Fotoparade – My best photos of the year 2021

It is the end of 2021 and time to share my best photographs of the year. I’m more than happy to participate again in the Fotoparade organized by Michael from Erkunde die Welt. It was not a traveling intensive year. But still, I had many opportunities to take photographs. See for yourself!

The Covid19 pandemic is still in the center of the world’s attention. Increasing or decreasing numbers of cases. Actions to be taken against the spread of the corona virus. Demonstrations against Covid19 measures. The news is filled with information about the pandemic.

People yearn for a "normal" life. A life without social restrictions. Meeting friends. Going to huge events. Or traveling to new places.

I really do miss traveling!

I know that my personal desire for seeing new places doesn’t matter compared to the whole situation. But it is like it is. I miss traveling!

As I cannot do much against the pandemic (just getting vaccinated, restrict social contacts and so on), I have to accept the situation like it is.

And wait.

Waiting for a time when traveling is safe again.

Until then, I don’t travel long distances.

Maybe in 2022 again.

Maybe not.

I don’t know yet.

Anyway, although I did not travel long distances, I still had the chance to visit some places where I could take photographs with my new telephoto lens. Now I’m more than happy to share some photographs in the Fotoparade.

Michael from Erkunde die Welt asks all participants to share photographs of a specific category. This year the categories are:

Light and shadow
High up

An additional category is Best photo of 2021.

Information: Do you want to look at my previous contributions to the Fotoparade from Erkunde die Welt? Please visit the Fotoparade of 2020, 2019 or the two of the year 2018. In that year Michael asked for contributions in the first and the second half year.


Light and shadow

The most difficult category for me was the first one: Light and shadow. I’m always so focused on animals - which is already a challenge - that I miss to use my camera in a more creative way. Thus, I really had to look through all of the photographs I have taken this year to find anything that relates to light and shadow.

At the end I found a photograph of a cat in the evening light. The sun was low casting long shadows. The light was warm on that evening and the sunset was beautiful.

It is actually a stray cat and she is very, very shy. But sometimes she can become trusting and lets me approach a little bit. Like on that evening.

Fotoparade 2021


While I almost couldn’t find any photograph for the "Light and shadow" category, it was quite hard to decide which animal photo to show in the "Animalistic" category. I took thousands of animal photographs this year.

Yes. Thousands!

With my new telephoto lens, I was looking for many opportunities to photograph animals. This telephoto lens was especially useful in bird photography. However, also when photographing very shy and elusive animals. Like European ground squirrels.

This year I visited Vienna in summer hoping to see some European ground squirrels. Luckily, I did.

Fotoparade 2021


Feeling the water of the sea on my feet. Smelling the salty air. Or listening to the sounds of the ocean.

I very, very miss the sea!

But as I didn’t travel long distances this year, the sea was quite far away for me. I "only" went on an excursion to the Kranorama at the Günzer See in October 2021. As I stayed overnight in Stralsund, I could explore some time the region around the harbor of the town. However, as Stralsund is located at the Strela Sound, it is not possible to look into the infinite of the sea.

Never mind!

It was still beautiful there and I spotted some birds around the harbor. Like this cormorant with its impressive green eyes - swimming and fishing in the water.

Fotoparade 2021


Actually, I have been in the mountains this year and I had many spectacular views onto mountains, villages or lakes. One might expect here a landscape photograph under the category "View".

However, I have decided to share a different photograph. I have decided to show a photograph of a common house martin peeking out of the nest. In total, I saw three of them in the nest. Waiting for the adult birds to come back with food.

I had such a joy observing these enchanting birds!

I have decided to take this photograph in this category, as in my imagination this bird probably had a nice view from the nest to the ground as it was located just under the roof.

Fotoparade 2021

High up

In this category I had to choose a bird. A bird high up in the air.

But which bird?

I saw common buzzards high up in the air hunting for prey on the ground. I also saw common skylarks high up in the air delivering their songs in hovering flights. Or common cranes moving from one feeding area to the next.

However, at the end I decided to show a photograph of a herring gull moving around at the edge of the rooftop of the commercial center Alexa in Berlin.

I like gulls. Because when I hear the calls of gulls, I know that the sea is not far away...

But of course, the sea is far away from Berlin!

Well, this makes the whole thing interesting and curious.

That’s why I have chosen the herring gull which lives high up on the rooftop of the commercial center.

Fotoparade 2021


Although I very like black-and-white photographs, I find it quite hard to create my own black-and-white photographs.

However, at the end I have found a photograph of a white wagtail moving around on the rooftop of a farm equipped with photovoltaic cells.

As the bird didn’t spot me - I think... - I had quite many opportunities to take photographs of this little bird. It was moving up and down. Very excitedly. Barn swallows were flying swiftly around passing the me and the white wagtail.

But the white wagtail didn’t seem to care about my presence, and thus, providing me opportunities to take some photographs.

Fotoparade 2021

Best photo of 2021

I didn’t have to think long. I knew immediately which photograph(s) I wanted to share in the category "Best photo of 2021".

Common hamsters!

What a joy I had spending some time on a meadow in the center of Vienna.

I got up very early on that morning. I wanted to use the warm morning light for a photograph. And I assumed to see the common hamsters most active in the mornings.

The day was expected to become very hot.

I was walking on a sidewalk. My camera and my lenses were still in the bag. At first, I was just checking the area to look for a place to wait for the hamsters.

But I didn’t have to wait. From afar I saw already the first common hamster!

Wow! That was fast!

I was really very, very lucky!

I moved very slowly, sat down and unpacked my camera.

The following photograph was one of the first photographs I took from the common hamsters. And it is one of my favorite ones.

Fotoparade 2021

The hamsters and the ground squirrels were a highlight for me this year!

Although I didn’t travel much, I still had a good time. Be it in spring, summer, autumn or winter! There is always something to explore! And sometimes I visit places a second time and have again a good time. As I did with the marmots this year in Berchtesgaden.

But anyway, I hope the Covid19 pandemic stops soon. I have itchy feet and long for new places. Places where I can explore wildlife and landscapes.

Hopefully, 2022 will be a good year!

At the end I want to say thank you to Michael from Erkunde die Welt.

It was again a pleasure to participate and I’m already curious to see the photographs of the other (travel) bloggers.

Information: If you want to look at the contributions by other bloggers, please visit the website of Erkunde die Welt where Michael has created a list of all participants of the Fotoparade 2021.

Have you traveled this year? Or did you choose to stay at home due to the pandemic? Please let me know in the comments!

Fotoparade 2021
Fotoparade 2021

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