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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #234: Messages

This week’s LAPC is hosted by Donna. Her message is to focus on messages for this challenge.

An essential part of human nature is communication. Paul Watzlawick once stated, “You can not not communicate!”, and I guess, he’s right. Besides phrased communication (written or spoken), we communicate with mimics and gestures, so-called non-verbal communication.

There’s also an additional form of non-verbal communication we use automatically and often even cross-cultural.

 

personal information written on a tombstone

 

manufacturer’s information on products

 

or, where to get their products

 

safety information

 

giving guidance

 

What is love?

 

find help when in need

 

stay in contact

 

find your neighbor

 

or even for the long distance

 

either to the left or to the right; the cemetery is straight ahead!

 

Attention!

 

frankly following Hamlet: to swim or not to swim?

 

Even when not familiar with these two guys, you can understand their attitude at the first sight!

 

fear and schadenfreude

All of these, and many more, send messages. They are received, generally understood, and followed. Every single day!

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 inspiration post. Don’t forget to tag it with LENS-ARTIST, so we can find it.

Thanks, Donna, for this fantastic opportunity to focus on messages we’re sending and receiving all the time.

art, landscape, nature, photography, travel, world

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 233: “A one lens walk”

This week, Anne is our host for Lens-Artist’s photo challenge. She invites us to a photo walk with only one lens. The idea of doing so is quite old and goes back to the film days when zoom lenses became increasingly popular. In those days, some (many) images taken by non-pros became boring. They overused the ability to zoom into a scene. The advice was (and still is) to use your feet. The famous photographer Roper Capa once said, if your photo is not good enough, you were not close enough. That’s the reason for the advice “go on a walk with only one lens”. Each focal length has its own characteristics. So, when having only one (prime) lens, you have to think about composition more carefully. Thus, this advice is a kind of exercise for your photographic eye and is meant to help to develop your composition abilities.

My first camera was a fixed-lens film camera for 126er film cassettes. Next, I got a 35mm focal length film compact class camera. My first lens for my first SLR was a zoom lens: 35-70mm, later accomplished by an 80-200mm.

Nowadays with all the mega-zooms, the advise is more and more important to improve your photography skills. When you don’t have a prime lens, you can also fix the focal length to a certain focal length with a piece of duct tape or go out with your smartphone, as their cameras usually don’t have the ability to zoom in. Limiting yourself can help a lot. Give it a try.

A few years ago, I led a Photo Walk. I limited myself and went with a 35mm prime lens. You can see some of the results here.

As I sold all of my primes last year, I took my standard zoom (24-120), fixed it to 35mm, put my warm jacket and my boots on, and went out for about half an hour. My first photo walk this year.

Thursday last week, we were surprised by some snow. But it didn’t last long. By Friday nearly all of the snow was gone. Only a few heaps at the roadsides remained where people shoveled the snow from sidewalk removals. But, last night some fresh snow fell and there was still some fine snow falling while I was outside.

Click on the images to enlarge them.

 

Near the end of the walk, I removed the fixture and allowed some other focal lengths.

I love especially this lens. It gives me the freedom to walk with only one lens when i.e. on a city trip or a photo walk. But, I don’t want to miss my others: a 12mm + a 20mm prime, my 105 macro, and of course the long telephoto lenses for wildlife photography.

The new 24-120 is so good in comparison to the old one, that I even sold my holy trinity: 35 f2.0, 50 f1.8, and 85 f1.8. Those three lenses were constructed back in the film days, when it was impossible to correct distortions or uneven sharpnesses in the camera like it is possible nowadays when photographing digitally. (In case, you’re curious about what I’m talking about: take an image with lines in it in RAW format, transfer it to your computer, and view it with the automatic lens correction turned off. Now wonder, how badly the image looks. Even very expensive lenses have that problem. It’s much cheaper for the manufacturer to maintain additional firmware to be installed on the camera to apply the necessary corrections to the jpg than to spend money to do a proper job in lens construction. To have similar good corrected images when using 3rd party lenses (lenses from other manufacturers than from the camera’s brand), computer software comes into action, which is able to do the corrections. Software published by the camera manufacturer only supports their lenses. Commercial software like Lightroom, Photolab, or Luminar is able to do this. But, there is also free software available on the Internet: RawTherapee or Darktable.

