art, cityscape, culture, night, photography, urban

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 219: “Treasure Hunt”

This week, we have a fantastic topic for LAPC. Tina came up with the idea of running a treasure hunt through our archives.

A pet – our tom cat during his first trip in the garden.

 

The moon or the sun: both, captured during the partial solar eclipse

 

Clouds above the sea and in the middle of the image you can see it pouring down

 

an avocet and his reflection

 

a child, surrounded by adults on a hike in the Swiss Alpes

 

an umbrella helps not much when the kid plays with his boat in poodles

 

The next image is taken in Norway in early March during our hunt for the dancing green Lady.

A truck, used as a snow remover

 

I’m very happy to have the next image in my archive. Many years ago, I was on a Sunday afternoon walk with my wife and our daughter in her baby carriage and I had my camera, a film SLR, with me. Suddenly, I noticed a few blooming flowers on the ground between the already thrown away foliage. When having a closer look, the flowers looked like crocuses but neither in those well-known intense colors. Instead, a fair lilac. An older man came up to us and introduced us to this plant. He also was a hobby photographer and was not only equipped with a macro lens similar to mine but also had bellows with him, which he lent me (fortunately he was using the same system as I did). I found my first autumn crocus. Unfortunately, the original slide is lost. But, when I tried to find them again a few years later, I wasn’t successful. But, three years ago, I was lucky again. This time I stumbled upon them during a fall vacation.

autumn crocus or meadow saffron ( Colchicum autumnale) / Herbstzeitlose looks similar to a regular crocus but blooms in autumn

I passed the building in my next image when I had to follow a redirection because of a street closing.

a funny painted house (you can find inside, what’s painted outside)

 

A wonderful challenge and again a great opportunity to look through the archive and discover the images from a different perspective.

Maybe, I was able to inspire you to dig in your archive and find some images, you can publish your images on your blog and set a link to Tina’s inspiration post. Don’t forget to tag it with the tag LENS-ARTIST, so that we can find it.

Take care!

art, cityscape, culture, night, photography, urban

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 218: “Over the hill”

This week, we have another guest host for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Donna. She asks us for images showing the destination and the goal i.e. a hike or a trip. In German, the term also has a different meaning. When having been severely ill and your situation is becoming finally a little better so that you can see, it will probably not get worse again, this person is considered to be ‘over the hill’. It can also be used for a business to get better in regard to the financial situation after a depression or so.

the very young river Rhine in the Alpes in Switzerland long before growing to become one of the big streams of Europe. (try to find the ‘toy’ train)

 

have a little rest at the end of the cliff above the sea

 

Every now and then in the Alpes along the tracks, you can find one of these springs giving you fresh drinking water
following the small track (and your GPS device)

 

Looking back to where you started and where you want to come back in a healthy condition

 

That hidden beach was our goal after hiking over paths in very bad conditions over hills and through the jungle.

 

follow the beaten path

 

Even when you can’t see much of the path ..

 

Maybe, I was able to inspire you to dig in your archive and find some images, you can publish your images on your blog and set a link to Donna’s inspirations post. Don’t forget to tag it with the tag LENS-ARTIST, so that we can find it.

Take care!

art, cityscape, culture, night, photography, urban

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 217: “Opposites”

It’s Saturday! So, it’s time for Lens Artists Photo-Challenge. This time, Tina is our host and she challenges us this week with the topic “opposites

Sunshine vs. rain

 

hot in cold: these ice blocks captured the warm light of the setting sun

 

from dry to wet

 

mountains so high and valley so deep

 

young vs. old(er)

 

big and small

 

yellow and blue

Although, Tina brought up the topic by combining two images to show the opposites, I preferred to find images with the opposite in itself. Thank you so much, Tina, for this challenging topic!

Maybe, I was able to inspire you to dig in your archive and find some images, you can publish your images on your blog and set a link to Tina’s inspirations post. Don’t forget to tag it with the tag LENS-ARTIST, so that we can find it.

Take care!

art, cityscape, culture, night, photography, urban

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 216: “Urban Environments”

Today, Sofia invites us to share images showing urban environments. After pausing the last two weeks because of a vacation, I’m on board again to participate in Lens-Artists weekly photo challenge.

You know, I’m much more interested in nature and wildlife than in cities. Being in a city is generally more of a necessary evil than doing it voluntarily. But, every now and then, I’m also in a town with my camera.

You can see, even from a photographer’s point of view, there are a lot of opportunities to switch your camera on and take an image.

