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.
Today’s host for The Lens-Artists Photo-Challenge is Tina. Her topic for today is “you choose” 😊 How funny. From her comments on my post last week I know, she’s quite eager to see some images from Namibia. Thus, I made a tiny selection from the images taken there.
I’m still in quarantine. Because I’m working from home, the two past weeks didn’t look different than the months before. Nevertheless, I was able to develop a couple of images. I’m not done developing my images from Namibia, but there are some I can show right now.
As usual, click on an image to enlarge it.
While writing this, I’m sitting in Frankfurt waiting for my connection flight on my trip back home from Windhoek, the capital of Namibia in southern Africa.
During the last two weeks, I was exploring the south of Namibia. We were traveling the deserts, steppes, and savannas of Namibia between Windhoek in the North and Lüderitz in the South. Namibia changed my image of an African country. I was faced with a modern and clean country. Covid 19 incidence of 1.x (raising up to 2.3 by the end of our trip). I was very surprised, how serious the Namibian people are handling Covid: entering shops, restaurants, and other buildings only when wearing a nose-and-mouth-covering mask and in the entrance area of each shop a hand sanitizer was set up. In my opinion, this is a reason for the extremely low incidence rate in comparison with other countries
It was a very relaxed stay (roundtrip of about 3,000 km) to see the country and many animals besides the roads. Btw. roads: in the past, I experienced the Icelandic gravel roads and bad roads in Scotland. But in Namibia, the road quality is even worse. Most of the roads are not paved and even the paved ones are not as smooth as we know it from middle Europe. Instead, the gravel roads have a lot of bumps and potholes, and they are very dusty (dust devils can be spotted quite easily).
Despite these ‘problems’, it was a very nice trip, well organized, and equipped with a skilled local driver. This was his first job after nearly 2 years of sitting home unemployed because of the pandemic. So, I was experiencing again an empty country. But I’m feeling very sorry for the people depending on tourism. Without tourists, they can’t earn money to make their living.
My aim for this trip wasn’t to go on a safari. Instead, I wanted to see the deserts of Namibia: like Kalahari, Stone-Namib, Sand-Namib. End of November, the rain season is about to start. So, the country was already dried out. To stress this fact, we were even greeted by burning houses on the ground of the lodge of our first stay. In less than an hour, three 2-floor houses burned down completely. The trigger was a spark issued by a workman’s tool.
You might know, the land, now being Namibia, once was a German colony more than 100 years ago and then taken over by the British Empire followed by South Africa. In 1994 Namibia became independent from South Africa after the end of the South African apartheid regime. But there are still very strong connections to South Africa. Nevertheless, different than South Africa, they made a couple of good decisions: no condemnation of white farmers, picking English as the only official language instead of choosing one of the 11 local languages (plus Afrikaans and German). So, all people speak at least two languages: their mother tongue and English (sometimes in total 3 or 4).
I was meeting black people speaking German perfectly, what a surprise. I was happy to see, that the people connect Germany positively and they are proud of their country.
To name my favorites of the trip, I have to start with the animals we saw at the Lodges, in the National Parks, and besides the roads. I don’t want to bore you with a list. Next, I would name the dunes of Sossusvlei / Deathvlei where the dunes of very fine red sand can easily grow higher than 300 meters (about 1,000 feet), the Quiver tree forest (endemic plants relative to the Alow Vera), and the formerly forbidden zone near Lüderitz where the Diamonds were found with the ghost town Kolmanskop (Kolmanskuppe), a former German mining company town.
I’m very glad to have seen Oryx a couple of times, the signature animal of Namibia. They are well adapted to live and survive in these dry and scraggy landscapes. And they are beautiful. Here I have one for you, I met in Sossusvlei. I guess, this image itself is a symbol for Namibia: a lot of space to roam (only 2.3 million people living in a country of nearly 3 times the size of Germany, where we have more than 83 million people ), deserts are dominating the land, but there is still life (the green). We were in Deadvlei, a part of Sossusvlei in the early morning because the shuttle service stops at 3 p.m. because of the heat. Two weeks earlier, a Frenchman died here because of the heat. they found him the next morning terribly treated by the sun and looking like being a double of Freddy Krüger.
P.S. While you’re reading this, I’m already back at home for 3,5 days and I have to admit, I’m still freezing a lot. More than a 30°C difference in temperature between Namibia and Germany. I want the warmth back or alternatively back into the warmth. But, I guess, I have to dream about it ☹️. Instead, I’m in quarantine for 2 full weeks because I came back from a virus variant area. What the f**k. How can Namibia be a virus variant area, when there is nearly no-one infected. But I can’t change this, so I have to love and reschedule a few appointments.
