animals, bird, photography, review, wildlife, winter

Throwback Thursday: starlings

Exactly one year ago, I noticed a small troop of starlings in our garden. It was the first time I saw starlings here in our region. Enlarge the image to see the beautiful little heart-shaped spots on their feathers. Unfortunately, they picked a quite bad day for their visit. Because they came back from the warm south (Mediterranean region) quite early, everything was covered by snow. Having snow is in my region nowadays a very rare occurrence. So, they had to dig through the snow first to find some food below. And bad for me, because of the lacking sun, the beautiful colorful metallic glow in their plumage wasn’t visible.

Take care

 

 

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

Lens-Artists Photo Challange 146: “Focusing on the Details“

You might say now, don’t ask me for macros. OK, I won’t do it. But, nevertheless, you can see, focussing on the details does not necessarily mean macro photography. Having an overview is very nice. But, in general, the details are more important. You’re right, you have to focus and work on your inner eye to find the sweet spot, the composing supporting your idea most.

Go out, take your camera and take photos, come back and show your results. Link your post to Patti’s post, as she’s the host for this week’s Lens-Artists Photo-Challenge. Everyone is welcome.

 

You can click on the images to enlarge them. All the images are taken without a macro lens

Take care!

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

Lens-Artists Photo Challange 145: “Getting to Know You“

Or better, to get to know me 😊 (at least a little bit)

There are always two people in an image: the creator and the viewer.

Each image, I’m showing, is a part of me and you can experience a bit about me when watching my images (and, of course, reading the texts).

To find out more about me, you can switch to the About-me page.

I love being in nature and photographing nature, although, photographing the beauty of nature sometimes hurts. I love traveling and coming in touch with the ordinary people in the countries, I’m traveling. I love to learn about their culture. If you want to talk, drop me a note. Modern technology makes it possible 😊.

As I said, sometimes photographing the beauty of nature hurts. So, I picked a couple of images, where it hurt.

getting soaking wet for nearly two full weeks in Iceland
It’s usually freezing cold when we’re on the north sea island Helgoland in mid January

 

Aurora Borealis in Northern Norway – it’s very cold outside, especially at night
getting up very early – hours before sunrise to be in your spot at the right time
also before sunrise

 

in the heat of the day hiking without any shadow
or waiting for your game
climbing up mountains while >30°C

 

staying up all night for capturing a full circle of the bloodmoon, a comet or some stars

 

getting up at 4:25 a.m. to be there at the right moment

Photography hurts sometimes and I’m willing to suffer when the possible results are promising. The last image is from today. Getting up soo early and driving to your destination is exhausting. But, being there enjoying the silence and the light is sooo rewarding.

Take care!

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

Lens-Artists Photo Challange 144: “Taking flight”

A dream as old as mankind: flying! Spread your wings and fly. The oldest story of flying men in the story Daedalus and his son Ikaros. Daedalus was famous for his artistry. To keep him, the king of Krete sent both to jail. As escaping from an island is nearly impossible. Daedalus made wings from him and his son from feathers and bee-wax. He advised his son to follow him in the sky and warned him to say away from the sun as the warmth might melt the wax. He also warned his son to not fly too low as the water might wet the feathers and becoming too heavy to fly. The story tells us, Ikaros flew too high and then he saw the wax starting to melt, he went down. Unfortunately, he went too far down and the feathers became wet and heavy. Now, he started upwards again to let the sun dry the feathers. In the end, you might have expected this, Ikaros felt in the ocean and went under. His father noticed the problem and started searching for Ikaros. But, he didn’t find him.

A couple of years ago I got the chance to fly. Not with a plane, but with a hot-air balloon. Although a balloon flight is not risk-free, it’s not as dangerous as the wings of Daedalus and Ikaros were.

I want to take you with me on a few balloon flights. Enjoy!

 

Thank you, Tina, for this wonderful topic for The Lens-Artists Photo challenge.

Take care!

flowers, nature, photo-of-the-day, photography, plants, seasons, spring, world

Throwback Thursday: what a surprise

You know, it’s spring. The week before Easter we had very nice and warm weather: around 20°C. But Holy Saturday, the weather changed much and the temperature dropped. Tuesday after Easter we even got snow. 10-15 cm over night and heavy snowfall all day. Although most of the snow melted in the evening, the next morning looked the same as the morning before: again 10-15 cm of snow.

Here we have our pink tulip tree covered with snow. Most of the small spring flowers were completely covered with snow. Only a few of the bigger ones were able to look out of the snow as you can see in my image of yesterday. Here in Germany, we have a saying: April, April, der macht, was er will (The April does what he wants to). So, the intermezzo is already over again, and no snow anymore.