Art

 

City lights

 

Architecture

 

Public transportation: suspension train station

 

Public transportation: bus station

 

gas station and the automobiles

 

more city lights

 

much more city lights

 

pittoresqe old buildings

 

narrow street canyons

 

pittoresque old towns

 

thousands of people stuffed in overcrowded places

 

amazing views

 

lights in the nights

 

modern architecture for public transportation: tram station

 

squares

 

illuminated architecture and buildings of interest

 

people rushing through the streets

 

Maybe, I was able to inspire you to go out in your city or town with your camera. When back, you can publish your images on your blog and set a link to Sofia’s inspirations post. Don’t forget to tag it with the tag LENS-ARTIST, so that we can find it.

Take care!

 

nature, photography

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 213: “Here comes the sun”

It’s time for LAPC, the Lens-Artist’s Photo Challenge, hosted by Amy, this week. She came up with the topic “Here comes the sun”.

the rising sun enlights the dark room


sunrise on Easter morning

sunrise hour
first hot-air balloon flight

Although this topic cries for sunrises, I have a sunset put in my selection. After a few days of heavy storms, the sun was able to calm the storm and warm our faces again. That tiny window between heavy clouds and the rough sea was the proposal for the next days. Summer came back!

 

If you would like to participate weekly in our Lens-Artists Challenge, just click this link and join us: click here, where you can also find some more information.

A new challenge prompt is posted each Saturday at noon EST.

As always, please link to Anne’s post either as a comment or as a pingback and use the Lens-Artists tag.

Take care!

art, photography

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 212: “Motion”

It’s time for LAPC, the Lens-Artist’s Photo Challenge, hosted by Patti, this week. She got a fantastic idea and asks for photos featuring “Motion”.

While considering some common examples and refusing to follow those ideas, I ended up in more invisible examples of motions.

  1. Listen to the wind
capture the wind and transform it into motion

 

2. Listen to the waves

what a noise when the sea meets the land

 

3. Listen to the surf

rough is the surf not only after the storm

 

4. Listen to the snow falling down

how silent the snowflakes are falling down on earth

 

5. Listen to the foliage

 

when the wind or kids play with the leaves

 

5. Listen to the rain

 

6. listen to the normal surf  

 

7. Listen to the spring, the creek, and the river

their sound is refreshing

8. Listen to the time

 

9. Listen to the fun

Not Van Halen!

 

10. Listen to Feng-Shui?

they incorporate the motion of natural powers into architecture and allow them to pass

Motion means change. Change of speed, location, direction, power, and lots more. Everything flows and you can’t keep it except the memories.

 

If you would like to participate weekly in our Lens-Artists Challenge, just click this link and join us: click here, where you can also find some more information.

A new challenge prompt is posted each Saturday at noon EST.

As always, please link to Anne’s post either as a comment or as a pingback and use the Lens-Artists tag.

Take care!

art, photography

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 211: “What’s Your Groove?”

Anne will be our host next week, Saturday, August 6. Her intriguing theme will be What’s Your Groove.

For me, it’s to be filled with wonder about the marvelous nature. Getting out with my camera (sometimes quite early) and enjoying the nature. Each season has its beauty. Each place has some nature to discover.

Those years when my camera was on baby pause, it was hardly missed. Seeing nature’s glory and not being able to capture and transform it into a memory.

 

 

If you would like to participate weekly in our Lens-Artists Challenge, just click this link and join us: click here, where you can also find some more information.

A new challenge prompt is posted each Saturday at noon EST.

As always, please link to Anne’s post either as a comment or as a pingback and use the Lens-Artists tag.

Take care!

art, photography

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 210: “Three Favorite Images”

Sarah Wilkie, who hosts Travel with Me, asks us to share “Three Favorite Images“.

What does favorite images mean? Mine? But in which category? People, beloved ones, most favorite places I’ve been, countries, animals, memories, or ….. you name it. My archive is full of such images. How can I select the “favorite ones”? How to narrow it down? By complexity, clarity, used skills, connected emotions?

Regardless of which side I’m trying to narrow it down, I don’t come to a reasonable end. Therefore I decided to try it in another way. I let others decide. When following the links for each image, you can read a bit more about the background.

This first image is from 2008. I took it during a fun fair and sent it in in 2009 for a competition. The topic was, as you probably can imagine, fun fair. And it won the 3rd prize.

 

The second image also won a prize. I sent it in in 2012 for a competition on landscape photography run by SanDisk. It’s a huge coal mine in our state. It’s still in operation. I took the image on a very cloudy day with my fish-eye lens and a graduated ND filter. The huge hole creates its own weather (at least a bit). So, the conditions are quite unpredictable. It’s only about 40 km as the bird flies from where I live, but the conditions can really change dramatically. Latest in 2038 the digging ends. Then, the area is supposed to be converted into a huge lake.

