Dresden - photo walk at night

Dresden 1  

I like to show you a few more pictures of the nightly Dresden. Rebuilt after the city was nearly destroyed in World War II, it is a pearl among European cities. Drizzle made for some interesting, but unwanted effects on my lens during this photo walk at night.

Dresden 2


“Der Goldene Reiter”, the statue of “August II the Strong” was on my shooting list since a long time. The Elector of Saxony and King of Poland has established Dresden as a major cultural center and is probably best remembered as a patron of the arts and architecture.

August II


Christmas market time - at least in Germany

Bautzner Wenzelsmarkt  

Hey, I’m back from my trip to Germany, where I visited with family and friends and met my granddaughter Tarja for the first time. I spent a little time in my home town Bautzen, in the city of Freiberg, and as well in the city of Dresden. They are gorgeous places but you probably can’t go wrong with any old town in the state of Saxony during Christmas time. They all have a Christmas market and each is a little different and has its own character. The “Wenzelsmarkt” in Bautzen goes back to 1384 and is possibly the oldest Christmas market in Germany. According to the city’s website 90 traders and restaurants offer their goods, food, and drinks on the market this year.



Dresden, the capitol of Saxony, has more than one market and the most famous one is of course the “Dredner Striezelmarkt”. The photo above was made at the “Weihnachtsmarkt an der Frauenkirche”, which takes place around the monumental Baroque building of the rebuilt Dresdner Frauenkirche.


Great music, good time, a little bit photography...

10 of Soul - Nina Little  

My blog says “Nature Photography” but I enjoy walking off my own beaten path sometime. I do this more often than you may think but I don’t publish much outside of this genre. Yesterday we went to “Dubuque… and All That Jazz”, a Friday night concert series that takes place ones a month during the summer in downtown Dubuque. 10 of Soul was the the band last night and they played some great soul, funk, r&b, and blues music. I didn’t take my photography efforts too serious, just enjoyed the music, food, and beer, but made a few clicks during the evening. 10 of Soul has a great rhythm section, a four-piece horn section, and some very good vocalists. The two female vocalists got the best light (sorry guys!) and so most of their shots were sharp enough to be shown here.

10 of Soul - Chrissy Boyer, Nina Little


I used my favorite Photoshop plug-in NIK Silver Efex Pro 2 to do the B&W post processing. A KODAK Tri-X 400TX Pro film preset was my starting point, just because I like the look of this film for these shots, but I fine tuned it to my personal taste. A selenium toning was applied and I also lowered the grade of the film grain a little. I hope you enjoy!


It's out now - my first book!

BOOK_PRAGUE I did it! My first ebook is finally published and if you like you can download it as a pdf file right here in the blog. And here comes the best, it is free of charge! :-) Just click over in the side bar on “Andreas’s books” and you will enter the download page.

Why a book with photos about Prag, the capitol of the Czech Republic? Joan and I were over in Germany in May 2012 for the wedding of my son André and his wife Seraphine. Following this wonderful event was a three day trip to Prague, which is only three hours away by train from my home town Bautzen. I have been many times in this magnificent city during the Eighties and had very good memories of all the visits. Joan has never been there and so it has been for a long time on her travel agenda.

I didn’t really plan on making a book. I just had the camera with me and was shooting away for three days. We had some gorgeous light situations but no matter how the weather is, this city has so many nice places and subjects for all kinds of travel, street or architecture photography. Back home and after reviewing the images I decided to create a book about Prague as a Christmas gift for Joan. It is a hard cover 12” x 12” and it was printed and bound by a professional print service. Later I showed a first ebook version to some friends and family and everybody asked me, did you publish the book yet? So finally, over a year later, here it is. I added text for some of the images to make it a little more accessible for people that have never been in Prague and made some small changes in the layout.

Travel photography isn’t really what I’m doing most of the time anymore (have done a lot back in the days of film and slides) but working on this book was a great learning experience that hopefully will help me to make another one about wildlife or landscape photography sometime soon. Maybe this book will inspire you to pack your bags and travel to Prague. A wonderful city full of history, good food, and awesome beer is waiting for you…


All about ice fishing today...

Ok, today’s post isn’t so much about photography or nature. I posted already a couple landscape images a few days ago, but Brian, my German photography friend from Texas, wanted to see more about the ice fishing we did last weekend. So, here are some pictures and a few words about the fishing itself. Preparation for the drill

First we had to remove some snow and drill the holes with an ice auger. The ice was about two foot thick and that took about a minute before the drill touched the water underneath. Whatever you do on the ice, there is a lot of joking going on as you can see here. Our friend Doug swung the shovel while Bryan got ready to drill the next hole, and I was waiting to clean the snow and ice out of it with a ladle.


Since a few years our buddy Dale brings his dog Tucker along, who enjoys to run around in the snow and check out the deer tracks along the lake shore.

The catch

In Wisconsin every angler can have three fishing lines in the water and we use so called “tip-ups” for fishing. If a fish bites and pulls the line, a flag goes up and a little bell rings, indicating that there is some action going on. Sometimes that never happened during the whole weekend but this year we caught nine Northern Pikes (German: Hecht!!). As soon a flag goes up everybody who sees it yells”tip up!!” and the owner runs to his hole and tries to get the fish out of the water. Well, this is sometimes easier said than done… My friend Bryan got this one onto the ice and tried to get the hook out of its mouth.

