A day at the Frog Pond

The first weekend of April has really spoiled us with sun. So I dusted my camera, emptied the memory card and drove to my favorite place, hoping to finally see the kingfisher again. Unfortunately, he is so shy that he flies away immediately when he approaches less than 70m. Perhaps it is also a “you” or there are several, I do not know, in any case I have seen and heard a lot more often.
As the weather was so nice, many bikers, joggers and walkers were on the way. Nevertheless, I went to the “Frog Pond”, since there were also mini frogs in it last summer. And I was actually lucky, not only that I observed quite a lot of toads (unfortunately no princes-frogs) at the love game (I piglet!), no, I was even lucky enough to meet someone who cares for the pond and for the protection and preservation of amphibians and to report on the animals. And then why Frog Pond? Would you really have looked in here if I had written “Toad Pond”? Unfortunately, Toads are regarded as disgusting, whereas almost every frog finds quite cute. So I want to share with you the very fascinating behavior of the toads.

Let’s go with pictures of frog spawn (presumably from the Grass frog). Frogs lay spawning bales, unlike toads.

On the pictures you can already see the individual development stages quite well. It is very fascinating to discover and photograph all this at a small lake.

The first tadpoles have also hatched. Unfortunately, I can not tell if it is about which of frogs or newts, because there was also a dead newt in the lake, so that it is also possible that they have already spawned before and the young are hatched first. If anyone can see something more specific, just leave me a comment!

Now to the toads.

Here you can see how some pairs of toads have found themselves. You can also see the black spawning lines. At first I did not recognize her as such and wondered why someone throws black wool into the lake, but after I looked more closely, the small black beads were well recognizable.

Kröte1A single toad of unknown sex (I suspect a male, a female would certainly hardly have been left alone) drifts on the surface and makes it go well.

Kröte2

And another one who needs a break.  Krötenpaar4The smaller males are worn by the females.

Krötenpaar5

Krötenpaar3  Krötenpaar2

Krötenpaar1

In the last pictures you can see pretty well how the females distribute their spawning cords. By the way, these can be 2-5m long! Hardly imaginable that they have space in such a small body.

Already a week later there was nothing to see from the spawn, but there was more tadpoles, as shown in the following picture.

One week after

I hope you enjoyed the little excursion to the Frog Pond.  How do you like toads and frogs? Do you like them, you find them disgusting? Do you have any of you in the garden pond? By the way, sharing and like my post is very much liked.

iPhone Photography- Photo Editing with Phone Apps

Today’s post is a Guest post from Marion. She is an author of the lifestyle magazine “Lifestyle Luxury Brigade“. In this post she will show us her favorite apps for smartphone photography and photography editing, especially iPhone apps.

With these apps you’ll make Smartphone pics like a Pro  

I am often asked „Marion, what camera do you use to make pictures?“ The looks on peoples faces are usually somewhat skeptical when I answer: “with an iPhone 8S”. Of course I also have a DSLR. But honestly? My best pictures are produced sporadically and unexpectedly.

I don’t always drag all of my equipment with me. For instance, on a walking safari through the Okavango Delta, I will only take an iPhone with me. Because I can climb better without a camera, in case I should run into some lions…

But how can you work with such a small lens and still make great pictures?

With photo editing. What Adobe Creative Suite is to professional photographers, is a small handful of great iPhone apps you can use to pep up and lightly correct your pictures.

These are my favorite apps for quick and professional photo editing:

Correct pictures on your phone

“Keep it simple”, I always say.  ( mach’s einfach). If you’re already taking pictures iwth your iPhone, you can just use the integrated correction features.

The nost important functions are the cropping of a picture frame and the light correction. Often a picture is just too dark, but with the “lighting” or “brilliance” features you can add more light to your picture quickly. For over exposed photos, just add more contrast and remove the reflex spots. These are small things to do, but with big impact on the end result.

The portrait function

Starting with verion 8.x the iPhone offeres the so called portrait function. Here you can adjust the depth focus and make the background out of focus, so that the viewer of the picture will look at whatever is focused, for example a face. But also petals and leaves. But be sure to pay attention to the distance to your objects. The function will show you, though, when you are standing at an optimal distance to your subject.

Great Filter App: MOLDIV

I have tried numerous filter apps. But MOLDIV has really stayed with me. The reason: the app is sufficiently capable in a free version, and doesnt annoy you with constant advertising or requests to upgrade. Here you can find a great vintage filter that makes new pics looks antique.

Blurring

Also the Blur feature from MOLDIV is helpful to place your piucture into correct focus. You can use this linearly or radially and can customize it. This can replace the portrait mode function of the 8S and 10. So if you have an iPhone 7 without the portrait mode, you can add an accent to your pictures.

Collage App: Video and Photos parallel in one photo Grid

Many bloggers and facebookers play with collages. At some point a collage caught my eye, which had a video playing in one corner and the rest was static pictures. How does that work? I asked myself; and after long searching I found the corresponding app for this. With Photo Grid you can make collages with photos and videos at once, and you give your posts an incredible dynamic.

HD Photography

A still hand or even a tripod are required for the app Fotor HDR MultiStyle HDR App. Here, two pictures are shot in succession and overlapped onto each other, where the depth of each photo combined then results in a razor sharp image.  This way you can make impressive HD pictures without an DSLR camrea.

Scale pictures without compromising quality

Whoever blogs, knows how slow a blog post can be when the pictures are uploaded in high resolution. You can control the bitrate on the iPhone, but then you may wind up with compromised images in terms of color brilliance or sharpness.

This is where I make a break from the iPhone Over to the PC and scale my pictures with before I uplaod them to a webpage. This app is only free up to the 1000th picture; after this there is a small monthly fee. But there are many alternatives, that you can simply try once you have exceeded the 1000 picture mark. This way you can continue to edit freely.

Canva – Great Collages and Layouts

Whoever doesnt have the budget to buy InDesign, can use the free version of Canva for making pretty layouts. You can select the formats to fit directly in the intended social media platform (layouts for instagram, facebook, twitter etc). This way you are sure that your posts are fitted to the platform. Here the PDF creation function is very good. If you would like to make an e-book available to your readers, you can use this PDF function with many graphical possibilities.

You can upload your own pictures and integrate them into the layout. And its really simple- you don’t need any prior graphics design knowledge.

The app for this is as a desktop and an iPhone version. For the PDF function I recommend working on the desktop, because you can simply see what you are doing better.

Great black & white effects and color pops

You can use to make a motive black and white and then recall certain parts of the image into color. This way I retouched the eyes of my cat in the image below, to be green again and left the rest of the image in BW. And trhis works with the touch of the fingertips! I find it amazing.

Have fun making pictures like a pro!

About the Author

Marion started to blog and suddenly, she had an entire online magazine! With her group of author friends she is the head of a diverse Lifestyle platform with many topics, all of which are focused on one central aspect: luxury.