So, the first of two articles about my trip to Ireland is up. This article is a bit different to what you've seen before on this site so please check it out.
I've just returned from an amazing trip through Ireland that lead me from County Mayo in the north all the way to County Cork in the south of the Island. I tried to get my very own viewpoint on the various landscapes along the Wild Atlantic Way - one of the most beautiful coastal roads in the world. As you can imagine I have quite some material to work through and I'd also like to create some articles on the trip. I hope I'll have a proper update soon.
In the last few weeks there wasn't much going on around here - especially due to a lack of time and opportunities for photography. I visited Zagreb, the capital of Croatia and this update includes a small gallery from the trip.
Apart from that I will visit Ireland in July where I think I'll be able to get some good shots, so the first major update for this summer will probably happen sometime in August. Later this year I'd also like to go to southern Italy. For that I'm currently in the planning phase.
As announced I did a massive technical update of all my galleries during the last few weeks. They are now more modern with better image quality and greatly enhanced user experience. Check them out on my gallery page.
I was in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic for a few days and it goes without saying that I used the time for some photography in this beautiful city.
Prague is one of the five most visited cities in Europe and a major cultural center with many of its historic architecture intact.
I have invested quite some work in my gallery feature by completely revamping the appearance and function of the galleries and the Prague images will act as my first test run. The images now have a nicer presentation with more intuitive navigation regardless of being viewed on a PC or mobile device. If the new system proves itself I'll start updating all of the existing galleries and not to forget the galleries of my USA trip still have to be added. Please check out the photos from 0rague and if you want I'd be happy to get some feedback on the new gallery design.
I have uploaded a final wildlife article about some marine wildlife of the Californian coast that concludes the series about my trip to the USA. I hope you enjoyed it!
Just like for the previous years I have assembled a small gallery that contains the, in my opinion, best images that I got in 2016 with some short explanations. See it here.
Here I'd like to present the second installment of the landscape photos! This time around I am traveling in the area of the Rocky Mountains as well as various places in California. The different locations all provided breathtaking views of nature in it's purest form.
In this article, I share with you select images of big game wildlife that I encountered throughout the trip at various destinations, mostly in the national parks. Through a bit of trial and tribulation, I was able to find and photograph wildlife that is not to be found in Europe.
A road trip from Texas to California would, of course, not be complete without some cityscape photos. Included in these photos are some more recognizable cities, such as Los Angeles and San Fransisco where I seized the opportunity to round-out my USA photo repertoire. See it here.
The journey continues with the first landscape article in the USA series. I'd like to show you some typical hot and dry landscapes of the American Southwest. Another landscape related editorial is going to follow soon.
I just uploaded my first of several articles about my trip to the USA with brand new premium image quality as announced. This one is about some smaller wildlife that I encountered.
After more than 2 months and 8000 kilometers I have finally returned from the USA and I have brought a plethora of new images with me! There is a ton of stuff to work through for me right now but I hope that I'll be able to provide a real update very soon. As always after my big trips I'm planning on writing some short articles so that I can also share some of my experiences from the trip and provide some background info to my images. But of course that will take some time so once more I'd like to ask for your patience.
I have recently looked at my website with some of the latest generation of devices that feature ultra high resolution displays and I must say that my images did not fare so well. So I have decided to increase the resolution for the featured image as well as the images in my articles and galleries to give you the best possible viewing experience when you enjoy my site on your state-of-the-art piece of technology. I will also gradually update most of my old articles as soon as my provider allows (there is quite some stuff that I'll have to re-upload).
From beginning of July till mid September I'm going to travel the American Southwest, primarily in search for some landscape and wildlife photography. I'm flying to San Antonio, TX and will do a round trip from there. I'm planning to visit Albuquerqe, Santa Fe, Durango, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Tucson, El Paso and many other places, also including some national parks of course.
During my trip I will not have proper access to a computer so I unfortunately cannot do any website updates in the meantime. I do hope to have some good shots when I get back and I'm planning to create new articles and galleries starting in September.
I visited Salzburg over a long weekend and obviously used the opportunity to take some pictures. Some images turned out quite well. See for yourself.
The gallery with some more images from Venice has been uploaded to the gallery section.
I have uploaded my short editorial about my trip to Venice in February. See it here.
