Archive for the ‘Nature Photography’ Category

Summer Update: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly




Without further ado, I am back in the saddle again after what seems like a terrible long late spring and summer break and before I even realized, the fall season starts to kick in with some really nice days for us here in Germany.

Last week I was finally able to catch a sunrise over the Ore Mountain ridges with a little fog settling in the valleys below, becoming illuminated by the wonderful warm sunlight hitting just the top layers and creating a somewhat mysterious atmosphere.

Kingdom of Light

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Then, I am on to share another shot from Germany taken some months ago at one of my favorite spots for lupines in the whole region. This year, the flowers were not as abundant as in the previous years but the sky was certainly one of the best I have ever seen here. Enjoy.


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Now for the bad and ugly and back to the good. An odyssey in the customer service industry in Germany.

Many of you know, as a landscape photographer, your shooting and well-feeling in the field, stands and falls with your gear and we’re not talking about cameras and lenses here, but rather hard- and soft-shell jackets and pants, water-proof boots, etc. Either way, I was pretty disappointed in recently acquired gear, two hardshell jackets to name it, that literally failed on the first time wearing them.

I contacted the manufacturer, who, in the US, is known for the best of the best in customer service, but apparently, things move at a different speed here in Germany and my experience was far off of pleasant. I honestly did not expect them to send two new jackets out my way but at least some sort of apology with the request to send the jackets in for inspection of the matter or anything in this direction, but not so, instead they send me the following lines back. “Of course it is always a pity if a beloved product doesn’t function the way it used to.” What? Excuse me? Did you just say beloved product? I am really sorry, but I didn’t have time to enjoy said product(s) at all because they failed miserably the first time out in the field.

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Long story short, I contacted the online retailer where I got both jackets and this time, I was more than pleased and received more than I ever expected after the first experience with the manufacturer. Not only they offered me to send me in the gear at no cost, picked up from my doorstep, the communication was super friendly and I knew at any point what was going on, where my gear has headed, etc. They handled the matter to my fullest satisfaction, but now you need to know who I was so pleased to deal with, huh?

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bergfreunde logo is where it’s at, folks. At least if you want to shop for outdoor gear in Germany.

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For recommendations on where to buy your gear, please refer to the links section of my website. Thanks for letting me rant. Oh wait, this is MY blog. Haha!

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I know I said this in the past and failed, but it won’t be too long till the next update.

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Mosquito Madness




Me and my promises… Sorry it has taken me so long again to update the blog. On the only two day break between the exams, I’ll escape the homogeneity of controlling, financial analysis and marketing to add some new images on here.

Since I was bitten by the photography bug, I’ve been attracted to wildflower images. Living in the mountains, one would think there are plenty of them to find. Well, between the fireweed which basically grows everywhere and sparse buttercups there aren’t many and I’ve always been drawn to images of the Rowena Crest near Portland, Oregon, where every spring fields of balsamroots and lupines burst into bloom.

“Glowing Lupines”
Glowing Lupines

So it was about time to find me some lupines. My own batch of glorious, flowering lupines.

Being tied up with mostly university related work, finding the right moment with all elements cooperating wasn’t easy but after missing out on some great sunsets earlier in the week which I admired from the safety of my desk, I was ready to fight endless hordes of mosquitoes and other biting critters which were all over me like nazguls over the fellowship of the ring.

Despite the ongoing battle I was able to pull off a few frames which I really liked. Fortunately, the lupines were at their peak of blooming before being squashed by heavy rains and hail later in the week. To put the shooting over the top, the sky cooperated also and provided a stunning warm atmosphere.

“Meadow of Dreams”
Glowing Lupines

For print and licensing requests, please contact me through my website form.
Thanks and catch y’all on the flip side.


Free Easter Goodie




Just wanted to wish all readers, followers, friends and family a Happy Easter weekend. May it be nothing short of quality time, sunshine, flowers and one or the other successful find.

Speaking of a successful easter egg hunt, here’s my free egg for you. Download the wallpaper below by clicking on it and saving it to your hard drive. To use the image as a wallpaper, just right-click it after it loaded, select “make desktop background” (or something like that) from the drop down menu and you’re good to go.

“Pastel Beauties”
Pastel Beauties

Happy Easter!


The Post-Winter Report




Welcome to my world. Dark, muddy and bland.

This is what the spring here in the mountains looks like these days. I am not a whiner but it is quite depressing to see great spring photography from other parts of the world and you are only surrounded by uniform brown tone. Very soon I hope the spring flowers will pop here too and bring the color back to our daily lives.

Spring is also the time when the ferns are at their best. So every minute I have to spare I will be on the hunt of flowers and ferns at streams with good flow and maybe one or the other waterfall. To stay in the loop, you should follow me on twitter where all updates and photos are announced first.

“Sensual Curves”
Sensual Curves
Canon Rebel XSi with EF Canon 70-200mm f/4L @ 188mm, 1/160s, f/16, iso 400

But what’s with the title and all the jabber about spring? Alright, to stay mostly on topic, here are some pictures I wanted to share with you. Since the weather in my part of the world was not quite as spectacular awesome nice okay-ish for great photography, I opted for some more complex and abstract compositions of well known subjects; to show them in a new and somewhat unique perspective.

