Archiv der Kategorie: Artblog

About art. Mainly painting and photography. What else I don’t know yet.

Photography – starting, improving, help and internet

new category: photography

Nothing new in my blog? No new paintings uploaded? Why this?

The answer is rather simple – maybe some of you have guessed – I didn’t paint anything! Why not? Among the reasons -which can be summarized as not enough time- there are two which might be worth mentioning. One is that I went traveling to Asia for some time. I hope everyone understands, that I didn’t want to take my painting stuff with me in my check-in luggage. The second reason is, that I’m not only doing painting. I also like to do photography. So what’s coming up now is of course a new category for photography including also pictures from my trip. I’ll try also the story of how I evolved there, like I hopefully evolve in painting. If you like to have a look already, please visit my flickr-account.

Happy new year!

Top 3 video channels when starting photography

When starting photography there are three problems:

  • deciding which equipment to buy
  • learning how to take good pictures
  • staying motivated after taking „only bad pictures“

To find out what camera is good and what else is needed for the start, I did a long recherche in the internet. Getting tired of all the reading I used youtube for the search and found the first channel, which stayd in my top 3. All of the channels offer reviews of the most important DSLR cameras, some also cover other kind of cameras. Just search their channels for the cameras which you think of buying.

Learning how to take good pictures is impossible by just reading. You at least have to look at some pictures. The step from text and pictures to speech and movies (and pictures) is not so big. It is very helpful to „be part of the process“ when a good picture is taken. For this all three channels offer tutorials which help you to learn the basics of photography.

After getting a new set of equipment, you will probably be very excited and start shooting whatever comes in front of your lens. I found this is perfect for learning. But looking back, there were not many good shots I took amongst the many. The first shot worth mentioning I took after one month. I often went out for taking pictures without any good result. When feeling like it’s just not working also those channels helped me. After seeing new content, getting new ideas and watching people enjoy this hobby I went out again for trying things myself. Of course often I failed again, but even then you are improving. Unfortunately it might feel different.

My description above sounds like a top 1 list will follow up. Actually those three channels are quite similiar, but they still have individual strengths.

Jared Polin does not only have an afro haircut – he covers all the points listed above. This channel I found last. What Jared does better than the others is teaching how to edit RAW pictures. He features a section Raw edit of the week where a selected rawfile gets edited by him, Adam Lerner and his viewers every week. This is a good opportunity to see how a picture is professionally edited, get inspiration for edits and also submit your own getting a short feedback. The reason why I rank the channel „only“ 3rd place is because the editing is not so important at the beginning. Despite you can achieve very much with it, in my opinion shooting good pictures is much more important than editing them right.

Matt Granger that formerly known Nikon guy, reviews, teaches, edits, critiques, jokes, … very much like Jared. What style you prefer, you can judge for yourself. One thing I like most here are the monthly photo competitions. Every month a new topic and only pictures taken this month are allowed to participate. Also every month Matt assures that every camera brand can be used. I guess this might be the reason for the change of the channel name. The pictures have to be submitted via Flickr. So if you have an account there, just participate to try it. Don’t hope for winning, this is too tough in the beginning. So why should you participate then? You can see your picture in his youtube movie which is viewed by thousands, you get a few „free visits“ to your picture and most important you’ll get a short critique of your picture.

Again similar content. One thing is missing here: interaction. No way to submit your photos, participate in regular competitions or make it on their videos other than running around in Hong Kong and looking for them making a video. Why do I still chose them as winner? What that’s them apart? It’s humor! You can get all your information. Maybe a little bit less as somewhere else, but their are just a bit more fun. I think this channel spreads the fun of photography and is suitable to keep you motivated. And that’s the most important thing in improving your skill – never stop taking pictures. One channel I like most here is the Pro Photographer – Cheap Camera Challenge. The best photographer try to take good pictures with the worst cameras. This not only shows that skill and creativity can compensate any lack of material – it also shows that if you are not happy with the pictures you take, it’s not the equipment’s fault.


