art, culture, photo-of-the-day, photography

Lens-Artists Photo Challange 120: “What a treat”

Many, many people complaining these days about how bad they are treated by the government to obey the simplest rules for finally defeating SARS2-CoV, the source for the COVID19 pandemic. Despite the majority works hard to defeat the virus, many people, unfortunately, do everything they can to ignore the rules just for their own enjoyment.

In this situation, I received the notification from Tina about the topic for this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: What a treat!

Her own post is about a safari in Africa and how valuable a training session with a photographer from the US via Zoom was for her and her local photo club. I can understand that very well. When you’re feeling alone in this situation, give me a note, I guess we can organize an online meeting to talk a bit.

When I saw the notification from Tina and thought about it for some time, my brain changed a few letters and made “treat” to “treasure”. I know, both words are different in their meaning. However, they have a few connections besides the fact of sharing 4 letters. Both can mean something valuable, sweet, and personal among others. Family, health, a job, a house, someone to talk with can also be such a treat.

I’m organizing my photos of each year in a folder that contains subfolders for each event, trip, or photo session. When we were in lockdown, a thought came up to my mind, it could be difficult to assemble a calendar for 2021 with my own photos taken in 2020, as usual. We’re reaching the end of the year (yes, I know, 2 more months ’til 2021), so it was time to assemble the calendar for 2021. Therefore I had to check my 2020 folder and I was kind of surprised about what I found. So, each of the trips I did with my camera was such a treat. And the biggest treasure was the trip to Iceland in June. I’m so thankful, happy, and fortunate that the trip was possible in general, the COVID19 test at immigration was negative, and with great weather (don’t get this one wrong) to see everything we had planned.

Last week, my calendar for 2021 arrived. Here you can see all the images I included in the calendar. Each of them is a gem, a treat, and bears a valuable memory.

As you can see, 8 of the 12 images are from Iceland. I was also considering, to create an Iceland-only calendar for 2021, but when I was checking the 2020 folder on my disk, I got aware of a few other folders also containing treats. So, I made my preselection, which summed up to 50 images from the whole year. My youngest son and his girlfriend helped me reducing it to 12. For such a calendar I prefer landscape images over wildlife. Therefore the top wildlife images were printed out to hang them on my wall.

The next project is creating the yearbook. About 100 pages are waiting to be filled. That’s a job I usually do in December. The yearbook is a photobook containing the best images of the year. The most valuable memories. The treats of the year.

There’s a kid’s tale about a group of mice. All of them were working hard during summer and fall to collect food for the winter. But, one of them was not working that hard as the others did. Instead, he was looking around for the sun, the green grass, the colorful leaves in fall, and listened to the wind and the birds. The other mice were complaining to get the one mouse to help them. I do, the one mouse said. I’m collecting memories. And when the dark and cold winter days came, he was able to cheer the other up by telling them about the warmer days. He told them, how the wind sounded and smelled. Which colors the leaves have had and how the sun rays felt on their backs. That way all of them survived the hard winter.

That’s what I do, I’m collecting memories.

Although not planned that way, this post is kind of a review of 2020. I hope you don’t mind.

Stay safe and healthy!

animals, art, mammal, nature, photography, wildlife

For Boxing Day

Now, Christmas is nearly over. But, here in Germany, Dec. 26th is also a holiday.

We celebrate Christmas on Dec. 24th = Christmas Eve. That night, Christ child brings the presents for the kids (and the adults). The two following days are used for visiting the relatives. Often, one day for the parents and the other day for the parents in law. So, we have three days of presents for the kids. Three days of good food.

So, I have a gift for you, too. I prepared a calendar for 2019 to be used as a background wallpaper on your computer. To download it, you can simply right-click on the link above or on the image below and save the image to your computer. Next, you can promote the image to be the desktop wallpaper for the next year or print it for hang it on your fridge or your wall.

Have fun!

culture, photography, seasons, world

Cultural notes: Advent wreath

The time surrounding the 4 Sundays before Christmas are called Advent, meaning preparation, pleasant anticipation and expectation.

