0
0,00  0 items

No products in the basket.

The friendly smile of a young Tibetan novice monk at Tashi Lhunpo monastery
A friendly smile - Tibetan monastery-school novice
The friendly smile of a young Tibetan novice monk at Tashi Lhunpo monastery
Isn't it amazing how much of a difference even a small smile can make? This young Buddhist novice shows us why and how! Visiting an active monastery, no matter which religion, always feels a bit strange. On one hand, it is of course very interesting to not only explore the buildings and historic treasures, but to also get a feeling of the daily life within the walls. On the other hand, one tends to feel like an intruder, not really fitting in. (Shigatse, Tibet, April 2014 - Image ID: 201404-CN-61)
Diagonal scenic view of Lhasa's Potala Palace against cloudy snow-capped mountain peaks
Potala Palace against cloud- and snow-covered mountains
Diagonal scenic view of Lhasa's Potala Palace against cloudy snow-capped mountain peaks
What a breathtaking view to conclude our stay in Tibet. Despite (or because of?) the bad weather, the majestic Potala Palace with cloudy mountains covered by fresh snow looks absolutely magic. I particularly liked the sharp contrast between the impressive manmade construction, and the untamed beauty of nature. Zooming in combined these two elements even closer. (Lhasa, Tibet, April 2014 - Image ID: 201404-CN-66)
Aerial blue hour view of the Himalayas with some peaks illuminated peaks
Himalaya snow covered peaks in blue - I
Aerial blue hour view of the Himalayas with some peaks illuminated peaks
For me, no matter which flight, it always needs to be a window seat. One never knows what exactly to expect, and may discover very interesting landscapes or manmade structures, looking completely different from an aerial view. This was definitely true on our flight from Lhasa to Chengdu, flying over extended high-mountain ranges covered with fresh snow. Absolutely out of this world !!! (Tibet, April 2014 - Image ID: 201404-CN-68)
Early morning view of the river banks of Tibet's Yarlung Zangbo river in mountain valley
Yarlung Zangbo River morning panorama
Early morning view of the river banks of Tibet's Yarlung Zangbo river in mountain valley
On our way to Lhasa's Gonggar Airport early in the morning, we once again met an old acquaintance: the Yarlung Zangbo River. This time, the sun was still too low to fully illuminate the valley. Therefore, the riverbed and the trees growing on its shores still lay in the shade, whereas the mountains in the background already started to warm up in the sunshine. A very peaceful and relaxing scenery to say goodbye to Tibet! (Yarlung Zangbo River, Tibet, April 2014 - Image ID: 201404-CN-67)
Orange wall with a massive black portal hosting a nicely decorated red wooden door
Tashi Lhunpo red door and portal
Orange wall with a massive black portal hosting a nicely decorated red wooden door
Within the Tashi Lhunpo monastery, there are some truly impressive ancient door portals. Their striking colors and size make it impossible to miss them. My favorite was this red door integrated into a wall painted in dark orange. The thick black frame made it look even bigger than it actually was. And the colorful decoration on the wood and the door itself were very artistic. (Shigatse, Tibet, April 2014 - Image ID: 201404-CN-58)
Red buildings with artfully decorated golden roof against mountain ridge
Tashi Lhunpo monastery against mountain ridge
Red buildings with artfully decorated golden roof against mountain ridge
One our way out, I took this photo showing some of the buildings and rooftops of the Tashi Lhunpo Monastery against the backdrop of the surrounding mountains. A number of prayer flags is distributed this steep and rocky terrain. The colors of the construction nicely fit to the earthy tones of nature. The ornaments and carvings on the buildings and the golden rooftops are an impressive evidence of Tibetan artistic skills. (Shigatse, Tibet, April 2014 - Image ID: 201404-CN-62)
Low-angle view of white Tibetan stupas with golden top against blue sky
Tashi Lhunpo monastery stupas
Low-angle view of white Tibetan stupas with golden top against blue sky
The Tashi Lhunpo complex is the second largest monastery in Tibet. Founded back in 144t by the first Dalai Lama, it is the traditional seat of the Panchen Lama. At peak times, more than 4.000 monks resided within the huge complex. As in many other monasteries', Tashi Lhunpo also has some architecturally impressive and culturally important stupas which I captured against the dark blue cloudy sky. (Shigatse, Tibet, April 2014 - Image ID: 201404-CN-57)
Rear view of an elderly couple in traditional clothes with prayer mill and walking stick
Elderly Tibetan pilgrim couple
Rear view of an elderly couple in traditional clothes with prayer mill and walking stick
Within the temple complex, we felt a quiet and peaceful atmosphere. This was further enhanced by the decent amount of visitors who came here for religious reason. I particularly liked this elderly couple equipped with a prayer mill. They slowly walked around the main square within the huge complex of the Palcho Monastery. (Gyantse, Tibet, April 2014 - Image ID: 201404-CN-51)
Low-angle view of the huge nine-floor high Kumbum at Palcho Monastery against blue sky
Kumbum at Palcho Monastery
Low-angle view of the huge nine-floor high Kumbum at Palcho Monastery against blue sky
The main attraction within the huge Palcho Monastery complex is the Bodhi Dagoba, also called Kumbum, the largest of its kind in Tibet. More than 70 chapels are located on the nine floors within this impressive structure, with each of them being unique. I took quite a lot of photos from the inside as well, documenting the colorful shrines with wall paintings. Unfortunately, despite of having a local guide, it was rather difficult to understand and remember the meaning of all these historic artefacts. (Gyantse, Tibet, April 2014 - Image ID: 201404-CN-52)
Frontal view of a building with a large wooden door and weathered bricks again sky with clouds
Brick house with wooden door against sky
Frontal view of a building with a large wooden door and weathered bricks again sky with clouds
After the interesting visit of the Palcho Monastery, we walked across to the other side of town to climb the Gyantse fortress. On our way, I discovered this very old looking brick building with its even older looking wooden door. If you look carefully, you will spot a single pigeon sitting on the upper left corner of this portal. I liked the weathered look of this construction against the dark blue sky. (Gyantse, Tibet, April 2014 - Image ID: 201404-CN-53)
Deeply absorbed Tibetan woman with prayer mill on her pilgrimage inside Tashi Lhumpo monastery
Elderly Tibetan woman with prayer mill
Deeply absorbed Tibetan woman with prayer mill on her pilgrimage inside Tashi Lhumpo monastery
Our final of many temple visits in Tibet was the Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in Shigatse. It is very important both from a historical and cultural point of view. For this reason, many people travel there to worship. This elderly woman with her portable prayer mill seems to be completely focused on her walk around the main square of the monastery. (Shigatse, Tibet, April 2014 - Image ID: 201404-CN-56)
Blue sky with white clouds and the red wall protecting the Palcho Monastery in Gyantse
Outer walls of Palcho Monastery
Blue sky with white clouds and the red wall protecting the Palcho Monastery in Gyantse
Another impressive destination on our journey through parts of Tibet was the Nyangchu river valley in Gyantse. It is home of the impressive Palcho Monastery. As most of the Tibetan monasteries, it is heavily fortified. A huge red colored wall built around it on the surrounding hills protects the entire complex. Just the low-angle view of this more than 500 year old construction against the dark sky was already quite amazing. (Gyantse, Tibet, April 2014 - Image ID: 201404-CN-50)
Two white painted stones with Chinese writing and altitude marker 5.020m at Kharola Glacier in Tibet
Altitude markers at Kharola Glacier viewpoint
Two white painted stones with Chinese writing and altitude marker 5.020m at Kharola Glacier in Tibet
These markers confirm the altitude of the highest mountain pass on our transfer from Lhasa to Gyantse, exceeding 5.000 meters above sea level. We stopped for a while at this place, and enjoyed the spectacular views of the Kharola Glacier nice framed by the typical and colorful Tibetan prayer flags. (Kharola Glacier, Tibet, April 2014 - Image ID: 201404-CN-47)
Close-up of two Tibetan women, holding a baby yak in their arms with the mother animal standing by
Two Tibetan women with baby yak
Close-up of two Tibetan women, holding a baby yak in their arms with the mother animal standing by
The highest mountain pass on our transfer from Lhasa to Gyantse reached more than 5.000 meters above sea level. We stopped for a while at this place, and enjoyed the spectacular views of the Kharola Glacier. Walking around a bit, we once again met some local Tibetan people who make a small business from posing for cameras with their typical costumes. My favorite image shows two women, one of them holding a baby yak with its mother standing next to them. (Kharola Glacier, Tibet, April 2014 - Image ID: 201404-CN-45)
Ensemble of two mountain peaks, one with yellow-brownish grass and the other one with snow and ice on top
Snow covered mountain peak overlooking Tibetan grasslands
Ensemble of two mountain peaks, one with yellow-brownish grass and the other one with snow and ice on top
This is another example about the ever-changing natural beauty in the Tibetan highlands. On our way from Lhasa to Gyantse, we passed a lot of snow-covered mountains. Their bright white provided a strong contrast to the warm yellowish color of the ground, mostly covered by grass. (Tibet, April 2014 - Image ID: 201404-CN-43)
Large dark red prayer flags laid out on the arid floor with mountains and a beautiful lake in the background
Deep red prayer flags at high mountain lake
Large dark red prayer flags laid out on the arid floor with mountains and a beautiful lake in the background
This panoramic view once again underlines the stunning location and breathtaking beauty of the Yamzho Yumco lake in Tibet's Nagarze county. Surrounded by high mountains, the water reflects the blue of the sky. Whilst the surface due to the high altitude of 4.500m above sea level is only scarcely vegetated, there are other elements adding a lot of color. Whilst these are not the traditional multi-colored Tibetan prayer flags, I liked them a lot due to their intense dark red. (Gampa Pass, Tibet, April 2014 - Image ID: 201404-CN-39)
Beautifully decorated Tibetan Yak standing on the edge of a mountain road
Yak with colorful Tibetan decoration
Beautifully decorated Tibetan Yak standing on the edge of a mountain road
On our drive from Lhasa to Gyantse, the road climbed to more than 4.500 meters above sea level at the Gampa Pass. One of the attractions on our route was the beautiful Yamzho Yumco lake. The water shines in an amazing turquoise color, reflecting the blue sky. With many tourist stops en route, this has become an important source of income for some local people. Apart from posing for cameras with their typical costumes, their beautifully decorated yaks are quite popular photo models. (Gampa Pass, Tibet, April 2014 - Image ID: 201404-CN-36)
Scenic view of the turquoise Tibet's Yamdrok reservoir lake from Gampa Pass
Panoramic view of Yamzho Yumco lake
Scenic view of the turquoise Tibet's Yamdrok reservoir lake from Gampa Pass
On our drive from Lhasa to Gyantse, we passed quite a lot of spectacular mountains and lakes. One rest place was overlooking the beautiful Yamdrok lake reservoir at an altitude of almost 4.500m above sea level. It is one of four holy lakes in Tibet, and with more than 70km in length, also one of the largest freshwater reservoirs. With the surrounding snow-covered mountain peaks, the scenery is absolutely breathtaking. (Yamdrok Lake, Tibet, April 2014 - Image ID: 201404-CN-35)
Portrait of smiling Tibetan farmer in traditional costume with little goat
Proud owner of a cute little goat
Portrait of smiling Tibetan farmer in traditional costume with little goat
After a few days in Lhasa, we moved on to our next destination. On our way to Gyantse, the road climbed to more than 4.500 meters above sea level at Gampa Pass. One of the attractions on our route was the beautiful Yamzho Yumco lake. With a lot of tourists stopping at various viewpoints, some local Tibetans make a living from posing for photo and video cameras with their typical costumes and animals. (Gampa Pass, Tibet, April 2014 - Image ID: 201404-CN-32)
Rocky beach with waves of the Yamzho Yumco lake against blue sky with large white clouds
Waves washing onto the rocky shores of Yamzho Yumco lake
Rocky beach with waves of the Yamzho Yumco lake against blue sky with large white clouds
After an extended stop, enjoying the spectacular lake and mountain scenery, we continued our journey towards Gyantse. The road descended towards the Yamdrok Lake reservoir, so we asked the driver for another stop to explore the lakeshore. It was quite windy and cold that day, so some smaller waves washed onto the rocky beach. The lake tends to freeze during winter. (Yamdrok Lake, Tibet, April 2014 - Image ID: 201404-CN-41)
Rear side view of a Tibetan woman performing a prayer against mountain landscape with colorful flags
Say a highland prayer for me
Rear side view of a Tibetan woman performing a prayer against mountain landscape with colorful flags
After some interesting days in Lhasa, it was time to go to our next destination. On the way to Gyantse, the Gampa Pass climbs more than 4.500 meters above sea level. One of the attractions on our route was the beautiful Yamzho Yumco lake. With a lot of tourists stopping at various viewpoints, some Tibetans make a living from posing for cameras with their typical costumes. This woman performed some kind of a prayer ceremony. (Gampa Pass, Tibet, April 2014 - Image ID: 201404-CN-33)
Portrait of a friendly smiling fruit vendor with his cart filled with citrus fruit and apples
Happy fruit merchant in Lhasa
Portrait of a friendly smiling fruit vendor with his cart filled with citrus fruit and apples
When you walk around a town during a holiday trip, one tends to get a feeling about the locals living there as well. Are they open, curious and welcoming towards visitors, or rather shy or even showing a repressive attitude? During our time in Lhasa, we mostly met people who fell into the first category. Even though communication was difficult due to language issues, we saw a lot of friendly smiles. This fruit merchant proudly presented his mobile shop to us. (Lhasa, Tibet, April 2014 - Image ID: 201404-CN-29)
Low-angle view of many ropes with Tibetan prayer flags attached to a stony mountain peak
Colorful Tibetan prayer flags against blue sky
Low-angle view of many ropes with Tibetan prayer flags attached to a stony mountain peak
One of the first things that come to your mind after travelling to Tibet are the colorful prayer flags. Traditionally, the colors represent the five pure lights. They can be found almost everywhere, especially along trails and on mountain peaks. This makes sense since their purpose is to bless the surrounding area. I found this accumulation of Tibetan prayer flags in the mountains above the Yumbu-Lha Khang monastery in Tsetang. (Tsetang, Tibet, April 2014 - Image ID: 201404-CN-20)
Line-up of four metal chairs with red seats and backs in front of a weathered blue wall
Four aged metal chairs with red seats
Line-up of four metal chairs with red seats and backs in front of a weathered blue wall
Yes, these chairs have definitely seen better days. But they are still in working condition, and therefore are properly lined up, waiting for "customers". I found this line-up during a stroll in the narrow alleys and streets of the old town of Lhasa. (Lhasa, Tibet, April 2014 - Image ID: 201404-CN-27)
Pieces of fresh meat hanging outside a butchery in Lhasa Old Town
Freshly cut meat in Lhasa old town butchery
Pieces of fresh meat hanging outside a butchery in Lhasa Old Town
I always find it quite interesting to visit local markets when I travel to foreign countries. For visitors coming from "developed countries", this might not be the most appealing place to buy meat. However, this is how a local butchery in Lhasa old town looks like, and the merchandise was quite fresh. What obviously helps are the low temperatures in Tibet, compared to similar set-ups in the tropics. (Lhasa, Tibet, April 2014 - Image ID: 201404-CN-30)
Green painted sheet metal with a silver bucket, a broom and a floor wiper
Ready for spring cleaning
Green painted sheet metal with a silver bucket, a broom and a floor wiper
In many cultures, the awakening of spring is also the time when people do a major clean-up in their homes and gardens. After a long and sometimes tough winter, this marks the beginning of a new era. Therefore, even people usually not very passionate about housekeeping do follow this tradition. I found this diverse line-up in the old town of Lhasa. (Lhasa, Tibet, April 2014 - Image ID: 201404-CN-28)
Low-angle view of a dark-blue parasol with the shade of the branch of a tree
Blue sunshade with tree shadow
Low-angle view of a dark-blue parasol with the shade of the branch of a tree
Admittedly, this sunshade photo could be from anywhere, and Tibet would probably one of the last places I would guess. However, this is where I found this beautiful blue color. The purpose of the umbrella was to protect guests sitting outside in the patio of a local restaurant in Lhasa. In addition to the structure of the sunshade, a branch of a tree also left an interesting shadow pattern on the textile parasol. (Lhasa, Tibet, April 2014 - Image ID: 201404-CN-31)
Low-angle view of white and red painted road guiding posts against mountains and blue sky
Red and white concrete road guiding posts
Low-angle view of white and red painted road guiding posts against mountains and blue sky
One of the things I love about photography is that is sharpens your eye, and makes you see the world around you with a different perspective. This includes even simple things, such as these concrete guiding posts on a rural road in Tibet. There was nothing spectacular about this place, so I started to find a different (low-angle) viewpoint. Combining the red and white manmade objects with the natural spring awakening of the trees and the bold mountains in the background created an interesting composition. (Yarlung Zangbo River, Tibet, April 2014 - Image ID: 201404-CN-22)
Collection of many flower pots with plants in full blossom against red wall
Lhasa old town flower lover
Collection of many flower pots with plants in full blossom against red wall
The old town of Lhasa is an absolute paradise for photographers who enjoy "urban exploration". Whenever I go to a new place, I do enjoy just walking around to absorb the specific atmosphere. Instead of ticking of tourist attractions, I focus on capturing ordinary details. This collection of flower pots against the beautiful red of the stone wall immediately caught my attention. It seems that the owner of this house really likes plants. (Lhasa, Tibet, April 2014 - Image ID: 201404-CN-21)
Scenic view of Yumbu-Lha Khang palace with prayer flags overlooking green mountain valley
Yumbu-Lha Khang monastery with prayer flags
Scenic view of Yumbu-Lha Khang palace with prayer flags overlooking green mountain valley
Amongst the many monasteries' visited during our 1o days trip, I really liked Yumbu-Lha Khang in Tsetang. This is not so much about the architecture or religious treasures within the building. What I enjoyed most is the spectacular location on a small peak, half way up the mountain . From there, visitors can enjoy nice views over the valley, which in April already changed from winter into spring mode. Combined with the omnipresent Tibetan prayer flags, this resulted in a remarkable piece of art. (Tsetang, Tibet, April 2014 - Image ID: 201404-CN-19)
Highly color-saturated Tibetan prayer flags above the bank of the Yarlung Zangbo river flowing through Tibet mountain landscape
Colorful Tibetan prayer flags at Yarlung Zangbo river bank
Highly color-saturated Tibetan prayer flags above the bank of the Yarlung Zangbo river flowing through Tibet mountain landscape
This is another shot of the omnipresent Tibetan prayer flags. These ones were located right on the riverbed next to the road, and as such easy to spot and capture. Driving alongside the Yarlung Zangbo River running through the dry Tibetan mountain landscape never gets boring. Nature alone creates tons of photo opportunities. These rectangular flags were an optional extra that adds a lot of color to the image. (Yarlung Zangbo River, Tibet, April 2014 - Image ID: 201404-CN-24)
Side-view of one Eurasian hoopoe sitting on rocks on top of mountain
Eurasian hoopoe mountain lookout
Side-view of one Eurasian hoopoe sitting on rocks on top of mountain
Most tourists coming to Tsetang go there to visit the famous Yumbu-Lha monastery. And so I did together with my family. However, the spectacular scenery with the surrounding mountains also caught my attention. While taking a 360 degrees survey of the area, I spotted this beautiful bird sitting on the rocks. Thankfully, it stayed there for quite some time, so I could take a few pictures. (Tsetang, Tibet, April 2014 - Image ID: 201404-CN-15)
A small boat crossing the Yarlung Zangbo River with fresh green trees on the riverbank
Crossing the Yarlung Zangbo River by boat
A small boat crossing the Yarlung Zangbo River with fresh green trees on the riverbank
During our stay in Tibet, we took a day tour from Lhasa to Tsetang to visit the famous Thradrug monastery. On our way, we drove along the Yarlung Zangbo River. The blue water and sky created an amazing contrast to the bald mountains in the background, and the fresh spring green of the trees. The small red boat was the cherry on the top for this scenic landscape photo. (Yarlung Zangbo River, Tibet, April 2014 - Image ID: 201404-CN-10)
White cloud with the shape of a hot-air balloon on top of a mountain peak with green tree on the right
Hot-air balloon shaped cloud
White cloud with the shape of a hot-air balloon on top of a mountain peak with green tree on the right
Sometimes it doesn't require any famous buildings or breathtaking landscapes to create interesting photo opportunities. Looking up into the sky will frequently reward us with unusual cloud shapes and patterns. This one reminds me of a hot air balloon, ready for take-off into the dark blue sunny skies above Tibet. (Tsetang, Tibet, April 2014 - Image ID: 201404-CN-12)
Yellow triangle-shaped road sign with black frame showing a house and tree
Unique Tibetan road sign against blue sky
Yellow triangle-shaped road sign with black frame showing a house and tree
No matter how hard I try to remember where exactly I took this picture, I can't. This wouldn't normally be important for a road sign, but in this case it probably would help to understand the meaning of this interesting design. Anybody out there who can help? (Tsetang, Tibet, April 2014 - Image ID: 201404-CN-14)
Scenic view of a valley in Tibet in spring with trees showing first green leaves
Winter is over - Fresh green trees in mountain valley
Scenic view of a valley in Tibet in spring with trees showing first green leaves
Whilst especially in winter vast parts of Tibet are extremely dry and almost desert-like, there are some areas in the valley where you can always find some green. For us, travelling in April was quite nice since we could already enjoy the first signs of spring. This image is from a valley near Tsetang, the forth largest city in Tibet. I always loved the fresh green of the leaves when the trees awake from their winter hibernation. (Tsetang, Tibet, April 2014 - Image ID: 201404-CN-13)
Close-up on wall with religious symbols and golden rooftop within the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa
Golden roof and wall symbols of Jokhang Temple
Close-up on wall with religious symbols and golden rooftop within the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa
Another very popular destination for both pilgrims and tourists visiting Lhasa is the Jokhang Monastery. This Buddhist temple located at Barkhor Square in the city center probably is the most sacred one in the whole of Tibet. The oldest parts date back to year 650, and the building was then extended in various stages until it reached it's impressive current size. The walls are decorated with many carved symbols and figurines, on top of which there are golden roofs, deer statues and a Dharma wheel . (Lhasa, Tibet, April 2014 - Image ID: 201404-CN-05)
Partial view of the Potala Palace in Lhasa from low angle against blue sky
Low-angle view of Potala Palace
Partial view of the Potala Palace in Lhasa from low angle against blue sky
The Potala Palace probably is the most famous building in Lhasa. Build on top of a hill, this fortified monastery truly stands out with its unique architecture and the red and white paint. The size of 400x300m with 13 stories, more than 1.000 rooms and countless shrines is equally impressive. Therefore, this World Heritage Site is an absolute must on every tourist's agenda. Since the mid of the 17th century until 1959, it used to be the winter palace for the Dalai Lamas. (Lhasa, Tibet, April 2014 - Image ID: 201404-CN-04)
Golden dharma wheel and two lying deer on top of the Jokhang temple with mountain range in the background
Jokhang Temple rooftop with Dharma Wheel and Chinese flag
Golden dharma wheel and two lying deer on top of the Jokhang temple with mountain range in the background
Apart from the interior, a visit to the rooftop of the Jokhang Temple is highly recommended. From there, visitors can enjoy stunning views over the city of Lhasa and the surrounding mountains. This image also shows one of the most iconic Buddhist symbols of this sacred place: two golden deer flanking the Dharma Wheel, representing Buddha's teaching and the walking of the path to enlightenment. (Lhasa, Tibet, April 2014 - Image ID: 201404-CN-07)
A group of sixteen Tibetan pilgrims on top of the Jokhang Temple against sky and mountain range
Group of Buddhist pilgrims on Jokhang Temple rooftop
A group of sixteen Tibetan pilgrims on top of the Jokhang Temple against sky and mountain range
As the most sacred and most important Buddhist temple in Tibet, the Jokhang Monastery attracts a lot of pilgrim visitors. This group covering people of all ages was kind enough to let me take some pictures. One could clearly sense how important and inspiring it was for them to visit this holy place. Unfortunately, a more in-depth communication about their origin and journey was not possible due to language barriers. (Lhasa, Tibet, April 2014 - Image ID: 201404-CN-08)
Jokhang Monastery golden roof against blue sky
Golden roof details from Lhasa's Jokhang Monastery
Jokhang Monastery golden roof against blue sky
This close-up of one of the golden roofs on top of the Jokhang Temple shows the incredible artwork of the architects and craftsmen. Both the paintings on the wooden parts, as well as all the golden carvings and figurines are absolutely breathtaking, especially on sunny days with blue skies. (Lhasa, Tibet, April 2014 - Image ID: 201404-CN-06)
Family picture of Tibetan pilgrim couple with toddler on top of the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa
Close-up of Tibetan pilgrims family
Family picture of Tibetan pilgrim couple with toddler on top of the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa
This close-up of a Tibetan family is also from the rooftop of the Jokhang Temple, the most sacred Buddhist monument in Tibet. They were kind enough to let me take some pictures during their visit. One could clearly sense how important and inspiring it was for them to visit this holy place. Unfortunately, a more in-depth communication about their origin and journey was not possible due to language barriers. (Lhasa, Tibet, April 2014 - Image ID: 201404-CN-09)
Qinghai-Tibet plateau landscape in winter with snow-covered mountain peaks and stream flowing through grasslands
Idyllic stream flowing through Tibetan highland plateau
Qinghai-Tibet plateau landscape in winter with snow-covered mountain peaks and stream flowing through grasslands