I'm finished with editing and sorting my images from my recent trip to Venice and I'm going to get started to create a little article about my experiences there. I hope that I'll be finished within a week. Only a short while longer until I can provide some real updates!!
I must admit that there wasn't happening much within the last few weeks here at Focrates.com. Thankfully this is going to change soon with my upcoming trip to Venice, which will officially open the 2016 photography season. I hope that I'll have new images ready at the beginning of March - stay tuned!
Winter is usually a photographically rather inactive phase for me and also the time for reflection on the achievements of the last year. I went through my images of 2015 and selected the ones I liked most, to create a little best of section for my galleries. To make it complete I also created a best of 2014 gallery which marked the first year of focrates.com.
Additionally I also used my free time over the holidays to create an article about how I perceive digital photography is (negatively) affecting our photographic vision. See it here.
In the fourth and final article about Spain I'd like you to introduce you to some extraordinary places that I was able to visit during my trip. I also uploaded the complete gallery of the trip just in case you want to see even more images than I already provided in my articles.
The third part of my Spain series is finished. I know that many visitors of my site enjoy the wildlife images the most and I tried to make this one a little different than my usual articles.
There is one more article about Spain to come, and that one will deal with some special places I visited.
The second part of my article series is online. This one contains images from the south of Spain - namely Cartagena, Granada, Malaga and Seville.
This is the last article about cities and architecture, but two more articles that focus on other topics are about to come soon.
I proudly present to you the first article in the Spain series. I'm planning on creating a total of four articles like with my previous trip. This time however I'm trying out a new approach – the articles will not be in chronological order but will be sorted thematically. The first two parts are about cities and architecture, the topic of article three and four must remain secret for now. I hope you like surprises as much as I do!
I just returned from Spain, which means that an awful lot of sorting, tagging and editing of images has to be done. I'd also like to create an article (or article series) on this trip. It will probably not be as detailed as my Scotland articles but I haven't decided how to do it yet. I hope my first real update will be finished soon - in the meantime a big thank you to all my patient readers!
I have added a more complete set of images from my Scotland trip to the gallery. See it here.
I will depart to a trip to Spain soon and will therefore not be able to make any updates to the site within the next few weeks. My trip will lead me from Barcelona along the Mediterranean coast all the way down to Seville. I hope that I'll be able to create some decent images to make up for the wait!
The fourth and final article is complete and ready for your enjoyment!
I also included some information about my opinion on the weather sealing of the Canon 5D Mark III. Since Canon does not provide warranty on water damaged gear (and to my knowledge no other camera manufacturer either), the claim of the "weather resistance" of professional grade cameras is questioned by many, including myself. During my trip I could expand my experience on the topic quite a bit and I'd like to share some of this info with you.
The third part which deals with my experiences on the Isle of Skye is up! Landscape photography-wise this was probably the best part of my Scotland trip, although it didn't quite work out as I had wished for. For details and some images please take a look!
You don't always have to go far to find a magical place for taking pictures. In this case I visited the town of Hallstatt in Upper Austria, just a few hours from home. Hallstatt has a long history of producing salt, which was historically a very costly resource. The salt mine a few hundred meters above the town is still in use today and can also be visited. The town is a world famous World Heritage Site and also the type site for the Hallstatt culture - the predominant Central European culture from the 8th to 6th centuries BC.
It also made the news just recently because parts of the village including the adjacent lake were copied by the Chinese! I promise however that all the images in the gallery are from the Austrian original.
Those of you that are waiting on my next Scotland articles I can assure that I'm well aware that two articles are yet to be published - but I think a little diversity doesn't hurt so I wanted to share the Hallstatt images first. I'll upload the articles shortly so please stay tuned!
Today - June 27, 2015 - marks the one-year anniversary of focrates.com! To celebrate the occasion I uploaded the second part of my article series on Scotland. If you liked the first part you'll like this one even better – because it is! My intention is to upload the remaining two articles within the next two months.
I just finished and uploaded the first of four parts of my article series on Scotland - I hope you enjoy.
The second part should follow in about two weeks!
The last few weeks have been pretty stressful for me and I just returned from my Scotland trip. I'm basically finished with sorting, tagging and editing the (about 600) images I brought home, but I'd like to create a series of articles very much like I did after my Estonia trip from last year.
To make the wait shorter for you I'll split it up in more smaller parts and release them sequentially. Still, I need to prepare all the content, select the images I want to show, write all the text and so on, so I must ask for your patience.
