To save your house from hurricanes you can build it between rocks like this in Britany, France.
Today I’m starting in the 8th year of this continuously running series of presenting monochrome images and I still love doing it.
Today, we’re back in Iceland again. This is Djúpalónssandur beach located on the south-western edge of Snæfellsnes peninsula.
… or: being prepared.
The week before last, my son got himself a new lens that has had to be tested. He bought a long telephoto lens, so we planned to go photographing birds. So, Saturday before last we went to a lake where I’ve never been before, but it proposed some good sightings according to my researches. As we were going for wildlife photography, I took only my wildlife camera with an APS-C sensor, the long telephoto lens, and my monopod with the gimbal.
None of us was there before and so we went around scouting the area for a probable return. At one point, I noticed this junction of two creeks and I liked the reflection very much. But, I definitely had the wrong lens with me for this scene. Fortunately, he has had an additional lens in his bag: a 35-70 mm. It’s taken with an APS-C camera at 70mm (~105mm on 35mm-film).
In the end, it was a quite successful stay despite we only had 3 hours time and the location is worth a return. The heron image, I showed you yesterday, was taken there. A few further images are already in my Instagram account.
Despite the lockdown and other problems resulting from closed shops and working from home the last couple of weeks were quite busy for me. So I was unable to join the Lens-Artists Challenges. But this week I’m back. It’s Leya’s turn this week and she challenges us with “morning“.
Mornings are a great time to go out for taking photos. You get wonderful crisp air and beautifully soft and warm light.
Sometimes it costs you very much …
In my last post I started to show you some of the Icelandic plants. Today I have some more plants. These plants grow in the highlands.
In the highlands you can find many, many mosses and lichens. But, can also find tiny blooming plants: i.e.
I’m not a biologist, nor a botanist. Thus, I might have errors in the latin names. I got them by using Wikipedia and a German web-site dedicated to traveling Scandinavia. I’m quite sure about the German names noted inside the brackets, because I made notes from the explanations by our guide on Iceland and compared my photos very carefully to the sample photos on Wikipedia to be as accurate as possible.
Until now, I showed you much of the fantastic landscapes of Iceland. I guess, you noticed, there aren’t lots of trees around although many parts of the landscape are green. And that’s true. So far in the north, trees need very long time to grow. And in the past centuries (the vikings arrived more than 1.000 years ago and started settling back in lat 9th century). Over the centuries the trees were cut for building houses, ships and for cooking / heating. Thus you can’t find any forests anymore expect small grove, planted by farmers.
Nowadays, you can find many greenhouses for growing food (i.e. sweet pepper, tomatoes and so on). They are heated by geothermal sources. But this is not our todays topic.
Today and in my next post I want to show you several plants, I found. I want to start in the lowlands and more urban parts of Iceland, while my next posts will be dedicated to the plants in the highlands.
Many parts in the lowlands are covered by different kinds of grass. In wet areas you can find blooming cotton grass during summer and angelic, the source for a schnaps (kind of hard liquor). Huge areas are covered by lupines (did you know, you can use the seeds of lupines to make coffee?). They were planted to modify the soil and prepare it to plant other useful plants afterwards, but they spread out widely and now cover huge parts of the land. A photo can’t transport the beauty of these huge fields of blooming lupines.
This is one of the loops of river Mosel in Germany. The river has many of these loops.
This is my photo for Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness this week.
This weeks photo challenge at The Daily Post is called “Forces of Nature”.
Water ist one of the 3 forces, which are able to form the surface of our planet. The others are wind and fire (and of course men 🙂 ).
(as always: click on the photos to see them in a bigger size)
Today I want to show you three photos, also taken last week during our monthly photographers roundtable, but they are very different from the photos I usually put here in my blog. Although they are so different, there is no post-processing in them. Only landscape, light, my camera and I.
I came up with a new idea and when looking on the camera screen I liked the result. When looking on them at home on the the big computer screen, I still liked them. What do you think? I’d like to read your comments in the box below.
Although I put them here in a slightly bigger size in the post, they are at the same size as all of my other photos. As always, just click on them to see them bigger 🙂
This weeks assignment for the photo challenge at the The Daily Post is room.
Although I’m able to interpret is literally and show a room in a house, I could also choose to show an open space in the nature, where the room is wide and gives room to see endless free.
I decided to show you the wideness of the sea.
Do you remember Sandy, the heavy hurricane in the Caribbean from December 2012? Well, Cayo Levisa also was hit quite hard. Many mangroves were removed from the shore, trees were cut and several other damages. The hotel, consisting of about 80 log cabins and a central house of stone with the reception and the dining room, didn’t show any damages.
