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

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 184: “What travel has taught me” and LAPC 185 “Change”

Again, I’m combining two Lens-Artist Photo-Challenges. Last week Amy asked for what “travel has thought me” and this week John is asking for “Change”. I was extremely busy last weekend and over the week I’m following my own schedule. But, knowing the topic in advance, gave me the time to prepare a post although this weekend I’m very busy again.

You know, I was in Namibia last year for visiting and experiencing a desert. Namibia has lots of them. They are different from the sand deserts of the Sahara. But, you can see, how the sun dried out the country. Every now and then, we were crossing sand-filled valleys by using bridges. These valleys are rivers. According to my experience, rivers consist of water. In Africa, rivers cal also consist of sand and dust for some time during the year. They dry out.  Here in Europe rivers don’t dry out. Even during the extremely hot summers of 2017-2019, the rivers had at least some water. The water level was very low and even for river Rhine, shipping had to be stopped for a couple of weeks. But, for Africa, it’s quite normal that rivers dry out.

We have to be very, very careful with our activities as they have an impact on our environment. I’m not an ecologist, but Global Warming can’t be denied. Glaciers are melting and the additional water is diluting the salty water in the oceans, which makes the inner-ocean streams (i.e. Gulf Stream or Humboldt Stream) collapse which results in climatic changes on the continents as well as collapses of fish schools. Increasing temperatures are affecting the countries, especially around the equator. Bigger areas of heat and no rain at all will avoid growing food because of the lack of water. Monsoon-like rain at quite low temperatures in other parts will also avoid growing food because the rain will wash away the fertile soil.

 

 

We are the generation to initiate the change. Michael Jackson sang in his song “Man in the mirror” (written be Glen Ballard / Siedah Garrett):

I’m gonna make a change
For once in my life
It’s gonna feel real good
Gonna make a difference
Gonna make it right
….
Who am I, to be blind pretending not to see their needs?
….
That’s why I want you to know
I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I’m asking him to change his ways
And no message could’ve been any clearer
If they wanna make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself and then make a change
I’ve been a victim of a selfish kind of love
It’s time that I realize
….
Gonna make that change come on
(Man in the mirror)
You know it
You know it
You know it
You know
Change
Make that change

 

Earlier this week I watched a documentary about people living in the Zambesi plains in Zambia. The people make their living with fishing. Traditionally, they were fishing with self-made traps and caught only the big fish, while the smaller ones were able to escape. So, over millennia, the system works well. Over time, more and more people came up with the idea to use nets instead of traps, because with the nets they were able to catch more fish. Unfortunately, they now also caught the small and young ones. Guess, what, the number of fish decreased enormously. So, the government forbade using nets but the people didn’t care. during the documentary, fishermen were interviewed by the film team. Surprisingly, they are aware they are exterminating all fish and killing the base of their lives. Their excuse: Even when I stop using nets, the others still use them. So, they will have more fish to sell, than me.

In small, this is the situation, we see all over the world. No-one is willing the do the first step. No government, no company, no women or man.

I want to hand over a loveable and lovely planet to our children. I want to make them see and experience the unique beauty of this wonderful tiny blue pearl in the black and cold universe. I don’t want to forbid. I want you to think about what you’re doing. Re-think it from end to end. When Sting published his song against Cold War in the 1980s, he phrased “The Russians love their children, too”. I believe this. Not only the Russians, all people all over the world. When people don’t have health anymore, who should spend money on products? When we don’t have enough water to grow plants, what do they want to eat? Do CEOs want to go out in the fields to grow and harvest their food on their own, because there are no farmers anymore?

The sentence «S’ils n’ont plus de pain, qu’ils mangent de la brioche.» (if they don’t have bread, they should eat cake) is attributed to the French Queen Marie-Antoinette and is supposed to be the final spark to start the storm of the French Revolution. The result is written in each history book.

A quote supposed to be said by either Chief Sitting Bull, Chief Seattle, or part of a prophecy of the Cree reads “When the last tree is cut down, the last fish eaten, and the last stream poisoned, you will realize that you cannot eat money.” Regardless, who was the first one having said this, it’s true. Thus, I’m reciting Michael Jackson “start with the man/woman in the mirror and make the change!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take care!

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

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 183: “Memorable Events”

Thanks, Ann-Christine, for giving me the opportunity to remember a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Seychelles Islands back in October 2010. For two weeks I was in paradise. La Digue is one of the bigger islands forming the country Seychelles. It’s located in the Indian Ocean and belongs to the African continent. You can find it on a map when staring with your finger in Mombasa at the Kenyan coast and moving to the east and starting with your other finger from the Jemen-Oman-border going south.

Seychelles is south of the equator at 4°16′ S 55°46′ E. So they are outside the cyclone area. No dangerous animals are living on the islands. There is even no malaria threat in Seychelles.

