leisure, photography, seasons, summer, vacation, world

Throwback Thursday: In between

 

For decades, a secured border parted two countries here on Usedom: the German Democratic Republic (since 1989 a substantial part of the Federal Republic of Germany) and Poland. While about 90% of Usedom kept German after WWII, approximately 10% belongs to Poland since 1945. Nowadays, you can roam freely from one side to the other and the wooded path, built in the former no-man’s land, leads you right to the shore of the Baltic sea.

All humans (and animals as well) are living together on this wonderful planet. Despite cultural differences, it’s great to roam freely and get used to these differences. All of us can benefit from knowing each other Even when it comes to misunderstandings sometimes, in general, all of us benefit.

Goods, habits, culture, and much more enrich our lives, our minds, our experiences, and our common ground for further growth as mankind. Help to keep the fences down between states, countries, and people! Or, to quote a song by the British rock band Pink Floyd “Turn down the walls”.

 

Take care!

leisure, photography, seasons, summer, vacation, world

Throwback Thursday: On the beach

The sun is warm,
the sea is cold.
The surf rolls in
and wets your feet.
Collecting shells,
finding colorful stones,
watching the gulls passing by,
listening to the wind
carrying their cry.
Enjoy your life
before growing old!

 

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Take care!

animals, bird, flowers, landscape, leisure, nature, people, photography, review, seasons, sport, summer, travel, wildlife, world

Throwback Thursday: I’m back …

… from Usedom at the Baltic Sea. OK, I came already back on Saturday from my 2-weeks family vacation. Although it wasn’t a typical family vacation because I was on Usedom with my wife, daughter, and grant-son. That little guy is 5. So this was his first vacation where he was able to notice everything and he liked it a lot. One of his statements was “I like our new home more than our old home”. He didn’t realize, that the vacation home was our home only for our vacation.

Back in 2019, when we were in the Netherlands with him, he was too young to notice such a change. Back in 2018, I was already in Ahlbeck with my wife and we decided to come back with our grant son for his first beach vacation. Unfortunately, this come-back lasted longer than expected because of the SARS2-CoV / Covid19 pandemic.

This time we rented a vacation home near the middle of the town. Ahlbeck is quite small, with only about 3,400 regular citizens but with more than four times the number of guest beds. The apartment, we rented in 2018, was also very lovely, but reaching the beach from there was quite complicated because a huge rehab clinic building barriers the direct way and we had to make a long way around. Reaching the pier also lasted about 20 minutes by foot. You can see the pier in the image above from 2018. We love to walk along the surf in the evening, so we had to pull out the rental bikes first to reach the beach. Very inconvenient. That’s why we decided to get this time an apartment closer to the town and with easier access to the beach. It’s only about 200 meters as the bird flies and about 300 meters walk to reach the waterfront.

Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t perfect beach weather this time. Some drizzling nearly every day for at least some time distributed over the whole day. But, I won’t complain. We had some beach weather, we had cycling weather, we watched the neighboring towns as well as the next town in Poland, which is only about 4 km away. We also rented bikes for our stay and surprisingly the little guy was able to cope with the (quite small) distances on his bike. The longest distance we cycled in one day was 12 km with a couple of pauses. We cycled mostly along the sea on the promenade connecting the 3 neighboring towns grouped under the name Kaiserbäder. They have a lot of bicycle tracks here.

I love the area at the baltic sea for the small villages, the avenues with their chestnut or oak trees, and the forests reaching up to the coast. The sea does not have a noticeable tide (only about 10 cm), the huge beaches with very fine sand, and the flat-bottomed sea which is quite warm and less salty than the other oceans. So, these beaches are very entitled to kids, especially smaller ones.

The term Kaiserbäder (Kaiser = Emporer; bäder = baths) was chosen because these towns were visited by the Emporer of the German Empire back in the 19th century a couple of times. The word Bad (= bath) in a town’s name refers to the idea of being a place for curing and rehab. In the late 19th century, people had already come here to the coast for spending some leisure time, cure, and recuperate. Especially the rich ones and the noble men and women. Even the Emporers were here a couple of times and that’s the reason, why the towns have chosen the name Kaiserbäder to operate under that name. Nowadays, everyone can benefit from the beauty of the coast and retreat from the burdens of daily chores.

