Sunday, January 27, 2013

#365 -2013 #011 / I can proof it

We had sunshine yesterday.
30 min of it and I missed 25.
When I got ready to take the dogs I could snap this last snip[pet of blue sky while outside. The clouds to the right are covering the skies since then and icy rain drops are falling.
I still enjoy being out. It's Sunday and in this weather, not many people are out.
If it were sunny, the were shitloads of folks out there ;-)
From 365 - 2013

To silence 4-legged complainers

Someone's been complaining that there are only weird wired haired dogs in my stream lately ;-)

Gotta run again, off to work, gotta spend my day in Neuwied since school's out early today and it's not worth coming home in between to pick the brats lovely kids up again ;-)

I hope I don't get a full scale cold. My body is fighting it fairly well.
Let's hope for the Best.

Wishing you a great day too and well, if you find that time that keeps running away from me, I pay a finder's fee ;-)

From The kids

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Week 2 - G+ Advanced Mentorship for Photographers by Ron

One of the goals for this week was to shoot 3 images of one topic. 
Done that.
Another goal was to produce them tack sharp.

Foggy, gloomy conditions make a bit of a trial for taking tack sharp images.
I got some good tips from our mentor and will (hopefully) give it another go today or tomorrow, depending on the weather and depending on how my cold advances and how I feel.

At least I used my Tri -  and Monopod this week. 
That was another task, start to form some good habits. 
I failed on the Shop and Storage clean-up part, but I keep working on those two habits ;-)
Forming bad habits seems to go faster than the good ones ;-)

From G+ Advanced Mentorship for Photographers - Playbox

From G+ Advanced Mentorship for Photographers - Playbox

From G+ Advanced Mentorship for Photographers - Playbox

And here is my original Plus post for this week, just for my own memory:

Mission 2 - Plus post

Well, well, I did manage to go out and shoot. Time and weather sure wasn't on my side, but that's just a lame excuse.
I did get my three photos, even the ones I did plan and the way I thought of them.
They are not tack sharp as requested, me bad.
I DID use a monopod (tripod was too much of a haul for the distance I had to cover and the little time I had), I did use AP since the camera has been smarter in this kind of weather than me.
But the foggy, cloudy conditions are defo not my best friend.
But I tried (and nearly froze my ass off, there's enough left of it though ;-))

As for the habits, using a tripod wasn't on my list, but since I did better with that than with the planned half hour work in my Zazzle shop and my archives, I think I should mention, that I took my tripod out (and used it) two times this week. And one time I took my monopod.
I still keep my planned new habits on my list and will follow through with them.
I guess new habits don't form overnight.

As for learning buttons on my camera, that came in handy today while trying to snatch some shots of a raptor in a far away tree. I wanted to rush to get my proof shots of my Lifer (Birding terms for a new bird that I hadn't seen before) and so, knowing where the buttons were and remembering that I can see what I am dialing in my viewfinder helped a lot while using exp. comp. I just took a few photos to get the bird. 
Then I could take all the time I wanted to set up my tripod and camera and shoot for better detail :-)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

#365 2013 - #010 - That's what I get...

... for not playing with her with a stick

From The kids

G+ Advanced Mentorship - Playing with Long Exposure

One thing I am trying to get the hang on since a while is Long Exposure.
I've often played, but never have been persistent in trying.

Two days ago I took my Tripod with me. Since there was not much to shoot on my short walk, I took the opportunity to play a bit for the Mentorship program.

I set the lens settings from 'active' to 'normal' and turned also the 'image stabilization' off (as suggested by Ron).

I manually set the aperture on 22 and played through various shutter speeds and exposure compensations (i did the viewfinder thing, without looking at the display for a few images, but had to check to see what the results were).
Suggestion in my manual was to go with 'Bulb' setting (Shutter speed) for Long Exposures. That doesn't help me when I have very mixed conditions (gloomy day with bright snow). I had to set the ISO on very low and also maxed out the exp. comp to -5 (the darkest possible).

But heck, at least I can see now the milky softness that a long exposure can produce on running water.
That was my goal :-)
Easy for some, a tough one for me, for whatever reason ;-)

From G+ Advanced Mentorship for Photographers - Playbox
From G+ Advanced Mentorship for Photographers - Playbox
From G+ Advanced Mentorship for Photographers - Playbox
From G+ Advanced Mentorship for Photographers - Playbox

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Photography Mentorship Week 2 - Habit forming

One part of the Mentorship program & a lesson for this week is the forming of habits.
I have chosen two to develop in the coming weeks.
1/2 hour each for working in my Zazzle Shop and for cleaning up my ext. Harddrive (current status: 106.328 files, photos from 2004 up to today).
I might pop up with an archive shot as a reward from time to time.
Not that that would sidetrack all.... :-)
But heck, I've done both today, so here comes my reward:

