Blog - Photo Stories

The story behind the photo…The View
03rd March 2017
There are times when I see something that I would like to photograph and have to stop. I grab my photo gear and am gone before hubby has a chance to get out of his door.

One day we were going through a construction site and were stopped at the red light. I happened to look over and see this bench between two trees in a field. There was something about the scene that was so peaceful and inviting that I knew I had to shoot it.

I asked Wolf to pull over, grabbed my camera and off I went. Being late fall, the fields had been plowed under and made ready for the winter. I walked out into the field, took a few photos, then decided that I wanted to shoot a few with a different lens. Wolf offered to get it, so I waited until he returned.

He came back a few minutes later and started laughing. Not a ha-ha type of laugh but one that was really loud and startled me. When I asked him what he was laughing about (I couldn't imagine what was so funny in this wonderfully peaceful setting), he told me to "look down".

Imagine my surprise when I realized I was ankle deep in mud!

After a good laugh, I dug my feet out of the mud, changed lenses and continued to take photos.

On occasion, when we pass the bench under the trees, we have a good laugh.

And we have learned to keep boots on the car when we go out.

Being on German TV
19th September 2016
Towards the end of May, my husband came home from an IT event he attended and told me about some of the people he met there, which he always does. Among others, he mentioned a man who is a manager with a television station here in Germany. They film several series based on locations in the area and on the people who live here. They wanted to film an episode with my hubby based in our area with mention of his IT company. When Wolf told him that his wife is a photographer, he said that they didn't do individuals. So, imagine my surprise when he called the house a few days later saying that they had looked at my website and wanted to film a segment of "Entdecke Rhein Lahn" with me.

When I was a child, I had an inner ear infection which left me with no hearing in one ear and limited hearing in the other. When more than one person talks at a time or when I'm in a crowded room with a lot of conversation, I can't make anything out. It can be frustrating and hard but, unfortunately nothing can be changed. So, as a result, I'm an introvert...I would rather be behind the camera than in front of it.

When Wolf talked to me about filming the episode, I tried to think of every reason not to do it. I didn't want to back out of it though and regret it later, so I decided to do it and let the chips fall where they may. I went over things in my mind and hoped that I wouldn't screw the German language up too much.

The day of filming both of our episodes came and, unfortunately, the weather was not the best...cloudy, rainy and cold. Not what we wanted but what we had expected with the way our weather has been this year. So, we put on warm clothes, our jackets and set out for the meeting place.

The three of us walked to where Wolf would be filing part of his episode. After about an hour, it was my turn. This part wasn't hard since it only consisted of me walking and acting like I was taking a few photos (which I actually did). Since I had an exhibition going on in a nearby village, we drove there where my interview took place. I admit that I wimped and, instead of doing the interview in German, I did it in English and they dubbed it. Looking back, I could kick myself for taking the "easy" way out, but hindsight is always easy.

The mayor of the village was also there and said a few words on camera, which I found rather nice. It was good publicity for the village and the possibility of other artists showing there too.

The end result of the 5:30 minute series is well done. After the filming was done, my husband looked at the editor/videographer and said that he couldn't believe that it was actually his wife talking - he thought (as I did) that my nervousness would show on camera. I was nervous but, after a while, I felt more comfortable with the camera running.

The nervousness returned the day of the TV showing so I set the recorder and watched it later. They did a wonderful job not only putting the show together but dubbing it.

I guess you could say that was my five minutes of fame.

Entecke Rhein Lahn Episode
Kayaking and Nature
29th October 2015
I love to go kayaking. Mind you, I can’t swim, but that doesn’t stop me.

Recently, on vacation in Orlando to see my family, my son in law asked if I wanted to go kayaking. We borrowed kayaks from friends of his and went to King’s Landing in Apopka to put in.

We started out early afternoon, so we had to push to make the 4:00 pick up time at the end of the eight miles. But we did take time to have a sandwich about midway. Going down the river, I was amazed at the peace there. The only noise to be heard was the occasional plane overhead, the movement in the underbrush of animals and the click of the shutters of our cameras.

Even though my arms were aching and my legs were sunburned, I quickly said “yes” when he asked if I wanted to go back again a couple of days later.

This time we were at King’s Landing early in the morning and were on the water by 9am. Being out on the water before others gave us the opportunity to see a bit more this time. We saw turtles lined up on fallen branches and alligators sunning themselves on partially submerged tree trunks.

