Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A chunk of ice

This is a very old piece of ice. We found this when driving to the north side of Vatnajökull past Snaefell mountain. This piece was well disconnected from the glacier itself and was slowly melting.

I loved the structures of the gravel, ash and ice as it displayed the inside of a glacial tongue.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Decorations

I don't know if the explanation was true but it was fun and it may be true.

When we got to the Vatnsnes peninsula in north west Iceland the whole town we came through was decorated in colors. Basically we found objects - from rocks to washing machines - that were painted a certain color. We came by red, blue and yellow.

We got to hear that this was a decoration contest in the town. Funny and a little strange, if you ask me.







Monday, October 29, 2012

Snaefell Mountain

In the inland part north of the Vatnajökull massive we drove out to Snaefell. 

Here are some close ups of the mountain and its snowcap.










Sunday, October 28, 2012

Create Custom Bokeh


Bokeh - oft wird es falsch geschrieben ("Bouquet") kommt aus dem Japanischen und steht für Unschärfe.
Grundsätzlich will man scharfe Bilder produzieren, aber wenn man in einem Bild mit Schärfe und Unschärfe spielt, ergeben sich oft Lichter, die in der Unschärfe liegen. Das können Lichtquellen sein, oder helle Bildpartien - in diesem Fall kleine. 


Diese Lichter lösen sich bei bildbedingter Unschärfe auf und bilden das Bokeh. Dieses hat die Form der Blende der Kamera, was am Lichteinfall liegt.

Diesen Effekt macht man sich beim Custom Bokeh zu nutze: Man verändert die Öffnung, durch die das Licht in die Kamera einfällt.


Beispielbilder seht Ihr in dem Posting unterhalb von diesem hier.




Seit Kurzem findet man Sets mit entsprechendem Zubehör für diesen Effekt, aber man kann alles Nötige auch selbst basteln.

Ich habe ein Gummiband von Ricoh genommen, weil ich es zur Hand hatte und es zufällig passte (von einem Filter Gel Set). Es reicht aber jedes Gummiband, das um das Objektiv herumpasst.

Als Objektiv habe ich das Canon 50mm f/1.8 bei Offenblende (1.8) verwendet, weil es schöne Unschärfe bietet.

Dann habe ich aus schwarzer Pappe eine Scheibe ausgeschnitten, die ein paar Milimeter größer ist, als der vordere Ring meines Objektivs (man kann von der Filtergröße bei den meisten Objektiven ausgehen). Daran habe ich mit Tesa 2 Streifen geklebt, die über das Objektiv am Rand herunterlaufen. Ich hätte sie auch unmittelbar an die Scheibe anschließen und gemeinsam ausschneiden können, aber um die perfekte Passform zu bekommen, wollte ich Möglichkeiten zum Experimentieren offenlassen.



Ich habe die Scheibe auf das Objektiv gelegt, das Gummiband darum gelegt und damit die "Beinchen" der Scheibe eingeklemmt, sodas die Scheibe (relativ) fest auf dem Objektiv liegt.

Nun hatte ich die Abdeckung meines Objektivs. In die Mitte dieser Abdeckung muss ich nun eine Form schneiden.

Ich habe mich dafür entschieden, mit einem Lochstanzer aus dem Bastelladen zu arbeiten und habe ein Ahornblatt ausgestanzt. Weil der Stanzer aber nicht so weit über die Pappscheibe hinausreichen konnte, sondern nur am Rand eines Pappstreifens eingesetzt werden kann, habe ich in die Mitte meiner Schreibe ersteinmal ein Loch geschnitten, dass ich dann mit einem kleinen Streifen abgedeckt habe - und in diesem kleinen Streifen ist das Ahornblatt eingestanzt.

Ich habe nun also eine Abdeckung auf meiner Kamera, die ein Loch in Form eines Ahornblattes hat.



Erstaunlicher Weise kann man mit der Abdeckung noch ganz normal fokussieren und fotografieren.

Wenn man nun Lichter fotografiert, also zB hinter dem Model, die in Unschärfe liegen, dann formen sie sich in der Form der Öffnung, in meinem Fall also in Form eines Ahornblattes.







Dabei stehen die Motive Kopf, wenn sie sich VOR der Schärfeebene des Aufnahme befinden und stehen richtig herum, wenn sie sich HINTER der Schärfeebene befinden. Mein Ahornblatt war mit dem Stiel nach unten montiert, als die Lichteffekte entstanden, die Ihr oben seht.


Als Model habe ich hier meine Canon 450D verwendet, während ich meine Beispielfotos mit der Canon 60D gemacht habe.

Das Beispielbild zeigt eine Lichterkette, die ich mit manuellem Fokus, völlig außer Fokus fotografiert habe.




Schöner ist, eine Aufnahme aus scharfen und unscharfen Elementen zu kombinieren, sodass das Bokeh hinter oder vor der Person entsteht. Ich werde auch dazu noch Beispielbilder machen.