"Base camp"

Well, the rest of the time you hang around “base camp”, talk smart, drink some beer or German style “Glühwein”, eat unhealthy food from the grill, and have a good time with friends… ;-) Every year since 2007 we meet for a weekend in January up in the Northwoods of Wisconsin and our TEAM ICE adventure became a nice tradition everybody looks forward to. Bryan, Dale, Doug, and I know each other through business in the graphic industry and my brother in law Don joined the group three years ago. Don, who is a farmer, wasn’t able to join us this year because of some problems with his livestock (we missed you Don!) but I’m sure he is sharpening the hooks for 2015 already… ;-)




Morgenstund hat Gold im Mund

Sunrise at New Harbor  

There is an old German saying, "Morgenstund hat Gold im Mund", which means about "Morning hour has gold in its mouth". This has probably to be your mindset if you are a lobsterman. As a photographer you have to get up way before sunrise if you like to see the lobster boats leaving the little harbors. If you do, and you choose a harbor that faces to the East, like New Harbor on the Pemaquid Penninsula, you may get rewarded with some awesome light. This was what we were looking for one morning when we climbed out of our sleeping bags very early and headed for New Harbor, not far from our campsite.

We asked very polite one of the young men, who helped to load the boats with barrels of bait fish for the lobster traps, if we could shoot some images from the dock of their lobster wharf, and I promised we would stay out of their way while doing so. He smiled and replied, "Oh yes, go ahead, you are actually the first one who is asking for permission this year...". We thought this was a funny reply because it was already late in the year...

We started shooting about half an hour before sunrise. A tripod is of course essential. The first image here was made about two minutes before sunrise. Many lobster boats had already left the harbor and the one in the background just drove into a golden morning.


Lobstermen at work


The following minutes were just great for story telling photography. It was fascinating to see how one lobster boat after another got prepared, loaded with bait fish, plastic trays for the lobsters, or new lobster traps. A lot of inspiration for this trip to the coast of Maine came from an article by Moose Peterson, a photographer that I really admire, but what we found in Maine exceeded my expectations by far. I can't rave enough about the quality of this early morning light we had at New Harbor this morning...

Lobster boat leaving New Harbor



IT'S A 59

Its A 59  

Some people wrote me they liked my last photo and this made working on another one from yesterday's car event. This 1959 Chevrolet Corvette is a beauty and was parked in front of a bar, which made for a  better background than many of the other buildings in East Dubuque. I gave it a different vintage look, like Grandpa took it just out of the dusty shoe box with the old pictures in it... ;-) Have a wonderful weekend!



Vintage look


What have wildlife photography and shooting at a car show in common? Well, I don't really know but in both instances dealing with background issues would be on top of my list. But let me start with the event first. During the summer the owners of vintage cars meet ones a week over in East Dubuque across the Mississippi to show their cars and socialize with their friends and other car enthusiasts. The road going through the little downtown area is blocked for any other traffic and the cars are lined up on both sides of the street.

I have been there before and always wander slowly along the cars, look for the light, and for cars that are parked in front of buildings that make for a more natural setting and background. Quite often the car owners sit in their lawn chairs right behind the cars and this is usually a NO-NO for me. If the sun is out, the West side of the road is almost completely in the shade of the buildings and this is usually my preferred side to look for car details. For understandable reasons this is also the side where most people sit behind their cars.

All of the cars displayed in East Dubuque have  probably been photographed to death and I'm sure many pictures are technically perfect and good for any catalog, book, or brochure about vintage cars. That's good, because I don't have to walk in the same foot steps and ad another technically perfect image to the bunch out there ;-) .

Seriously, I thought giving the image of this old Plymouth a little bit of a vintage look would be worth the effort. I used NIK HDR Efex Pro 2 to produce a high dynamic range image, made from four exposures. As always with HDR images I'm staying on the more subtle side, keeping in mind the vintage look. The image got finished with a slight vignette and the usual spot cleaning and sharpening. I hope you like it. I may show a couple more sometimes soon, so please stay tuned...


St. Patricks Day weekend in Chicago

Chicago skyline  


We spent the weekend in Chicago for celebrating the 30th birthday of Joan's son Evan. He was born on St. Patrick's Day and so we went downtown to see some of the St. Patricks Day events.




Green Chicago River



Despite some cold and nasty weather thousands of people wanted to see how the Chicago River gets dyed into a shade of Irish green by the plumber union people, a tradition since many years. All kinds of watercrafts were on the river and their owners enjoyed the attention from the crowd.


Green Chicago River 2


I made several clicks of this interesting MINI-Cooper boat but none of them really told the story about time and location. Part of the problem was that our viewing point was way too high above the river and the reflections of a gray sky on the water are just not really appealing. Later, when the crowds moved on to the St. Patricks Day Parade, I found a better spot and as the guy turned in front of three iconic skyscrapers (the two towers of Marina City, Mies van der Rohe's IBM building, and the Trump tower) I knew I had a shot that would work.




On the ice again

Bryan drilling  

Last weekend was our annual ice fishing event up in Northern Wisconsin. This year we were five guys who tried to outsmart the fish in the lake. We went to Fay Lake again, a lake we have fished many times before. Warm weather made for unusual conditions. The ice was thick enough to be on the lake but nobody drove their car onto the ice this time. Well, we didn't do very well. Only one small Northern Pike made it onto the ice and was released back into the water because of its size. However, the fun we had being outside was once more unbeatable. That we can do better was proven last year, have a look back in time by clicking HERE.

As you can imagine, this was not a photography event but I always take my camera bag with me in hope for some shooting opportunities. Shortly after arrival we usually drill the holes and while I was waiting for my turn some nice side light hit the scene and my friend Bryan. No need to pull out a flash light...


Fay Lake


Later during the afternoon the light became very subtle again and at Fay Lake I always like how it lets stand out the bare trees against the green of the pines. It is never the same and this time the blank ice, which is usually snow covered at this time of the year, made for a totally different mood.