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

Lens-Artists Photo Challange 162: “It’s all about the light”

“It’s all about the light” is the topic for this week’s Lens-Artist’s Photo Challenge hosted by Tina. I really have to stress this statement, because it’s a key message regardless of the kind of photography you’re practicing. Photographing a fantastic model or scene at the wrong time or having the wrong light makes the result dull and boring. Even postprocessing can’t change it.

2017-08-27 14:35h
2017-09-17 07:40h
2019-09-21 06:28h
2020-09-05 15:41h (view from a different direction)
2020-09-12 07:18h

These images are taken at the same location. For each image, I wrote down the date and the time. So, you can compare the different light situations. OK, two of the images are taken in the afternoon and the other three are taken around sunrise. But, even when comparing the images taken at a similar time you can see a huge difference as you can see in the next section.

2017-09-17 07:41h
2019-09-21 06:51h
2020-09-12 07:38h

 

Here, it’s the same. I love the 2017 image most. In 2019, we had nearly no morning fog and in 2020 it was too much fog. On the other hand, both years had no clouds to offer. Finally, I want to show you my favorite image from those 5 trips to that location.

2017-09-17 07:35h

In this image, we can see the warmth of the golden hour, morning fog, some clouds making the sky interesting, and a star in the tree created by the aperture blades from the light of the sun behind the tree.

I’m looking forward to the upcoming weather conditions to see if it’s worth another trip. It’s a one-hour drive to get there (not counting the walk over sandy ground) and sunrise is at around 6:30-7:00. So, I’d have to get up at 5 a.m to be on location on time.

Unfortunately, the weather is unpredictable bad this year. Gray skies covered with lots of could and much rain. Instead of summer, we got already 3 months of fall up to now this year. Since mid of May, we only got 5 days’ worth of the label “summer”. (I’m reminding you of the days of hard rain and flooding in mid-July) So, we’re hoping for a golden fall now.

 

In case, you’re interested in giving Excire Foto a try, there’s a free trial available for download. When you’re willing to buy a copy, you can use EXCIREFIRE20 at checkout to save 20%.

Take care!

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

Lens-Artists Photo Challange 161: “feet & shoes”

This week, we have another hard challenge for me. Ann-Christine asks for “feet & shoes”, something I photograph only in extremely rare situations.

In the 1970s a young man from South Africa came to Germany to become a professional singer. Despite, German wasn’t his native language he sang in German, but with a very strong and easy-to-recognize accent. He performed Schlager, a specific genre of current music. I can’t describe it in my own words in English, so I looked it up in Wikipedia:

Schlager music (German: [ˈʃlaːɡɐ], “hit(s)”) is a style of European popular music that is generally a catchy instrumental accompaniment to vocal pieces of pop music with simple, happy-go-lucky, and often sentimental lyrics. It is prevalent in Central, Northern and Southeast Europe (in particular Germany, Austria, Albania, Bulgaria, Finland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia, Croatia, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Switzerland, Scandinavia, and the Baltic states), and also (to a lesser extent) in France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. In the United States it is also known as ‘entertainer music’ or ‘German hit mix’.

Typical Schlager tracks are either sweet, sentimental ballads with a simple, catchy melody or light pop tunes. Lyrics typically center on love, relationships, and feelings. The northern variant of Schlager (notably in Finland) has taken elements from Nordic and Slavic folk songs, with lyrics tending towards melancholic and elegiac themes. Musically, Schlager bears similarities to styles such as easy listening.

The German word Schlager is also a loanword in some other languages (such as Hungarian, Lithuanian, Serbian, Russian,[3] Hebrew, and Romanian, for example), where it retained its meaning of a “(musical) hit”. The style has been frequently represented at the Eurovision Song Contest and has been popular since the contest began in 1956, although it is gradually being replaced by other pop music styles.

Over time, Schlager music has gradually shifted on to electronic music rather than generic pop music, due to its widespread use of synthesizers throughout its various implementations in recent decades.

He became quite successful and still performs on stage. One of his most popular songs was in 1975 “Deine Spuren im Sand”.

Ths refrain of this song is:

Deine Spuren im Sand (deine Spuren im Sand)
Die ich gestern noch fand
Hat die Flut mitgenommen
Was gehört nun noch mir?
Deine Liebe sie schwand (deine Liebe sie schwand)
Wie die Spuren im Sand
Was ist mir nur geblieben?
Nur die Sehnsucht nach dir

Your tracks in the sand (your tracks in the sand)
Which I found yesterday
Took the tide with it
What is mine now?
Your love it waned (your love it waned)
Like the tracks in the sand
What do I have left?
Just the longing for you

 

But, you an also have light-tracks. They can also vanish that easy.


