history, landscape, nature, photo-of-the-day, review, seasons, travel, world

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 181: “Double Dipping”

This week Tina challenges us to show some work out of our own page. hmmm, I usually don’t participate in other challenges than LAPC. So, I don’t have something to say today and I was considering skipping this week. But, I have two other pages for you:

  1. Monochromia: when you’re a lover of monochrome images, this site is for you! You can find images published at least twice a day from many very talented photographers around the world working in different fields of photography. I’m a regular contributor over there. My slot is Friday 13:00h/1 p.m. New York time. But, I’m always reblogging it here, too.
    Here’s one of my last images, I published over there:
  2. The other one is my other, my personal, Blog. Currently, I’m running a poll to find the images for my next calendar. You’re invited to participate. Simply jump over and vote for your favorite images. The instructions are on top of the page in German first and in English below. It’s completely anonymous. I’d be very happy to get a lot of participants.

 

Take care!

 

history, landscape, nature, photo-of-the-day, review, seasons, travel, world

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 180: “2021 – a review in images”

Today we have the first day of a new year. I often compare this day with a blank sheet of paper laying in front of me waiting to get written on. But, it’s also the perfect day to look back on the just past year and remember. So, this is kind of a follow-up to my yesterday’s post.

A week ago, I wrote about my yearbook. It’s also a book of memories (photographically). So, for today’s post, I’m just digging a bit more into the image folder to find the absolute essence of 2021.

Winter:

In early January we got a little snow for 3 days and in February ice rain and on top a quite solid layer of snow for about 2 weeks. A few crisp and clear nights gave me the opportunity to go out for photographing the night sky and some deep-sky objects.

 

Spring:

Spring started as usual, but too cold. The bluebells were not ready to get photographed, but the tulip fields were great again. Unfortunately, late snow destroyed many blossoms. So, fewer fruits grew on the trees.

Summer:

While June started great, by mid-June the weather turned. Gray skies and a lot of rain. The worst day was July 14th when huge amounts of rain fell over a very small band of land devasting the areas. Small creeks and rivers got soo much water, that they were overflooding the streets, railways, and towns besides them. Meters of water was standing in the streets. Up to now, the damages are not removed. Many people still have no heating in their houses in those areas. Many people lost everything except their lives while others were not so lucky because those also lost their lives.

Because of the bad weather, I didn’t go on excursions over the summer.

Fall:

Because of the weather, I didn’t go on any excursions during the fall, except using the first opportunity to see the cathedral in Cologne without any scaffold. The whole summer and most of the fall the weather was quite bad. Only a few hours of sunshine but even these days were cold. So, the Namibia trip from the second half of November dominates this section.

During December, I was busy developing my images from Namibia. So, there’s nothing to add.

You can find the corresponding posts published by our hosts here: Tina, Patti, Ann-Christine, and Amy

Take care!

culture, nature, photo-of-the-day, photography, review, seasons

Happy New Year

When standing on the beach and watching the waves rolling in you can every now and then find things. In the surf, you can find stones, shells, algae or other sea plants, and even human waste. At the same time, the surf washes away footprints or any other mark in the sand. Heavier waves are able to form the beach and even the coastline anew. This happens usually during the winter storms.

Tomorrow, a new year is starting. A new year comes to us just like the waves on the ocean. Some waves are small, others are bigger and some even might be shaking the foundations of life. You won’t know in advance what the year will bring to your life. You also won’t know in advance, what it will take from you. But, you have to take it and you have to cope with the changes.

The last year and the year before were such life-changing times. While 2020 had severe menaces for our health, we looked a bit more positive on 2021 by the end of last year, because several vaccinations were already available. Now, that another year passed by, we see more and more people getting tired of the restrictions we’re still faced with each day. Although vacations are the easiest and least intrusive treatments, too many people are still denying the existence of the virus, or the power of the impact of the infection (i.e. long-covid and post-covid-syndromes) besides the possible life-threatening outcome of an infection.

I got my vacation in summer and the booster two weeks ago. Up to now, I didn’t get infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus and I’m willing to do anything to keep this status for the future.

But, in the meantime, it’s much more than not going to a theater, cinema, restaurant, or any other public event. It also changed the relationship and habits between humans. Distance (not only looking at the space between individual human beings), no hugging, no kissing, not meeting friends and family, wearing masks. All this helps cool down relationships. Our societies are changing. Our habits are changing. But, is suffering in an ER or laying in a cemetery a nice and desirable alternative? Centuries ago, people were suffering from pests, pox, and other diseases which are not relevant anymore because scientists were able to find vaccinations and treatments to extinct them. Now it’s our task to cope with Covid and defeat this virus and its mutations. We already reached a very good state. Let’s motivate the hesitating ones to help for the final victory so that we can start gaining our lives back completely. The longer it lasts, the harder it will be to come back to ‘normal’. But, going back to ‘normal’ too early is too dangerous for mankind. This virus has the potential to dramatically reduce the world population because it does not make any differences between people.

Nevertheless, I wish you a happy new year, and may a gentle warm wind strengthen your back and dry up the tears remaining from the past year.

 

Take care!

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

Travel Tuesday: Talisker Bay

 

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Take care!