There is a famous saying "The journey is the destination!" This is absolutely true for the epic train ride from Xining to Lhasa. Climbing up to the Qinghai-Tibet plateau, this 23 hour trip offers spectacular views of the vast and empty highland landscape. In April, snow-covered mountains, icy rivers and yellowish grasslands created amazing contrasts with the dark blue sky. Reaching altitudes of more than 5.000m, we were glad that the train was pressurized with plenty of oxygen available. (Qinghai, Tibet, April 2014 - Image ID: 201404-CN-02)
Basketball court in a remote Tibetan highlands landscape
High-altitude basketball court
Basketball court in a remote Tibetan highlands landscape
Whilst most of the views from the Tibet Rail show empty landscapes, from time to time the train passes small towns and other settlements. In addition to that, one may spot some interesting details such as this lonely police station somewhere in the middle of nowhere. To ensure the fitness of the staff working in this rather remote location, they even installed a basketball field. An almost surrealistic scenery... (Qinghai, Tibet, April 2014 - Image ID: 201404-CN-03)
Qinghai-Tibet plateau landscape in winter with grasslands, snow-covered peaks and a river
Endless Tibetan grassland with winter mountain peaks
Qinghai-Tibet plateau landscape in winter with grasslands, snow-covered peaks and a river
The journey is the destination! This famous saying is absolutely true for the epic train ride from Xining to Lhasa. Climbing up to the Qinghai-Tibet plateau, this 23 hour trip offers spectacular views of the vast and empty highland landscape. In April, snow-covered mountains, icy rivers and yellowish grasslands created amazing contrasts with the dark blue sky. Reaching altitudes of more than 5.000m, we were glad that the train was pressurized with plenty of oxygen available. (Qinghai, Tibet, April 2014 - Image ID: 201404-CN-01)
Window with metal bars and flower pots with cacti
Cacti behind bars
Window with metal bars and flower pots with cacti
Not sure what crime these cacti have been convicted for to end up behind bars? Historic towns and their city centers are always great places for urban exploration photography. Instead of ticking off the "Must Visit" tourist attractions, there usually is no specific plan for this activity. The whole idea is to just walk around, absorb the look & feel and keep an open eye for interesting details. (Toledo, Spain, March 2024 - Image ID: 202403-ES-03)
Green palm tree shaped plant illuminated by the sun on a balcony with red wall
Balcony plant taking a sunbath
Green palm tree shaped plant illuminated by the sun on a balcony with red wall
Considering the low temperatures and strong wind in Madrid, I am not sure if this plant survives outdoors the entire winter. Historic towns and their city centers are always great places for urban exploration photography. Instead of ticking off the "Must Visit" tourist attractions, there usually is no specific plan for this activity. The whole idea is to just walk around, absorb the look & feel and keep an open eye for interesting details. (Madrid, Spain, March 2024 - Image ID: 202403-ES-35)
Square-shaped window style air outlet in a yellow wall
Blinded window in yellow wall
Square-shaped window style air outlet in a yellow wall
The longer I look at this image, the more I doubt that it deserves to be called a window. Initially, I thought the glass was just covered by metal blinds. However, this rather appears to be an air outlet for ventilation of whatever is behind. Anyway, the shape and the interesting color combination justify to include it in my Segovia urban exploration portfolio. (Segovia, Spain, March 2024 - Image ID: 202403-ES-24)
View on a resident home through the arch at the end of an alley
The end of an old town alley
View on a resident home through the arch at the end of an alley
Sometimes, the single elements of a photo don't have anything special. However, once you find the right angle and compose them into an image, the result becomes quite eye-catching. This picture from the old town of Segovia might be a good example. Neither the alley itself, nor the house with its doors and windows stand out for architectural excellence. Yet I very much liked how the end of the road is framed by the arch and the red walls. (Segovia, Spain, March 2024 - Image ID: 202403-ES-29)
Close-up on a green flower pot with daffodils hanging on a balcony railing
Daffodil balcony plants
Close-up on a green flower pot with daffodils hanging on a balcony railing
Whenever I see daffodils, I know that Easter time is coming up! I found these during a stroll in Madrid. Historic towns and their city centers are always great places for urban exploration photography. Instead of ticking off the "Must Visit" tourist attractions, there usually is no specific plan for this activity. The whole idea is to just walk around, absorb the look & feel and keep an open eye for interesting details. (Madrid, Spain, March 2024 - Image ID: 202403-ES-34)
Diagonal angle view of brick wall with all windows blocked with metal bars
Bars and bricks
Diagonal angle view of brick wall with all windows blocked with metal bars
Sometimes it makes sense to look for another angle than the most obvious location for a photoshoot. Historic towns and their city centers are always great places for urban exploration photography. Instead of ticking off the "Must Visit" tourist attractions, there usually is no specific plan for this activity. The whole idea is to just walk around, absorb the look & feel and keep an open eye for interesting details. (Madrid, Spain, March 2024 - Image ID: 202403-ES-05)
Close-up on an old metal door painted with green color
Metal door painted in light green
Close-up on an old metal door painted with green color
This image is a good example how zooming in on specific details can make a photo a lot more interesting than just shooting the complete scenery. Yes, the green metal door in the old town of Segovia alone was an interesting motif, contrasting with the building wall. However, to really appreciate the different shades of green, once needs to take a closer look. This one also reveals the decay with spots of rust and the two keyholes. (Segovia, Spain, March 2024 - Image ID: 202403-ES-26)
A balcony with a Spanish flag folded on top of the metal railing
Spanish flag gone with the wind
A balcony with a Spanish flag folded on top of the metal railing
Whilst this balcony seems to be well protected against pigeons, the Spanish flag clearly has seen better days. Constantly moved by the strong wind between the buildings, it has been stabbed by the metal wire on top of the railing. This is not meant to be symbolic; it just caught my attention. And I love the color scheme ranging from yellow over brown to red. (Avila, Spain, March 2024 - Image ID: 202403-ES-22)
Close-up on a green metal balcony with yellow flowerpot and pigeon
Green balcony with pigeon and flowers
Close-up on a green metal balcony with yellow flowerpot and pigeon
I don't like pigeons, I really don't. For this reason, I have very few pictures with theses "rats of the air". For this shot, however, I really liked to have this single bird on the balcony railing. Together with one of the blinds being half open, it added a nice aspect to an otherwise rather symmetrical photo. If you like balconies as a photo subject, Madrid is a great location to go to. (Madrid, Spain, March 2024 - Image ID: 202403-ES-31)
No parking sign next to a closed window with spear-shaped bars
Confusing arrows
No parking sign next to a closed window with spear-shaped bars
Obviously, the arrow on the street sign has no relation whatsoever with the spearhead-shaped bars in front of the closed window. Nevertheless, I found it funny how they seem to point into different directions. I also liked the particular structure in the stones used for building this house. (Segovia, Spain, March 2024 - Image ID: 202403-ES-25)
Rustic stone wall with two empty black plastic chairs in front
Two black plastic chairs waiting
Rustic stone wall with two empty black plastic chairs in front
Chairs are one of my long-standing favorite photo motifs. One reason is that you find them everywhere on this planet, in countless different shapes, materials, and colors. Placing them in an interesting location, be it in- our outdoors, multiplies the opportunities for capturing something special. In addition to this, chairs tend to be something pleasant, silently waiting and inviting us to take a rest. (Avila, Spain, March 2024 - Image ID: 202403-ES-20)
Close-up on black street lantern against red and yellow building facade
Street lantern meets colorful facade
Close-up on black street lantern against red and yellow building facade
Apart from doors, windows and balconies, Madrid also has a lot of diverse and attractive street lanterns. Walking around town, this offers many opportunities for photographers. Depending on where you stand and which background you choose, the same motif can give you countless different results. For me, combining old metal lanterns with colorful building facades was the best option to capture their beauty. (Madrid, Spain, March 2024 - Image ID: 202403-ES-32)
Low angle view of the Roman aqueduct bridge in Segovia
Segovia's impressive Roman aqueduct bridge
Low angle view of the Roman aqueduct bridge in Segovia
There are certain places that leave you speechless once you start thinking about their history and construction. The Roman aqueduct in Segovia (Spain) clearly falls into this category. It is hard to imagine how architects and craftsmen were able to design and actually build something like this almost 2.000 years ago. Supplying water to the city from the nearby mountains, the aqueduct was in use until 1973. And the bridge with its 167 arches made of unmortared granite blocks is absolutely stunning. (Segovia, Spain, March 2024 - Image ID: 202403-ES-23)
Small dog standing on balcony watching down
I am watching you
Small dog standing on balcony watching down
Without it barking, I would most likely not have seen this dog on the balcony of a Madrid apartment building. Historic towns and their city centers are always great places for urban exploration photography. Instead of ticking off the "Must Visit" tourist attractions, there usually is no specific plan for this activity. The whole idea is to just walk around, absorb the look & feel and keep an open eye for interesting details. (Madrid, Spain, March 2024 - Image ID: 202403-ES-06)
Diagonal view of the city wall of Avila with many towers
Avila city wall numerous towers
Diagonal view of the city wall of Avila with many towers
The historic city wall around Avila includes the unbelievable number of eighty (80!) towers. Before travelling to Madrid, I had never heard about Avila, a historic town approx. 100km northwest of the Spanish capital. Once we started to investigate worthwhile destinations for a day-trip, the images of the medieval city walls immediately caught my attention. I found it very impressive to walk around and to admire this breathtaking construction. (Avila, Spain, March 2024 - Image ID: 202403-ES-19)
Building tops of Madrid's Puerta del Sol reflecting in a round-shaped glass panel
Puerta del Sol reflections
Building tops of Madrid's Puerta del Sol reflecting in a round-shaped glass panel
The "Puerta del Sol" square in Madrid usually is quite a busy place. No matter if you visit during the day or at night, there are always a lot of visitors there, both locals and tourists. Despite of the beautiful and impressive architecture surrounding the place, I didn't really want to take the usual photo. Walking around a bit, I found something different. The top of some of the buildings nicely reflected in a round glass panel against the blue sky. (Madrid, Spain, March 2024 - Image ID: 202403-ES-33)
Tree blooming with pink flowers in old town Madrid alley
Springtime in the city
Tree blooming with pink flowers in old town Madrid alley
Even though it was rather cold during our visit to Madrid in early March, the awakening of Spring was obvious everywhere. Fresh flowers on the balconies, blooming bushes in the numerous parks, and the first trees in full blossom added even more color to the already beautiful city center. (Madrid, Spain, March 2024 - Image ID: 202403-ES-13)
Six pairs of denim trousers on a rod converted into flower pots
Denim jeans flower pots
Six pairs of denim trousers on a rod converted into flower pots
Isn't is amazing with what kind of creative ideas some people come up with. Converting denim jeans with shoes into flower pots is absolutely eye-catching. Historic towns and their city centers are always great places for urban exploration photography. Instead of ticking off the "Must Visit" tourist attractions, there usually is no specific plan for this activity. The whole idea is to just walk around, absorb the look & feel and keep an open eye for interesting details. (Madrid, Spain, March 2024 - Image ID: 202403-ES-07)
Facade of an old apartment building with many balcony equipped windows for sale
Historic building for sale
Facade of an old apartment building with many balcony equipped windows for sale
Sometimes it is quite surprising to find historic real estate in prime locations being up for sale. During our trip to Spain, we found a number of old buildings such as hotels and apartment buildings on the market. This one is right on the main square of Segovia, the Plaza Mayor. I guess one of the reasons why it has not found a new owner might be necessary investments in renovation and the high ongoing maintenance costs. (Segovia, Spain, March 2024 - Image ID: 202403-ES-28)
Scenic view of the Gothic cathedral of Segovia against cloudy blue sky
Segovia cathedral against sky
Scenic view of the Gothic cathedral of Segovia against cloudy blue sky
Officially called "Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption and of Saint Fructus", this Roman Catholic cathedral is one of the landmarks in the Spanish city of Segovia. Dedicated in 1768, it is one of the last Gothic cathedrals built in Europe. The extensive stone carvings and exterior decoration make it a very impressive view. I took this image from the main town square, the Plaza Mayor. The interior of the cathedral with its chapels is equally interesting to visit. (Segovia, Spain, March 2024 - Image ID: 202403-ES-27)
Peach and yellow colored wall with weathered paint
Weathered peach fuzz and yellow paint - II
Peach and yellow colored wall with weathered paint
Closing in on weathered paint offers countless opportunities for capturing interesting and colorful patterns. I really like the combination of yellow patches with the peach surface. Historic towns and their city centers are always great places for urban exploration photography. Instead of ticking off the "Must Visit" tourist attractions, there usually is no specific plan for this activity. The whole idea is to just walk around, absorb the look & feel and keep an open eye for interesting details. (Madrid, Spain, March 2024 - Image ID: 202403-ES-11)
Low angle view of one of the city gates of Avila with towers
Avila city gate and towers
Low angle view of one of the city gates of Avila with towers
Before travelling to Madrid, I had never heard about Avila, a historic town approx. 100km northwest of the Spanish capital. Once we started to investigate worthwhile destinations for a day-trip, the images of the medieval city walls immediately caught my attention. Unfortunately, we went there on a Monday, and in winter access is closed that day. However, just walking around the impressive construction was already quite impressive. (Avila, Spain, March 2024 - Image ID: 202403-ES-18)
Metro station sign with nice Madrid building facade as background
Madrid metro station sign
Metro station sign with nice Madrid building facade as background
One of the things that impressed me most in the heart of Madrid were the almost artistic and well-maintained facades of the buildings. This refers not only to museums, palaces, hotels, churches etc., but also to the apartment buildings. Most of them seem to have been recently repainted, and as such create an eye-catching architectural ensemble. The sign of the metro station in front of this house added a striking color contrast. (Madrid, Spain, March 2024 - Image ID: 202403-ES-17)
Partial view of old town Toledo from scenic viewpoint
Tagus river with Toledo old town in winter
Partial view of old town Toledo from scenic viewpoint
This close-up from the "Mirador del Valle" viewpoint shows the stunning panorama of Toledo. The "Imperial City" is testimony of its long history dating back more than 2.000 years. It is also called the "City of the Three Cultures" because of the strong influence of Christian, Jewish and Muslim people living together in peace of centuries. Once you move into the narrow alleys of the Old Town with high walls around you, it is very difficult to get an overview of the beauty of this historic place (Toledo, Spain, March 2024 - Image ID: 202403-ES-02)
A red paved way next to a wet gravel path in the forest
Wheelchair accessible rain forest
A red paved way next to a wet gravel path in the forest
We all know about the numerous benefits of regular forest walks for our physical well-being. Unfortunately, most hiking trails are not accessible for people with mobility restrictions. In this context, the administration of Taiwan's Yangmingshan National Park has really done a great job. For example, at Mount Datun West Peak, there is a paved wheelchair accessible path next to a natural gravel surface. Even in bad weather, this enables people of all ages and fitness levels to enjoy nature. (Yangmingshan, Taiwan, March 2014 - Image ID: 201403-TW-01)
Wet and slippery hiking trail with fixed ropes in lush forest
Hiking trail safety in the rain
Wet and slippery hiking trail with fixed ropes in lush forest
On days with nice weather, we sometimes asked ourselves why the park administration installed some fixed ropes in the Mount Datun area. Once you get heavy rain, you perfectly understand why the Yangmingshan National Park administration decided to take these precautions. As soon as the floor, stones and roots get wet, the path becomes extremely slippery. Therefore, any support is most welcome. (Yangmingshan, Taiwan, March 2014 - Image ID: 201403-TW-03)
Water-covered forest path with lots of pink blossoms and leaves
Pink blossom forest path
Water-covered forest path with lots of pink blossoms and leaves
Transcient beauty on the forest floor: I took this image in the Yangmingshan National Park close to Taipei shortly after the annual cherry blossom season was over. With pouring rain almost the entire weekend, there obviously were almost no visitors around. In good weather conditions, the volcanic mountain area is a popular recreation area. The wet floor was covered with thousands of fallen pink blossoms, adding a nice color touch to the green forest. (Yangmingshan, Taiwan, March 2014 - Image ID: 201403-TW-02)
Mountain ridge descending towards the right with snow covered trees
Snowy mountain ridge trees
Mountain ridge descending towards the right with snow covered trees
Zooming in on a freshly snowed mountain ridge reveals the natural beauty of the area. A number of coniferous trees of different age and sizes provide some green contrast in the otherwise completely white landscape. The warm morning sun and the dark blue sky complete this tranquil scenery. I took this image in Austria during a skiing holiday. (Silvretta, Austria, March 1994 - Image ID: 199403-AU-02)
Orange plastic fence in the snow against dark blue sky
Three-color winter fence
Orange plastic fence in the snow against dark blue sky
A dark blue sky plus clean white snow in general already guarantee spectacular winter photos. And sometimes you are lucky and get one single bold color on top. Upon exiting the cable car at Austria's Arlberg region on skies, I found this eyecatching safety fence in bright orange color. Obviously, I couldn't resist to take a few shots. (Arlberg, Austria, March 1994 - Image ID: 199403-AU-03)
Four white plastic tables and chairs fully covered by fresh snow
Snow tables and chairs
Four white plastic tables and chairs fully covered by fresh snow
Even ordinary plastic chairs and tables may become interesting motifs for photoshoots. One way to do that is to find an unusual perspective. Before drones became mainstream, aerial views were not that easy, and usually required flying or at least an elevated position. The other ingredient could be a special setting or something extra, like snow. I took this image during a skiing trip to the French Alps from our hotel room. (Les Trois Vallees, France, March 1993 - Image ID 199303-FR-01)
People on skies pulled up a hill through a snow-covered forest
The only way is up
People on skies pulled up a hill through a snow-covered forest
Whilst T-bar lifts are not the most popular and comfortable way to go back up on skies, they obviously are very common at every wintersport location. Most of the time, in high-mountain areas, they pass through bald open areas, so the journey is not interesting at all. Sometimes however, the track is build into a forest. With snow-covered trees, sunshine and a blue sky the trip can actually become quite pleasant. (Arlberg, Austria, March 1994 - Image ID: 199403-AU-04)
Diagonal snowy mountain slope with trees and a wooden hut
Abandonned wooden hut
Diagonal snowy mountain slope with trees and a wooden hut
Whilst riding on a chairlift puts certain restrictions on properly composing an image, I couldn't resist to take this photo. The combination of white snow with patches of grass and some trees was just too beautiful. And abandonned and partially collapsed wooden cottage added another interesting detail to the early Spring landscape. (Silvretta, Austria, March 1994 - Image ID: 199403-AU-06)
Scenic winter landscape with snow covered fir trees
Fir tree winter landscape
Scenic winter landscape with snow covered fir trees
When you go skiing in high mountain areas, the weather can change very fast. Sometimes, you enter the cablecar in rain and fog, and once you reach the summit, there is sunshine and blue sky. In this case, the sun was still busy burning some low-hanging clouds away, creating a very special light and atmosphere. The fresh snow, combined with the fir trees randomly distributed in the winter landscape, created a beautiful scenery. (Silvretta, Austria, March 1994 - Image ID: 199403-AU-01)
Macro shot of fallen pink blossoms lying on the floor
Pink fallen blossom macro
Macro shot of fallen pink blossoms lying on the floor
Most pictures of spring blossoms are captured when they are perfectly fresh and still on their trees or bushes. Rarely do photographers take images of them after they have fallen, and suffer the inevitable process of decay. When you lower your view, you might however find very unique and interesting motifs. I took this photo during my time in Taipei in our lush tropical garden. (Taipei, Taiwan, February 2014 - Image ID 201402-TW-10)
Two small pink blossoms on large green and wet leaves
Pink blossoms on large leaves
Two small pink blossoms on large green and wet leaves
Spring blossoms are mostly captured when they are perfectly fresh and still on their trees or bushes. Rarely do photographers take images of them after they have fallen, and suffer the inevitable process of decay. When you lower your view, you might however find very unique and interesting motifs. I took this photo during my time in Taipei in our lush tropical garden. To further enhance the artistic effect, I digitally converted it into a subtle photo painting. (Taipei, Taiwan, February 2014 - Image ID 201402-TW-08)
Green plant leaves on black metal poles with heart-shaped ornaments
Metal heart duo with green leaves
Green plant leaves on black metal poles with heart-shaped ornaments
The sharp contrast between cold solid metal and the fresh warm green of the leaves of a climbing plant immediately got my attention. I accidentally found this arrangement during a restaurant visit. To protect guests from the wind, the owners installed panels of perspex on a number of metal poles. Each of them came with two hearts, one upright and the other one turned upside down. I liked both the shape as well as the colours. (Taipei, Taiwan, February 2014 - Image ID 201402-TW-07)
Closeup of red stones and green plants covered by melting ice
Ice abstract in red and green
Closeup of red stones and green plants covered by melting ice
Initially, I thought that I might be too late to capture the transcient beauty of the ice. The temperature already climbed above zero degrees Celsius. So the crystals started to melt. However, taking a closer look, I realized that this transition between completely frozen and partially liquid created some interesting visual effects. The red stones combined with the green of some small plants, both covered by ice looks like an abstract painting to me. (Esslingen, Germany, January 2024 - Image ID: 202401-DE-04)
A tree shaped red and green succulent plant partially covered by ice
Succulent tree on ice crystals (I)
A tree shaped red and green succulent plant partially covered by ice
With a bit of imagination, the structure of these small succulent plants looks a bit like a tree with its branches and leaves. I particularly like the warm color combination red/green with the cold ice. Initially, I thought that I might be too late with my camera, since the temperature had already climbed above zero degrees Celsius. So the crystals to melt. However, taking a closer look, I realized that this transition between completely frozen and partially liquid created some interesting visual effects. (Esslingen, Germany, January 2024 - Image ID: 202401-DE-06)
Red stones and flowerless dandelion covered with ice
Dandelion winter survivor
Red stones and flowerless dandelion covered with ice
Hated as a fast growing weed by many gardeners, this dandelion bravely masters the rough winter conditions. Initially, I thought that I might be too late with my camera, since the temperature had already climbed above zero degrees Celsius. So the crystals started to melt. However, taking a closer look, I realized that this transition between completely frozen and partially liquid created some interesting visual effects. (Esslingen, Germany, January 2024 - Image ID: 202401-DE-01)
View of two hiking boots on the edge of a steeply descending hiking trail
These boots are made for walking
View of two hiking boots on the edge of a steeply descending hiking trail
Conquering the steeps peaks of the Mount Datun regions is somehow streneous. So from time to time, it's a good idea to take a rest. This also allows to enjoy spectacular views of the Greater Taipei area, and the nearby sea. Hiking is probably the best way to explore the natural beauty of Taiwan's Yangmingshan National Park. Some of the volcanic peaks reach more than 1.000m above sea level. (Taipei, Taiwan, February 2014 - Image ID 201402-TW-13)
Two boys descending a steep root-covered slope in a forest
Safe descent on Yangmingshan hiking trail
Two boys descending a steep root-covered slope in a forest
In some parts, the well maintained trails of the Yangmingshan National Park are fitted with ropes to facilitate safe ascent and descent even in wet and slippery conditions. Hiking is a great way to explore the beauty of this volcanic mountain region. Apart from vast grasslands, nice forests provide shade on hot and sunny days. With the altitude of some peaks reaching more than 1.000m above sea level, visitors enjoy spectacular views of the Greater Taipei area, and the nearby sea. (Taipei, Taiwan, February 2014 - Image ID 201402-TW-12)
Scenic view of grass covered volcanic mountain peaks
Mt. Datun's grass-covered peaks
Scenic view of grass covered volcanic mountain peaks
Hiking Taiwan's Yangmingshan National Park is a great way to explore the natural beauty of this volcanic mountain region. In winter, the yellow tones of the Chinese silver grass add a nice colour contrast. With the altitude of some peaks reaching more than 1.000m above sea level, visitors enjoy spectacular views of the Greater Taipei area, and the nearby sea. (Taipei, Taiwan, February 2014 - Image ID 201402-TW-11)
Macro shot of green succulent plants covered with ice crystals
Green succulent on the rocks
Macro shot of green succulent plants covered with ice crystals
In summer, I already took some photos of these small succulent plants in our garden. Revisiting them now in winter shows how they bravely survive even cold winter nights. Their green looks as fresh as it does throughout the entire year. Taking a closer look, I realized that the crystals were just in the transition between completely frozen and partially liquid. This created some nice details with water drops next to the ice. (Esslingen, Germany, January 2024 - Image ID: 202401-DE-02)
