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

WPC: Detail

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This week’s topic for the weekly photo challenge by “The Daily Post is “Detail”.

I picked an image from my archive, showing the polished shell of a certain kind of sea-snail, the Haliotis, common name is abalone.

Below the ugly surface, you can find this wonderful subject.

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Take care have a great weekend!

(as usual, you can see the photo enlarged, when clicking in it)

culture, landscape, people, photo-of-the-day, photography

WPC: look up

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This week’s topic for the weekly photo challenge by “The Daily Post is “look up”.

Try to find out, what you can see here 🙂

Most times, we look down to earth. where to put our feet and try to find a save path though our daily business and our whole live. But, also try to lift your eyes and look in a different direction. What do you find there?

Take care have a great weekend!

(as usual, you can see the photo enlarged, when clicking in it)

photo-of-the-day, photography

WPC: opposites

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This week’s topic for the weekly photo challenge by “The Daily Post” is “opposites”.

In this image you can see the sun and the moon covering most of the sun. I took this image last year during the partial eclipse. Unfortunately, the sky was covered the whole day. But, over a few minutes right at the maximum the clouds became thinner and gave me the opportunity to take this shot.

Take care have a great weekend!

(as usual, you can see the photo enlarged, when clicking in it)

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

WPC: Inspiration

The guys over at The Daily Post asked for our source of inspiration for this weeks photo challenge. That’s easy: Mother nature with all their natural beings, people as well as animals and of course all the different landscapes. In my blog you can find lots of photos documenting this. Thus, I picked one as an example.

Take care and handle our planet with care. We only have this one!!

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culture, flowers, landscape, nature, photography, seasons, travel, world

plants in the Icelandic highlands

In my last post I started to show you some of the Icelandic plants. Today I have some more plants. These plants grow in the highlands.

600_2530-ecc_wIn the highlands you can find many, many mosses and lichens. But, can also find tiny blooming plants: i.e.

  • Silene acaulis, known as moss campion or cushion pink (Stängelloses Leimkraut)
  • Silene uniflora Roth (Klippen-Leimkraut / EinblĂĽtiges Leimkraut)
  • Armeria (Grasnelke)
  • Chamerion latifolium (formerly Epilobium latifolium) known as Dwarf Fireweed or River Beauty Willowherb (Arktisches Weidenröschen)
  • Dryas octopetala, common names include mountain avens, eightpetal mountain-avens, white dryas, and white dryad (Silberwurz)

I’m not a biologist, nor a botanist. Thus, I might have errors in the latin names. I got them by using Wikipedia and a German web-site dedicated to traveling Scandinavia. I’m quite sure about the German names noted inside the brackets, because I made notes from the explanations by our guide on Iceland and compared my photos very carefully to the sample photos on Wikipedia to be as accurate as possible.

Take care!

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culture, flowers, landscape, nature, photography, seasons, travel, world

plants on Iceland

600_6597-e_wUntil now, I showed you much of the fantastic landscapes of Iceland. I guess, you noticed, there aren’t lots of trees around although many parts of the landscape are green. And that’s true. So far in the north, trees need very long time to grow. And in the past centuries (the vikings arrived more than 1.000 years ago and started settling back in lat 9th century). Over the centuries the trees were cut for building houses, ships and for cooking / heating. Thus you can’t find any forests anymore expect small grove, planted by farmers.

Nowadays, you can find many greenhouses for growing food (i.e. sweet pepper, tomatoes and so on). They are heated by geothermal sources. But this is not our todays topic.

Today and in my next post I want to show you several plants, I found. I want to start in the lowlands and more urban parts of Iceland, while my next posts will be dedicated to the plants in the highlands.

Many parts in the lowlands are covered by different kinds of grass. In wet areas you can find blooming cotton grass during summer and angelic, the source for a schnaps (kind of hard liquor). Huge areas are covered by lupines (did you know, you can use the seeds of lupines to make coffee?). They were planted to modify the soil and prepare it to plant other useful plants afterwards, but they spread out widely and now cover huge parts of the land. A photo can’t transport the beauty of these huge fields of blooming lupines.