For one day (without having a certain date in my mind) it was planned to visit a nature protection area nearby (ok, 1 1/4 hours drive by car) to see White-tailed eagles (very good chance), osprey (maybe – a hope), grey cranes (quite good chance because they are quite common here but very shy), and red kites.

In the end, I saw 2 white-tailed eagles sitting in the trees far-far away and one flying from one side to the other (👍), one osprey (sitting very far away, then flying even further away, but also flying a bit closer to capture him), 5 cranes flying by, 1 stork, 1 crane with a chick in the woods (no photo possible), many grey herons and 3 great white egrets, common terns, lots of different ducks and geese, many swallows, black-headed gulls, cormorants. I’m stopping here to not bore you.

In the meantime, the others were visiting an adventure park in a town nearby very suitable for kids under 12.

For 4 days starting with Ascension Day, the German Masters in Kite-Surfing took place here right next to the pier. I watched the sportswomen and sportsmen for a few hours distributed over several days with my camera. You know, I like to see them “flying” over the water. This was an unexpected event and therefore not planned. But, very welcomed. Even the wind was unexpected those days: some competitions had to be canceled because of too heavy winds.

In the end, this was a family vacation and not a photo trip. Nevertheless, I’m quite happy about the images I was able to capture. The nature protection area has to stay on my list. I have to come again with more time and arrive earlier. Without the overcast sky, I’d have come back with less usable images because the light conditions would have resulted in either overexposed skies or in hopeless underexposed subjects.

As usual, click on an image to enlarge it!

Take care!

art, culture, people, photography, travel, world

Throwback Thursday and Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 193: “birthday”

600_3780-e_wThis week, John Steiner is looking forward to celebrating his birthday, so I’m happy to join the LAPC party. In some families and in some cultures, birthdays are a reason for huge celebrations. So, I picked up this post published first back in 2013.

There is a certain habit in Cuba of celebrating a girl’s 15th birthday.

The girl gets special clothing, is dressed up, and gets perfect makeup. Then they go to a photographer to take beautiful photographs.

According to our guide, some girls are dressed like a bride for these sessions, others wear cocktail dresses and I also noticed photographs showing a girl dressed like a female version of an old-fashioned, Spanish caballero. The photographs are usually taken in a park or in the streets and not in a studio.

Two weeks later, the parents and the girl have a party with all of her friends, and an album, containing the photos, which is a real eyecatcher for that party. Also, the parents put framed photos from that session on their walls.

I like that idea. (OK, maybe, because I’m a photographer).

600_3779-e_wWe met this young lady in the old town of Havana. Her mother was with her and took care of her hairstyle and her makeup, while the photographer directed his assistant to adjust the reflector.

So, we can congratulate her on her 15th birthday.

Are there any similar habits, where you live or coming from?

While waiting for my next post you can have a look at the previous posts and maybe drop me a note in the comments section below.

 

In the meantime, the girl is a young woman. As I said, I took these photos back in 2013. So, she’s already 24. How much must have changed for her in her life.

As I’m always interested in getting to know habits from other countries, regions, or cultures, drop me a note in the comments and tell me, how do you celebrate birthdays. I’m interested in your personal celebration as well as in general habits and traditions.

Take care!

landscape, meeting, photography, plants, review, spring, travel

Throwback Thursday: I’m back … and LAPC #188 “A Special Place”