Macro shot of red succulent plants covered with ice crystals
Red succulent on the rocks
Macro shot of red succulent plants covered with ice crystals
I already took some photos of these small succulent plants in our garden last summer. Revisiting them in winter shows how they bravely survive cold winter nights. Their red and green looks as fresh as it does throughout the entire year. Taking a closer look, I realized that the crystals were just in the transition between completely frozen and partially liquid. This created some nice details with water drops next to the ice. (Esslingen, Germany, January 2024 - Image ID: 202401-DE-03)
Ice crystals covering red stones and green plants
Icy red stones and green plants
Ice crystals covering red stones and green plants
Even though the diagonal line seperating green and red is not perfect, I still like this classic color contrast. The wet hard stones combine nicely with the green succulent plants, fighting to survive below the ice. Initially, I thought that I might be too late with my camera, since the temperature had already climbed above zero degrees Celsius. So the crystals started to melt. However, taking a closer look, I realized that this transition between completely frozen and partially liquid created some interesting visual effects. (Esslingen, Germany, January 2024 - Image ID: 202401-DE-08)
A small eye-shaped whole in an evening sky filled with red clouds and shades of yellow and orange
Eye in the sky winter sunset
A small eye-shaped whole in an evening sky filled with red clouds and shades of yellow and orange
Within an apparently burning sky, there seems to be an eye opening on the left side of the image. I took this photo in Esslingen near Stuttgart in December 2023. With the cold and clear air, and frequent weather changes, winter often spoils us with amazing sunsets. Fast moving clouds and intense colours create an ever-changing piece of art. It somehow feels like a giant movie theatre screen, where you just need to sit back and relax. (Esslingen, Germany, December 2023 - Image ID: 202312-DE-01)
Close-up of a green woodpecker in grass, looking to the right
European green woodpecker
Close-up of a green woodpecker in grass, looking to the right
Whilst I am not a bird-watch expert, sometimes feathered visitors in our garden do catch my attention. This green woodpecker comes by on a regular basis, looking for a morning or afternoon snack. Since the main diet are ants, this process usually takes a while. With a length of more than 30cm it is almost impossible to miss it. Unfortunately, this bird is extremely shy and keeps monitoring the area constantly. For this reason, it never stands still, and flies away even with the smallest movement behind the window. (Esslingen, Germany, December 2023 - Image ID: 202312-DE-04)
Tree branches without leaves with colourful winter sunset in the background
Bald tree branches at sunset
Tree branches without leaves with colourful winter sunset in the background
As spectacular the cloudscape may be, I felt that adding the bald branches of a tree in the foreground still adds a little extra to an already dramatic shot. With the cold and clear air, and frequent weather changes, winter often spoils us with amazing sunsets. Fast moving clouds and intense colours create an ever-changing piece of art. It somehow feels like a giant movie theatre screen, where you just need to sit back and relax. (Esslingen, Germany, December 2023 - Image ID: 202312-DE-03)
Closeup of Fiddlehead shaped tree fern branch
Tree fern fiddlehead spirals
Closeup of Fiddlehead shaped tree fern branch
The real beauty of nature often only reveals itself once you invest some time and take a closer look. What I often observe is that people, even in the most amazing forests, just walk along without paying much attention to the small wonders around them. Of course, this is still better than just lying on a couch and streaming the latest series episodes. But with a bit of good will everyone can become a little explorer. Children tend to do this naturally. I found this interesting plant details during a hike on Taiwan's Yangmingshan mountain. (Yangmingshan, Taiwan, January 1994 - Image ID 201401-TW-14)
Volcanic peaks in Yangmingshan National Park
Yangmingshan volcanic peaks and fumaroles
Volcanic peaks in Yangmingshan National Park
From a distance, some of the main peaks of the volcanic peaks within Taiwan's Yangmingshan National Park look relatively small. However, conquering them by foot can be quite challenging. Despite the well maintained hiking trails, their steepness plus the immanent humidity and heat require a certain level of fitness. Or one just enjoys the scenic views from a distance... (Yangmingshan, Taiwan, January 1994 - Image ID 201401-TW-16)
Low angle view of tree fern against sky
The beauty of tree ferns from below
Low angle view of tree fern against sky
The interesting structure of fern leaves has fascinated me since my childhood. Combined with their bright green color they make excellent photo models in German forests, especially when illuminated by the sun. Tree ferns somehow take this to the next level, since they combine these properties with the natural beauty of trees. Walking in an entire forest of trees ferns is a lasting experience. (Yangmingshan, Taiwan, January 1994 - Image ID 201401-TW-15)
Pink clouds of different sizes against dark blue sky
Cloud symphony in pink
Pink clouds of different sizes against dark blue sky
One large and a few smaller dark pink clouds illuminate the sky over Stuttgart. Winter with its frequent and often drastic weather changes is a great season for capturing impressive cloudscapes. Since my early days of photography, I do enjoy observing the ever-changing sky above me. Over time, my collection of such images has grown quite a lot. This is a really old image, originally taken on Fuji slide film. After scanning it, I enhanced colors and contrast for an even more spectacular impression. (Stuttgart, Germany, January 1994 - Image ID 199401-DE-01)
Dramatic evening sky with colorful clouds and blue sky
Cloud sky color transition
Dramatic evening sky with colorful clouds and blue sky
This evening sky above Stuttgart comes with a breathtaking spectrum of bold colors. Winter with its frequent and often drastic weather changes is a great season for capturing impressive cloudscapes. Since my early days of photography, I do enjoy observing the ever-changing sky above me. Over time, my collection of such images has grown quite a lot. This is a really old image, originally taken on Fuji slide film. After scanning it, I enhanced colors and contrast for an even more spectacular impression. (Stuttgart, Germany, January 1994 - Image ID 199401-DE-03)
A long orange cloud against dark evening sky
Cloud trail in orange
A long orange cloud against dark evening sky
This orange cloud illuminating the sky above Stuttgart looks like a condensation trail. Winter with its frequent and often drastic weather changes is a great season for capturing impressive cloudscapes. Since my early days of photography, I do enjoy observing the ever-changing sky above me. Over time, my collection of such images has grown quite a lot. This is a really old image, originally taken on Fuji slide film. After scanning it, I enhanced colors and contrast for an even more spectacular impression. (Stuttgart, Germany, January 1994 - Image ID 199401-DE-02)
Side view of a fly agaric with green moss on its cap
Fly agaric cap covered with moss
Side view of a fly agaric with green moss on its cap
Don't you agree that the small piece of green moss on its cap makes this fly agaric stand out? Autumn 2023 was exceptional for mushroom picking and photo-taking. After a dry and warm summer, the mushroom season in southern Germany only really started in November after heavy rain. Within a few day, fungi started to grow everywhere in unbelievable quantities. So I spent quite some time on the forest floor these days. Unfortunately, I am not a mushroom expert, and therefore don't know which species we are looking at. (Esslingen, Germany, November 2023 - Image ID 202311-DE-44)
One small orange mushroom growing on green moss
Fresh moss with single orange mushroom
One small orange mushroom growing on green moss
This mushroom clearly enjoys its territory with fresh moss all around. Autumn 2023 was exceptional for mushroom picking and photo-taking. After a dry and warm summer, the mushroom season in southern Germany only really started in November after heavy rain. Within a few day, fungi started to grow everywhere in unbelievable quantities. So I spent quite some time on the forest floor these days. Unfortunately, I am not a mushroom expert, and therefore don't know which species we are looking at. (Esslingen, Germany, November 2023 - Image ID 202311-DE-49)
Colorful autumn leaves with broken mushroom
Collapsed mushroom on autumn leaves
Colorful autumn leaves with broken mushroom
Not sure who made this mushroom collapse for its final rest on the colorful bed of autumn leaves. 2023 was exceptional for mushroom picking and photo-taking. After a dry and warm summer, the mushroom season in southern Germany only really started in November after heavy rain. Within a few day, fungi started to grow everywhere in unbelievable quantities. So I spent quite some time on the forest floor these days. Unfortunately, I am not a mushroom expert, and therefore don't know which species we are looking at. (Esslingen, Germany, November 2023 - Image ID 202311-DE-47)
Sunset over a bay surrounded by tropical forest
Tropical forest and sea sunset magic
Sunset over a bay surrounded by tropical forest
For me personally, this image alone would have made the tour up to the Kenting National Forest Recreation Area. Due to the higher elevation, there are a few open areas where visitors can enjoy spectacular views over the forest covered mountain and the Pacific Ocean. Timing and weather were also perfect for a romantic sunset photo shooting. And there were relatively few visitors, so we could really enjoy the stunning scenery. (Kenting, Taiwan, January 1994 - Image ID 201401-TW-12)
Sunshade and two lounge chairs on a sandy beach during blue hour
Blue hour southern Taiwan beach relaxation
Sunshade and two lounge chairs on a sandy beach during blue hour
In January 2014, we decided to spend part of the festive season in the subtropical south of Taiwan. Weather conditions there differ a lot from Taipei in the north, with much higher temperatures and more sunshine. Whilst most people go to the beach during the day, a stroll in the fine sand after sunset offers completely different perspectives. I found this colorful arrangement with the two deckchairs and the sunshade on the beach in Kenting. Blue hour magic! (Kenting, Taiwan, January 1994 - Image ID 201401-TW-13)
View into and through a hollow tree stump in the forest
Hollow tree stump in lush green forest
View into and through a hollow tree stump in the forest
Located in the southernmost part of the island, Kenting is the oldest National Park in Taiwan. It covers both scenic land and sea areas of the Pacific Ocean. Thanks to the tropical climate with lots of rainfalls, the mountains are covered with dense and lush green forests. Well marked and maintained hiking trails invite visitors to spend more than just a few minutes in the area. During one of our hikes, I spotted this hollow tree stump with open "windows" on all sides. (Kenting, Taiwan, January 1994 - Image ID 201401-TW-04)
Low angle view of trees covering the sky between rocks
A different kind of sky above us
Low angle view of trees covering the sky between rocks
The steep and sharp rock walls next to the hiking trails in Kenting's National Park are quite spectacular. Combined with the green forest, the provide both a relaxing and exciting atmosphere at the same time. And as obvious as it may seem: most people walking here do not look straight up. They clearly miss out. Instead of the usual sky, there is a roof of trees with their branches and green covering almost the complete area above us. I just find this view absolutely stunning! (Kenting, Taiwan, January 1994 - Image ID 201401-TW-10)
Wall of stone with trees and two concrete stools
Trees growing on rough rocks
Wall of stone with trees and two concrete stools
At first sight, the rough rocks don't seem to be a suitable home for trees. However, over time, nature has found a way to conquer this apparently hostile territory. The holes in the stone combined with lots of rain provide a natural planting pot. Over the years, some of the seeds managed to develop roots, and grew to an impressive size. Located within the Kenting National Forest, this magic spot comes with some seating options for tired hikers. (Kenting, Taiwan, January 1994 - Image ID 201401-TW-08)
A safe passage on stairs between rough stone walls
Stairs with metal railing between rocks
A safe passage on stairs between rough stone walls
Thankfully not all parts of the hiking trails in the Kenting National Park are fully covered with concrete. For this section, I assume visitor convenience and safety were the guiding principles. Since the floor might get quite muddy and slippery with all the rain, this seems a safe option. Using natural stones would however look much better. And in many other areas, the paths are a lot more basic and in line with their forest environment. (Kenting, Taiwan, January 1994 - Image ID 201401-TW-09)
Reeds sunshade on a subtropical beach
Sunshade covering hill and holiday homes
Reeds sunshade on a subtropical beach
Whilst this reeds sunshade is obviously located far away, it seems to cover the houses and the rocky hill on the other side of the bay. I actually prefer this rustic natural material compared to plastic umbrellas, since it much better fits into the natural beauty. I took this photo in Kenting, located on the most southern tip of Taiwan during a short vacation trip. (Kenting, Taiwan, January 1994 - Image ID 201401-TW-02)
City wall with merlons made of red bricks and tiles
Hengchun North Gate city wall
City wall with merlons made of red bricks and tiles
The city of Hengchun is located just about 10km away from Kenting. The old town with many historic buildings is the main touristic attraction. With their intense color, the red bricks of the city wall and gates seem to shine bright, even on cloudy days. Due to the high amount of rainfall in this area, the landscape around the city contrasts with countless shades of green. Taking a walk on top of the wall and inside the city is definitely worth a trip. (Hengchun, Taiwan, January 1994 - Image ID 201401-TW-03)
Closeup of green palm weds with blue sea in the background
Palm weds against blue Pacific Ocean
Closeup of green palm weds with blue sea in the background
Palm trees on sandy beaches are probably one of the most frequent associations when thinking about relaxing summer holidays. I found these weds in the Kenting area in Southern Taiwan on a warm and sunny January day. The blue sea of the Pacific Ocean provided the perfect background. As fragile as these plant parts may look, they are extremely strong and resist even powerful tropical storms. (Kenting, Taiwan, January 1994 - Image ID 201401-TW-11)
Trunks of coniferous trees illuminated by winter sunlight
Coniferous forest mysteries
Trunks of coniferous trees illuminated by winter sunlight
What's the first thing you saw looking at this photo of a coniferous forest? In the fairytales of many cultures, forests play an important role. In the past, they represented something between mysterious and dangerous. This is where predators and violent robbers could hide, and strike by surprise out of the dark. With these winter images taken in Germany in December, I tried to capture part of this atmosphere. The intentional shaking of the camera while shooting creates an unreal mood.
A line-up of many tree trunks with a few brown leaves
Deciduous tree trunks in winter
A line-up of many tree trunks with a few brown leaves
In the fairytales of many cultures, forests play an important role. In the past, they represented something between mysterious and dangerous. This is where predators and violent robbers could hide, and strike by surprise out of the dark. With these winter images taken in Germany in December, I tried to capture part of this atmosphere. The monochrome brownish color creates a very special and dark mood, despite the sunshine.
Bottom of deciduous tree trunks apparently moving
Deciduous forest hallucinations
Bottom of deciduous tree trunks apparently moving
Does something look strange with these tree trunks? In the fairytales of many cultures, forests play an important role. In the past, they represented something between mysterious and dangerous. This is where predators and violent robbers could hide, and strike by surprise out of the dark. With these winter images taken in Germany in December, I tried to capture part of this atmosphere. The intentional shaking of the camera while shooting creates an unreal mood just like in a bad dream.
Forest with waterfall and Chinese pavilion
Chinese pavilion and waterfall
Forest with waterfall and Chinese pavilion
One of the main attractions of the Wufengchi Hiking Trail in Yilan is this small pavilion, where visitors can rest and enjoy the sound and views of the nearby waterfall. What I particularly liked was that vegetation even conquered the roof. Lots of plants grow on top and between the tiles, making it a true green and living building. Apart from this, the strong contrast between the natural green and the red paint attracts every photographers eye. (Yilan, Taiwan, December 2013 - Image ID: 201312-TW-06)
Three cascades of small stream in subtropical forest
Mountain stream cascades
Three cascades of small stream in subtropical forest
The north-eastern part of Taiwan is covered with steep mountains. Yilan is a popular weekend destination for the population of Taipei and New Taipei City. Especially the numerous hot spring resorts attract a lot of visitors. The dense vegetation with trees, bushes and all kinds of other plants make this area a hiking paradise. Countless rivers and stream run through the rainforest down to the sea. I really liked this three-level cascade with its different shapes of water. (Yilan, Taiwan, December 2013 - Image ID: 201312-TW-03)
Mountain ridge with subtropical misty rainforest
Misty subtropical Taiwan rainforest
Mountain ridge with subtropical misty rainforest
Do you like the calming green color of lush rainforests? Then Taiwan might be a great travel destination. First, large parts of the higher elevations of this densely populated island are still covered with trees and bushes. And these obviously enjoy the humidity with large amounts of rainfall, not only during typhoon season. The mountains around Taipei and on the east coast are good examples for this natural beauty. I took this photo on a misty December day in Yilan County when the sun started to burn the fog away. (Yilan, Taiwan, December 2013 - Image ID: 201312-TW-02)
Small waterfall on black rocks with green vegetation
Flowing water meets hard rocks
Small waterfall on black rocks with green vegetation
Dark wet rocks covered with green plants alone are already an attractive target for nature photographers. This gets even better once you add a small waterfall. The north-eastern part of Taiwan is covered with steep mountains. The dense vegetation with trees, bushes and all kinds of other plants make this area a hiking paradise. Countless rivers and stream run through the rainforest down to the sea. (Yilan, Taiwan, December 2013 - Image ID: 201312-TW-04)
Single branch with leaves against flowing water
Green leaves meet flowing water
Single branch with leaves against flowing water
Sometimes really simple things make great models for photography. It just depends on finding the right angle and perspective. After experimenting a bit, I found a spot that made an otherwise rather boring branch with green leaves stand out. Compared to the backdrop of fast-flowing water of a mountain stream, the tree appears completely solid. I found this one during one of my hikes in Yilan County, Taiwan. (Yilan, Taiwan, December 2013 - Image ID: 201312-TW-07)
Waterfall dropping on moss covered dark rocks
Green moss and waterfall on the rocks
Waterfall dropping on moss covered dark rocks
I would probably have taken a few photos of the moos on the wet rocks even without this picturesque waterfall. The north-eastern part of Taiwan is covered with steep mountains. The dense vegetation with trees, bushes and all kinds of other plants make this area a hiking paradise. Countless rivers and stream run through the rainforest down to the sea. For this reason, nature photographers easily find lots of stunning motives. (Yilan, Taiwan, December 2013 - Image ID: 201312-TW-05)
Macro shot of red fly agaric and grass in the snow
Fly agaric and grass covered by snow
Macro shot of red fly agaric and grass in the snow
Only lying flat on the floor provides this stunning view of the fly agaric. Winter is not ideal for picking and photographing fungi. In autumn 2023, the mushroom season started rather late. Its peak time therefore overlapped with a serious onset of winter in late November. Within hours, the colorful forest floor was fully covered with snow. Fully? Not really, only for those who do not take the time to observe closely. Admittedly, it was difficult to find good motives, and it was rather cold, but definitely worth the effort. (Esslingen, Germany, November 2023 - Image ID: 202311-DE-37)
Brown autumn leaf leaning on snow covered beige mushroom
Mushroom and leaf in the snow
Brown autumn leaf leaning on snow covered beige mushroom
Lean on me! Surprised by the cold, this mushroom and leaf seem to support each other. Winter is not ideal for picking and photographing fungi. In autumn 2023, the mushroom season started rather late. Its peak time therefore overlapped with a serious onset of winter in late November. Within hours, the colorful forest floor was fully covered with snow. Fully? Not really, only for those who do not take the time to observe closely. Admittedly, it was difficult to find good motives, and it was rather cold, but definitely worth the effort. (Esslingen, Germany, November 2023 - Image ID: 202311-DE-39)
A fly agaric with a crooked cap standing in the snow
Snowy diagonal fly agaric cap
A fly agaric with a crooked cap standing in the snow
It's not the weight of the snow that made this fly agaric cap lean to the right. Winter is not ideal for picking and photographing fungi. In autumn 2023, the mushroom season started rather late. Its peak time therefore overlapped with a serious onset of winter in late November. Within hours, the colorful forest floor was fully covered with snow. Fully? Not really, only for those who do not take the time to observe closely. Admittedly, it was difficult to find good motives, and it was rather cold, but definitely worth the effort. (Esslingen, Germany, November 2023 - Image ID: 202311-DE-36)
Two mushrooms growing together with the small one sheltered by the larger cap
Mushroom symbiosis of two growing together
Two mushrooms growing together with the small one sheltered by the larger cap
Gimme shelter! Doesn't this look like being well protected against all odds a mushroom might face? After a dry and warm summer extending into October, the mushroom season in southern Germany only started after heavy November rains. But then, within a few day, fungi started to grow everywhere in unbelievable quantities. Therefore, I decided to focus on mushrooms this autumn season. Unfortunately, I am not a mushroom expert, and therefore don't know which species we are looking at. (Esslingen, Germany, November 2023 - Image ID: 202311-DE-27)
Fallen trunk of birch with orange mushroom growing on top of it
Orange mushrooms growing on fallen birch trunk
Fallen trunk of birch with orange mushroom growing on top of it
This is one of my personal favorites. A group of orange mushrooms with huge hats grow on top of a fallen birch trunk. After a dry and warm summer extending into October, the mushroom season in southern Germany only started after heavy November rains. But then, within a few day, fungi started to grow everywhere in unbelievable quantities. Therefore, I decided to focus on mushrooms this autumn season. Unfortunately, I am not a mushroom expert, and therefore don't know which species we are looking at. (Esslingen, Germany, November 2023 - Image ID: 202311-DE-33)
A group of mushrooms with damaged cap plus insect on brown leaf
Mushroom ensemble with insect on leaf
A group of mushrooms with damaged cap plus insect on brown leaf
Another family shot shows one injured mushroom, whereas all the other ones are perfectly intact. After a dry and warm summer extending into October, the mushroom season in southern Germany only started after heavy November rains. But then, within a few day, fungi started to grow everywhere in unbelievable quantities. Therefore, I decided to focus on mushrooms this autumn season. Unfortunately, I am not a mushroom expert, and therefore don't know which species we are looking at. Did you see the insect? (Esslingen, Germany, November 2023 - Image ID: 202311-DE-23)
One large and one small umbrella shaped brown mushroom
Two small umbrella-shaped mushrooms
One large and one small umbrella shaped brown mushroom
An interesting couple of two mushrooms grow on some dead wood. After a dry and warm summer extending into October, the mushroom season in southern Germany only started after heavy November rains. But then, within a few day, fungi started to grow everywhere in unbelievable quantities. Therefore, I decided to focus on mushrooms this autumn season. Unfortunately, I am not a mushroom expert, and therefore don't know which species we are looking at. (Esslingen, Germany, November 2023 - Image ID: 202311-DE-18)
Two mushrooms standing next to each other, with the larger covering the smaller one
Larger beige mushroom sheltering smaller sibling
Two mushrooms standing next to each other, with the larger covering the smaller one
My first association finding these mushrooms was that the bigger one provided shelter to the smaller colleague. After a dry and warm summer extending into October, the mushroom season in southern Germany only started after heavy November rains. But then, within a few day, fungi started to grow everywhere in unbelievable quantities. Therefore, I decided to focus on mushrooms this autumn season. Unfortunately, I am not a mushroom expert, and therefore don't know which species we are looking at. (Esslingen, Germany, November 2023 - Image ID: 202311-DE-26)
Two spiked white mushrooms plus a really small one on green moss
Moss with two spiked mushroom adults and a baby
Two spiked white mushrooms plus a really small one on green moss
Another two spiked mushrooms (plus a very small one between them) call this moss-covered place their home. After a dry and warm summer extending into October, the mushroom season in southern Germany only started after heavy November rains. But then, within a few day, fungi started to grow everywhere in unbelievable quantities. Therefore, I decided to focus on mushrooms this autumn season. Unfortunately, I am not a mushroom expert, and therefore don't know which species we are looking at. (Esslingen, Germany, November 2023 - Image ID: 202311-DE-31)
Isolated light colored mushroom with dots on brown autumn leaves
Single dotted mushroom on brown leaves
Isolated light colored mushroom with dots on brown autumn leaves
This two-tone image with just a small mushroom and brown fallen leaves perfectly captures the autumn mood. After a dry and warm summer extending into October, the mushroom season in southern Germany only started after heavy November rains. But then, within a few day, fungi started to grow everywhere in unbelievable quantities. Therefore, I decided to focus on mushrooms this autumn season. Unfortunately, I am not a mushroom expert, and therefore don't know which species we are looking at. (Esslingen, Germany, November 2023 - Image ID: 202311-DE-25)
Partial view of the cap and slats of a fly agaric
Closeup on fly agaric cap and slats
Partial view of the cap and slats of a fly agaric