I guess, it will last many years, until the nature recovers from that storm.
As I wrote in my last post, it was quite cool on Cayo Levisa because of the wind after the storm over the sea. As you can see in the photos nearly no-one is on the beach and the wind brings high waves. Also, the palm branches are bent by the heavy wind.
Our stay here was planed for being a beach holiday with swimming, diving and snorkeling. Instead, I walked around wearing more clothes as during the last days and enjoyed the nature.
I attached a few more photos than usual in this posts gallery at the end of this post. I hope, you enjoy them.
Cayo Levisa is a small island at the north shore of Cuba, right opposite to Florida. The bus needed more than two hours for the distance of about 50 kilometers from Viñales to the small ferry harbor, because of the very bad roads. The first 30 kilometers were quite fine, like most of the Cuban streets we saw. But, the remaining 20 kilometers were very bad.
We arrived quite early at the ferry harbor. While waiting for the ferry, we got notice of a coming up very slowly. It seemed, the car’d have a technical problem. When the car finally arrived at the parking ground next to the bar where we were waiting, we noticed, the car was a rental car and 4 young ladies came off. They checked the engine and some more parts. Some Cuban people also looked for the car. As far as I understood, the front axle or a wheel was damaged because the driver didn’t pay enough attention to the street or was too careless. I don’t know about the end of the story, because the ferry arrived and we got on board for our passage to Cayo Levisa. About an hour later we arrive on Cayo Levisa.
Unfortunately the same afternoon we were able to see a heavy tropical storm on the sea and the sky became cloudy and gray – no more tropical feelings 😦 This kept on until the next afternoon, when the sun came back. But, with a strong and cold wind. Being at the beach was quite difficult. Strong tropical sun forced us to put some clothes away, but the wind forced us to up them on again. I’ll tell a bit more in my next post.
Tulips are sawn by putting onions in the ground. That’s different from i.e. weeds, grass or many flowers. Here you only have tiny seeds, often not much
bigger than pinhead. Thus, you won’t expect to find plants i.e in the unploughed strip or in the boundary ridge. So, you won’t imagine that such a big seed would get lost. But, it happens, as you can see.
Living in the row means shelter for each single flower. So, i.e. they can stand hard wind easier or cold nights. Although, some of them seemed to have decided to live their own live, separate from the others, more than a meter (more than 3 feet) away from their siblings in the rows. And they are also still standing.
It seems to be similar to us. Some people also decide to live their own live, independent from others and different in style.
Respect each individual. Regardless of their origin and their (cultural) background.
On Thursday morning I was out for taking some photos. As I wrote in my post on May 1st, that day is a public holiday here.
That cottage is near my town, about 10 km away from my home. I passed that cottage quite often on my way to one of the motorways. Every time I passed it, I made a notice in my mind, to come back on a day with beautiful weather and take some photos.
On Thursday we have had fantastic weather and I didn’t have to work. On my way to another location I stopped and took some photos. I’m very happy about the cows on the meadow to be an additional interesting feature for this photo. I’d have composed it different without the cows.
As you can see, there are many clouds in the sky. So, the light conditions were changing quickly. When I arrived, the whole scene was shaded by the clouds. But, in such circumstances, it’s necessary for a landscape photographer to have time. Time for waiting that the sun comes back. The upper atmosphere was in heavy movement, so, I didn’t have to wait for a long time. The sun came from the left and after a short while every part was back in the sun.
Those kind of cottages is very typical for this (wider) region. Houses were built in that style for centuries and in many different sizes. I’ll put another post online showing several different houses to give you a better impression. As I wrote in the topic, I want to focus on a completely different aspect. As you can see, I converted the photo to black and white. I do that every now and then. Black and whites need structure and contrasts to be impressive. Not every photo is suitable for being converted. This one is! It’s because the clouds really pop out and create a dramatically ambient.
As always, you can click on the photo to open it on its own. Another click will bring it to the maximum size. This works at least in Firefox, Chrome and Safari – sorry, I don’t have an Internet Explorer.
I’d like to hear your opinion on both of them. Use the comment field below for give me some feedback. Do you convert photos to black-and-white? What do you think about black-and-white photos?
This photo is also part of Leanne Cole’s monochrome Challenge #10. Go there and see more fantastic work in black and white from many other photographer around the world. You can also find some of my monochrome photos here.
