Non-Splash

Non-Splash

Are you familiar with the website unsplash.com ? They feature pictures that people put up there for free download, available for use for everyone, even for commercial purposes, licensed under the  Creative Commons Zero . That’s the bit I don’t like about it.

However, what I do like is discovering great photographers there, and also the “feel” of the photos. To me they all seem to have a certain hue that I like to try (emphasis on try) to recreate with my own pictures (in editing, needless to say).

My pictures just sit on my hard drive, I never posted them here because some of them are just a differently edited/coloured version of ones I’ve posted before, either here or on my other photo blog.

I’ve decided to put one up here every once in a while, just because. No proper category, no proper title. Hope you’ll like them.

4DC_0369 LR-2res

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Nature

Friday Flowers

FF - 2016 Cosmea Bud

Happy Friday – more or less… I woke up at 6 am by what sounded like a random beep of the fire alarm, then couldn’t go back to sleep. Then it started happening in 5 minute intervals which kind of made me get up on the wrong foot. Called the fire alarm company and now have to wait till they contact me – not with a time when they’ll come by to fix it, but to make an appointment. I don’t think so. Took out the batteries – at my own peril, of course – because who wants to spend who knows how long, probably a whole weekend, with an annoying beep.

Being up this early got me to work early, though, so there’s a plus side:-) . Also, we have our company picnic to look forward to tomorrow, the motto of which will be Italy. So sunshine, pizza and ice cream are on the agenda for Saturday.

Today’s Friday flower happens to live on my balcony right now. I went to the nursery last weekend to get a few potted plants to make up for the non-starters I had seeded myself, and this cosmea plant was among them. Last night I sat on the balcony and noticed this budding flower, so I jumped up (literally, because I always do that when I see a photo subject) and got my camera with the new 60mm macro lens now seemingly permanently attached, and I love how this lens brings out the best in my little cosmea flower.

Hope you have pleasant things planned for the weekend. Have a good one!

 

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Challenge

Weekly Photo Challenge: Details

WPC - Detail

I rarely visit my parents’ garden but this past weekend they had guests for a BBQ, so I joined them. My sister advised me to bring my camera because so much is in bloom right now and there’s ample opportunity to find photo subjects.

It turned out that my father couldn’t understand why I was lurking around the shed with my camera instead of taking more flower pictures. The window to the shed was ajar, and I was originally concentrating on capturing a rusty spot when I noticed these filigree leftovers of a spider’s web with bits of fluffy poplar seeds sticking to it. A nice detail for this week’s photo challenge.

 

 

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Nature

Friday Flowers

FF - Artichoke Flower

Happy Friday! Today’s flower is one I also bought at last week’s Friday market, together with the sunflowers I posted last week. I’m not very keen on eating artichokes, but I do love them displayed in a vase.

This last week has been quite busy – or lazy, depending on your interpretation. Last weekend I met my friend E, who’s on her annual home visit from Dubai, for breakfast, the family celebrated my mother’s birthday, I took two half days off just to chill, took a whole day off to meet with E and her mum, who cooked for us, and suddenly it’s Friday again.

The weather is keeping us quite annoyed. We went from last weekend’s 34°C to day-long downpours to spring temperatures and having to wear a cardigan to leave the house. Apparently we can look forward to temps in the high 20s again as of this weekend, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

Everyone’s asking me about my vacation plans, but I have none. Earlier this year I wanted to take a trip to Edinburgh, had looked out the flights and B&B but something kept me from clicking that “book now” button. I regretted not doing it, but now that I’m thinking about it again, I’m still in dithering mode. We’ll see.

Have a good weekend!

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Nature

Friday Flowers

FF - July Sunflowers

Hello everyone! A bit later today than usual, because I didn’t have any flower pictures to show you… I took the afternoon off to go to the Friday market, as I tend to do regularly, and it’s almost always a given that at least one family member will show up there, and we’ll spend an hour at the ice cream parlour that overlooks the market.

The last few weeks I came home empty handed because I wasn’t too keen on the flowers I saw at the market. Today, though, I wanted to buy flowers come what may because a) I needed some for this post and b) I was excited to use my new lens. This is a 60mm micro lens, basically a newer model of the one I already have; I mentioned here a while ago that the old lens doesn’t auto focus any  more and couldn’t be repaired. Trying manual was absolutely useless, especially with higher f/stops. So I thought very long and very hard whether I wanted to replace it with a new one, and earlier this week I discussed it with my “photo consultant”. Afterwards he said: From what you just told me, I gather that you used this lens a lot and that you totally miss it. Yep, that was about it. Could have saved myself weeks of thinking by just talking to him… Instead of going for another used lens I decided I wanted a new one this time, and it arrived yesterday.

So, my half day off consisted of ice cream, shopping at the market, buying flowers, and christening my new lens. I hope you’ve been having an equally pleasant time!

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WW - Cheers

Life

Wordless Wednesday

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Nature

Friday Flowers

FF - Leftovers Bouquet

Happy Friday, everyone! I’m having a day off, luckily with beautiful weather; went for a very relaxing massage late this morning, stopped by my favourite supermarket on the way home to buy some burrata, and made my lunch using it.

