abstract, landscape, photo-of-the-day, photography, plants, seasons, winter, world

Monochrome Monday 8-48

 

 

I took this image on Saturday before last. It’s already early April, and just like the old farmer’s rule says, April does whatever she wants. Just like last April, we got snow in die mid of spring. But, fortunately, this time most of the fruit trees didn’t have their blossoms so early. Over the last weeks, the weather was very nice and sunny, but cold. But, the magnolias (tulip trees) were affected again. It started snowing Friday at noon and until nightfall, we had a quite solid snow cover on the ground. Saturday morning, I had approximately 15 cm of snow on my car. Although the snow was nearly completely gone by Saturday noon, nearly all petals of the magnolia blossoms were already on the ground. What a pity. The already short period of magnolia blooming time was cut even earlier.

The tree in my image is a white-pink blooming magnolia tree all covered by snow.

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It’s sometimes hard to find images fitting to a certain challenge. For these tasks, I’m using the help of Excire Foto. I told the software where my image library is located and it starts analyzing the images. It recognizes the main colors in the images as well as the contents (what is in the images) and tags them automatically. Later, I can use the user interface to search for images with certain tags. Currently, you can save a few bucks when ordering Excire Foto, because it’s on sale. With coupon code Eggcire22, valid until 18.04.2022, you can save 22%.

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Take care!

abstract, landscape, photo-of-the-day, photography, plants, seasons, winter, world

Monochrome Monday 8-47

I took this image two weeks ago. The trees were still without any leaves. So, the sunlight was able to reach the ground and paint interesting patterns on the ground. You can enlarge it, when clicking on the image, as usual.

 

<ad>

It’s sometimes hard to find images fitting to a certain challenge. For these tasks, I’m using the help of Excire Foto. I told the software where my image library is located and it starts analyzing the images. It recognizes the main colors in the images as well as the contents (what is in the images) and tags them automatically. Later, I can use the user interface to search for images with certain tags. Currently, you can save a few bucks when ordering Excire Foto, because it’s on sale. With coupon Code SPRING-30 you can save 30%.

When using this link, new customers can get Excire Analytics for free when buying Excire Foto before March, 31st. After clicking the link, put both products (Excire Analytics is visible in a separate tab after clicking on Excire Foto for seeing the details) in your shopping cart and use code AnalyticsDeal during checkout and the total decreases by 39€.

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Take care!

landscape, meeting, photography, plants, review, spring, travel

Throwback Thursday: I’m back … and LAPC #188 “A Special Place”

