Throwback Thursday: Yearbook

Last week, I mentioned my yearbook. Today, I want to tell you, how to create one ūüôā

Each December, I copy all of my edited / developed images from the past 12 months into one folder of my hard-disk and rename them to have a naming schema YYYYMMDD-HHmmss- in front of the original file name. Next, I remove all tags and stars from them by using a light-table software to have no filtering at all. Now, I can flip though all of my images and give them stars again. Starting with 1 star for the outstanding images. After that, I can filter again and select all images with 1 star and start again flipping though the already marked images and give a second star to the outstanding images. Repeating this three times I got the top images marked with 5 stars.

You can also ask someone for help: a friend or a family member. But, what are the¬†¬†quality characteristics? An images must be sharp (expect, you’re looking for a kind of abstract images), well exposed (having details in the highlights as well as in the dark shadows), a balances horizon and have a good composition. Although, inexperienced people can’t name, why an image is better than another image, they are often able to rank them.

What does good composition mean? It’s not that easy. You can study for years to try to learn what composition mean. Different teachers stress different aspects. But, there are a few basic rules. Instead of writing my own thesis on this, I have a link to Wikipedia for you as an entry point.

Now, that you have a selection of your images taken during the last 12 months, you can start composing the book.

Here you have several options as well. I’d recommend, first finding a print shop¬†and use their software for composing the book instead of creating a pdf and upload the final pdf. Try to tell a story in your book and align the images along that story. You could i.e. order the images chronologically (like a trip through the year), by topic (flowers, animals, landscapes, people, still-lifes, macro, …. ) or by the main color of the images (reds, yellows, greens, blues, monochromes and in-between the mixed colors like purple, orange, turquoise and so on to describe the whole rainbow in your book).

Don’t put too many images on one pages. Keep it simple. Your yearbook is the gallery of the best images of the year. Thus, put only one image in landscape format or max two images in portrait format on one page. Or one image in landscape mode on the left page and 4 complementary images in landscape mode on the right page. (i.e. a big landscape and 4 details in that certain landscape). Pay attention to have the images of the same size throughout the whole book. That makes the book look more even. Look for matching or complementary¬†images on the two pages laying side-by-side. Choose a neutral background color for the pages like white, black or a grey tone and keep this color for the whole book. Don’t use cliparts and big texts. When necessary use a simple and neutral font like Helvetica, Times or Courier in sizes up to 10 point for regular text and 12 point for headlines (that’s bigger than in your newspaper! – try it with your home printer for a single page).

When you need an advice for a certain kind of software for any of the above tasks, drop me a note and I’m going a bit more in detail and name the software I’m using.

Take care!




1955-56 Ford Victoria


More of my images can be seen at my own blog.

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Review: Aurora HDR 2018

For a few days the latest version of Aurora HDR from MacPhun is available. This new version is not only for Mac, it’s also for Windows. I got a review version for testing.

Yesterday, while out with my photographers roundtable, I visited a former coal mining building, now a museum. That mining buildings are notable because of its wonderful architecture made from brick-stones. The mine was open from 1899 – 1955.

Most of the time I was inside the machinery hall, a very modern building for that time, but with an unusual architecture style for a mine. Many parts inside reminded me to the movie “Metropolis” by Fritz Lang from 1927.

Being inside a quite dark building on a dark and rainy day gave me the opportunity to take some images by using bracketing. That is a technique where you’re taking one image just the way the light meter says, but two (or more) additional images with exposure correction (+ and – i.e. 1 or 2 EV) to develop them later with HDR or DRI software like Aurora HDR. Often HDR or DRI images have¬†over-saturated bonbon colours, which I don’t like. So, you don’t see many of them here in my blog.

While the user interface of Aurora HDR did not change much and the preset sections are also still available, I won’t waste too much time on these parts. Have a look at my last review.

I want to focus on¬†the new results and an unexpected feature I discovered: distortion control. The export results are much better in quality, than in the original version. I like the resulting colours more and the results don’t have so much noise in it. The auto-alignment feature works quit good. But ist’s still better to have exact aligned images by taking them with a tripod instead of free-hand. The distortion control feature is nice. I’m using¬†DxO Viewpoint for distortion control. The results are great. Compared to Viewpoint, Aurora is too complicated. Here they have some work to do.

When you own some other tools from MacPhun, you can use them as plugins inside Aurora HDR and vice versa. They are also available as plugins inside Photoshop.

Monochrome Madness 4-21


This is my contribution to Monochrome Madness organized by Leanne Cole. Look at here site on Thursday (Australian time), to see many more monochrome images created by many other talented photographers from all over the world.

I’d also encourage you to participate.¬†The conditions are ¬†published in each of her Monochrome Madness posts.

Take care!



500px Global PhotoWalk 2016

610_7248_wLast Saturday, the Global PhotoWalk organized by took place. In many different locations local photowalks participated and all of these formed the GPW. Now, each photographer has many, many new pixels on his or her camera storage card. A small selection of my images is attached to this post as a gallery.

For an additional challenge I only have had 1 lens with me: a 35 mm prime lens for my full frame camera. No zooming, but carefully selecting the frame.

I was host of the locate photowalk in Duisburg. We walked up the bast furnace of a given up steel plant, now a park. Here you can legally visit a ‘lost place’. But, it’s not really lost, because many people visit the location regularly. But, nevertheless, it’s always interesting to see all the chances since your last visit. I was there at least 5 times during the last years. And, it’s never boring.

13 participants came with me. The youngest was a baby in her stroller. Unfortunately, the planned track was not suitable for a pushchair or stroller. So, she went on her own in park while we climbed up the blast furnace.

From the uppermost platform we have had a fantastic view over the surprisingly green environment, a part of the Ruhrgebiet where once only dust, pollution, smog and dirt were dominating the air. Despite, we only climbed up to 79m, we needed about an hour. That’s because photographers always need much of time for taking photographs, searching the right angle of view, experiencing with different focal lengths and so on. And, certainly, lot of chatting ūüôā When we returned to our starting point, we have had a pause at a beer garden for eating a piece of cake or some fries and drinking something while further taking. This lasted until the rain started. What a pity.

But, tanks to all participants.

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