Take care!

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art, culture, meeting, people, photography, world

Weekly Photo Challenge: broken

 

610_7890-eb_wThis weeks topic at “The Daily Post”  for the photo challenge is “broken”.

Regardless if it is intentionally broken or not. A ruin or something after an accident. You got the picture.

I picked this old graveyard, because the single graves are broken, but also the relationships between the people in this yard and those outside. Hearts might be broken, too, from mourning.

I edited it in monochrome, to support the special mood!

Take care!

art, landscape, photography, world

Explore The Elements – Travel Photoblogging Challenge

I was invited by Indah, a fellow blogger living in the Netherlands, to participate in a photography competition organized by the travel company Thomas Cook (TC).

The competition theme is “Explore the elements“. You know, in the medieval times people believed, that every existing thing on earth were consisting of a combination of only 4 basic elements: earth, water, fire and air. And these four elements have to be subject to the photos in this competition.

I focused on only one trip to pick my photos from for this competition: my trip to Iceland last year. Although, there were many more photos from other trips, but I liked the idea of getting all photos from only one place.

 

The 4 Elements 

Earth

TC: “Represents the hard, solid objects of the earth Associated with stubbornness, collectiveness, physicality and gravity”

600_6722-e_wAlthough, earth means rock and rock is the bone of our planet, that holds everything together, just like the bones in our body. And, although the hardness of rock is often considered as eternal and unchangeable, there are powers in the ground that are able to tear rocks down and cut them in pieces.

Water

TC: “Represents the fluid, flowing, formless things in the world Associated with emotion, defensiveness, adaptability, flexibility, suppleness, and magnetism”

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Water is one of the big powers on this planet, that is able to model our planets surface. There is a saying here: “each drop wears / deepens / hollows the stone” or in other words: water is grinding the landscape.

 

Fire

TC: “Represents the energetic, forceful, moving things in the world Associated with security, motivation, desire, intention, and an outgoing spirit”

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Fire is also a mighty power. The people in ancient times were frightened of fire, and nearly all animals still are. The sun is the mightiest fire we know (beside other stars, that work in the same manner). In this photo the sun is frozen, captured in ice. But, the sun is the power that runs our planet. The sun is accountable for wind, rain, heat and erosion. But also for life and death.

 

Air

TC: “Represents things that grow, expand, and enjoy freedom of movement Associated with will, elusiveness, evasiveness, benevolence, compassion, and wisdom”

600_9867-ec_wWithout air we won’t be able to live. The air saves us from dangerous rays from outer space. The air helps to distribute the light evenly and give us the possibility to live. Plants are getting light for their photosynthesis. Animals are getting light to see their surroundings, to hunt and to escape their hunters.

 

From a photographers perspective, these four elements make our planet such a fantastic place. Each place is interesting to see and there are so many different places available. No place is dull or boring. Help to keep our planet clean, healthy and  in order for our descendants and ourselves by avoiding unnecessary pollution of the air, the water or any landscape.

 

The rules for this competition say, I’d have to spread this post (done here and on G+) and invite another 5 blogger to participate, if they want. Unfortunately the final closing of the competition is near: it’s on Monday, March 16th 2015 – thus, only a couple of hours is left to participate.

Thus, I don’t have much time to write my own post and invite another 5 bloggers.

Ian Beattie

Leanne Cole

Edith Levy

Laura Macky

Martin Spuelbeck

 

art, food, meeting, people, photo-of-the-day, photography

fun games with water and more

610_0097-ec1_wEach first Saturday we have our monthly photographers roundtable. Meeting, chatting, talk shopping and taking photographs. Usually we meet for a photowalk, but, when having bad weather, this walk takes place in a museum or so.

During winter we often have weather conditions, that won’t allow being outside or at least it is (very) uncomfortable being outside for taking photographs. For this Saturday the weather forecast proposed sleet, rain, snow, cold winds and slippery streets. Thus, we met inside and using our gear for some fun games.