Take care!

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

Lens-Artists Photo Challange 143: “Colorful April”

Wow, what a theme for this week. Amy is our host and she enjoys the colors of spring.

April started very cold this year. We even have had two days with a lot of snow. All the colors of spring were covered by 10-15 cm of snow.

So, I’m presenting a bit of contrast: color vs. white. All the images are taken this week: Tuesday and Wednesday

     

Take care!

art, astro, long exposure, night, photo-of-the-day, photography, postprocessing, star, travel, winter, world

Throwback Thursday: A path to the stars ….

… or on my way to Orion.

I was out that night for photographing the Orion nebula a couple of days ago (ok, literally it’s two weeks tomorrow). It’s located in the sword hanging of Orion right ahead. I liked the situation, how the path leads you directly to Orion. So, I took a wide-angel image first. Next week, I’m showing you the nebula.

You can easily see, how much light pollution we have here. And this is a location with only very little light pollutions in comparison to the situation in the wider area. You might remember my complaints from the past i.e. when I talked about the comet Neowise.

Take care!

art, landscape, photo-of-the-day, photography, plants, seasons, travel, winter, world

Throwback Thursday: A second night in Frankfurt

In March 2010 I was in Frankfurt again. Again, I was there for a training and again I brought my tripod and my camera for taking some night shots in the city. But, this time I went along the river instead of heading between the skyscrapers.

I’m presenting the images here although they are not so good to visualize certain mistakes I did at that time.

The time of the day was right and the horizon is balanced. But, the verticals near the sides are not vertical. They are leaning to the center of the image. That’s because of the wide-angle lens. The images are taken with a camera having an APS-C sensor and an 18-105 mm zoom lens at 18mm. Because of the height of the buildings I had to tilt the lens upwards on the tripod which results in this ugly appearance. At that time I didn’t have the tools and the knowledge to correct it in post-processing.

The next problem here is the nearly burnt-out highlights. As I wrote in my last post on night-photography in Frankfurt, I should have made more than one image of each setting with slightly different aperture times while leaving all other settings untouched. My camera at that time already had the ability to use bracketing for such images, but I wasn’t aware of it. Thanks for using raw instead of JPG, I was at least able to recover a little bit, but for the price of some noise (especially in the last one, which is also taken too late).

APS-C 24mm (~37mm), ISO 200, f16, 4s

 

APS-C 18mm (~27mm), ISO 200, f16, 13s

 

APS-C 18mm (~27mm), ISO 200, f16, 4s
APS-C 18mm (~27mm), ISO 200, f16, 13s
APS-C 58mm (~87mm), ISO 200, f16, 4s

So, when looking from today at these images, I have to say, I should return to Frankfurt and redo the job! In this post you can see (no, it’s not Frankfurt but some other night shots) how these images should look like when having done the job properly. I also explain the necessary technic in more detail over there.

Did you ever have such a review on old images of yours? Not only looking at them but reviewing and analyzing them with your current knowledge. It can help you a lot to make some progress. Do so with some distance. Keep out any memories (sweet or bad) and all emotions. Look at the lights, the darks, the horizon, and the overall composition. Be critical and name all the things you either made good or bad. Compare your images with similar images you can find online i.e. at Flickr. Ask yourself, could I do better in comparison with the other images? What could I do better? What are the reasons for the differences?

In case, you want to have an independent review, you can book me for an hour or so and we can discuss your images during an online session.

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

Monochrome Monday 7-38

Under normal circumstances, I probably would have been on Helgoland last week and this post might have been entitled with “I’m back …”. Unfortunately, that’s currently not possible and, to be honest, not suitable. During the pandemic, everyone should travel as little as possible.

Instead, I picked my swap disk containing my backlog of undeveloped images. One folder on that disk contains a couple of folders with images taken during quite larger trips. One of the oldest folders on that disk contains the images taken 5 years ago on Helgoland. So, I transferred them to my computer again and started developing them. In the past, I already developed some of the images. Maybe 20 or 30.

My plan is, to have the images developed by mid-February this year!

The image above is taken on day 1 on the island when we were on our first trip to the seals. Suddenly, a snowstorm started and snow was collected by the stones laying on the beach.

Take care and stay healthy!

