Smile! The world is a beautiful place (^_^)

Author Archive

2018-52

Week 52 – The last blog post of the year, and also the last one before taking a break from blogging.

My last picture is one I took this week with my favorite camera Fujifilm X-T2 and vintage lens Pentacon 50 mm f1.8

I’ll continue to post pictures on Instagram (link on top) – Hope to see you there! 🙂

And last but not least: Happy New Year!


2018-51

Happy 4th advent! Wishing you all happy holidays!

Here’s a picture I took a few days ago; The NEMO science museum here in Amsterdam. The building was designed by Renzo Piano who’s also famous for designing Centre Pompidou in Paris, The Chard in London, and The Whitney Museum of American Art in NYC.

The bicycle bridge leading to NEMO is called ‘Mr. J.J. van der Veldebrug’ (bridge number 1939), and this year it’s part of the Amsterdam Light Festival. The artwork was made by Dutch artist Peter Vink.

 


2018-50

Happy 3rd advent!

The annual Amsterdam Light Festival has begun. I haven’t had time to check out all the art pieces yet, but here are two of them that I photographed the other day – “Two Lamps” and “Spider on a bridge”.


2018-49

Happy 2nd advent!

I just went for a little walk, it’s a bit rainy but this is my favorite time to just walk around in Amsterdam. The city is so pretty with all the lights!


2018-48

Hello December 🙂 and Happy 1st advent!

This afternoon I was in Muiden, a cute little town about 15 km south-east of Amsterdam. Weather conditions weren’t great for photography, but a friendly sheep posed nicely in front of the Muidersloot 🙂 This castle was built in 1280 but demolished in the year 1300, then rebuilt about a hundred years later. (If you’re interested, you can download free ebooks with more information here.)


2018-47

The beautiful sunny autumn weather we enjoyed last week is gone. Amsterdam is grey and cold now… Winter is coming!


2018-46

Still having lots of problems with WordPress 😦 My latest post didn’t show up in subscriber’s Readers, and WP Helpdesk aren’t able to help. Boooh. (If you read this, please check out the post from last week as well!)

Anyway, it’s been a lovely sunny weekend here in Amsterdam ❤ I took these pictures with my iPhone

Aren’t these tilted trees just so beautiful?

Love autumn leaves! So colorful and perfect..

The view when looking up whilst sitting under the tree outside my house

 

 


2018-45

It’s week 45, but I just took this “summer-looking” image! This picture was taken using a Helios-44 lens. Helios is probably the most famous vintage lens there is; it was produced in the old Soviet Union in 1958-1992 (my copy is from 1982) and is one of most mass produced lenses in the world. It comes in several variants. The version I have (“M”) is supposedly the worst one, but I’m very pleased with it. It’s built in solid metal, focuses down to 0.5 m, and has a mag ratio of 1:6:5 at the closest focus point. I bought it cheap (FYI – the average price in October 2018 was only $32) including an M42 adapter to fit in on my Fuji.

In case you’re interested, there’s a weekly podcast called “The Classic Lenses Podcast” and there’s an entire episode dedicated to the Helios-44 here


2018-44

Week 44! A couple of days ago, I attended a workshop called “Moonlight with owls”. It was really nice, although a bit too dark to take pictures. But I got to see and hold a few owls, they’re such impressive and beautiful birds. Here’s a picture of Bean, a beautiful Bengal eagle-owl (Bubo bengalensis)


2018-43

It’s been a sunny but very cold weekend here in Amsterdam! Autumn is really here now; it was above 25° Celcius and since yesterday it’s only 7° (and 3° at night).


2018-42

All the leaves are brown… ♬♪♫ …Not! Because we have a sunny October that still feels a bit like summer!

On the other hand: Week 42 now = Only 10 weeks left this year!

Pictures taken with Fuji X-T2 camera and Pentax-A 50 mm lens.


2018-41

The maximum soap bubble bokeh I could get with the little Pentax-a lens 😉 Have a nice sunny Sunday everyone!


2018-40

This changing season ~ Photos made with my Fuji X-T2 and a Pentax-a 50mm lens I found in my parent’s storage, it’s from the late 80’s I think. It’s a very nice and compact little lens; it’s built in metal but only weights 145 grams. I love the bubbly bokeh when shot wide at f2 🙂


2018-39

Mushroom season is here! Here are some pictures taken with my Fuji X-T2 camera and vintage lens Pentacon 50 mm 🙂

This swirley bokeh is one of the reasons why I love this little lens


2018-38

Summer’s coming to an end… But there are still some brave flowers shining bright

Please follow me on Instagram, where I’m posting one picture every day — Fuji camera & various vintage lenses 🙂


2018-37

Three pictures from Sweden 🙂 Taken last weekend with my Fuji X-T2 camera and vintage lens Pentacon 50 mm.

I’ve also opened an Instagram account: @caleeamsterdam   ❤

 


2018-36

Week 36 – One more from the rose garden 🙂

(Posting a bit earlier than usual because I’m off to Sweden for the weekend!)

SOOC, no edit, no filter


2018-35

Playing with my Pentacon 50 mm lens in the Rosarium in Vondelpark.. It’s not to everyone’s taste, but I personally love bubbly bokeh 🙂

Besides adding a small signature, these images are SOOC without any editing/post processing. I appreciate CC, so if you have any ideas/suggestions please write something in the comment section below!


2018-34

New gear! 🙂 Test shots!