It’s really fun to figure out together with some friends, how a setting has to be for such a photo. OK, the downside is, everyone only has limited time. When each of eight photographers want to try the same and each one only needs 15 minutes, the whole thing lasts two hours.  But, it’s worth the effort. Each following photographer benefits from his forerunners and the results are getting better. Another benefit is, you can share gear, thus none of us had to have all the necessary gear (gear, you probably usually don’t need).

While four of us tried the water games, the others were trying other kinds of macro, and vice versa, as you can see in my gallery below.

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Take care!

culture, landscape, meeting, people, photo-of-the-day, photography, seasons, travel, world

Weekly Photo Challenge: adventure

600_5908-ec_wThe photo challenge at The Daily Post is called “adventure” this week.

What does adventure mean? Is it the challenging crowd in a mega city? Or is it covering the wilderness? Maybe it is something you haven’t done before.

Here you can see three guys on a hike upwards in the icelandic mountains. Look on the pebbles on the ground, look on the landscape, look on the weather, look on your equipment, food and water.  And, don’t forget the time.

Each adventurer has to plan his or her trip very carefully to came back in good shape. So, you too.

Take care!

flowers, food, landscape, photo-of-the-day, photography, seasons, world

Weekly Photo Challenge: dialogue

600_8339-cf_wThe photo challenge at The Daily Post is called “dialogue” this week.

The idea is, to set two photos in a connection. This might be the same color, the same subject from different angles or two different photos having a certain  connection.

I’ve chosen, to take two photos with a “before and after” or “then and now” connection. You can see a photo taken two days ago: 2 apples in an apple tree. The other photos is taken back in April and is showing the blossoms at the same tree. So, here you have a then and now connection.

Enjoy the harvest time 🙂

 

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Take care!

flowers, photography, travel, world

dps Weekly Photography Challenge – Flowers 2

600_8191-sf_wThis weeks photo challenge at dps is on flowers. Although some people think, photographing flowers would be as easy as eating bread, it’s not that easy. Try it yourself. So, I’m not the typical flower photographer, but every now and then, I try it. I scrolled though my blog and I was very surprised, how many flower photographs are already online here. You can find them with the tags “flower”, “flowers”, “blossom”, “blossoms” and probably a few more. (Does anyone know a tool for editing the categories of many posts at the same time easily?)

Here is a second photo: an orchid (literally 3 of them ans you can see in the gallery below 🙂 )
This one is taken in our living room by using a studio setting: A macro lens, a tripod, a remote for the camera, a black backdrop and 3 manual controlled flashes.

First of all, I had shut the roller shutter at the windows. Next I set the flower on op of a little footstool and the backdrop about half a meter behind. Positioning the flashes is both that trivial. You have to look for shadows. Are they disturbing or appealing and then  rearrange the setting.

I hope, you like them.

Take care!

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landscape, photo-of-the-day, photography, seasons, travel, world

Weekly Photo Challenge: fray

dsc_7489-e_wThe photo challenge at The Daily Post is called “fray” this week. What a contrast to last weeks theme.

I looked it up in a dictionary and found its meaning to be ‘fight in meaning of a battle’ or ‘fighting against adverse conditions’ and as well ‘damaged’ or ‘scraggly’.

I picked out a fight. A fight between the powers of nature: a heavy thunderstorm on the ocean. Luckily in a distance, for not endanger us. But, I love such a dramatic sky.

Take care!

landscape, photography, seasons, travel, world

dps Weekly Photography Challenge – blue

600_6001-e_wThe guys over at dps asked for their weekly photo challenge for “blue”.

Blue as a color is found everywhere on the planet: water, ocean, lakes, sky, flowers, eyes and many other things, too. Also, you can feel blue, when you’re depressed or exhausted. When describing someone as ‘blue’ in German, you’re saying he or she is found drunk.

This photo from my upcoming series on Iceland has several kinds of natural blue, so I preferred it on many others:

1. the sky
2. the water reflecting the sky
3. the water
4. the ice in the shadows on the mountains
5. the very dense ice swimming on the water
6. my hands and nose from the cold air 🙂
and, maybe, you can find some further blues, too.