Since we were paddling downstream, it was a challenge at times to maneuver into position where you could take a few shots. If you were lucky, there were vines that you could grab a hold of and swing the kayak around into position, holding onto them with one hand while taking your shots with the other.

With the warning that we needed to remember that the wildlife was just that – wild - and dangerous to approach (and the knowledge that earlier in the week a woman had an arm ripped off by a gator when she swam into the lily pads and too close to a nest), we backed off when a gator – we estimated him to be about 8 ½ feet – let us know that we shouldn’t come too close. He stayed on the log as we turned our kayaks around at a respectable distance and took our shots.

This was the first time I had been in such close contact with wildlife in their natural environment. And, even though I came away with even more sunburn on my already sunburned legs (although my arms didn’t ache as bad), it was truly an experience that I’ll never forget.
Rain Can Be Your Friend
16th June 2015
There are some advantages to rainy days for photographers. One is that the light is even - no harsh shadows to try to compensate for. Even with the software programs of today, it can sometimes be hard to correct harsh shadows without giving your photos an unrealistic or grainy look.

Another advantage relates to tourist sites: the lack of crowds. We happened to be driving home a couple of weeks ago from the Schwarzwald (Black Forest) region. When driving through Todtnau, your eyes can't help but travel up to one of the most spectacular waterfalls which is easily seen from the road. Driving up the winding road to the waterfall can be challenging though. The parking lot consists of perhaps twenty spots and, when those are full, people park along the side of the road and walk up to the waterfall. I love waterfalls but walking with two heavy backpacks in the heat and juggling for a position to try to photograph the waterfall without a thousand people in the picture is not my idea of fun. The alternative to that is simple:

Go there in the rain...

As I mentioned, we happened to be driving home. As we drove up the winding road, not a car was to be seen. Even the parking lot was empty...totally empty. We parked, put our rubber boots on and walked towards the entrance. The last food stand owner was closing and said "Hallo" as we walked by. I can imagine that he had a good laugh at the tourists walking in the drizzling rain. As we rounded the corner, we could hear the power of the water. The site of the waterfall was incredible. We've been to a few - some natural and some man made. This one ranks towards the top of the list for sheer beauty. And, since it had been raining all day, there was more water than normal.

And we were all alone.

There was a covered hut that protected the camera equipment when the drizzle picked up a bit. While Wolf stayed there, I took the umbrella and balanced it between my shoulder and chin while I shot. I shot the waterfall until the light started to fade. Then I turned around and shot the mountains that were shrouded in the mist. Even with the rain, it couldn't have been a more perfect way to end the day.

The story behind the photo…Metamorphose
20th February 2012
Sayn has many wonderful places to visit: among them is the Schmetterlingshaus – the butterfly house. As you enter, you’re transported into another world…a tropical one. Here various species of butterflies, small birds, turtles, lizards and even quails flourish in a native-like environment.

From March to December for an entrance fee of 7,50€, you can spend hours there roaming from room to room and photographing the different species (using a flash is not allowed, however). It’s easy to lose track of time here.

There is a large sized box mounted on the wall with a glass and screen door that houses the butterfly pupa. If you time your visit right, you can catch one or more butterflies emerging from the chrysalis right before your eyes. And, using a wide open aperture you may be able to blend out the screen, such as I did here.

The story behind the photo…Artist’s Hands
18th January 2012
People often wonder about my trademark hands photo and ask how it came to be.

Wolf and I traveled to a village called Gimmeldingen to attend the Mandelblütenfest (Almond Blossom Festival) and to try out a dish that we heard is native to the region: Saumagen. After wandering through the fest we found a small restaurant and ordered our Saumagen. As is common here, if a restaurant is full and you have room at your table, you may be asked to share it. Since all the small tables in the restaurant were full, we sat at the end of a large empty table, expecting that we might be asked to share. A party of six entered and, seeing that we had room, asked to share our table. As their red wine arrived, the gentleman across from me cupped his hands around his glass to warm the wine.

I had to have that shot!

I asked Wolf to ask him (since I didn’t want to raise my voice too loud over the commotion) if I could take a photo of his hands. Wolf offered to have me shoot his, but there was something about this gentleman’s hands that fascinated me. Wolf finally relented and the gentleman agreed. Not wanting to use flash, I braced my elbows on the table, upped the ISO and took two shots. The man, as it turns out, was a ceramist so he didn’t think the request was too strange. We enjoyed our time with the group and left with his address should we ever be in the neighborhood again.

A couple of weeks later, I sent him a copy of the finished photo with my thanks for indulging me.