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



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!


It’s cold here in Amsterdam! People (and some birds, see below) are ice skating on the canals (link) 🙂

Ice skating for the first time


I visited Hortus Botanicus the other day, it’s a botanic garden in Amsterdam and one of the oldest in the world (founded 1638). There are more than 4,000 plant species to see, but I spent most of my time there in a small butterfly greenhouse 🙂

(1) The Julia butterfly (Dryas iulia) originates from South and Central America but because of the bright orange color it’s often called “The flying Dutchman” as orange is the national color of the Netherlands.

(2) The Zebra longwing (Heliconius charithonia) can make a creaking sound by wiggling its body. They do this when disturbed but even though I would’ve liked to hear it, I didn’t want to alarm him so I still don’t know what it sounds like.


When the weather isn’t good for taking photographs, go outside and take some anyway 😉

Have a nice weekend everyone!




The Black swan (Cygnus atratus) is native to Australia but popular in zoological gardens all around the world. I spotted this one swimming around with ~20 Mute swans outside Amsterdam, it must have escaped from somewhere.



Four birds and one rabbit  🙂

(1) Willow warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus)


(2) Another Willow warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus)


(3) A female House sparrow (Passer domesticus) finding ornaments for the nest


(4) Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) finding ornaments for the nest


(5) Lots of cute rabbits around here in Amsterdam  ❤



I’ve been given a free trail version of Topaz DeNoise, a software to reduce noise in images without the need of a host editor like e.g. Photoshop. I’ve never used it before, nor have I any experience with other noise reducing software, however it’s pretty intuitive and easy to use. I’m sure the result could’ve been better with more practice and effort, but I’d like to share the first (and only) image I’ve edited so far.

The image shows a female Blackbird (Turdus merula), shot from a distance of roughly 15 meters at an ISO of 1000. I chose this picture for the experiment because half of the bird is in shadow and the other in bright light. Comparing the pictures below, you can see that the noise hasn’t been eliminated from the top image but it’s less obvious. The downside is of course that noise reduction cost some detail in the image, but I do think the edited version is more pleasant to look at.

What do you think? I’m interested in hearing your opinion and experience with noise reducing software!

(1) Edited version (no other software than DeNoise has been used):


(2) Straight out of the camera version:




A bit early, but wishing you all HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

I’m off on vacation, see you again in 2016 🙂

Here are two pictures of a male Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) I took this morning.




European Robin (Erithacus rubecula) in the Amsterdamse Bos



This is my 300th blog post! It’s no secret I prefer to take pictures of birds and flowers, but every once in a while it’s nice to try something different-

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Guest Post – Camilla Lee Second Prize Winner in the First DLR Competition

The Digital Lightroom

I started blogging and taking pictures in July 2012.  I’m a total beginner and when I was encouraged to enter the Digital Lightroom Photo Competition I visited the site.  I looked at the photos taken by the judges the submission guidelines and what the judges would be looking for and I just thought that it was all way beyond me at the moment.

A week later I posted a spring picture on my blog.  One of the judges commented and said that I should enter the competition.  The closing date was the following day.  I recalled the list of submission guidelines and hesitated but then I thought ‘why not? I’m sure I can work through the submission requirements and so what if the judges laugh at my amateur spring flowers, at least I’d tried.’ I googled how to resize a picture as I wasn’t sure about that bit and managed…

View original post 407 more words