Life

2018 June In Pictures

While it’s already the 1st of July at home, it’s still June 30 here, which gets me confused because I changed my watch to local time but the date didn’t adapt. I don’t really think in dates while on vacation but rather in days, and it’s exactly 8 days that I have left here in the US.

I’ve gone on a few photo outings with friends, so luckily I have enough pictures for this month in pictures as well as a few separate posts when I’m back.

We’ve done and seen quite a bit here so far, and I’m hoping to get more photo opportunities this coming week.

June has been a great month, and I hope the rest of summer will be equally enjoyable.

How was your June?

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Maine In Black & White

A quick hello from my vacation. Four of us spent the last week in a lovely house in Ogunquit, Maine, where the weather was absolutely fantastic. Only on our last day – our travel day – did the clouds come in, together with the summer people as school had just let out that day.

I had a fellow photographer to explore the area with, and while I didn’t make it to sunrise photography with her in the early morning due to jet lag, I managed to get some sunset/night photography in – without a tripod.

I’d decided to bring my laptop over to the US to download my pictures because I was somehow afraid I might accidentally lose my pics if I kept three weeks’ worth of them on my SD card. Then I realised I had forgotten my camera-to-laptop cable at home, had to order one here and had to wait for a whole week until I could download them. I didn’t know I could be that impatient 🙂 .

As usual, I took more pictures than necessary, which was mainly due to using my 18-250 mm tele lens on a big trip for the first time, so I had to get used to that and experiment a bit. I only brought one other lens, my 50 mm which I can’t live without, and I’m glad I didn’t bring my whole lens arsenal with me as these two are totally sufficient.

Here’s a selection of the pictures I thought would look good in black & white, hope you’ll enjoy them as well.

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2018 May In Pictures

Welcome to another month in pictures! I’ve decided to say a few words here again after posting only Friday Flowers for the past months without my usual weekly roundup. Even I realise that just a few flower pics a month won’t do anything to draw people to your blog, and I was wondering why I haven’t produced much with regards to pictures lately.

It’s not that I haven’t produced anything at all, it’s just that for one thing – especially after the last food photogrphy workshop I attended – I’ve been concentrating on food photography, and I didn’t go out much to take pictures; the only place I took my camera to last month was my parents’ garden.

All that is reflected in this month’s collection as you will see – it’s bascially what I’ve been doing: creating and testing new photo backgrounds/surfaces, cooking & baking as well as experimenting with new ways of photographing for the food blogs, and the few garden details. Believe me when I say that I myself am a little (OK, a lot…) fed up with not taking the camera outside more to find more interesting subjects.

May was a very mixed month here weather-wise, it was either thunderstorms or extreme heat, and had someone said to me “let’s go out in the rain and take some pictures” I would have been happy to do so, but I didn’t fancy doing that by myself. Another thing to overcome.

I’m not going to make any promises, we all know where they can lead, but I’ll be traveling to New England again in two weeks’ time, and I’m hopeful I’ll be taking way more pictures there than I’ve been taking here at home lately. Fingers crossed!

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Seeing Your Own Pictures In Print

Last month – after about a year of procrastinating – I finally decided to have a photo book made. My own pictures in print for a coffee table book.

The reason it took so long to decide was that I couldn’t be bothered to download every provider’s software to test what I liked best, so in the end I looked at several sites that had tested photo book printers, and I decided on the one that was supposed to have the best print quality.

I wanted to have my food projects pictures printed but found out it was quite expensive. On receiving the book I understood why – I had chosen “extra thick” pages, which are basically as thick as pages in a children’s book. I hadn’t needed that but now that I knew better, I’d choose a different option next time.

The quality of the printed book is extraordinary, though. Unfortunately I’m not too good at capturing pictures of pictures, so the ones you see below will probably not convince you of the print quality of the book – but I can attest it’s perfect.

Food Projects Photo Book

I decided to give it another go with a “normal” page thickness (which is still thicker than a book you can just easily leaf through), this one was very reasonably priced, plus they had a 10 Euro discount offer going all through March.

Friday Flowers Photo Book

That offer made it quite easy for me to decide on another book, this time prints of the “Friday Flowers” I’ve been posting over the past few years here on the blog. I love the results.

So next I ordered one that I called “Raw Materials” which contains pictures of raw food.