This close-up on the cap of a fly agaric shows the stunning beauty of this well-known poisonous mushroom. After a dry and warm summer extending into October, the mushroom season in southern Germany only started after heavy November rains. But then, within a few day, fungi started to grow everywhere in unbelievable quantities. Therefore, I decided to focus on mushrooms this autumn season. Unfortunately, I am not a mushroom expert, and therefore don't know which species we are looking at. (Esslingen, Germany, November 2023 - Image ID: 202311-DE-24)
A large group of yellow mushrooms growing in autumn forest
Yellow mushroom family reunion
A large group of yellow mushrooms growing in autumn forest
This seems to be a huge family gathering of yellow mushrooms. After a dry and warm summer extending into October, the mushroom season in southern Germany only started after heavy November rains. But then, within a few day, fungi started to grow everywhere in unbelievable quantities. Therefore, I decided to focus on mushrooms this autumn season. Unfortunately, I am not a mushroom expert, and therefore don't know which species we are looking at. (Esslingen, Germany, November 2023 - Image ID: 202311-DE-16)
Single mushroom with damaged white cap on green moss
White single mushroom on green moss
Single mushroom with damaged white cap on green moss
This single white mushroom clearly enjoys its environment with the fresh green moss. After a dry and warm summer extending into October, the mushroom season in southern Germany only started after heavy November rains. But then, within a few day, fungi started to grow everywhere in unbelievable quantities. Therefore, I decided to focus on mushrooms this autumn season. Unfortunately, I am not a mushroom expert, and therefore don't know which species we are looking at. (Esslingen, Germany, November 2023 - Image ID: 202311-DE-19)
Low angle view of fallen mushroom next to yellow leaf
Fallen mushroom with yellow leaf
Low angle view of fallen mushroom next to yellow leaf
No, I did not turn this mushroom over for a nice shot next to the yellow leaf. I found it this way. After a dry and warm summer extending into October, the mushroom season in southern Germany only started after heavy November rains. But then, within a few day, fungi started to grow everywhere in unbelievable quantities. Therefore, I decided to focus on mushrooms this autumn season. Unfortunately, I am not a mushroom expert, and therefore don't know which species we are looking at. (Esslingen, Germany, November 2023 - Image ID: 202311-DE-21)
One single mushroom with purple cap on forest floor
Little purple mushroom and leaves
One single mushroom with purple cap on forest floor
This small purple mushroom grows on the autumn forest floor all by itself. After a dry and warm summer extending into October, the mushroom season in southern Germany only started after heavy November rains. But then, within a few day, fungi started to grow everywhere in unbelievable quantities. Therefore, I decided to focus on mushrooms this autumn season. Unfortunately, I am not a mushroom expert, and therefore don't know which species we are looking at. (Esslingen, Germany, November 2023 - Image ID: 202311-DE-17)
One brown leaf laying on top of a branch with yellow leaves
Brown leaf resting on yellow peers
One brown leaf laying on top of a branch with yellow leaves
For this kind of images, I did not have to travel far. The forests surrounding Esslingen, every year in fall become a source of visual inspiration. When the leaves on the trees start changing colors is a strong call to go outside with my camera gear. And no matter how often one may have captured autumn beauty before, there are always new and different motives around. What a particularly liked about this scene is the dark background and one single leaf resting on others with a different color. (Esslingen, Germany, November 2023 - Image ID: 202311-DE-14)
Street in colorful autumn forest leading to wind wheel
Wind powered autumn forest
Street in colorful autumn forest leading to wind wheel
As every year, October and November 2023 were rather busy days for outdoor photography. After a really long period with warm weather, the annual transformation of the forests kicked in rather late. Simultaneously, energy transition in Germany is in full swing. More and more projects harvesting renewable sources like wind and solar go live. Therefore, this wind wheel can also be considered a symbol and enabler for healthy forests in the future. (Esslingen, Germany, November 2023 - Image ID: 202311-DE-13)
Yellow leaves in autumn backlit by the afternoon sun
Backlit yellow beech leaves
Yellow leaves in autumn backlit by the afternoon sun
The forests surrounding Esslingen (Germany) every year in fall become a source of visual inspiration. When the leaves on the trees start changing colors is a strong call to go outside with my camera gear. And no matter how often one may have captured autumn beauty before, there are always new and different motives around. In this case, I was actually out to shot mushrooms. On the way back I found this branch with intense yellow beech leaves, nicely illuminated by the afternoon sun. (Esslingen, Germany, November 2023 - Image ID: 202311-DE-15)
Many yellow and red leaves arranged in the shape of a flower
Red and yellow leaves flower
Many yellow and red leaves arranged in the shape of a flower
Wouldn't you like this flower to grow somewhere naturally? Instead of a natural environment capture of colorful autumn foliage, I decided to do something different this year. So I collected a few of these stunning yellow to red painted leaves which I really found by coincidence. At home, I looked for an appropriate background to capture them with natural light. With strong wind blowing this was quite a challenge outdoors, so I later switched to our bathroom. Finally, I changed the background from grey tiles to a nice green. (Esslingen, Germany, November 2023 - Image ID: 202311-DE-12)
Red and yellow autumn leaves arranged in arrow shape
Colorful leaves arrow on blue
Red and yellow autumn leaves arranged in arrow shape
Wouldn't this be a nice traffic direction sign? Instead of the usual natural environment capture of colorful autumn foliage, I decided to do something different this year. So I collected a few of these stunning yellow to red painted leaves which I really found by coincidence. At home, I looked for an appropriate background to capture them with natural light. With strong wind blowing this was quite a challenge outdoors, so I later switched to our bathroom. Finally, I changed the background from grey tiles to intense blue. (Esslingen, Germany, November 2023 - Image ID: 202311-DE-10)
Twelve colorful autumn leaves in circle shape like a clock
Yellow and red leaves clock
Twelve colorful autumn leaves in circle shape like a clock
How do you like this unique clock-style circle? Instead of the usual natural environment capture of colorful autumn foliage, I decided to do something different this year. So I collected a few of these stunning yellow to red painted leaves which I really found by coincidence. At home, I looked for an appropriate background to capture them with natural light. With strong wind blowing this was quite a challenge outdoors, so I later switched to our bathroom. Finally, I changed the background from grey tiles to a matching tone. (Esslingen, Germany, November 2023 - Image ID: 202311-DE-11)
Close-up on the head of a young brown scottish highland cow
Highland cattle teenager portrait
Close-up on the head of a young brown scottish highland cow
This close-up show the face of a youngster within a whole herd of Scottish highland cattle grazing on juicy grass. The low-standing sunlight on a chilly autumn morning nicely highlighted the long hair and the colors. With the wild hairstyle this animal looked really cute. I felt like touching it, but obviously didn't considering the long horns of the surrounding adults. (Göppingen, Germany, November 2023 - Image ID: 202311-DE-05)
Face portrait of Scottish highland cattle with eyes covered by hair
Two horns and blindfold
Face portrait of Scottish highland cattle with eyes covered by hair
This Scottish highland cow definitely doesn't need any sunglasses. It rather seems to be completely blindfold. The long brown hair completely covers the face, and it is impossible to even spot the eyes. However, when I approached the fence to take some photos, the cow clearly recognized me, and looked up into my direction. (Göppingen, Germany, November 2023 - Image ID: 202311-DE-04)
Beige hairy highland cattle bull with threatening pose
This is my highland cattle territory
Beige hairy highland cattle bull with threatening pose
As cute as they may look, the long horns still send a clear signal that these cows could actually defend themselves whenever they feel threatened. Especially this bull stood out, partially because of the lighter brown / beige color of the fur. In addition, the pose clearly indicated that I shouldn't try to invide the herds territory. (Göppingen, Germany, November 2023 - Image ID: 202311-DE-07)
Two dark brown highland cows breathing cold air
Two highland cows breathing cold air
Two dark brown highland cows breathing cold air
The two dark-brown colored Scottish highland cows standing in the morning sun alone would have been enough for some interesting photos. What made the whole scene even more attractive was the cold weather on an early November morning. Due to the low temperatures, every breath resulted in swathes of mist coming out of the cattles mouths and noses. Backlit by the low-standing sun, this looked really special. (Göppingen, Germany, November 2023 - Image ID: 202311-DE-09)
One young highland cow standing on a green meadow
Young Scottish highland cow
One young highland cow standing on a green meadow
Since long, I wanted to take some photos of a herd of Scottish highland cattle that I had seen during my cycling tours. Finally, on a cold November morning, I went and took a whole series of images. This young cow was peacefully standing on the field of grass, enjoying the warming effect of the morning sunshine. (Göppingen, Germany, November 2023 - Image ID: 202311-DE-06)
Side view of a brown highland cow with long hair
Scottish highland cattle side view
Side view of a brown highland cow with long hair
Since months, I wanted to take photos of a large herd of Scottish highland cattle that I had spotted during my cycling training sessions. A cold but sunny November morning was the perfect opportunity. So I went with my camera gear by car, and took a whole series of images. This side view shows why this specific breed of cows has become so popular amongst photographers. The warm light of the morning sunshine was a perfect assistant for this session. (Göppingen, Germany, November 2023 - Image ID: 202311-DE-08)
Curved metal poles illuminated by the sun
Evening sunlight on Taipei 101 metal fence
Curved metal poles illuminated by the sun
To truly benefit from going to the top of Taipei's 101 Tower, good weather with clear skies is essential. For me, one of the best times to go is late in the afternoon to observe the sunset. The viewing platform is completely surrounded with a huge railing. The curved shape is clearly chosen on purpose to prevent anyone from trying to climb over it. The warm sunlight nicely reflected on the metal poles, and turned them into a golden cage. (Taipei, Taiwan, November 2013 - Image ID: 201311-TW-08)
Frontal view of metal fence against evening sky
Evening sky and sun with metal railing
Frontal view of metal fence against evening sky
Sometimes small position changes and deviations with the camera position result in completely different images. This frontal view of the metal railing on Taipei 101's viewing deck against the low-standing sun has a strong visual impact. The warm orange sky nicely contrast with the metal poles. (Taipei, Taiwan, November 2013 - Image ID: 201311-TW-12)
Tourist on Taipei 101 viewing deck at sunset
Lonely tourist on Taipei 101 viewing deck
Tourist on Taipei 101 viewing deck at sunset
On a late afternoon, a lonely tourist stands on top of Taipei's landmark 101 Tower. Apart from taking a photo with her cellphone, she clearly enjoys the good weather and blue skies. The viewing platform is completely surrounded with a huge railing illuminated by the warm evening sunlight. As such, the entire area turns into a golden cage. For visitors, some permanently installed binoculars are available for exploring Taipei City and the surrounding mountains. (Taipei, Taiwan, November 2013 - Image ID: 201311-TW-10)
Neuschwanstein Castle view from Marienbrucke in fall
Autumn view Neuschwanstein Castle
Neuschwanstein Castle view from Marienbrucke in fall
Some pictures don't really need a title or description. Worldwide, there are a number of places that are so well-known that most people will recognize them without any help. Neuschwanstein Castle clearly falls into this category. And yes, it is an extremely popular and therefore busy tourist spot. What I really do like about it is how much the atmosphere and the visuals change during the course of the year. Autumn for me is probably the nicest season to visit. (Neuschwanstein, Germany, November 2013 - Image ID: 202311-DE-01)
View into Pöllat gorge with colorful trees in fall
Valley autumn view from Marienbrücke
View into Pöllat gorge with colorful trees in fall
For the best views of the iconic Neuschwanstein Castle, one needs to walk a bit further up the mountain. From the Marienbrücke, spectacular views including the surrounding mountains and lakes are guaranteed. Depending on how busy it gets, one might need to wait in line to access the bridge. When I visited in early November, autumn had finally kicked in. Taking a look down into the Pöllat gorge with the colorful leaves on the trees was equally rewarding. (Pöllat Gorge, Germany, November 2023 - Image ID: 202311-DE-02)
Scenic view of Neuschwanstein Castle and Forggensee in fall
Autumn view Neuschwanstein Castle and Forggen Lake
Scenic view of Neuschwanstein Castle and Forggensee in fall
This photo most likely doesn't require a title or description. There are some places in the world that are so well-known that most people will recognize them immediately. Neuschwanstein Castle clearly falls into this category. Less tourists will be able to correctly name the lake in the background. What I really do like about this Instagram magnet is how much the atmosphere and the visuals change during the course of the year. Autumn for me is probably the nicest season to visit. (Neuschwanstein, Germany, November 2023 - Image ID: 202311-DE-03)
Night city view with binoculars from Taipei 101
Binoculars on Taipei 101 night viewing platform
Night city view with binoculars from Taipei 101
After sunset, the viewing deck on Taipei 101 slowly gets less busy. Some permanently installed binoculars still wait for customers who might want to explore some details of Taipei with this nice illumination. The platform is completely surrounded with a huge railing to ensure the safety of local and international tourists. Somehow it looked and felt like a massive metal cage. (Taipei, Taiwan, November 2013 - Image ID: 201311-TW-15)
Scenic afternoon view over north Taipei and Yangmingshan
Scenic view of Taipei and Yangmingshan
Scenic afternoon view over north Taipei and Yangmingshan
From the platform on top of 101, visitors can enjoy spectacular views over Taipei and New Taipei City. This image shows Songshan District including the city airport bearing the same name, as well as Zhongshan and Dazhi. In the background, the peaks of Yangmingshan go up to more than 1.000 meters above sea level. I particularly liked the afternoon mood with lights already on. From the platform on top of 101, visitors can enjoy spectacular views over Taipei and New Taipei City. This image shows Songshan District including the city airport bearing the same name, as well as Zhongshan and Dazhi. In the background, the peaks of Yangmingshan go up to more than 1.000 meters above sea level. I particularly liked the afternoon mood with lights already on. (Taipei, Taiwan, November 2013 - Image ID: 201311-TW-13)
Sunset panoramic view of Taipei City
Taipei City skyline at sunset
Sunset panoramic view of Taipei City
A view in westerly direction shows part of Taipei City shortly before sunset. Taken from the viewing deck of the iconic Taipei 101 landmark, visitors can enjoy unobstructed views in all directions. The main roads are already illuminated by the headlights of the cars during rush hour. Keelung River runs through the image from left to right, reflecting the red evening sky. (Taipei, Taiwan, November 2013 - Image ID: 201311-TW-14)
Close-up on pink flower with darker dots on the petals
Pink flower patterns macro
Close-up on pink flower with darker dots on the petals
Most people will probably just remember to have seen a pink flower. However, once you take a closer look, the specific pattern with hundreds of tiny darker dots becomes visible. It almost looks like a super-fine QR code. In the center of the flower, some yellow disappears in the area completely out of focus. I took this photo in the garden of the house that we rented during our time living in Taipei. (Taipei, Taiwan, November 2013 - Image ID: 201311-TW-02)
Tufts of flowering silver grass against blue sky
Yangmingshan Chinese silver grass
Tufts of flowering silver grass against blue sky
The grasslands within the Yangmingshan National Park are quite special, and beautiful year-round. For me personally, autumn is probably the best time for extended hikes on the well maintained trails. One reason is that temperatures are not as high as in summer. Most importantly, at this time of the year, the silver grass presents itself in all its glory. With a bit of sun backlight, it becomes a spectacular photo motif. (Yangmingshan, Taiwan, November 2013 - Image ID: 201311-TW-01)
A close-up of a yellow flower head
Yellow flowerhead with raindrops
A close-up of a yellow flower head
This is another image from my autumn garden exploration in Taipei. The subtropical climate is the perfect environment for plants to flourish. Apart from trees and bushes, the owners also planted quite a lot of different flower species. And others just started to grow there naturally, without any planning or human influence. (Taipei, Taiwan, November 2013 - Image ID: 201311-TW-03)
Black silhouette of chess pieces illuminated by colored light
Colorful chess pieces silhouette
Black silhouette of chess pieces illuminated by colored light
Just four pieces of chess, a white paper and some colored lightbulbs. This was all I needed for this still life. Even in times of 3D video entertainment, the ancient board game of chess has not lost its fascination. People from around the world enjoy the countless strategic variations. I was never good in playing chess, but sometimes tried for fun. Apart from the intellectual challenge, I decided to add a photographic one to it. Long winter evenings are the perfect time to play around with light. (Laubach, Germany, December 1983 - Image ID: 198312-DE-02)
A painting-style photo of five red burning candles
Five burning red candles
A painting-style photo of five red burning candles
As part of my early photographic experiments with light, I also played around with special effect filters. One of these creates five images from a single motif. Obviously, this doesn't work with every object, and rarely with landscape. However, for this pre-Christmas candle shot, I very much like the visual impact. To further enhance the Festive Season look and feel, I converted the final photo into a digital painting. (Laubach, Germany, December 1982 - Image ID: 198212-DE-01)
Partial view of chess board illuminated red and green
Chess board and figures in red light
Partial view of chess board illuminated red and green
The white king is the center of attention in this photo. Even in times of 3D video entertainment, the ancient board game of chess has not lost its fascination. People from around the world enjoy training their brains with the countless strategic variations. I was never good in playing chess, but sometimes tried for fun. Apart from the intellectual challenge, I decided to add a photographic one to it. Long winter evenings are the perfect time to play around with light, and to capture some still life scenes. (Laubach, Germany, December 1983 - Image ID: 198312-DE-01)
View from below on Taipei's Dazhi bridge at night
Dazhi Bridge Taipei at night
View from below on Taipei's Dazhi bridge at night
Whilst most of the traffic with cars, trucks and buses crosses the upper side of this bridge, there is also a lot of activity below it. Next to the river, there are lots of parks with sporting facilities, and one of the longest bicycle routes in Taipei. I used to go there frequently riding my bike after work at night. Many locals did the same, or used the path for running. A few times I took my camera gear, and captured the stunning illuminated scenery like the Dazhi Bridge from below. (Taipei, Taiwan, November 2013 - Image ID: 201311-TW-05)
Taipei's Grand Hotel illuminated at night
Grand Hotel Taipei at night
Taipei's Grand Hotel illuminated at night
After sunset, cities develop a special atmosphere. This is definitely true for the famous Grand Hotel in Taipei's Zhongshan District. The pure size of this classical Chinese building is impressive. During its history, it hosted many dignitaries from all around the world. Located next to one of the multistory freeways, this landmark is one of the first attractions international travelers will see on their way from the airport to the city center. I really love how this architecture comes to life with the illumination. (Taipei, Taiwan, November 2013 - Image ID: 201311-TW-04)
Scenic view of Keelung River with bridges at night
Keelung river bank and bridges at night
Scenic view of Keelung River with bridges at night
Most of the bicycle trails follow the riverbanks, and as such are flat and suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels. With Taipei being extremely safe, many people will use them even at nighttime, when it gets a bit "colder", and it is not as busy as during the day. I used to cycle frequently either towards the northern coast or into the city. Sometimes I even took my camera gear, trying to capture the special atmosphere of the river at night with its recreational parks and the surrounding architecture. (Taipei, Taiwan, November 2013 - Image ID: 201311-TW-06)
Palm fronds in yellow and green against blue sky
Yellow and green palm fronds against sky
Palm fronds in yellow and green against blue sky
No matter how often I look at this image, it always makes me feel happy. Palm trees somehow remind me of relaxing times in beautiful and tropical locations. Once you combine this with blue sky, holiday feelings seem guaranteed. I took this photo in Key Biscayne's Crandon Park, and particularly like the shape of the leaves giving structure to the image. (Miami, USA, November 2003 - Image ID 200311-US-04)
Sandy beach with two white lounge chairs and a blue sunshade
Two lounge chairs and a sunshade on the beach
Sandy beach with two white lounge chairs and a blue sunshade
Shortly before sunset, I took this photo of these two perfectly arranged plastic lounge chairs. I found them on the Crandon Park beach on the way to Key Biscayne. Whilst this place is quite popular and busy during the day on weekends, one can enjoy tranquility on weekday mornings and evenings. The sunshade added this little extra to an already idyllic image. (Miami, USA, November 2003 - Image ID 200311-US-02)
White and red flower bouquets on a stone wall against blue sky
Flower wedding decoration on the wall
White and red flower bouquets on a stone wall against blue sky
Not too many people can afford to have a private party at Miami's Vizcaya Musuem and Gardens. This amazing venue is open for visiting to the general public. Only once did we see the place being prepared for a wedding afternoon and evening event. Apart from exquisite table decoration, countless flower bouquets were distributed everywhere, including the surrounding walls. I couldn't resist to take a number of pictures against the blue sky. (Miami, USA, November 2003 - Image ID 200311-US-06)
A metal cable running around a wooden post in circles
Boat dock post with rusted metal cables
A metal cable running around a wooden post in circles
During my walk around the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, I spotted this abstract feature. On the weathered wooden posts of the boat dock, metal cables ran around in circles several time. Due to humidity, they already started to corrode. The brown-reddish color of the rust added a nice contrast to an otherwise quite monochrome image. (Miami, USA, November 2003 - Image ID 200311-US-05)
Scenic view of Miami's Brickell beachfront buildings
Miami Brickell beachfront hotel and condominiums
Scenic view of Miami's Brickell beachfront buildings
Nothing is a constant as change, especially when it comes to property development. For this reason, the beachfront in Miami keeps changing constantly. This view from 20 years ago shows the southern part of Brickell. A number of high-rise condominiums are located behind the beautiful pool landscape of the Four Seasons Hotel. (Miami, USA, November 2003 - Image ID 200311-US-01)
A shallow pool with many palm trees
Palm trees pool landscape
A shallow pool with many palm trees
This rather unusual palm tree garden is part of the impressive pool landscape of the Four Seasons Hotel in Miami's Brickell district. I found this idea both unique as well as quite visually attractive. For swimming however, this pool is not the perfect place. The water is far too shallow for any laps or other serious water sport. (Miami, USA, November 2003 - Image ID 200311-US-03)
A small forest with three stylized blue pine Xmas trees
Blue Pine Christmas Tree Forest
A small forest with three stylized blue pine Xmas trees
For those who prefer a more traditional look of a Xmas tree, I decided to create a special forest. It is based on an old photo of a blue pine. This coniferous tree is particularly beautiful in spring time, when the fresh immature cones are still red. Those look like the usual sphere decoration. This composite consists of various crops of a single photo on a black background. To further enhance the beauty, I converted the original image into a digital painting. Looks like an appealing greeting card or photo present for the Festive Season to me... (Esslingen, Germany, October 2023 - Image ID: 202310-DE-02)
A stylized Christmas tree composed of blue pine photos
Blue Pine Christmas Tree Eight Rows
A stylized Christmas tree composed of blue pine photos
For those who prefer a more traditional look of a Xmas tree, I decided to create this special edition with eight branches. It is based on an old photo of a blue pine. This coniferous tree is particularly beautiful in spring time, when the fresh immature cones are still red. Those look like the usual sphere decoration. This composite consists of various crops of a single photo on a black background. To further enhance the beauty, I converted the original image into a digital painting. Looks like an appealing greeting card or photo present for the Festive Season to me... (Esslingen, Germany, October 2023 - Image ID: 202310-DE-01)
A composite of eight chaotically arranged blue pine trees
Blue Pine Christmas Tree Mikado
A composite of eight chaotically arranged blue pine trees
For those who prefer a more traditional look of a Xmas tree, I decided to create this spillikins edition with eight individual trees. The material is based on an old photo of a blue pine. This coniferous tree is particularly beautiful in spring time, when the fresh immature cones are still red. Those look like the usual sphere decoration. This composite consists of various crops of a single photo on a black background. To further enhance the beauty, I converted the original image into a digital painting. Looks like an appealing greeting card or photo present for the Festive Season to me... (Esslingen, Germany, October 2023 - Image ID: 202310-DE-03)
Partial view of Stuttgart Solitude Castle against dark blue sky
Solitude Castle evening sunlight
Partial view of Stuttgart Solitude Castle against dark blue sky
This image perfectly illustrates why my favorite material for loutdoor photography used to be low ASA Fuji slide film. The intense colors created impressive contrasts and dramatic effects. Combine this with a polarization filter, and you get images like this - no need to enhance with Photoshop. I took this image at Stuttgart's Solitude Castle on a sunny October evening. (Stuttgart, Germany, October 1993 - Image ID: 199310-DE-02)
Still-life with half filled red wine glass and shards
Half full or empty, and partially broken ?