Back in the first half of the 19th century a protestant pastor got the idea to visualize these 4 Sundays until Christmas each with a candle mounted on a wreath made of fir twigs. Each Advent Sunday one of these candles is inflamed, while the candles of the past Sundays are still burning. So, you have one candle burning on the first Advent, two candles on the second Advent, three on the Third and all four candles on the fourth Advent. The christmas tree won’t be erected before Christmas Eve on December 24th (although many families do this earlier nowadays and don’t wait until December 24th).

Over the next years the idea spread over Germany and became about 100 years later common even in catholic regions. Nowadays you can find Advent Wreath in nearly every home, church and even many shops.

It’s also quite common, to put a few pine twigs with some decorations in the homes. The traditional colors of this time are green, red and yellow.

The green stands for live and hope, even in this dark and unfriendly time, when nature seems dead. Only firs and pines are green in this time of the year, so they are also a symbol. The burning candles are a symbol for Jesus, the light of the world. The other parts, like the color of the candles, the further decoration or the order for the inflammation of the candles are part of regional different rules. The shape of the wreath stands for eternity, because a ring has no end.

So, I wish you a happy, peaceful and joyful Advent time wherever you are and whatever tradition, country, religions or ethical group you belong to.

Have a great Advent time!

 

culture, photography, seasons, world

Cultural notes: Christmas market

Christmas markets have a long tradition here in Germany. The best known Christmas market is probably the “Christkindl’s Markt” in Nürnberg, Bavaria.

A Christmas market is not simply a modification of a regular farmers market. Other than a farmers market it opens at about 10 or 11 a.m. instead of 7 a.m. and instead of closing a noon, it stays open until about 8 p.m.

You can buy spices, fruits (during my childhood the Christmas market was the only source for buying oranges, mandarins and some other exotic fruits for the South). You can also buy candles and decoration stuff, but also some food to make you warm from the inside again or some alcoholic drinks like hot spices wine.

While the markets exist in the bigger cities from about mid November until December 23rd, they are set up only for the weekends in smaller cities. Sometimes even for only one day or one weekend. Even some farms set up Christmas markets. Often these farms grow Christmas trees and thus combine the Christmas tree sale with a small Christmas market to attract additional customers.

Have a great Advent time!

 

culture, food, photography, seasons, world

Cultural notes: Cookie time

Advent time is cookie time. In many private kitchens the oven has a hard time during the 4 weeks before Christmas. It’s time for baking Christmas cookies.

There are many receipts available for baking the special Christmas or Advent cookies. Every region has some specific specialities, while others are (nowadays) generally known in the whole country.

Have a great Advent time!

 

culture, photography, seasons, world

Cultural notes: Advent calendar

You know, Christmas is celebrated in December each year. This holiday is a memorial to the birth of Jesus from Nazareth and celebrated on December 25th in many countries. Because of his birth, his parents got gifts from the wise men coming to praise him. In that tradition, we also give gifts for Christmas to our beloved family members and maybe some tight friends.

Especially the kids are looking forward and are eager to know about the gifts they will get. To ease this waiting period, here in Germany, the kids (and also some adults) get an Advent calendar to shorten this waiting period.

Three years ago, I already wrote about Advent calendars and their history. So, jump back and have a look.

Have a great Advent time!

 

art

My calendars are available

calendars_2016…. and more :). – an add for my products

Just like in the last years, I’d like to remind you to my calendars with fantastic images from Cuba. But, this year I can also introduce you to puzzle boxes and canvas prints. These new products are also available now i.e. at Amazon. I included the ISBN numbers for ordering the calendars below grouped by country edition (UK, DE, CH and AT).

While checking Amazon.com I found the UK versions in the US, too.

The Corfu calendar for 2019 is also available, now.

Some more interesting products with my images are available at Redbubble.

