Month: October 2023

Happy Halloween!

Trick or treat, bag of sweets, ghosts are walking down the street.

Happy Halloween!

Happy World Kangaroo Day!

A mother and a daughter kangaroos

Happy World Kangaroo Day! 🦘🦘These adorable creatures are truly one of a kind. I feel so lucky to have watched them in the wild on Kangaroo Island. It was amazing to see how the mother took care of her little one. Such a special bond between them! 😍

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Autumn at Millesgården

Autumn foliage at Millesgården, Stockholm (Sweden)

Glowing autumn foliage at Millesgården, Stockholm (Sweden). Millesgården is one of my favorite places to both stroll in and photograph; it’s beautiful and peaceful. 

It was the home of Swedish sculptor Carl Milles (1875 – 1955); he designed and built it, and it is now a museum with Milles’ antique collection, sculpture garden, and art gallery. The garden is inspired by Italy’s Mediterranean gardens, and it’s a work of art in itself. Carl Milles and his Austrian wife Olga, an artist herself, spent the winters in Italy that both loved.

The photo was taken with Canon R5 and Lensbaby Velvet 85 mm at F/2.8, 1/125 seconds, ISO 100. I applied basic adjustments in Lightroom, processed it in Photoshop using Nic Color Effex 6, and finally added Photoshop warming filter 81.

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To read more posts on Millesgården, click here.

My First Cover Photo!

Red Squirrel with Strawberry

I’m feeling grateful and honored as Canon Sweden chose my photo to be their Facebook cover for the month of October. I am so excited to share my passion for photography with a broader audience!

(I know there’s a long way to go to a National Geographic cover, but one has to start somewhere).

If we can teach people about wildlife, they will be touched. Share my wildlife with me. Because humans want to save things that they love.”, Steve Irwin said.

I talked about how I became a wildlife photographer in my previous post and how I found my mission to share my animal photos with the world; and, by doing so, inspire people to protect them and ensure human activities don’t harm them and their habitats.

This is what the Canon Sweden Facebook page looks like now; I’m so proud! Please forgive me for blowing my own trumpet but I feel the more people see how beautiful these animals are, the more they’d be inspired to do something for them.

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Share My Wildlife With Me

A young red squirrel
A young red squirrel photographed in my garden

Although my plan was to photograph flowers when I left Microsoft, my photo library began to fill with more and more wildlife photos instead. 

When we bought a new house upon relocating from Switzerland, it came with a large garden. The garden was, in fact, one of the main reasons we bought the house. I always loved animals, so naturally, I wanted it to be a wildlife-friendly garden. Not so much manicured lawns and formal flower beds but a place where animals, birds, and insects would thrive. A wildlife heaven.

Birds on a bird feeder
A tree sparrow, a great tit, a blue tit and a wood nuthatch at one of the bird feeders in my garden.

Four years on, I can safely say we succeeded. We have identified over fifty species of birds (so far!) coming by to sample the food on offer or drink/bath in one of the many bird baths; insects love the flower beds planted with pollinator-friendly flowers, the tiny insect water holes we set up here and there, and the insect hotels we offer in winter, free of charge; and animals are roaming the grounds day and night.

So far, we’ve got deer (oh, how they love my flower beds!), red squirrels, foxes, rabbits, and badgers (only short visits, none have taken up residence, thank God!). Unfortunately, there are no hedgehog sightings yet. However, I did prepare a corner in the backyard for them, with a huge pile of dry leaves, twigs, and water nearby. I’m still hoping, though.

A deer laying in a garden
Mi casa es tu casa. Or garden 😉.

Naturally, I wanted to document the process. It was so much fun seeing the garden transform and more and more animals and birds coming by! One thing led to another, and I’m now, somehow, a wildlife photographer, too.

Kangaroo Island kangaroos holding hands
Kangaroo Island kangaroos, mother and daughter, one of my favorite photos from my 2023 trip.

I’ve started traveling to photograph wild animals, and it was so exciting! Combining my love for Australia with wildlife photography was the ultimate experience. I’m looking forward to more trips and meeting more animals and birds in their natural habitat.

Snail on a pink cone flower.
A tiny snail on a coneflower

I reflected on my journey to wildlife photography as today, October 4th, is World Animal Day. My love of animals brought this amazing transformation into my life, for which I’m forever grateful.

If we can teach people about wildlife, they will be touched. Share my wildlife with me. Because humans want to save things that they love.”, Steve Irwin said.

Now, this is my mission, too. Share beautiful photographs of the amazing creatures we share our planet with, share my wildlife, and touch people’s hearts. Because humans want to save things they love.