 

The third image is taken in the old town of the town, where I live. Hanging out laundry is an old tradition in the old town during the traditional fun fair. Photographers in our region were asked to send in photographs taken in our region. Each photographer was allowed to send in up to 6 photos in 6 categories (one in each category). More than 2.600 photographers took part. The winners of each category got a prize and another 170 photographs got in the book, too. Mine was not only selected for the book, but also taken in the state archive because it documents local customs.

 

 

If you would like to participate weekly in our Lens-Artists Challenge, just click this link and join us: click here, where you can also find some more information.

A new challenge prompt is posted each Saturday at noon EST.

As always, please link to Sarah’s post either as a comment or as a pingback and use the Lens-Artists tag.

Take care!

art, photography

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 209: “surrealism”

This week, we have a tough topic. Tracy, who posts at Reflections of an Untidy Mind, has chosen Surrealism. When thinking of Surrealism, I assume, that most people think of the painting by Catalonian artists Salvatore Dalí or Joan Miró. Surrealism began in the wake of the First World War when the horror and violence experienced by so many had shifted perceptions of sanity and reality.
But, what is surrealism?
What are the key characteristics? Surrealism is the doctrine of something going over the edge of reality. It is the try to imagine ideas, dreams, and/or emotions. A painter or sculptor can follow her inner voice to picture her imagination. But a photographer? Cameras are supposed to capture reality. So, how can they capture surrealistic images?
There are a few photographers active in this field like Brooke Shaden and Kyle Thompson. They create dream-like images by transporting the methods and ideas from painting to photography. Strange shapes, floating body parts, and bizarre landscapes: the Surrealists sought to challenge notions of normality through the power of photography. 

What makes a photo Surrealism?

“Surreal images tend to be dreamlike and tap into people’s unconscious,” says Tryforos. “They’re often made of different elements that are put together in unexpected ways.” Surreal images almost always contain recognizable elements from real life.
Features of Surrealistic Art
  • Dream-like scenes and symbolic images.
  • Unexpected, illogical juxtapositions.
  • Bizarre assemblages of ordinary objects.
  • Automatism and a spirit of spontaneity.
  • Games and techniques to create random effects.
  • Personal iconography.
  • Visual puns.
  • Distorted figures and biomorphic shapes.

 

Having this in my, I have a few images to show:

details: a fairie’s dream
following an idea from the fairytale “The flying suitcase (Der fliegende Koffer)” by Hans-Christian Anderson
  • wrong white balance or using coloring filters / colored light

  • focussing on shapes and shadows instead of recognizable subjects

  • find surreal settings around you to capture
a shop-window in Rennes, France, a couple of years ago.

 

tree mummies of Dead Vlei

 

huge parts of the Icelandic landscape are looking so surreal
  • settings were parts don’t fit

here, you can read a bit more about that shower

 

  • dreamy scenes


 

a dreamy forest on Kerkyra

 

apocalypse
surpresed landscape

 

  • infrared
photographing in infrared

 

You see, you don’t have to be a painter to be able to create surrealistic images. And, as you can see, the border between surrealistic images and abstract images can be quite small sometimes.

Take care!

 

art, photography

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 208: “Summer Vibes”

A few weeks ago, I got asked to be a guest host for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. What an honor!

It’s mid-summer in the northern hemisphere, and most schools are closed. Many people are enjoying their summer vacation. This is the time, most people are longing for. But, when it comes to the style of spending this most valuable time of the year, wishes differ following their personal preferences.

Show us your favorite activity (yes, chilling is also accepted as an activity in this context) in summer. In my gallery below, I have some of them as inspiration:  biking, mountain climbing, hiking, swimming, diving, sailing, surfing, kite-surfing, beach sailing, chilling, bbq-ing, beach partying, traveling, sightseeing, reading, dreaming, loving, dancing, and I’m sure, you’re finding lots more like i.e. Midsommar in the Scandinavian countries or the White Nights

 

So, I’m curious to see your interpretation of summer vibes. Make us envy and wish to be with you while you’re enjoying your summer and your favorite summer activities! Whether you are in the Northern or the Southern Hemisphere and having your summer now or in 6 months. Tell us about your summer vibes and share some images about them.

