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05/25/2019

Once again photos from the 'Tierpark Olderdissen' (Bielefeld, Germany) from spring 2019. All pictures were taken with the Sony Apha 7III and the lens Sony SEL 4.5-5.6/ 100-400 mm OSS GM.

 

Bear lady Jule on a morning walk

Bear lady 'Jule' on her morning walk

 

Jule taking a bath

Jule taking a bath

 

Young wolf

young wolf

 

Brown bear Max

Brown bear 'Max' enjoys some beetroot

 

Lynx in a tree #1

Eurasian lynx in a tree

 

Lynx in a tree #2

Eurasian lynx in a tree at Tierpark Olderdissen

> Animals & Wildlife

 

04/13/2019

The flower portraits were created with a quite simple setup. As background I used colored cardboard, which was placed about 40 centimeters behind the flower. For the illumination I used two to three permanent lights with a standardized color temperature of 5400° Kelvin. This makes it easy to control the lighting. What should be taken into account is the ratio of shutter speed and AC frequency. Here in Germany, the electrical current is fed in at 50 Hertz. Therefore I use shutter speeds of less than 1/50 second for such light sources in order to avoid streaks in the picture. Since you should always use a tripod for tabletop photography anyway, this is not a big problem. The pictures were taken with a Sony Alpha 7III with the SEL 2.8/ 90 mm Macro OSS G lens. Since the depth of field is always quite small with short shooting distances like here, I used the technique of focus stacking to be able to show the whole flower sharply.

 

Portrait of a tulip

Portrait of a tulip (Tulipa).

 

Whitered

Withered tulip (Tulipa).

 

Purple peruvian lily (Alstroemeria)

Purple Peruvian Lily (Alstroemeria).

> Nature

04/02/2019

Tulips are certainly among the most popular spring flowers. They are not particularly rare, but they are still very decorative. Whether at home or - like the photo here - outdoors. I photographed the red lady tulip (Tulipa clusiana) in the Botanical Garden of Bielefeld. The second photo was taken after a rain shower.

The first picture was taken in the early morning shortly after sunrise. At this time of day the light is soft and you can avoid too high a contrast. Lights and shadows are easy to control and you still get bright colours. The second photo was taken in the afternoon. I used the Sony SEL 4.5-5.6/100-400 mm OSS GM lens, which can be focused to a shooting distance of less than one meter. It's not yet a real macro lens, but it's very suitable for such pictures, because you can create a very nice background blur. Camera and lens were mounted on a stable tripod. I triggered the camera with a remote shutter release.

 

Lady tulip (Tulipa clusiana)

Red lady tulip (Tulipa clusiana) at the botanical garden in Bielefeld (Germany).

 

Lady tulip in the rain (Tulipa clusiana)

Red tulip after a rain shower (Tulipa clusiana).

> Nature

04/01/2019

For the two photographs I plundered a bouquet of flowers and took out a eryngo and yellow peruvian lilies, both are tabletop pictures which I illuminated with two continuous lights in front of a dark blue background. Macro shots offer the possibility to show small details, which you would otherwise hardly notice, in a big way. This can be seen particularly clearly in the fine structures of the eryngo.

With macro photos, one very quickly has the problem that the depth of field is too limited to show the entire object in sharp focus. Even if you close the aperture very strongly, in many cases it is not enough and unfortunately one also quickly gets problems with the diffraction blur that reduces the image quality again. A good but somewhat complex solution is a technique called focus stacking. This involves taking a series of pictures in which the focus is slightly shifted from frame to frame until a sharp image is taken of every part of the object. Then the single images have to be combined. I used the software Helicon Focus for this. But it also works with Photo Merge as part of Photoshop, if you don't have to process too many single images. Very helpful is the use of a special focusing rack and also a stable tripod is indispensable.

For both photos I took 60 single shots each. It was important to me that the background remained blurred. This often looks better than when everything is sharp from front to back.