… from another trip. Thanks to the relaxations from the COVID restrictions it was a quite comfortable trip. Sanitizing hands and wearing a mask during transportation, in closed rooms, and wherever a proper distance can’t be kept is quite easy to follow and a level of restriction easily can be kept. Either way, we were able to enjoy the Mediterranean sun for a couple of days. This year’s destination for our carnival escape was the beautiful Balearen island of Mallorca.
We used Port d‘Alcúdia as our base for exploring some parts of the island. Nearly all of us were in the past already on Mallorca, but partly already decades ago. From Germany, this island is reachable in approximately 2 1/2 hours. Thus, it‘s also one of the most attractive destinations for party people. When talking about Mallorca as a vacation destination, you’re most probably faced with one of the bad images of this island. To name two of them, we have an island of the cleaning ladies (because traveling to Mallorca is quite cheap and requires in many parts of the island no knowledge of Spanish, so anybody can go there). I already named the other group, party people. Because it is so easy to reach Mallorca, and so many flights start each day from every German airport, even young people can travel to Mallorca and have a vacation with nearly guaranteed sunshine.
It’s a shame, people travel to Mallorca only to go to parties and get drunk. The island has so much more to offer. Wonderful landscapes from the sandy beaches with low water and only little tides, nice old town, restaurants with very good and tasty food, a mountain range, that parts the island in the northern part from east to west. These mountains are quite steep and craggy and up to 1.445 meters high. The island, located 170 kilometers off the Spanish mainland,  is about 98 kilometers in an east-west direction and 78 kilometers in a north-south direction. The mountains are approximately 90 kilometers broad with the 15 kilometers broad Tramuntana mountain range as the most important part.  The airport is located near the west coast in Palma, the capital of Mallorca as well as of the Spanish region of the Baleares, a group of islands where also Ibiza, Menorca, Formentera are part. Heading east with our rental cars, we needed approximately 45 minutes to reach Port d‘Alcúdia.
You can find a couple of towns twice on the map, because some towns are located at a safe distance from the sea, have founded a second town centuries ago at the sea to make it easier during the fishing season. The names of these towns start with the word „Port“. Nowadays, most of the hotels are located in these towns located at the coast, while the similarly named town located away from the sea has the Old town. So, when coming to Mallorca, never forget to visit the towns inland.
Unfortunately, the people have committed construction sins starting from the 1970s. So, we find many huge hotels along certain beaches. These concrete mountains mutilate the beautiful landscape. This is also the reason for becoming the most preferred vacation destination for generations of people, especially in Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, and the Scandinavian countries. Over the last 2 decades, people from the former Eastern bloc countries like Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, or Ukraine also learned to love that Island.
It‘s very sad, that this island has such a bad reputation. Besides the beautiful landscapes, beaches, and towns, you can find a lot of tasty products like wine, olive oil, cheese, or gin. Also, the cuisine is very tasty. Besides seafood, you can also get rabbit, lamb, goat, and beef. When paying attention to the restaurant, you can be sure, all the products are local.
When we started last Friday, alone from our starting airport there were 6 flights to Mallorca, 4 of them run by the same airline. And, that’s end of February. You could say, it‘s off-season, and you’re partly right. It’s too cold to go swimming. During the days, the temperature went up to 26 degrees centigrade, but the air is certainly much colder, only 15-17 degrees centigrade and around 4-7 degrees at night. That’s enough to see the island less crowded and enjoy the landscape while going hiking or cycling. Many hotels are prepared for giving cyclists and their bike room for the night. The people are generally very friendly and helpful. In the big hotels, you can find always someone speaking some German or at least some English. But, as always when traveling to a foreign country, it’s much better to know some words and sentences in the local language.
For this trip, we had a small list of planned visits:
– rough Northern cost around Soller / Port de Soller
– neighboring town Pollença (the market at Sunday morning) / Port de Pollença
– Cape of Formentor (the lighthouse at sunset)
– the center of the milky way
– Palma, the capitol, with Old town, cathedral, and a bit of shopping for the ladies
– hiking along a small part of the southern coast
– an old fisherman’s town
As well as a few optional destinations. But, our main motivation to go to Mallorca at this time of the year was seeing the blooming almond trees. And we did. Huge fields of white blooming trees. It was amazing.

Unfortunately, some of the plans were unable to realize:
– Cape Formentor was unable to reach because of a closed road. The only road going to the lighthouse was closed for road construction works about 5 kilometers away from the lighthouse. Too far to walk because we would have walked back in the dark and not knowing if we would have passed the closing by foot.
– photographing the Milky Way had to be skipped because we were unable to find the proper place. Mountains were hindering us from looking in the right direction. Ok, the island is quite big, but also has a problem with light pollution as soo many other parts in Europe too, and we only had a small time frame between rising of the Milky Way at about 4 a.m. and sunrise at 7:30 (twilight starts much earlier). How annoying!
– visiting Palma was also a disaster. That day the Day of the Baleares was celebrated. Ten thousands of people were in the streets, but shops and the
cathedral were closed. Instead, many tents were set up to offer street food, wine, olive oil, and so on while in other places music groups, dance ensembles, sports clubs, and other artists were entertaining the masses. So, the streets were extremely crowded and we left early.
– the planned hike along the coast also raised a problem. One of us was wearing sports shoes instead of tracking or hiking boots. He also is a little bit over-weighted and the path was a natural path and not a paved one. After about 1 kilometer (which lasted approximately 45 minutes) we turned back. The whole round track would have been 8 kilometers long. Nearly impossible under these conditions. Very sad.
– another lighthouse was fenced so that we were unable to get to the right spot.

Our trip even had a bad start. As I told you, there are at least 4 regular flights from our departure point scheduled to Mallorca: 6:00, 8:30, 11:00, and 16:50. While the majority of our group booked for 8:30, two had to take the flight at 16:50 because of their working hours. The day before our take-off, we got a short notification about our flight at 8:30 was postponed to 12:10. After a little investigation, we got aware, this was due to a warning strike of the security personnel. When getting to the airport, we noticed only the 8:30 (postponed to 12:10) and the 16:50 flights were supposed to be operated, while the others were canceled. Phew! Blessing in disguise. Our airline was able to get everything managed as well as possible and was very organized to make the best out of that situation. So we finally arrived at Mallorca with a couple of hours delay, but we did!

