landscape, nature, photo-of-the-day, photography, travel, winter, world

Monochrome Monday 7-38

Under normal circumstances, I probably would have been on Helgoland last week and this post might have been entitled with “I’m back …”. Unfortunately, that’s currently not possible and, to be honest, not suitable. During the pandemic, everyone should travel as little as possible.

Instead, I picked my swap disk containing my backlog of undeveloped images. One folder on that disk contains a couple of folders with images taken during quite larger trips. One of the oldest folders on that disk contains the images taken 5 years ago on Helgoland. So, I transferred them to my computer again and started developing them. In the past, I already developed some of the images. Maybe 20 or 30.

My plan is, to have the images developed by mid-February this year!

The image above is taken on day 1 on the island when we were on our first trip to the seals. Suddenly, a snowstorm started and snow was collected by the stones laying on the beach.

Take care and stay healthy!

 

landscape, nature, photo-of-the-day, photography, travel, winter, world

Monochrome Monday 7-36

Snow! Because of the pandemic, traveling is currently not possible. So, no skiing vacation in Austria, Switzerland or Bavaria. Instead, people try to go to the Eifel (an average mountainous region near the Belgium border) or the Sauerland (an average mountainous region in the middle of North-Rhine Westphalia with hills up to 800 meters). Both regions would be reachable among an hour’s drive and attracting skiing tourists in ‘normal’ winters. But, everything is closed there, too. Why should I go there? Personally, I don’t ever go on a winter sports trip. But, many, many people are going despite the skiing tracks, the ski lifts, the restaurants, the toilets and even the parking lots are closed. Why do they go???? The TV news reported about people from all areas up to 300 km around these areas were found in that areas despite the closing! You can say very easily where people are from because of the licence plate on their cars. The letters in front of the dash in the licence plate are referring to the town or county, where the car is registered.

The above image is taken on Saturday afternoon. It’s neither Sauerland nor Eifel. I simply drove uphill in my town for about 4 or 5 kilometres. Coming from 200m above sea level, where we have no snow anymore (despite we got some the night from Wednesday to Thursday), to 250-300m I saw this right beside the street.

Stay home and us the opportunities you have in your county instead of carrying the virus throughout the whole country, I would like to say to those driving to touristic attractive locations despite the pandemic. This year is not a normal one. Survive the pandemic and you can go skiing again without regulations.

Take care and stay healthy!

 

art, culture, photo-of-the-day, photography

Lens-Artists Photo Challange 130: “It’s a Small World”

This week’s Lens-Artists photo challenge is hosted by Anne and she takes us with her in the tiny world of macro photography. She’s right, one can discover a lot with a macro or even a micro lens. Macro photography is defined by everything up to a scale of 1:1. When using a lens able to use at scales between 1:10 and 10:1 you’re talking about micro photography.

A common macro lens is usually working up to the scale of 1:1. But, there are options available to boost the scale being this i.e. by involving extenders, bellows and reverse adapters. I own a set up extenders and a revers adapter und use them sometimes.

Below, I assembled a collection of images taken with my 105mm macro lens, a 35mm prime lens attached via retro adapter or with a 400mm telephoto lens by using extention tubes. You see, there are different ways to do macro photography. Btw. the easiest way is using a macro lens, but the most fascinating one is the retro adapter (end even the cheapest one😊). In case your interested in a howto, drop me a line and ask, what you want to know😊.

Btw. you can find many more examples here in my blog.

culture, landscape, leisure, nature, photography, seasons, travel, winter

Traveling in times of the pandemic

This is my first bi-lingual blog-post. Text in Deutsch weiter unten.

A friend of mine started a challenge to inspire the reader to travel without leaving the room and and calls it Zimmerreisen,which translates to room-travel. The German word can be a plural noun as well as a verb. I really liked the idea and I wanted to participate. As she writes her blog in German and addresses people living here I would also write this post in German. But, the majority of my followers don’t understand German, so I decided to write this post in both languages.

Puzzleblume named a few of rules for the challenge:

  1. each second Friday of a month a new turn
  2. pingback to her post
  3. 1,500 words should be enough (per language)
  4. Not only images. Tell us a story!
  5. use the tag #Zimmerreisen (and #roomtravel)
  6. use the given letters as stimuli for your imagination to find places or things starting with the given letters
  7. First we start with “A”, “B” and “C”. Use at least one of them for your post

I’ve chosen “Alpes”, “Balloon” and “Carnival” for this first roundtrip from the back of your seat to have

A few years ago, I was in Bavaria with some friends for having a hot-air balloon flight in front of the Alpes.

