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

I’m back …

… from Iceland (again – finally).

This trip wasn’t planned long ahead. Instead, a friend asked for company for his trip with the option to fit my own plans into the schedule. It was a fantastic road-trip around the island in 15 days. While Iceland and its weather were very cooperative, the surrounding circumstances weren’t 😬 Our departure tickets were booked for June 13th in February, but the governments decided to open the borders not before June 15th and my departure airport was not offered until a week later. So we needed to re-schedule the flights and I had to book an additional train ticket to Frankfurt 😕. The next problem was the connection train to Frankfurt was canceled, but an alternative worked (despite the extra effort for further train changes 🙁). Fortunately, the departure terminal in Frankfurt also changed, but to the one reachable more easily and even faster.

The way back home also came with lots of problems. Online check-in didn’t work by using the airline‘s mobile app. When using my computer I noticed, my flight was canceled without notification. So, I hung in the queue for getting an agent to help me solve the problem. Originally I booked a flight with a stopover in Oslo. Suddenly the Webpage said, my flight was rescheduled to July 1st instead of June 30th and would end in Oslo instead of Düsseldorf. My travel agency was unwilling to help me keep my schedule. The only offered a cancellation with a refund.

So, I booked on my own with a different airline by using the airline sales portal instead of ordering via the travel agency again. But instead of departing at noon, my flight started at 7:45 a.m. which meant I had to get up at about 3:15 a.m. In addition, I had no breakfast and lost 6 hours on the phone. So, the last day of the trip was a complete disaster. While writing this, I‘m sitting in Copenhagen waiting for my connection flight. 2 hours are over, two more to wait.

Now to the better part 😊. In the end, I have 515GB images (= 5422 raw files) and about 1000 images taken with my mobile on my disk 😳. All the images are presorted but still not reviewed. So, a lot of work is waiting for me 😲.

Our trip led us counter-clock-wise around the island. Nearly 4000 km! That’s about 2400 miles. Our days started early: about 8:00 with breakfast and at around 9:30/10:00 we sat in the car, a 4×4 offroad pickup with a hardcase above the platform for our luggage and containers with food. Despite the hardcase a lot of dirt came inside the cargo bay 😳😲😫. Apartments and hotel rooms were booked ahead, each for 1-2 nights. Usually, we were able to get in the rooms without assistance, as we usually arrived very late. Often around midnight: midnight-sun made it possible! 😊😊

During the last days, I was thinking about, which image I’d choose for today’s post. I wanted an image representing not only a certain part of Iceland or a special event. Finally, I decided to take an image taken with my smartphone instead of my camera (only 4 of my camera images are developed until now). Despite it is taken at a very specific place and thus can’t represent the whole island or the whole trip, it does represent Iceland.

When the Vikings arrived in Iceland more than a thousand years ago, they were astonished by the nature of the island. Initially, they assumed to have arrived in Valhalla, the heaven in their belief because many parts seemed to have sprung up from their sagas. In one place they met a pool, where the water quite regularly sprung high in the air, which they named: Geyser. And nowadays the name of that first natural water fountain is the generic term to describe all of these hot springs around the world.

The term ‘geyser’ dates in English to the late 18th century originating from Icelandic Geysir, the name of a particular spring in Iceland. It is related to the Icelandic word geysa ‘to gush – Wikipedia

Sidenote: the original geyser isn’t active anymore but a couple of meters beside a new one erupts approximately every 5 minutes. Once, the fountain of Geyser was 70-80 m high, while the fountain of Strokkur only reaches 25-35m. Gesyer erupted last in 2000 after an earthquake.

Take care!

 

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

Travel Tuesday: Viewpoint

When traveling, sometime you can find signs directing you to certain places where you can have a fantastic view of a famous building or a beautiful sight. Here, on the Isle of Skye, you don’t need these signs. Keep you eyes open while crossing the island and you will fill the memory cards of your camera very fast.

A small road with nearly no traffic and suddenly this view is in front of you.

Take care!

 

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

Travel Tuesday: gorse

gorse / Stechginster (Ulex europaeus)

Initially, this plant belonged to the colder parts along the Atlantic coasts of Europe. But, it spread out enoumeusloy by men. When british settlers dicovered the world, they took seeds of this plant with them. It’s spreading very easily and it’s hated by many people because it supplants local plants. So it’s called a neophyt, a  invasive species.

But, I have to admid, it’s a very nice plant when blooming 🙂

Take care!

 

art, culture, history, photo-of-the-day, photography, technical, travel, world

Lens-Artists Challenge #100 – “The Long and Winding Road”

Today, it’s Tina’s turn to challenge us and the asks for long and winding roads.

Come, follow me to the fantastic island located in the nothern Atlantic: Iceland

even this is a road for cars

I love this image very much. The tiny car crossing the river in the front part of the image isn’t a toy car. It’s a big offroad van instead.

 

Or do you prefer Scotland?

Now, we’re on the Isle of Skye:

 

 

 

You can also travel in Wales.

 

Maybe you like a railrod more than a paved or a gravel road

A short trip to the Czech Republic for visiting their nice capitol: Praque

In the Alpes, like here in Switzerland, you can find lots of winding roads .

Sometimes, roads don’t look like a road, but they are like here in the wonderful Valley de Viñales in the north of Cuba

 

Also, rivers are roads:

 

You can see the roads even better from above by getting in an hot-air ballon:

Now, lets sing together with Louis Armstrong “(What a) Wonderful World”!

 

btw. some guys really love winding roads:

 

Take care

photo-of-the-day, photography, travel, world

Travel Tuesday: wrecked

 

I guess it’s long ago since this boat felt the sea. Once it was the foundation of the living of a family. Now it’s only garbage at the beach. Times changed. Among the three boats laying here at the beach, this one looked best. But, I guess, it won’t sail again.