From Egypt

Fake is hip
Il Mercato, Hadaba, Sharm el Sheikh, South Sinai, Egypt 2009

Photography Mentorship - Week 2 - Playing around

Collared Dove, Mayen Nette

So, yesterday I took my camera and my tripod out.
I mainly wanted to play with the idea Ron gave me about using 'aperture priority'.
I had the dogs with me and the weather sort of sucked (it wasn't snowing at that moment, but foggy and overcast).
On this photo I didn't use the Tripod yet, but I figured since Mrs Collared dove didn't fly away, I would at least fumble with the camera and try out the 'AP'.
It's not a killer sharp shot, but I can already tell the difference and that the camera is much smarter than me in choosing the right setting when it comes to aperture.
This will be interesting in the future. Maybe I get the hang of it this way ;-)

Monday, January 21, 2013

#365 - 2013 #009 / Lonely winter days - Kuhdrift, Mayen

From 365 - 2013

Have a great week everyone.
I will be digging into the new Mentorship week and most
likely post more than be around. 
Will catch you on the bright side :-)

#365 - 20213 #007 / Frozen spring

From 365 - 2013
Frost was the death of these little Beauties. They popped up after the last cold spell, as soon as it got warmer. Got a wee bit mixed up, I think.

I am starting to feel a bit better. I guess after today, the back pain at least will be gone again. Perfect for the new work week. sigh :-)

Wishing you all a great Sunday! We had fresh snow. Hope it stays long nough for me to take some more purdy snow pics (maybe with some blue skies for once, pretty please?!)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Thursday, January 17, 2013

#365-2013 / 005 - Step by Step

Step by Step - leads to understanding

From 365 - 2013

Week 1 of the Mentorship program is already over.
Hard to believe.
This time it was more reflecting and writing about oneself, instead of taking photos. It's a good start. Putting things into words that effect me personally isn't my greatest strength.
At least I got back to taking Photos. And having fun doing so :-)

For the ones interested, we had to write an open letter to Ron, our mentor in the mentorship program.

Here's what I put together:

Dear Ron,
During the past few months I have lost my mojo and I hadn’t picked up the camera in weeks. I expect the program to motivate me again, which it already did.
Other than that I want to learn to see things differently, or show them differently. That was one major step stone during the last mentorship program and I expect that we can look forward to something similar this time.
I want to be able to show the magic I see in nature better, than I did  in the last few years. Maybe via techniques or via correcting things I do wrong in camera usage (wrong lens aperture, ISO, etc.). Not sure if the latter will be part of the program, but I am sure whatever comes along will help me in the future.
I am currently struggling with showing the magic. I am showing nature, I am showing photos, I assume people like, but I am missing something in them. It would be great to find better ways and options to get them in there.
Since 2004 I have seldom let my camera out of my hands. I find it fascinating to show people the world I live in. Be it the nature, wildlife, architecture, animals or decay. At first it helped me remember the places we had been to, stories to go along with the photos. It soon developed into something more. I wanted to show beautiful photos with a bit more artsy skill behind them. I looked at how others did it and soon developed my own ways a bit farther down the road from simple snap shooting. I still love to show the world around me and that is why the camera usually isn’t far from me.
I love to shoot nature (landscapes, wildlife – usually birds, macro). I would really love to dig deeper into this subject by getting the ‘right’ gear for great bird photos and landscape photography.
I also like architecture in cultures, hence old buildings, temples, monuments, etc. and people from various cultures. I am not exactly good at architectural photos though and a bit shy when it comes to Portraits.
If money weren’t’ an issue, I would start a class in photography to learn it from scratch, I would get the best gear I could lay my hands on afterward and would travel the world. I would capture the wild nature of places, the cultural heritage and it’s people. Before it gets all lost due to human stupidity.
As far as Self discovery goes, the pattern I can find is, that nature always has been a part of my photography. Trees in all forms, flower, insect close ups, wildlife in general. Colours were usually ‘normal’ tones, pretty close to the natural vista (not over saturated, etc.) and cropping changed only in bits with developing skill and eye. I was also drawn to architecture (houses, monuments, way crosses). Usually something out of the ordinary catches my eyes, some decay, something quirky and I feel like capturing it – or try at least.
As for the pinning part, I am drawn to beautiful images with colours and some sort of magic in them. Great clarity and crisp details. Speed pinning draws me pretty much to the same photos. In the few Portraits I have pinned, it’s the personality of the people and also the crispness and quality that has drawn me. Those were usually fascinating characters where the photo alone already talks a volume.