Photographing in raw and using such software is nowadays more than ever necessary when using compatible (3rd party) lenses for your camera besides the other pros!

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 Anne’s inspiration post. Don’t forget to tag it with LENS-ARTIST, so we can find it.

Take care!

art, landscape, nature, photography, travel, world

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 232: “Looking back”

This week, Sophia is our host for Lens-Artist’s photo challenge. The new year inspired her to look back and recognize what changed over time.

When I read her inspirational post yesterday, I started considering how to respond.

In the beginning, many millennia ago, our farthest ancestors took water and clay or mud in their mouths and either sprayed the substance against the walls and ceilings of caves or used fingers and twigs to apply it. They created iconic images from animals around them and from themselves or sprayed negative shadows of their hands. Unfortunately, I can’t find an example of these taken nearly 40 years ago on an analog slide film when I was visiting such a cave.

Then, painting seems to be not important for thousands of years until it got rediscovered by some whimsical people. As their ancestors, they had to create their paint them. They used minerals, saps, and different kinds of clay and mud to create different colors and reinvented the art of painting.

Nowadays, we can simply go to a grocery store and buy watercolors, crayons, or felt pens. Artists instead,  go to special stores to buy the raw materials for their paints to have the highest possible quality to express their imagination.

choose the right pen

 

Find your style!

 

work carefully

 

regardless if your model sits or stands right in front of you or creating a painting from a small photo

 

some artists invent something new like painting with coffee

 

even the style of painting developed over time. From simple lines to complex scenes and even capturing certain lighting situations

In recent times, another new style developed: street-art

The first paintings were assumingly intended for religious purposes. About 500 years ago, religious and political leaders started demanding portraits created showing themselves. Starting from the 18th century painting found their way to the houses of the common people. By the middle of the last century, a new kind of art came even closer to all common people’s lives: street-art, art in the streets, sometimes covering a complete wall of a large house or building. While the first pieces were considered as daub and scribbling, over time the technics developed further and even the acceptance by people as long as the artists got permission in advance of creating their paintings. Now you can find some of these paintings in many cities.

 

Although, some of the quite modern pieces seem to remind of their roots millennia ago.

 

lines
and hands

This is also quite old kind of painting: street painting. I can remember to have seen such artists in the pedestrian areas of bigger cities when I was a child. They were painting on the boardwalk to collect money to make their living. This one was taken during the street art festival I visited last summer.

afraid of water

 

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 Sophia’s inspiration post. Don’t forget to tag it with LENS-ARTIST, so we can find it.

Take care!

art, landscape, nature, photography, travel, world

Monochrome Monday 9-35 and Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 231: “Favorite Images of 2022″

A new year also means reviewing the past year. As a good tradition, I already did it under two different aspects. First, I published my “Top 9 of Instagram” and second, I picked my favorites from six categories.

Today, I’m presenting my top monochrome images.

Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe

 

a hippopotamus swimming in the Okavango river

 

wooden gears inside an ancient wooden windmill

 

a bud of Nigella damascena, love-in-a-mist, or devil in the bush (Nigella damascena) / Jungfer im Grünen (literally: damsel in the green = countryside)

 

Staircase inside an education center

 

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 John’s inspiration post. Don’t forget to tag it with LENS-ARTIST, so we can find it.

Take care!

 

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art, landscape, nature, photography, travel, world

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 230: “Last chance”

Curtain up, for the last Lens-Artist’s Photo Challenge in 2022. This week LAPC is hosted by Tina.

When preparing a post, you have a couple of images for the given topic. In the end, you have to skip a few of them to maintain the post on a reasonable level. This week’s theme gives us the opportunity, to show a few of these skipped images. But, she added two additional conditions: taken in 2022 and not previously published!

As my images are usually taken from my archive and are not created especially for the challenge, I’m interpreting this slightly differently: Today, I’ve chosen only unpublished images taken in 2022, but selecting one of the challenges from this year, I didn’t participate because of some reason.