… from another trip. Thanks to the relaxations from the COVID restrictions it was a quite comfortable trip. Sanitizing hands and wearing a mask during transportation, in closed rooms, and wherever a proper distance can’t be kept is quite easy to follow and a level of restriction easily can be kept. Either way, we were able to enjoy the Mediterranean sun for a couple of days. This year’s destination for our carnival escape was the beautiful Balearen island of Mallorca.
We used Port d‘Alcúdia as our base for exploring some parts of the island. Nearly all of us were in the past already on Mallorca, but partly already decades ago. From Germany, this island is reachable in approximately 2 1/2 hours. Thus, it‘s also one of the most attractive destinations for party people. When talking about Mallorca as a vacation destination, you’re most probably faced with one of the bad images of this island. To name two of them, we have an island of the cleaning ladies (because traveling to Mallorca is quite cheap and requires in many parts of the island no knowledge of Spanish, so anybody can go there). I already named the other group, party people. Because it is so easy to reach Mallorca, and so many flights start each day from every German airport, even young people can travel to Mallorca and have a vacation with nearly guaranteed sunshine.
It’s a shame, people travel to Mallorca only to go to parties and get drunk. The island has so much more to offer. Wonderful landscapes from the sandy beaches with low water and only little tides, nice old town, restaurants with very good and tasty food, a mountain range, that parts the island in the northern part from east to west. These mountains are quite steep and craggy and up to 1.445 meters high. The island, located 170 kilometers off the Spanish mainland,  is about 98 kilometers in an east-west direction and 78 kilometers in a north-south direction. The mountains are approximately 90 kilometers broad with the 15 kilometers broad Tramuntana mountain range as the most important part.  The airport is located near the west coast in Palma, the capital of Mallorca as well as of the Spanish region of the Baleares, a group of islands where also Ibiza, Menorca, Formentera are part. Heading east with our rental cars, we needed approximately 45 minutes to reach Port d‘Alcúdia.
You can find a couple of towns twice on the map, because some towns are located at a safe distance from the sea, have founded a second town centuries ago at the sea to make it easier during the fishing season. The names of these towns start with the word „Port“. Nowadays, most of the hotels are located in these towns located at the coast, while the similarly named town located away from the sea has the Old town. So, when coming to Mallorca, never forget to visit the towns inland.
Unfortunately, the people have committed construction sins starting from the 1970s. So, we find many huge hotels along certain beaches. These concrete mountains mutilate the beautiful landscape. This is also the reason for becoming the most preferred vacation destination for generations of people, especially in Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, and the Scandinavian countries. Over the last 2 decades, people from the former Eastern bloc countries like Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, or Ukraine also learned to love that Island.
It‘s very sad, that this island has such a bad reputation. Besides the beautiful landscapes, beaches, and towns, you can find a lot of tasty products like wine, olive oil, cheese, or gin. Also, the cuisine is very tasty. Besides seafood, you can also get rabbit, lamb, goat, and beef. When paying attention to the restaurant, you can be sure, all the products are local.
When we started last Friday, alone from our starting airport there were 6 flights to Mallorca, 4 of them run by the same airline. And, that’s end of February. You could say, it‘s off-season, and you’re partly right. It’s too cold to go swimming. During the days, the temperature went up to 26 degrees centigrade, but the air is certainly much colder, only 15-17 degrees centigrade and around 4-7 degrees at night. That’s enough to see the island less crowded and enjoy the landscape while going hiking or cycling. Many hotels are prepared for giving cyclists and their bike room for the night. The people are generally very friendly and helpful. In the big hotels, you can find always someone speaking some German or at least some English. But, as always when traveling to a foreign country, it’s much better to know some words and sentences in the local language.
For this trip, we had a small list of planned visits:
– rough Northern cost around Soller / Port de Soller
– neighboring town Pollença (the market at Sunday morning) / Port de Pollença
– Cape of Formentor (the lighthouse at sunset)
– the center of the milky way
– Palma, the capitol, with Old town, cathedral, and a bit of shopping for the ladies
– hiking along a small part of the southern coast
– an old fisherman’s town
As well as a few optional destinations. But, our main motivation to go to Mallorca at this time of the year was seeing the blooming almond trees. And we did. Huge fields of white blooming trees. It was amazing.