I hope you like the channels I listed here, if you didn’t know them. Please give your comments. One thing I’d be specially interested in would be other good youtube channels. What’s your top 3?

The start

As a pupil I once was joining the photography course like so many people of my age did. I also took a few pictures later. Then came a break for very roughly two decades. A bit more than two years ago, just before christmas, I bought a decent camera set. After „snapshoting“ with my compact camera, I wanted to do this more serious with a DSLR, changeable lenses, flashes, filters, tripods, … So to start I got a camera and lens. Now what’s the picture you see below? Not very impressive picture, ey? This one is my start into photography again! Like with so many things also photography you have to learn and exercise. So of course many things went wrong at the beginning, many pictures turned out much worse than I expected. But I can encourage everyone, to just go out, take pictures again and again. This picture is one of the early ones I kept in my flickr-Fotostream. It was taken quite exactly one month after I got my hands on a real camera.


Trees and Sky
Trees and Sky
One year: getting some inspiration from the gratest

After some time of photographing you might get a bit tired of it and run out of ideas. In this case it might be worth to look a bit at other pictures. One artist I admire -and I’m probably not the only one with this- is Henri Cartier-Bresson. He made great photographs just because of the motivs and his skills. Again it’s proven, that having the best camera is not necessary for this. Of course during his time he probably had the best, but without the possibilities of modern digital cameras and photo editing he created masterworks. One of his fotos (you can easily find via google „Henri Cartier-Bresson“) showed that a stairway is not necessarily boring. With this finding a nearby stairway I made the photograph below. So look at the masters and your possibilities and you’ll find motivation for new photos. Don’t copy, but be inspired.
photography- stairway

Asian food: satay

As promised one week ago, here is a first picture of my Asia trip. When talking to locals one object of interest is always mentioned: food! No big surprise, you get the best Asian food in Asia. And in Asia Malaysia is rated very high. This stuff is so much better than what you get in Europe’s „Chinese Restaurants“. Actually there you are hardly eating in restaurants, but in „Hawker Centers“. Small food stands on or near the street. Busy street. At least if the food is good. Being back I already missed it. One thing I noticed was, the more fume, smell or fire you could see in front of the stand, the more people were eating there. So I also tried the food from the  stand, which spread the most vapur on the road and it was very good.

photography- food- satay in penang, malaysia
Satay cooking in Penang


Satay cook at the Hawker Center in Georgetown Malaysia (2013)

Vacation in Malta

I’m just back from my vacation in Malta. With temperatures above 30°C I managed to grab a cold. That is true skill. In addition to eating, riding busses, walking, sweating and watching a bit of the soccer world championship I made a lot of pictures. Above 500 to be exact. It’s a long way to go through them and do the editing. I did it so far for one. Why? Because I want to enter Matt Granger’s photo competition. See the video below he announced a competition to the motto „symbol“. So not only is this photo taken during my vacation, it also imho perfectly symbolizes vacation. Let’s see what Matt things of this one.

My photo:

Vacation: sailing into the sun

Wish me good luck!

Lucy in the sky and purple rain (timelapse videos)

My calender tells me it’s summer. My thermometer tells me 15°C. Not only is this the coldest summer I can remember, it’s also the wettest. Despite the sun is hardly visible it’s still worth to look up to the sky sometimes. E.g. when the rain stops and some beautiful clouds are visible. Since I anyway wanted to make some timelapses, I tried it out this time and uploaded them to youtube. It’s actually quite easy, once you know what to do. I might write an tutorial on it. First I made this one:

(Lucy) in the sky:

Next I played a bit around with the levers. I actually did also some work and e.g. removed some flies.

Purple rain (clouds)

Which one you like better? What timelapse you want to see in the future? (only if I can make them – so please no pyramid timelapse suggestions and so…)

I’d also be happy when you share, like, fav or comment the videos.


dramatic red sky from the timelapse video
dramatic red sky from the timelapse video



Every month Matt Granger (Thatnikonguy) starts a photocompetition on youtube. See his announcement here. This month I want to particitpate with my picture „Winterwonderland“.