Wall calendar portrait mode “Havanna” 2019:

DIN A4 hoch / 978-3-669-52434-6
DIN A3 hoch / 978-3-669-52435-3
DIN A2 hoch / 978-3-669-52436-0
DIN A5 Tischkalender / 978-3-669-52437-7

Wall calendar landscape mode “La Habana / Havanna” 2019:

DIN A4 quer / 978-3-669-52352-3
DIN A3 quer / 978-3-669-52353-0
DIN A2 quer / 978-3-669-52354-7
DIN A5 Tischkalender / 978-3-669-52355-4

La Habana / Havanna  2019 landsape
DIN A4 Landscape ISBN 978-1-325-14468-6 (UK-Version)
DIN A3 Landscape ISBN 978-1-325-14469-3 (UK-Version)

Wall calendar landscape mode “Cuba Cars” 2019

DIN A4 Landscape / 978-1-325-32242-8 (UK version)
DIN A3 Landscape / 978-1-325-32243-5 (UK version)

DIN A4 quer / 978-3-669-51465-1 (CH-Version)
DIN A3 quer / 978-3-669-51466-8 (CH-Version)
DIN A2 quer / 978-3-669-51467-5 (CH-Version)
DIN A5 Tisch / 978-3-669-51468-2 (CH-Version)

DIN A4 quer / 978-3-669-51285-5 (DE-Version)
DIN A3 quer / 978-3-669-51286-2 (DE-Version)
DIN A2 quer / 978-3-669-51287-9 (DE-Version)
DIN A5 Tisch / 978-3-669-51288-6 (DE-Version)

New “Cuba Cars” 2019:

Wandkalender for 2019 as Familienplaner sized, 21 cm x 45 cm / 978-3-670-20373-5

Take care!

nature, photography, seasons

A Christmas Gift for all of you

This year again I have a Christmas gift for all of you: a downloadable calendar for 2018

It’s free for your personal use as a i.e. wall calendar or a desktop wallpaper. Other usage is strictly forbidden, especially selling prints or making the calendar available on any other site than my own site.


This time, I created 3 versions. Beside the english and there german version, I created a french version this year as a premiere. So, you can decide between an English, a French and a German version this year. Right-click on the appropriate link below and save the image to your disk. Now, you can print it for putting it up to a wall, your fridge or simply use it as a wallpaper for your computer desktop. Each file is ~4.5 MB.

Merry Christmas and a happy new year.

photography

Calendar 2018

My wall calendars for 2018 are already available at the stores.

When still looking for a nice Christmas gift for your home, offer or for friends and family, consider ordering one of my calendars, puzzles or canvas with images from Cuba or Iceland.

All my calendars are available i.e. via Amazon, in the US as well as in Europe. I just checked that.

Cuba Cars (landscape)

Format DIN A4 : ISBN  978-3-665-65308-8 (German)
Format DIN A3 : ISBN 978-3-665-65309-5 (German)
Format DIN A2 : ISBN 978-3-665-65310-1 (German)
Format DIN A5 : ISBN 978-3-665-65311-8 (tabletop German)

Format DIN A4 : ISBN 978-1-325-23183-6 (UK)
Format DIN A3 : ISBN 978-1-325-23184-3 (UK)

Format DIN A4 : ISBN 978-3-665-93836-9 (CH)
Format DIN A3 : ISBN 978-3-665-93837-6 (CH)
Format DIN A2 : ISBN 978-3-665-93838-3 (CH)
Format DIN A5 : ISBN 978-3-665-93839-0 (tabletop CH)

La Habana (landscape)

Format DIN A4 : ISBN 978-3-665-66488-6 (German)
Format DIN A3 : ISBN 978-3-665-66489-3 (German)
Format DIN A2 : ISBN 978-3-665-66490-9 (German)
Format DIN A5 : ISBN 978-3-665-66491-6 (tabletop German)

Havanna (Portrait)

Format DIN A4 : ISBN 978-3-665-66582-1 (German)
Format DIN A3 : ISBN 978-3-665-66583-8 (German)
Format DIN A2 : ISBN 978-3-665-66584-5 (German)
Format DIN A5 : ISBN 978-3-665-66585-2 (German)

Traveling the South of Iceland (landscape, English)

Format DIN A4 : ISBN 978-1-325-24259-7
Format DIN A3 : ISBN 978-1-325-24260-3

Unterwegs im Süden Islands (landscape, German)

Format DIN A4 : ISBN 978-3-665-86967-0
Format DIN A3 : ISBN 978-3-665-86968-7
Format DIN A2 : ISBN 978-3-665-86969-4
Format DIN A5 : ISBN 978-3-665-86970-0

art

My calendars are available

calendars_2016…. and more 🙂

Just like in the last years, I’d like to remind you to my calendars with fantastic images from Cuba and Iceland. But, this year I can also introduce you to puzzle boxes and canvas prints. These new products are also available now i.e. at Amazon. I included the ISBN numbers for ordering the calendars below grouped by country edition (UK, DE, CH and AT). The above links are deep links to the overview pages at Amazon.de

The Corfu calendar for 2017 is also available, now.