Take care!

 

art, culture, history, photo-of-the-day, photography, technical, travel, world

Lens-Artists Challenge #99 – “old an new”

Today, it’s Amy’s turn to challenge us. And she did.  She was thinking of people wearing traditional clothes in a modern city or using modern machines. Another idea she told us, is a cityscape taken in a city with a history where new building standing beside old buildings or modern vehicles in front of historic buildings.

Here are my images for this challenge. As usual: click on the images to enlarge them.

I want to show you modern machine digging in the ground for coal, cerated eons ago.

Modern art in the middle of the king’s castle of an old kingdom?

Coal made the Ruhr area rich. Nowadays only the once dirty but now the remaining symbols are keeping the memory alive.

Some ancient traditions are kept alive by modern soldiers in traditional uniforms to keep the memory alive.

Once this was a dirty and busy harbor. Now startups, expensive restaurants, media agencies and hotels residing in the brick stone buildings as well as in the modern glass-and-steel buildings.

Even when visiting tiny greek islands you will stumble upon the achievements of modern society.

 

Have a nice weekend and

Take care

art, culture, history, photo-of-the-day, photography, technical, travel, world

Lens-Artists Challenge #98 – “Delicate Colours”

this week the Lens-Artists photo challenge is organized by Leya

Spring is the season of colors. While some colors are very intense others are soft and delicate. Here in my region spring is nearly over. This week we even got the first day of summer. It was so hot, we were able to sit outside ’til 11 p.m.. Great! I love it!

Thus, I picked some images from my archive. The pasqueflower and the white-pink magnolia are from 2017 and the other images from March and April 2020.

Take care

animals, bird, gear, nature, photography, review, technic, travel, wildlife, world

A special head for wildlife photographer

In the past I wrote about tripods. A tripod always has a head to mount your camera on. There are many discussions, what kind of head is the best: ball-head, one-way tilt head, two-way tilt head, and three-way tilt head.

Some tripods came with a certain head attached to the middle-column which is not replaceable while other come with replaceable heads or even without a head, where you have to buy one on your own choice.

The head of my old tripod wasn’t replaceable while my new one came with a replaceable ball head. My monopod came with a replaceable 1-way tilt head.

For wildlife photography these heads are not really helpful. The tilt heads are not fast enough to follow the animals and the ball head can’t be fixed fast enough to be a stable ground. Therefore I have a gimbal. I simply dismount the head from either my tripod or my monopod and attach the gimbal instead. Because of the design, the gimbal is quite stable but I can move it around very fast, if needed.

When sitting in a hide where I have enough room to set-up a tripod, I mount the gimbal on top instead of the ball head. When I want to move around in the field or wait in a tiny hide, the gimbal will be mounted on the of the monopod. Both work very well.

My gimbal is made of aluminum and weighs about 1 kg. It’s 19.5 * 7.5 * 21 cm ( 7.7 * 3.0 * 8.3in). It has the correct screw thread (3/8 “) to attach it directly on most of the tripods and monopod with detachable heads. The plate to mount the camera follows the arca-swiss standard.  So, if you already have such a plate, it will fit here too, if not, never mind, the gimbal brings one. There are also some long tele lenses around where the lens mount flange is also fitting in an arca-swiss mount without a separate plate. According to the manufacturer’s specifications, the gimbal should be able to carry gear up to 18 kg (39.7lbs).

The heaviest lens I used a couple of times weighed about 5 kg. When adding my camera there was about 6,2 kg attached to the gimbal, resulting in about 7.3 kg to carry for my tripod. 

To mount such heavy gear to the gimbal needs some fine adjustment to distribute the weight equally. That’s why the lens mount flange is below the lens and the flange is that long. Even when the screw on the top left side is loosened the camera and lens have to be in balance. Now, you tighten the screw a little bit, that you can still move the camera easily up and down but it does not have to swing back automatically. The same for the horizontal turning.


I own this gimbal for about 3 years and I’m very happy with it. Compared to the standard heads, this is really a game-changer, also for the monopod. In my other post, you can read about me first struggling a bit when using the monopod. The gimbal helped me out a lot.

 

When I got the gimbal, it was quite hard to move the swing, but after a short time, the oil inside became softer and the swing was easier to swing up and down.

Take care!

 

 

art, culture, history, photo-of-the-day, photography, technical, travel, world

Lens-Artists Challenge #97 – “past times”

this week the Lens-Artists photo challenge is organized by a guest-host: Sue from The Nature of Things.

She told us that she’s currently locked at home as many (if not most) of us. So, there’s plenty of time to think about things and the past. That’s why she asked “pasttimes”.

When I thought about the topic, an idea came up to my mind: let’s dig in your digital archive and pick the oldest images you have.

I switched from film to digital in the fall of 2008. The first time I was only playing around with the camera to get used to it. I started photography in the late 1970s and bought my first own SLR in 1984. Up to now, none of the films of those days is digitized. In January 2009 I stumbled upon a group of photo enthusiasts organizing photography trips over the internet and I joined them for the February trip. These images are the oldest digital images I still have on my disk.

The funny thing is, the photo trip in February 2009 was to a garage for classic automobiles. Here you can buy and sell such cars. You can also find craftsmen being able to repair these old cars. The main floor of the garage is used to be a showroom. I really love such old automobiles. Unfortunately, they use the available space very efficiently. So, it’s no fun to take photos. There nearly no room to get good images. 😢

The second important thing is, I met a group of people I’m still friends with. We still meet once a month for photography trips. I’m so glad to have been brave enough to ask if I’d be allowed to join.

Take care