This is a picture of the mountain Dobratsch. It’s in the Austrian Alps. I took the picture last winter in January. After this month I was suddenly very busy with my real life and also had not taken any nice pictures. Hopefully this will change soon.

Winterwonderland - The Alps (Austria)

Winterwonderland – click on the picture for fullscreen (Flickr)


This photography was taken with a Nikon D5100, a Tamron 17-50mm VCII lens at 17mm, f=18, t=1/320 and ISO 1250! I used a circular polarizer.

One year earlier

I also took I photo quite exactly one year before. See the difference? Not much…

The picture from the same spot one year (eleven moths, to be exact) earlier

a video for Matt Granger’s photocompetition

Last time I was not so succesfull with my participation at Matt Granger’s (ThatNikonGuy) photocompetition. But it’s always fun to participate. So I do it again. This time actually is a bit different. I started making timelapses, which despite usually done by photographers are videos. It’s really a lot of work. So despite haven taken the standard red blossom and red chili amongst many green on the plant I wanted to upload my timelapses. This took me several hours to get them this far. I wonder a bit why no one submits videos. I checked, they are allowed. So now I’m really curious about the feedback. You can see the video here:

The last one got 505 view, 1 like, 0 comments. Let’s see how this one does.

If you want to see the other participants in Matt Granger’s photocompetition for august, just click here.

And here a preview picture of the video:

A screenshot from my video participation to Matt Granger's photocompetetion in august 2014.
A screenshot from my video participation to Matt Granger’s photocompetetion in august 2014.

six months of photography: Mittagskogel

One typical picture is the Mittagskogel near my place. This photography was taken after I saw the impressive clouds while running. After reaching home, I went back to take this picture. Being quite unhappy with the result after editing I turned it into black and white and decided for this dramatic look.

 Mittagskogel with clouds - taken after six months of photography

The result was very well perceived by the flickr-community. What I wonder is if it really is this good? Does every photo look better if you elevate the contrast? Does every black and white picture is arty? What do you think?

Making a waterfall photo without waterfall (and experience)

One thing fascinating me about photography is that you can take pictures in a way that they look different from what you would see with your bare eyes. One big lever you have is the exposure time. Fast shutter speed freezes everything in the movement and long shutter speed shows the way of every particle. A good objective for pictures like these are waterfalls. So after one month again (a bit after the last photo I featured here) and watching a few videos how to take waterfall pictures, I desperately wanted to shoot a waterfall. The problem was, I had no access to a permanently active waterfall. So I cycled along a river (Gail) hoping to spot at least a small one. You see, the one I found for sure was not impressive.

a miniwaterfall ;-)
a small creek in the alps

I had only the kit lense, no tripod, no remote trigger, only free software available and absolutely no experience. Obviously also not the best motive. OK, you might see the photo is not the best, but in terms of flickr-interestingness it’s still very good. So what I did was using my backpack as tripod for the camera. Took pictures with very many different exposure times, if necessary with timer instead of remote trigger. At home I looked for the best of the pictures. Then I used my free editing tools to improve the quality. Compared different edits, cuts, compared colour to black and white, edited other of the pictures in the same way and compared again. Still not done I uploaded them to flickr and participated in different groups to judge the picture. At the end I spent many hours on a picture which is not terribly impressive. I still like it very much, because I know that there are very many details, which are tweaked to just what I wanted it to look like. I think it reaches a certain quality. And I think that it shows that with time and a bit of passion it’s possible to create respected pictures even as an amateur.

Arriving there I started taking photos with very many different exposure times.


One small exercise to learn about colors is to add them to the canvas and mix them by running over it with a brush. The motive can be determined by the location of the color and a bit by the path of the brush. The contrast by how often you run over it. One has to put a bit of thought in the path, since e.g. taking up black color early can destroy vast areas of the painting. The result you might like or it might remind you on a child running it’s finger through the plate of food it doesn’t want to eat. The following painting inspired me to my seascape painting.


green (2013)

oil on canvas

40cm x 50cm