Weekly Photo Challenge: Monochromatic – Snow Scenes


I saw snow for the first time when I was 19, just a sprinkling in London that was enough to turn the ground white for one night. Watching the snowflakes falling was magical. It was midnight and I ran outside in excitement, my grandmother’s sister came out with me to make sure I didn’t catch cold. After a while she left me there, watching the snow. When I was all alone, two foxes appeared in the field opposite the house, I can still see them standing there in the snow, watching me.

When I moved to Europe again at the end of 2012 I finally saw lots of snow, and every time I see it, it still amazes me. The way it transforms the landscape is also something astounding. Some photos I’ve taken in the snow, you would think it’s a black and white photograph, so that’s why I’ve chosen some snowy scenes for this week’s weekly photo challenge, Monochromatic (although I suppose technically black and white are not colours!). Here are some of them below. When skiing on a misty day, only the bright clothes of the skiers add a splash of colour.

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Weekly Photo Challenge – CrEePy


This week’s photo challenge is Creepy. I didn’t really expect to come across anything creepy during the week, but then lo and behold, we bumped into this scary-looking wooden doll statue next a kid’s play area in a service station! I wonder how toddlers feel when they come face to face with this child-sized wickedly grinning doll and her looming shadow? I’m sure whoever painted her intended her to look quite friendly, so it shows how your imagination can transform something perfectly safe into something creepy!

Weekly Photo Challenge – Close up


This Week’s photo challenge theme is Close up. We were in the Czech republic this weekend, and I enjoyed taking photos of the bees and butterflies busy at work in one of my favourite flowers, Echinacea purpurea. Even with cellphones these days you can take close-ups, although obviously it’d be better to have a proper camera with a nice macro lens to get a sharper focus and finer details. This photo was taken with a Nexus 5 cellphone. The hard part was getting the insects to sit still! Here are some more photos of the bugs’ world. Continue reading

Weekly photo challenge: Half and Half – in Ireland

The theme of this week’s photo challenge is Half and Half. The idea is to share a photo that has two halves, either literally or figuratively.

“This week, share an image that has two clear halves, literally or figuratively. You could focus on composition, like me, and take a photo with an explicit dividing line (either vertical, horizontal, or diagonal). Or take the theme in other directions: zoom in on a pair of objects that together form a whole. Show two people whose demeanor or personality complement each other. Or bring into balance two opposing visual elements — light and dark, color and its absence, sharp focus juxtaposed with blurriness.” – Ben Huberman

i wanted to (and might still) search through my photos for some other interesting takes on half and half, but the first thing that sprung to mind was some photos I took in Ireland. Ireland is, indeed, the emerald isle. How could it not be with all that rain? I found it a beautiful and dramatic landscape, with many rolling green hills and open expanses of sky filled with dramatic clouds, as well as cliffs overlooking the deep blue Atlantic ocean. The division between land and sky became a recurrent theme in the photos I took there, and turned out to be my favourite from the trip. So for my half and half I choose Earth and Sky.

By the way  – there is no photoshopping at all here – Ireland really is that green!



Traditional Irish blessing:

May the road rise up to meet you.

May the wind be always at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face;

the rains fall soft upon your fields,

and till we meet again,

may God hold you in the palm of His hand.



Weekly photo challenge – Symbol

challenge freedom

This week’s photo challenge theme is Symbol. For me the ultimate symbol of freedom is a bird flying high in the skies. I always think of this most when I’m at the beach, there is a gusty, slightly salty breeze, the hot sun reflects off the sand, the waves crash down on the shore, and the seagulls are soaring up above. Then you can fill your lungs with fresh sea air and feel free from all the stresses of daily life!

In German class we were talking about freedom in a few lessons, for example as it related to East and West Berlin, and to the communist bloc. Our German teacher always takes the more controversial side of the argument so that we can practice our German in discussion, and said that after the wall fell, unemployment rose in former East Germany, so what was so great about the wall falling and the reunification? Weren’t people better off before? People answered that the important thing was freedom, that now people had the choice where to live, what to buy, what to learn, freedom of speech. Nobody likes to be dictated to, to have their own free will taken away. Somehow, it is universally important to people to have freedom.



Weekly Photo Challenge – Door


Door on church in Prague, Czech Republic

This week’s photo challenge theme was Door.

I was looking for one photo of a door in particular, but it’s an old photo and my photos are on various hard drives both in Berlin and South Africa, so I couldn’t find it. But on browsing some very old photos (taken with a very old point and shoot camera) I realized that a) I really have a lot of photos of doors and b) there is a remarkable variety of styles of door. So here are some photos of some doors around the world (click on the photos to view them larger).

Doors in Greece

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Colourful doors in Mexico

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Doors of Asia (Japan, Malaysia, Thailand)

Doors that echo the structure of the building (Thailand, Italy)

Doors that blend in with nature (Japan)

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Arabic doors (mosque in Malaysia)


Doors of Portugal (Lisbon)

Old and ancient doors (Vietnam, Ireland, Turkey, Greece)

Doors to the underworld (Turkey, Greece)





Weekly Photo Challenge – Muse

Since I love taking photos (and looking at other people’s photos!), I thought I’d join the Weekly Photo Challenge. This week the topic is “Muse”: what subject frequently inspires you to take out your camera?  For me, my muse is Nature, and especially flowers. I really can’t walk past a good flower specimen without reaching for my camera! Insects and other animals also inspire me. This is one of my favourite flower photos, a poppy, taken at the beginning of summer 2013 in Brandenburg, Germany.