Stay tuned and take care!
This week, we have another hard challenge for me. Ann-Christine asks for “feet & shoes”, something I photograph only in extremely rare situations.
In the 1970s a young man from South Africa came to Germany to become a professional singer. Despite, German wasn’t his native language he sang in German, but with a very strong and easy-to-recognize accent. He performed Schlager, a specific genre of current music. I can’t describe it in my own words in English, so I looked it up in Wikipedia:
Schlager music (German: [ˈʃlaːɡɐ], “hit(s)”) is a style of European popular music that is generally a catchy instrumental accompaniment to vocal pieces of pop music with simple, happy-go-lucky, and often sentimental lyrics. It is prevalent in Central, Northern and Southeast Europe (in particular Germany, Austria, Albania, Bulgaria, Finland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia, Croatia, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Switzerland, Scandinavia, and the Baltic states), and also (to a lesser extent) in France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. In the United States it is also known as ‘entertainer music’ or ‘German hit mix’.
Typical Schlager tracks are either sweet, sentimental ballads with a simple, catchy melody or light pop tunes. Lyrics typically center on love, relationships, and feelings. The northern variant of Schlager (notably in Finland) has taken elements from Nordic and Slavic folk songs, with lyrics tending towards melancholic and elegiac themes. Musically, Schlager bears similarities to styles such as easy listening.
The German word Schlager is also a loanword in some other languages (such as Hungarian, Lithuanian, Serbian, Russian, Hebrew, and Romanian, for example), where it retained its meaning of a “(musical) hit”. The style has been frequently represented at the Eurovision Song Contest and has been popular since the contest began in 1956, although it is gradually being replaced by other pop music styles.
Over time, Schlager music has gradually shifted on to electronic music rather than generic pop music, due to its widespread use of synthesizers throughout its various implementations in recent decades.
He became quite successful and still performs on stage. One of his most popular songs was in 1975 “Deine Spuren im Sand”.
Ths refrain of this song is:
Deine Spuren im Sand (deine Spuren im Sand)
Die ich gestern noch fand
Hat die Flut mitgenommen
Was gehört nun noch mir?
Deine Liebe sie schwand (deine Liebe sie schwand)
Wie die Spuren im Sand
Was ist mir nur geblieben?
Nur die Sehnsucht nach dir
Your tracks in the sand (your tracks in the sand)
Which I found yesterday
Took the tide with it
What is mine now?
Your love it waned (your love it waned)
Like the tracks in the sand
What do I have left?
Just the longing for you
But, you an also have light-tracks. They can also vanish that easy.
Here I have an example of shoes, which can also vansih very easy. “Sweet dreams are made of shoes”, or was what did Annie Lennox sang?
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This is my contribution to Monochrome Madness organized by Leanne Cole.
“Monochrome Madness” is now in its fifth year of existence. Look at Leanne’s site on Wednesday (Australian time), to see many more monochrome images created by many other talented photographers from all over the world.
I’d also encourage you to participate. The conditions are published in each of her Monochrome Madness posts.
It’s always fun observing these small birds. They are walking up and down the beach. Most of the time they are in the surf zone searching for food between the stones, the washed up algae and other stuff. Often, it’s quite hard to see them properly because they are well camouflaged between all this stuff.
I took this image while on Helgoland the week before last.
Despite having already so many images from here. I really love the small lighthouse standing on the beach of the small island beside Helgoland. I love, how it oversees the dunes, the beach and and see. I have many images from my trips which this lighthouse as a part of the image. Every single image is different because of different weather conditions. Here we have some drama in the clouds. Another image has a sunny beach. These changing conditions make the coastal areas so interesting for me from a photographers point of view.
This is my contribution to Monochrome Madness organized by Leanne Cole for more than four years now. Look at here site on Wednesday (Australian time), to see many more monochrome images created by many other talented photographers from all over the world.
I’d also encourage you to participate. The conditions are published in each of her Monochrome Madness posts.
I guess, it’s a universal idea: when having a sandy beach, kids start digging and building castles or towers, just like the kid in the image above. The parents probably have rent one of the beach chairs and observing their hard-working kid from their shady and wind safe comfortable place. Maybe they are reading or simply dozing and enjoying their vacation.