 

Yellow peruvian lilie (Alstroemeria)

Yellow peruvian lily (Alstroemeria)

 

Eryngo (Eryngium)

Eryngo (Eryngium)

> Nature

03/31/2019

Spring is slowly arriving in my hometown Bielefeld in Germany. At the end of March there is not much growth, but the hyacinths are already blooming in our botanical garden. The three pictures of the blue hyacinth (it is the same plant) were taken early in the morning in backlight. The sunlight, which falls through the trees in the background, together with the wide open aperture provides the bright blur circles. I worked with the focus stacking technique to get the rather small blossoms sharp in front of the background. A Novoflex CASTEL-MICRO focusing rack was used for the camera movement. Fortunately it was windless, so that only a few attempts were necessary to get good raw material. All three photos are composed of 20 single shots.

 

Blue hyacinth #1 (Hyacinthus)

Blue hyacinth (Hyacinthus) in the Botanical Garden Bielefeld (Germany).

 

Blue hyacinth #2 (Hyacinthus)

Blue hyacinth (Hyacinthus) in the Botanical Garden Bielefeld (Germany).

 

Blue hyacinth #3 (Hyacinthus)

Blue hyacinth in backlight

> Nature

03/30/2019

In a supermarket nearby I found a flower pot with a yellow calla. It was the last one that was still there and it looked pretty worn out. I bought it anyway. Not that there aren't enough photos with a calla on them already, but I had the idea to make a tone-in-tone composition. The picture was taken in natural daylight in front of a piece of yellow cardboard. Since the blossom was not very big, I worked with the focus stacking technique. The image is composed of 20 individual shots. Thus the calyx is continuously sharp and stands out well from the blurred background. I used a Sony Alpha 7 III with a SEL 2.8/90 mm macro lens and a Novoflex CASTEL-MICRO to move the camera. All mounted on a tripod.

 

Yellow Calla (Zantedeschia)

Blossom of a yellow calla (Zantedeschia).

> Nature

03/17/2019

In 'Baumheide', a district of the city of Bielefeld, there are wooden sculptures on a footpath. I suppose they simply serve the purpose of landscape and park design. But somehow they also seem archaic to me. As if they were legacies of the old Germanic tribes, which after 2000 years have still not been cleared away. I have photographed the sculptures many times before. This picture was taken at dusk. It is a double exposure with the blurred lights of houses and traffic lights in the background. As lens I used the ZEISS Batis Apo Sonnar 2.8/ 135 mm.

 

Wooden Idol

Wooden idol at dusk in Bielefeld-Baumheide (Germany).

> Urban & Cityscapes

03/11/2019

Raindrops on a window at the tram stop 'Sieker Endstation'. April weather in March with lots of rain and storm. Cold and wet. But when the light breaks in the wet window panes it is also particularly beautiful.

 

Light drops (Bielefeld, Germany) 

Light drops on a window pane at 'Sieker Endstation' (Bielefeld, Germany).

> Urban & Cityscapes

03/09/2019

Telekom tower block in downtown Bielefeld. Most people in Bielefeld probably consider this building to be one of the ugliest in the city. But it also shapes the appearance like only a few others and it is an architectural document of its time. The 18-storey skyscraper was built in the 1970s. Deutsche Telekom no longer uses the building; it was sold to an investor who plans to rent apartments and offices in the future. Before that, however, a fundamental renovation is necessary. The photograph was taken with the Zeiss Batis Distagon 2.8/ 18 mm.

 

Telekom tower (Bielefeld, Germany)

Telekom tower in Bielefeld (Germany).

> Urban & Cityscapes

03/06/2019

Sometimes, even in our tidy inner cities, one encounters urban still lifes that seem to have fallen out of time. Facades where the plaster peels off, backyards with only scantily patched plaster - places that perhaps because they no longer fit into the cityscape seem to have a peculiar charm. This picture shows a backyard with a parking lot at the 'Van-Randenborgh-Weg' not far from the 'Kesselbrink' in Bielefeld (Germany). The photo was taken on a rainy Sunday afternoon with a 35 mm wide-angle lens.

 

Backyard

Backyard at Van-Randenborgh-Weg in Bielefeld.

> Urban & Cityscapes