An additional hint for you when selecting or taking your images for the challenge: pay attention to the composition and avoid having distracting spots in your image like waste, bins, or parts of things. Also, a balanced horizon is usually important for a great image. You can correct it easily, if necessary, in post-production. But, sometimes, even an unbalanced horizon works well, as you can see in my wind-surfing image where the unbalanced horizon highlights the speed of the surfer. Fill your frame like I did i.e. in the bbq image or accept negative space like I did in the cycling image above. Both concepts are right. It depends on the messages you want to tell, and which one supports the message best. These small things divide a great image from a bad or an ok-image. In the past, we had a couple of themes focusing on composition. I assembled a shortlist and put it at the end of this post for your convenience. Check them out, when you’re not familiar with them. They can help you get great images.

I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with and I hope you enjoy joining this Lens-Artists Challenge. As always, use the Lens-Artists tag and link to this post so we can easily find you.

Thank you, Jez, for last week’s challenge “Seeing Double”. Next week Tracy from Reflections of an Untidy Mind will host LAPC #209. So make sure to have a look at her site.

If you would like to participate weekly in our Lens-Artists Challenge, just click this link and join us: click here, where you can also find some more information.

A new challenge prompt is posted each Saturday at noon EST.

As always, please link to this post either as a comment or as a pingback and use the Lens-Artists tag.

Take care!

 

P.S.

In the past, we had a couple of themes focusing on a composition like leading lines, rule of thirds, change your point of view, focussing on the detail, cropping,lights-and-shadows, bokeh, and moving closer. Also, you can incorporate opposite colors, like red-green, yellow-blue, black-white, or complementing colors like blue-green.

 

art, photography

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 207: “seeing double”

It’s summer time and thus we have a couple of guest hosts for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. This week, Jez Braithwaite of Photos by Jez is our host. When walking along the streets you can quite often see things in pairs. Get your camera, take an image and share it with us. Here I have a few examples.

Not one, or three, or four. Only two. Have fun participating in the challenge.

If you would like to participate weekly in our Lens-Artists Challenge, just click this link and join us: click here, where you can also find some more information.

Take care!

art, photography

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 206: “treasures”

It’s summer time and thus we have a couple of guest hosts for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. This week, Aletta Crouse of Now at Home is our host and she asks for treasures.

I’m very sure, the word treasure means something very different for each of us. Thus, I assume we will see a huge variety of images from all the participants.

For me, the natural world is the biggest treasure we have as well as the relationship to my inner family. The natural world feeds us, gives us oxygen to breathe, and ground to settle on. But, all of this is only possible in a small range of changes. Too much heat will kill the environment and us. Too much rain will kill us, the soil, and the seeds. Too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will increase the temperature, make the glaciers melt, increase the sea level, kill water plants because less light will reach them, hinder us from breathing well, and many issues more. Our planet works well, but as a marble on top of a pin of a hemisphere can roll down very easily, all these natural processes interlock with each other like a mechanical clockwork.

Monocultures must be avoided since although they offer a paradise for pests, beneficial insects such as bees starve to death because food is not always available for them. A good mixture of different fields and natural habitats is beneficial for insects and a good force against many pests. So, farmers can even save money and work for not to have to bring out poisons (or at least less of them) which helps keep the soil healthy, because poisons can be absorbed by the plants themselves and of course the ground water.  Instead of planting the same plants each year and pouring a lot of fertilizer on the fields, the outcome can be increased by changing the plants each year. A rhythm of changing between only 3 different kinds of plants would do so. Having 3 different plants of medium to small-sized fields side by side would help a lot, while the enormous large fields we see in some countries need more and more fertilizer each year while having more and more problems with pests and less useable outcomes in the same time. I’m asking you, is this wise? In my opinion not.

 

grain field

 

apple tree blossoms

 

But also the natural landscapes are to preserve. I don’t say, back to the roots to live as hunters and gatherers. I say, use the natural environment without harming it more than absolutely necessary. All the resources are precious and we are not allowed to waste them. We have only lent this planet from our descendants.

Water is key for nearly all processes, on which this environment is based on. Keep it clean and it will refresh you.

 

On top of these freedom and peace are treasures. I’m so happy, to live in a free country, and be able to go, wherever I want. This image should represent this idea. No more war and the borders set after WWII are torn down.  Pray for Ukraine to give those people peace and freedom back at once as well as in Syria, Etiopia, and the other regions not so present in the news.

Sorry, for the long rant. But, going through the world with open eyes, you can see so many misbehaviors.