 

Here I have an example of shoes, which can also vansih very easy. “Sweet dreams are made of shoes”, or was what did Annie Lennox sang?

 

In case, you’re interested in giving Excire Foto a try, there’s a free trial available for download. When you’re willing to buy a copy, you can use EXCIREFIRE20 at checkout to save 20%.

Take care!

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

Lens-Artists Photo Challange 160: “My inspiration”

Summer is over? When looking at the calendar, it’s not over yet. But, when looking at the weather, you might think we already have fall here in western Germany. Nevertheless, the pause for our main hosts is over and Patti is hosting this week’s LAPC. Look at her site, to see, how to participate.

When doing some analysis on your photo archive, you can see, what really inspires you, even if you did not notice it yourself. My inspiration is the beauty of nature: landscapes, flowers, pretty ladies, and colorful birds are populating huge parts of my archive. On the other hand, you won’t find many cityscapes, architecture, tech, or still lives despite I do them every now and then.

You need to do some research on the weather and light conditions as well as light directions. Maybe you have to get up early or go to bed late at night (didn’t I say morning). Try to understand the customs and behaviors of the animals I want to capture.

 


In the past, I already introduced you to some pieces of software, being able to support you’re analyzing your photo archive. The AI analyzes and tags your images. When done, you can i.e. lookup, how many images of yours are tagged with a certain keyword. This helps you understand where your most active field of photography is.

In case, you’re interested in giving Excire Foto a try, there’s a free trial available for download. When you’re willing to buy a copy, you can use EXCIREFIRE20 at checkout to save 20%.

Take care!

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

Lens-Artists Photo Challange 158: “Along back country roads”

This week we have another guest host for The Lens-Artists Photo challenge: Beth. She reminds us, to not only discover the cities or national parks, where everyone goes to. Instead, discover the beauty of the backcountry or hinterland. Btw. hinterland is a borrowed word from German and means, you guess it, hinterland or as the Aussies would say outback.

 

 

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 156: “black and white”

If I were asked, this could have been named by me. You know, I’m doing a lot of black-and-white photography. But, this time Anne Sandle is hosting the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge.

You know, I love black and white photography. Here, I put together a small collection. In case, you also love monochrome photography, feel free, to dig through my archive. You can find the relevant posts quite easily because all of them are tagged properly. Each Monday a new monochrome post is published and each Friday, I’m publishing on a blog dedicated completely to monochrome images. Right after the post is published over there, it is re-blogged here. Unfortunately, WordPress does not keep the tags. So, all of those posts are unfortunately untagged.

 

 

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 155: “On the Water”

If I were asked, this could have been named by me. But, this time John Steiner is hosting the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge.

I love being near the water. Unfortunately, there is no lake or river in the town, where I live. I’d have to drive for about an hour to reach the next lake.

Water, especially the big ones, means life. You can get your food from out there, you can have beautiful scenes, you can have fun on top as well as under the surface. Or, you can simply sit or stand and stare in infinity to become calm and resized to your real size in relation to nature.

 

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

Lens-Artists Photo Challange 153: “Wonderful world”

On January 1st, 1968 Louis Armstrong published his song “What a Wonderful World”. It was written specifically for him and describes the beauty of the world and the small pieces of happiness in everyday life. Louis Daniel „Satchmo“ Armstrong was an African American, born in 1901 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Once, Louisiana was part of the southern states in the USA, where slavery was an important part of the economy. But, although slavery became illegal after the civil war, those people were (and are) still not equally treated. Unfortunately, that’s not only in the USA but also in many other countries in the world.

From the mid-1950s more and more (primary descendants of former slaves) stood up against the still existing social injustices and repressions. Probably you already have heard the name Reverent Martin Luther King, who became kind of a leader of the non-violent Civil Rights movement. Unfortunately, he was killed in April 1968.

In this setting of a civil rights movement, the song was published and became very successful. In case, you don’t know the song, go to Youtube and find it. It’s still a wonderful song. You can even find a lyrics video to read the lyrics along.

The intention of the song was to set a countercurrent to the political climate. Thus the song describes the beauty of nature, friendship, and children’s view despite the huge problems of hate, jealousy, and power struggles.

The first verse is

“I see trees of green, red roses too. I see them bloom for me and you, and I think to myself: What a wonderful world.”