Some more interesting products with my images are available at Redbubble.

La Habana / Havanna (UK-Version) 2017 landsape
Format DIN A4 Wall: ISBN 978-1-325-14468-6
Format DIN A3 Wall: ISBN 978-1-325-14469-3

Cuba Cars (UK – Version) 2017 landscape
Format DIN A4 Wall: ISBN 978-1-325-14430-3
Format DIN A3 Wall: ISBN 978-1-325-14431-0

Traveling the South of Iceland (UK)
Format DIN A4 Wall: ISBN 978-1-325-16151-5
Format DIN A3 Wall: ISBN 978-1-325-16152-2

La Habana / Havanna (DE Version) 2017 quer
DIN A4 Wandkalender ISBN 978-3-664-95609-8
DIN A3 Wandkalender ISBN 978-3-664-95610-4
DIN A2 Wandkalender ISBN 978-3-664-95611-1
DIN A5 Tischkalender ISBN 978-3-664-95612-8

Havanna Portrait (DE Version) 2017 hoch
DIN A4 Wandkalender: ISBN 978-3-664-95728-6
DIN A3 Wandkalender: ISBN 978-3-664-95729-3
DIN A2 Wandkalender: ISBN 978-3-664-95730-9
DIN A5 Tischkalender: ISBN 978-3-664-95731-6

Cuba Cars (DE Version) 2017 quer
DIN A4 Wandkalender: ISBN 978-3-664-94177-3
DIN A3 Wandkalender: ISBN 978-3-664-94178-0
DIN A2 Wandkalender: ISBN 978-3-664-94179-7
DIN A5 Tischkalender: ISBN 978-3-664-94180-3

Unterwegs im Süden Islands (DE Version) 2017 quer
DIN A4 Wandkalender: ISBN 978-3-665-17835-2
DIN A3 Wandkalender: ISBN 978-3-665-17836-9
DIN A2 Wandkalender: ISBN 978-3-665-17837-6
DIN A5 Tischkalender: ISBN 978-3-665-17838-3

Cuba Cars (CH Version) 2017 quer
DIN A4 Wandkalender: ISBN 978-3-664-94400-2
DIN A3 Wandkalender: ISBN 978-3-664-94401-9
DIN A2 Wandkalender: ISBN 978-3-664-94402-6
DIN A5 Tischkalender: ISBN 978-3-664-94403-3

Impressionen aus Islands Süden (CH-Version) 2017 quer
DIN A4 Wandkalender: ISBN 978-3-665-17873-4
DIN A3 Wandkalender: ISBN 978-3-665-17874-1
DIN A2 Wandkalender: ISBN 978-3-665-17875-8
DIN A5 Tischkalender: ISBN 978-3-665-17876-5

Entdecken Sie den Süden Islands (AT-Version) 2017 quer
DIN A4 Wandkalender: ISBN 978-3-665-17865-9
DIN A3 Wandkalender: ISBN 978-3-665-17866-6
DIN A2 Wandkalender: ISBN 978-3-665-17867-3
DIN A5 Tischkalender: ISBN 978-3-665-17868-0

Take care!

 

art

My calendars are available

calendars_2016…. and more 🙂

Just like in the last years, I’d like to remind you to my calendars with fantastic images from Cuba and Iceland. But, this year I can also introduce you to puzzle boxes and canvas prints. These new products are also available now i.e. at Amazon. I included the ISBN numbers for ordering the calendars below grouped by country edition (UK, DE, CH and AT)

The Corfu calendar for 2017 is also available, now.

Some more interesting products with my images are available at Redbubble.

