Tipp No. 130: Poetic-Surreal Fine Arts Landscape Photography by Mike Reyfman (Ukraine, now: USA)

arts, Insights, Kunst, Nature, Reisen, Tipps, Travel, Zen

Well, this is my 2nd post about Mike Reyfman and his breath-taking landscape photography. The first post was focused on impressions of Icelands`s mystic landscapes and unique phenomenons. These days life is tough and the world seem to have turned upside down. Time for some eye-candy to rise our spirits…

Here you can follow Mike Reyfman and share his perception of Canadas wilderness. The beauty of nature & light in Alberta seems to be unreal….yes, almost kitschy and somehow painful… Maybe, because all of us know how much endangered our last world treasures are. Thus, it would be great and thoughtful, if we do not visit these places and leave nature alone. Mike`s awesome photos will preserve the wilderness and allows us to appreciate what we have already lost at many (or most) other places and world regions.

Mike at work in Canada
Glowing Mountains


As you can see, Mike Reyfman is a very friendly, humorous and generous person & artist, who shares a number of huge galleries with us on his website:


He is offering exciting, unique photo expeditions to countries (like Norway, Antarctica / Chile) and runs an online shop too. On his attractive website you can order for example high-quality gallery wrap prints done on canvas with different sizes.

Take a minute, breath deeply, free your mind, …let your ghost leave your shell and wander through landscapes of timeless beauty. Everything will be okay…and if not, it will be at least interesting!

Fine Art Photography Prints - Gallery Wrap by Mike Reyfman
Wall-Decoration…like a window into another world & time for instant escape.


Mike Reyfman is renowned landscape and nature photographer.
He was born in Ukraine and moved to United States in January 2000.
Mike has been awarded for his photography in the prestigious international photography competitions.
His photographs have been used extensively worldwide in calendars, books, magazines and advertising industry.
He has written numerous articles on travel and landscape photography and has been teaching photography for many years.

Mike is the founder of WORLDPHOTOTRAVELS.COM which runs photography workshops around the globe.

His works were exhibited at Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC, the open air exhibition on the prime outdoor places in Moscow and St. Petersburg, travel photography exhibitions at Sheremetyevo and Domodedovo International Airports etc.

In addition, Mike has an experience as photography competition judge and worked as a Jury member at WorldPhoto 2008, Global Arctic Awards 2012 and Patagonia Photo Awards 2017.

“When the great place, right moment, favorable light and sharp eye find each other — the photo is born.” (cit. Mike Reyfman)

Poem No. 146: “The Horses” by Ted Hughes

Creatures, Gedichte, Nature, poems


I climbed through woods in the hour-before-dawn dark.
Evil air, a frost-making stillness,

Not a leaf, not a bird-
A world cast in frost. I came out above the wood

Where my breath left tortuous statues in the iron light.
But the valleys were draining the darkness

Till the moorline blackening dregs of the brightening grey
Halved the sky ahead. And I saw the horses:

Huge in the dense grey ten together
Megalith-still. They breathed, making no move,

With draped manes and tilted hind-hooves,
Making no sound.

Poem No. 142 (repaired): “Renascence” by Edna St. Vincent Millay (1917)

Gedichte, Nature, poems

ALL I could see from where I stood
Was three long mountains and a wood;
I turned and looked the other way,
And saw three islands in a bay.

So with my eyes I traced the line
Of the horizon, thin and fine,
Straight around till I was come
Back to where I’d started from;

And all I saw from where I stood
Was three long mountains and a wood.
Over these things I could not see:
These were the things that bounded me;

And I could touch them with my hand,
Almost, I thought, from where I stand.
And all at once things seemed so small
My breath came short, and scarce at all.

But, sure, the sky is big, I said;
Miles and miles above my head;
So here upon my back I’ll lie
And look my fill into the sky.

And so I looked, and, after all,
The sky was not so very tall.
The sky, I said, must somewhere stop,
And—sure enough!—I see the top!

The sky, I thought, is not so grand;
I ’most could touch it with my hand!
And reaching up my hand to try,
I screamed to feel it touch the sky.

I screamed, and—lo!—Infinity
Came down and settled over me;
Forced back my scream into my chest,
Bent back my arm upon my breast,

And, pressing of the Undefined
The definition on my mind,
Held up before my eyes a glass
Through which my shrinking sight did pass

Until it seemed I must behold
Immensity made manifold;
Whispered to me a word whose sound
Deafened the air for worlds around,

And brought unmuffled to my ears
The gossiping of friendly spheres,
The creaking of the tented sky,
The ticking of Eternity.