I really recommend, to listen to the song, now. And, while Satchmo sings his song you can swipe through the gallery below. Click on an image to enlarge the images.

thank you, Amy, for this wonderful topic, this week.

Take care!

 

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

Lens-Artists Photo Challange 126: Letter “A”

Hands up for the weekend! Half of the weekend is over. So it’s time for the Lens-Artists photo challenge and Patti challenges us with the Letter “A”.

adolescent

 

astonishing

 

art

 

artist

 

above

 

art

 

alone

 

action

 

awakening

 

Advent

 

aurora

 

arriving

 

apple

 

astro

 

This was a very hard one, at least for me as a non-native speaker. Many things popped up in my mind, but none of them was an English word beginning with the letter “A”.

Take care!

 

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

Lens-Artists Photo Challange 125: “You pick it”

For this week’s challenge, Tina really challenged at least me. In her text she explained, we should use this challenge to show something of us to share with the community that is describing a part of us not that well-known to the audience. This is harder than expected.

Finally, I’ve chosen this image taken more than 10 years ago at a funfair in one of our neighboring towns.

I still love this image. I love the movement surrounding my main subject. I also love changing conditions while photographing: light, movement, ambient. I guess that’s why I love photographing outdoors, wildlife, or moving water.

I filed this image to a competition and won the 3rd prize: being part of an exhibition and money to spend on a certain big and important funfair in our region.

This image is taken with my first DSLR, a very slow working camera, and shot in JPG. I wasn’t happy with that camera and its limitations. I owned it on that day for only about a month. I kept it for less than half a year. It had an APS-C sensor and came with 2 kit lenses: 18-55 and 55-200. The whole kit was lightweight and slow (AF as well as the power-on process). Even the saving process lasted quite long. My old film SLR was using 35mm file. So, you would call it full-frame nowadays. For my film SLR, I owned 3 lenses for that camera: 28-70, 70-210, and a 60mm macro lens. When converting the focal lenses of the DSLR, you would result in 24-82 and 82-300. I’m using an SLR camera since 1984. Some of my first own earned money went into it.

Take care!

 

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

Lens-Artists Photo Challange 123: “found in the neighbourhood”

It’s time for The Lens-Artists Photo Challenge again. Our host this week is Ann-Christine and she asks for things we can found in our neighbourhood. On one hand, this is an easy topic. But, on the other hand, I’d like to have known this theme in advance to prepare some images for you. So, I have to pick them from my archive.

You know, we’re in a lockdown light here. Therefore, our photographers roundtable last Saturday also switched to online and I could now simply show the images from that post again.

All these images are taken in a area max 5 km away from my home. Some of them are even taken in our front- or backyard. Despite the lockdown rules, it would ne possible to visit each of these places now.

Take care!

 

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

Lens-Artists Photo Challange 122: “The Sun will come out Tomorrow”

For Lens-Artists Photo challenge our guest host Ana of Anvica’s Gallery is asking for images showing positivity after the dark. Here we have a saying “the sun will shine again after the rain.” Many people are complaining about rainy days. But, they forget without rain nothing would grow. When nothing is growing, we wouldn’t exist. So, the rain is as necessary as the sun. The cold is as important as warmth and death has the same importance as birth.

Take care!

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

Lens-Artists Photo Challange 121: “focus on the subject”

This week we have another educational topic as the theme for The Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: “Focus on the subject” and Patti is our host.

“Focus on the subject ” – What does this mean. You know, sometimes you’re photographing a scene or a subject and in the end, the image does not represent what you’ve seen or felt. How can you change this? By focusing on the subject. It seems, at this point the cat bites in her own tail. So, let me explain this a bit. Focusing means you need to set the main subject in the most prominent place of the image and arrange all the other parts in a way to support the main subject. Hugh, very theoretical, right. Never mind, I’m explaining it now.

A couple of weeks ago, we had the topic “cropping” for LAPC. Cropping is a way of supporting the main subject. Here I’m not necessarily talking about cropping in post-production. Instead, use your zoom lens or decrease the distance between you and your subject. Especially, this is very important when composing your image. Just like Robert Capa said, “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you weren’t close enough”. And he was photographing soldiers during wars while fighting.

Giving the main subject room to breathe is also a technic of focussing on the subject as well as changing your point of view. Leading lines are also an important technique for supporting your main subject.

 

In case, I would be asked to organize a photo challenge, I’d already know the subject. It would help training the eye and focus on the point. In the past, I wrote down some rules to have in mind when trying to participate in a photo contest. Most of these rules are also to consider when you’re trying to focus on your subject.

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!