911 – Spring Is Here

It’s just about time to give a new meaning to 911, ain’t it? It has haunted us for almost eight years now. It has been abused to introduce the worst backlash against freedom of expression that our western civilization in the so-called free countries had to endure since the totalitarian downfall in the 1920/30s.

Censorship, the wet dream of every totalitarian mind, has returned as a concept openly pursued by our governments. Don’t let them have it!

Sorry, seeing the number of today’s (well, actually yesterday’s) entry has put me in agitation mode again. Still, it’s something to consider. Freedom is either a collective experience or it is not at all. Let’s get back to normal, can we?

Other than agitating, today I want to begin with two forgotten images from Friday. The first is the morning view out of my window in Vienna.

There is so much contrast, it is impossible to capture the feeling in any normal image … and still, I experience that feeling every sunny spring morning. Here I have used a very flat conversion from RAW and then applied some Hue/Saturation layers in various blending modes, “Screen” being among them in the darker parts. You can get to the same result via Lab mode color steepening, this is just the way I do it now. I guess it looks quite OK, at least my feeling is there.

The second is actually a variation on “602 – The Day That Jackie Jumped The Jail“. It’s the same place, the same escalator, there is still a construction site, I used the same lens, only this time I am maybe a meter above the position last time, and this time I have used Fisheye-Hemi™ for distortion correction. The other image was more evocative, at least for me, but I like this enough that I had to show you.

All of today’s images were shot with the Nikon 10.5/2.8 fisheye, all were treated with Fisheye-Hemi. Actually I love the way this plugin works. You have to work with some restrictions, most important the fact that the plugin does not honor the EXIF image orientation information and always corrects for landscape format, but all of photography is governed by restrictions, lens choice is a restriction, so get over that. Think of it as a software that turns your fisheye into a landscape lens.

And an ultra-ultra-wide at that. Remember: verticals will be corrected and will behave just like with any ultra-wide. When you point the lens up- or downward, they will show strong perspective distortion. Horizontals will not be corrected at all.

If you use the fisheye in the most tame way, keeping the horizon in the middle, as I did in the last image, it is just a very, very wide lens.

The Song of the Day is “Spring Is Here” by Nina Simone. It’s funny that I have never used that song. If you look at the lyrics, it’s the opposite of what I actually feel, but the song is really beautiful. I have it on “The Tomato Collection”, a collection that, according to Amazon, is discontinued by the publisher, but that you can still get via Amazon marketplace, or if you are open to digital downloads, directly from Amazon. Deezer has the whole double album for you to enjoy.

5 thoughts on “911 – Spring Is Here”

  1. Hmm. Wonderful images, but the image of the day, as much as I like it, just doesn’t seem to fit the title. In fact. it evokes more of a post apocolyptic feel for me. And that may be about as far from spring as one can get. The subject matter is fine but the colour treatment gives it a more somber appearance. Your third image however, the one with the white flowers, now that fits my idea of spring. Anyway, maybe I’m totally out to lunch on this one but I couldn’t help commenting.

    I really do like the results you’ve been getting with the lens/software combination.

  2. Bill’s comments mirrored my own thoughts exactly. I liked your title a lot and found it to be very thought provoking, thank you! Spring is a season of hope, and how best to answer all your agitations other than to go out and soak up all the lush new growth and promise of new things.

  3. Bill just took the words out of my mouth! LOL Yes, I too like your opening image a lot, but have a hard time “seeing” Spring in it.

    I most wanted to comment on your second image, the morning view out your window in Vienna. I think you really captured the “feel” of the morning light and of what you see out that window in the early mornings. I struggle with this all the time in my photography, to make an image that reflects what I saw and “felt” (maybe most important of all?) when I was there in person looking at a particular scene. I have two or three special places outdoors that I keep returning to and keep taking pictures of, trying to capture what I see and feel. Some work a lot better than others! Very nice work on your morning view though.


  4. You are so right about 911, I think. It kills me how many Americans (and it sounds like Europeans too, from the tone of your post) have allowed themselves to be convinced that ‘keeping us safe’ is somehow a good excuse for violating our freedom of expression–not to mention several other Constitutional rights that used to be held dear here in the US.

    I have to agree with Bill on which of today’s images is a more spring-y one.. but maybe the image of the day is the most fitting for Nina Simone’s lyrics 🙂

  5. Wow, you already have all those wood anemones blossoming around you? Makes me jealous – but our time will come! 😉

    I would sign your remarks concerning censorship immediately. Unfortunately…

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