I saw and heard and knew at last
The How and Why of all things, past,
And present, and forevermore.
The Universe, cleft to the core,

Lay open to my probing sense
That, sick’ning, I would fain pluck thence
But could not,—nay! But needs must suck
At the great wound, and could not pluck

My lips away till I had drawn
All venom out.—Ah, fearful pawn!
For my omniscience paid I toll
In infinite remorse of soul.

All sin was of my sinning, all
Atoning mine, and mine the gall
Of all regret. Mine was the weight
Of every brooded wrong, the hate

That stood behind each envious thrust,
Mine every greed, mine every lust.
And all the while for every grief,
Each suffering, I craved relief

With individual desire,—
Craved all in vain! And felt fierce fire
About a thousand people crawl;
Perished with each,—then mourned for all!

A man was starving in Capri;
He moved his eyes and looked at me;
I felt his gaze, I heard his moan,
And knew his hunger as my own.

I saw at sea a great fog bank
Between two ships that struck and sank;
A thousand screams the heavens smote;
And every scream tore through my throat.

No hurt I did not feel, no death
That was not mine; mine each last breath
That, crying, met an answering cry
From the compassion that was I.

All suffering mine, and mine its rod;
Mine, pity like the pity of God.
Ah, awful weight! Infinity
Pressed down upon the finite Me!

My anguished spirit, like a bird,
Beating against my lips I heard;
Yet lay the weight so close about
There was no room for it without.

And so beneath the weight lay I
And suffered death, but could not die.
Long had I lain thus, craving death,
When quietly the earth beneath
Gave way, and inch by inch, so great
At last had grown the crushing weight,

Into the earth I sank till I
Full six feet under ground did lie,
And sank no more,—there is no weight
Can follow here, however great.

From off my breast I felt it roll,
And as it went my tortured soul
Burst forth and fled in such a gust
That all about me swirled the dust.

Deep in the earth I rested now;
Cool is its hand upon the brow
And soft its breast beneath the head
Of one who is so gladly dead.

And all at once, and over all
The pitying rain began to fall;
I lay and heard each pattering hoof
Upon my lowly, thatchèd roof,

And seemed to love the sound far more
Than ever I had done before.
For rain it hath a friendly sound
To one who’s six feet under ground;

And scarce the friendly voice or face:
A grave is such a quiet place.

The rain, I said, is kind to come
And speak to me in my new home.
I would I were alive again

To kiss the fingers of the rain,
To drink into my eyes the shine
Of every slanting silver line,
To catch the freshened, fragrant breeze
From drenched and dripping apple-trees.

For soon the shower will be done,
And then the broad face of the sun
Will laugh above the rain-soaked earth
Until the world with answering mirth

Shakes joyously, and each round drop
Rolls, twinkling, from its grass-blade top.
How can I bear it; buried here,
While overhead the sky grows clear

And blue again after the storm?
O, multi-colored, multiform,
Beloved beauty over me,
That I shall never, never see

Again! Spring-silver, autumn-gold,
That I shall never more behold!
Sleeping your myriad magics through,
Close-sepulchred away from you!

O God, I cried, give me new birth,
And put me back upon the earth!
Upset each cloud’s gigantic gourd
And let the heavy rain, down-poured

In one big torrent, set me free,
Washing my grave away from me!

I ceased; and through the breathless hush
That answered me, the far-off rush
Of herald wings came whispering
Like music down the vibrant string

Of my ascending prayer, and—crash!
Before the wild wind’s whistling lash
The startled storm-clouds reared on high
And plunged in terror down the sky,
And the big rain in one black wave
Fell from the sky and struck my grave.

I know not how such things can be;
I only know there came to me
A fragrance such as never clings
To aught save happy living things;

A sound as of some joyous elf
Singing sweet songs to please himself,
And, through and over everything,
A sense of glad awakening.

The grass, a-tiptoe at my ear,
Whispering to me I could hear;
I felt the rain’s cool finger-tips
Brushed tenderly across my lips,

Laid gently on my sealèd sight,
And all at once the heavy night
Fell from my eyes and I could see,—
A drenched and dripping apple-tree,

A last long line of silver rain,
A sky grown clear and blue again.
And as I looked a quickening gust
Of wind blew up to me and thrust

Into my face a miracle
Of orchard-breath, and with the smell,—
I know not how such things can be!—
I breathed my soul back into me.

