fall, landscape, long exposure, nature, photography, travel, world

Throwback Thursday: working on my backlog

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 ūüė≤. 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.

Take care!


landscape, nature, photo-of-the-day, photography

Lens-Artists Photo Challange 163: “keep walking”

“keep walking” is the topic for this week’s Lens-Artist’s Photo Challenge hosted by Amy.

Today, I have a fun pic for you. I took it a couple of years ago in Belgium. This young guy apparently didn’t want to get sandy feet. So his girlfriend (?) or sister (?) had to carry him.



Take care!

art, landscape, photography, travel, world

Monochrome Madness 3-17

mm17-600_2129-t_wSummertime is usually vacation time. For me, vacation means (almost always) being at a beach. Not only in summer. It’s also possible, to go during spring, fall or even winter to the beach. Every season has it specific beauty. Today’s image for Monochrome Madness organized by Leanne Cole is taken in Belgium in middle October. Only few people are on the beach at this time. You can enjoy the landscape and the silence. Listen to the sounds of nature. The wind, the waves and the sea-birds.

Take care!

art, landscape, nature, photography, seasons, travel, world

Monochrome Madness 2-08


As I wrote in my last posts, spring has come. Almost¬†two weeks with beautiful¬†weather have past and the mid-term forecast isn’t that bad. The sun brings people to become more active outside again. Tennis courts are being prepared for the summer time, the first people are using the golf courts, people start again with motor-biking, jogging, nordic walking and biking.

Unfortunately I live about 300 km from the coast (Belgium 290, Netherlands 260, Germany 350, 400 northern France  all as the crow flies). So I picked this photo, taken last year at the Belgium coast, for this weeks Monochrome Madness by Leanne Cole.

Take care!

architecture, culture, history, landscape, meeting, photography, street, travel, world

Visiting Antwerp, Belgium – Part 2 –

610_3658_wNow I have the remaining buildings for you, as I proposed in my last post: the central station and the Stadtfeestzaal.

The Stadtfeestzaal was built in 1908 following the styles of the neoclassicism. I was used for exhibitions and other events. It is located in the middle of one of the most important shopping streets of Antwerp. Unfortunately, a fire destroyed the building in 2000. After the reconstruction was finished, it is now used to be a luxury shopping center.

610_3551-s_wThe central station was finished in 1905. It’s an replacement for the oder wooden train station. More and more traffic made it necessary, to build a bigger station. It’s kind of unusual style for a train station, thus is it also called as a ‘train cathedral’. It was inspired by the Pantheon in Rome as well as central station in Luzern, Switzerland. During the middle of the 20th century the building was in a bad shape, and there were considerations to remove it completely. But, luckily they decided to renovate it in 1993. Now, it’s a very impressive building again!


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architecture, culture, history, landscape, meeting, photography, street, travel, world

Visiting Antwerp, Belgium – Part 1 –

610_3713_wOn Saturday we have had our monthly photographers meeting. Because we have Easter holidays here and Good Friday was already a public holiday, we have planed a trip to a quite farther  destination, than usual. We were 8 people and car-pooled for the trip.

You might know, Antwerp is the world diamond city. Here is the  diamond-cutting industry located with the many, many diamond shops, the polishing workshops and the diamond exchange. The whole diamond industry is dominated by Jews, and Jews celebrate their weekly work-free day on Saturdays. Thus, all the shops were closed. Only the tourist show room was open, but offered no guided tour, because we were not registered in advance (and no-one of the craftsmen was at work). Bad luck!

So, if you want to see a bit of the diamond industry, don’t go on a Saturday! And, register in advance of a guides tour. They told us to make the reservation at least 3 weeks in advance!

Also, the cathedral wasn’t open to the public. Although usually open until 5 p.m., it was closed earlier for an Easter concert. And, in opposite to other churches, I visited in the past, there is an entrance fee of 6‚ā¨ for an adult.

Nevertheless, we have had a nice day in Antwerpen. We visited the central station, the main shopping street and the old town with many building constructed during the 16th and 17th century.

I split this post in 2 parts. This post is a bit more general. The other post will focus on the central station and the Stadsfeestzaal Antwerpen.

Unfortunately the weather wasn’t that good. Most of the day it was called (only about 5¬įC) and a completely covered sky. At least, in the afternoon, the sun came through and gave us a bit of a blue sky.

In many places of the city, there were breakdance and other dancing competitions and demonstrations. Thus, it was quite loud and very crowded. Even in the central station there was such a competition.

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art, history, landscape, photo-of-the-day, photography, seasons, technic, travel, world

Monochrome Madness 36

600_1390-t_wThis week I picked another photo taken a the Belgium coast for¬†Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness.¬†In case, you like these kind of photos, I recommend you following the link to her site and see many more wonderful photos in bw.