Los Acuáticos de Viñales is a tiny village at the side of one of the hills above the Valley of Viñales. The path to that village looks more like a dry riverbed than a path. It’s narrow, steep and stony. You really need solid shoes for that trip. And you need a local guid to find you way. Neither street signs nor direction signs will help you find this village. According to our guide, there are only about 12 people are still living in Los Acuáticos.
The name was given to the village, when an old, wise woman lived there like a hermit. She was a healer and was assumed to be able to heal with water. In the rush time, there were 60 people living there. But now, since the old woman passed away several decades ago, more and more people moved away to find another place, where living is a bit easier. The remaining families are still farmer and work in their steep fields as you can see in the photo gallery at the end of the post. Continue reading “A hiking trip to Los Acuáticos”
When I was in the tulip fields last week, I was surprised by a few flowers in the rows. The tulips grow in long rows of tulips of the same color and the same shape – all flowers of the same kind. This is necessary, because, as I also wrote in my last post, the onions are meant to be sold correctly sorted in homogenous collies. But, every now and then, there was a single different flower. The aliens were usually only different in color and / or shape, but I also found hyacinths between the tulips. A funny surprise.
Maybe you also like some of the other posts. Have a look.
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In my last post I focused on the UNESCO world heritage, the valley of Viñales. Literally this valley ist named by the town nearby.
Viñales is a small town. A few tiny shops along the main street, the main square and a nice little church. From the visitors aspect, the town isn’t very interesting. But the valley itself is. So, Viñales is the perfect location for starting your exploration of this interesting valley.
In one of the smaller valleys you can also find an art project: mural de la prehistory. A photo is in the gallery below. One side of a hill is covered with a huge painting. It’s 120 meters high and 180 meters broad. The Mexican artist Leovigildo González Morillo created it in 1961. Every few years this painting has to be refreshed, because the periodical heavy rains fades out the paint.
To watch this painting, you can go and pay an entrance fee. I didn’t. I my opinion it was enough, to see it from the street (path). But, have a look yourself.
This weeks photo challenge at The Daily Post asked for photos showing “on top”.
Although the perspective in this photo is downwards, it shows people standing on top of a bridge, being on top of the water below.
I took that photo a few years ago in a Japanese garden.
This valley is a UNESCO world heritage. Valle de Viñales (in spanish) is located in the Piñar del Río Province in the north-west of Cuba. Being a world heritage means, people aren’t allowed to change the landscape. They are forbidden to build telephone or electricity lines by using pillars to hold them up in the air. So, you won’t see any of them in the valley. But, most, if not all, farms do have sun collectors for making their own electricity near by the houses. The people own different electrical devices. Not only devices in the kitchen, but also devices like radios or TVs.
The soil in the valley is very red. You might have noticed this in my earlier posts on tobacco farming. But in my photo gallery at the end of this post you can see, that I didn’t change the color in my photos accidentally.
The guys over at The Daily Post choose “Monument” as the topic for this weeks photo challenge.
Regardless the intelligence or power of men, nature is always much bigger. So I picked this photo for this weeks challenge.
When the fogs are coming, he has already come.
Sunny days, but not really warm anymore.
Instead, cold, clear and starry nights.
So, in the early morning you need additional, warm clothing.
But during the day, you feel reflections of the past summer.
Not long and the winter is around the corner!
Changing everything again.
So long, take a seat and enjoy the silence of a foggy morning at the lake. But, don’t forget to use a warm seat cushion and a blanket. 🙂
This weeks photo challenge at “The Daily Post” is “golden hour”. That is the first time after sunrise and the last time before sunset. It’s not literaly an hour long. Because the sun isn’t that high in the sky, the light is very soft and has a warm mood.
I often get up early to use this time of the day because of the beautiful light. Later at the day the is getting worse, while it usually gets better in the afternoon.
In general you can keep this saying in your mind:
from 11 to 3
the photographer has free.
(In German it’s a rhyme, so I tried it here, too).
While you are here on my page, take some time to click around. I guess, you’ll find some other posts you’d like. 🙂
This lonely tree, I found in Brittany, is my contribution to todays assignment at “The daily Prompt” called singular sensation.
I liked the unique shape of this tree and the fact to be located alone, surrounded by grain and a few lower bushes. So, it’s not only its uniqueness, that made me choose this photo. Also the fact, that it’s standing alone in the fields gave me the idea to choose it.
More on my travels in France (and elsewhere) can be found by using the categories on the right of this post. My most current posts are focused on traveling in Cuba.