Woodpecker on an oak tree
A woodpecker on the old oak tree in my back yard

October 4th is Animal Day, but every day should be animal day. We share this Earth with others, and the topic of animal rights isn’t about animals only but about us, too. Let’s build a world where both animals and humans can thrive. Animals also have a right to live free lives unharmed and unexploited.

“He who is cruel to animals becomes hard also in his dealings with men. We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.” – Emmanuel Kant. Some food for thought.

Red squirrels on the trunk of an oak tree
Red squirrels playing in the same old oak tree.

If you care about animals, there are a lot of things you can do to help them, for instance:

  • Spread the message, not only on this day but all year. Every day should be animal day.
  • Support an animal charity by raising funds, donating, or volunteering to work for one. 
  • Donate supplies to an animal shelter (towels, toys, medicine, etc.).
  • Become a fan. Like and follow your local animal charity or shelter on social media and share their posts.
  • Adopt a rescue animal or become a foster.
  • Make your garden or balcony a haven for wildlife to find shelter, food, and water.
  • Support companies that don’t test on animals.
  • Support fur-free fashion.
  • Do not support animal attractions.
  • Fight poaching if you can.
  • Draw attention to cruelty.
  • Take a stand against overfishing, pollution, habitat destruction, and other threats to animals.
  • Educate children to show compassion for animals.
  • Help change the laws by signing petitions, e-mailing your local representatives, and involving your friends (share campaigns and social media posts).

I hold that, the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to the protection by man from the cruelty of man.” – Mahatma Gandhi

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Paris Is Always A Good Idea

  1. Favorite Photos: January 2023
  2. Favorite Photos: February 2023
  3. Favorite Photos: March 2023
  4. Favorite Photos: April 2023
  5. Favorite Photos: May 2023
  6. Favorite Photos: June 2023
  7. Favorite Photos: July 2023
  8. Favorite Photos: August 2023
  9. Paris Is Always A Good Idea
  10. Favorite Photos: October 2023
  11. Favorite Photos: November 2023
  12. Favorite Photos: December 2023
  13. Favorite Photos: January 2024
  14. Favorite Photos: February 2024
  15. Favorite Photos: March 2024
The  Eiffel Tower in Paris viewed through the crown of a tree

This month’s favorite photos are all from my recent Paris trip.

We went to Paris for a few days at the end of August. It was supposed to be a vacation, but I had the camera with me and, you know, a photo here, a photo there, and I suddenly came home with hundreds of photos. Oh, make it two thousand.

This is the photo I like best at the moment. I circled the tree for about twenty minutes, testing various angles until I got the picture I wanted. My husband knows the drill, so he found a bench nearby and read a book on his cell phone during this time.

The Eiffel Tower Paris

We went to the Eiffel Tour in the afternoon (4 p.m.), mostly to scout the area.

I’d done my due diligence, and everybody said the best time to photograph the tower was at sunrise. So, I didn’t plan to take photos that afternoon; I wanted to check out the place, find the best angles, and so on. Get the lay of the land, so to say.

However, I spent the rest of the afternoon taking photos. The light was softening as the afternoon wore on, and one doesn’t argue with good light.

Here’s a tip: take photos when you see something you like, even if you’re “only scouting.” Don’t think, “Great spot, I’ll come back tomorrow morning“. You never know what’s going to happen. We did come back at 6 a.m. the day after for the sunrise, but it was almost cloudy, and there weren’t any spectacular colors or dramatic clouds in the sky. I got a few photos that morning, too, but my favorites are those from my scouting afternoon.

Door detail in Paris, showing a lion head

Paris architecture, what a dream! I love walking around and enjoying the beautiful buildings and their small details like this lion head. I probably have hundreds of similar pictures!

The Eiffel Tower, Paris

How do you photograph an icon? I admit to some performance anxiety when I stepped off the subway at the Trocadéro station. Thousands, no, millions of people have photographed the Eiffel Tower. Was there any way of finding a new way of capturing its’ essence?

Sometimes, the best way is to simply focus on something in front of it, like this pigeon. Even if only a blurry portion of the tower is visible in the background, it’s still recognizable. I’m happy with how this this photo turned out.

Metro sign in Paris, France

Ah, the Parisian metro! I love those signs and probably took too many photos of them. Sorry, not sorry!

All photos taken with Canon R5 and Canon RF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM. This is the one if you can only bring one lens on a trip.

This is the lens I usually use when going on a short getaway, typically to cities. A few days in Rome, Athens, or Paris with hand luggage only? Not a problem. The 24-105 mm lens is very versatile: 24mm is perfect for larger scenes, 50mm for street photography, and 100mm for details and blurred backgrounds.

I hope you enjoyed these photos; there are more to come next month.

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