Take care!

art, photography

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 205: “The eyes have it”

This week, Tina has found a very challenging topic for The Lens-Artist’s Photo Challenge: The eyes have it

Yes, eyes can have a message and you have to be able to read it. For the gallery below, I picked some images from my archive, where the eyes have a message. For us, the mimic is an essential part of our communication. Faces are something a baby can recognize very early. And even as adults, we see faces very easily in everyday things around us, like clouds, tree barks, blossoms, and so on. Even some animals have eyes-like patterns on their bodies like i.e. the peacock butterfly. Other animals have, from our point of view, quite strange eyes. I was even searching for an image with a sheep’s or a goat’s eye but failed to find one.

The first image in the second row is a bit different. It’s a sculpture of 3 boys having circled around a girl. This sculpture is called “Türelüre-Lißje” and pictures an old legend of a girl who used to live here near the cathedral in Aix-la-Chapelle. One day, she had a big need to pee, but a few boys got aware of that problem, circled her, and hindered her to follow the call of nature. I included that image here because the artist was able to model the faces of the figurines so well. Now we can feel how the pained girl must have felt, but also see the cruelty of the boys.

 

Take care!

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

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #204 – “Door and Doorways”

We’re having another guest host for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge this week: Sylvia Bacon of My Colorful Expressions. Her topic is doors and doorways. Doors usually part something from something else but not as strict as a wall would do. Doors can allow access with permission when having the right key.

 

 

Doors can also give some information about the owner or what is hidden behind the door.

a sailship’s captain used to live behind this door back. He build that house in the 18th century.

 

These richly decorated doors can be found in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the German state located on the south coast of the Baltic Sea. The iconic symbols also tell about the people living here. The doors always have three elements. One of them is most often the rising sun. You can find it on both doors in the lowermost sector and in the top sector of the third door.

 

 

 

But, what happens, when a building becomes useless and abandoned? Doors are open!

no more privacy in the lady’s room
no door is departing the shower from the pool anymore

 

But, there are more doors.

The next three doors are at home in Barcelona. It’s the entrance hall of Orfeo Catalan, the Palau de la Música Catalana.

and the entrance to a smaller audition stage in the basement. Both glass doors are open at the moment.

For the final images, I’m taking you with me to Asia. Asia in Europe. Asia in Germany!

Feng shui, also known as Chinese geomancy, is an ancient Chinese traditional practice that claims to use energy forces to harmonize individuals with their surrounding environment.

 

 

On the other hand, you can find these doors in many places in Japan.

A torii is a traditional Japanese gate most commonly found at the entrance of or within a Shinto shrine, where it symbolically marks the transition from the mundane to the sacred. This one is located in Germany. That Japanese garden was created in 1912 by famous Japanese garden architects. Each year a team of garden architects comes over from Japan to make sure, the garden is still in perfect shape.

 

 

I was really amazed to see, how many images of doors I have in my archive when I started my search. As usual for this kind of job, I used Excire Foto to find them. I simply used the tag “door” and got more than 1,000 results to choose from. I also had a few images with doors in my mind, to share with you. But, it was great to have so many additional images to choose from. I hope, you enjoy the selection.

*AD because of an affiliate link*

In 2020, I introduced you to Excire Foto, software to analyze and organize your images and, most importantly, find them! Since June 1st, the next version is out and includes among other improvements a Duplicate Finder and the ability to analyze PSD files. I’m going to publish a review soon. In the meantime, you can get more information and the prices here.

For now, take care!

 

 

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

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #203 – “Local Vistas”

This time, Anne challenges us to go local. Everyone takes photos while traveling or on special occasions like parties, graduation for school or university, weddings, birthdays, and so on. But, have you ever tried taking photos where you live? You know, I’m primarily in nature photography. But I live in a quiet urban region. Although, I living at the edge of the Ruhr area, you can’t really step out and be in the nature. Even the forests are fields where trees are planted to harvest wood.

I know, some people grab their camera an go into the city for taking photographs. They are either in architecture or in street photography. For me, non of these topics is really interesting although I do it sometimes.

Instead, I’m planning visits to natural places in my greater region. Quite often these are trips to nature protected areas with significant bodies of water to photograph birds. During the last two years, I also captured some butterflies and dragonflies as well as blossoms in our garden, And I hope, this year the monthly photographers roundtables will start again.

So, for today, I assembled a small collection of images taken in our garden dring the last years. Most of the images are unpublished. I’m extremely proud of the hummingbird hawk-moth having visited two times our garden and me being able to get a few very nice images of this really fascinating and extraordinary insect.