Ich habe gestern erste Tests gemacht, aber ich stehe noch am Anfang meiner Versuche.

mal ein Blick aus meinem Küchenfenster

Ich bin gespannt, wie ich mit Video experimentieren kann. 


video

Hier ist ein schneller Versuch mit Blättern, Fledermäusen und einer wackelnden Lichterkette. In Premiere Pro zusammengeschnitten und mit ein paar Farbeffekten versehen. In den Videos ist der Kontrast ca. 20 Prozent hochgesetzt. Die Farben sind mit "Schnelle Farbänderung" erzeugt.

 

 
Das Herbstlaubthema wird schnell außer Mode sein. Schneeflocken, Schneemann, Herz, Streifen, Spirale, Pfeile, Smilies, etc. Wie viel Phantasie habt Ihr?







Ein weites Feld, das mit mehr Experimenten beackert werden will, denke ich.

Leaves are falling

I have been thinking about a certain techinque I learned about a while ago on the internet. And I came up with this result. I will later post a description of how this works, in case you want to try this for yourself.

Ich habe eine Weile über eine Technik nachgedacht, über die ich im Internet etwas gelesen hatte. Das hier ist mein Resultat. Ich werde nachher eine Beschreibung posten, wie ich das gemacht habe, falls Ihr es auch mal probieren wollt.





These are photos. I only colored them a little. The content is photographed in one shot each.

Das sind Photos. Ich habe nur die Farben ein wenig angepasst. Der Inhalt ist fotografiert, je in einer einzigen Belichtung. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Cormorant

A cormorant at the zoo in Gelsenkirchen. I think he lives there on his own account since he is free to leave at any time, as far as I see. But the carp and koi pond is just too good a food resource to go away from.

This is the action of catching a fish that is probably not meant as food cought on camera. I am sorry to say that I was testing a lens the moment this happend and therefore the picture quality is not what I would like it to be. But the scene is too good not to share.






Friday, October 26, 2012

More local birds

These birds are around my house and my office lately. Here are some photos of them for you to enjoy. All from this month.

one of two nuthatches (Kleiber)


eating away (black chickadee / Kohlmeise)

getting away (black chickadee / Kohlmeise)

shot from my office window, redbreast / robin / Rotkehlchen



Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Flying Monkey

Photographed at Zoom - a zoo in Gelsenkirchen, Germany.

This monkey takes off the easy way. I love the dynamic. I just really do not like the string of the zoo setup in the front. But I really didn't have a chance to help it.




Wednesday, October 24, 2012

eagle eye

These photos I took on Photokina 2012. The birds were brought in for a wildlife show and were waiting for their flights.







Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Local birds

I have lately payed some photo attention to the local birds. Now that the colder season rolls around and my bird feeders are up, more of these little guys come straight to my house and kitchen window to spend time with me for breakfast or lunch. Ok, let's be honest: They don't care for the company so much, they just want to eat. But they grow more and more used to us so I get to take some nice shots.

Photos taken in North Rhine Westfalia, Germany, October 2012.









 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Soest on a Sunday

We just spend a wonderfull late morning brunch in Soest in the market square. Sammy M and The Beyond were running a jazz show for a few hours and entertained the audience while we were sitting out in the open. It was 22 degrees, on a late morning in late October, and we were even sitting in the shade at that.

Here is a photo from the place the show was at: Brasserie Lamäng, Soest.







Sunday, October 21, 2012

Water is everywhere - Part 2

Water is everywhere in Iceland. I lately wrote a little guest blog for the page www.inspiredbyiceland.com. There I wrote about one of the most important elements in Iceland: Water. Here is the full article - Part 2:

(Part 1 I posted yesterday)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


I know, water in Iceland can be an obsessive topic. And I am not even through telling you about the swimmable parts of it. I don't want to say that this is the most Icelandic place to swim, but I guess as a tourist you will just have to give the Blue Lagoon a try. 

Outer Part of the Blue Lagoon

Turquois, milky waters, natural lava surroundings and then, once you are in it, you realize that you are supposed to slap the sediments into your face, just the ones from the buckets though. Let them dry on and feel half your age, at most, when you leave. Just, please, don't be as dumb as me when I went there for the first time. I got the sediment into my hair. Well, "got" is euphemistic. I rubbed it in because I missunderstood a tour book description. My hair felt like a guniea pig's fur for a day or so. USE the conditioner they offer. Use a lot. And everything is wonderful.

Blue Lagoon Keflavík


If you take some more time to travel Iceland - and you should - maybe you get to Mývatn. Make sure to visit the Mývatn Nature Bath. The color looks close to the one of the Blue Lagoon and it is in a natural lava setting. But this is about where the connection ends. Mývatn provides a more natural setting even and is no salt water. The active ingredients are great for you, but they are all different. The Mývatn bath is - in my eyes - the greater place. Phantastic view, great setting, a loungy time guaranteed. Check it out, tell me all about your experience, or better: Tell everybody else!