You know, flying balloons depends very much on the weather. While for most time of the year a balloon can fly safely only during the morning or evening hours, during winter they can also have good conditions during the day. So, we met at about 8:30 with the pilot and tried to find a good spot to start. The sky was covered with thick clouds, but the weather report (not the forecast) said, it would be possible to fly. And we did! After a couple of 10 meters, we touched the clouds and when we came out of the clouds, a sunny blue sky was above us. We went up to 1,000 meters and enjoyed the view to the Alpes.

Where’s the “C” you might ask. This happens during the core time of the carnival season while we were escaping the carnival festivities. In German, carnival translates to Karneval. The origin of this word is Latin “carne vale” and means “meat, farewell”. This festivity is the last before the start of the lenten season, which ends on Holy Saturday.

Btw. I’d encourage you, to join. I guess, it’s a lot of fun 😊

German:

Eine Co-bloggerin von mir hat eine Challenge gestartet Post zu schreiben, in denen man reisen kann, ohne das Zimmer zu verlassen und nennt das “Zimmerreisen”. Ich fand die Idee so gut, dass ich mich auch daran beteiligen möchte. Da mein Blog aber in Englisch ist und Ihre Idee in Deutsch, habe ich mich entschieden diese Post Zweisprachig zu schreiben, denn die Mehrheit meiner Leser verstehen kein Deutsch.

Sie hat ein paar Regel aufgestellt:

  1. jeden zweiten Freitag startet eine neue Runde
  2. Pingback zu ihrem Post setzten
  3. 1,500 Wörter sollten genug sein
  4. Nicht nur Bilder, sondern eine Geschichte erzählen
  5. Den Tag #Zimmerreisen benutzen (und #roomtravel für englisch-sprachige Leser)
  6. die gegebenen Buchstaben als Inspiration für den eigenen Blog-Post nutzen. Die Orte oder Gegenstände sollten mit diesem Buchstaben anfangen
  7. Wir beginnen mit “A”, “B” und “C”, und mindestens einer der Buchstaben muss verwendet werden

Ich habe mich für “Alpen”, “Ballon” und “Carnival” für diese erste Runde entschieden.

Vor ein paar Jahren war ich mit ein paar Freunden in Bayern um eine Fahrt in einem Heißluft-Ballon vor der Alpenkulisse zu unternehmen.

Wie jeder weiß, Ballon-Fahrten sind sehr Wetterabhängig. Die meiste Zeit des Jahres können sie nur in den Morgen- oder Abenstunden starten. Im Winter hingegen besteht in den Alpen auch die Möglichkeit tagsüber zu fahren. So haben wir uns morgens gegen 8:30h mit dem Ballon-Piloten getroffen und einen Start-Platz gesucht. Der Himmel war mit dicken grauen Wolken überzogen, aber der Flugwetterbericht sah für einen Start gut aus. Nach einigen Duzend Metern haben wir die Wolken erreicht und nach einigen weiteren Duzend Metern erfolgreich durchstoßen, wo wir von der Sonne und strahlend blauem Himmel erwartet wurden. Bis zu 1.000m sind wir aufgestiegen und konnten die Aussicht auf das fantastische Alpen-Panorama genießen.

Was ist mit dem “C”? Die ganze Aktion fand in der Karnevalszeit statt. Zwischen Weiberfasnacht und Tulpensonntag, während unserer järhrlichen Karnevals-Flucht (darüber habe ich schon ein paar Mal geschrieben). Karneval, oder in Englisch carnival geht zurück auf das mittel-lateinische “carne vale”, das “Fleisch, Lebewohl” bedeutet. Aschermittwoch, mit dem Karneval abschließt, ist der Beginn der Fastenzeit, die mit Karsamstag ihr Ende findet.

Btw. Eventuell möchtest Du auch teilnehmen. Tu es!

Take care!!

 

 

architecture, art, cityscape, culture, landscape, leisure, night, people, photo-of-the-day, star, street, urbex, work, world

Throwback Thursday: connecting lights

This image is taken during our photographer’s roundtable in January 2010. It’s 11 years old. But I guess, it’s a symbol for this year: a vaccine is available, distribution of the vaccine hast started and the bright area in the sky is proposing a “back to normal” to come soon. Until then, keep safe!

Take care!

landscape, nature, photo-of-the-day, photography, seasons, summer, travel, world

Monochrome Monday 7-35

I wish you a belated Happy New Year with this image taken in December 2009 a few kilometers away from my home. Since then, we didn’t have had that much snow again. Overnight about half a meter of snow felt and made us a white Christmas. But, the untouched snow in this image is in my opinion also a great symbol for a new year. Some of your plans might already throw a shadow and pop out of the plain, but most of what the future will bring is still covered by uncertainness.