As the other kinds of wildlife photography, this can also be quiet time consuming. Be prepared and wait patiently for your subject coming in the right position. Although this collection might look amazing, I’m not one of these guys going out in the wild meadows to search for and photograph insects. I really admire those people bringing back home those fantastic photos of insects, but for me the necessary effort it too high. So, I only have an open eye and capture what’s around me. I can be patient to get my shot but I’m not patient enough to do so for hours.

You can enlarge the images by clicking on one of them and use the cursor keys to jumpe from one image to the next. That way you can also see the descriptions for the images. Have fun!

 

 

I hope, you enjoyed my little insect gallery. I know, not everyone loves them and I have to admit, some insects really look strange and alien like. Nevertheless, these tiny creatures also have their important role to play her on earth. They help feeding us! And each of them is worth the effort to protect them.

Take care!

photo-of-the-day, photography

Monochrome Monday 9-04 and LAPC 202 “minimalism”

LAPC is hosted this week by Sofia Alves. She introduces us to the concepts of minimalistic and maximalist photography. I’ve picked another image from the sun observatory, I introduced you to, last week. I often use minimalism in my photography because there are no distracting elements. Especially in monochrome, the leading lines are important to preserve harmony.

In this image, you can get an idea of the dimension the sun observatory has. The van is standing right in front of the observatory. A visitors group was brought up here with that van. Here, you can read more about the location.

Take care!

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

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #199 – Mechanical/Industrial

OK, guys. Weekend! Time for my contribution to LAPC. This week John is our host. He went back the memory lane a couple decades and directs our view to the time when machines started to first accomplish and ease, and later replace human labor.

 

I guess, I have to pause the next two or three weeks for LAPC because I’m on a trip. My usual posts are prescheduled.

Take care!

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

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #198 – Lights and Shadows

It’s Saturday again and while others are preparing for going to a party, I’m publishing a post for LAPC. It’s Patti’s turn this week.

We have a saying here “Wo Licht ist, ist auch Schatten” (Where there is light there is also shadow) and that’s definitely true. In photography as in painting, you can play with light and shadow. The human eye is always attracted by the bright parts of an image. Thus, you can use the shadow parts to may the main object pops out. The interaction between lights and shadows works in general best with black-and-white images, but also in color images it’s worth to have an eye on them.

A group of small decorative side towers at one of the towers of Colone’s cathedral at full moon. Here, the dark parts are the main subject also only seen as a silhouette.

During winter, the sun is able to paint wonderful structures on the ground.

This image taken in Sossusvlei is also a good example for what shadows can contribute to you final image.

Not only for abstract images, shadows can help making your main subject really key: the shadows in the back help this cheetah really popping out. Especially, because the low standing sun also models out his muscles.

Shadows can bring some depth in your architecture image. Especially for Lost-Places images this works well in monochrome and in color.

 

This is another example of very strong shadows. The sun was only able to enlight the top parts of the structures of a mountain side on Iceland.

This mushroom pops out from the dark surroundings. Although growing in the shadows, you can recognise it very well and the surroundings doesn’t distract form the main subject.

In this image, take a few weeks ago, the sun paints beautyfull patterns on the ground. The sun itself is positions near the sweet-spot (following the rule of thirds). In addition, the patterns are painting a positive diagonal from the lower left to the upper right and ends in the star-shaped sun. Thus, the patterns lead your view from the dark to the light.

The remaining two images are a bit different. Here we have a partial solar eclipse and total lunar eclipse. In the first one the moon is shadowing a part of the sun, while in the other image the moon crosses the earth shadow. In that image I put together 6 phases from the transition as well as the main image of the bloodmoon itself.

In case you’re interested in participating in this challenge either once or on a regular basis, check out this post published by Amy to learn about the rules and where to find the weekly topic.

Take care!

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

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #192 – Rule of Thirds

It’s Saturday and therefore it’s time for The Lens-Artist’s Photo Challenge. It’s Tina’s turn to challenge us this week. And it’s again a quite technical challenge. She calls for images demonstrating the “Rule of Thirds”.

To understand, what “Rule of Thirds” means, think of 2 horizontal and 2 vertical lines parting your image into 9 equal-sized rectangles. The most important part of the image should be places on one of the 4 points, where a horizontal and a vertical lines are crossing each other. In the screenshot below of an unedited image, I switched on showing these lines. Some cameras are even able to show these lines either in your view-finder or on the big display. Even many smartphones have the ability to help you get more interesting images by overlaying these lines while taking your images.

You don’t need to have your main subject exactly on one of these points. It’s not always possible. But, it gives you a valuable hint for getting better images. And, it’s so easy to incorporate.

Below, you can find some more examples from my archive from different genres.