Ah! Up then from the ground sprang I
And hailed the earth with such a cry
As is not heard save from a man
Who has been dead, and lives again.

About the trees my arms I wound;
Like one gone mad I hugged the ground;
I raised my quivering arms on high;
I laughed and laughed into the sky,

Till at my throat a strangling sob
Caught fiercely, and a great heart-throb
Sent instant tears into my eyes;
O God, I cried, no dark disguise

Can e’er hereafter hide from me
Thy radiant identity!
Thou canst not move across the grass
But my quick eyes will see Thee pass,

Nor speak, however silently,
But my hushed voice will answer Thee.
I know the path that tells Thy way
Through the cool eve of every day;

God, I can push the grass apart
And lay my finger on Thy heart!

The world stands out on either side
No wider than the heart is wide;
Above the world is stretched the sky,—
No higher than the soul is high.

The heart can push the sea and land
Farther away on either hand;
The soul can split the sky in two,
And let the face of God shine through.

But East and West will pinch the heart
That can not keep them pushed apart;
And he whose soul is flat—the sky
Will cave in on him by and by.

Poem No. 134: “The Soul Print” by Scott McIntire

Gedichte, Nature, poems

Sitting in peaceful places
Upon Nature’s natural faces
Silent sounds of the River’s rushing
The Wind with the Trees harmoniously brushing

Quiet Clouds above calmly passing by 
A Sea of blue and white that pleases the Eye
Mountains in the distance sit still in yellow light
The Sun ahead constantly coloring every sight

Never again will we ever be here
At this very moment let us not fear
For this is where the mind is content
This is where the Soul leaves its print.

Poem No. 128: “Mai-Lied – May Song” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 -1832)

Gedichte, Nature, poems
Wie herrlich leuchtet
(How masterfully shines)
Mir die Natur!
(nature on me!)
Wie glänzt die Sonne!
(How the sun gleams!)
Wie lacht die Flur!
(How the mead laughs!)
Es dringen Blüten
(Blossoms push)
Aus jedem Zweig
(From every bough)

Und tausend Stimmen
(And a thousand voices)
Aus dem Gesträuch
(From the undergrowth)
Und Freud’ und Wonne
(And joy and bliss)
Aus jeder Brust.
(From every breast.)
O Erd’, o Sonne!
(Oh earth, oh sun!)
O Glück, o Lust!
(Oh happiness, oh love!)
O Lieb’, o Liebe!
(Oh love, oh love,)
So golden schön,
(So golden pretty)
Wie Morgenwolken
(Like morning clouds)
Auf jenen Höhn!
(On the hill!)
Du segnest herrlich
(You prosper masterfully)
Das frische Feld,
(The fresh field)
Im Blütendampfe
(With the breath of flowers)
Die volle Welt.
(The whole world.)
O Mädchen, Mädchen,
(Oh girl, girl,)
Wie lieb’ ich dich!
(How I love you!)
Wie blickt dein Auge!
(How gazes your eyes!)
Wie liebst du mich!
(How you love me!)
So liebt die Lerche
(So loves the lark)
Gesang und Luft,
(Singing and air,)
Und Morgenblumen
(And morning flowers)
Den Himmelsduft,
(The sky mists)
Wie ich dich liebe
(How I love you)
Mit warmem Blut,
(With warm blood)
Die du mir Jugend
(That you [give] me youth)
Und Freud’ und Mut
(And joy and courage)
Zu neuen Liedern
(To new songs)
Und Tänzen gibst.
(And dances.)
Sei ewig glücklich,
(To be forever happy)
Wie du mich liebst!
(How you love me!)

Poem No. 125: “It`s him – Er ist`s” by Eduard Mörike (1804 – 1875), Old German Spring Poem

Gedichte, poems

This is the most famous classic (old) German spring poem. Most Germans remember at least the phrase with “the blue ribbon”…or ” spring, it`s you!”

Frühling läßt sein blaues Band
(Spring lets its blue ribbon)
wieder flattern durch die Lüfte;
(once again flutter through the airs;)
süße, wohlbekannte Düfte
(sweet, well-known scents)
streifen ahnungsvoll das Land. 
(portentously streak the country.)
Veilchen träumen schon, 
(Violets already dream,)
wollen balde kommen.
(want to soon come.)
Horch, von fern ein leiser Harfenton! 
(Listen, from far away a sweet harp!)
Frühling, ja du bist’s! 
(Spring, it’s you!)
Dich hab’ ich vernommen! 
(I’ve heard you!)