 Here's the link to said Pinterest board:

And here's a link Ron provided us with, well worth the 10 minutes watching for anyone who is into photography:

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

#365 / 2013 - 004 / Frozen

It's drizzling snow since early this morning.
The river is freezing closed from all directions
and the dogs are having fun ;-) 

Frozen from the ground
From 365 - 2013
From 365 - 2013
From 365 - 2013
We met a friend
From 365 - 2013
Lilly and King :-)
From 365 - 2013
From 365 - 2013
From 365 - 2013
Play with me - anyone!
From 365 - 2013
From 365 - 2013

Monday, January 14, 2013

#365 / 2012 - 003 - And there it was again

And there it was again, that white fluffy stuff from the skies.
It makes for happy driving when there's a bunch of morons around, who are either convinced of being invincible, or don't know how to drive on icy roads.
The roads were covered in an hour and turned to ice at the same time where cars drove over. The 'de-icers' were out fast this time (is there a law that they HAVE to go out at certain minus temperatures?), but around Mayen were at least two big car crashes with many cars involved.
Gladly not me, I just had to deal with other idiots.
The kids asked me, if there's Christmas again, since it snowed.
Gotta love kids...

#Germany - Mayen, St. Veit Strasse

Yesterday I took a stroll through Mayen, trying to capture some of the old buildings left standing after the war. I was inspired by one of the books about the destruction that happened during the last days of war. 

Mayen was declared a dead city afterward. In the coming days I will go to some of the places in the book and capture the pictures in there the way the places look now.

I’m not sure how old these buildings in the photo are, I just know that for some reason my photos didn’t turn out the way I wanted them to. Time to relearn the camera and its settings, I guess ;-)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

#365 2013 #002 Freizeitzentrum Mayen

This morning I’ve walked a path I’ve walked many times before.

Huge icycles below the Viadukt
From 365 - 2013

I’ve also taken photographs here many times.

Smaller ice blossoms
From 365 - 2013

That is possibly one of the reasons I have left the camera at home these past few weeks.

Strange tree trunks and folks asking me what the heck's so interesting here ;-)
From 365 - 2013
The feeling that I cannot capture new things.

Strange tree trunks and folks asking me what the heck's so interesting here ;-)
From 365 - 2013
Or the feeling that I cannot capture the Beauty adequately. 

Moos und Schiefer = Heimat
From 365 - 2013

Meaning I take the photos with the wrong camera settings (exposure, etc.) and being disappointed with myself when viewing them at home.

Fairy caves
From 365 - 2013
From 365 - 2013
More strange trees and fairy caves
From 365 - 2013
More strange trees and fairy caves
From 365 - 2013

I will try not to fall into a slump again and instead just shoot with trial and error, sometimes use heavy editing and come along with a result that looks utterly different from what I have seen. 

Just home
From 365 - 2013

Which is what I did before too, but for some reason I stopped enjoying it.

Fantasy Reality
From 365 - 2013

With the new mentorship program on its way, I will open my mind again and just enjoy whatever I come up with.

Scrubby du
From 365 - 2013
Visit from Holga
From 365 - 2013
Kloster Helgoland voraus
From 365 - 2013

It’s not perfect photography . It probably never will be. But it’s me.

Trial and error
From 365 - 2013

Saturday, January 12, 2013

#365 2013 #001 Fish tales

Where we tried to find the fishies
From 365 - 2013
Well, well.
There's 2013 and I have almost missed it ;-)
Hubby was here for 2 weeks, brought him to the airport this morning.
I will most likely follow in 4 weeks.
Kuwait, what else ;-)
At least for a little while (uhm,...)

Ice, ice , Baby
From 365 - 2013
Today was the first time in weeks that I picked up the camera.
Idiot me didn't even take it while hubby was here.

Just reflecting
From 365 - 2013
The weather sucked for photos (then AND today).

Silly pooch
From 365 - 2013
More silly pooch
From 365 - 2013
Anyway, I wanted to capture the places where we spent some fun time these last two weeks.
Playing with the silly dogs and huge sticks, watching for fish that weren't there, teasing the ducks (not with King usually).

Watching the ducks, King using my moment of distraction for an (by me) unwanted swim
From 365 - 2013

So, I am doing a 365 project again, I almost made it through last year (even though I haven't posted the ones I took for a long time).
I am not restricting myself to one pic this time, I'll just post what I want :-)

I also got on board of the Advanced Mentorship for photographers program by the awesome  and my mind is still blown away by having this great opportunity again!
Glad he accepted me and that even though I hadn't checked my mail for a week. Me bad ;-)
I am looking forward to work with the camera again. And of course to work with Ron and the Gang :-)

A wee bit sad,..., but heck another 4 weeks won't kill me,...
From 365 - 2013