Myvatn Nature Bath


Well, you think I got through the water topic now, right? Well, I am glad to say: No, I didn't. THIS was only about the water you swim in. Not even about all of that. But you know?

I will just tell you about all the water things at another time.
Water goes any direction. Down, yes, like everywhere, but Iceland has such an array of waterfalls of all types, that you will always be stunned by the next. And they do not even all go downwards - at least not all the time or all the way. And then there are geysirs, of course. And there are glaciers and snowcaps, the ocean, fumaroles, and water, water and water. 

Sheep in Reykjadalur


So, when I do the math: Iceland is a lot, but it's nothing without the water.

My Iceland experiences and my photographic life are public – to some degree. You can check out my photoblog at http://trans-pond.blogspot.de/ I give you a fresh posting every day and I am greatly appreciating comments and visits.

And you can follow me on facebook under https://www.facebook.com/Trans.Pond.Photo (more English post promised for the future)

Me on Vatnajölull

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Water is everywhere - Part 1

Water is everywhere in Iceland. I lately wrote a little guest blog for the page www.inspiredbyiceland.com. There I wrote about one of the most important elements in Iceland: Water. Here is the full article - Part 1:

(Part 2 will follow tomorrow)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Water is the most important part of Iceland for me.


Why? Yes, you had to ask. Water is everywhere in Iceland - and in fact - around it. And water is a large part of the experience when you get deeper into Iceland.

Well, it is about landscape and volcanoes, about ice, about the light, yes, of course. But nothing of all this is worth it, if you take away the water.

Water is such an integral part of my vacations to Iceland - five to this point, but I am not done counting - especially because you get into it. Deeply into it.

If people ask me, why I love Iceland, I tell them, that it is all about relaxing and escaping my everyday world. I love to hike, I love photography and I love to just enjoy the space and the light that is just not of this world. But no matter what, you have not been to Iceland if you didn't plunge in the water. All the time.

Icelandic baths are special. Heated by geothermal power, which mostly means that they are fed by hotsprings, each has a bit different of a water. Balmy, tangy, turquois or clear and lush.



Myvatn Nature Bath




If you miss out on the bath, you missed out on Iceland. I mean it. My favorit sporty-style bath is the Laugardalslaug in Reykjavik. This large and well equipped pool is just outside downtown and conveniently right next to the campground and the youth hostel. Reykjavik has more pools to offer. I never counted, how many. Well, I do admit it. I do swim a few laps there, but I really just want to lounge in the hot pots. That's the key for me in Icelandic pools. Oh, and the fact that they do not have clorine in the water. It's all fresh and that's something that you get no where else I know.

Organized city swimming pools are great. But it does not stop there, it does not even beginn there. There is an enormous amount of local hotpots. Natural hotpots, those that are maintained in some way and also those, where a local hotspring is detoured into a pool of sorts.

Snaefell Mountain in the background

I have been driving along dusty roads in the Westfjords. And what's on the map? A pool. Well, honestly, if you drive by it, that is your problem. There is nothing more refreshing than just taking a dip in there. And meet the people. We have had many a fun conversation at those pools.



Of course, when you are camping, pools are always welcome. You don't only get a shower there - and you neeeeed to use it. Thoroughly. No options. But you get to lounge in warming water. No matter how cold it is, there is such a revitalizing energy in warmth to the core. Of course you should also enjoy that feeling without a tent waiting for you. But I am always camping in Iceland as long as I am not coming in the winter.

If you think, you got the water thing now, well, the swimming part, then I am pretty sorry to say: You have not gotten the real deal quite yet. 

Landmannalaugar is a place I still have to visit, but I have been to Reykjadalur and therefore I did get my fair amount of soaking in a hot river. 

Reykjadalur

Reykjadalur is in hiking distance from the valley behind Hveragerði and an easy daytrip from Reykjavík. It has this beautiful alpine apearance and is strewn with Icelandic sheep. And through the middle there is a river. It starts boiling hot in the high end of the valley. And by boiling I mean boiling. Don't be tempted to even dip a finger in. The further you stay to the bottom end the cooler it gets. We usually hike up and down the stream and look for a place that is not too hot. And then, by evening time, the locals show up and go a good bit further up the hot part of the river. Then you know that you may be aspiring but not quite there.

Blue Lagoon Keflavík


Where or when it is cold or colder you want the hot water, hotter, longer, more relaxing. I have acutally been sitting in a hot pot or pool in Iceland while the snow falls around me and it's icy all over. Such a great contrast to enjoy. Also, watching a sunset in the mountains around Snæfell, waiting for reindeers to show up and meanwhile sitting in open air hot pots? Tell me what beats that, anywhere in the world.


Part 2 will follow tomorrow morning!