Raw Material Photo Book

The fourth and last one I ordered is a collection of the “Everyday Details” I love to shoot. For the three other books I’d chosen a plain 1 picture per page layout. For this one I chose two different layouts (you can mix them, choosing a different one for each page), one that has 4 landscape pics spread over 2 pages, and one that has 4 portrait pics spread over 2 pages.

Everyday Details Photo Book

If you’re interested in the printers, I believe they’re a German company but have international websites, too:

https://www.saal-digital.de/

http://www.saal-digital.co.uk/

https://www.saal-digital.com/

I’ve also ordered postcard prints from them, and liked them very much. With most providers, you pay extra if you want anything printed on the backside, but with Saal Digital I was able to have a self-created barcode printed on the backside, and that was included in the printing price.

I’m currently awaiting a second large order that’ll be delivered this week.

I don’t like endorsing companies here on my blogs, but I found their print quality extraordinary, their service (book printed and delivered within two days!) very good, and the fact that they often offer discounts worth a mention.

 

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2018 February In Pictures

Goodbye to a month of illness in the family, of finally but sloooowly getting caught up with the new year even though we’re already a good quarter into it, but also a month of good news.

Earlier this week I booked my flight to Boston for my New England summer vacation and did a mental happy dance when the confirmation came in, I received my ESTA approval, and finally had something really good to look forward to.

A day later I got confirmation that I got a space at a London food photography workshop in April – more mental happy dancing.

Photography-wise I was resigned to the fact that I did not have enough picture material this month – even though it’s the shortest of the year. Then a few moments ago I realised I’d saved some away in an extra folder for this review – no happy dance, but relief.

Reviewing my pictures – not taking into account the winter wonderland ones – I might have to rename this blog “The Flower & Food Blog”. Looking forward to spring and more time outside.

How was your month?

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Reward

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Reward

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Life

2018 January In Pictures

I wasn’t going to put any words in my monthly reviews this year, but you know what happens to the best-laid plans…

Just wanted to mention that I went onto a very short photo walk in an area in Stuttgart that is actually a world heritage site. I remember going there with a friend many years ago, and we both thought we must have gotten the wrong place.

This time I made sure I got it right, and it turned out we had indeed been in the right place, only… at the risk of sounding like a philistine… it was absolutely boring and quite disappointing. What makes the place a world heritage site are houses by Le Corbusier. If you’re interested in architecture, you might like it, but it’s really not worth planning a trip there unless you live in the city anyway.

What I found way more interesting – even though just for a little detail photography – were some of the surrounding houses, built after WWII as a replacement for the ones that were bombed out. According to the info boards, there were eight houses altogether, all built by different architects, and were seen as not fitting into the environment as they were quite different in style than the existing buildings.

And that’s it – hope your January was a pleasant one!

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2017 December In Pictures

My December review is always one for the whole year. December as such was okay-ish, I’ve been to Hamburg with a friend, but then was sick again and didn’t even get to go to our Stuttgart Christmas market, which was a real pity.

The weather was on the weird side, with snow just before Christmas to get our hopes up only to laugh at us with 15°C windy days until the new year. On the bright side, our family spent more time together than usual, and I got to celebrate New Year’s Eve with the same people I always do, kind of the last highlight of the year.

As for the year and the state of the world in general, I’m sure I don’t need to tell you how bad it’s gotten. I have phases where I simply can not read the news, I am so appalled at how disturbing and brutal a place it seems to be these days. Mainly for other people in other parts of the world, and the rest of the world seems to be watching the degenerated and depraved way women and children especially are being treated. It makes me sick, and I know I’m not the only one feeling that way, but I wish humanity – including myself – would and could do more to stand up for each other.

Sorry, but I had to mention these maudlin thoughts, they can not be brushed under the carpet.

Still, I’m hoping something will change for the better this coming year. I hope you’ve all had a good year as well as a good send-off into the new year.

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HNY 2017-18 TALWL

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Welcome, 2018

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Life

2017 November In Pictures

Aaaaand another month gone. I had to take a look at my calendar to see what all I did in November, but it appears that apart from attending a Thanksgiving dinner, candle making with a friend, and a trip to Hamburg with said friend I really didn’t do much socialising.