Wildlife in your backyard or next to your home (#225):

geringelte Mordwanze (Rhynocoris annulatus) – I was unable to find the English name for the bug. Maybe one of you is able to help based on the scientific name in Latin.

 

hummingbird hawk-moth (Macroglossum stellatarum) / Taubenschwänzchen

 

European garden spider aka diadem spider (Araneus diadematus) / Gartenkreuzspinne

 

large red damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula) / Frühe Adonisjungfer

 

great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major = Picoides major) / Buntspecht

 

European green woodpecker (Picus viridis) / Grünspecht

 

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 LENS-ARTIST, so we can find it.

Take care!

art, landscape, nature, photography, travel, world

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 229: “patterns”

OK, break is over (at least I guess so). 

This week, Ann-Christine invites us to think about patterns in photography. You can find them in nature as well as in man-made environments. You simply have to walk around with open eyes.

I captured the first one in Lisbon a couple of years ago. The sun painted this on the ground.

 

On the shelves of this small shop in Lisbon, you can find many tins with sardines. 

The next image is taken with a macro lens in a kitchen. You can see a part of a rub.

Next, I have a few natural patterns: grain on a field 

ocean waves painting patterns at the shore.

Intentional camera movement in a forest

A part of a palm tree leave

The wrinkles in the dress of the Green Lady of the North.

And finally, a railway track.

 

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 Ann-Christine’s inspiration post. Don’t forget to tag it with LENS-ARTIST, so we can find it.

Take care!

art, landscape, nature, photography, travel, world

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 223: “Flights of Fancy”

John invites us today, to imagine the unthinkable and go behind the border of imagination for this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. He writes:

“According to Dictionary.com, the idiom “flight of fancy” refers to “an unrealistic idea or fantastic notion, a pipe dream. For example, ‘She engaged in flights of fancy, such as owning a million-dollar house.’ This idiom uses flight in the sense of ‘a soaring of the imagination,’ a usage dating from the mid-1600s.”

and

“For this week’s challenge, consider sharing images of interesting or unusual subjects that represent notions or ideas that seem incredible even today or seemed. “

So, the jump point is set.

The French Brothers Montgolfiere used to have a dream, an incredible dream! And, in fact, they were able to realize it. On June, 4th of 1783, they presented their self-constructed vehicle to the amazed audience: the Montgolfière, the ancestor of today’s hot-air balloons. Their courage has opened up a new world for mankind.

This image is taken a few minutes before sunrise during my second flight looking east

.

The people of the North are used to this incredible glowing in the dark during the long and cold winter nights: Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis. But, unlike us nowadays, they did not have an exclamation for the moving lights above them. The old Vikings found a saga to explain it: At night the valkyries ride along the battlefields to collect all the past heroes and lead them to Odin’s table in Walhalla. The rays of moonlight were reflected by their arms and shields which are supposed to result in the amazing lights.

 

My third image is to honor the genius Catalan architect Antonio Gaudí. In the past, I already donated a few posts to him and his absolutely incredible work. He was able to think outside the box when planning buildings and was able to make heave stone seem to be light plant parts. All the shapes were derived from nature, just like this hall of forest trees forming the main ship of the cathedral La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. I got aware of parts of his work first when I was in my 7th or 8th class at secondary school. I’m so happy, to have been there a couple of years ago and I hope to revisit when the cathedral is once finished.

 

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 John’s inspiration post. Don’t forget to tag it with the tag LENS-ARTIST, so we can find it.

Take care!

art, landscape, nature, photography, travel, world

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 222: “mountains are calling”

“You stand up there, whith your head in the clouds” – John Lees

This line of Barkley James Harvest’s famous song Hymn came to my mind when I read the topic, Amy has chosen for this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge.

In Norway, the mountains grow straight from the bottom of the ocean

But, there’s another line, tied strait to the other one:

“Valley’s deep and the mountain’s so high”

A mountain can’t exist without a valley.

