No, you don’t have to worry about my mental well being, with all the high contrast monochrome photographs I’m posting lately. I’m perfectly fine and there is plenty of sunshine in my heart. It’s just that I more drawn to black & white work these days.
So I’m using the first “Weekly Photo Challenge” of 2018 to add some more monochrome images to this blog. The title is “growth“. The only things that are growing these days in our house are the tulips I got from my wife as birthday flowers, and the Amaryllis she planted in December and that are growing splendidly.
As with my limited time I didn’t get into town for some street photography, I did a little setup on our living room table, using a black cardboard as background, positioning flowers in front of it and using a movable desk lamp to shed some direct lights on the flowers. Then I snapped away with my PEN-F and my 14-150 F/4-5.6 zoom, shooting at 1/100 sec, f/5.6 and ISO 200. Easy setup, great results. Monochrome conversion done in Lightroom Classic CC. For the rest of the photos continue after the jump…. (more…)
One of the very highlights of our three-week journey through Namibia came at the very end, with the visit to Etosha National Park. Doing Safari in the African bush is always an exhilarating experience, seeing the wildlife up close and in their natural habitat. We’ve travelled to many national parks in Southern Africa over the years, and they all have their own beauty. What makes Etosha special is the abundance of elephants, appearing in big groups, which we never saw before. For some elephant impressions continue after the jump…. (more…)
Somehow I have a hard time transitioning back to Street Photography, so here find another Africa post. While sorting through my Namibia photos and selecting the ones I want to include in the photo book of our vacation, in a calendar etc…. I was also playing around with animal images I could convert to monochrome. I have a high key preset in Lightroom that I wanted to try out on panoramic groups of animals I photographed in Etosha National Park with my Olympus OM-D E-M1 with the mZuiko 40-150mm F/2.8 with the MC-14 Tele-Converter that increases focal length by factor of 1.4 . The Lightroom adjustments basically include increasing exposure and playing with the grad curves, were I increased the light midtowns and turned down the dark midtowns, to get that high key effect. I also increased the contrast and the clarity. To see more monochrome Etosha wilderness photos continue after the jump….
Surely on of the highlights of every Namibia trip is a visit to Sossusvlei, a salt pan surrounded by high red dunes, located in the Namib-Naukluft National Park. The name Sossusvlei can be translated with “dead-end marsh”. Sossusvlei is the final drainage basin for the Tsauchab river, who ends here and will never see the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. To find out more about this fascinating natural marvel in the Namib desert continue after the jump… (more…)
The “Streets of Nuremberg” continue with the road trip through Namibia. After leaving the capital Windhoek, we drove around 500 kilometers down south. First stop in the South of Namibia was Keetmanshoop with its famous Quiver Tree Forest.
This unique piece of nature comprises of about 300 trees of “Aloe dichotoma”, more commonly known as “quiver tree” or kokerboom, because bushmen traditionally used its branches to make quivers. The tallest quiver trees are two to three centuries old.
Quiver Tree | Namibia | 2017
African Sunset | Namibia | 2017
We arrived at the Quiver Tree Forest in the late afternoon, it is spectacular in the light of the fading day and to photography the tree silhouettes in front of the golden evening sky.
Tomorrow we will head to Fish River Canyon, the second largest canyon in the world only behind Arizona’s Grand Canyon. Stay tuned for more of Namibia!
The summer has been wild here in Germany, with scorching hot days being interrupted by massive thunder showers causing flooding and heavy damage all over the country.
This photo of some distant cumulonimbus clouds visible between two cloud layers I took with my Olympus PEN-F with the mZuiko14-150mm travel zoom. Image specs are 1/320 sec @ f/6.3, ISO 200 and 135mm focal length.
Raw conversion in Lightroom CC. I cropped the image to 16×9 format. After increasing the dynamic range by manual setting of the white and black points I reduced the highlights and opened up the shadows. After increasing saturation and contrast a tad I played with the tone curves, further bringing out the details in the thunderstorm clouds. Finally I increased the luminance of the reds and oranges in the HSL panel.
I’m thinking of getting a large print from this. Haven’t made up my mind yet.
Have I said that on of the greatest assets of my job is that it allows me connect with so many great people all across the globe. This is especially true for those I work closely with on projects, and this forges bonds beyond pure office colleagueship. With two others of those great guys I teamed up to spend our free Portland Saturday going hiking on Mount Hood. Leaving Portland at 9am we drove the 45 minutes to Zigzag Ranger Station where we asked for a recommendation for a nice hike on the slopes of Mount Hood. They recommended the Ramona Falls hike, a pretty easy 9 mile loop trail with about a 1000ft elevation gain towards the falls. The first 4 miles of the trail are identical with the famous Pacific Crest Trail, running from Mexiko through the US up to Canada. Toughest part was that we had to cross a mountain stream balancing on tree trunks. The weather was splendid, we had great talks and enjoyed a wonderful 3 hour hikes in the beautiful landscape of Mount Hood National Forest, with views of the 11,240 feet (3,426 m) volcano, walking through fairy like treescapes and capping it with the spectacular Ramon Falls, crashing down a black, 120 feet rock wall. As camera I brought the Olympus PEN-F with the mZuiko 14-150mm F/4-5.6 Travel Zoom. To see the pics from this great hike in the Pacific Northwest continue after the jump……. (more…)
It’s hot in Nuremberg, really really hot. So hot that this morning I decided to ditch my original plan to go shooting in the city. I did a bit of running in woods behind the house and then….nothing. As I have my “Around the world in 12 days” business trip coming up Tuesday I actually enjoy a bit of downtime. Summer vacation is still 6 weeks away. Not that we don’t have some refreshing seawater in Nuremberg. I’d just need to go to the Zoo. This would be really nice right now, taking a swim with our Dolphins in the beautiful open air lagoon that opened a few years ago.
The photos were taken with my Olympus OM-D E-M1 with the Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F/4-5.6 Zoom. Shooting at the far end of the zoom range I dialed in 1/1250 sec shutter speed to make sure I get sharp shots of the ever fast-moving dolphins. For both images the Oly selected the largest available aperture, f/5.6 at the tele end of the zoom. Auto ISO gave me 1000 for the first photo and 1250 for the image below. Not great, but acceptable. I shot with center point autofocus (most reliable in this situations) in burst mode (increases your chance to get a good image when the subjects move fast).
Today America celebrates 4th of July – Independence Day. A good day to show how beautiful this country is. With this selection of photos from my 2012 trip through the South West (see more after the jump) I wish everyone a fun and peaceful holiday! (more…)
I arrived back home from the Pacific Northwest last evening. I’m flying out for another 4 days / 4 countries trip tonight.
In between there is a good day of…doing nothing. Like lying in a green summer meadow full of flowers. Gazing into infinity.
Image specs are 1/500 sec @ f/5.6 and ISO 500. To get this kind of effects use a zoom lens at its far end of the focal range (in this case 150mm in m4/3, equivalent to 300mm in full frame). Focus on a flower behind the first layers of grass and flowers.