Now I’m out on the balcony writing up this post, and in a bit I’ll be off again to the Friday market, where I’ll also be meeting the family for ice cream. As I said earlier on Instagram, this day could only get better if I looked out the window and found myself magically transported to a place by the sea:-) .

Hope you’re all having an equally pleasant day and a great weekend!

PS: Almost forgot to mention the flowerso_O … They’re what was left over from last weeks little bouquet.

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Life

2016 June In Pictures

The year has reached its halfway mark, just as my level of personal discontent seems to have reached its peak. When there are things in every aspect of your life that you’d like to change, you tend to want to change everything at once. Naturally you have to prioritize and be patient. So I’ll try patience.

Looking back, I’ve been very impatient with my lack of motivation photography-wise these past six months as well, as I’m sure you’ve noticed in my often negative musings here. However, I’ve had so much fun getting (most of) my motivation back this past month that I’m trying to project this progress onto the other areas of my life and keeping my fingers crossed that everything there, too, will all work out for the best.

Let’s hope for the good weather to continue in July, for motivation, and for good photography subjects!

How was your June?

 

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Nature

Friday Flowers

IMG_0663 LR

Hello on this summery and already very hot morning! Today’s flowers are last week’s purchase from the Saturday market in the city. There was so much choice that I couldn’t make up my mind and almost went home without flowers. On leaving the market I passed a stall with these cute little bouquets and happily took one home.

This week’s shiny bright weather doesn’t really go with the deep black background of today’s pic, I first thought. On reading the news about the UK’s Brexit vote this morning, though, I can only say it’s a bright day with a black, bleak outlook. I expected a narrow victory – but not for the pro-Brexit people! It’ll be interesting to watch how it’ll all turn out, but I dare say the repercussions – economically as well as being able to travel freely within Europe, both for the British people and for the rest of us Europeans – will be more far-reaching than the anti-EU voters anticipated.

OK, enough politics, this is a photo blog, after all:-) . I’ll be spending as much time as possible on the balcony this weekend enjoying my newly bought plants. The ones I planted in March did not turn out very well due to some problems with the potting compost, which was a new one I tried. I had three huge planters that contained 15 – 20 seedlings each, they all grew nicely at first and then almost all of them died, so I have only 1 each left. For that reason I had to supplement with market bought plants, namely cape daisies and dahlias.

What’s the weather like where you are, and what are your plans for the weekend?

 

 

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Life

Of Inspiration, Comfort Zones & Collaboration

A little while ago I read a post by Ines of IMonnet where she said she was feeling very uninspired with regards to photography at the moment. This immediately caught my attention because I had been feeling the same way for a long while. I left a comment on Ines’ post saying we were in the same boat.

The same night I found this topic still occupied my mind, and then the word collaboration popped into my head. Would I dare contact Ines to ask if she’d like to do a photo collaboration? Of course, I didn’t. The reason was that I couldn’t come up with any concrete ideas whatsoever. Guess that’s what being uninspired does to you.

The next day I received an e-mail from Ines saying she’d been thinking about my comment, and would I be interested in a collaboration! The universe at work:-) .

We both got thinking about what we could do and how we would present it, but I have to honestly say that Ines did most of the thinking. The extent of my uninspiredness was almost paralysing. So Ines came up with a few suggestions for themes, we agreed on three with four pictures per theme, and here we are.

This month’s collaboration theme is Walking Through Your City Looking Up. I have to admit that even though we agreed on just four pictures, I had a very hard time coming up with something. One reason is that I don’t go out too much these days, especially into the city, and the other is that I hardly ever carry my camera with me anymore. Luckily with my new phone, this has changed.

The first picture I took for this collab was on a walk among close-by fields with my sister. She wanted to show me the destruction a big storm had wreaked over the fields. I didn’t think I’d be using one of the pics I took for this post but then there was this funny bit in the field that grew higher than everything else, and I had to crouch down and look up to get it into the picture.

Collab 01 - Wheat Field

My other three contributions were all taken with my phone camera. As I’m not exactly a whizz with that yet, I used LR presets to enhance them.

Collab 01 - Rathaus

This looked like a really weird angle to me at first but I liked that everything in it seems to be jutting into the picture at an angle, as if it all wanted to get in. The town hall, the crane, the tops of the buildings to the left and right, and the sign for the oldest toy shop in the city. After 175 years in the same place and most prominent location, due to the current economy this shop had to close and move to a smaller space in a side street.

Collab 01 - The Cube

The Cube – our musuem right in the middle of the main shopping street. It houses a café on the ground level, museum in the middle, and a restaurant at the top. Right outside the restaurant is a small space where people can go up and look across the city where the wealthy people live. A great view.

Collab 01 - Stiftskirche

Stiftskirche – one of the landmarks of our city. It’s a protestant church, and according to Wikipedia (yes, I had to look that up…) still the centre and main church of protestant Württemberg. To this day, I haven’t been inside because whenever I’m in the city, the doors are either locked or there’s a service going on.