 

Don’t get me wrong, following this rule is not a force. It’s a good rule, even many of the old and now-famous painters followed them. But, there are some cases, where it is necessary to break the rule. But, that’s for another post 🙂

My advice for a beginner: stay with the rules until it becomes natural for you, to see the world that way. Then begin to experiment by breaking the rule intentionally and knowing the exact reason why it is necessary to break them in a certain image to reach the next level of photography.

Take care!

art, photography

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 196: “Humor”

This time John challenges us for The Lens-Artists Photo Challenge with Humor 😲 He writes, that he picked this theme because he was considered of having a very special kind of humor. Phew!

How can I picture “humor”? What kind of humor do I have? My wife sometimes states that it seems from her point of view, I’d have to go to the cellar for laughing. I guess, she’s wrong. But, I have to admit, I love intelligent humor and when you have to look around the corner for being able to understand it.

From my point of view, it seems to be impossible to show “humor”. Instead, I picked a few humorous or funny images from my archive for you.

This is quite common in some areas in the countryside to make public that someone on the farm is about to marry soon.

 

We found this open-air shower and washbowl in the high-temperature area of northeast Iceland. Water was running unstoppable. While we were wondering about it and taking a couple of images, a second car arrived at this completely free parking ground. A couple from Slovenia left the car and came up to us. They were also wondering about it. After a short talk, the man decided, that taking here a shower would be a great opportunity because the camping ground where they stayed the night wasn’t that great, and visiting a public bath would be quite expensive.

 

 

This next image was taken during the parade for the annual funfair of our town. It celebrates the idea of Jamaica having its first bob team for running during the Olympic Winter Games. There’s also a movie telling this remarkable story called “Cool Runnings”. The scene below shows the finish of the racing track.

I photographed this funny lady a couple of years ago, also during the funfair parade.

This is a harpy, a fictional character in an anime or manga. I’m not that familiar whit that kind of art, but I love photographing cosplayers during the annual Japantag in our state capitol every now and then.

I love street art and this huge one is painted on the side of a 3- or 4-floor apartment building. Enlarge it, it has funny details, too.

This is also street art: a war-knitter decorated some poles and street-bordering chains.

I stumbled upon these “babies” in Prague a couple of years ago. No idea, what the artist has in his mind while creating them.

This is also in the town where I live. Two times a year the laundry is put up in the old town: in June during the Old-Town-Festival and in September for the funfair. A few years ago this image found its way into our State Archive as it documents a certain folkloristic habit.

 

This final image is taken during our annual carnival escape. It’s one of the fish dealers in the Barcelona Market hall

Enough fun for a day,

Take care!

culture, Music, photography, travel, world

Throwback Thursday: Club Tropicana and LAPC 195 “colorful expressions”

 

Today I have another image taken in Club Tropicana in Havana for you.

I’m not interested in dancing at all. So, I wasn’t very eager to go, when I saw this topic on the agenda. But, I also didn’t want to stay alone at the hotel and the visit was already prepaid in the package. Thus, I went.

I have to admit, it was a great experience. I’m happy about the good quality of my images because it was very dark. All of my images are taken at ISO 6400 😲😳 to have short shutter speeds with a suitable field of depth and avoid motion blur.

I guess I’m going to show you a couple of more images taken during that night in the near future. Stay tuned.

In case, you want to see more from Cuba, click here.

Because of the colorful dresses of the ladies, this image is also a perfect fit for LAPC. It’s hosted by Anne, this week.

Take care!

 

art, photography

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 194: “bokeh”

Today, Sofia Alves asks for something called “bokeh”. This word is derived from Japanese. Wikipedia describes it as follows:

“In photography, bokeh (/ˈboʊkə/ BOH-kə or /ˈboʊkeɪ/ BOH-kay; Japanese: [boke]) is the aesthetic quality of the blur produced in out-of-focus parts of an image. Bokeh has also been defined as “the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light”. Differences in lens aberrations and aperture shape cause very different bokeh effects. Some lens designs blur the image in a way that is pleasing to the eye, while others produce distracting or unpleasant blurring (“good” and “bad” bokeh, respectively). Photographers may deliberately use a shallow focus technique to create images with prominent out-of-focus regions, accentuating their lens’s bokeh.

Bokeh is often most visible around small background highlights, such as specular reflections and light sources, which is why it is often associated with such areas.[6] However, bokeh is not limited to highlights; blur occurs in all regions of an image which are outside the depth of field.”

Next, I have a few examples from my archive.

 

Take care!