Nevertheless, I don’t want to complain. It was a very nice trip and it was so great to see the sun again, not to mention the joy of being outside wearing only a T-Shirt. I was writing this while sitting in my plane back home. This morning, I was getting up while it was still dark and -4 degrees to start working. Each vacation comes to an end and almost always it feels like days were shorter when on vacation.

 

All of my images are still in the camera, so I only have a photo of blooming almond trees taken with my smartphone for you. It’s edited by using the AI module from Luminar Neo for removing the power lines between the palm trees and some of the almond tree twigs automatically with only one click. The other click was to automatically correct the verticals. Great job! <ad> you can try this with your own images, head over to Skylum, and get your own copy. As always, you get a 30-days money-back guarantee. </ad>

This post is also part of the LAPC hosted this time by guest host Karina from Murtagh’s meadow. Thanks for this challenge!

Take care!

macro, photography, plants, review, seasons, winter

Throwback Thursday: frosting

Last week, I found a couple of images taken right before Christmas on the memory card of my camera.

One small hint: When using code HAPPYVALENTINE during checkout, you can save 15% when buying Excire Foto before Feb 20th, 2022. Excire Foto is the perfect tool to find certain images on your disks by searching with keywords either from EXIF data or by the results from the artificial tagging engine. Do you want to know more? There’s already a post here in my blog. Although the post is quite old and talks about version 1.0, the last update to version 1.3 was released in December 2021.

Second hint: when you’re in the US you can benefit from code CNFL-56 and save 43%, because Excire US celebrates the Super Bowl (advertising because of the affiliate link)

 

Take care

 

 

animals, astro, bird, landscape, nature, night, photo-of-the-day, photography, plants, star, travel, world

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 178: “My choice: a small Namibia selection”

Today’s host for The Lens-Artists Photo-Challenge is Tina. Her topic for today is “you choose” 😊 How funny. From her comments on my post last week I know, she’s quite eager to see some images from Namibia. Thus, I made a tiny selection from the images taken there.

I’m still in quarantine. Because I’m working from home, the two past weeks didn’t look different than the months before. Nevertheless, I was able to develop a couple of images. I’m not done developing my images from Namibia, but there are some I can show right now.

As usual, click on an image to enlarge it.

Take care!

art, flowers, landscape, nature, photo-of-the-day, photography, plants

Lens-Artists Photo Challange 153: “Wonderful world”

On January 1st, 1968 Louis Armstrong published his song “What a Wonderful World”. It was written specifically for him and describes the beauty of the world and the small pieces of happiness in everyday life. Louis Daniel „Satchmo“ Armstrong was an African American, born in 1901 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Once, Louisiana was part of the southern states in the USA, where slavery was an important part of the economy. But, although slavery became illegal after the civil war, those people were (and are) still not equally treated. Unfortunately, that’s not only in the USA but also in many other countries in the world.

From the mid-1950s more and more (primary descendants of former slaves) stood up against the still existing social injustices and repressions. Probably you already have heard the name Reverent Martin Luther King, who became kind of a leader of the non-violent Civil Rights movement. Unfortunately, he was killed in April 1968.

In this setting of a civil rights movement, the song was published and became very successful. In case, you don’t know the song, go to Youtube and find it. It’s still a wonderful song. You can even find a lyrics video to read the lyrics along.

The intention of the song was to set a countercurrent to the political climate. Thus the song describes the beauty of nature, friendship, and children’s view despite the huge problems of hate, jealousy, and power struggles.

The first verse is

“I see trees of green, red roses too. I see them bloom for me and you, and I think to myself: What a wonderful world.”

I really recommend, to listen to the song, now. And, while Satchmo sings his song you can swipe through the gallery below. Click on an image to enlarge the images.

thank you, Amy, for this wonderful topic, this week.

Take care!

 

art, flowers, landscape, nature, photo-of-the-day, photography, plants

Lens-Artists Photo Challange 152: “Shades and Shadows”

Ann-Christine invites us this week to celebrate the sun for The Lens-Artists Photo-Challenge. You know, when there is light, you will have shadows.

