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!

animals, bird, insect, photo-of-the-day, photography, seasons, world

Throwback Thursday: in-flight swallow


Recently, I showed you an image of an in-flight bee fly. Although it was hard to capture that tiny insect with the long focal-length lens, it was not that hard as capturing this image of an in-flight swallow. Despite, bee flies are very small, their flight is kind of predictable. They are not flight that quick and they are not changing the directions abruptly. They also stay on nearly the same level above the plants.

Barn swallows instead are flying very quickly because they are hunting flying insects and thus changing their flight direction and hight unpredictable. Compared to this, the bee fly simply ‘stands still’ in the air, although she was also constantly moving.

This image is from early April and I was very surprised to see a barn swallow so early. The air was still cold (below 10°C). As far as I know, that’s the minimum temperature for insects to be able to fly.

There were years when swallows came back from the south too early when the air was still cold. The air had temperatures too cold for insects to fly which resulted in hungry swallows. Hunting for flying insects was without results, because of the cold. So they were forced to walk around and pick plant lice from the bushes because they were too weak to fly from all the unsuccessful hunts. A friend of mine, a nature conservationist, reported that year swallows simply falling off the sky. They died of hunger while flying.

I was in that place before and met hundreds of swallows. But, it was June and warm. So I was surprised to see one (two on the next day).

 

Take care!

culture, photography, world

Throwback Thursday: crossroads

You know, G+ (Google Plus), the social network set up by Google closed down their gates earlier this month. As many other former G+ user, I created an account at mewe.com.

Members of one of my former G+ groups set up an event to post an image (or more) in advance of the closing which describes tourism feeling about that fact.

Here, you can see my image. The intersection of the railroad track symbolizes for me, the change while the bumper in the back stands for the final end of G+.

Just in case, you’re also at mewe.com, you could consider adding me 🙂

Take care!

art, culture, landscape, people, photography, travel, world

Corfu – a review

610_8114-e2_wκαλή μέρα, χαιρετισμός – hello!

For this final post on the greek island Corfu, I picked my top images as an appetizer for your own trip to this beautiful island.

You can go by car and take a ferry from the greek mainland or come by plane. There is an international airport on Corfu, only a few kilometers away from Corfu Town.

At least from Germany, there are no scheduled flights, but carter flights for vacationers. But, I was able to get seats without booking a package holiday. Instead, I booked flight, hotel and rental car separately and everything was fine.

Now, you can enjoy the slideshow at the end of this post as a summary. For those of you, having missed the previous posts, you can find them easily by using the category ‘corfu‘. Each post focuses on one location or aspect of the island and has a gallery of some images at the end.

Next week, I’m starting with another location.

Stay tuned!

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landscape, photography, travel, world

I don’t look back in anger

600_9195-s_wThis is my last post on Iceland in this series. Unfortunately. Just like the line “All beauty must die” by Nick Cave, everything has an end. ( – but, only the wurst has two of them).

Iceland is a fantastic country. Beautiful landscapes. Rough on the first hand, but also lovely and tender on the other hand. I hope, to return soon and see more of these fascinating landscapes.img_0989-w

Although, we have had a lot of rain during our trip, I felt in love with this island. Thus, I don’t look back in anger. Rain is an essential part of the island. I guess, I already mentioned it in one of my past posts. It’s because of the gulf stream, which brings warm water from the Caribbean sea to the north Atlantic ocean. In the colder area steam goes up in the air and fells down as rain. So, the island is very green and has lots of huge rivers.

IMG_1660Our gear often looked like being soaked in one of the rivers, when coming back from a trip. A friend of mine took the image of his camera with his mobile right after we came back from a short trip to our rental car. We were glad, our cameras are sealed against spray. I always have had a micro fiber cloth by the hand to make the lens spot free and to dry the complete camera or even use it as a rain protection. Nevertheless, our gear has had a very hard time during that trip :-(, but fortunately every single part survived 🙂

Now, as a review, I assembled a slideshow for you. It contains my favorite images from that trip. It was a very hard job, to select the essence from my photo archive. The whole series on Iceland started back in January  – not counting the single images I used i.e. for Monochrome Madness the year before. You can find all the Iceland related posts by simply using the category tag ‘iceland‘.

So, now lean back and enjoy a selection of 56 fantastic images of Iceland.

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landscape, nature, photography, travel, world

smoke on the water

 

600_9672-e_wHere we have another hot spot: Krýsuvík-Seltún

Hot water is coming out of the ground. Lots of hot pools, fumaroles and a strange smell like rotten eggs.

These hot spots are part of the active volcano Krýsuvík. The thermal sources were used for producing heating energy, but the geo-thermal plant exploded a few years ago. Other geo-thermal plants are still in use and produce heating energy as well as electrical power.

I’d recommend strictly staying on the paths, when visiting this location or any other destinations in the high temperature areas.

Take care!

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