What I can promise you right away however is that there will be some very nice shots to be seen!
As a passionate hobbyist photographer I try to take pictures as often as I can, but due to my generally limited free time it is not always possible to create enough quality images to fill a gallery with. Most of the time I can only get one or two decent shots from an outing and I put some thought into the question of how to present these on my website. I think a quite easy and working solution is the creation of a recent images gallery where I keep adding just a couple images every time I update the site.
I have added a handful of pictures to this new gallery – click here if you'd like to take a look.
In a couple of weeks I will take off for my trip to Scotland. On my round-trip I'll be visiting Edinburgh, Inverness, Loch Ness, Skye, Oban and Glasgow. If you have an idea about some interesting places to take photos, please let me know by mail and should you even happen to live in the area we could probably also meet up and go on a little shooting session together! I'll be there mid to end of May.
I went to a short trip to Hungary with a focus on the capital Budapest recently and I have uploaded some images from the trip to my gallery. I think there are some keepers there so definitely take a look!
I had the opportunity to go to a weekend trip to the Slovenian town of Maribor recently, and obviously I used the short time available to get some shots of the old town and the surrounding area. The gallery is a very small one since I only had one evening to take pictures, but I have included some tips how to efficiently plan ahead to maximize the results of a brief city trip.
On a side note: Some of my readers have made me aware of the fact that since I didn't use any numbering scheme in my galleries it was very hard to refer to an image. I have changed this now and every image in my galleries now has a dedicated number.
Photography-wise I'm experiencing some kind of winter hibernation at the time. I'm sure that I'll be able to post some new images pretty soon but at the moment I hope you are content with a long overdue update of the download page.
The second and final part of my article series about my photo trip to Estonia and Latvia in May 2014, with a special emphasis on the island of Saaremaa is now online.
Additionally I have also uploaded a more complete set of images from my trip to the gallery section. This is my biggest gallery by far as of yet, but maybe you have some extra time on your hands...
Saturday should be the day to sleep in and relax from the stresses and strains of the week. As an alternative you can however also use your free time to get out at dawn and follow your passion. Sometimes it can be worth it...
UPDATE: Since I really enjoyed the experience of this shooting session I repeated it, this time on a slightly different location. The circumstances - especially the weather - were very different compared to the first outing which led to images with a fairly different atmosphere. The images have been added to the original gallery.
I know this is my first update since some time but I had to sort out some personal issues in the last couple of months. This unfortunately forced me to massively cut down on my photography and my website. For now I have added some images to the gallery that I took in August in the vicinity of my hometown.
A big update about my photo trip in Estonia is going to follow soon, so please have some more patience.
I added sample images for all the lenses in my gear list (except the 50mm f/1.8 II - I just realized that I'm basically not using this lens any more! I couldn't find five images that I liked and that were made with this lens).
WOW. Finally. Who would have thought that creating a website would be so much work? Not me to be sure, but I have spared no expenses to create a platform where I can share my photography, my knowledge and ideas.
Well, since I'm quite a noob when it comes to web design this site is based on a very simple layout.
The backbone and main reason for creating this site is the gallery. As you can guess this is the place where I showcase my photos. If you go there now you may notice that it's still rather empty to this day but be ensured that I intend on changing this rather quickly. I have assembled some sort of a best of category of all my pre-Focrates era images and new items will be added soon, so be sure to check for updates regularly.
In the article section you can find some useful information about photography technique, work flow, experiences and a lot more. As with the gallery please don't go hard on me since there isn't a lot of content there right from the beginning but I will try to make a habit of creating a new article every couple of months. At the moment you can find my pre-Focrates 'Configuring your 5D Mark III AF for fast action' article that gained quite a bit of fame in the photography world and my new editorial about post-processing in digital photography. Since creating high quality content takes its time I ask for your patience in this regard.
If you are maybe looking for some wallpapers for you computer, laptop, tablet or mobile device you should definitely check out the download page. I will also add new images over time here so check back now and then.
It is obvious that there are some geeks out there which are very interested in the gear I use, so for them I have created a quick overview of the most important parts of my kit including some brief descriptions and opinions.
Finally, if you have any questions, remarks, complaints or anything else you'd like to share with me please do not hesitate to contact me.
Have fun on my site!