 

 

Hint: I’m currently running a raffle. Until midnight tomorrow, you can enter to win a voucher code for Excire Foto  (*AD because of an affiliate link* ). Check out, how you can become one of the winners 😊

Take care!

art, flowers, landscape, nature, photo-of-the-day, photography, plants

Lens-Artists Photo Challange 151: “From big to small“

It’s Patti’s round, this week, at The Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. She reminds us of an old principle this week. Start wide and narrow your view more and more.

So, when coming to a scene, take your wide-angle lens first and take a couple of shots. Then, step further into the scene and look for the details. Isolate a mountain, a tree, a flower, a part of a building, you got the idea. This does not necessarily mean doing macro.

Enjoy the gallery. Hint: clicking in one of the images starts the slideshow in a bigger size.

Second hint: I’m currently running a raffle. You can win a voucher code for Excire Foto  (*AD because of an affiliate link* ). Check out, how you can become one of the winners 😊

Take care!

art, culture, flowers, landscape, nature, photo-of-the-day, photography, plants

Lens-Artists Photo Challange 150: “Let’s Get Wild!“

We have a guest host this week for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Diane She asks for the wild because she works in the wild as a park ranger.

I know, there are a few other meanings in the word “wild”, but I’m concentrating on wild as in “wildlife”.

Enjoy the gallery. Hint: clicking in one of the images starts the slideshow in a bigger size.

Second hint: I’m currently running a raffle. You can win a voucher code for Excire Foto  (*AD because of an affiliate link* ). Check out, how you can become one of the winners 😊

Take care!

art, culture, flowers, landscape, nature, photo-of-the-day, photography, plants

Lens-Artists Photo Challange 149: “Cool Colors – Blue and Green“

These are the days, where I’m happy to have software helping me discovering images quite fast. Tina asked for images with blue and green for the Lens-Artists photo challenge and this way I’m able to deliver very fast. Opening the find dialog, choose the two relevant colors and I’m presented with dozens of suitable images to choose from.

I hope you like the selection:

 

 

If you’re interested to give the software a try, there’s a free trial available:

*AD because of an affiliate link* : get the software

art, culture, flowers, landscape, nature, photo-of-the-day, photography, plants

Lens-Artists Photo Challange 148: “Spots and dots“

Spots and dots ….. a hard challenge when photographing primarily nature. But, nevertheless, Ann-Christine, I’m taking the ball. Nobody said a challenge would be easy. That’s the essence and character of a challenge.

So, take the word “spot” first. It can mean a (dust/dirt) spot on a surface, but it can also mean a very certain location of activity or where something is located. In nature, you need to know such certain spots to find your subject.

First, I have a checkered lily and a spring snowflake. Do you see the spots and dots on the petals? I found it a couple of years ago in a very certain spot. Next, a holly blue, a spotted dogfish, and a gray seal. Nature uses spots for hiding the shape of animals to either hide them from predators or, vice versa, to be recognized too early by their prey.

When stepping back a bit, you can see i.e. poppies like dots in the fields or in early spring fields of alpine squills under the trees when they have no leaves yet. And, don’t forget the red dots of Ilex during winter.

The spots in the last image, I’m leaving for your imagination. Guess, what you see 🙂 I’m solving it later 🙂

Edit: the last image is taken by an intentional mis-focus of the tiny wavelets of the Mediterranean sea on a calm day backlit by the rising sun. The nice bokeh is the result of the mis-focus. Each of the circles was a sun sparkle

 

Take care!

art, culture, flowers, landscape, nature, photo-of-the-day, photography, plants

Lens-Artists Photo Challange 146: “Gardens“

Gardens! Nowadays you can find them around many houses. But, the idea of having a garden is not that old. When spinning the time back for about 100 years, you would also find gardens, but they were generally looking way different than today. Instead of flowers and blooming bushes, you would have found vegetables and fruits. The gardens were used to grow food. Not everything was in shops available for sale. So, people had to take care of themselves. Only farmers used to have small so-called farmer’s gardens. But, even in these farmer gardens, you were able to find herbs among the flowers.

In Japan, gardening has a quite long tradition. The gardens usually have a religious background. In the past, I already told you, that our state capital Düsseldorf has one of the three biggest Japanese ex-pat communities (besides London and Paris). Not far away from my home, there is a Japanese garden, built by a Japanese garden architect. In Japanese gardens, each detail has a reason. Every position, size, and direction of each detail has a meaning. So, each year a group of Japanese gardeners comes over to reshape the garden.

