860 – Mad, Mad Moonlight

After yesterday’s moody (“downright spooky” did Michael say) bicycle, we’re in for something more cheerful today, and that’s quite fitting, because today (for me it’s after midnight and therefore Friday 20th), yes today is Paul Lester‘s birthday. Happy Birthday Paul!

Please head over to his blog and give him a cheer 🙂

I’m hopelessly behind with blog reading, and while I was at Paul’s site, I noticed that he already talks about SoFoBoMo ’09, thus I took the detour and just registered. Paul Butzi’s experiment has matured and is a real institution now. There’s already a big crowd of people who have committed to do a Solo Photo Book in a Month. If you’ve always thought creating a photo book is too hard, why don’t you give it a try? You’ll hardly find a more supportive crowd.

Today’s image is of some left-over Christmas decoration in Vienna’s Neubaugasse. I let my inspiration run wild, and this is what I got after 21 Photoshop layers. Guess I like it, especially compared to what the camera saw 🙂

In fact I like it so much, I will also submit it to Fine Art Photoblog. Stylistically it is in a line with last year’s “629 – Electric Ladyland V“, also making use of distorted edge layers, just as I explained in my tutorial “683 – Welcome To The Republic“.

For the Song of the Day I had a lot of choices. These lights reminded me of moons, and “moon” is a pretty frequent word in song titles. Add to that, that I’ve just today ripped my three recordings of Arnold Schoenberg‘s “Pierrot Lunaire” and you see my dilemma. I like Schoenberg’s music, and interestingly enough I love to hear it while programming. Nobody understands that, but it works well for me 🙂

Schoenberg actually was an afterthought. I already had settled with “Mad, Mad Moonlight” by Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel, the image was with that title at SmugMug, had been seen by a few people, and I did not want to change the title any more. As for Cockney Rebel, well, they were never great in the US, but today their original albums are hard to get even in Europe. The collection that I have is not available any more. Your best bet will be the three CDs of “Cockney Rebel: A Steve Harley Anthology”. Hear it on YouTube.

4 thoughts on “860 – Mad, Mad Moonlight”

  1. Oha! Thats very nice! What a lovely birthday present. Love the colors, detail, perspektive, pre-process… everything is perfect!

  2. I agree about the colors. The orange pops in a very nice way. May I ask your advice … if you were choosing between the Nikon 24mm, Sigma 20mm, Nikon 50mm or Sigma 50mm and you could only have one … which would you choose?

  3. Sigma 50/1.4. It’s an extremely versatile lens. Second would probably be the Sigma 20/1.8, but this is so subjective, nobody can give you any useful advice. It depends on what and how you want to shoot.

    For me it makes a big difference whether I use a prime or a zoom, but for other people it may not. I keep a focal length for days, weeks and sometimes months, but other people change constantly.

    If you don’t have it, I suggest you get the Nikon 50/1.8 and have a look at how comfortable you feel shooting with a short tele. Some people hate it, some like it. If I were you and if I were not sure about my focal length preferences, I’d get the Nikon, maybe even a used one. It’s cheap when new and used you may get it even cheaper. Use it for a while, it’s a killer lens. Best value for the money. Should you find out later that you like the range, you can always upgrade to the Sigma for the bokeh.

    But maybe it is not bokeh and speed what you’re after. Sigma has a very affordable 50/2.8 macro. It perfectly doubles as a street lens, it is sharp as a razor and if you want to get near, you certainly can.

    As I said: there is no answer that anybody could give. You have to try, and your best bet is to minimize potential damage. You could even buy used on eBay and sell later. That’s quite a good way to try different things without much monetary committment.

    As a rule of thumb I’d say that finding the preferred focal length is more important than any particular lens model.

    Let us know how YOU decide.

  4. That was extremely helpful! I realize it is about personal preference so I very unimaginatively posed it as “what would YOU buy if it could be your only…” to get a sense of what you’ve come to really appreciate. I was already heading towards the Sigma 50mm but I’ve seen so many Sigma 20mm shots that were really great … even though critics really pan that lens … lol. Mitchell Kanashkevich loves it too. hmmmm … difficult decisions. I wish I could just buy three or four but I really need to space them out :)) Plus that let’s me enjoy them one at a time! Thanks again ;D

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