Like walking through a painting

The furthest I can get in fifteen minutes without missing my second train to work. As a kid & teen I used to hate this train station because it’s almost in the middle of nowhere and never got the idea I don’t have to stand around there to wait. Once, a very freezing cold winter in the early 2000s my Nokia 3310 (remember this indestructible phone?) got so cold, It took a few hours of warming up to start working again.

And who would have thought, that these short walks before work would become like a little ritual that keeps me so much more sane and happy this year.

Slowly taking the waiting time

between my commuting trains to the next level. It’s so much nicer than sitting around on the platform for half an hour.
On workdays it makes me feel even better to know I’ve been outside for a bit already.

I’m really looking forward to watch that little area around the train station (which looks and feels so much like a painting) change with the seasons. Maybe we even get some snow this winter… maybe… just a few days.
It’s nice to live in very temperate climate (roughly between -5 to 35 Degrees Celsius) but I’d really love colder winters again, every other year at least.

As Children we used to go ice skating on the little lake next to my parent’s village and even down the hill onto the ice with a sled but it hasn’t gotten ice thick enough to be safe in many years now.

Greeted by the Morning Night Sky

New moon is close, the nights are getting colder and no clouds – what a magical view! Never gets boring. I really need to learn more constellations :-)

And I decided, no coffee today. Always listening to my body and today it said, herbal tea: my beloved cistus/ginger tea to be precise.
It’s been a weird night after waking up at 1am, falling asleep again and a weird dream of two guys walking past my window (my apartment is on the third floor) – which annoyed me so I raised my fist as a threatening gesture and the one guy grinned & raised his fist as well XD – but I’m glad I got a bit more sleep at least

Sunday morning in the fields

Oh how I love my rural-small-town life. I might have better job chances in a bigger city but when it comes to choosing between career and true happiness, I’ll always choose true happiness, the little things and a quiet, peaceful environment.

Good Morning, big horse and little horse!
Good Morning, little squirrel
between the villages

The best things in life are always free, but it takes some practice to appreciate them.

Lens Artists Photo Challenge #15: Changing and/or Changeable

What a great challenge and a perfect start to talk about another kind of change than the seasonal one. One I’ve been thinking about a lot lately – or better, the past few years with the rise of smartphones, Apps, Instagram and technology getting cheaper and more accessible for everyone):

How our perception is changing with the possibilities of technology and software, how altered images become the norm and we don’t even think about how much we may be “fooled”.

Hello Everyone, I’m Mona, a 30 year old Graphic Designer taking Passport Pictures, retouching Images and digitally restoring old photographs in a Portrait Studio all day long.
In my spare time I love the opposite for my personal relaxation and happiness:
Capturing beautiful light and moments in nature & cities.

Starting with the camera settings

this is the most basic part and already such a big influence on the mood of the image. From setting the temperature, the exposure/brightness or a wide or closed aperture for a magical sparkly blur or pin sharp lines in landscape and architecture to working with ND / Polarizing / Gradient Filters to preserve certain parts of the image and alter the other parts (mostly the darker parts we want to brighten)

the base
an underexposed shot of thirty seconds to preserve the lights and turn the water into a silky blanket

Now into the editing software / apps

this is basically the new dark room where there’s almost endless possibilities to change our shot into what we want it to be. In addition to the physical work during taking the shot we can basically edit almost all of the above.

adjusted exposure in camera raw / bridge / photoshop
instant change of the mood of the image. With its original green-ish temperature it’s still moody, very fitting two weeks before halloween, especially with the ghostly river

adjusted warmth of the image
although still surreal the warmer, red-ish tones change the gloomy feel into a more pleasant fairytale vibe

very dramatic highly saturated image
pushing the colors and contrast for a very dramatic look

Change is nothing new

it’s only the methods changing and the ways we work and make things happen. From Sergey Mikhaylovich Prokudin-Gorsky (Source:Wikipedia) who took some of the first color photographs around 1900 by using RGB filters, taking three photographs and “stacking” them into one additive color image, to Ansel Adams (Source:Wikipedia) during the 1920s to 1950s, doing everything in every step of the process to make his images as beautiful and dramatic as possible.

If you are interested, there’s a very beautiful documentary about Ansel Adams, one of the greatest landscape photographers of all time and how he had full control over his images from the taking of the photo to virtuosic work in the darkroom

Today

Technology is making it very easy and accessible to alter images the way we want them to look – without much knowledge – from photoshopped reality to body slimming apps and filters taking us back to the warm, nostalgic feel of film sometimes when digital looks too cold, flat and clean. Just soften the lights and shadows, add some grain et voilà…

preset to imitage the look of film
softened lights and shadows, a little sharpened and added contrast and some grain

As much as I love editing images and creating a certain mood or atmosphere

A sad downside of it I’m experiencing every single day at work is the changing self image of people (mostly female teenagers) who still don’t seem to be aware of how altered images have become the norm and trying to achieve that technically created reality – be it body image or flawless homes & lives which for both body and mind is very unhealthy till impossible in some aspects.
An aspect I’m really hoping is becoming more aware and people seeing altered images as art, pleasing to watch but not reality.


Each Saturday a new challenge is hosted one of these four bloggers.
Week 1–Patti of https://pilotfishblog.com/
Week 2–Ann-Christine aka Leya of https://lagottocattleya.wordpress.com/
Follow this Link for more Info

I messed up this time

Went out to capture the beauty of my hometown’s historic alleys – and forgot the tripod, was too lazy to go back home and get it, told myself ahh there are street lamps, I can do this without a tripod. Well, I messed up the focus and holding the camera more steady but I still love the shots and want to share them with you because that’s what practice is for, isn’t it? To mess up and learn from it.

Also, I realized once again, I don’t have any problem being alone in the forest but passing three drunk teenagers on a sunday morning in the streets makes me freaking nervous.

 

 

 

but look at that bokehlicious focus accident and the glory of orion ♥