Take care and enjoy the silence!

 

landscape, photo-of-the-day, photography, seasons, travel, world

Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouette

The photo challenge at The Daily Post is called “Silhouette” this week. So, I picked this photo for the challenge.

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Currently I’m feeling hounded by so many thing, so that I need a rest. Oh, look, there’s a bench over there. Come on, let’s have a seat and enjoy watching the sunset over the ocean.

Take care!

architecture, culture, history, landscape, photography, seasons, travel, world

dps Weekly Photography Challenge – Golden

dsc_5640-e_wThe guys over at dps asked for their weekly photo challenge for anything golden and gave several interesting examples containing objects colored from gold to yellow. Of course, the golden hour wasn’t left out in their examples. The golden hour also was the first idea I got, when I read the topic without having seen any of the examples.

The golden hour is the time shortly after sunrise and right before sunset. The more you came to the poles, the longer the golden hour lasts, or the more you come to the equator, the shorter the golden hour is. Here, in my area, the golden hour usually lasts 20 – 30 minutes. During the golden hour the sun stands low over the horizon and that’s the reason for these beautiful colors.

Often you don’t have any wind during this time of the day, because the sun is the engine for the wind. This is true especially in the mornings. So, getting up early pays back.

This is my first share for any of the photo challenges at dps, although I read their posts for a very long time every now and then for getting ideas and to enjoy the photos.

Take care!

architecture, art, culture, history, people, photography, travel, world

The Barcelona Cathedral

600_6551-s_wThe cathedral of Barcelona is located at a huge square in the old town, but it is jammed between other houses and stands behind in the dark. On the stairs in front of the portal are the usual suspects: beggars, tourist guides with umbrellas and other funny marks to get the attention of their groups to get them all together, artists and musicians. All in all, a very unpleasant environment for a cathedral.

Even the inside is kind of crowded. Many visitors walking slowly up and down the aisles, chatting and taking photographs. Beside the altar the choir impressed me most. It is completely segregated from the rest of the cathedral, just like a church inside the church. Only monks and priests are allowed to take their place inside the choir (and tourists as part of a guided tour). All the others can look inside through the grid at the altar side of the choir (photo above).

When inside, pay attention to the carved hand plates between the wooden chairs in the choir. As far as I was able to see them, each one is different from the others. I included some in my gallery below.

Once the cathedral was part of a monastery. Although the buildings still exist, but, as far as I know, their isn’t any monk living anymore.

As you can see from the building style, the cathedral is quite old. It was founded back in the 11th century and is donated to St. Eulalia, the patron of Barcelona and a martyr in late roman times. She is buried under the altar and her martyrdom is engraved above the door of the choir. The Legend says, she was killed 4 times in a row.

You can also visit the cloister (I’ll show you the hidden secret of the cathedral in an other post) and the roof.

Visiting the roof costs you a small fee. Depending on the visiting time, you also have to pay an entrance fee for the cathedral itself. Visiting the choir also costs you a fee, but, I don’t know, where to pay.

To give praying room to the believers, there is a separate chapel right behind the main entrance on the right.

Now, feel free and look around by using my photographs.

Take care!

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photo-of-the-day, photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer Lovin’

600_7946-e_wThe photo challenge at The Daily Post is called “Summer Lovin’” this week. So, I picked this photo for the challenge. I really love summer, hot temperatures and sunshine whole day. Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game or Summer Son by Texas are part of my personal summer soundtrack. So, I have many, many photos on my disk praising summer.

I picked this kind of abstract photo for my contribution, because it shows, what I love: the sea, the sun and the heat.

I didn’t color the photo in post production. All colors are natural. It’s shot around noon against the sun. So, the sun was able to illuminate the wave from behind while the water between the wave reflected the sky.