So this concludes my first ever collaboration. I had hoped until the end that I would be able to find good photo subjects in more mundane things than the typical sights of my city, but sometimes you just have to make the most of circumstances. I’m definitely looking forward to our next themes, especially as I’ve felt a little more inspired this last month and have taken more pictures than in the previous three months combined.

Thank you again to Ines for contacting me and coming up with the themes!

Make sure you get a look at Ines’ pictures for this collaboration here.

 

 

 

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WW - Tourists

Life

Wordless Wednesday

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Triptych - Dresden

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Tuesday Triptych: Dresden

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Challenge

Weekly Photo Challenge: Pure

WPC - Pure

It’s been a very long time since I participated in the WP weekly photo challenge, but I guess if the time’s right it’s right…

I was on a walk with my sister today and we passed these newly put up swings close to my house; I looked at the swings, then at my sister and knew she wanted to have a go, too. She assured me these things have to be built to fit and hold everyone’s weight these days, so on we went. The chains were really long, I guess we could have swung right up into the trees.

It was pure joy until I almost got too caught up in getting a good pic but I came around quickly and got back to enjoying it.

While my pictures downloaded I checked out this week’s challenge, and I knew pure would fit perfectly. Pure joy – quite rare these days.

 

 

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FF - Rose + Stock

Nature

Friday Flowers

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Life

A Quick Trip To Dresden

Last week I was able to visit Dresden for business; I’d never been but it’s been on my to-see-list for a long while. Although it was only a three day trip, I had two evenings to myself to wander around. As usual – because I’m lazy – I didn’t look up any of the sights or check what’s worth seeing. It wasn’t necessary, though, because the event I attended included a bus tour through Dresden where we also had some stops to get off the bus and explore. We had probably the best guide I’ve ever had on such a tour, he was knowledgeable, fun and had excellent social/people skills (not always a given…).

So on day 1 after my arrival and finding my hotel just a stone’s throw away from the famous Frauenkirche I walked around for a bit just using my new phone camera. On day 2 we had the bus tour, and on day 3 I went back to some of the sights we saw earlier by foot with my DSLR.

I didn’t take that many pictures (but found I’d taken an unusually high amount of the Frauenkirche), I still have to learn making better use of the phone camera, and I was really exhausted after the event and then walking around town for 2 hours, so these are just a few of my experiments that you see here.

I’d love to either take a photography workshop on architecture and then go back, or even see if there’s a course in Dresden. Currently checking out such courses as I found I’m better at food photography than architecture – I’m very willing to learn, though:-) .

Click any pic to start gallery

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2016 May In Pictures

May was a great month for us here in Germany with three short work weeks due to public holidays and some very hot summery days.

For me, personally, the month had its ups and downs. The downs were terrible hayfever like never before, a week at home with sinusitis, the urge to move because of inconsiderate noisy neighbours. On the up side, I let myself be persuaded that I needed an iPhone because of the 12MP camera, a renewed interest in photography, and despite my hayfever I’m happy to see the world around me go green and everything growing.

Having a good phone camera definitely helps with regards to taking more pictures, as it’s really inconvenient for me to carry my D300 in my handbag at all times, so even though buying an expensive mobile phone just for its camera to me is overly decadent, it seems worth it right now. I just need to remember to not only take pics in square format but regular format as well – as you can see if you open the gallery below, I kept forgetting to switch formats.

How was your May?

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Friday Flowers

FF - Plucked Peonies

Happy Friday, everone! We’re having another long weekend here in Germany – the last one for a long while – due to yesterday being Corpus Christi. Today started out quite hot, then just when I left the market an hour ago it started to pour down, but it’s currently clearing up again.

Today’s flowers are really part of the Beauty In Decay series, but I managed so many nice shots that are better suited for the series, and this one came out so incredibly colourful that it qualified for Friday Flowers.

The two peonies I posted last week had started to brown around the edges, and the moment I cut off the blossoms they started to fall apart and show their beautiful insides.

What is everyone up to this weekend? I think several countries have bank holidays and, hence, long weekends. I have a photo challenge/collaboration to complete within the next two days, and apart from that there’s a festival in the city so I might go and check that out.

Enjoy your weekend!

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Monochrome - Zucchini Blossom

Monochrome

Zucchini Blossom {Monochrome}

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Triptych - Flower Mess

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Tuesday Triptych: Floral Debris

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Friday Flowers

Peonies May

Good afternoon & Happy Friday! Not so happy for me as I’m on sick leave…again… What I thought was the worst hayfever ever turned out to be a sinus problem that required antibiotics. Enough whining, though – the weather’s beautiful outside, and today might well be the day I feel good enough to go for a short walk. Plus I’ve just been notified that my new phone is ready for pick-up, so that’s something to look forward to for Monday.

Plus – peonies! I love peony season, and I picked up the ones you see above at last week’s market. They just started opening up, so that’s something to enjoy. I find buying peonies quite exciting – you look at those tightly wrapped balls of petals and know that every stage of their unfolding is a beautiful one. Knowing that peony season is quite short, I enjoy them even more.

Hope you’ll all have a good weekend!

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