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!

 

animals, mammal, nature, photo-of-the-day, photography, plants, wildlife

Monochrome Monday 9-32

 

 

Take care!

 

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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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Take care!

nature, photo-of-the-day, photography, spring, travel, world

Travel Tuesday: abandoned house

On one of our trips, we saw this abandoned house beside the road. Sure, we had to have a closer look. It was amazing. But, the longer we stayed, the sky became darker and darker. Drizzling turned to rain. Most of us headed back to the road and to the pub nearby, our destination for a coffee break. One couple was a bit more water-resistant and stayed a bit longer. When they finally also turned back, the guy had an accident and his wife had to help him walk. When we noticed this, we also went out to help carry his gear and give him support to walk. One of the drivers got the car to drive him the short distance to the pub. The rest was very welcomed by him.

The next day was our last day. He couldn’t benefit from that day because he was still unable to walk. On their way back home, she had to take care of all the luggage and so on. At home, it turned out, he got a ligament stretching from his misstep. Painful, but fortunately not a torn ligament.

Every time, I see one of the images from there, the memories come back at once. Take care of your footsteps when on uneven ground.

Take care!

 

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

Throwback Thursday: abstract

 

 

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Take care!

animals, bird, nature, photo-of-the-day, photography, wildlife

Wordless Wednesday: starling

common starling or European starling (Sturnus vulgaris) / Star aka Gemeiner Star

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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 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!

nature, photo-of-the-day, photography, spring, travel, world

Travel Tuesday: narcissus


I’m quite sure I mentioned a couple of times, those yellow daffodils were blooming everywhere on the Isle of Skye.

 

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You don’t know, what Excire is? No problem. It’s the perfect solution for finding images in your archive. Without manually tagging the images, Excire Foto helps you find the searched 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!