Enjoy your summer (or, at least, dream of a hot summer)

Take care!

architecture, art, culture, landscape, photography, technical, travel, world

Torre Agbar at night

600_6457-ed_wThis tower is also a monument in the skyline of Barcelona. Its shape is similar to The Gurkin in London. You can see it from nearly all of the town, because it is one of the highest, if not the highest itself, building in the skyline. So, you can use it for your orientation as well as the two hills. I’ll put an overview photographed from one of the two hills in of Barcelona in one of my next posts.

Being a modern business building, it is usually not very interesting, except you’re interested in architecture. But, it is surrounded by other well-fitting buildings, a gallery hall, a big bus station and a modern market hall. This whole urban district was planned and in the basement of the gallery hall you can visit a miniature model of the district in its final state.

And, like many other important buildings, these buildings are illuminated at night. A feast for photographers.

Enjoy and take care!

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art, culture, landscape, photo-of-the-day, photography, technic, technical, world

Weekly Photo Challenge: Containers

600_7344-e_wOn our trip to Iceland we were on a windy and rainy day at the beach.

To escape the unfriendly weather we fled in a huge cave and found many of these stone men. (I wrote about their meaning before).

Todays assignment on The Daily Post for photographers is “Containers”. My container is the cave and the stone men are inside. Each of them has a certain meaning for the person, who set it up. Have you ever tried to build one on you own? It’s not that easy.

Take care!

 

art, culture, history, meeting, people, photo-of-the-day, photography, seasons, world

Weekly Photo Challenge : contrast

20140517_130814-600_9778_wThis week’s assignment for the photo challenge by The Daily Post is quit hard, but I like it. It’s “contrast”.

At once I got several ideas, but none of them are currently in my photo bucket (although some of them are on my wish list). Though I have to pick something else.

After some considerations I came to a decision, as you can see in the photo above.

Light and dark, fire and ice, solid or liquid, black and white, male and female, old and young and examples for a contrast. But, the biggest contrast is IMHO between live and death.

I met the two girls above a few weeks ago on Japantag in Düsseldorf. They arranged their costumes in a way to fit perfectly together. When I looked at them, I notices a similar style, but completely different. On the second look, I noticed a few of their accessories brining me on the right track: I asked them, if they are Demeter and Persephone, mother and daughter from the ancient greek mythology. They told my, not knowing the two divines and they were Nature and Death.

Now, I knew I was right and told them the story: Demeter the goddess of the nature, responsible for the harvest had a daughter named Persephone. She married Hades, the god of the underworld where all death people live after death for ever and get punished for their doing and behavior. When Persephone followed her husband in his realm, the mother became deeply depressed from the lost of here daughter and neglect her duty. So, the earth became devastated and all plants dried up. As a result of Demeter’s neglect the people started starving because they didn’t have and fruits, vegetables and crops. So they started praying the Zeus, the gods boss to help. He found a solution for the problem: Persephone was allowed to stay half a year with her mother, while she stays the other half with her husband in the underworld. And that’s the reason, why we have summer and winter.

You might have guessed it:

– summer is, when Persephone is with her mother
– spring starts, when Persephone arrives at her mother
– late fall is, when Persephone leaves her mother to go to her husband Hades
– and finally winter is, when Demeter is so depressed about her missed daughter

This family tragedy might still occur when kids grow up and leave their parents to stand on their own feet. Encourage parents to let their kids go, when it is time!

Take care!

 

culture, landscape, photo-of-the-day, photography, travel, world

Weekly Photo Challenge : Between

600_0674-e_wWhen I read the title for this weeks photo challenge at The Daily Post, I knew at once, which photo I’ll post.

Even there are ask many options to interpret that word and a few of them were already mentioned in the original post by Danielle.

Being between sky and earth passing the border between night and day. Although this happens twice every day it is a very special moment. I’d encourage you to feel it yourself, especially in the morning. Get up early and go out to the fields in the countryside. turn you head to the east and welcome the sun. Feel how the early sun can warm your face while the night still cools your back. Enjoy the silence and the awakening birds. Smell the aroma of a newborn day.

Have a nice day / week

and Take care!