Tipp No. 104: “Below The Surface” – Spectacular Underwater Photography by Tobias Friedrich

arts, Creatures, Film, Insights, Nature, Reisen, Sports, Technology, Tipps, Travel

When I was a child, I dreamt of becoming a crew member of spaceship “Enterprise” in order to discover new worlds, unknown life forms and different cultures. Actually, I`ve lived this dream by chosing jobs that
allowed myself to travel a lot, to visit exotic places and which is even
more important to meet interesting people of in many aspects different cultures.

Scuba diving has been on my bucket list since childhood because I was
aware of the fact that the oceans are still “terra icognita” although about
71% of the earth`s surface (2/3) is covered with water of which 97,4% is salt-water.
From the very beginning, I had the idea that scuba diving could be the
unique opportunity to experience a kind of “space traveling” without the
need to meet NASA qualification requirements.

Of course, I was also inspired by the reports about Jaques-Yves Cousteau
and his adventureous expeditions when I finally took action and passed my scuba diving PADI open water exam in the Red Sea / Egypt many years ago.
It turned out that my phantasy of “space traveling” underwater was not completely absurd. As a scuba diver rookie, who is dependent on his
equipment and the goodwill of the sea dweller, I felt actually very vulne-rable. There was no doubt, it was me who was the intruder… the alien in this outlandish – almost surreal – water world! 

The spectacular underwater photography of Tobias Friedrichs brought
pre cious memories back…
Back on board after a beautiful dive, I was completely overwhelmed by
all the impressions and my emotions…Secretly and unnoticed a few tears
dropped into the Red Sea.
I didn`t recognize myself anymore because I was convinced to be quite
top-heavy and introverted. 
All this fragile beauty underwater was simply breaking my heart.
I learnt that beauty can be painful. In particular, if it is endangered by
pollution, mass tourism (I was a part of too) and climate change.   
Maybe, it was also a dash of desparation why I experienced this sudden
“crisis of joy”. 

Tobias Friedrich`s touching underwater photography allows us to sneek
a peak  cit.: “Below The Surface”. This motto might be ambiguous in
my case.

However, I` d like to share my fascination with you and invite you to
descent into The 50 Shades of Deep Blue….Enjoy the weightlessness, the flow, hushed sound level and not to forget the encounters with still quite unknown creatures who are often as curious as the human visitor!

Friendly encounter with a brown fur seal (South Africa)
Humpback Whale (Oman)
2 purple eye dwarf gobies, sitting on top of a hard coral near Marsa Alam (Egypt, Red Sea).
Face to face with a shark


"From birth, man carries the weight of gravity on his shoulders. He is 
bolted to earth. But man has only to sink beneath the surface and he
is free."
Jacques-Yves Cousteau (1910 - 1997)

In his childhood Tobias Friedrich loved to watch the adventures of the Calypso with Jacques-Yves Cousteau as its captain and the beauty of the world that is below the ocean’s surface. It’s still an overwhelming feeling for him when he has the chance to dive. He loves the elegancy and calmness of the world under water standing in contrast to the hectic atmosphere above.

Tobias Friedrich lives in Germany and started taking pictures with a DSLR underwater in the year 2007. Since then his images have been published in prestigious scuba diving magazines and newspapers around the world.

Several underwater photographic competitions, have honoured his work, resulting in over 50 awards with nearly 30 1st places.

Lately, he has been named “Underwater Photographer of the Year 2018” in the prestigious UPY London competition.

The UPY 2018 awarded photo: A panoramic view of the cargo deck inside the SS Thistlegorm with the motorcycles in the middle and light to lighten the trucks on the side of the cargo deck, near Sharm el Sheikh, Northern Red Sea, Egypt.

All waters, from zero to 30° Celsius, are attractive for him, at least there is something to photograph.

Tobias`fine arts photography is not staged. His photography is rather a result of stamina, patience and opportunity. He is not working with photomontages. The panorama view – combining a view above and under the ocean surface – is achieved by utilizing a dome camera.
He is SEACAM equipment for his Canon EOS 1DX Mark II and 5D Mark II DSLR.

He is leading expeditions and workshops around the world, where everybody can join.