I got another vintage lens: Pentacon 135 2.8. It’s a telephoto lens made in GDR (East Germany), I found one in mint condition and got it super cheap.

There are two versions of this lens, and I got the second version which is inferior to the first as it only has 6 blades and the diaphragm can close to f/22 (the first version has 15 blades and can close to f/32), but still a very nice and sharp lens which is fun to use. The minimum focusing distance is 170 cm, something that will take a bit getting used to for me, especially since I’ve mainly shot with a 60 mm macro lens the past year. Anyway, today I went for a little walk and took some first test shots with my new (although it’s older than me) lens. It can of course only be used in full manual mode, but the focus ring is smooth and easy to use so it’s not really a problem I think.

Fast manual focus! 😉

Never seen so many wasps as I’ve done this summer! 😮


2018-33

This pretty little butterfly is called Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas) in English, “Small Fire butterfly” in Dutch, and “Small Goldwing” in Swedish.  I’m not sure, but I think (guess) one reason why it’s “gold” in one place and “copper” in another is because the colours of this butterfly varies slightly depending on where it lives.

I was lucky to find one sitting in the warm sunlight (usually they’re very active in bright sun) and was able to shoot it (I mean photograph) slightly backlit which really brought out its beautiful colours. Notice that the orange at the tip of the antennae also matches its wings, very stylish!

Update: Last week, WordPress didn’t recognize my weekly post as a post, thus it didn’t show up in the Reader of those who subscribe to my blog. Luckily, this issue seems to be resolved now!


2018-32

Week 32! No exotic or unusual butterflies today, but happy to see them just the same 🙂 Have a nice week!

Update 8/13: According to WordPress, this blog post from yesterday doesn’t exist and this site was last updated 8 days ago. Therefore, this post doesn’t show up in the WordPress Reader either  😦  …. If you read this, thank you for visiting my blog.


2018-31

Today I’ve been photographing dragonflies in Diemer Vijfhoek 🙂 I still don’t have a macro lens; these were taken with XF18-135 and all are cropped. Anyway, here are four beautiful dragonflies and some brief information about them. Hope you’ll like!

(1) Vagrant darter (Sympetrum vulgatum) – male

Quick fact: It hovers and then, as the name suggests, darts out to surprise its prey. Then they take their catch to a favoured perch to eat it. Very similar to the Common darter (Sympetrum striolatum), but it has a “hanging” mustache.

(2) Black-tailed skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum) – male

Quick fact: It’s a narrow-bodied, medium-sized, straight-sided dragonfly. It can be seen flying low over the bare gravel and mud around flooded gravel pits and reservoirs, before landing on the bare shore to rest in the sun.

(3) Migrant hawker (Aeshna mixta) – male

Quick fact: It’s not a particularly aggressive species, and may be seen feeding in large groups. Hawkers are the largest and fastest flying dragonflies; they catch their prey mid-air and can hover or fly backwards, although the Migrant hawker is smaller than other hawkers.

(4) Black-tailed skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum) – I’m not sure, it’s either an immature male or a female

Quick fact: They breed in very large number in newly flooded gravel pits. (See also above.)


2018-30

Damselflies! Click to view slideshow:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Dragonflies and damselflies are closely related, both are part of the insect order Odonata. However, they are not the same! Odonata includes about 5,900 species of which about 3,000 are dragonflies (suborder Epiprocta, infraorder Anisoptera) and about 2,600 are damselflies (suborder Zygoptera).

Here are five differences to look for:

★ Size: Dragonflies are generally much larger. The most common dragonfly in The Netherlands (Ruddy darter) is 3.4-3.6 cm long and has a wingspan of 6 cm. The most common damselfly in The Netherlands (Blue-tailed damselfly) is 2.7-3.5 cm long and has a wingspan of 3.5 cm.

→ Fun fact: the largest extinct dragonfly had a wing span of 70-75 cm (roughly 30 inches)!

★ Eyes: Dragonflies have much larger eyes than damselflies, their eyes take up most of the head and they are wrapped around from the side to the front of the face which kind of makes it look like dragonflies are wearing snow goggles. Damselflies also have large eyes, but the eyes are clearly separated and appear on each side of the head. →See picture below!

★ Body shape: Dragonflies have bulkier, stocky bodies that appear shorter and thicker. Damselflies have long and slender bodies.

★ Wing shape: Both dragonflies and damselflies have two sets of wrings, but the shapes are different. Dragonflies have hind wings that broaden at the base, which makes them larger than the front wings. Damselflies have wings that are the same size and shape for both sets, and they taper down as they join the body, thus becoming quite narrow as they connect.

★ Position of the wings when resting: Dragonflies hold their wings out perpendicular to their bodies when resting, so they look like small airplanes. Damselflies fold their wings up and hold them together across the top of their backs, from a distance they kind of look like a very thin safety match.


2018-29

Hello 🙂

Here’s a picture of a Map (Araschnia levana), the butterfly best known for having two forms: levana (spring brood) and prorsa (summer brood). levana individuals are primarily orange in colour, and prorsa individuals are mainly black with some white markings. This here is a summer brood showing off its beautiful underside (a map like pattern which look the same in both broods)-

Here’s a picture I took during my vacation in Sicily, a beautiful Violet carpenter bee (Xylocopa violacea)! This bee is huge, about 3 times the size of the biggest bumble bee we have here in Holland. Unfortunately I only had an old iPhone at hand, in real life its dark blue-purple colour was much nicer.

I like big bugs and I cannot lie