This one is taken at the first evening in Flandern, right after our arrival. We moved all our luggage in the vacation¬†home and¬†went for a first sight to the coast. We’ve had a fantastic evening with a dreamy sunset and a beautiful sky. The chosen photo was originally in color, as you already might have guessed. And, you also might have seen it in my post about three¬†weeks ago.

It’s¬†also¬†converted with MacPhun Tonality Pro.¬†I shifted the White Balance to¬†the left and increased the contrast a bit. I also increased the highlights a bit for a brighter sky. A sepia toning and the dark oval vignette are finishing the look-and-feel of a photo taken about a hundred years ago.

Take care!

Btw. I’d encourage you to give it a try. You can download a trial version for free and you can also use a 10% discount by using this code:¬†solaner10

art, history, landscape, photo-of-the-day, photography, seasons, technic, travel, world

Monochrome Madness 35

600_2312-he-scbx_wIt’s Tuesday afternoon and thus it’s time to prepare for¬†Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness.

Today I have a beautiful photo for you, taken last week in Belgium. It’s taken near sunset while low tide. As you can see, the off-running water left some poodles and moisty sand. Not much water, but enough to be a mirror to the sky.

For this photo I took two shots with a difference of two EVs. Although the sensors of current cameras are highly developed and cope with high contrasts and high dynamic ranges very good, they are weak compared to analog film or the human eye. I found a post on an Austrian web site on this, saying: While our eye is able to cover a range of about 14 f-stops, the (professional) SLR reach 10, high-quality Point-and-Shoot cameras 8.5 Р9 and a print only 5 f-stops. The dynamic range of analog film differs a bit from 8 to 10 depending on the manufacturer and the film type (negative film or slide film).

So, this technic (called bracketing) helps me, to capture the highlights as well as the lowlights. this means, I get, in this case, two photos covering the whole range. Now, the two photos have to be integrated into one.

First I developed both photos¬†in CaptureNX2 (my RAW-Converter), made my usual adjustments and exported them to TIF. Next I assembled the¬†two TIF-Files¬†with HDR efex for not loosing any of the highlights or the darks. Here comes another export to TIF. Next¬†I converted it twice¬†with MacPhun Tonality Pro¬†basing on different presets. Although I liked both results, I wasn’t completely satisfied with the results.¬†So, I decided to add¬†another step and made a pseudo¬†HDR from both of the monochrome TIFs, by keeping the ground from the first conversion¬†and the sky from other one. The last step was the conversion¬†to JPG.

Take care!

Btw. I’d encourage you to give it a try. You can download a trial version for free and you can also use a 10% discount by using this code:¬†solaner10

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

Monochrome Madness 33

dsc_8847-e2_wbIt’s fall here. Leaves are getting colorful before falling down and making the street slippery. ¬†Mist is able to give landscapes a certain dreamy and unreal atmosphere. Having these ideas in mind, I picked this photo from may archive. It’s taken at the beach in Belgium 3 years ago in the evening¬†hours of a hot and sunny summer day. It is one of the passages to the beach.

Photography is literally painting with light. Different light situations result in different color moods in the photos. Although post processing is quite easy nowadays, compared to the situation back in film days, you can’t modify the ambience and the mood freely. You still depend on the natural light conditions and have to keep the impact on the final photo ¬†in mind.

For this photo I have had a low standing sun in my back to the right giving me long shadows and wonderful enlightened dune grass. The sky in the background was covers slightly with fleecy cloud. The slightly overcasted sky gave me distinct, but not hard, shadows. Combined with the small field of depth and the decreasing grass in the background I got a nice looking evening photo of the dune with a feeling of great depth.

But, this is my contribution to¬†Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness. Thus I took the photo back to the lab and processed it again. Because of the already existing mood, I felt, a slightly overexposed processing (called highkey) would perfectly support this mood and here we are.

I used MacPhun’s Tonality Pro¬†for this photo. The base was a¬†preset called “overexposed” from the Base-Group of presets and from that starting point I modified the settings, to get my final image. I hope, you like it!

Take care!

animals, food, landscape, photo-of-the-day, photography, seasons, travel, world

Monochrome Madness 28

dsc_7704-s_wThose of you, already following me for some time, know about my love for the ocean, the beach and the coastal areas. And again, I picked a photo taken at the sea for Leanne Coles Monochrome Madness.

Her you can see some (now empty) sword razor calms. I found them at the beach in Belgium. They have sharp edges at their shells. So, be prepared to watch the ground to avoid cutting the sole of your feet.

Take care!