Still-life with half filled red wine glass and shards
No, this image is not AI-generated. It actually is one of my early creative works in photography. In order to better understand my camera and how to work with light, I spent quite a few late-night hours translating ideas into color slides. In this specific case, I dropped one of two identical glasses. Instead of just throwing it away, I dediced to visualize the famous "glass half full or empty" concept. Via double exposure I combined the two images of that photo with one of the broken twin. (Stuttgart, Germany, October 1993 - Image ID: 199310-DE-01)
Close-up of dandelion clock against sunset
Sunset dandelion close-up
Close-up of dandelion clock against sunset
When you grow up in a rural area, and enjoy photography, dandelions will certainly make several appearances in your portfolio. The massive transformation from a yellow flower to the fragile parachutes blown off by the wind is just amazing. Gardeners tend to hate this species for being quite resistant to all attempts to remove them. (Laubach, Germany, August 1983 - Image ID: 198308-DE-03)
Jiufen Golden Waterfall below green mountain peaks
Golden waterfall against mountain peaks
Jiufen Golden Waterfall below green mountain peaks
One of the main attractions in the Jiufen area is the Golden Waterfall. It is conveniently located close the the road connecting the touristic mining village with the coast. What makes these cascades very attractive are the intense colors. The reddish tone of the rocks nicely contrasts with the lush green of the vegetation. And on clear days, photographers may get a blue sky as an additional treat. (Jiufen, Taiwan, October 2013 - Image ID: 201310-TW-04)
Single pine tree on misty mountain slope
Pine tree on diagonal mountain slopes
Single pine tree on misty mountain slope
Even on days when the area is covered with mist, Yangmingshan National Park has a lot of great views to offer. The best ways to explore this beautiful scenic area on a dormant volcano is hiking. Many well maintained trails run through vast grasslands, deep valleys, lush forests and over mountain peaks. During one of these hikes, I discovered this tree nicely framed by two opposing diagonal slopes. And suddenly the dull white background made a lot more sense than a clear blue sky. (Yangmingshan, Taiwan, July 2012 - Image ID: 201307-TW-02)
Low angle view of diverse subtropical forest with blue sky
Colorful subtropical forest against blue sky
Low angle view of diverse subtropical forest with blue sky
What a view! During my time living and working in Taiwan, we stayed at a place surrounded by subtropical forest. Actually, one could even call it a jungle, for it being quite dense with plants competing for sunlight. Even though the local climate doesn't trigger four sharply different seasons, it was nice to observe the more subtile changes throughout the year. Especially the large diversity of trees and the different colors of flowering plants add extra visual treats. (Taipei, Taiwan, October 2013 - Image ID: 201310-TW-05)
Hiking trail with falling rocks warning sign
Hazardous hiking trail warning sign
Hiking trail with falling rocks warning sign
Putting up warning signs on mountaineous hiking trails makes a lot of sense to prevent accidents. Adding an English translation to the Chinese writing is an optional extra. Especially on weekends, the Yangmingshan National Park is a popular recreation area for the citizens of Taipei and New Taipei City. People of all ages gear up to explore the natural beauty in this massive volcano landscape. To me, this specific trail didn't appear to be particularly difficult or dangerous. However, safety first! (Yangmingshan, Taiwan, July 2013 - Image ID: 201307-TW-03)
Roof of Chinese temple decorated with dragons
Jiufen Chinese temple roof
Roof of Chinese temple decorated with dragons
Amongst other attractions, there are a number of impressive temples in the Jiufen area. What always caught my attention are the extremely colorful roofs decorated with countless motifs. Especially dragons are a very common sight, contrasting with the sky in the background (Jiufen, Taiwan, October 2013 Image ID: 201310-TW-02)
Hiking trails through grasslands on volcanic peak
Yangmingshan peaks hiking trails
Hiking trails through grasslands on volcanic peak
A large number of well maintained hiking trails run across the Yangmingshan National Park. The peaks of this nature reserve reach more than 1.000m altitude above sea level. From there, visitors have fantastic panoramic views over Taipei and New Taipei City. Vast areas of this dormant volcano are covered with long grass, which covers the mountain like a green carpet. Due to the heat and high humidity, hiking in this area is quite strenuous throughout most of the year. (Yangmingshan, Taiwan, July 2013 - Image ID: 201307-TW-01)
Cute cat and three bowls on a wall
Copper colored cat on brick wall
Cute cat and three bowls on a wall
Jiufen is a popular tourist destination in the north-east of Taiwan. Whilst most people will visit shops, monuments and restaurants, I tend to focus my exploration on some smaller details. Walking around the old city center, there are a lot of things to discover. Amongst others, I found this beautiful colored cat sitting on a weathered wall. The three bowls with different colors and materials provided an interesting background. Most likely, the owner uses them to feed the beloved pet. (Jiufen, Taiwan, October 2013 - Image ID: 201310-TW-01)
Line of fence posts in mountain valley grassland
Grassland fence posts against dark sky
Line of fence posts in mountain valley grassland
Like most areas in northern Taiwan, the mountains surrounding Jiufen are covered by lush green vegetation. During our weekend trip, I found this interesting set-up. A large number of posts line up within the sun-illuminated grass, apparently without any fence or wires connecting them. The dark clouds hanging in the valley between the peaks provided an interesting background contrast. (Jiufen, Taiwan, October 2013 - Image ID: 201310-TW-03)
Closeup on bird of prey sitting in a tree
Bird of prey portrait on tree
Closeup on bird of prey sitting in a tree
Honestly, I am not an expert in ornithology. Nevertheless, when the opportunity comes my way, I do enjoy watching birds. And if my camera gear is available, I do invest some time to find the right angle for a good photo. I spotted this beautiful bird right from the balcony of our house in the outskirts of Taipei. It stayed on this branch for quite some time before flying off into the valley. So who knows which bird this is? (Taipei, Taiwan, October 2013 - Image ID: 201310-TW-06)
Partial close view of green barrel cactus with lots of yellow spines
Mother-in-law's cushion cactus
Partial close view of green barrel cactus with lots of yellow spines
Funny enough, the nickname of this cactus reads exactly the same in English as it does in German. Could it be that "Mother's in law" are equally popular in both cultures? Within the botanical gardens of the Wilhelma there are a number of themed greenhouses. One of them is dedicated to deserts, featuring many succulent plants and cacti. Whilst the flowers are the main attraction for most visitors, I really like zooming in on the spines and to find the right angle for an interesting photo. (Stuttgart, Germany, September 1993 - Image ID: 199309-DE-03)
Two polar bears cuddling asleep on a big rock
Two sleeping polar bears - Take a rest
Two polar bears cuddling asleep on a big rock
This is one of my personal all-time zoo photography favorites. I took it already 30 years ago at the Wilhelma in Stuttgart, together with many other photos. The enclosure for the polar bears there is rather spacious, with lots of rocks and deep pools. Glass windows below the water surface provide visitors with spectacular views of the majestic animals swimming and diving. But every now and then, even the most active ones need to take a rest. (Stuttgart, Germany, September 1993 - Image ID: 199309-DE-07)
Close-up on blue agave leaves with black spines
Blue agave leaves close-up
Close-up on blue agave leaves with black spines
Within the botanical gardens of the Wilhelma there are a number of themed greenhouses. One of them is dedicated to deserts, featuring many succulent plants and cacti. Once you take a closer look, you perfectly understand why this plant is called "blue" agave. The famous Mexican tequila is made of it, but also just looking at its natural beauty is breathtaking. (Stuttgart, Germany, September 1993 - Image ID: 199309-DE-02)
Closeup on elephant foot on sandy soil
Elephant foot and toes - Solidly grounded
Closeup on elephant foot on sandy soil
Imagine how much weight these feet need to carry on a daily basis! It may not be the most looked at part of these majestic animals. However, since zoos usually are not great for wildlife photography (too much background disturbance), I decided to rather approach the elephants with some close-up images. The toenails very much remind me of our own ones... (Stuttgart, Germany, September 1993 - Image ID: 199309-DE-04)
Romantic pond with water lilies in botanical garden
Water lilies pond Wilhelma botanical gardens
Romantic pond with water lilies in botanical garden
This rather romantic place is usually pretty busy during opening hours of the Wilhelma in Stuttgart. It is a unique combination of a zoo and botanical gardens, surrounded by another large park. A number of ponds with and without fountains invite to take a rest on one of the surrounding benches. I particularly like the ones covered with water lilies during flowering season. (Stuttgart, Germany, September 1993 - Image ID: 199309-DE-01)
Sunlit head of baby hippo in dark water
Hippo toddler swimming in pond
Sunlit head of baby hippo in dark water
As fascinating as exotic animals might be for children, I always had mixed feelings about them. On one hand, they do play an important role for conservation and education. On the other hand one doesn't have to be a scientist to understand that the "accomodation" in many cases is not species-appropriate. The pond even for a baby hippo was already rather small. (Stuttgart, Germany, September 1993 - Image ID: 199309-DE-05)
Close look at red cones of blue spruce tree
Blue spruce with immature red cones
Close look at red cones of blue spruce tree
Quite often, we feel the need to travel somewhere else to see something new. However, there is so much to discover at home. This is another example of natural beauty right in front of our doorsteps. I took this close-up of the immature cones of a blue spruce tree in our garden in spring-time (Laubach, Germany, April 1983 - Image ID: 198304-DE-01)
Close up of red amaryllis flower interior
Amaryllis flower closeup in red
Close up of red amaryllis flower interior
A close-up of this popular flower reveals some amazing details, such as the thorn-shaped pattern on the leaves. With its size and beauty, the amaryllis flower is perfect gift for someone special. Hopefully the recipient will take the time to admire the hidden details. (Laubach, Germany, August 1993 - Image ID: 198308-DE-02)
Macro of red spines on green cactus
Red spines on green cactus
Macro of red spines on green cactus
Zooming in on plant details reveals amazing beauty. This photo is from my early days of photography. It shows the wonderful color contrast of red spines on a green cactus. For most of us with our hectic lifestyles, such details remains hidden. I can only recommend to replace a few minutes of social media feeds with quality nature observation. (Laubach, Germany, 1983 - Image ID: 198301-DE-01)
Peacock butterfly with two eyes on pink flower
European peacock butterfly on pink flower
Peacock butterfly with two eyes on pink flower
Natural beauty perfectly set in scene: this butterfly is called European peacock. I guess the name makes sense since it is almost as colorful as the mesmerizing feathers of the bird bearing the same name. In this case I was lucky. The butterfly choose a nice flower to take a short rest. Can you spot the two eyes? (Laubach, Germany, September 1983 - Image ID: 198309-DE-02)
Purple daisy with yellow center against dark blackground
Magenta colored daisy closeup
Purple daisy with yellow center against dark blackground
For most of my closeup images about nature, I prefer natural light as opposed to flash photography. In this case, the sun nicely illuminated the flowerhead of this colorful daisy variant. Its magenta purple color nicely contrast with the yellow rosette and the dark background. (Laubach, Germany, August 1983 - Image ID: 198308-DE-01)
Orange-black butterfly resting on grey wall
Small tortoiseshell reddish orange butterfly
Orange-black butterfly resting on grey wall
As much as I prefer to take butterfly images when they rest on a flower, one sometimes needs to settle for less. I found this beautiful medium-sized butterfly taking a rest on a great wall. (Laubach, Germany, September 1983 - Image ID: 198309-DE-01)
Six red double London street lamps against clear blue sky
Diagonal line-up of red London street lanterns on sunny day
Six red double London street lamps against clear blue sky
Apart from the usual tourist attractions, I always enjoy to discover and capture ordinary things in a visually appealing format. This line-up of street lamps against a clear blue sky serves as an example. (London, England, September 1993 - Image ID: 199309-GB-02)
Diagonal group of five red English telephone booths
Five iconic red English telephone booths lined up diagonally
Diagonal group of five red English telephone booths
For decades, they were one of the most iconic symbols of England. The shape and the intense red color of the public telephone booths made them unforgettable. They were also a popular postcard motif and tourist souvenir in all kinds of formats. Unfortunately, they have disappeared - nice memories! (London, England, September 1993 - Image ID: 199309-GB-05)
Yellow autumn leaves on a footpath and street in a London park
Footpath and street in park with trees loosing autumn leaves
Yellow autumn leaves on a footpath and street in a London park
As with many historic places, it is very rare to see them without any restauration going on and the inevitable scaffolding. When I viisited Londn 30 years ago, I was lucky, and virtually all main attractions presented themselves in full glory. Not only that: also the London weather with its notoriously bad reputation was quite friendly and replaced fog with a clear blue sky. (London, England, September 1993 - Image ID: 199309-GB-03)
Night view of Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and River Thames
Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and River Thames at night
Night view of Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and River Thames
For some places, it is worth going back at a different time of the day, or even at night, where they look completely different. As with many historic places, it is very rare to see them without any restauration going on and the inevitable scaffolding. When I viisited Londn 30 years ago, I was lucky, and virtually all main attractions presented themselves in full glory. (London, England, September 1993 - Image ID: 199309-GB-06)
Strangely assembled green-white fabric lounge chair in a park
Disorganized lounge chair with white-green fabric in park
Strangely assembled green-white fabric lounge chair in a park
Apart from the busy inner city wth its tourist attractions, I truly enjoyed the many large parks with their old trees and enough space for residents and tourist to get some fresh air. On one of my walks I found this interesting, not perfectly assembled, lounge chair (London, England, September 1993 - Image ID: 199309-GB-04)
London Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey
Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey without scaff
London Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey
As with many historic places, it is very rare to see them without any restauration going on and the inevitable scaffolding. When I viisited Londn 30 years ago, I was lucky, and virtually all main attractions presented themselves in full glory. Not only that: also the London weather with its notoriously bad reputation was quite friendly and replaced fog with a clear blue sky. (London, England, September 1993 - Image ID: 199309-GB-01)
Two traffic lights on red yellow lights against green background
Street lantern and two red-yellow traffic lights in sea of green
Two traffic lights on red yellow lights against green background
Another small detail that caught my attention! At first, I spotted the metal street lamp with a traffic light, until I realized that a second one was located right next to it. After finding the right angle, I waited until both lit up in red and yellow, and took this shot against the lush green background. (London, England, September 1993 - Image ID: 199309-GB-07)
Right front view of Mercedes AMG GT Coupe on mountain road
Mercedes AMG GT S solarbeam on Yangmingshan - front view right
Right front view of Mercedes AMG GT Coupe on mountain road
Even without moving, this photo illustrates the dynamics of the AMG GT S Coupe. For its launch back in 2015, Mercedes AMG used a very special metallic paint called "solarbeam". When you look at the car, you immediately understand why this name was chosen. The strikingly vibrant color shines even on cloudy days as if the car had integrated sunlight. Therefore, I took a lot of photos on a half-day round trip around Taiwan's Yangmingshan National Park mountain roads and the nearby coast. (Yangmingshan, Taiwan, December 2015 - Image ID 201512-TW-08)
Yellow Mercedes AMG GT Coupe parked next to bamboo forest
Mercedes AMG GT S solarbeam meets bamboo forest
Yellow Mercedes AMG GT Coupe parked next to bamboo forest
One of my favourite backgrounds for the iconic AMG GT S Coupe is this bamboo forest. For its launch back in 2015, Mercedes AMG used a very special metallic paint called "solarbeam". When you look at the car, you immediately understand why this name was chosen. The strikingly vibrant color shines even on cloudy days as if the car had integrated sunlight integrated. Therefore, I took a lot of photos on a half-day round trip around Taiwan's Yangmingshan National Park mountain roads and the nearby coast. (Yangmingshan, Taiwan, December 2015 - Image ID 201512-TW-06)
Left front view of AMG GT Coupe at coastal road with dog
Mercedes AMG GT S solarbeam meets dog near Yehliu Geopark
Left front view of AMG GT Coupe at coastal road with dog
Even this dog takes a closer look at the AMG GT S performance coupe parked near the Yehliu Geopark. For its launch back in 2015, Mercedes AMG used a very special metallic paint called "solarbeam". When you look at the car, you immediately understand why this name was chosen. The strikingly vibrant color shines even on cloudy days as if the car had integrated sunlight. Therefore, I took a lot of photos on a half-day round trip around Taiwan's Yangmingshan National Park mountain roads and the nearby coast. (Yehliu, Taiwan, December 2015 - Image ID 201512-TW-04)
Yellow Mercedes AMG GT parked in front of Buddhist temple
Mercedes AMG GT S solarbeam parked in front of Buddhist temple
Yellow Mercedes AMG GT parked in front of Buddhist temple
Another nice contrast to the AMG GT S Coupe is this colorful buddhist temple on the road to Wanli. For its launch back in 2015, Mercedes AMG used a very special metallic paint called "solarbeam". When you look at the car, you immediately understand why this name was chosen. The strikingly vibrant color shines even on cloudy days as if the car had integrated sunlight. Therefore, I took a lot of photos on a half-day round trip around Taiwan's Yangmingshan National Park mountain roads and the nearby coast. (Yangmingshan, Taiwan, December 2015 - Image ID 201512-TW-07)
Mercedes AMG GT Coupe parked at traditional fishing harbour
Mercedes AMG GT S solarbeam in Yehliu fishing harbor
Mercedes AMG GT Coupe parked at traditional fishing harbour
The modern design of the AMG GT S Coupe meets the picturesque scenery of a traditional fishing harbor. For its launch back in 2015, Mercedes AMG used a very special metallic paint called "solarbeam". When you look at the car, you immediately understand why this name was chosen. The strikingly vibrant color shines even on cloudy days as if the car had integrated sunlight. Therefore, I took a lot of photos on a half-day round trip around Taiwan's Yangmingshan National Park mountain roads and the nearby coast. (Yehliu, Taiwan, December 2015 - Image ID 201512-TW-03)
Left rear view of Mercedes AMG GT on Yangmingshan mountain
Mercedes AMG GT S solarbeam on Yangmingshan - rear view left
Left rear view of Mercedes AMG GT on Yangmingshan mountain
A rear-view of the AMG GT S Coupe showcases automotive design at its best! For its launch back in 2015, Mercedes AMG used a very special metallic paint called "solarbeam". When you look at the car, you immediately understand why this name was chosen. The strikingly vibrant color shines even on cloudy days as if the car had integrated sunlight. Therefore, I took a lot of photos on a half-day round trip around Taiwan's Yangmingshan National Park mountain roads and the nearby coast. (Yangmingshan, Taiwan, December 2015 - Image ID 201512-TW-09)
Side view of yellow Mercedes AMG GT Coupe on coastal road
Mercedes AMG GT S solarbeam sideview near Yehliu Geopark
Side view of yellow Mercedes AMG GT Coupe on coastal road
The smooth aerodynamic silhouette of the AMG GT S Coupe contrasts with the sharp edges of the rocks near Yehliu Geopark. For its launch in 2015, Mercedes AMG used a special metallic paint called "solarbeam". When you look at the car, you immediately understand why this name was chosen. The strikingly vibrant color shines even on cloudy days as if the car had integrated sunlight. A perfect model to take lots of photos on a trip around Taiwan's Yangmingshan National Park mountain roads and the nearby coast. (Yehliu, Taiwan, December 2015 - Image ID 201512-TW-05)
Brown and white cow lying on grass against alpine peaks and sky
Chillout with an awesome view - Cow resting on mountain pasture
Brown and white cow lying on grass against alpine peaks and sky
The power of marketing: It is probably because of successful chocolate advertising that many relate Switzerland with happy cows on green mountain pasture. Living in the fresh air on such a healthy diet, combined with the spectacular views must produce top class milk for this sweet trademark product. The area around Grindelwald has a lot of stunning hiking trails to enjoy the Bernese Alps panorama. (Grindelwald, Switzerland, July 2003 - Image ID 200307-CH-03)
Summer alpine lake surrounded by mountains against blue sky
Tranquility - Peaceful turquoise mountain lake in summer
Summer alpine lake surrounded by mountains against blue sky
As spectacular as the high peaks may be, the mountain lakes are equally attractive destinations. On clear and sunny summer days, the sky and the surrounding hills beautifully reflect in their water. And if your feet should feel too hot after a long hike, upon taking off your shoes the lakes provide an excellent refreshment. Just sitting there for some time, looking at the lake, is quite relaxing. (Grindelwald, Switzerland, July 2003 - Image ID 200307-CH-05)
Snow covered alpine peaks against green pasture edge
High above - Swiss alpine peak overlooking mountain pasture
Snow covered alpine peaks against green pasture edge
This is just another example of the spectacular Swiss mountain peaks. Based on Grindelwald, we took a number of day trips, for example by rail to the "Kleine Scheidegg". Once arrived at the top station, it was time to go for an extended hike to fully absorb this special location. What I like a lot about this photo is the contrast between the cold snow covered wall as opposed to the warm green grass at lower elevations. (Grindelwald, Switzerland, July 2003 - Image ID 200307-CH-04)
Small stream running down over stones in alpine summer valley
Small mountain stream in picturesque alpine stone valley
Small stream running down over stones in alpine summer valley
Isn't nature beautiful? A very simple setup, with just some water flowing down a valley covered with fresh green grass already looks nice on a sunny summer day. Once you add some stones with different shapes, sizes and colors, and it becomes even more attractive. And then you can obviously play around with different exposure times to create the effect of flowing water. (Grindelwald, Switzerland, July 2003 - Image ID 200307-CH-10)
Scenic view of Aletsch glacier and mountains from Jungfraujoch
Aletsch glacier seen from Jungfraujoch viewpoint
Scenic view of Aletsch glacier and mountains from Jungfraujoch
If you look for an unique and spectacular railway experience, the Jungfraujoch line might just be the right thing for you. Climbing up from Interlaken, the top station is an impressive 3.450 meters above sea level. This is a European record! Obviously, one does not only go up and down. Upon exiting the tunnel, visitors can enjoy spectacular views of Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau, and the Aletsch glacier. (Jungfraujoch, Switzerland, July 2003 - Image ID 200307-CH-06)
Macro shot of purple willow gentian on alpine meadow
Willow gentian purple flowers closeup
Macro shot of purple willow gentian on alpine meadow
With lots of spectacular mountain peaks surrounding you, there obviously is a certain risk to forget about the smaller things just close to your feet. I sometimes catch myself forcing my attention downside, to explore the little natural wonders. In summer, the Swiss Alps are covered with lots of colorful flowers. This purple willow gentian definitely deserved my attention. (Grindelwald, Switzerland, July 2003 - Image ID 200307-CH-08)
Wooden bench on alpine hiking trail inviting to take a rest
Take a rest - Wooden bench inviting hikers to have a break
Wooden bench on alpine hiking trail inviting to take a rest
Even in high season, there are still many awesome places available to take a rest, and to enjoy the panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. I found this inviting wooden bench on the "Männlichen" mountain ridge close to Grindelwald. This place is easily accessible by cable car, and lots of well-signed hiking trails connect the top station with the surrounding peaks and other transport hubs. (Grindelwald, Switzerland, July 2003 - Image ID 200307-CH-02)
Two brown calfs taking a rest in a bed of green summer leaves
Two light brown calfs resting in a bed of green leaves
Two brown calfs taking a rest in a bed of green summer leaves
It is probably because of successful chocolate advertising that many relate Switzerland with happy cows on green mountain pasture. Living in the fresh air on such a healthy diet, it seems inevitable that these cows produce top class milk as raw material for this popular Swiss export product. The area around Grindelwald has a lot of stunning hiking trails to enjoy the Bernese Alps panorama. (Grindelwald, Switzerland, July 2003 - Image ID 200307-CH-09)
Artificial dark red alpenglow illuminating the Matterhorn peak
Alpenglow - Red hot Matterhorn against dark sky
Artificial dark red alpenglow illuminating the Matterhorn peak
As much as I like nature, I sometimes enjoy to play around with light. This color change was not done in Photoshop. I already did this when I scan my analogue slides, and experimented with different color settings. The inspiration for this particular one came from the term "Alpenglühen". It describes the effect of the mountain peaks glowing in the evening sunlight (= therefore Alpenglow). And whilst the color in reality is more yellow to orange than dark red, I liked this version which looks like burning charcoal. (Zermatt, Switzerland, July 2013 - Image ID 201307-CH-07)
Peaceful Swiss Alps mountain lake with snow covered peaks
Swiss Alps mountain lake and snow covered peaks
Peaceful Swiss Alps mountain lake with snow covered peaks
Upon exiting the Gornergrat railway, we went for a hike to the nearby Grindji Lake. From there, visitors can enjoy spectacular views of the Matterhorn. Unfortunately, the time of the day was not perfect with the sun coming right from that direction. So the best option was to turn around, and rather capture the peaceful lake with the snow covered mountain range in the background. (Zermatt, Switzerland, July 1993 - Image ID 199307-CH-05)
Large sun illuminated cloud above the Matterhorn peak
Glowing cloud covering the peak of Matterhorn
