Once again an eventful year has passed. As every half-year, Michael has invited bloggers to join him in his Photo Parade 2-2018 on the topic “The most beautiful photos of the half-year”. The first half of the year I had to rather struggle with the relaunch of the site and therefore the article “The most beautiful photos 2018 1/2” was not published. But this time I’m back again!
You don’t know the photo parade yet? It’s about presenting the best travel pictures of a half-year in different categories in one article. This time these are:
My year was quite eventful this time:
We had short trips to Barcelona and the Harz Forest… In Indonesia we visited Bali, Nusa Penida, Komodo and Flores… The trip to Portugal at the end of this year was really necessary… And of course there were all those great moments when I grabbed the camera in my home country and drove 2-3 hours just to take a very special picture .
Yes, because I couldn’t take part in the first half-year post, a lot came together. Of course I will limit myself to the last half of 2018 for the absolutely “most beautiful photo” .
Well then, let’s just start with my selection:
I had a lot in front of my lens for this category this year. Be it diving on Komodo and Nusa Penida, in the forests of Bali, on the cliffs of Portugal or simply “around the corner” at the Heidelberg Castle.
Therefore the choice is not easy for me. I already had posted the typical monkey picture once (this time captured with a Helios-44-2 retro lens). Storks? I saw quite a lot of them in Portugal – there was almost a stork’s nest on every second pole – and even a huge flock that Verena had seen from the corner of her eye when we were driving a car (Yes, you turn around and drive back 500m for a great motif).
The cats we saw in the traditional Bena Village in Flores would also be a good nominee. While we are talking about the village… Don’t forget “Mini-Bacon”! Or maybe just one of the swans who came to “greet” me at the pond of the Schlosspark Schwetzingen? (Photographed with a Helios 40-2 lens by the way)
Alternatively, there would be all the squirrels at Heidelberg Castle still looking for nuts… or the geese who flew over the old bridge… And in Komodo there were also some small critters…
A very very difficult decision, because then come all the animals I have seen while diving… Bumpheads, moray eels, nemos, sharks and…
…oh yeah, Mantas! YES! Komodo is known to offer great diving spots to see manta rays! And you really don’t know where to look first – there are so many of them circling around the divers and very curious.
Red. Hmm. A somewhat difficult category, because I just thought my “most beautiful picture” to be the best in this category at first… (By the way, I am just typing and have not made a 100% decision what the best picture is going to be).
I can think of some funny pictures which I took in Bali and Nusa Penida… The Palacio de Pena… which looks very much like gingerbread house from far away… Beautiful sunrises at Tulamben and… yes, I want to show that I can also do KITSCH .
This is the castle garden of Schwetzingen in autumn. Do you know why there is a mosque there? For the same reason why there was a ” purposely-built” ruin in my back when I took the photos for this panorama: “Because I can”. This was certainly what Karl (by the way the IV) Philipp Theodor Pfalzgraf and Kurfürst von der Pfalz as well as Duke von Jülich-Berg and enthusiastic hobby gardener had in mind when he had his oversized garden planted…
Along with “Panorama” this is always the most difficult category. As an untreatable “out-in-the-field”-photographer, I can find a motif in about everything. It just has to look a bit cool and I can make a panorama out of it.
That picture here would be my favourite for the category “landscape” was not clear to me from the very beginning. Certainly not the usual landscape, but perhaps the most extraordinary? The special feature of the scenery of Praia do Barril in the Algarve is the Cemitério das Âncoras, the “Anchor Cemetery”, a rusty monument that is meant to symbolize the dangerous work of the fishermen in this area. In the sand dunes in front of the beach you can find a number of large anchors that were once used for fishing.
I really would have liked to have chosen another picture as my favourite here. Honestly. Something that would have been “the shit”. But I wanted to try something different.
Originally it was supposed to be “something extraordinary” & “breathtaking”. I had selected some shots from Portugal and some from Indonesia. To be more specific, it was the crazy pimped Bemos on Flores, which get fully packed up to the roof and the drivers ride the serpentines like lunatics despite having often bad visibility, potholes, fog and falling rocks. No, even a friendly-concerned “Hati-Hati” doesn’t help here. NEED FOR SPEED!