La Habana / Havanna (UK-Version) 2017 landsape
Format DIN A4 Wall: ISBN 978-1-325-14468-6
Format DIN A3 Wall: ISBN 978-1-325-14469-3

Cuba Cars (UK – Version) 2017 landscape
Format DIN A4 Wall: ISBN 978-1-325-14430-3
Format DIN A3 Wall: ISBN 978-1-325-14431-0

Traveling the South of Iceland
Format DIN A4 Wall: ISBN 978-1-325-16151-5
Format DIN A3 Wall: ISBN 978-1-325-16152-2

La Habana / Havanna (DE Version) 2017 quer
DIN A4 Wandkalender ISBN 978-3-664-95609-8
DIN A3 Wandkalender ISBN 978-3-664-95610-4
DIN A2 Wandkalender ISBN 978-3-664-95611-1
DIN A5 Tischkalender ISBN 978-3-664-95612-8

Havanna Portrait (DE Version) 2017 hoch
DIN A4 Wandkalender: ISBN 978-3-664-95728-6
DIN A3 Wandkalender: ISBN 978-3-664-95729-3
DIN A2 Wandkalender: ISBN 978-3-664-95730-9
DIN A5 Tischkalender: ISBN 978-3-664-95731-6

Cuba Cars (DE Version) 2017 quer
DIN A4 Wandkalender: ISBN 978-3-664-94177-3
DIN A3 Wandkalender: ISBN 978-3-664-94178-0
DIN A2 Wandkalender: ISBN 978-3-664-94179-7
DIN A5 Tischkalender: ISBN 978-3-664-94180-3

Unterwegs im Süden Islands (DE Version) 2017 quer
DIN A4 Wandkalender: ISBN 978-3-665-17835-2
DIN A3 Wandkalender: ISBN 978-3-665-17836-9
DIN A2 Wandkalender: ISBN 978-3-665-17837-6
DIN A5 Tischkalender: ISBN 978-3-665-17838-3

Cuba Cars (CH Version) 2017 quer
DIN A4 Wandkalender: ISBN 978-3-664-94400-2
DIN A3 Wandkalender: ISBN 978-3-664-94401-9
DIN A2 Wandkalender: ISBN 978-3-664-94402-6
DIN A5 Tischkalender: ISBN 978-3-664-94403-3

Impressionen aus Islands Süden (CH-Version) 2017 quer
DIN A4 Wandkalender: ISBN 978-3-665-17873-4
DIN A3 Wandkalender: ISBN 978-3-665-17874-1
DIN A2 Wandkalender: ISBN 978-3-665-17875-8
DIN A5 Tischkalender: ISBN 978-3-665-17876-5

Entdecken Sie den Süden Islands (AT-Version) 2017 quer
DIN A4 Wandkalender: ISBN 978-3-665-17865-9
DIN A3 Wandkalender: ISBN 978-3-665-17866-6
DIN A2 Wandkalender: ISBN 978-3-665-17867-3
DIN A5 Tischkalender: ISBN 978-3-665-17868-0

Take care!

 

nature, photography, seasons

A Christmas Gift for all of you

This year I have a Christmas gift for you all: a downloadable calendar for 2016 along with puffin couple.

It’s free for your personal use as a i.e. wall calendar or a desktop wallpaper. Other usage is strictly forbidden, especially selling prints or making the calendar available on any other site than my own site.cal-2016-wYou can decide between an US, a GB and a German version. Right-click on the appropriate link below and save the image to your disk. Now, you can print it for putting it up to a wall or simply use it as a wallpaper for your computer desktop.

Merry Christmas and a happy new year.

art, culture, history, seasons, world

The countdown has come to his end!

dsc_3080-ec_wToday is December 24th, Christmas Eve.

Today I want to tell you a bit on Christmas and how it is celebrated here in Germany.

In case December 24th is a weekday from Monday to Saturday, it is a common working day. But, at about 2 p.m. all the shops close. Many offices, instead are already closed this day. So, the cities and shopping centers are crowded this morning. Many male shoppers are in the streets, those, who forgot to buy a suitable present for their wives.

Many women are also in the shops. They fetch the pre-ordered food: meat, bread or cakes. Butchers, bakeries and fishmongers open very early this day and often have a different counter for those people, who want to collect the usually pre-paid pre-orders.

When I was a child, the grannies went with their grand-kids to a theater or a cinema and watch a play or a movie for the kids to shorten the time until they get their presents for Christmas and, more important, to give the parents time, to prepare the living room with the Christmas tree and the gifts. Nowadays the TV took over the grannies’s role.

