, photo-of-the-day, photography, plants

Monochrome Monday 9-20

 

 

A “detail” from the inside of a wooden windmill, initially built in 1706. Here, you can read more.

Take care!

 

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In addition, I want to share some news on Luminar Neo with you. The latest update is capable of working with raw files from OM-1, EOS R3, and Lumix DC-GH6. There’s also another extension announced. So, five of the 7 extensions are already available

1) HDR

2) Noiseless AI

3) Upscale AI

4) Background Removal AI

5) Fokus-Stacking

6) will be announced in October

7) will be available in December

Focus stacking is a technology where a couple of images taken with different focus points from exactly the same place are merged to get images with a much bigger field of depth than possible with a single shot by closing the aperture. Up to 100 images can be merged that way. This is extremely interesting for macro photography, but also in certain fields of landscape photography, this is really useful. Many of the more recent cameras already support capturing such a series of images by automatically shifting the focus point through the scene. Luminar Neo supports you with the necessary functions to merge those images into a final one with a huge field of depth.

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nature, photography, summer, travel, world

Throwback Thursday: while-tailed eagle

 

Never before, I was able to capture one of these guys so close. They are at home around the Baltic Sea, along the North Sea, along the Norwegian coast, and in Iceland. You can also find some of them at some lakes here in Germany. While I was on Usedom for our vacation, I got the opportunity to go to a nature protection area near by. Despite that fact, I needed a really long lens. Unfortunately the sky was very cloudy that day.

White-tailed eagles (Haliaeetus albicilla) are bigger than the American bald eagle, but smaller than the Steller’s sea eagle (Haliaeetus pelagicus), also known as Pacific sea eagle or white-shouldered eagle. The White-tailed eagle has a wingspan of up to 250cm. There’s a saying, when you have the impressing, there’s a room door flying above you, it’s a White-tailed eagle. They are really impressive.

Fortunately, the population is slowly growing again. During the 1970s DDT created huge problems for them. While eating dead animals poisoned by DDT or wit ha huge level or DDT in their bodies, the poison also in the eagles’ bodies enriched which caused a severe problem: the egg-shell became too thin, so the the eagles destroyed their own eggs while breeding them. During the 1980s, DDT got banned and the number of eagles raised again. Slowly, but steadily.

It’s so fascinating watching them passing by. Because of their size, it seems, they were quite slow. Most of the time, they are gliding. But, a a single flap of their wings speeds them massively up. Same is true, when they start using thermal up-streams. You can’t change your lens fast enough to capture them neither in the “elevator” nor on the “highway”.

For hours, 2 of them were sitting on high trees with no activity,  but too far away for an image. Even with 800mm attached to my APS-C body (resulting in 1200mm f5.6) would only give me a few dark dots somewhere in the trees.

 

Take care!

nature, photo-of-the-day, photography, plants

Monochrome Monday 9-18

 

 

My last vacation with my wife and my grandson (nearly 6) surprisingly gave me the opportunity to explore an old wooden windmill, a so-called smock mill. A few years ago, I already was there, but wasn’t aware of the option, to tour the windmill. The souvenir shop held me away.

The windmill was initially built in 1706 and reconstructed after a fire in 1920/21. It’s still in use as a flour mill. In the basement of the windmill is a shop offering natural products as well as souvenirs. While in the shop, my grandson asked quite loudly (as kids of that age do), if he could go upstairs and see the inner parts of the windmill and the owner answered (instead of us), that it would be possible when paying an entrance fee and at least one of the adults would accomplish him. So, I’m glad, he was with us and talking that loud.

For a long, I wanted to visit an old windmill with my camera. It was fantastic to see, how everything was constructed. It was amazing to see all this old technology and that it remained the centuries and wars.

The windmill has 4 floors. All of them offer only very few free (unused) room to roam around. I even had to leave my backpack on the first floor to be able to climb up to the upper levels. While my wife and my grandson only claimed up to the second floor and were frightened to use the steep ladders further up, I made my way up to the top. Fortunately, no one else was there at the same time. The next visitors arrived on level 2 just when I came down again from level 3. In my image above, you can watch down the ladder connecting levels 2 and 3.

Take care!

culture, landscape, leisure, meeting, nature, people, photography, review, summer, travel, vacation, world

Throwback Thursday: I’m back ….

Last week I was on a short family vacation at the Northsea: me, my wife, and our grandson (5 3/4).

We were gifted with fantastic weather. Nicely warm and sunny days at the beach and on the many playgrounds the town set up over the years. We visited that town not for the first time. So, we were able to see the development. Especially my wife was there quite often when our kids were smaller. She went with only one at a time, while the others stayed home with me. Now, all of them are adults and traveling with their partners.

Being at the coast means having a good portion of wind around you all the time. During low tide, the beaches grow. When low tide is in the evening, you can have much space for flying a kite. We’ve chosen that way for the kite instead of going to the kiting ground because there are more pro-kiters and a small kid does not have the room he needs for his little kite.

Take care!

nature, photo-of-the-day, photography, plants

Monochrome Monday 9-17

 

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Take care!

 

culture, landscape, meeting, nature, people, photography, summer, travel, world

Throwback Thursday: A sign of hope!?

Saturday before last, I was in our state capitol to see one of the results of the long-lasting drought, we’re suffering this year. The fourth year in a row. Many smaller rivers and creeks don’t haven’t water anymore. Lakes and ponds dry out or at least overheat and endangering the fishes that way.

That river is one of the big streams here in Europe and it’s used as a road for large barges. When I walked down the riverbank and came closer to one of the spur dikes (they are built to slow down the water) when I noticed this single sunflower, blooming on a part of the riverbed, although the image seems to show something different, because you can’t the exact location.

I’m taking this sunflower as a sign of hope. Hope for water will come back to this level. Hope, because there is still some water in the ground.

Take care!

culture, landscape, leisure, meeting, nature, people, photography, review, summer, travel, vacation, world

Throwback Thursday: A day at the sea

12 years ago, my wife spent a week with our youngest at the north sea. Thanks to a very proposing weather forecast, I came up with the idea, to surprise them by making a day trip to visit them. So, I told the other two kids to prepare some breakfast suitable to be eaten on the road and get up that early to be able to be on the road at 6 a.m. What a surprise, when we arrived at noon. At that time, the motorway ended early and the remaining nearly 100 km had to be covered on regular country roads. Nowadays the highway reaches much closer to the coast and shortens the distance to only a little more than 3 hours.

After having dinner together, we headed back home and arrived at about 1:30 a.m. What a day!

Take care!