And then there were some buildings that were left to decay. Yes, especially in Portugal and Bali there are some “Lost Places”, and sometimes these marauding places have a certain charm… on the other hand it breaks my heart to see such beautiful buildings rot.
(The buildings shown here are quite easy to find, but following the Urbex Code I won’t mention any locations – search for yourself. It’s not that hard )
Last year I almost posted a frame from the (still unpublished) video for this category, which shows how we cut up a ghost net to rescue fish from it while scuba diving. Then I decided against it – after all they want to show “nice” pictures. Somehow I don’t feel like it this time, because I really get pissed when I see all the ignorance regarding our environment.
That’s why I’m not only showing you the increasing mass tourism in Bali in pictures, which is so often simply hidden by the right choice of perspective, but something more obvious…
By the way: After my holiday in Cambodia I decided to dress up my two mascots as Instagrammer/Influencer… this blog might well get another shot of satire in this form…
There is a picture from Nusa Penida this time – a beautiful island, not even as touristy as Nusa Lembongan, which meanwhile changes to “Gili Trawangan 2.0”. Yes, in the midst of the beautiful nature people like to dump garbage.
What am I supposed to post here? Yes, I’m afraid of heights, but I’m also one of those photographers who forget everything around them as soon as they look through the viewfinder. So I take a lot of landscape shots anyways.
Some photos were taken when I wanted to photograph the milkyway at the castle Neudahn (but It was way too cloudy) – then I made the best of it and at sunrise I went up to the Rehbergturm… Some pictures of Portugal (Castelo dos Mouros or the cliffs at the coast) were also an option…
I have chosen my favorite partly because it is a beautiful picture, but the mood simply fits. In comparison to the stunning view from the highest point of the quite touristy island Padar on Komodo, you have the whole peninsula offering a view on the “Five Kings” on Nusa Penida for yourself… probably until noon…
I wanted to add a cool description of Wikipedia here, but honestly? Nobody understands the gibberish anyway.
So I’ll try it myself:
Abstract photography deals with the representation of forms, structures and colours without depicting the context in which they are found. Thus, the actual object of representation can often hardly or no longer be recognized.
Yeah… kinda, right?
For example like this (By the way, a building of an energy company in Lisbon):
I started taking pictures with “vintage lenses” about 2 years ago. So… Vintage lense lenses. Often it’s not the picture quality that makes me have interest in the lens, but the special bokeh. Unfortunately, once you start this hobby, it becomes an addiction, and you buy more and more and then drag along more and more stuff along on your trips. “This lens makes starry bokeh! That one can do bubbles!”. So throughout the year a lot of abstract photography came together…
At the “Blue Stone Beach” and at the beach of Maumere at the fishing boats I played around with a Pentacon projection lens (Bubbles!)… On the beach west of Sintra I took pictures of the plants on the cliffs with the Helios-40-2… And in Sintra itself there is the famous Quinta da Regaleira – a very nice spiral motif .
The favourite image, however, was taken in Spain:
We were lucky to be in Barcelona at the same time as the Llum Barcelona Poblenou Festival was taking place. You could really spend hours photographing the light installations there
Thats my choice here – taken with a modified Mir-1B lens .
The choice was very difficult for me here. Many of the “best pictures” in the other categories could also be displayed here. And it’s really hard for me to distinguish between “most beautiful photo” and “most technically complex picture” (see bonus category). Pictures from the Algarve, from Indonesia (mainly Nusa Penida and Komodo), but also one of the walls of the Sagrada Familia were to choose from…
In the end, I had to make up my mind – and it’s this one:
Not a picture from abroad, but from my hometown Heidelberg. In November I got up far too early every day, I looked at the Heidelberg webcams for foggy weather and went straight to the Philosophenweg to take pictures of the castle if there was some. I wanted to do a timelapse from different angles, but my favourite picture is not a frame from it, but was taken on another day, during heavy fog. I stood in the fog for 1 hour and waited – then there was a view through it at the castle for maybe half a minute – and I was lucky .
II have decided to take advantage of every opportunity to take Milky Way photos. And there are a few opportunities to take photos in Germany – there are plenty of low-light-pollution spots, such as in the Black Forest, Odenwald, or along the Moselle.