 

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

Monochrome Monday 7-36

Snow! Because of the pandemic, traveling is currently not possible. So, no skiing vacation in Austria, Switzerland or Bavaria. Instead, people try to go to the Eifel (an average mountainous region near the Belgium border) or the Sauerland (an average mountainous region in the middle of North-Rhine Westphalia with hills up to 800 meters). Both regions would be reachable among an hour’s drive and attracting skiing tourists in ‘normal’ winters. But, everything is closed there, too. Why should I go there? Personally, I don’t ever go on a winter sports trip. But, many, many people are going despite the skiing tracks, the ski lifts, the restaurants, the toilets and even the parking lots are closed. Why do they go???? The TV news reported about people from all areas up to 300 km around these areas were found in that areas despite the closing! You can say very easily where people are from because of the licence plate on their cars. The letters in front of the dash in the licence plate are referring to the town or county, where the car is registered.

The above image is taken on Saturday afternoon. It’s neither Sauerland nor Eifel. I simply drove uphill in my town for about 4 or 5 kilometres. Coming from 200m above sea level, where we have no snow anymore (despite we got some the night from Wednesday to Thursday), to 250-300m I saw this right beside the street.

Stay home and us the opportunities you have in your county instead of carrying the virus throughout the whole country, I would like to say to those driving to touristic attractive locations despite the pandemic. This year is not a normal one. Survive the pandemic and you can go skiing again without regulations.

Take care and stay healthy!

 

animals, culture, mammal, photo-of-the-day, photography, world

Monochrome Monday 7-30

full-frame, 12mm, tripod, graduated ND filter

I guess, nearly everyone immediately connects this image to Iceland. It’s the iconic mountain Kirkjufell, located on a small peninsula on the north coast of the Snæfellsnes peninsula, with the Kirkjufellsfoss waterfall in front, where the river Kirkjufellsá reaches sea level after falling down 16 meters.

It was great being there at a time with nearly no other tourists. Exactly opposite to me, a hiking path follows the river and I suspect many people standing there watching this beautiful waterfall. While I was there, only 3 other guys were watching from there. So, it was easy to wait a couple of minutes.

Take care!

 

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

Throwback Thursday: another photographers roundtable during lockdown

You know as a regular reader, I’m part of a monthly photographers roundtable. We’re meeting each first Saturday of a month for a photowalk in our region. Under the current condition and rules, although we don’t have a complete lockdown as we had in spring, that’s not possible. So we had a Zoom meeting combined with an exercise to be done during the week before the meeting.

This time I picked a theme for all of us instead of selecting a card from the Inspiracle card deck. Each of has can show up to 5 images wherein a maximum of 2 is allowed to be taken from the archive. We’re in November and in the northern hemisphere, this month is considered dark, unfriendly, and depressing. In Germany, we have a couple of memorial days during November dedicate to the death. When now the Mexican “Día de los Muertos” comes to your mind, you’re completely wrong. Check the link above to learn a bit more about these memorial days. Because of this background, it came to my mind the give us “fading, transient, transience” as a theme for the exercise.

Here are my results:

only the skeleton remains a bit longer

 

make fading sounds visible

 

the flame of a match doesn’t exist for a long time

 

this icy decoration will not stand the rising sun

 

morning fog in its beauty down by the river

 

vanishing smoke

 

the amazing beauty of an aurora changes fast

The first 4 images are taken for the exercise, while the others are from my archive.

Take care!

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

Monochrome Monday 6-51 – Wanna talk?

I saw these nice English telephone boxes last year in Wales. As we are currently hindered going out and are locked in our homes to save us from getting infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus for several weeks now life becomes kind of boring.

As so many of us are currently locked at their homes similar to sitting in jail and certainly have talked to nearly every relative and friend. Every housekeeping is done, reading, listening to the radio and watching TV or binge-watching whole seasons becomes boring. So, maybe it’s interesting to talk to a complete stranger, whom you only know slightly from reading her blog posts.

Although I’m not alone, but I’m curious about talking to people and get to know a bot about how they feel these days. Therefore I’m offering a skype call. Simply talk half an hour or so. No specific topic. A bit like you could do when meeting someone in a metro or a bus station.

Therefore I make an offer: do you want to talk to me? I’m offering a skype call. If you’re interested, drop me a line in the comments. I won’t publish that comment and only use the email address you’re leaving me, to contact you for negotiating a suitable time slot. You know, I’m in western Europe and located in CEST, that’s UTC+2 (because of the daylight savings time).

You can find your timezone i.e. when looking on the world map published at Wikipedia and then use Google by saying for example “13 PST CEST” and get back “22:00h”. So, you can see, it’s 10 p.m. (= 22:00h) for me when the people in i.e. San Fransico or LA have 1 p.m. (= 13:00h; PST = Pacific Standard time).

So, anybody interested? I’m curious for you 🙂

Take care!