Canon Rebel XSi with Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L @ 200mm, 1/800s, f/5.6, iso 400

The intention was to get in close, to bring out fine detail that often remains undiscovered in the grand landscapes but offers quite some interest. Whether it’s the striking snow drift that only reveals its fine structure under a certain lighting, ice crystals that form on a row of conifers or a strong pine tree that is struggling in a snow storm which brought a deep layer of fine snow.

“Tree of Life”
Tree of Life
Canon Rebel XSi with Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L @ 200mm, 1/8s, f/22, iso 100

I decided to leave these pictures quite large to maximize viewing pleasure. Please allow the site to load completely to really discover the fine detail in these shots. I hope to have the website updated with all new shots over the Easter weekend; as well as fixed a few minor glitches. Thanks for reading and viewing and Happy Easter to you all!

See you around.


The Struggles of Winter




Where has the time, in particular the January, gone? While I am unsure as to where it went, I feel obliged to let you know what I have been up to lately. As you might have recognized, shooting was not one of the things I have done in abundance but I did have a few fun shoots. Most of the time was spent with planning for the upcoming trip to the US in the summer months and working on presentations and the like for such “lame” things as marketing and market research, finance or business history. Being a full-time student, the time right before the exams is the busiest time of the semester and this is right NOW.

Anyhow, since I mostly wanted to talk about photography, here we go. After a rather brown and gray November and December, which given a normal year, are rather white then brown and muddy, it was the January that finally brought me the snow I was hoping for for quite some time.

But with the approaching snow, the good light faded more and more and instead of watching amazing sunrises and sunsets I’ve been constantly greeted with uniform, dull skies but these did not stop my from trying, to some extent.

The first image I want to share was taken on a hike I took earlier in the year. The fresh snow and below zero temperatures created an interesting backdrop for the single tree standing on the wide open range. The hoarfrost on the twigs resulted in a great contrast to the dark, ominous sky.

Arctic Revenge Canon Rebel XSi with Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 @ 11mm, 1/5sec, f/14.

Next in line is a study of the complex birch tree covered in heavy rime ice. A scene that is easily overseen by many but in situations of longer periods of bad light you learn to appreciate details and abstract views.

Frozen Canon Rebel XSi with EF Canon 70-200mm f/4L @ 200mm, 1/400sec, f/4, ISO400.

I have never been a wildlife photographer but as of late, blame it on the light and Canon for making incredible sharp lenses, I have learned to love avian photography. Photographing birds requires a completely different set of skills than landscape photography. Who would have thunk? I can see though how these two fields of photography complement each other and how learning and experimenting in one field can lead to an improvement in other fields of photography. Both, landscape and avian photography, require patience but then are completely different. When hiking and shooting in the mountains, shooting lakes and the like, it’s all about light, you “simply” have to wait out the bad light and hope the magical two minutes will happen. Shooting birds is different, your mind has to be in a constant hunting mode. Every second the bird can pop out through the branches and be gone a second or two later. There’s no reading books, no walking around, jumping up and down to keep you warm. It’s a tiring battle with critters weighing as much as an USB stick.

Eurasian Bullfinch Canon Rebel XSi with EF Canon 70-200mm f/4L @ 200mm, 1/500sec, f/4, ISO400.

The shot above is of an Eurasian Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula) in a thick forest of pines and easily the most colorful thing I have photographed all winter long. Getting this shot required even more than a little luck and patience. It almost cost me an eye to get close to the bird, crawling through the lower branches of pine trees to catch this beautiful male bird. Pine needles are weapons and should be put under restrictions. All kidding aside, Eurasian Bullfinchs are truly a challenge. They easily rank in the first spot when it comes to shy birds (which I tried to shoot) and are usually gone with the slightest unexpected movement or sound. Or maybe I should get some fancy pine and spruce branches to build my very own camouflage hat?

Blue Tit Canon Rebel XSi with EF Canon 70-200mm f/4L @ 200mm, 1/800sec, f/5.6, ISO400.

Another bird image and the last for today features a small younger Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) resting on a twig of a whitethorn bush.

Next challenge: Bohemian Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus) if they will ever come that far south.

Since I promised to include a short trip report from yesterday on my flickr page, please prepare yourself for another episode of: “Photo-G goes Wild. Raw and unfiltered.”

Being greeted with clear blue skies I decided it was finally time for an extended skiing trip through the forests and fields around home. I had planned to go for two hours, shoot along the way and maybe extend it to three hours. What I did not plan happened. I left after a delicious lunch with green Thai curry and to blow it off (pun intended), no, this was not part of the problem. After passing the first mountain ridge and skiing downhill into the forest where I expected to see some wildlife, the blue sky was completely gone and a snow storm started to kick in. Thinking of nothing bad I proceeded through the forest up and down the slopes, finally arriving at the river where I hoped to see, if not photograph, Common Kingfishers and White-throated Dippers which usually are easier to spot now than in the summer due to the few remaining open spots in the river. While I did not see any Kingfishers I was able to spot one Dipper along the way and let me say this, it is truly an amazing animal. Diving into the ice cold water of the fast flowing river in search of little fly larva and other critters. I applaud you White-throated Dipper! If it was me, I’d have backed out. To cut it short, I was caught in a major snowstorm on my way back home, I missed my dear deer Janet and Janice standing only 30 or so feet away due to the high winds that were blowing snow in my face like mad and if that wasn’t enough punishment, I had to find my way home in the pitch-black dark without a headlamp – on skis two inch wide. Fun! I am sure there are more episodes to be shared.

Happy shooting my friends, fellow photographers and nature lovers!