My immune system must have thought “Why not end the year on the same note as we started!?” and gave up. I returned home from my Hamburg trip sick, and have been on sick leave this past week again, basically sleeping off my cold, hence the lateness of this monthly review.

Luckily I only got sick on the last night of the trip, so I was able to enjoy the first three days. Immensely. I visited friends, together with the friend I traveled I got to see areas of Hamburg I hadn’t been to before, because she actually grew up there, which is always a bonus, having a local accompany you.

As you can see I tried some night photography, which I was content with as I honestly have to say it was a half-hearted attempt without a tripod and without much fiddling with the camera. I was enjoying the city too much to be bothered with how the pictures would turn out. Also, I only used my 50mm lens, even though I’d brought the tele lens. Note to self: only take one lens on city trips.

Looking forward to do Xmassy things in December once I’m fit again.

PS: If you click on the first pic of the gallery, do you see something weird happen? For me, the image appears sharp and focussed for about 1 second, then it jumps and blurs. I’ve re-uploaded it but don’t know why it keeps happening.

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TALWL 2017 Advent

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The Arrival Of Advent Season

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True Meaning

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True Meaning

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Finally!

Picture Rail Wall

I’ve had these two picture rails sitting around for about a month, as I had decided to print some of my own pictures. However, I wasn’t sure where exactly I wanted them on my huge living room wall, which is 3m high and about 5m long.

I had this lone frame that you see on the left up on the wall for years, and it looked kind of lonely there, and it definitely looked boring.

Over the past few months, I bought about twice as many picture frames as you can see put up here, most of them on sale. I wanted to put them on a picture rail so I can exchange them easily, or according to season.

I’m one of those people who dither when having to make a decision about drilling holes in a wall. What if I chose the wrong location and it doesn’t look as I’d visualised it? That’s why it took so long to make an appointment with my DIY Queen sister. She just shakes her head at my thoughts and says: “You know you can fill drill holes with spackling right!?”

It took her less than 15 minutes to get everything done. Had I attempted this by myself, the rails would have ended up thrown into a corner accompanied by lots of swearing.

I have about 2.50m of empty wall to the left of the big picture, but we were both not sure if more small pictures would look too crowded/cluttered. I’ll think about it, because I have those other 20 framed pictures lying around…

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Mud + Scum

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Singing Through Mud & Scum

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Wishing + Planning

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Wishing vs. Planning

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Halloween 2017

For the past three years I was invited to a friend’s Halloween… I was going to say party, but really it’s a Halloween extravaganza. The number of decorations and details is mind-blowing, both outside and inside the house. You don’t know where to look first, and even though you know there are critters around that will jump up and make noise when activated by motion sensors, you will jump every time.

This year I brought my camera, but bear in mind the pictures were taken in daylight, just before the kiddies came for trick & treating, so it doesn’t look as spooky as it actually did at night. You’ll have to use your imagination to picture all this at night fully lit and come alive.

One of my personal joys these past three years was to watch the “cool teenagers” who pretend they’re just looking out of curiosity, and that they’re really too cool for it all, then sneak up on them and just go RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRAH! Works like a charm every time, and makes them jump and scream 😂 😂😂 .

The absolute highlights, though, have always been my hostess’ self-made costumes. Unbelievably creative. We usually talk about our costumes for the next year right after the party, and my friend mostly already has a vague idea, and then you see her creativity come alive through the year, and you know it’ll probably be even better than this year’s, even if it’s hard to imagine. And then to see her actually dressed up is just amazing.

Here’s a small selection of the decorations, as well as my friend in her costume. The motto this year was Come Take A Walk With Us On Cemetery Lane.

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2017 October In Pictures

Goodbye October & hello November! October gave us the full spectrum of autum weather – lots of sunshine and crisp sunny days, but also foggy mornings (which unfortunately I didn’t get to capture photographically) as well as wind & rain storms. The leaves started to turn very late this year, and then all of a sudden they seemed to have fallen down all at once .

As you’ll see from this month’s pictures, I got the biggest yield out of my two forest walks; I was really happy to be out and about with my camera again. I also took my camera to yesterday’s fabulous Halloween party but, not using a flash, did not produce anything good in the dark.

I was quite busy this month with “normal life”, too, and once again it felt like October flew by. Let’s see what November has in store.

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Cemetery Lane

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Tonight…

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