Large sun illuminated cloud above the Matterhorn peak
The advantage of staying in Zermatt is that one can easily check the visibility and light conditions on the Matterhorn at any time of the day. And obviously, things will always change… This photo was taken early in the morning, with the valley still covered by shade. This was more than compensated by a single cloud right on top of the peak. Illuminated by the morning sun, it seemed to be almost glowing. (Zermatt, Switzerland, July 1993 - Image ID 199307-CH-06)
Group of pine trees on mountain slope overlooking an alpine valley
High mountain trees overlooking the valley - Photo painting
Group of pine trees on mountain slope overlooking an alpine valley
Summer vacations in the mountains are not complete without hiking. Lots of rack railways, cable cars and other lifts provide convenient access to higher elevations. As such, it is possible to enjoy the fresh air and the stunning views also as a day visitor. Since I always liked to take photos of trees, I couldn't resisit to capture this idyllic scenery. The original slide scan has been converted into a photo painting. (Zermatt, Switzerland, July 1993 - Image ID 199307-CH-03)
Red plastic chairs with table and dustbin on a foggy day
Red plastic chairs and lantern in mountain mist
Red plastic chairs with table and dustbin on a foggy day
Even in mid of summer, the weather can change quickly in the higher altitudes of the Swiss Alps. The cafe stop for sure has seen better days for the owners. On sunny days, the terrance and interior are obviously packed with tourists. When we came buy, it was rather cold, rainy, and with very poor visibility. At least the red plastic chairs provided a nice and striking contrast. (Valais, Switzerland, July 1993 - Image ID 199307-CH-01)
Scenic view of Matterhorn surrounded by sun illuminated clouds
The impressive Matterhorn surrounded by illuminated clouds
Scenic view of Matterhorn surrounded by sun illuminated clouds
Due to its special shape, the Matterhorn is one of the most famous mountain peaks worldwide. Four steep faces form an almost perfect pyramid, rising to almost 4.500 meters above sea level. Visitors can enjoy spectacular views from both the valley as well as from the nearby mountain ridges. We stayed in Zermatt for a few days, and did a number of day trips. On one of the afternoons, I took this photo of the iconic place surrounded by a beautifully illuminated cloudscape. (Zermatt, Switzerland, July 1993 - Image ID 199307-CH-04)
White and red boat on Lake Lucerne reflecting in the water
Afternoon boat reflections in Lake Lucerne
White and red boat on Lake Lucerne reflecting in the water
The first stage of our 1993 family vacation in Switzerland brought us to Lucerne. Since my first visit to this city, I really liked this place with its unique location on a large lake surrounded by high mountains. During a walk on the shore, I found this boat. The afternoon sun beautifully illuminated it with its golden light, which reflected nicely in the water. (Lucerne, Switzerland, July 1993 - Image ID 199307-CH-01)
Sandy Malaysian island beach with tropical forest and tree trunk
Pristine tropical Sabah beach with lush vegatation
Sandy Malaysian island beach with tropical forest and tree trunk
This is how "paradise" looked like upon arrival on one of the small islands close to Kota Kinabalu. The advantage of just taking a transfer with a small boat was that we got there rather early, and basically had the beautiful sandy beach all for ourselves. We were impressed about the lush tropical jungle on such a small island. And the beach had a lot of small and larger details to explore. Hence the time went by rather quickly, and we were sort of sad when we had to leave. (Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, July 2013 - Image ID 201307-MY-14)
Young orangutan hanging from a branch in the forest
Hold on - Orangutan toddler having fun
Young orangutan hanging from a branch in the forest
After a few days in the city of Kota Kinabalu, we moved to the Shangri-La Rasa Ria Hotel. Located just 25km north of the city, the 45min trip takes you to a completely different world. The beautiful setting with pristine beaches and lush tropical forests is the perfect spot to unwind. Attached to the hotel there is the Rasa Ria Nature Reserve. When we visited, they still operated an orangutan rehabilitation sanctuary, which obviously was one of the highlights of our visit. This toddler is busy training its muscles and flexibility. (Rasa Ria Reserve, Malaysia, July 2013 - Image ID 201307-MY-21)
Small green and blue painted boat approach tropical island
Boat transfer to paradise - Tropical island excursion Sabah
Small green and blue painted boat approach tropical island
One of the top activities in Kota Kinabalu are full- or half-day tours to a number of smaller islands just off the coast of Borneo. Obviously there are larger tourist ships including catering and entertainment. But we opted for just a transfer with a small boat. Riding towards our destination in this open boat at high speed was an experience itself. And the closer we got, the more our destination looked like paradise... (Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, July 2013 - Image ID 201307-MY-12)
Stream flowing down a rainforest valley covered with stones
Picturesque stream in the dense jungle of Mt. Kinabalu park
Stream flowing down a rainforest valley covered with stones
Not far away from the city of Kota Kinabalu is the mountain sharing the same name. With more than 4.000m of altitude, it is the highest peak in Malaysia. Initially, we were tempted to try to climb it, like many people do together with local guides. However, since we didn't really bring appropriate clothes and shoes, and with two children we decided to skip this idea. Instead, we took an extended hike in the beautiful jungle of the Mt. Kinabalu park. Lots of streams and the lush vegetation made this visit absolutely worthwhile. (Kinabalu Park, Malaysia, July 2013 - Image ID 201307-MY-11)
Empty plastic bottle against sandy beach, turquoise sea and sky
Hydrate yourself - Empty plastic water bottle against sea and be
Empty plastic bottle against sandy beach, turquoise sea and sky
Even when you spend just a few hours on a non-developed island, it is important to bring enough water. Otherwise, there is a risk to dehydrate due to the intense sunshine combined with hot temperatures. Thankfully, we did pack quite a lot of bottles. And we also took all of them with us for proper disposal and recycling when we left the tropical paradise later in the afternoon. (Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, July 2013 - Image ID 201307-MY-16)
Tree trunk lying on a sandy beack with turquoise sea background
Tree trunk washed ashore a sandy tropical beach
Tree trunk lying on a sandy beack with turquoise sea background
For a photographer, beaches are always a tempting motif. This is particularly true when people who grew up in a cold or moderate climate visit sandy tropical beaches. If nature is kind enough to add some decorative driftwood, the number of pictures will increase dramatically. I found this tree trunk during our day trip to one of the outlying islands close to Kota Kinabalu in Borneo's state of Sabah. (Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, July 2013 - Image ID 201307-MY-15)
Silhouette of fishing boats at sunset against dark cloudy sky
Fishing boats in the bay of Kota Kinabalu at sunset
Silhouette of fishing boats at sunset against dark cloudy sky
Upon arrival at Kota Kinabalu on Malaysia's Borneo island, we felt the need to move a little bit before going for dinner. So we took a stroll in the city. Obviously, taking a look at the sun setting over the tropical South China Sea was a "must do". To make things even better, a number of fishing boats were lined up nicely in front of the glowing horizon. A very romantic way to start our time in this part of the country... (Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, July 2013 - Image ID 201307-MY-10)
Malayan red yellow and white fishing boat with floodlights
Colorful fishing trawler in the bay of Kota Kinabalu
Malayan red yellow and white fishing boat with floodlights
One morning during our stay in Kota Kinabalu, I went to a morning workout, and ran along the fishing harbor. I was very impressed with the colorful boats in the warm morning sunlight. So the next day I got up early again, and took my camera gear to take a whole series of photos. Fishing is an important sector in this region, providing jobs to a lot of people. Strong floodlights on the roof of the ship provide sufficient visibility at night when most of the fishing activity happens. (Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, July 2013 - Image ID 201307-MY-18)
Rear view of orangutan climbing up a tree in tropical forest
Climbing artist - Orangutan on its way up a jungle tree
Rear view of orangutan climbing up a tree in tropical forest
After a few days in the city of Kota Kinabalu, we moved to the Shangri-La Rasa Ria Hotel. Located just 25km north of the city, the 45min trip takes you to a completely different world. The beautiful setting with pristine beaches and lush tropical forests is the perfect spot to unwind. Attached to the hotel there is the Rasa Ria Nature Reserve. When we visited, they still operated an orangutan rehabilitation sanctuary, which obviously was one of the highlights of our visit. It was absolutely fascinating to see how elegant these amazing animals climbed the trees. (Rasa Ria Reserve, Malaysia, July 2013 - Image ID 201307-MY-22)
Roofs and minarets of Kota Kinabalu City Mosque against sky
Kota Kinabalu City Mosque on Sabah, Malaysia
Roofs and minarets of Kota Kinabalu City Mosque against sky
The City Mosque is one of two large mosques in Sabah's capital Kota Kinabalu. Built in the 1990ies, it officially opened in year 2000. Apart from its size catering for up to 12.000 worshipers, its location on the shores of the South China Sea is quite special. Being partially surrounded by an artificial lake, the mosque has also become a major tourist attraction. (Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, July 2013 - Image ID 201307-MY-25)
Sitting monkey with baby enjoying icecream in a cone
Monkey with baby and stolen icecream at Batu Caves
Sitting monkey with baby enjoying icecream in a cone
As in many tourist destinations, local wildlife quickly adapts to the new situation. Especially monkeys have learned to benefit from careless visitors. Being extremely agile and fast, you really need to watch your belongings. Otherwise, things might be stolen within seconds. Obviously, food is amongst the top targets. The monkey proudly shares the ice-cream cone with its young born. Whilst this may look very cute, this clearly is not the recommended diet for these primates. (Batu Caves, Malaysia, July 2013 - Image ID 201307-MY-07)
Kuala Lumpur city centre with Petronas Twin Towers at night
Colorful Kuala Lumpur city centre with twin towers at night
Kuala Lumpur city centre with Petronas Twin Towers at night
This night image shows the city center of Kuala Lumpur with the iconic Petronas Twin Towers. When you visit, you definitely need to come both during the day as well as after sunset. From my personal point of view, it is not so much the height of the building that leaves a long-lasting impression. For me, the idea of constructing two identical towers of 88 floors next to each other, and connect them with a bridge, is really striking. (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, July 2013 - Image ID 201307-MY-02)
Head of brown horse looking out of a yellow and black building
Honor to whom honor is due - Horse taking a look
Head of brown horse looking out of a yellow and black building
I am not exactly sure anymore at which building I took this snapshot. The scenery with the yellow painted building covered with marble and just the head of one horse sticking out was almost unreal. Nothing we would have expected in the city center of a multi-million people capital. The horse was just standing there, taking a look at the street. Considering the color, it looks like a royal stable to us. (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, July 2013 - Image ID 201307-MY-05)
Low angle view of Petronas Twin Towers against cloudy blue sky
Petronas Twin Towers - an impressive view from below
Low angle view of Petronas Twin Towers against cloudy blue sky
As much as I like this picture, I can only partially illustrate how majestic the Petronas Twin Towers really are. Thinking about iconic buildings around the globe, this icon of Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur's will most likely score a top ranking. It was officially called the tallest building in the world from 1998 - 2004, until Taipei 101 was completed. From my perspective, it is however not so much the height itself that leaves a long-lasting impression. For me, the idea of constructing two identical towers of 88 floors next to each other, and connect them with a bridge, is really striking. (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, July 2013 - Image ID 201307-MY-09)
Huge golden statue in front of stairs leading into mountain cave
Batu Caves statue and entrance near Kuala Lumpur
Huge golden statue in front of stairs leading into mountain cave
One of the most popular days trips from Kuala Lumpar is a visit to the nearby Batu Caves. It actually is a whole ensemble of karst caves, and they are home to a number of Hindu shrines and temples. The gigantic Murugan statue at the entrance is very impressive, both due to its heights as well as its bright color. Upon climbing the steep stairs, visitors can enter the caves and explore the countless statues inside. (Batu Caves, Malaysia, July 2013 - Image ID 201307-MY-06)
Low angle view of illuminated Petronas Twin Towers at night
The only way is up - Petronas Twin Towers at night
Low angle view of illuminated Petronas Twin Towers at night
Thinking about iconic towers around the globe, the Petronas Twin Towers in Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur's will most likely score a top ranking. It was officially called the tallest building in the world from 1998 - 2004, until Taipei 101 was completed. From my perspective, it is however not so much the height itself that leaves a long-lasting impression. For me, the idea of constructing two identical towers of 88 floors next to each other, and connect them with a bridge, is really striking. The KLCC looks fantastic also at night. (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, July 2013 - Image ID 201307-MY-01)
Cautious look of monkey breastfeeding its baby
Monkey breastfeading hungry baby at Batu Caves
Cautious look of monkey breastfeeding its baby
This is another monkey mother and child portrait taken at the Batu Caves in Gombak, Selangor. These animals are used to the thousands of visitors coming to the caves and Hindu shrines, and therefore show no fear of human beings. With a constant supply of food collected from dustbins or stolen from inattentive tourists, these monkeys will most likely never go to sleep hungry. (Batu Caves, Malaysia, July 2013 - Image ID 201307-MY-08)
Red floral decoration on street lamp against modern buildings
Floral street lantern in Kuala Lumpur city centre
Red floral decoration on street lamp against modern buildings
As in most large cities, many high-rise buildings come in the standard colors white-grey-black. However, someone in Kuala Lumpur's city planning department had a brilliant idea. They added some red and green by wrapping a large number of streets lamps with artificial flowers. These really stand out, and made me smile (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, July 2013 - Image ID 201307-MY-04)
Hamburg Speicherstadt harbour city hall and sunshades against blue sky
Historic harbour city hall at Hamburg Speicherstadt
Hamburg Speicherstadt harbour city hall and sunshades against blue sky
Hamburg's "Speicherstadt" is the worlds largest warehouse ensemble. Built from the 1880'ies to the 1920'ies as part of the port, the building foundations rests on hundreds of huge wooden logs. The City of Warehouses now is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a very popular tourist destination. The huge buildings made from red bricks are testimony of Hamburg's important role in global maritime trade. One of the most iconic buildings is this so-called Hafenrathaus (harbour city hall). (Hamburg, Germany, July 2013 - Image ID 201307-DE-09)
Closeup on window fascade of Hamburg Elbphilharmonie
Elbphilharmonie window structures and reflections
Closeup on window fascade of Hamburg Elbphilharmonie
As impressive as the Elbharmonie building in total may be, I was more interested in the unique fascade. The curved glass results in amazing reflections, and in combination with the light constantly changes the visual appearance of the building. Whilst there was a lot of criticism against the project due to the much higher than planned construction costs, the city of Hamburg now has a new icon. (Hamburg, Germany, July 2013 - Image ID 201307-DE-04)
Empty masts and dews of sailing ships against blue sky
Maze of sailing ship masts and dews
Empty masts and dews of sailing ships against blue sky
Like probably most children, I was always fascinated by the adventures of the great explorers of the past centuries. One item firmly associated with these stories are the iconic sailing ships. No matter how many masts, they opened up new horizons and enabled the discovery of previously unknown territories. Therefore, I was very happy to find not only one, but quiet a number of these impressive testimonies of the past in the port of Hamburg. Zooming in on their masts revealed a confusing, yet organized maze of dews. (Hamburg, Germany, July 2013 - Image ID 201307-DE-10)
Many blue and yellow cranes in Hamburg harbour against sky
Hamburg port "Blohm + Voss dock 10" crane parade
Many blue and yellow cranes in Hamburg harbour against sky
One of the "MUST DO's" when visiting Hamburg is a harbour cruise. Apart from the scenic views of the city, I found both the terminals and the docks very interesting. As the largest port in Germany, Hamburg was always considered the gateway to the world. During our trip, this parade of loading cranes caugt my attention. (Hamburg, Germany, July 2013 - Image ID 201307-DE-01)
Low angle view of dark orange sunshade with black spokes
Deep orange colored sunshade
Low angle view of dark orange sunshade with black spokes
This image is just one of a whole collection of photos that I took of sunshades in this striking dark orange color. In summertime, both businesses and private people supply these photographic elements to all cities Especially restaurants and cafes provide comfort and protection to their guests by putting up a whole collection of them. Some of them are true designer-style piece of art. If you invest a bit of time to find the right position and angle, you will identify many stunning photo opportunities. (Hamburg, Germany, July 2013 - Image ID 201307-DE-12)
Low angle view of four white sunshades framing dark blue sky
White sunshade collection and dark blue sky
Low angle view of four white sunshades framing dark blue sky
In summertime, both businesses and private people tend to add a very photographic element to cityscapes: sunshades! Especially restaurants and cafes provide comfort and protection to their guests by putting up a whole armada of them. Obviously, a lot of the sunshades are branded advertising, but then you also have the more neutral, designer-style sunshades. If you invest a bit of time to find the right position and angle, you will identify many stunning photo opportunities. (Hamburg, Germany, July 2013 - Image ID 201307-DE-07)
Hamburg harbour cruise paddle steamer with Elbphilharmonie
Lousiana Star harbour cruise against Elbphilharmonie
Hamburg harbour cruise paddle steamer with Elbphilharmonie
The "Lousiana Star" paddle steamer is one of the many options to explore the Hamburg harbour area. Whilst not typical for Germany, it blends in nicely into the large variety of boats, vessels and ships. In the background, partially covered, lies the still unfinished Elbphilharmonie. (Hamburg, Germany, July 2013 - Image ID 201307-DE-02)
Low angle view of modern residential building with yellow sunshade
Futuristic residential building with yellow sunshade
Low angle view of modern residential building with yellow sunshade
Walking around Hamburg on one hand is like a history lesson. There are a lot of unique old buildings to discover, giving testimony of the important role the city always played in global trade. On the other hand, there are many new developments, both residential and commercial. The one that almost called "Please take a photo" was this futuristic residential building. The unique architecture, combined with the intense color of both the fascade and the sky, plus the yellow sunshade made this ensemble a perfect photo model. (Hamburg, Germany, July 2013 - Image ID 201307-DE-06)
Wooden man sculpture on buoy within Outer Alster Lake
Wooden buoy-man sculpture on the Outer Alster Lake
Wooden man sculpture on buoy within Outer Alster Lake
This gentlemen is one of four wooden sculptures created by artist Stephan Balkenhol. They are distributed within Hamburg's city limits. This specific one resides on a buoy in the beloved "Außenalster". This artificial lake is very popular amongst Hamburg citizens for recreational purposes and sport. Looking at the statue from a distance, one can get easily confused, and consider it a real person lost in the water. A great piece of art... (Hamburg, Germany, July 2013 - Image ID 201307-DE-08)
Two water bottles and glasses with lemon and ice on striped table cloth
Summer refreshment - Drinks with lemon and ice
Two water bottles and glasses with lemon and ice on striped table cloth
Even an afternoon refreshment can easily become a photo model. In one of the countless cafes we ordered some drinks. After a few re-arrangements the glasses, bottles and spoons became their own piece of art on the two-colored tablecloth. (Cannes, France, July 1993 - Image ID: 199307-FR-14)
Three trees with red, yellow and green leaves on alpine meadow
Autumn trees traffic light - Photo painting
Three trees with red, yellow and green leaves on alpine meadow
Even though we travelled the "Route des Grandes Alpes" in the mid of summer, some trees already wore their autumn outfit. One of my personal photo highlights is this natural traffic light of three different trees with the usual colors of our most important road signal. And no, I didn't change the colors in Photoshop. The credit for this piece of art goes to Mother Nature!
Almost full moon rising above red rocks with pine trees
Moon rising above colorful red rocks and pine trees - Photo painting
Almost full moon rising above red rocks with pine trees
Later in the evening, I took this photo from a different angle and perspective. The moon nicely rises above the red colored rocks and some pines still illuminated a little bit by the sun. (Cote d'Azur, France, July 1993 - Image ID: 199307-FR-17)
Side view of Pont du Gard aqueduct on a rainy summer day
Pont du Gard aqueduct on a misty rainy summer day
Side view of Pont du Gard aqueduct on a rainy summer day
The final attraction on our road trip was a historic one. The Pont du Gard, built by the Romans in the first century, is one of the best preserved aqueducts. With almost 50m, it is also the tallest, and has been added to the UNESCO World Heritage sites. Unfortunately, there were no blues skies and sunshine for our visit. But we could still enjoy the magic of this impressive monument, and walk over it to the other side. (Pont du Gard, July 1993 - Image ID: 199307-FR-24)
View over Sainte-Croix lake into the steep Verdon gorge
Verdon gorge with lake of Sainte-Croix
View over Sainte-Croix lake into the steep Verdon gorge
One of the most famous destinations in the area is the Verdon gorge, sometimes also referred to as the "Grand Canyon of Verdon". This spectacular gorge is up to 700m deep, and around 25km long. At the end, the river with its fresh turquoise water feeds the artificial lake of Sainte-Croix. (Gorges du Verdon, July 1993 - Image ID: 199307-FR-22)
Sun illuminated river flowing through forested mountain valley
Idyllic and densely forested river valley
Sun illuminated river flowing through forested mountain valley
Moving away from the Cote d'Azur, there are a number of very scenic natural parcs with lots of well maintained and signed hiking trails. We made full use of this opportunity, and explored a number of picturesque river valleys. (Southern France, July 1993 - Image ID: 199307-FR-19)
Dark thunderstorm clouds over calm turquoise mediterranean sea
Threatening storm clouds over the Mediterranean
Dark thunderstorm clouds over calm turquoise mediterranean sea
After several days in high mountain areas of the Route des Grandes Alpes, it was nice to finally arrive at the sea. However, the Mediterranean welcomed us with quite a threating dark sky and thunderstorms. (Cote d'Azur, France, July 1993 - Image ID: 199307-FR-10)
Yellow house wall with painted window and reflection
Window plus window reflection on a yellow wall
Yellow house wall with painted window and reflection
During our walk through the streets of Cannes, I spotted this interesting and colorful wall with a painted single window. Thanks to the afternoon sunshine, there was an interesting reflection of another real glass window right next to it. (Cannes, France, July 1993 - Image ID: 199307-FR-12)
Colorful maritime alps peak with moon on the upper right
Mountain peak with moon in the afternoon sun
Colorful maritime alps peak with moon on the upper right
The colorful rocks of the mountains alone have a lot of potential when it comes to nature photography. We were lucky enough to have a beautiful moon rising early in the afternoon that added this little extra to the images. (Cote d'Azur, France, July 1993 - Image ID: 199307-FR-16)
View over the city of Monaco and coastline from above
Scenic view of Monaco from above
View over the city of Monaco and coastline from above
The best place to get an overview about Monaco and its beautiful surroundings is definitely from the steep mountains rising quickly from sea level. We also visited the city itself to get a feeling for one of the smallest and richest countries in the world. (Monaco view, France, July 1993 - Image ID: 199307-FR-11)
Silhouette of people at the end of a tunnel made of ice
Groups of tourists exiting the Aiguille du Midi ice tunnel
Silhouette of people at the end of a tunnel made of ice
To access the most spectacular viewpoint, upon exiting the cable car, visitors had to pass a tunnel through the ice. Not sure if this tunnel still exists with all the climate change and meltdown of the alpine glaciers. At that time, I truly enjoyed this unique experience. (Aiguille du Midi, France, July 1993 - Image ID: 199307-FR-02)
Cat with white and brown fut sleeping on stray with closed eyes
Siesta time - Cat chillout
Cat with white and brown fut sleeping on stray with closed eyes
On the way towards the Cote d'Azur, we passed a lot of mountain villages, where we also stayed over, and bought local products. As usual, I went to explore the area, and found this beautiful cat taking a relaxed afternoon nap. (Route des Grandes Alpes, France, July 1993 - Image ID: 199307-FR-05)
Alpine mountain panorama view from Aiquille du Midi
Aiguille du Midi alpine peaks panorama
Alpine mountain panorama view from Aiquille du Midi
From the Aiguille du Midi, one can enjoy a breathtaking panoramic views over the French and Swiss Alps. At the time of our visit in July, there was quite a lot of snow. Together with the intense sunshine and the deep blue sky, this place felt quite magic. (Aiguille du Midi, France, July 1993 - Image ID: 199307-FR-01)
Wild mountain stream flowing down a valley full of rocks
Mountain stream on the Route des Grandes Alpes
Wild mountain stream flowing down a valley full of rocks
You might have heard the saying: "The journey is the destination". This is particularly true when travelling the "Route des Grandes Alpes". This epic roadtrip from the Lake Geneva to the Cote d'Azur crosses 16 mountain passes with an incredibly diverse landscape. Streams and waterfalls are regular companions on this trip. (Route des Grandes Alpes, France, July 1993 - Image ID: 199307-FR-03)
Clouds rising from a mountain valley on a rainy day
Route des Grandes Alpes - Above the clouds !
