art, landscape, photography, seasons, technic, travel, world

Throwback Thursday: photographing the invisible lights

I took this image about 6 years ago with an old DSLR (introduced to the markets in 2004). That camera only has a very weak high-pass filter in front of the sensor, so it is able to capture invisible parts of the light, too. The high-pass filter is designed to prevent the invisible portions of the light from reaching the sensor for getting better images.

To get sharp images in IR you have to adjust the focus. IR has a different behaviour when it comes to sharpness, then the visible light. Each wavelength has its own behaviour. In IR the sharpness point is a bit to the left. I.e. when focussing on an object 5 m in front of you, you have to shift the focus back a bit i.e. to 3.50m. You have to find out the correct setting by try-and-error. Back in film days nearly every lens has had these extra marks on the distance control for IR. Thus, I recommend using an old lens for IR photography. Anyway, use your display and check your images carefully for sharpness – despite it is very hard to recognise sharpness in all the reds on the small screen. 🙂

For the above image I put an 720nm IR filter on front of my lens for blocking all rays with a wave-length shorter than 720nm. I also have a 760nm IR filter for monochrome images. These filters extends the exposure time enormously. I have to use exposure times of about 1 second and above in full sun during the day. Thus I have to put my camera on top of a tripod, despite the sun 😦 To make things even harder, the filter in front of the lens won’t let visible light coming through. That makes the viewfinder dark. You can’t choose the right angle of view. Either you guess it, or you’re constantly detach and re-attach the filter to your lens for every image. Have fun 🙂

I like to let the filter in front of my lens and guess the right angle. It’s more fun and more interesting seeing the results. First of all, I do a manual white balance on green grass in full sun. Next, I dial in f8, ISO 400 (to shorten the exposure time a bit) and 1 second as a starting point. Photographing in raw is my default, so I don’t have to change this setting for IR.

I don’t have modified my camera to remove the highpass filter. That’s about 400€ depending on the exact kind of camera. On the other hand, you will not only get the filter removed (you get back short exposure times), but also the focus justified permanently. So, you don’t have to worry about the focus correction I mentioned above. You also usually get back a bright view finder. But the camera now has a certain filter inside: the camera is defined! And you’re not able to switch the filter i.e. to check out other wave-lengths.

For the above image I’ve used a filter, that didn’t block all visible light. So, I can get these color IR images.

I used an old APS-C DSLR, an old 28-70mm lens (qualified for capturing IR images), a tripod, a remote shutter release and much of sun 🙂 That’s not very wide (like 42mm on a FX camera). I wish, I’d have a wider lens. But, in film days they didn’t have had APC-C SLRs. So, such lenses aren’t available. 😦 I also won’t use a more modern DX lens, because they aren not tested under IR light. So, you probably see flares inside the lens resulting in ugly hotspots.

Take care!

P.S. it’s also possible to photograph in ultraviolet. But, in that part of the spectrum I don’t have any experiences – sorry guys.

landscape, nature, photography, seasons, world

chasing the moon

610_3078-e_wYesterday evening I was out for chasing the supermoon. A clear sky and a moonrise shortly before sunset proposed a good view. Thus, I went uphill to the south and keep the big city in my back.

I arrived about half an hour before sunset to look for a good spot and used the opportunity to get some sunset images. The opposite side, where the moon rises, was not in that good shape 😦

A thin layer of clouds and dust-covered the moon constantly. The snap in the gallery is the best possible shot 😦 You can recognize a slight light corona around the moon. That’s the reflection and distortion of the moonlight ins this cloudy layer.

But, the sunset images are the compensation. The clouds were a perfect canvas for the setting sun to paint wonderful colors in the sky.


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architecture, art, photography, travel, world

Monochrome Madness 2-23

Btw. as always: click on the photo to see it in a higher resolution

For a calm summer day I was at the river Wupper a few weeks ago. Enjoy the silence and the slowly running river. This is my contribution for Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness.
Take care!

Btw. as always: click on the photo to see it in a higher resolution

art, landscape, photography, travel, world

Monochrome Madness 2-22

610_9559-et_wFor this Monochrome Madness I went to a park in the triangle of three towns in our neighborhood: Wuppertal, Remscheid and Solingen. Leanne Cole asked us for bridges for this challenge. The park is called “Brückenpark” (bridge park). I wasn’t in that park for a few years, because it is quite small. It’s located in the valley of the river Wupper. I showed some photos taken there in a past post. And proposed to discover a not so hidden secret 🙂

This is the proposed secret: a huge iron railroad bridge crossing the valley 107 meters above the river. The bridge was built more than 100 years ago by using the same technique, that was used for the Eiffeltower in Paris and the Wuppertal Schwebebahn.

The next few paragraphs are an excerpt from the english Wikipedia:

The bridge was a masterpiece of Victorian-era engineering. For its time, it was a highly sophisticated structure. It astonished the local population, many of whom had had little exposure to such state-of-the-art engineering work.

First drafts for a bridge connecting the two cities of Remscheid and Solingen go back as far as 1889. Preparatory work began in 1893, the bridge was finished in 1897.

The six support columns have a maximum height of 69 meters (230 ft). In the middle of the structure, the main arc has a span of 170 meters (560 ft). The overall length of the structure is 465 meters (1,530 ft).

A total of 5,000 tons of steel were used in its construction. 950,000 rivets hold the structure together. During construction, a number of advanced building techniques were used.