Please, feel free to visit his website that shows further amazing underwater photo galleries, panorama views, beautiful aerial views (highly recommended!) and a few offerings like:

  • Underwater photography BOOKS in German and English language,
  • His calendar “BELOW SURFACE 2019″
  • A collection of high-quality POSTCARDS with unique motifs
  • His schedule of awesome PHOTOWORKSHOPS 2019 (Destinations: Egypt, Bali, Philippines, Brother Islands) – simply click on “JOIN”.

web: http://www.below-surface.com

The Calendar 2019 by Tobias Friedrichs

Creatures Nr. 1: Die Kiwi – wehrhafte, aber romantisch-bodenständige Superfrauen mit Kuschelfaktor, Nasengespür & Verstand (in German language only)

Creatures, humor, Insights, Nature, Oddities, Travel

….nicht nur zuckersüß, fusselig, sondern auch wirklich erstaunlich:

1. Kiwi Mamas sind Superhelden.
Sie legen nämlich im Verhältnis zu ihrer Körpergröße eines der größten Eier im Vergleich zu anderen Lebewesen. Ein Kiwi Ei entspricht ca. 20% der Körpergröße eines Weibchens und wiegt ca. 16 oz (ungefähr 460 g). Zum Vergleich: Ein menschliches Baby entspricht nur ca. 4-5% des Frauenkörpers. Ein Kiwi Ei zu gebären, muss sich anfühlen wie eine türkische (die großen also!) Wassermelone zu scheißen… Respekt, Sisters down-under!

2. Sie sind sehr romantisch & treu.
Kiwi Vögel gehören zu den wenigen Spezies, die den Anspruch haben, ihr Leben als monogame Paare zu verbringen. Sie scheinen an die große Liebe zu glauben und suchen sich also einen Partner fürs Leben. Es heißt, dass ihre Partnerschaften >20 Jahre halten…und das ganz ohne Partnertherapien oder wirtschaftliche Zwänge. Wenn sie daten, besuchen sie sich übrigens alle 3 Tage gegenseitig in ihren Nestern. Vernünftig….Prüfe sich, wer sich ewig bindet. Nur keine falschen Moralvorstellungen!

3. Kiwis, die Schnüffler Down-under
Die kleinen Puschel sind so etwas wie die Fährtensucher in der Hundewelt. Am Ende ihres langen Schnabels besitzen sie nämlich Nasenlöcher und sehr empfindliche Sensoren, um ihre Beute unterirdisch aufzuspüren. Ihr Geruchssinn ist sehr hochentwickelt. Vielleicht könnte man sie ja auch zum Drogensuchen, Diabetes-Warnen etc. ausbilden?

4. Die Puschel sind sehr bodenständig & tolerant – buchstäblich
Mangels Feinde vor 1000 Jahren, d.h. bevor Menschen und ihre Haus-/Nutztiere einwanderten, konnten sie eben gut aufs Fliegen verzichten. Heutzutage sind sie leichte Beute für Migranten und daher vom Aussterben bedroht. Dennoch haben die Kiwis sich nicht dazu hinreißen lassen, eine Alternative für Neuseeland zu gründen.

5. Sie haben wunderschönes Haar!
Wozu Federn, wenn man eigentlich nicht fliegen mag? Ihr Federkleid hat sich also über die Zeit zu einer Art buschiges, softes Feder-Fell zur Camouflage in den neuseeländischen Wäldern weiterentwickelt. Nur allzu gern würde ich gerne einmal einen Kiwi streicheln…fraglich ist jedoch, ob er sich streicheln und kraulen lassen will. Höfliche Zurückhaltung erscheint mir angemessen….schade! Aber man will nach der #metoo Kampagne ja nicht zum Täter mutieren.

6. Kiwis sind niedlich, aber keine Schwächlinge!
Sie sind nachtaktiv, aber durchaus nicht scheu & wehrlos. Mit rasierklingenscharfen Krallen kombiniert mit hinterhältigen “hit & run” ISIS-Guerilla-Taktiken verteidigen sie ihr Territorium und ihre XXXL Eier….auch gegenüber Humanoide.

7. Sie sind nicht leicht zu täuschen,…
…so berichten Wissenschaftler, die Aufzeichnungen von Kiwi-Lockrufen verwendeten und bei der Kiwi Population schnell aufgeflogen sind. Die Zoologen bescheinigen den flugunfähigen Eingeborenen zudem ein ausgezeichnetes Gedächtnis. Noch nach mehr als 5 Jahren erinnerten sich die Kiwi an die Tonbandaufnahmen und ließen sich nicht mehr über den Tisch ziehen. Bleibt zu hoffen, dass sie ihren Lebenspartnern gegenüber nicht so nachtragend sind…