Unfortunately, some of the plans were unable to realize:
– Cape Formentor was unable to reach because of a closed road. The only road going to the lighthouse was closed for road construction works about 5 kilometers away from the lighthouse. Too far to walk because we would have walked back in the dark and not knowing if we would have passed the closing by foot.
– photographing the Milky Way had to be skipped because we were unable to find the proper place. Mountains were hindering us from looking in the right direction. Ok, the island is quite big, but also has a problem with light pollution as soo many other parts in Europe too, and we only had a small time frame between rising of the Milky Way at about 4 a.m. and sunrise at 7:30 (twilight starts much earlier). How annoying!
– visiting Palma was also a disaster. That day the Day of the Baleares was celebrated. Ten thousands of people were in the streets, but shops and the
cathedral were closed. Instead, many tents were set up to offer street food, wine, olive oil, and so on while in other places music groups, dance ensembles, sports clubs, and other artists were entertaining the masses. So, the streets were extremely crowded and we left early.
– the planned hike along the coast also raised a problem. One of us was wearing sports shoes instead of tracking or hiking boots. He also is a little bit over-weighted and the path was a natural path and not a paved one. After about 1 kilometer (which lasted approximately 45 minutes) we turned back. The whole round track would have been 8 kilometers long. Nearly impossible under these conditions. Very sad.
– another lighthouse was fenced so that we were unable to get to the right spot.

Our trip even had a bad start. As I told you, there are at least 4 regular flights from our departure point scheduled to Mallorca: 6:00, 8:30, 11:00, and 16:50. While the majority of our group booked for 8:30, two had to take the flight at 16:50 because of their working hours. The day before our take-off, we got a short notification about our flight at 8:30 was postponed to 12:10. After a little investigation, we got aware, this was due to a warning strike of the security personnel. When getting to the airport, we noticed only the 8:30 (postponed to 12:10) and the 16:50 flights were supposed to be operated, while the others were canceled. Phew! Blessing in disguise. Our airline was able to get everything managed as well as possible and was very organized to make the best out of that situation. So we finally arrived at Mallorca with a couple of hours delay, but we did!

Nevertheless, I don’t want to complain. It was a very nice trip and it was so great to see the sun again, not to mention the joy of being outside wearing only a T-Shirt. I was writing this while sitting in my plane back home. This morning, I was getting up while it was still dark and -4 degrees to start working. Each vacation comes to an end and almost always it feels like days were shorter when on vacation.

 

All of my images are still in the camera, so I only have a photo of blooming almond trees taken with my smartphone for you. It’s edited by using the AI module from Luminar Neo for removing the power lines between the palm trees and some of the almond tree twigs automatically with only one click. The other click was to automatically correct the verticals. Great job! <ad> you can try this with your own images, head over to Skylum, and get your own copy. As always, you get a 30-days money-back guarantee. </ad>

This post is also part of the LAPC hosted this time by guest host Karina from Murtagh’s meadow. Thanks for this challenge!

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!

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

Lens-Artists Photo Challange 157: “Getting away”

Another guest host for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. This week’s subject is nominated by Rusha Sams. “Getting away” is a harder one and I really needed the time ahead to get an idea of what to post.

First I had to understand and find my own way of interpreting the topic. You can try to escape from a danger, but you can also refer to a transportation vehicle. Finally, I stayed with ‘travel’.

There are many options to get away: by foot, by train, by bike, by ship, by car, by plane, or by a couple of further possibilities. When I read this week’s topic first, I had a hard time finding suitable images. Excire helped me very much. Typing in the keyword ‘travel’ gave me nearly 400 matches to choose from.

Enjoy the images. Remember you can enlarge them by clicking on one of them as usual.

 

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

Throwback Thursday: An April’s fool?

I don’t know if you’re familiar with the idea of an April’s fool, but I’m very interested in your responses regardless if you’re familiar with it or not. Here it’s quite common to ‘send one into April’ (In den April schicken) as the term is literally translated from German. It’s telling a story that might be true, but when the recipient follows the instructions she got, she will see, it was a fool. Then, the sender proofs it with “April, April!”.

The editor of a computer magazine fooled their reader a couple of years ago, with a listing of program code containing a lot of machine code. In those days it was not something unusual to print such a listing instead of offering it for download. The background story for that listing was, a research group were been able to reverse the computer screen’s cable and convert the CRT screen into a scanner. The paper to be scanned should be backlit by a simple desk lamp. By using the computer program printed in the magazine the paper would have been scanned and stored as an image on the hard disk.

I didn’t believe that story. But, many people did. They typed down the listing, started the program and saw the output of the program on their screen. Instead of scanning something, the words “April, April!” were printed on the screen. A perfect April’s fool!

So, news have to be proof-checked more carefully as usual on April 1st.