In the Bavarian Alpes, the valleys in between the mountains are used to build houses

 

The Bavarian Alpes seems to grow out of a plain when coming from the North. Seeming to be a barrier, and they are. The Alpes are the main reason for the quite stable weather in Europe.

 

Again, mountains having their heads in the clouds.

towns are embedded in the valleys and areas not so steep.

 

When discovering the tiny rail track you’re getting an idea of the dimension.

 

Isle of Skye

 

Iceland

 

Water finds its way down, simply following the gravity

 

Humans have to walk or invent something

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 Amy’s inspiration post. Don’t forget to tag it with the tag LENS-ARTIST, so we can find it.

Take care!

art, landscape, nature, photography, travel, world

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 221: “Flower Favourites – and Why?”

It’s Saturday evening here in Germany, the sky is gray, and it’s raining. As we’re in the northern hemisphere, October means fall. So, I have to dig in my archive to find suitable images of blooming flowers instead of going out to a botanical garden or so. Nevertheless, Ann-Christine‘s challenge fits well in this gray and dreary time of the year to cheer us up.

Although I don’t have strong preferences when it comes to flowers, I do have some regarding photographs of flowers.

First of all: the Strelitzia

This is a closeup image taken with my macro lens from a backlit strelitzia blossom. I love them, because of the friendly warm base tone featuring smaller violet, blue, yellow, and green stripes. In addition, their shape is so unique.

 

Second: the Schlumbergera or Christmas cactus

This is also taken with my macro lens. I was laying below the plant equipped with a remote-controlled Speedlight and a black card box above. Here we have again a very unique-styled blossom.

 

Third: a pasqueflower, a protected plant because it’s quite rare nowadays.

pasqueflower

 

Fourth: Pulmonaria Officinalis, or lungwort. In German, one of their common names is “Brüderchen-und-Schwesterchen”, which translates to “little brother and little sister”

 

You might notice blossoms in lite blue and in lite pink. One plant has blossoms in blue and pink at the same time.

 

And finally the Amaryllis:

 

Here we have again a uniquely shaped blossom. Although you can buy onions each year starting in November and enjoy the blossoms for several weeks from approximately January, I picked an image taken in Cuba, where they were blooming outside in the gardens.

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 Ann-Christine’s inspiration post. Don’t forget to tag it with the tag LENS-ARTIST, so that we can find it.

Take care!

art, landscape, nature, photography, travel, world

Throwback Thursday: “Three of One in Barcelona”

This week’s LAPC “One subject, three ways” hosted by Patti was so much much, that I prepared a second port. My first contribution was published on Saturday.

This time, I take you back to my visit to Barcelona in February 2014. I went there with some friends on our annual carnival escape. Many of my images are already here on my blog. For the challenge, I’m focussing on a modern and iconic building right at the beach: Hotel W

 

 

 

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 Patti’s inspiration post. Don’t forget to tag it with the tag LENS-ARTIST, so that we can find it.

Take care!

art, landscape, nature, photography, travel, world

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 220: “One Subject Three Ways”

This week for LAPC Patti asks us, to spend some time with a subject to find the ‘right’ angle of view. In the past, I already walked you through a set that way, like here, here, or here.

Today, I’ve chosen a slightly different approach than cropping or getting closer. Instead, I visited the same location on three consecutive days and spend some time on my subject: driftwood on a quite remote part of a beach.

full-frame 16 mm (fish-eye) – 14:34h

 

full-frame 20mm 14:14h

 

full-frame 20mm 21:42h

 

On each of these three days, I was happy with my final image and I still am. But, when I was back the next day, that piece of driftwood pulled me in again. Each of the days (4 in total – but during my first visit I wasn’t in that particular part, where these trees were laying in the water), I spend hours on that beach and working some time with these trees. Because of the remoteness, the beach and the cliff above are more or less untouched. No-one tidies up, except Mother Nature herfelf. So, you can discover a lot of things.

My conclusion of those days is (and I also experienced this in other places too), sometimes you have to call it a day, pack your gear, and go home. But, you have to come back another day (or time) to find the final image.

 

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 Patti’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 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!