You might already got the point, here we don’t have Father Christmas or Santa Clause coming in the night from 24th to 25th. Here we celebrate Christmas in the evening of December 24th.

The next two days, which are holidays, are used for visiting the parents. One spouses parents on 25th and the other spouses parents on December 26th.

Visiting a service at a church is not that common anymore. Some churches start at 5 p.m. with their Christmas service others at 10 p.m. For many people visiting a Christmas service, is this the only time of the year entering a church for visiting the service.

So, I wish you a happy, peaceful and joyful Christmas time wherever you are and whatever tradition, country, religions or ethical group you belong to.

How about you. Maybe you write a bit about the Christmas traditions from where you live.

Take care!

art, culture, history, seasons, world

The countdown is on the home stretch!

dsc_3080-ec_wToday is Sunday, December 20th. The 4th Advent.

Today I have another German tradition for you: the christmas tree.

The idea of setting up a christmas tree in the homes came also up in back in the 19th century and started to all the other countries. Although there are older documents describing similar habits, they weren’t common and had a slightly different idea.

Starting from the medieval ages December 24th was the feast day of Adam and Eve, the biblical root of all mankind. They lived in paradise and parts of the commemoration decoration were trees, leaves and apples. In Germany you won’t find any trees with their leaves in mid December, so people got the idea of taking conifers.

In the 19th century, when cultural setup in Germany changed and brought some wealth to more people because of the technical revolution during the 18th century, the people took the trees in their homes, decorated them with red balls to symbolize the apples, red bows to symbolize the blossoms and candles to symbolize the light.

So, I wish you a happy, peaceful and joyful Christmas time wherever you are and whatever tradition, country, religions or ethical group you belong to.

Take care!

 

art, culture, history, seasons, world

The countdown is going further!

dsc_3080-ec_w

 

Today is Sunday, December 13th. The 3rd Advent.

Today I have another German tradition for you: the Christmas Market. The roots of this tradition go back to the 14th century. Since the early 20th century they are an inherent part of the pre-Christmas or Advent time.

I know, this tradition is on its way around the world and is already established in several cities in the UK and the US. Maybe also in other parts of the world, too. In case, you have similar markets in your region, please tell me a bit in the comment section below.

A Christmas market is held in many (if not nearly all) cities during Advent time. Smaller cities hold their Christmas market only for a weekend or a few days including one weekend. Others even start a few days before the first of Advent and last until December 23rd. And some cities have even more than one Christmas market, i.e. in several neighborhoods. Even some churches organize Christmas markets or important special places of excursion, like museums or castles.

But, what is a Christmas market? It’s a bit like a regular farmers market, but they offer Christmas related goods. So, you can usually buy Christmas decoration stuff including table-cloth and napkins, wooden toys, hand-made wood pieces from the region Erzgebirge, located between Germany and Czech Republic (a famous city here is Seiffen), spices, incense sticks, honey, candles and so on. When I was a child, there were stands offering exotic fruits, like bananas, pineapples, coconuts, oranges, mandarin oranges and of course apples, nuts and pears.

You can also buy some food. Usually local sports clubs or other social clubs sell some food to raise money for their work. They sell i.e. hot sweet chestnut, pea soup, green cabbage with cooked mettwurst (a smoked coarsely kind of sausage) or bratwurst. You can also buy some drinks. The most common drink on a Christmas market is hot, spiced wine (Gluehwein / Glühwein). Another important drink is glogg (Punsch).  All these foods and drinks are meant to keep you warm or give back some warmth, because it usually is cold in december.

Often these markets have an additional name, like these well-known Christmas markets here in Germany: Christkindels Markt in Nurnberg (Christkindel is Child Christ in the local dialect) , Striezelmarkt in Dresden (Striezel is a certain kind of bakery product), Printenmarkt in Aachen (Printe is also a certain kind of bakery product, specific to Aachen) or  Lebkuchenmarkt (Lebkuchen = ginger bread).

So, I wish you a happy, peaceful and joyful Advent time wherever you are and whatever tradition, country, religions or ethical group you belong to.

Take care!

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