I don’t want to send you into April. But, I want to encourage your mind to find out, what’s in the above image! Later this week, I’m posting an update here in the post with the result.

When freshmen start in their first job as an apprentice, they are also often fooled. They were often told to fetch a certain tool or material from the storage or even a so-called partner-company on the other side of the town. There they get something very heavy to bring back to their boss. I guess, this habit is also derived from April’s fool, because, in the old days, apprenticeships started on April 1st.

These are a few examples:

Banker:

  • get a Saldenziehzange = Zange um den Saldo zu ziehen = pair of tongs for balancing an account
  • Zinsfuß = old term meaning the interest rate

garage mechanics:

  • Kolbenrückholfeder = spring for pulling back the piston inside the cylinders of an engine

Manson, carpenter, …

  • Ersatzluftblase für die Wasserwaage = replacement airbubble for the water level

chemistry:

  • Benzolring (it’s a pun on words because we have the ring-shaped molecule named Benzol but in German, it can also mean a ring made of benzol)

I guess you got the idea. Some more of these fools can be found in the German Wikipedia. If these habits are common in your area, I’m also interested in hearing them. Please tell me a bit in the comments.

The idea is, a freshman might never hear this word before and starts investigating. All experienced colleges know what is meant and keeping the freshman busy until the initial college solves and explains. Now, the freshman has passed her initiation rite.

Nowadays, many of these fools are commonly know and the freshmen know much more about the jobs they start with than it was common in the past. So, not every fresh apprentice is faced with such a fool. But, I was told, some of them are still used in some companies.

The next isn’t an April’s fool. You know, last year I introduced you to Exire Foto, software to organize your images and, most importantly, find them!

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Take care!

art, cityscape, photo-of-the-day, photography, travel, world

Throwback Thursday: Katedrála Sv. Víta

As proposed last week, here’s the image we planned to take.

The sky was so fantastic.

A few minutes later, we got the planned, blue sky instead of the red one

To be honest, although I like images taken during the blue hour (that’s the about 20 minutes starting from approximately 30 minutes after sunset in my region), here I like the firey sky more.

Take care!

art, cityscape, photo-of-the-day, photography, travel, world

Throwback Thursday: Katedrála Sv. Víta

Recently, a friend of mine from Prague posted a winter image from Prague. His image reminded me of my visit to Prague nearly 11 years ago in June 2010. One evening we headed to the river for some night shots of the castle above the river on the other side. We were in our hotel for collecting our tripods and went down to the tram when I noticed the cathedral in the far.

I still like this image very much. Next week, I’m going to show you the final image we planned to take.

Take care!

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

Monochrome Monday 7-45

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine started publishing a monochrome series on Instagram. One of the images was taken while I was standing next to her in Wales back in 2019. I liked her edit and took out my own images to play a bit with them. It didn’t come up to my mind initially to try this in monochrome. But, I’m happy, I did.

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!

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

Lens-Artists Photo Challange 119: “My Hideaway”

It’s Saturday evening. So, it’s time for The Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. This week Leya is our host and she asks for presenting our hideaways.

For me, this is a very hard theme, as I don’t have something comparable to the definition of a hideaway. When I was a child, I used to grab a book and went outside of our home to a tree, half a kilometer away. This tree was kind of lonely and also not very tall. It wasn’t standing alone, but it was surrounded by bushes and a gap between two bushes gave enough room to pass through it and reach the tree. Noone was aware when I was sitting on the low-growing branch. Noone was even knowing where I was. But, I was sitting there, only 3 meters or so away from the street, hidden behind the bushes and able to read ’till the evening. At that time I was reading a lot and very fast. A book couldn’t be too thick.

When I grew older and had my first car, I loved cruising around. I even had my own mix-tapes, especially for these cruising tours.

When we moved into our current house, we set up one room as a home office. I hate closed doors. At once I’m feeling captured when I can see the door is shut. But, when I’m closing a door voluntarily behind me, everyone knows, keep me alone. (ok, there are also other reasons: i.e. keep the warmth inside – therefore we have some doors with glass). This office at home is such a kind of hideaway for me. this room is also my workplace now, that I’m working from home because of the Covid19 pandemic.

