Dec 162014

Bill is dead.

A few days ago I noticed that Bill’s blog “Augmented Reality” seemingly had been hijacked. I am lazy at following blogs, but I knew from following him on Flickr, that lately he updated only in long intervals. I thought, well, he’ll already know, but if not, I should tell him about it. Maybe his Google credentials have been compromised as well and …

The email bounced. A second one, to another address also bounced. Now I was beginning to worry.

There are a few Bill Birtch in the world, but narrowing the search to “Bill Birtch London Ontario” uncovered the sad truth.

I never knew him in person. We met virtually in the forums of Craig Tanner’s old photography school “The Radiant Vista”. A few years ago I thought of travelling to the US to attend one of Craig’s workshops. Bill Birtch and Ted Byrne would have been on top of my list of people to visit. Then I was short of money, had to change places in Villach and in Vienna, and so the trip never happened. I can always do it a few years later, I had thought.

Bill. What little I knew about him gave me the impression of a gentle and wise man, a brave man and sensitive artist, a friend if one can have friends in this virtual world, a friend already missed dearly.

Goodbye Bill. I’m thinking of you. The Song of the Day, “To Love Is To Bury” by the Cowboy Junkies, is for you. I know you would agree.

Dec 152014

Two cats and the new snow :)

We had maybe two or three centimeters of snow last weekend, call it an inch if it makes you feel better. Gamer made his first steps in that alien element while Kazuuu displayed the coolness of the experienced.

“Step Up For The Cool Cats” by Palma Violets is the Song of the Day. Hear it on YouTube.

Dec 132014

OK, it’s not a great image, but it’s a great snowman :)

Btw, The red and white thing that it holds in his hand, that’s a candy stick of a kind that we never had. It’s another sign of colonialization, just like Santa Claus or Halloween. Sounds grumpy? Unfriendly to my US readers? Sorry, but I write this at the day the CIA torture report got released – partially. I mean, yeah, in our grandparent generation we here had the Nazis, but those were the honestly bad guys. They didn’t even pretend.

Civilization really, really has a problem in this world.

Anyway. There’s still a Song of the Day. It’s “Snowman” by XTC. Hear it on YouTube.

Dec 122014

Decay is a wonderful state. Of course as a state it is as regular as it gets, because everything, once created, immediately begins to decay. First you don’t see it, but when you wait some time, it begins to get interesting.

This pavement is from a park and may have been laid in the 1970s. Looks great if you ask me :)

The Song of the Day is “Broken Circles” by the Levellers. Hear it on YouTube.

Dec 112014

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, I dare say you know this Underground station. This time I had the Olympus 9-18 mounted and that’s always good for some extreme perspectives that may even be fresh :)

The Song of the Day is “Two Sides” by Danity Kane – whoever that is. Oh my, I’m gettin’ old :D

Dec 102014

It’s not only Flickr that I spend less time with. I recently found that I run out of excuses. I’ve spent a whole year exploring new programming languages, methods and tools. I’ve bought my new Mac because I found that the old laptop just was not fast enough for programming (although it was perfectly fine for Photoshop and Lightroom). The only thing that I didn’t was sit down and begin.

A few days ago I did :)

As a consequence I may spend less time photographing, much less time “socializing” online, and I will try to put at least an hour a day into my private programming project. It’s not the music tracking software that I wrote about on this blog, it’s not a continuation of what I tried on, it’s more like what I originally envisioned creating when I started my long neglected programming blog. I don’t mean my Java EE tutorial either, I mean the idea to use design patterns and model-based design to raise programming to a new level. Which sounds perfectly like marketing blurb :)

Just wait and see. I may get somewhere and then I’ll let you know.

The Song of the Day is “Chasing Rubies” by Hudson Taylor. Hear it on YouTube.

Dec 092014

You may have been following my struggle with Flickr for some while, how I felt elated when an image got explored and how I never understood why particular images made it and others didn’t. Take for instance “2970 – Street Lights II“. I love that image, I’m ecstatic about it (well, almost :D), I think it’s one of my best in a long while, but on Flickr it earned not even a shrug.

In a way that unpredictability took the fun out of Flickr. Images that I had hopes for just didn’t take off, and although I see a general rise in views, it feels … random. It’s nice when it’s happening, but whenever I feel like I’m working for it, the effect is negligible.

Well, you know how it is, there’s always the impression that the grass us greener across the fence, and therefore I created accounts at and

I started trying 500px and I liked it. There’s a lot of good material over there, people are welcoming and for a few days I put my image on both Flickr and 500px. And then it happened.

I did not care. I did not care about Flickr any more and I certainly had not started caring about 500px. That’s when I deleted the 500px account. I’m back to Flickr only and if there was one net effect of the whole episode, then it is that I care less about it and will spend less time creating other people’s content.

I started using Flickr, because when I switched from IMatch to Lightroom, putting images on Flickr became painless and without any effort I had another backup for my full-size images. I think this is a healthy state and I’d better keep it at that :)

The Song of the Day is “Night Train” by Lionel Richie. Hear it on YouTube.