a photographer's view to the world – a traveler's blog
Back in February 2016, I traveled far north to meet the Green Lady and see her dance.
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.
… 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.
I’m in a hurry, but I want to share some information with you. With the discount code “Excirefire30” you 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 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.
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.
I just finished developing another folder from my backlog. This gem was residing in my backlog folder since May 2017 😳😲
As I proposed last week: the Orion nebula. Orion, the hunter, is present in the winter sky in the northern hemisphere and the nebula can be found in the sword hanging. Orion is located left of the Pleiades.
You can see the nebula even with your bare eyes, but better with a spyglass or a telescope.
… or on my way to Orion.
I was out that night for photographing the Orion nebula a couple of days ago (ok, literally it’s two weeks tomorrow). It’s located in the sword hanging of Orion right ahead. I liked the situation, how the path leads you directly to Orion. So, I took a wide-angel image first. Next week, I’m showing you the nebula.
You can easily see, how much light pollution we have here. And this is a location with only very little light pollutions in comparison to the situation in the wider area. You might remember my complaints from the past i.e. when I talked about the comet Neowise.
I took this image on Saturday before last. Near the end of this year’s winter. But starting in the beginning.
Friday night two weeks ago we got severe ice-rain. For a week we had temperatures below 0°C. So, the ground was frozen everywhere. The upper areas in the air were warmer than the lower so that we were supposed to get rain instead of snow. But, because of the frozen ground and the low temperatures in the lower air areas, the rain would freeze as soon as it reaches the ground. Very dangerous conditions, when out in the streets. All plants got wet and encased inside the ice because the rain started freezing right after coming to rest on the ground or on twigs as well as on the streets and passways.
The next day, the rain changed to snow and from Sunday the landscape turned into a winter wonderland. Very soft and quite dry snowflakes were laying everywhere, even in the lowlands. You know, I’m 200m above sea level. So, we get about 15-20 cm of snow that weekend. The next few days only a few additional flakes came to accompany those already arrived. Starting on Thursday, the weather changed again: the clouds vanished and the sun came out more and more. On Saturday we had a stainless blue sky, temperatures around -10°C (up -20°C at night).
Perfect conditions for a winter hike!
At around 16:30, when the sun was already quite low (sunset at 17:42), I noticed this golden glow in the trees. Do you remember, I told you about the ice-rain. These ice encasings are the reason, why the trees are capturing all the golden light and glowing so much.
Yesterday, I already showed you an image, how the ice encaged the twigs.
Recently, I was talking with someone about photography. Because that guy is living near Frankfurt, I was checking, where and when I published my images taken in Frankfurt. Surprisingly, they are not here on my blog. The posts are still online but don’t have any images in. I put the images on a separate gallery server that doesn’t exist anymore and set only a link to that location in the post. So, this is kind of a repost.
I was in Frankfurt for a training in November 2009. As I would have been alone in a hotel each night, I took my tripod and my camera with me and planned to go out after the training for taking some night shots in the city. That was my first trip for night photography. The difficulty is to balance the bright lights with the extreme darks while having quite long exposure times.
First I went to a certain skyscraper where you can go on top of the building to have a view over the city. The sky was proposing, unfortunately, it was extremely windy. Setting up my tripod as planned was impossible. The wind simply moved the tripod away. So, I dialed in a quite high ISO to get my shots hand-held without the tripod. The ultra-wide-angle lens allowed me to use a quite open aperture to get a good depth of field and still have the exposure time on a handleable value for hand-holding the camera despite the heavy wind.
At that time, I wasted a lot of quality not only because I had to use high ISO instead of my tripod. I also relinquished to photograph in RAW instead of JPG. For this post, I took out the original images and retouched them as much as possible. But, there was not much possible to recover.
Whenever possible, go the extra mile and photograph in raw. You have so much more quality.
After leaving the tower I also walked a bit through the city. Now, I was able to use my tripod. These images are taken at ISO 200 and aperture times of several seconds each.
What have I learned from that trip?
Having seen this iconic composition of the Kirkjufellfoss waterfall in front of Mount Kirkjufell on the Snæfellsness peninsula in the west of Iceland on so many images rose the wish in my mind to come here myself. I wished for the visit for a very long time. Finally, at the end of June, my wish came true.
This waterfall is neither the biggest nor the most beautiful one you can find in Iceland. But, in combination with the iconic mountain, it’s a wonderful ensemble. I knew all this in advance. I also knew in advance that it would be hard to take a photo because there’s literally only one place to get both parts in your image and to leave out the road passing between the waterfall and the mountain as well as the bridge crossing the river directly above the waterfall.
This image is taken with a 12mm focal length lens attached to my full-frame DSLR mounted on a tripod by using a Bigstopper ND filter for softening the rushing water, a pol-filter for removing some reflections from the water in the pond below the waterfall, and a graduated ND filter to take some light out of the sky to align the exposure for sky and waterfall.
exposure details: 12mm FX, ISO 400, 8 sec. apperture, f8, 22:49h
For a long time, I wanted to go out photographing this bus station at night. Different from other photos taken of illuminated buildings, I opted for going out late to make sure to have a black sky. You know, usually, I go out at “blue hour” for taking such photos. I’m quite happy with the results. I really like the kind of graphical look.
everything’s constantly changing
the only fixed factor is the change