Clouds rising from a mountain valley on a rainy day
One of the benefits of crossing six mountain passes at altitudes above 2.000 meters is that sooner or later one may end up above the cloud cover, or at least some individual clouds. Watching them slowly rising with the thermal winds is quite relaxing. With a bit of sunlight, lots of photo opportunities arrise... (Route des Grandes Alpes, France, July 1993 - Image ID: 199307-FR-08)
Close-up of untamed stream flowing over cascades of rocks
Refreshing alpine mountain stream close-up
Close-up of untamed stream flowing over cascades of rocks
Zooming in on the fresh and clear cascades of one of the mountain streams reveals the beauty of the untamed alpine nature. I especially like the contrast between the smooth texture of the flowing water and the hard sharp rocks. (Route des Grandes Alpes, France, July 1993 - Image ID: 199307-FR-04)
Two green painted windows with blinds on a yellow wall
Rural village windows - Closed vs. Open
Two green painted windows with blinds on a yellow wall
On the way towards the Cote d'Azur, we passed a lot of mountain villages, where we also stayed over, and bought local products. As usual, I went to explore the area, and discoverd a lot of colorful walls and windows making the houses a very picturesque experience. (Route des Grandes Alpes, France, July 1993 - Image ID: 199307-FR-06)
Mountain forest with V-shaped pine tree on a foggy day
V-shaped pine tree in misty mountain area
Mountain forest with V-shaped pine tree on a foggy day
Theoretically, as a photographer one could stop a few hundreds times, since the "Route des Grandes Alpes" has so many amazing natural treasures to offer just next to the road. Obviously, this would require a lot more time than we had available. So I focused on the most attractive models, such as this V-shapes pine against a misty mountain background. (Route des Grandes Alpes, France, July 1993 - Image ID: 199307-FR-07)
Fine waterfalls emerging from lush green forest and moss-covered rocks
The shape of water - Natural beauty at its best - I
Fine waterfalls emerging from lush green forest and moss-covered rocks
When you think about a magic place with lots of water, this probably is at good as it gets! Since my first visit to Plitvice in 1991, I was fascinated by the breathtaking scenery. Water simply seems to come out of the forest, everywhere. The cascade of lakes connected by waterfalls is incredibly beautiful. Obviously, the place is a very popular tourist destination. If you want to enjoy the serenity and the unique shape of water of this location, I would suggest to come early in the morning. (Plitvice Lakes, Croatia, June 2023 - Image ID: 202306-CR-51)
Small green plant surviving on the edge of a tiny Plitvice waterfall
On the edge - Small plant withstanding the power of water
Small green plant surviving on the edge of a tiny Plitvice waterfall
Never give up! This seems to be the philosophy of this small plant growing right on the edge of a drop in water level. Whilst I am not a botanical expert, and don't know the species, I was quite impressed by this brave survivor. I found this detail during our extended hike around the lakes. Having arrived early, the morning light contributed to this photo opportunity. Combined with the breathtaking color of the Plitvice lakes water, I really like this unexpected discovery. (Plitvice Lakes, Croatia, June 2023 - Image ID: 202306-CR-60)
Large scenic Plitvice waterfall dropping into the valley from tree-covered rocks
As beautiful as it gets - Waterfall in a forest
Large scenic Plitvice waterfall dropping into the valley from tree-covered rocks
To view this high waterfall in person is a special experience that makes you feel quite humble. Since my first visit to Plitvice in 1991, I was fascinated by the breathtaking scenery. Water simply seems to come out of the forest, everywhere. The cascade of lakes connected by waterfalls is incredibly beautiful. Obviously, the place is a very popular tourist destination. If you want to enjoy the serenity and magic of the location, I would suggest to come early in the morning. Later it tends to get quite crowded. (Plitvice Lakes, Croatia, June 2023 - Image ID: 202306-CR-63)
Branches with fresh green spring leaves against turquoise lake
Magic color contrast - Fresh green meets turquoise water
Branches with fresh green spring leaves against turquoise lake
In spring, the fresh green of the trees next to the boardwalks contrasts with the fascinating color of the clear water. This National Park is on the UNESCO World Heritage list for a good reason. Since my first visit to Plitvice in 1991, I was fascinated by the breathtaking scenery. The cascade of lakes connected by waterfalls is incredibly beautiful. Obviously, the place is a very popular tourist destination. If you want to enjoy the serenity and magic of the location, I would suggest to come early in the morning. (Plitvice Lakes, Croatia, June 2023 - Image ID: 202306-CR-54)
Scenic view of Plitvice lakes and forest with waterfalls
The breathtaking beauty of Plitvice lakes, forest and waterfalls
Scenic view of Plitvice lakes and forest with waterfalls
At the end of our hike around the lakes, I took this final shot showing the amazing scenery of the Plitvice lakes. Since my first visit in 1991, I was fascinated by the breathtaking scenery. Water simply seems to come out of the forest, everywhere. The cascade of lakes connected by waterfalls is incredibly beautiful. Obviously, the place is a very popular tourist destination. If you want to enjoy the serenity and magic of the location, I would suggest to come early in the morning. Later it tends to get quite crowded. (Plitvice Lakes, Croatia, June 2023 - Image ID: 202306-CR-64)
Closeup of the bottom of a waterfall dropping on plant covered rocks
Splash - Closeup of the bottom of a beautiful waterfall - II
Closeup of the bottom of a waterfall dropping on plant covered rocks
As with many other things, taking a photo of the bottom of a waterfall reveals the true beauty of nature in a specific moment. Since my first visit to Plitvice in 1991, I was fascinated by the breathtaking scenery. Water simply seems to come out of the forest, everywhere. The cascade of lakes is incredibly beautiful. Obviously, the place is a very popular tourist destination. If you want to enjoy the serenity and the unique shape of water of this location, I would suggest to come early in the morning. (Plitvice Lakes, Croatia, June 2023 - Image ID: 202306-CR-57)
Colorful rainbow at the bottom of a waterfall in the forest
Perfect combination - Waterfall and rainbow
Colorful rainbow at the bottom of a waterfall in the forest
A pristine waterfall already makes a wonderful photo model. Combine it with a water and it gets even better... Since my first visit to Plitvice in 1991, I was fascinated by the breathtaking scenery. Water simply seems to come out of the forest, everywhere. The cascade of lakes is incredibly beautiful. Obviously, the place is a very popular tourist destination. If you want to enjoy the serenity and the unique shape of water of this location, I would suggest to come early in the morning. (Plitvice Lakes, Croatia, June 2023 - Image ID: 202306-CR-58)
A fresh green summer mountain forest overlooking a tranquil lake
Tranquil place - Quiet turquoise lake within dense summer forest
A fresh green summer mountain forest overlooking a tranquil lake
Whilst not as spectacular as the waterfalls, the surrounding forest also deserves protection and respect. This unique combination put the National Park is on the UNESCO World Heritage list for a good reason. Since my first visit to Plitvice in 1991, I was fascinated by the breathtaking scenery. Water simply seems to come out of the forest, everywhere. Obviously, the place is a very popular tourist destination. If you want to enjoy the serenity and magic of the location, I would suggest to come early in the morning. (Plitvice Lakes, Croatia, June 2023 - Image ID: 202306-CR-59)
Several reeds of reed growing in green Plitvice lakes water
Magic green - Reed growing in beautifully colored water
Several reeds of reed growing in green Plitvice lakes water
This photo only needed two models: water and reed. Despite of this simple setup, I am very excited about the result. Since my first visit to Plitvice in 1991, I was fascinated by the breathtaking scenery, and the very unique colors of the crystal clear water. The cascade of lakes connected by waterfalls is incredibly beautiful. If you want to enjoy the serenity and the unique shape of water of this location, I would suggest to come early in the morning. And take your time, don't rush through. (Plitvice Lakes, Croatia, June 2023 - Image ID: 202306-CR-62)
One of the impressive forest waterfalls at Plitvice upper lakes
Majestic - Large waterfall with lush green vegetation
One of the impressive forest waterfalls at Plitvice upper lakes
Standing in front of this tall waterfall makes you feel quite humble. This National Park is on the UNESCO World Heritage list for a good reason. Since my first visit to Plitvice in 1991, I was fascinated by the breathtaking scenery. Water simply seems to come out of the forest, everywhere. The cascade of lakes connected by waterfalls is incredibly beautiful. Obviously, the place is a very popular tourist destination. If you want to enjoy the serenity and magic of the location, I would suggest to come early in the morning. (Plitvice Lakes, Croatia, June 2023 - Image ID: 202306-CR-55)
One big and a small fish swimming at the surface of a crystal clear lake
Crystal clear - Fish swimming at the surface in fresh water
One big and a small fish swimming at the surface of a crystal clear lake
If there is a paradise for freshwater fish, it probably looks very similar to this. These definitely enjoy themselves, swimming close to the surface in the morning sunlight. Since my first visit to Plitvice in 1991, I was fascinated by the breathtaking scenery, and the very unique colors of the crystal clear water. The cascade of lakes connected by waterfalls is incredibly beautiful. If you want to enjoy the serenity and the unique shape of water of this location, I would suggest to come early in the morning. (Plitvice Lakes, Croatia, June 2023 - Image ID: 202306-CR-61)
The deep turquoise eye-shaped Cetina river spring in Croatia
Eye of the Earth - Cetina river spring Croatia
The deep turquoise eye-shaped Cetina river spring in Croatia
The "Eye of the Earth" shares the destiny with many other previous "insider-tips". This photo taken from above shows where the name is coming from. Years ago, only locals knew about the unique beauty spring of the Cetina river. However, with more and more people sharing photos of the stunning colors and shape of the source of the Cetina river, things changed. Especially drone images contribute to an increased popularity. Still not crowded, but not a secret anymore... (Cetina, Croatia, June 2023 - Image ID: 202306-CR-44)
Orthodox church overlooking the turquoise colored Cetina river spring
Eye of the Earth - Cetina river spring and orthodox church
Orthodox church overlooking the turquoise colored Cetina river spring
Overlooking the beautiful spring of the Cetina river, there is an orthodox church. Years ago, only locals knew about this place in a rather remote area of Croatia. Most international tourists had no clue about the existence of the "Eye of the Earth". However, with more and more people sharing photos of the stunning colors and shape of the source of the Cetina river, things changed. Still not crowded, but not a secret anymore... It's worth walking around to the other side of the lake to enjoy the view. (Cetina, Croatia, June 2023 - Image ID: 202306-CR-46)
Vertical rock wall at Cetina river source dropping into deep blue water
Eye of the Earth - The deep aquamarine blue
Vertical rock wall at Cetina river source dropping into deep blue water
This view shows the almost vertical wall of the "Eye of the Earth" leading into the karst underground. From there, the crystal clear water feeds the Cetina, the longest river in Croatia. Years ago, only locals knew about this place in a remote part of Croatia. However, with many people sharing photos of the stunning colors and shape, things changed. Still not crowded, but not a secret anymore... Thankfully, swimming is strictly prohibited to maintain the purity of the water. I loved the contrast with the fresh green. (Cetina, Croatia, June 2023 - Image ID: 202306-CR-48)
Idyllic spring forest with crystal clear river flowing through it
Cetina river spring flowing through a beautiful forest
Idyllic spring forest with crystal clear river flowing through it
Wouldn't it be great if all rivers were as clean as the Cetina right below its source? The crystal clear water coming out of the karst underground feeds the longest river in Croatia. Before it makes its way to the Adriatic sea, the journey starts in this breathtaking valley. The fresh green of trees and bushes underline the natural beauty. To protect the purity of the water, swimming in the river spring is strictly prohibited. Hopefully people will respect and protect this magic place for future generations. (Cetina, Croatia, June 2023 - Image ID: 202306-CR-49)
Black metal lamp with two lightbulbs with blue Mediterrenean background
Relax -Two beam metal lamp against the Mediterrenean blue
Black metal lamp with two lightbulbs with blue Mediterrenean background
This is on of my favourite images from my recent trip to Croatia. The stunning blue of the adriatic sea reminds me of relaxing vacation days. And the nice contrast with the yellowish glass adds this special photographic extra. If found this interesting design piece in the fishing port of Stomorska. This small village was one of the stops during a day cruise out of Split. I used the stop on Šolta island to explore the area with my camera. Can you spot the spider web pieces below the lamp on the right? (Solta, Croatia, June 2023 - Image ID: 202306-CR-43)
Scenic view of Stomorska village and harbour on Solta island Croatia
Fishing village - Stomorska harbour with Split in the background
Scenic view of Stomorska village and harbour on Solta island Croatia
The small previous fishing harbour of Stomorska on Šolta island is now a regular destination for touristic day tours out of Split. Various operators offer countless options from 1-10 hours, including various islands and locations. From what I saw, most people will just disembark, take a short stroll in the harbour, and maybe eat or drink something. I decided to take a walk up the road to get a better view of the village. It was definitely worth the effort on that hot spring afternoon, with a lovely panoramic sight. (Solta, Croatia, June 2023 - Image ID: 202306-CR-39)
Sailboat leaving the harbour on a beautiful windless summer day
Departure - Sailboat leaving the harbour of Stomorska on Šolta
Sailboat leaving the harbour on a beautiful windless summer day
I guess that the best way to explore the countless larger and smaller islands of the Croatian adriatic sea is probably by sailing along the coastline. Obviously, this is only an assumption, since I have not done it. However, just looking at this boat leaving the small harbour of Stomorska made me think about trying one day. Even though there was virtually no wind on that tranquil day in late spring, the scenery looked very tempting. And we saw a lot of sailboats from all over Europe in the different ports. (Solta, Croatia, June 2023 - Image ID: 202306-CR-38)
Weathered green paint on a wooden door secured with padlock
Closed - Wooden door with padlock and green weathered paint
Weathered green paint on a wooden door secured with padlock
Ports and fishing villages are a paradise for photographers who love to capture unusual motives in an interesting environment. Therefore, whenever travelling in a coastal area, I try to make time for exploring local ports. During a short break of our day cruise to Split's neighbouring islands, I walked around Stomorska village and its port. Humidity and salty air take a permanent toll on everything. As a result, wooden objects with their weathered paint over time become pieces of art. (Solta, Croatia, June 2023 - Image ID: 202306-CR-42)
Four blue enamel cooking pots on balcony with flowering plants
Recycling - Blue cooking pots enjoying second life as flower pots
Four blue enamel cooking pots on balcony with flowering plants
In addition to the usual tourist attractions, I spent time exploring some hidden treasures of the old town. Just walking around without a concrete plan always comes with nice surprises for the curious photographer. On our way walking up towards the densely forested Marjan Park, I found this nice collection of recycled blue cooking pots. The color stood out from the beige and green surroundings, and as such it was almost impossible not to see them. Well, most people passed by without even turning their heads. (Split, Croatia, June 2023 - Image ID: 202306-CR-36)
Split harbour view with Diocletian palace and Jadrolinija ferry
History live - Split harbour view with Diocletian palace and cat
Split harbour view with Diocletian palace and Jadrolinija ferry
To fully appreciate the beauty of the historic city walls and buildings against the backdrop of the coastal mountains, one needs to move back quite a bit. The Palazzo di Diocleziano built by the Romans provides an amazing facade to the old town. I took this image from a boat on our way to visit some of the nearby islands. The harbour of split is quite a busy ferry port. In addition, countless tour operators offer boats and ships of all sizes for rent or days trips to local and international tourists. (Split, Croatia, June 2023 - Image ID: 202306-CR-37)
Collection of white flower pots lined up on a stone staircase in Split
Nature lover - Flower pot garden staircase in Split old town
Collection of white flower pots lined up on a stone staircase in Split
During our three days stay in Split, we obviously visited some of the usual tourist attractions such as the Roman Diocletian's palace. Obviously, being vacation time, there were quite a few people who shared the same idea. Therefore, I started to rather explore hidden treasures of the old town. Just walking around without any concrete plan always comes with nice surprises for the curious photographer. Amongst others, I found this nice botanic collection of a flower-loving owner of a guesthouse. (Split, Croatia, June 2023 - Image ID: 202306-CR-35)
Abandoned house in ruins in rural Croatia mountain village
Ghost town - Abandoned house in a rural mountain village
Abandoned house in ruins in rural Croatia mountain village
As in many other countries, there are a lot of abandoned buildings or even entire villages. On one hand, this is because of young people moving away into the larger cities. Hence, rural areas get less and less populated, with just some older people hanging in. When you have a bit of extra time, it is quite interesting to visit such lost places. Whilst not as spectacular as hotel or castle ruins, there is still a lot to discover. Just imagine how this place may have looked like decades ago, filled with life! (Dubrovnik area, Croatia, June 2023 - Image ID: 202306-CR-17)
Single weathered wooden chair standing in summer garden
Take a seat - Lonely weathered wooden chair in a lost rural mountain village
Single weathered wooden chair standing in summer garden
This is one of my most loved discoveries from an abandoned rural mountain village. As a portfolio collector of chair photos, I was fascinated by this weathered wooden specimen. Actually, there were quite a few of them distributed all over the empty house and its patio garden, some of them completely broken. The contrast between the old vintage chair with its splitting veneer wood and the fresh green of spring vegetation was just fascinating. (Dubrovnik area, Croatia, June 2023 - Image ID: 202306-CR-20)
Hidden mediterrenean beach in Croatia with crystal clear water
Hidden place - Lonely beach with crystal clear water near Cavtat
Hidden mediterrenean beach in Croatia with crystal clear water
Not far away from Dubrovnik, it the small coastal town of Cavtat. It's horseshoe shaped bays makes it quite special, even though you can only really see it from above. On route towards our day trip destination, driving on the coastal road, I spotted a secluded small beach. Fortunately, it was possible to access this hidden place. There were absolutely no people, and we celebrated the natural beauty of the rugged shores with the crystal clear blue water. (Cavtat, Croatia, June 2023 - Image ID: 202306-CR-13)
South Croatian mountain road framed by blooming yellow broom
Framed - Mountain road with blooming broom and a threatening dar
South Croatian mountain road framed by blooming yellow broom
Most tourists in the Dubrovnik area stay within the city, or just visit some of the nearby coastal towns and beaches. It is however worth exploring the surrounding rural areas in the mountains. They rise to more than 1.000 meters above sea level with in just a few kilometers distance from the sea. Whilst driving uphill, a thunderstorm was approaching. I used this opportunity to capture the threatening dark sky, with the intense yellow broom shrubs framing the road. (Cavtat, Croatia, June 2023 - Image ID: 202306-CR-15)
Mediterrenean rocky nudist beach without people on a sunny day
Secluded rocky nudist beach without people near Cavtat
Mediterrenean rocky nudist beach without people on a sunny day
On route towards our day trip destination Cavtat, while driving on the coastal road, I spotted a secluded small beach. It looked quite interesting and attractive from above, so I looked for an access path to this hidden place. It was just a short walk until we got to what turned out to an official "nudist beach". But there were absolutely no people, hence we just celebrated the natural beauty of the rugged shores with the crystal clear blue water. (Cavtat, Croatia, June 2023 - Image ID: 202306-CR-14)
Remains of former kitchen in an abandoned rural house
Masterchef - A long time ago
Remains of former kitchen in an abandoned rural house
Another room, another discovery: I found this old stove and oven in what previously must have been the kitchen. Now completely abandoned, and most empty, it seems nobody was interested in taking and reusing this old-fashioned equipment anymore. Therefore, it stayed at its original location, and now adds some extra flair to the otherwise empty place. How many years may have passed since someone last used it for cooking? I will probably never know... (Dubrovnik area, Croatia, June 2023 - Image ID: 202306-CR-21)
Magenta colored thristle flower beginning to open
A circle of stars - thistle flower preparing to open soon
Magenta colored thristle flower beginning to open
Due to the intense magenta color, thistle are easy to spot even from a greater distance. They are quite common in the mountain areas of the Dubrovnik district. Before the show their entire beauty, they start opening from the center. What I really like about this stage of flowering is the circle of five or even six stars of different sizes. What I also found interesting is the flower power repeating in the tips of the green leaves. (Dubrovnik, Croatia, June 2023 - Image ID: 202306-CR-23)
View down the cliffs onto beautiful Croatian mediterrenean beaches
Breathtaking beach and cliff views from mountain path near Dubro
View down the cliffs onto beautiful Croatian mediterrenean beaches
The Frana Supila road east of Dubrovnik is closed for traffic of any kind, but accessible by foot. From there, one can enjoy spectacular views of the Adriatic sea, and the dramatic fissured coastline. Due to the steep incline, it almost replaces aerial drone shots. The dark blue of the Mediterranean with its crystal-clear water stands in an eye-catching contrast with the lush green on the light grey cliffs. As an optional extra, all kinds of spring flowers add further colors to the scenery. (Dubrovnik, Croatia, June 2023 - Image ID: 202306-CR-27)
Three thristle flowers at different stages of flowering in pink
Evolution - Thistle trio in different stages of flowering
Three thristle flowers at different stages of flowering in pink
Taken from the same outstanding viewpoint overlooking Dubrovnik and its surroundings, this interesting trio immediately caught my attention. Already on the way up, I saw quite a lot of colorful flowers in full spring outfit. On the edge of the stony cliffs, I found this interesting trio. All three belong to the same species, but were in completely different stages of their development. Perfectly aligned in the breeze the were an excellent flora model. (Dubrovnik, Croatia, June 2023 - Image ID: 202306-CR-12)
View on Lokrum island and Hotel Belvedere with red heart graffiti
Faded love - Red heart graffiti above abandoned Belvedere Hotel
View on Lokrum island and Hotel Belvedere with red heart graffiti
Despite the temperatures being already quite high in June, I decided to take a hike on the Frana Supila road east of Dubrovnik. From there, one can enjoy spectacular views of Lokrum, the Adriatic sea, and the fissured coastline. Due to the steep incline, it feels almost like an aerial view. One of the first sights was the abandoned Hotel Belvedere with Lokrum island in the background. Someone was kind enough to leave this graffiti heart behind, with its color perfectly matching the roof. (Dubrovnik, Croatia, June 2023 - Image ID: 202306-CR-26)
Small boat anchored in peaceful bay with clear turquoise water
Paradise - single small boat in a secluded bay below the cliffs
Small boat anchored in peaceful bay with clear turquoise water
This gentleman clearly enjoys a prime location in a secluded bay close to the rather busy city of Dubrovnik. Accessible only from the sea, nobody is about to disturb his afternoon nap. I took this image with as much telephoto lens as I had available in my backpack. Apart from the great location and tranquility of the scene, I particularly like the very special aquamarine color of the Adriatic sea, and the stones in all different shades and sizes at the bottom of this idyllic spot. (Dubrovnik, Croatia, June 2023 - Image ID: 202306-CR-29)
Thistle flower in full magenta colored bloom against blue sky
Almost perfect - Thistle flower in full bloom against a blue sky
Thistle flower in full magenta colored bloom against blue sky
This obviously is not an unusual photo. Many images of thistles in full magenta bloom against a blue sky must be taken almost by the minute during flowering season. Nevertheless, I believe the striking beauty of the color contrast and the details of this natural piece of art do justify posting this capture as part of my Croatia portfolio. The tricky part of taking this photo was the permanent wind, which made the plant move quite a bit in a refreshing breeze. (Dubrovnik, Croatia, June 2023 - Image ID: 202306-CR-24)
Macro shot of blooming red cactus flower with lots of pollen
Single red cactus flower and pollen macro close-up
Macro shot of blooming red cactus flower with lots of pollen