 

art, culture, people, photography, travel, world

Throwback Thursday and Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 193: “birthday”

600_3780-e_wThis week, John Steiner is looking forward to celebrating his birthday, so I’m happy to join the LAPC party. In some families and in some cultures, birthdays are a reason for huge celebrations. So, I picked up this post published first back in 2013.

There is a certain habit in Cuba of celebrating a girl’s 15th birthday.

The girl gets special clothing, is dressed up, and gets perfect makeup. Then they go to a photographer to take beautiful photographs.

According to our guide, some girls are dressed like a bride for these sessions, others wear cocktail dresses and I also noticed photographs showing a girl dressed like a female version of an old-fashioned, Spanish caballero. The photographs are usually taken in a park or in the streets and not in a studio.

Two weeks later, the parents and the girl have a party with all of her friends, and an album, containing the photos, which is a real eyecatcher for that party. Also, the parents put framed photos from that session on their walls.

I like that idea. (OK, maybe, because I’m a photographer).

600_3779-e_wWe met this young lady in the old town of Havana. Her mother was with her and took care of her hairstyle and her makeup, while the photographer directed his assistant to adjust the reflector.

So, we can congratulate her on her 15th birthday.

Are there any similar habits, where you live or coming from?

While waiting for my next post you can have a look at the previous posts and maybe drop me a note in the comments section below.

 

In the meantime, the girl is a young woman. As I said, I took these photos back in 2013. So, she’s already 24. How much must have changed for her in her life.

As I’m always interested in getting to know habits from other countries, regions, or cultures, drop me a note in the comments and tell me, how do you celebrate birthdays. I’m interested in your personal celebration as well as in general habits and traditions.

Take care!

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

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 192: “Earth Story”

This week, Amy reminds us to tell Earth Stories. She writes “The natural world has many stories to tell. They are written on the ground, in the mountains and rivers, and on rocks and trees. Let’s share their stories through our lenses. ”

Earlier this week we had Spring Equinox. That day, when day and night have the same length, marks the begin of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and fall in the Southern Hemisphere. In spring, Mother Earth demonstrates all of her creativity and power. Gazillions of plants start growing or blooming and the animals get their offspring.

In Japan, this time of the year is so important, that they broadcast a prognosis for the first day, when the first cherry blossoms start blooming. The cherry blossom is the symbol for beauty. This tradition called Hanami in Japan and you can read more about it on Wikipedia.

 

 

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It’s sometimes hard to find images fitting to a certain challenge. For these tasks, I’m using the help of Excire Foto. I told the software where my image library is located and it starts analyzing the images. It recognizes the main colors in the images as well as the contents (what is in the images) and tags them automatically. Later, I can use the user interface to search for images with certain tags. Currently, you can save a few bucks when ordering Excire Foto, because it’s on sale. With coupon Code SPRING-30 you can save 30%.

When using this link, new customers can get Excire Analytics for free when buying Excire Foto before March, 31st. After clicking the link, put both products (Excire Analytics is visible in a separate tab after clicking on Excire Foto for seeing the details) in your shopping cart and use code AnalyticsDeal during checkout and the total decreases by 39€.

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Take care.

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

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 191: “curves”

Curves are the most stable constructions when considering the statics. Thus you can find a lot of different curves in nature. But, also mankind learned to benefit from nature and incorporated curves in human created structure like products or architecture. As Ann-Christine has chosen this as her challenge for us this week at LAPC, I picked a few examples from my archive for you.

 

5 eggs

 

a staircase in Galeries Lafayette, Paris
a road in Iceland constructed in a way to preserve the homes of the elves and the other little folks
the curvish shape make the hors more resistible
same for snail houses
or bridges
and cathedrals
nature is the role model
and mankind copies

 

and a lizard uses it to hide himself

 

As usual, you can enlarge the images by clicking at them.

 

<ad>

It’s sometimes hard to find images fitting to a certain challenge. For these tasks, I’m using the help of Excire Foto. I told the software where my image library is located and it starts analyzing the images. It recognizes the main colors in the images as well as the contents (what is in the images) and tags them automatically. Later, I can use the user interface to search for images with certain tags. Currently, you can save a few bucks when ordering Excire Foto, because it’s on sale. With coupon Code SPRING-30 you can save 30%.

When using this link, new customers can get Excire Analytics for free when buying Excire Foto before March, 31st. After clicking the link, put both products (Excire Analytics is visible in a separate tab after clicking on Excire Foto for seeing the details) in your shopping cart and use code AnalyticsDeal during checkout and the total decreases by 39€.

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Take care.