Bye bye winter visitors
When I entered one of my favorite areas this morning, it was quiet, too quiet. No leaving groups of geese and unfortunately no 'little' swans. Instead the silence got interrupted by a big bird; Ryanair was leaving to Ibiza and bad luck for me that all the following big birds were spoiling the beautiful red sky. But, I will not complain as it was gorgeous to be out there again!
A group of 16 Mute Swans were the only living creatures left on the water/ice and from the highest part of the path, on my tiptoes, I catched the remaining 8 ones.
I wish you all Merry Christmas and the very best for 2017!
From my personal point of view, 2016 was a nice year!
But, 2016 was also a year with too much killings due to terror attacks and wars....my thoughts at the moment are with my beloved Berlin. I'm worried about the speed our society is losing morals and values; it's is chaning into a direction which is not mine! Sometimes it really does get hard to stay positive when it feels like the world is going crazy.
To keep my energy level up, I'm outside as often as I can. Preferably just me and nature.
These two young swans were so sweet and friendly to each other that humans can learn a lot from them!
Merry Christmas - Prettige kerstdagen - Frohe Weihnachten - I will be back in 2017.
The transformation into a white paradise is addictive just like the snow squeaking under my feet that I'm already longing for the next winterperiod. It's amazing that some frost and/or snow can transform nature into a kind of fairytale which looks peacefully. In this white fairytale no war in Syria exists, neither any racism or xenophobia.....only me, an empty mind and a couple of Whooper Swans. I love fairytales!
Waiting for the sun
My wish from my previous blog has come true and I visited 'my' swans a few times meanwhile. Every visit was different. The swans have the characteristic to spend the night on the most quiet (less crowded) place which means on the other and not accessible side of the lake so a 600 mm-lens is nothing! After two cold nights the complete group was sleeping on the ice but just too far away.....10 meters closer would have been perfect! To catch the swans completely on the ice/photo, I needed to climb with my tripod and camera on the tussocks of grass for a higher position....not very stable when you had to wait in that position for the sun. But, I will not complain as I'm happy with this image.
Probably the next opportunity to visit this area again will take a little longer as my calendar is filled with appointments the coming weeks.
I 'm already looking forward to two weeks Christmas Holiday!
Run to catch up with the sun
About one week ago I noticed that 'my' swans are back and I was longing to visit them. Last Saturday my alarm clock went off early but the weather was too bad. Sunday morning it was again grey but for Monday and Tuesday (both working days) perfect weather was forecasted....as this was happening to me the past weeks, I decided to take some hours off today to visit the swans.
When I entered the area in the dark, the first group of geese were leaving. By the time I reached the lake not a single bird was visible on the water.
In the distance, on the other side of the lake I heard some noise.....the swans!!!!
But, they were sleeping/swimming on the most unfavourable place of the lake and after a while of taking worthless images, I decided to walk around the lake hoping to catch them with some sunlight. As I wasted too much time, I had to run a little bit....a very healthy exercise early in the morning. Just in time I arrived on the other side and for some seconds the swans were swiming in the first reflections of the sun in the water. Soon the light/reflections became too bright and as the swans did not like my presence very much, they flew away.
I'm longing for more of these kind of mornings and if possible not on working days!
Early this week I visted the famous opera Swan Lake performed by the Ballet of the State Opera of Tatarstan and while I was enjoying this wonderful ballet I was longing for 'my' swans. Although the winter weather was perfect last Monday and Tuesday morning, I had to work and only enjoyed the colour explosions in the sky from behind the window of my work area.
This morning there was a little chance for sunlight so I visited the lake area for the first time this winter season; the lake was still frozen but unfortunately the ice-hole was on the other side of the lake and far away. By the time the sun had to rise some fog came up.
Due to the fog the background disappeared and instead of leaving, all the 94 swan's stayed in or near the ice-hole. As winter will not return within the next two weeks I probably will not see them again shortly as they will leave soon.
The little ones
Since one week they are back on the lake nearby, the 'little' swans. Due to a very busy period at work, I had no opportunities to visit the lake or to photograph at all. I'm longing for the short holiday between Christmas and New Year but without freezing temperatures and ice it will be hard to catch them with the camera as they will swim away as soon as I enter the lake area. Looking at the weather forecast for the next two weeks, there is no sign of Father Winter at all.
This photo is taken in January durig the blue hour and just before the sky exploded pink and orange (see my blog from January).
Fight for the light
The evening after the eclipse I was in the field as the full-moonrise was almost simultaneous with the sunset which means that the moon could be coloured orange again due to the orange/red sunlight. Photographing the moon together with the foreground landscape was too much dynamic range for my camera; even though I was using a ND-filter. To be honest, it was a little fight in the field as the foreground became to be too dark with the right exposure of the moon….or the moon was overexposed with a visible foreground.
For the first time in my digital career, I decided to use two images to get the one I had in mind....I forced myself to work with layers!
Besides my fight for a decent moon photo, it was an experience to hear a lot of birds who were coming in to spend the night on the lake. When it was completely dark I heard a noise which reminds to roaring deers; when it came closer and closer I stopped photographing to see what was coming into my direction….no deers but roaring herons.
Walk of life
This time I will not bore you with a long story. Here is my favorite from last week when mother Fallow Deer stepped into the light followed by her little one.
When my alarm clock went off this morning, I hesitated if I should go as I was very tired and the idea/feeling to be out in the dark alone scared me a bit. This fear is more a kind of mindfuck (excuse me) as nobody is out there (mostly......one well hidden photographer almost scared me to death last winter) and it is only temporary as the fear always disappear as soon as I leave the forest and enter the heath area.
When I entered the area the sky started showing the first orange/red/pink colours and when I found my spot I started to catch the colours together with the moon. As I saw and hear some birds (geese) leaving and coming (spoonbills and herons) I walked to the lake and while I busy to 'catch' a pink reflection of trees in the water I noticed in the corner of my eye some movement. My first thought was that some people were walking in the water but it was strange that they had too much leggs. I switched the camera to the right and four deers were entering my image and world for one hour!
Although I was not hidden, the deers did not see nor hear me. I was standing on the other side of the lake and for one hour they were walking around in the water. Meanwhile the sun has risen and the soft pink light were gone.
From the same direction they had come from, they also disappeared. When I walked back to my car I was so happy and thankful for this beautiful morning!
Jibt dir dit Leben mal een Buff, denn weene keene Träne. Lach Dir'n Ast und setz Dir druff und baumle mit de Beene.