A long story and no images. Right. Unfortunately, I don’t have any images from that scene of my childhood. I even don’t have a digital image of my first car and I don’t want to bore you with an image showing my desk with my computer on top and my office chair. Instead, I want to broaden the perspective a little bit.

Why do you / one needs a hideaway? I need it sometimes to leave a certain scene I can’t bear anymore or for relaxing purposes. I also use a hide sometimes for wildlife photography. The other things being able to calm me down is coming to the sea for listening to the waves rushing on the beach or standing in nature at sunrise on a slightly foggy morning. Those mornings are so serene and pure. A place to recuperate. Unfortunately, it’s sooooo far away from my home.

Take care!

abstract, art, autumn, culture, fall, flowers, food, photo-of-the-day, photography, technical, world

Lens-Artists Photo Challange 118: “communication”

LAPC is hosted this week by a guest host again: Biasini. She asks for our understanding of “communication”.

The first thing coming to my mind is the famous statement by the was an Austrian-American family therapist, psychologist, communication theorist, and philosopher Paul Watzlawick. He said, “you can not not communicate”. It’s not a typo doubling the word “not”.  It’s simple. Whenever people come together they communicate. They communicate by their clothing, posture, mimic, and gesture – the body language.

Besides direct (oral or body language) communication between humans, we also have signs, i.e. traffic signs, lighthouses, writings, and so on.

Take care!

abstract, art, autumn, culture, fall, flowers, food, photo-of-the-day, photography, technical, world

Lens-Artists Photo Challange 117: “A Photo Walk”

LAPC is hosted this week by Amy and she asks for images of a photowalk.

At least, once a month I go on a photowalk. That our monthly photographer’s roundtable. It’s always fun: walk, talk, take photos, and discuss the results afterward online.

These images are taking during my last photowalk two weeks ago. I had to take care of my grand-son that day and took him to the hills above the town. Our goal was a visit to the deer enclosure, a round trip of about 3 km or so. From the parking ground, our path first led us through the fields where we saw corn, apples, horses, and cows. Next, we entered the forest to reach the enclosure, soon. We also passed an area, where the lumbermen cut many trees and prepared them for transport. Many things for such a young guy to discover. Finally, we reached the enclosure. Unfortunately, only one deer was visible. The enclosure is big enough to offer a lot of hides to the animals. So, we only saw one. Fortunately, the little guy wasn’t disappointed and walked back with me willingly. Btw. yesterday, he turned 4!

Take care!

abstract, art, culture, flowers, food, photo-of-the-day, photography, technical, world

Lens-Artists Photo Challange 116: “symmetry”

This week, Patti is the host for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge and she asks for symmetric images.

You can find symmetry in nature, but more often you can find it in architecture or man-made gardens (i.e. around renaissance chateaus). In nature, the petals of blossoms are very often symmetric and the leaves of many plants. Also, legs, arms, eyes, ears, wings, and many inner organs of animals and humans.

 

inside a Venetian castle
on top of a mine’s winding tower
The public library in Tromsœ, Norway
a great tit with her mirror image
a modern bus stop at night
the Menai suspension bridge connecting Anglesey to the mainland in Wales, UK
Kochelsee, Allgäu, Germany

 

tram station in Oberhausen, Germany
A view inside the outside walls of Harpa in Reykjavik, Iceland
Inside the garden of Claude Monet in Giverny, France

 

The working platform around a chimney in a steel plant
the colonnade of an old castle
The lighthouse in Pilsum, Germany
water lily blossom

Take care!

abstract, art, culture, flowers, food, photo-of-the-day, photography, technical, world

Lens-Artists Photo Challange 115: “Inspiration”

It’s Tina‘s turn, this week. She picked “Inspiration” as the subject for this week’s challenge. Challenge accepted 🙂

I’m always inspired by nature. Mother nature (or the God behind) found so many different ways to solve problems of life. Where i.e. one species of insect-eating bird would be enough we find thousands. Where one kind of plant would be enough to keep the soil in place, we find thousands. Gazillions of different kinds of living creatures inhabit this wonderful planet: mammals, birds, saurians, amphibians, fishes, trees, bushes, plants, and so on. And all these different kinds of landscapes. Our wonderful planet is so rich. Or, like Sam Cook once sang: Its a wonderful world.