The islands have a tropical climate. It’s hot and the humidity is quite high. Because of the short distance to the equator, there is no twilight. When the sun goes down, it becomes dark nearly at once. The sun rises at around 6 a.m. and goes down at around 6 p.m.

 

first sight of the paradise aka Seychelles

 

the church is already decorated for the upcoming national holiday
one of the fantastic beaches around La Digue

 

a big print of this image is in the image’s rotation box and thus hanging every now and then in our living room for a couple of weeks.

 

nightfall is very fast so close to the equator

 

I loved watching these pretty white long-tail tropicbirds when they were in the air. It seemed to me, they really have fun and enjoy flying fast and amazing courses. 

 

When you want to read a bit more, you can find my posts here. Scroll down to the bottom of that page to start with the oldest post.

Take care!

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

Lens-Artists Photo Challange 159: “Postcards”

We’re having a very interesting theme this week for the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge hosted this time by Ana Campo, a guest host.

Over the last years, the traditional mail volume decreased, because our communications habits changed in accordance with the technical development. Most people have email and computers or at least a smartphone. Instead of writing on paper, we’re typing on a virtual or physical keyboard and sending out text messages or emails. Even invoices are arriving electronically. First countries already started to deliver mail less frequently.  While we usually don’t get any mail on Mondays, I got news about Denmark, where mail is supposed to be delivered only once a week. The postmen now have more than one area to deliver the mail: each day in a different area.

According to statistics, I saw recently, the only kind of mail increasing in volume is the postcard.  More and more people travel. Although even images are sent in huge numbers each day from one end of the world to the other. But, to make proof of having been on vacation, sending a postcard seems to be the only valid proof. So, whatever your vacation destination is, you go to buy a local postcard with a stamp and write a couple of meaningful paragraphs to describe the beauty of your chosen location (even if it is the worst place you’ve ever been) to make the recipient envy.

I’m also usually sending 5 postcards. Not to make my family envy, but to get some niche mail to the recipient’s postbox and send them kind of a smile in the face. But, quite often I stood in front of a postcard stand unable to pick a postcard because all of them were soooo ugly. In the end, I’ve chosen the least ugly ones. I’m also using a postcard app every now and then. I like creating postcards with my own images on my mobile and sending them via email or text message service. One of the apps has a very funny feature: it sets a virtual postmark on the virtual stamp by naming date and city based on the GPS location data of your location while creating the virtual postcard. But, that’s unfortunately not the same as a physical postcard. (click on the image to see it better)

At home, we have a twine in the kitchen, right above the kitchen door, where we hang up all postcards arriving over a year with small clothespins. Unfortunately, the twine is currently nearly empty because nearly no-one was traveling over about the last 2 years.

Another option I used every now and then is a postcard printing service. I’m creating a postcard with an app on my mobile with my own photos, typing in the address of the recipient and the message. The service company prints the postcard and sends it via postal service to the recipient. This is great when being domestic on vacation. When traveling internationally, it’s not so good, because the stamp won’t fit the country you’re traveling in.

Sometimes I’m also using a piece of software on my computer to create postcards. Especially, when I plan to send them online. The app on my mobile is not bad, but the options are quite limited.

Today, I’m sending you a picture postcard. It’s not from LA, because I’m not Joshua Kadison. It’s from the small town, where I used to spend a big part of live, although not my hometown.

 

Each year in September, when not having a pandemic around, a funfair comes to town for an extended weekend. Therefore our old town is decorated with old clothing as you can see in the upper left image. This image was even added to our state library as a document of traditional habits and customs a few years ago. The upper right is taken in May when blooming Japanese Cherries are decorating the streets. The lower right image shows the castle near the town in winter. Up to the 1960s, the descendants of the original owner were still living there. Now, it’s owned by the city government and hosts a museum and a great hall is used for civil weddings. The 3 images on the lower left are also parts of the old-town, and in the middle one, you can see the maypole with the signets of the 13 neighborhoods.

I hope, you enjoyed the postcard. Remember, you can enlarge the images by clicking on it.

For finding such images in your archive, Excire Foto is a big help. When using EXCIREFIRE20 at checkout you can save 20%.

Take care!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay safe and healthy!

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

Throwback Thursday: time passes quickly

Today, my grand-son is celebrating his 3rd birthday. So, we were assumed to buy some toys for him as a birthday present. We still now the brands and some of the stuff is well known. Our youngest son just turned 20. So, our memories of having a young boy bussling around in the house and the garden, stumbling over toys laying aroung everywhere or taking care of wounded knees is quite fresh.

Every now and than, we’re stumbling in our house over some toys at the attic or in some closets leftover by my youngest son. Our grandson get some of them when he is at our house. So, sometimes, when seeing my grandson playing with one of these toys, memories come back to me saying it’s not that long ago, his uncle (our youngest son) used to play with them: wooden puzzles, plastic cars, some stuffed animals or even bricks made by the famous company from Danmark.

The image above was taken during our first walk with the baby in the park beside the hospital with my smartphone.

Take care!