So, start with me in a new year and see, what the future will bring.

Take care!

 

art, culture, photo-of-the-day, photography

Lens-Artists Photo Challange 129: “Favorite Photos of 2020”

Ok, it’s January 1st. So, it’s time for a look back on the past year. Did you like it? Did you love it? Or did you hate it?

I don’t want to review the year again, because I already did it twice.

My top landscape images are already published. So, what’s missing now? The birds are missing! And here they are:

In addition, I have the top 9 by votes of Instagram for you:

This post is part of the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. This time it’s organized by Tina Shell. Head over to her site to see her motivational post and links to many other posts inspired by hers.

architecture, art, cityscape, culture, landscape, leisure, night, people, photo-of-the-day, star, street, urbex, work, world

Throwback Thursday: 2020 – what a year!

December 31st, the last day of the year! Time for a look back. I guess all of you are happy, this wired year finally came to an end. All of us are tired of the regulations, limitations, and lockdowns we were faced this past year and had to follow even if we didn’t want to.

Right before Christmas, I got my 2020 yearbook. During the lockdown in March-May, I feared, my 2020 yearbook would be quite thin, there was no possibility to go out and take photographs. But, I was wrong. I even had to work very hard, to reduce the number of images to fit in a book. So, I want to name the major topics now:

March      - forest animals
April      - blue forest
May        - birding + stars
June       - Iceland
July       - comet Neowise
August     - birding (bee-eater)
September  - heathland
October    - fall

In the end, I created 4 books this year Iceland, Iceland monochrome, Iceland wildlife, and my yearbook. So, 2020 was a very productive year and without the limitations, it wouldn’t have been possible to have all my 2020 images developed up to now.

But, there were also a couple of downsides this year. Our vacation at the sea in April was canceled because of the lockdown. Our family vacation in May was also canceled because of the lockdown. The extended weekend trip end of September for visiting my brother in Switzerland was also canceled. But this time for bad weather (first heavy snowfalls and closed streets).  Our plan was to make a trip to a wine-growing area in October. But, because of the increasing number of infections. We didn’t book a hotel in advance to be able to react short-term to the weather conditions. So, we stayed home instead. Around the first of Advent, my wife wanted to visit a couple of Christmas markets. You guess it: canceled – no Christmas markets were planned or set-up. Visits for Christmas with my parents or our moved-out children??? Very distributed and no gathering.

When looking at my job, it came out, I’m not affected by the lockdown and the limitations to go out for work. I can do my work perfectly from home. All I need, is my company notebook, a headset to telephone, and a connection to the internet. Lucky me! My wife is working at a pension home to keep the inhabitants mentally active. So, she’s working in a secure place.

All in all, it’s good to know, the first vaccines are already approved, and also the pop-up vaccination centers are ready. So, the most endangered people are getting their vaccines now (if they want) and all others will follow during the next months following a priority plan.

 

In my personal life, there were also a couple of changes. I started a completely new job. I changed from being a project manager for IT projects to vendor management. Instead of reporting to clients, I now get the reports from our vendors. A very interesting change of view.

My daughter also started working again in February. Back in 2016, she started getting educated in nursing but had to quit because of her baby. Despite being a single mum, she’s working shifts (early and late, but no nights) as a nurse in a pension home. She got employed in March after 4 weeks of working voluntarily in that pension home. For 2021 she’s planning to start again to get educated in nursing so that she will be able to earn a bit more money. She also moved to a new apartment in June (after living again with us for about 9 months, because of some problems with her apartment and since February because of her work). Now, she lives only 300m away from us, so that we can take care of her son when he’s not in kindergarten.

Our older son was able to convert his fixed-term contract into an unlimited one and our youngest wasn’t limited too much by the lockdowns to learn for his job. By the end of 2021, he has to pass the written exam and in January 2022 he has to pass the oral examination.

My wife is currently recuperating from the lung inflammation she got surprisingly early December.

So, 2020 was a bad year in many perspectives, but it wasn’t a complete disaster. There is always some light in the dark.

This is the sun at noon on Dec. 24th. That’s a very typical winter sky here in my region. You can see, how low the sun is in the sky. It’s taken from your bathroom window on the second floor. From the street, I would be unable to see the sun at all. The trees are not that large and are about 100m away from our house. But the sun is standing so low during winter.

The image above is also a good illustration of my year 2020: there was a lot of struggling and complicated situations. We were pained by strict regulations to fight against SARS2-CoV. But, there was still some light. Think about your past 12 months. I guess you are also able to find some enlightening memories. Keep them well and let them carry you through the remaining time of the pandemic.

See you next year! Happy New Year!