 

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

Travel Tuesday: a finding

give back to people what belongs to the people

 

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To find certain images in your archive more easily, I’m recommending Excire Foto, an AI-driven photo indexing and tagging software with an intuitive user interface for finding a certain image in your archive. You can download a test version (fully functional for 2 weeks) for free and test it with your own archive.

From Dec. 15th – Dec. 31st you can save 25% when using the code “CHRISTMAS-24” during check-out!

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Take care!

 

photography, summer, travel

Throwback Thursday: I’m back …

… from Namibia!

While writing this, I’m sitting in Frankfurt waiting for my connection flight on my trip back home from Windhoek, the capital of Namibia in southern Africa.

During the last two weeks, I was exploring the south of Namibia. We were traveling the deserts, steppes, and savannas of Namibia between Windhoek in the North and Lüderitz in the South. Namibia changed my image of an African country. I was faced with a modern and clean country. Covid 19 incidence of 1.x (raising up to 2.3 by the end of our trip). I was very surprised, how serious the Namibian people are handling Covid: entering shops, restaurants, and other buildings only when wearing a nose-and-mouth-covering mask and in the entrance area of each shop a hand sanitizer was set up. In my opinion, this is a reason for the extremely low incidence rate in comparison with other countries

It was a very relaxed stay (roundtrip of about 3,000 km) to see the country and many animals besides the roads. Btw. roads: in the past, I experienced the Icelandic gravel roads and bad roads in Scotland. But in Namibia, the road quality is even worse. Most of the roads are not paved and even the paved ones are not as smooth as we know it from middle Europe. Instead, the gravel roads have a lot of bumps and potholes, and they are very dusty (dust devils can be spotted quite easily).

Despite these ‘problems’, it was a very nice trip, well organized, and equipped with a skilled local driver. This was his first job after nearly 2 years of sitting home unemployed because of the pandemic. So, I was experiencing again an empty country. But I’m feeling very sorry for the people depending on tourism. Without tourists, they can’t earn money to make their living.

My aim for this trip wasn’t to go on a safari. Instead, I wanted to see the deserts of Namibia: like Kalahari, Stone-Namib, Sand-Namib. End of November, the rain season is about to start. So, the country was already dried out. To stress this fact, we were even greeted by burning houses on the ground of the lodge of our first stay. In less than an hour, three 2-floor houses burned down completely. The trigger was a spark issued by a workman’s tool.

You might know, the land, now being Namibia, once was a German colony more than 100 years ago and then taken over by the British Empire followed by South Africa. In 1994 Namibia became independent from South Africa after the end of the South African apartheid regime. But there are still very strong connections to South Africa. Nevertheless, different than South Africa, they made a couple of good decisions: no condemnation of white farmers, picking English as the only official language instead of choosing one of the 11 local languages (plus Afrikaans and German). So, all people speak at least two languages: their mother tongue and English (sometimes in total 3 or 4).

I was meeting black people speaking German perfectly, what a surprise. I was happy to see, that the people connect Germany positively and they are proud of their country.

To name my favorites of the trip, I have to start with the animals we saw at the Lodges, in the National Parks, and besides the roads. I don’t want to bore you with a list. Next, I would name the dunes of Sossusvlei / Deathvlei where the dunes of very fine red sand can easily grow higher than 300 meters (about 1,000 feet), the Quiver tree forest (endemic plants relative to the Alow Vera), and the formerly forbidden zone near Lüderitz where the Diamonds were found with the ghost town Kolmanskop (Kolmanskuppe), a former German mining company town.

I’m very glad to have seen Oryx a couple of times, the signature animal of Namibia. They are well adapted to live and survive in these dry and scraggy landscapes. And they are beautiful. Here I have one for you, I met in Sossusvlei. I guess, this image itself is a symbol for Namibia: a lot of space to roam (only 2.3 million people living in a country of nearly 3 times the size of Germany, where we have more than 83 million people ), deserts are dominating the land, but there is still life (the green). We were in Deadvlei, a part of Sossusvlei in the early morning because the shuttle service stops at 3 p.m. because of the heat. Two weeks earlier, a Frenchman died here because of the heat. they found him the next morning terribly treated by the sun and looking like being a double of Freddy Krüger.

P.S. While you’re reading this, I’m already back at home for 3,5 days and I have to admit, I’m still freezing a lot. More than a 30°C difference in temperature between Namibia and Germany. I want the warmth back or alternatively back into the warmth. But, I guess, I have to dream about it ☹️. Instead, I’m in quarantine for 2 full weeks because I came back from a virus variant area. What the f**k. How can Namibia be a virus variant area, when there is nearly no-one infected. But I can’t change this, so I have to love and reschedule a few appointments.

Stay tuned and take care!

 

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

Travel Tuesday: sheep

As I already told you a couple of times, sheep are running free on the Isle of Skye. They can roam wherever they want and you have to drive carefully because you can also find them standing in the middle of the roads. In this case, it was right next to the hiking path. Also, it was eating it paid a lot of attention to the people on the hiking path and keeping at least 5 meters distance. When a person appears to come closer, the sheep escaped at the same speed to keep the distance.

Take care!