I was there a few times and would go again when we would not have the pandemic still around. So, enjoy my images from the past.

This post is my contribution to The Lens-Artists Photo Challenge hosted by Amy.  Head over to her page and read to rules to participate.

As usual, click on one image to enlarge it.

Take care!

flowers, nature, photo-of-the-day, photography, plants, seasons, spring, world

Throwback Thursday: what a surprise

You know, it’s spring. The week before Easter we had very nice and warm weather: around 20°C. But Holy Saturday, the weather changed much and the temperature dropped. Tuesday after Easter we even got snow. 10-15 cm over night and heavy snowfall all day. Although most of the snow melted in the evening, the next morning looked the same as the morning before: again 10-15 cm of snow.

Here we have our pink tulip tree covered with snow. Most of the small spring flowers were completely covered with snow. Only a few of the bigger ones were able to look out of the snow as you can see in my image of yesterday. Here in Germany, we have a saying: April, April, der macht, was er will (The April does what he wants to). So, the intermezzo is already over again, and no snow anymore.

Take care!

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

Monochrome Monday 7-45

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine started publishing a monochrome series on Instagram. One of the images was taken while I was standing next to her in Wales back in 2019. I liked her edit and took out my own images to play a bit with them. It didn’t come up to my mind initially to try this in monochrome. But, I’m happy, I did.

Take care!

 

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

Monochrome Monday 7-44

This image is from June 2010. I can’t imagine, this is already more than 10 years ago. Thursday next week, I’m going to show you an image of the cathedral taken a little bit earlier on my way to this location and the Thursday after a color version of this image. Stay tuned!

Take care!

 

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

Monochrome Monday 7-43

Backlit reed from a trip about 4 weeks ago. I like backlit subjects very much. Although these reeds were glooming golden from the low standing sun behind, I converted this image to monochrome. In my opinion, the hard contrasts are perfect for monochrome.

Take care!

 

art, landscape, photo-of-the-day, photography, plants, seasons, travel, winter, world

Throwback Thursday: A second night in Frankfurt

In March 2010 I was in Frankfurt again. Again, I was there for a training and again I brought my tripod and my camera for taking some night shots in the city. But, this time I went along the river instead of heading between the skyscrapers.

I’m presenting the images here although they are not so good to visualize certain mistakes I did at that time.

The time of the day was right and the horizon is balanced. But, the verticals near the sides are not vertical. They are leaning to the center of the image. That’s because of the wide-angle lens. The images are taken with a camera having an APS-C sensor and an 18-105 mm zoom lens at 18mm. Because of the height of the buildings I had to tilt the lens upwards on the tripod which results in this ugly appearance. At that time I didn’t have the tools and the knowledge to correct it in post-processing.

The next problem here is the nearly burnt-out highlights. As I wrote in my last post on night-photography in Frankfurt, I should have made more than one image of each setting with slightly different aperture times while leaving all other settings untouched. My camera at that time already had the ability to use bracketing for such images, but I wasn’t aware of it. Thanks for using raw instead of JPG, I was at least able to recover a little bit, but for the price of some noise (especially in the last one, which is also taken too late).

APS-C 24mm (~37mm), ISO 200, f16, 4s

 

APS-C 18mm (~27mm), ISO 200, f16, 13s

 

APS-C 18mm (~27mm), ISO 200, f16, 4s
APS-C 18mm (~27mm), ISO 200, f16, 13s
APS-C 58mm (~87mm), ISO 200, f16, 4s

So, when looking from today at these images, I have to say, I should return to Frankfurt and redo the job! In this post you can see (no, it’s not Frankfurt but some other night shots) how these images should look like when having done the job properly. I also explain the necessary technic in more detail over there.

Did you ever have such a review on old images of yours? Not only looking at them but reviewing and analyzing them with your current knowledge. It can help you a lot to make some progress. Do so with some distance. Keep out any memories (sweet or bad) and all emotions. Look at the lights, the darks, the horizon, and the overall composition. Be critical and name all the things you either made good or bad. Compare your images with similar images you can find online i.e. at Flickr. Ask yourself, could I do better in comparison with the other images? What could I do better? What are the reasons for the differences?

In case, you want to have an independent review, you can book me for an hour or so and we can discuss your images during an online session.