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!

*AD because of an affiliate link*

Currently, you can get the software with a discount when using the code “OSTERN2021” during checkout!

 

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!