Anton von Rieppel (1852 – 31 January 1926), an architect and engineer, was in charge of the project. A memorial plaque at the foot of the bridge reminds one of his efforts.

Originally, the bridge was planned to be single-track. However, high future traffic growth projections led to the redesign as a dual-track bridge. Before its opening, the rail distance between the cities of Remscheid and Solingen was 42 kilometers (26 mi). With a direct connection via the bridge, this distance shrank to 8 kilometers (5.0 mi).üngsten_Bridge

The german Wikipedia has much more details, than the english one.

Since November 2010, the bridge was closed for reconstruction and restoration works. I already was in that park in May 2010, thus I included two old photos. The one with the red S-Bahn (S = schnell = quick/fast, Bahn = train – one of our public short distance people transportation vehicles). The other one shows the complete bridge, but with way lower trees. This time I was in the same place to get a view to the bridge.

For commuters the closed bridge is a huge disaster. To come from one side of the bridge to the other side, they have had to leave the train and use a shuttle bus to the next railway station on the other side. I was told, that has had cost them more than an hour, because the bus has had to go down in narrow serpentines, drive to the closest street bridge and then climb up through narrow serpentines.

The bridge was reopened in December 2014 but closed again in January because of a landslide as a result of heavy rains. I don’t know for sure, if the bridge is already open again. Nevertheless, there are still restoration works ongoing.

Take care!

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history, landscape, nature, photography, seasons, travel, world

Short weekend trip

610_9541-e_wOn Saturday we have had a quite summerly day. Sunny and warm.

My son’s girlfriend just bought her first DSLR with a kit lens. Before she bought it, she has asked me to show her how to use it properly.

Our first lesson was two or three weeks ago, when I introduced her to the basic functions and terms: aperture, ISO, shutter time, magic triangle, white balance, image stabilizer, focal length, field of depth and so on. This time, we went outside to a park. Here we tried some of the settings in practice lessons. A third lesson, a feedback session with reviewing her images, will be held soon.

I certainly brought back some images on my own. Our Sunday was cold and wet again. Thus, I developed the images, instead of being outside again 😦

You can see the river Wupper, a side river of the river Rhine. The Wupper is about 116 km long and crosses the town Wuppertal. Wuppertal was founded in 1929 by combining the older towns Elberfeld and Barmen, now quarters of Wuppertal. Instead of choosing one of the old names for the new town for several reasons, they created “Wuppertal” (= Wupper valley), because of their location in the valley of river Wupper. Nowadays Wuppertal has about 350.000 citizens, a university and some industry. Only few houses survived the massive attacks with aircraft bombs during WW2, thus Wuppertal is not really attractive from a photographers perspective. Although, there are still a few interesting houses around.

Wuppertal is famous for the Schwebebahn. Also, Aspirin was developed in the Bayer laboratory in Wuppertal. Once, Wuppertal was important for producing textiles in weaving mills (often home weaver) and dyeing yarns. But, these industries died. The last weaving mill was closed more then 40 years ago.

In the 1970s the peek of water pollution was reached. Many companies used the river as a cheap and easy way to get rid of their liquid remains from their production. Lots of chemicals from weaving mills, dyeing mills, groundwood mills and forges were channeled in the river. Locals told me, schools beside the river often got “stink free” in summer. In those times, the water got a different color nearly each day, depending on the different chemicals used for dyeing yearns in different colors.

Now, the river is clean again. Pew! Rare bird are back. You can see dippers, kingfishers and grey herons finishing for larvae and small fishes. Renaturation was successful!

This park has a secret. It’s not hidden. Rather it’s very large. It’s built more than 100 years ago. So, it’s worth its own post. But, not today.

Stay tuned!

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culture, history, landscape, meeting, photography, seasons, travel, world

Monthly photographers roundtable

dsc_6738-e_wYesterday I met with some other photographers for our monthly roundtable. You know, it’s not literally a roundtable for sitting and chatting, but walking and taking photographs.

This time we were in a valley nearby. The valley proposed several remains from the industrial revolution, back in the 18th and 19th century. We expected to see some of the old grinding shops, groundwood mills and knife forges. But, we only found creeks, ponds, forest and signs, telling what kind of workshop once was in that place. Once, more then 10 of these workshops were beside those creeks. Nevertheless, we have had a wonderful afternoon: November 1st and t-shirt weather, what a surprise.

So, instead of showing some industry culture, I’m able to show some autumn photos from one of our local forests.

Enjoy and
take care!

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architecture, art, culture, history, landscape, meeting, photo-of-the-day, photography, technic, technical, travel

Over the river

I already wrote about the Wuppertal Schwebebahn in the past, i.e. here. So I don’t write much about it again.

Today I was in the suspension railway with some guests from France. The familiy of our french guest student is here for a four day visit. Most of the track is following the river Wupper, but from Sonnborn, near the Zoo and the stadium, the track leaves the river an followning the streets to the main depot in Vohwinkel.

It’s always an interesting experience sitting in the wagons and looking through the windows Continue reading “Over the river”

culture, history, landscape, photography, technic


Do you remember my past post ( I mentioned the Wuppertal Schwebebahn?
It’s a suspension railway, that hangs below it’s track. On its way through Wuppertal it’s following the river Wupper. It’s build back in 1901 by using the same technique used Gustave Eiffel for building the Eiffel Tower in the french capitol Paris.

Here I was at station “Werther Brücke”, one of the remaining historic stations. Currently the track is still under renovation and renewing.

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