A macro-shot of the red flower and its pollen reveals an amazing natural beauty. As a child, I used to have a few small cactus plants in my room. It was a special event whenever one of them produced a flower, in most cases just a single one. Whilst I have stopped cultivating these fascinating plants long ago, I much more enjoy finding them outdoors in their natural habitat. I found this extraordinary representative of its species during an afternoon hike along the cliffs east of Dubrovnik. (Dubrovnik, Croatia, June 2023 - Image ID: 202306-CR-32)
Macro shot of blooming yellow cactus flower with lots of pollen
Single yellow cactus flower and pollen macro close-up
Macro shot of blooming yellow cactus flower with lots of pollen
A macro-shot of the yellow flower and its pollen reveals an amazing natural beauty. As a child, I used to have a few small cactus plants in my room. It was a special event whenever one of them produced a flower, in most cases just a single one. Whilst I have stopped cultivating these fascinating plants long ago, I much more enjoy finding them outdoors in their natural habitat. I found this extraordinary representative of its species during an afternoon hike along the cliffs east of Dubrovnik. (Dubrovnik, Croatia, June 2023 - Image ID: 202306-CR-33)
Closeup of cactus leaves blooming with red and yellow flowers
Together - Cactus family with red and yellow flowers
Closeup of cactus leaves blooming with red and yellow flowers
As a child, I used to have a few small cactus plants in my room. It was a special event whenever one of them produced a flower, in most cases just a single one. Whilst I have stopped cultivating these fascinating plants long ago, I much more enjoy finding them outdoors in their natural habitat. I found this extended family during an afternoon hike along the cliffs east of Dubrovnik. The flowers came in all stages of their short lifespan, and added amazing colors to the green spikes in the background. (Dubrovnik, Croatia, June 2023 - Image ID: 202306-CR-31)
Woman paddling along Dubrovnik coastline in a yellow kayak
Kayaking Dubrovnik - Exploring the coastline and its caves
Woman paddling along Dubrovnik coastline in a yellow kayak
Another popular activity for tourists visiting Dubrovnik is kayaking. Most people take guided tours, that usually cover surrounding the city walls, Lokrum island and the coastline with a number of caves. Whilst this comes with the plus of interesting information about the city and its history, there are a few providers who also offer kayaks just for rent by the hour. We decided to rather take this option which allows to travel at your own speed, and to take photos without any peer pressure to move on. (Dubrovnik, Croatia, June 2023 - Image ID: 202306-CR-06)
Beautiful coastline with colorful rocks, pine trees and cave
Kayaking Lokrum - Beautiful island coastline with a small cave
Beautiful coastline with colorful rocks, pine trees and cave
Most of the kayak tours in Dubrovnik last for 2-3 hours, and do include crossing over to Lokrum island. Whilst guided excursions come with the plus of interesting information about the city and the island, we decided to just rent the kayaks by the hour and go our own route. The big benefit is that this option permits to travel at your own speed. And, very important for me, to take as many photos where and whenever I want without any peers or the tour guide pressuring to move on. (Dubrovnik, Croatia, June 2023 - Image ID: 202306-CR-09)
Beautiful rocky coast of Lokrum island with pine trees
Out of this world - The beauty of the shores of Lokrum island
Beautiful rocky coast of Lokrum island with pine trees
One of the most popular activities in Dubrovnik is a tour to the close-by small island of Lokrum. Located less than a kilometer away, it can easily reached by ferry service or with a kayak. The island hosts a botanical garden with old trees. Other sightseeing points are a monastery and the fortress. Most people will spend just 1-2 hours in the densely forested island before returning to the much more busy city. My favorite place was the colorful coastline with it's rocks and trees. (Dubrovnik, Croatia, May 2023 - Image ID: 202305-CR-25)
Red kayak and yellow paddle at sea, facing Dubrovnik city walls
Kayaking Dubrovnik - Breathtaking views of the majestic city walls
Red kayak and yellow paddle at sea, facing Dubrovnik city walls
One of the best ways to experience Dubrovnik from the sea is kayaking. Most people take guided tours, that usually cover surrounding the city walls, Lokrum island and the coastline with a number of caves. Whilst this comes with the plus of interesting information about the city and its history, there are a few providers who also offer kayaks just for rent by the hour. We decided to rather take this option which allows to travel at your own speed, and to take photos without any peer pressure to move on. (Dubrovnik, Croatia, June 2023 - Image ID: 202306-CR-08)
Rocky coast of Lokrum island with pine trees against mountain range
Out of this world - The beauty of the shores of Lokrum island - II
Rocky coast of Lokrum island with pine trees against mountain range
One of the most popular activities in Dubrovnik is a tour to the close-by small island of Lokrum. Located less than a kilometer away, it can easily reached by ferry service or with a kayak. The island hosts a botanical garden with old trees. Other sightseeing points are a monastery and the fortress. Most people will spend just 1-2 hours in the densely forested island before returning to the much more busy city. My favorite place was the colorful coastline with it's rocks and trees. (Dubrovnik, Croatia, May 2023 - Image ID: 202305-CR-26)
White bathtub in front of broken window of an abandoned hotel
Lost places - White bathtub with a great view of Lokrum and mediterrenean sea
White bathtub in front of broken window of an abandoned hotel
Whilst obviously not at it's original location, this bathtub enjoys a breathtaking view though a broken window. "Lost places" have become popular destinations for photographers. The previous Hotel Belvedere in Dubrovnik has been abandoned since it was severely damaged by Serbian troops during the war in 1991. This huge 5-star luxury resort had only been in operation for just six years when it became a casualty of this armed conflict. Since then, several plans to restore it or to replace it with a new luxury hotel have failed. (Dubrovnik, Croatia, May 2023 - Image ID: 202305-CR-19)
Rusty dismantled bathtub standing in corridor of destroyed hotel
Lost places - Hotel Belvedere green patio corridor with bathtub
Rusty dismantled bathtub standing in corridor of destroyed hotel
For whatever reason, all bathtubs have been removed from the old guestrooms, and can now be found at various strange locations. The previous Hotel Belvedere in Dubrovnik has been abandoned since it was severely damaged by Serbian troops during the war in 1991. This huge 5-star luxury resort had only been in operation for just six years when it became a casualty of this armed conflict. Since then, several plans to restore it or to replace it with a new luxury hotel have failed. (Dubrovnik, Croatia, May 2023 - Image ID: 202305-CR-20)
Empty outdoor swimming pool with graffitis at abandoned hotel
Lost places - Belvedere outdoor swimming pool facing Dubrovnik
Empty outdoor swimming pool with graffitis at abandoned hotel
"Lost places" have become popular destinations for photographers. The previous Hotel Belvedere in Dubrovnik has been abandoned since it was severely damaged by Serbian troops during the war in 1991. This huge 5-star luxury resort had only been in operation for just six years when it became a casualty of this armed conflict. Since then, several plans to restore it or to replace it with a new luxury hotel have failed. This image shows an outdoor pool with a beautiful view towards the city. (Dubrovnik, Croatia, May 2023 - Image ID: 202305-CR-16)
Spiral concrete staircase going down into abandoned hotel
Lost places - Concrete spiral staircase in ruins at Hotel Belvedere
Spiral concrete staircase going down into abandoned hotel
This dark spiral staircase was the only way to move up within the huge "lost place" of the previous Hotel Belvedere in Dubrovnik. The building has been abandoned since it was severely damaged by Serbian troops during the war in 1991. This huge 5-star luxury resort had only been in operation for just six years when it became a casualty of this armed conflict. Since then, several plans to restore it or to replace it with a new luxury hotel have failed. (Dubrovnik, Croatia, May 2023 - Image ID: 202305-CR-23)
Plants growing inside the hall of an abandoned hotel ruin
Revival - Nature claiming back it's territory in abandoned hall
Plants growing inside the hall of an abandoned hotel ruin
"Lost places" where nature reclaims it's territory over time have become popular destinations for photographers. The previous Hotel Belvedere in Dubrovnik has been abandoned since it was damaged by Serbian troops during the war in 1991. The huge 5-star luxury resort had been in operation for just six years before it became a casualty. Since then, several plans to restore it or to replace it with a new luxury hotel have failed. Trees, bushes and grass don't care, they flourish in- and outside the ruins. (Dubrovnik, Croatia, May 2023 - Image ID: 202305-CR-22)
Dismantled bathroom with green tiles in abandoned hotel
Completely lost - Private bathroom in Hotel Belvedere guestroom
Dismantled bathroom with green tiles in abandoned hotel
Probably not everyone's favorite color: the intense green bathroom tiles inside the guestrooms of the previously glorious Hotel Belvedere in Dubrovnik. The place has been abandoned since it was severely damaged by Serbian troops during the war in 1991. This huge 5-star luxury resort had only been in operation for just six years when it became a casualty of this armed conflict. Since then, several plans to restore it or to replace it with a new luxury hotel have failed. (Dubrovnik, Croatia, May 2023 - Image ID: 202305-CR-18)
Indoor swimming pool ruins with graffiti at abandoned hotel
Once upon a time the indoor swimming pool of Hotel Belvedere
Indoor swimming pool ruins with graffiti at abandoned hotel
Even without glass, one can easily imagine the previous glory of this indoor pool. The previous Hotel Belvedere in Dubrovnik has been abandoned since it was severely damaged by Serbian troops during the war in 1991. This huge 5-star luxury resort had only been in operation for just six years when it became a casualty of this armed conflict. Since then, several plans to restore it or to replace it with a new luxury hotel have failed. (Dubrovnik, Croatia, May 2023 - Image ID: 202305-CR-17)
View of Dubrovnik old town, city walls and Lokrum island
Scenic view of Dubrovnik old town and Lokrum island from the city walls
View of Dubrovnik old town, city walls and Lokrum island
This is one of my favorite images from Dubrovnik. We obviously went for the tourist "MUST DO", and climbed the huge city walls. Whilst obviously rather crowded, it's worth going due to the spectacular views over the colorful rooftops and the Adriatic sea. Despite the heat, we decided to visit around noon time, since it was rather cloudy in the morning. This image towards the east shows almost the complete historic town, plus Lokrum island and the coastline in the background. (Dubrovnik, Croatia, June 2023 - Image ID: 202306-CR-03)
Green and yellow empty chairs on alley with paving stones
Colorful couple - Green and yellow chairs in old town alley
Green and yellow empty chairs on alley with paving stones
Chairs have always been one of my favorite photo motives. Why? Not really sure, because I somehow hated long meetings where one had to be seated for hours without moving. I guess it's probably because the look so inviting and relaxing. Apart from that, chairs exist in all kinds of material, shapes and colors, and you can find them virtually everywhere on this planet. I found this nice couple in green and yellow inside the city walls of old town Dubrovnik. (Dubrovnik, Croatia, June 2023 - Image ID: 202306-CR-05)
Old town Dubrovnik silhouette with city walls in the morning sun
Good morning Dubrovnik - Old town silhouette from the east
Old town Dubrovnik silhouette with city walls in the morning sun
Taken early in the morning from the small beach of St. Jakob, this image shows the impressive panorama of the "King's Landing". Whilst it has been a popular tourist destination for decades, the worldwide success of the "Game of Thrones" series results in a significant increase of overseas visitors, especially from the United States. The high and solid stone walls surrounding Dubrovnik provided solid protection from potential aggressors approaching the city from the sea. (Dubrovnik, Croatia, May 2023 - Image ID: 202305-CR-14)
Dubrovnik evening panorama with cypress trees
Obstructed view - Dubrovnik evening panorama with cypress trees
Dubrovnik evening panorama with cypress trees
Probably one of the best viewpoints of Dubrovnik is towards the east, on or above the small pebble beach of St. Jacob. Instead of the usual low-angle beach perspective I opted for a higher position. Initially, I tried to find another spot for unobstructed views of the city. But then I realized that the cypress trees rather added a special extra to the photo than ruining it. Blue hour was the perfect time, with a colorful sky and the city already beautifully illuminated. (Dubrovnik, Croatia, June 2023 - Image ID: 202306-CR-10)
Dubrovnik's Stradun street and buildings against blue sky
Dubrovnik old town - Stradun street against blue and cloudy sky
Dubrovnik's Stradun street and buildings against blue sky
At the risk of not using the correct term, I would call Stradun the main street in old town Dubrovnik. Packed with restaurants, shops and tourists, virtually everyone visiting the UNESCO World Heritage site, will pass through it. Since I didn't want to take the usual perspective including the impressively huge paving stones, I decided to shift the camera upwards. Whilst missing out on the action on the ground floor, I believe the photo still captures the essence and spirit of this popular place. (Dubrovnik, Croatia, June 2023 - Image ID: 202306-CR-01)
Silver ragwort plant with yellow flowers against blue sky
Single silver ragwort plant with yellow flowers "on the rocks"
Silver ragwort plant with yellow flowers against blue sky
Apart from the spectacular views over the old city, walking the Dubrovnik city walls also offers opportunities for nature loving photographers. The gardens of the house close the town borders, and even the stone walls themselves are home to many plants and flowers. I spotted this lonely silver ragwort plant with one single stem and its yellow flowers about half way around the city. Hard to believe how it can survive in this hostile environment, consisting mainly of stone and rocks. (Dubrovnik, Croatia, June 2023 - Image ID: 202306-CR-04)
Dominican monastery and Lokrum view from Dubrovnik city wall
Must do - Dubrovnik view of Dominican monastery and Lokrum
Dominican monastery and Lokrum view from Dubrovnik city wall
One of the "MUST DO's" in Dubrovnik is to climb the up to 25 meters high city walls, and walk around the old town. Whilst obviously rather crowded, the reward are spectacular views over the orange/red rooftops and the Adriatic sea. Ideally, one should visit relatively early in the morning, or late in the afternoon. Otherwise, at midday, the 2km can become rather hot and long. The nice thing is: the view changes after each and every corner. This image shows the Dominican monastery with Lokrum island in the background. (Dubrovnik, Croatia, June 2023 - Image ID: 202306-CR-02)
Yellow flowers growing between round red clay roof tiles
Symbiosis - Red clay roof tiles and yellow flower ensemble
Yellow flowers growing between round red clay roof tiles
This image is the result of an early morning jogging workout. Obviously, I didn't carry my iPhone, and even less my SLR with me. At some point I spotted a picturesque roof with the typical red tiles and some non-typical decoration on a slope below the road. It wasn't a big problem, because at that time of the day, the entire area was still in the shade. So I decided to come back later during the day with the complete equipment, incl. telephoto lens, and captured this image. (Dubrovnik, Croatia, June 2023 - Image ID: 202306-CR-25)
Red wall with wooden window with six Kodak Film stickers
Zadar old town exploration - Windows collection - Kodak
Red wall with wooden window with six Kodak Film stickers
Whenever I visit a town for the first time, I do enjoy just walking around to get a feeling for the location. This is particularly true for historic city centers, where there are so many details to discover. Obviously, there are the usual tourist attractions. In addition, I love to hunt for new motives for one of my many image subject collections. Amongst them, doors and windows are two of my oldest and broadest portfolios. In this regards, the old town of Zadar in Croatia had a lot to offer. (Zadar, Croatia, May 2023 - Image ID: 202305-CR-07)
Metal statue of Croatian scientist Spiro Brusina at Zadar seafront
Statue of Spiro Brusina in Zadar, overlooking the mediterranean
Metal statue of Croatian scientist Spiro Brusina at Zadar seafront
Not all statues are equal, and I usually tend not to spend too much time looking at most of them. However, in this case, I was quite fascinated by both the beautiful artwork as well as its meaning. Spiro Brusina was a Croatian natural scientist and zoologist who dedicated his life to studying fauna and promoting environmental protection. The pose of him looking at a huge sea shell clearly demonstrates his decication and serves as a motivation for today's students to follow in his footsteps. (Zadar, Croatia, May 2023 - Image ID: 202305-CR-08)
Northwest view of Zadar old city and sea from cathedral tower
Zadar old city and sea from above - Northwest view
Northwest view of Zadar old city and sea from cathedral tower
Zadar on the Adriatic Sea is the oldest continuously inhabited city in Croatia. Especially the fortified old town is absolutely with visiting. Lots of restaurants and shops cater for the diverse demands of local and international travellers. Amongst the historic monuments, I was immediately attracted by the bell tower of the Cathedral of St. Anastasia. Upon climbing up the steep stairs, you are rewarded with an amazing 360 degrees panorama of Zadar. This photo shows the view in northwesterly direction. (Zadar, Croatia, May 2023 - Image ID: 202305-CR-01)
Southwest view of Zadar old city and sea from cathedral tower
Zadar old city and sea from above - Southwest view
Southwest view of Zadar old city and sea from cathedral tower
Zadar on the Adriatic Sea is the oldest continuously inhabited city in Croatia. Especially the fortified old town is absolutely with visiting. Lots of restaurants and shops cater for the diverse demands of local and international travellers. Amongst the historic monuments, I was immediately attracted by the bell tower of the Cathedral of St. Anastasia. Upon climbing up the steep stairs, you are rewarded with an amazing 360 degrees panorama of Zadar. This photo shows the view in southwesterly direction. (Zadar, Croatia, May 2023 - Image ID: 202305-CR-03)
Southeast view of Zadar old city and sea from cathedral tower
Zadar old city and sea from above - Southeast view
Southeast view of Zadar old city and sea from cathedral tower
Zadar on the Adriatic Sea is the oldest continuously inhabited city in Croatia. Especially the fortified old town is absolutely with visiting. Lots of restaurants and shops cater for the diverse demands of local and international travellers. Amongst the historic monuments, I was immediately attracted by the bell tower of the Cathedral of St. Anastasia. Upon climbing up the steep stairs, you are rewarded with an amazing 360 degrees panorama of Zadar. This photo shows the view in southeasterly direction. (Zadar, Croatia, May 2023 - Image ID: 202305-CR-02)
Street lamp and white framed window on an orange wall
Zadar old town exploration - Windows collection - Lantern
Street lamp and white framed window on an orange wall
Whenever I visit a town for the first time, I do enjoy just walking around to get a feeling for the location. This is particularly true for historic city centers, where there are so many details to discover. Obviously, there are the usual tourist attractions. In addition, I love to hunt for new motives for one of my many image subject collections. Amongst them, doors and windows are two of my oldest and broadest portfolios. In this regards, the old town of Zadar in Croatia had a lot to offer. (Zadar, Croatia, May 2023 - Image ID: 202305-CR-05)
Rust traces flowing down a textured wall against blue sky
Artwork made of rust on a textured wall against blue sky
Rust traces flowing down a textured wall against blue sky
Another perspective shows the same heavily corroded wall looking up against the dark blue sky. A piece of art that could make it into a museum for the beauty of its colors and texture created by an amazing artist: mother nature! Over time, the metal parts fixed on top of the building started to corrode in the humid climate of the coastal town of Zadar, Croatia. The traces running down the wall look like a precious painting to me; so beautiful! (Zadar, Croatia, May 2023 - Image ID: 202305-CR-12)
Gravel path through dandelion meadow against dark stormy sky
Scary looking clouds approaching dandelion meadow in full blosso
Gravel path through dandelion meadow against dark stormy sky
Do you also happen to still have a huge collection of old analogue photo treasures burried somewhere in your house? Maybe time to scan the best of them, so you can transfer them into the new digital age. I completed this exercise in 2022. This is one example of my really early work, taken at the small town of Laubach (Hesse) where I spent my teenage years. June at that time was often wet, relatively cold, and with frequent sudden weather changes. The beautiful countryside served as an inspiration for my passion for nature photography. (Laubach, Germany, June 1983 - Image ID: 198306-DE-01)
Beautiful summer meadow with blooming flowers and trees
Healthy summer meadow with dandelions, white flowers and trees
Beautiful summer meadow with blooming flowers and trees
Maybe you still have a huge collection of old analogue photo treasures burried somewhere in your house? Then it's time to scan the best of them, so you can transfer them into the new digital age. I completed this exercise in 2022. This is one example of my really early work, taken in the small town of Laubach (Hesse). This is where I spent my teenage years, and the beautiful countryside was an inspiration for my passion for nature. After school, I spent a lot of time outdoors, with sports and photography as main leisure activities. (Laubach, Germany, June 1983 - Image ID: 198306-DE-02)
Low angle view of Berlin TV Tower and Red Town Hall against sky
Berlin TV tower and Rotes Rathaus (=Red Town Hall) with clouds
Low angle view of Berlin TV Tower and Red Town Hall against sky
The sky over Berlin ("Wings of Desire") is a famous movie by German director Wim Wenders. When I visited Berlin in early May 2023, this sky presented itself at its best with a nice blue and dramatic cloud formations. I used this opportunity to take a few photos of places that I had visited before with less attractive light and weather conditions. I added the arch of a passage of another building to frame the famous Berlin TV-tower and the Red Town Hall ("Rotes Rathaus"). (Berlin, Germany, May 2023 - Image ID: 202305-DE-07)
Berlin cityscape with historic port of Berlin against cloudy sky
Historic port of Berlin and cityscape with TV tower
Berlin cityscape with historic port of Berlin against cloudy sky
Despite of many visits to Berlin, I always discover places that I have not seen before. When I returned in early May, I went for an urban exploration walk in the city center. This included the Fischerinsel / museum's island. At its southern tip, I found the historic port of Berlin. A number of vintage ships and boats are moored in the harbour, which doesn't operate as such anymore. From there, I enjoyed spectacular views of the skyline of Berlin Mitte & Alexanderplatz. (Berlin, Germany, May 2023 - Image ID: 202305-DE-09)
Low angle view of large and colorful Berlin residential building
Colorful residential building in Berlin with street lantern
Low angle view of large and colorful Berlin residential building
During my walk in the center of Berlin in early May, I intentially left the area with all the famous attractions, to explore some of the less touristic parts of the city. In general, this gives you a much better feeling for a place and the people who live there. South of the museum's island (Fischerinsel), I found this huge residential building, that occupied almost an entire street. In total, it must be more than 250m long. After some renovation, it's beautifully painted in different colors. (Berlin, Germany, May 2023 - Image ID: 202305-DE-10)
Macro shot of green roofing succulents illuminated by sunshine
Green roofing succulents - The mystic imaginary forest - I
Macro shot of green roofing succulents illuminated by sunshine
Isn't it sad how as adults we tend to loose big part of our imagination from childhood times? When we were young, everything could become anything. It just depended on whom we were playing with, and how far we would allow our mind to go. I thought about this when I recently took some macro-shots of succulent plants used for green roofing. Just 3cm high... Don't they look like a fairytale enchanted forest with giant trees? Who knows what else we might find once we go inside and start to explore... (Esslingen, Germany, May 2023 - Image ID: 202305-DE-11)
Macro image of green and red colored roofing succulents
Green roofing succulents - The mystic imaginary forest - II
Macro image of green and red colored roofing succulents
Somehow I believe it is sad that as adults we tend to loose big part of our imagination from childhood times? When we were young, everything could become anything. It just depended on whom we were playing with, and how far we would allow our mind to go. I thought about this when I recently took some macro-shots of succulent plants used for green roofing. Just 3cm high... Don't they look like a fairytale enchanted forest with giant trees? Who knows what else we might find once we go inside and start to explore... (Esslingen, Germany, May 2023 - Image ID: 202305-DE-12)
Macro photo of green roofing succulents
Green roofing succulents - The mystic imaginary forest - III
Macro photo of green roofing succulents
Would you agree that as adults we tend to loose big part of our imagination from childhood times? When we were young, everything could become anything. It just depended on whom we were playing with, and how far we would allow our mind to go. I thought about this when I recently took some macro-shots of succulent plants used for green roofing. Just 3cm high... Don't they look like a fairytale enchanted forest with giant trees? Who knows what else we might find once we go inside and start to explore... (Esslingen, Germany, May 2023 - Image ID: 202305-DE-13)
Rainbow against dark sky illuminating the left side of a forest