Now, I could simply add nearly all of my images here in a gallery. But, I only pick some to demonstrate the beauty of this planet.

Take care!

abstract, art, culture, flowers, food, photo-of-the-day, photography, technical, world

Lens-Artists Photo Challange 114: “Negative Space”

Negative space isn’t something negative as you might assumed when reading the subject of this blog post. It’s a kind of emphasizing your main subject in photography by having quite a lot ’empty’ room around your main subject. You can find many examples here in my blog or on my Instagram account.

This week Lens-Artists Photo Challenge is hosted by Amy and she picked “Negative space” to challenge us.

 



Take care!

landscape, nature, photography, travel, world

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #73 – Cold

It’s the end of November. In the northern hemisphere this means, we’re just about at the door of winter and winter means coldness. And “cold” is the theme nominated by Tina.

In February 2016 I was in northern Norway. The winter you can find over there is much harder than the winter in my region. Although, we usually have cold winters with temperatures around -10°C and lower. Even this past week the temperature felt below 0°C painting nice decorations on the plants. Car windows were also frozen, so the drivers were complaining much.

But for this challenge, I’ve chosen something different: icebergs floating on lake Jökulsárlón in southern Iceland near sunset. You can’t imagine how cold the wind is when it comes down from the glacier to the lake even in mid summer – lousy could.

Take care!

architecture, cityscape, culture, history, landscape, meeting, nature, photography, travel, world

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #72 – Waiting

Another week of Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. This week’s topic is “waiting” and Tina wrote a few paragraphs to explain her idea.

Here is my story:

Back in the 1980s when I had my first car I persuaded my younger brother to go with me to France for a photo trip along the river Loire and visiting all the famous chateaus. For the end of that trip, a visit to medieval town Mt. St. Michel was planned. Mt. St. Michel is built on an island near the coast between Brittany and Normandy. At that time I had my first job and a car. My younger brother was still at school but he was able to speak french. So, without him, I wouldn’t be able to travel to France. At that time, the French were considered to only speak French and nothing else. I don’t know the reason anymore, why we canceled that trip. But, later I was sure of never seeing Mt St. Michel.

In January 2009 I joined a group of photographers. Each first Saturday of a month we’re meeting for photography trips in our area. Although we’re living distributed over nearly half of our state, we’re able to meet. The organization and planning are done via the internet.

Over time some friendships grew among some of us. We even organized some trips to locations a bit further away and for quite longer durations than one afternoon a month. In 2011 we used a public holiday (a Thursday) for a trip to Brittany. While planning the week, I came up with my long-time dream of visiting Mt. St. Michel. I even was able to persuade the others, despite the quite long distance from our vacation home at the Côte d’Emeraude. We were traveling with 2 private cars. Unfortunately, two of us were unable to start with the other on the same day and stay the full week. Instead, they started on Wednesday after work and arrived late that evening, while we others already had 4 days of driving around and seeing some parts of that area, including Rennes.

When they arrived, they told us about the fantastic sky at sunset and that they were near Mt. St. Michel when the sky turned red for sunset. So, they decided to take a photo stop at Mt. St. Michel 😢 I felt terrible when they told us about this. Mt. St. Michel was so near to me and the chance for canceling the planned visit was increasing rapidly. But, the previews on their camera displays made the other eager to want to go to Mt. St. Michel, too. Tides are turning 😀

Finally, the next day we headed to Saint-Malo first and later that day to Mt. St. Michel. Walking up the hill was a fantastic experience. I felt like thrown back in the medieval age. Unfortunately, the town was very, very crowded.

In the end, I was able to get this image (and a few more – but I love this one most). I have printed it and it’s hanging in our living room. At the same time, the others were in a pop-up theatre attending the opera Madame Butterfly right at the foot of the hill. When we arrived they were persuaded by a sales agent to use that night for a once-in-a-lifetime experience watching the Puccini opera in an open-air opera near that centuries-old town. I refused to accomplish them. My plan was very different and you know, why. 😀

It was kind of hard, to find a spot where the pop-up theater won’t ruin my image.

But, I found one 😀

You see, I had to wait about 25 years to see this iconic town.

Take care!