Category Archives: Nikon 24/2.8 AF

1276 – The Dream Goes On

Here are two more pictures from Palmanova. It’S Sunday, I am lazy and I won’t go out photographing. Weather is not as bad as predicted, but I am tired and I owe you some more material about Palmanova anyway.

The probably best way to appreciate this city’s plan is from the satellite image on Google Maps. See what I mean with an “oversized” piazza?

The first image was taken with the Nikon 24/2.8, an equivalent of 36mm, only slightly wide, and it gives you a good impression of what it feels like to stand there. See the green at the end of the street leading off the piazza on the otehr side? This is Contrada Savorgnan, leading not to one of the three gates, but instead to the now ovegrown ramparts. Mind you, this is a 24mm lens, cropped to a 36mm field of view. Nothing like the perspective shortening of a telephoto lens is present here, to the contrary. This is a small town, very small indeed.

The Song of the Day is “Dreaming” by Blondie. I always liked their music, it’s inextricably connected to my youth. YouTube has a video from some TV show, seemingly playback, but the sound is exactly like on record. I recently bought a collection of Blondie songs as digital downloads. Recommended.

1275 โ€“ An Architectโ€™s Dream II

We’ve been to Palmanova yesterday. That’s a small town south of Udine, just where the highway coming from Austria, the A23, meets the highway A4, Trieste – Venice.

It was built from 1593 as an ideal city – which mostly meant ideally suited for war. It’s a gigantic fortress in the shape of a nine-pointed star, designed by Vincenzo Scamozzi, and in the middel there is a completely oversized piazza, circular, with the cathedral on one side.

Palmanova is a nice place to visit, sit in the sun, sip a drink and watch people. At least that’s what we did ๐Ÿ™‚

The Song of the Day is once more โ€œAn Architectโ€™s Dreamโ€ from Kate Bushโ€™s 2005 album โ€œAerialโ€. I used the title a year ago for “950 โ€“ An Architectโ€™s Dream“. Hear the Song on YouTube.

1266 – Something Magic

It’s funny. Yesterday was an incredibly beautiful day and I thought I had taken all sorts of good images, though when I came home and looked at them, there were only some very naive pictures of leaves coming out on the trees, blossoms and the blinding sun. Not a single good image, this street scene being the only thing even remotely usable.

There is really something magic in Spring. Experiencing such a day fills me with wild joy, and even though one would think the city can’t have changed, it has. Now my only job would be to actually capture this in an image ๐Ÿ™‚

Fortunately I have an image left from Wednesday. It’s no replacement for the missing Spring image, but after I had posted “1265 โ€“ The People Who Grinned Themselves To Death“, I saw it, tried working on it, and the result pleased me enough to carry it over to this post.

The Song of the Day is “Something Magic” by Procol Harum, originally from the 1977 album of the same name. I have it on the 2009 live album “In Concert with The Danish National Concert Orchestra and Choir” that I bought some days ago from Amazon.de as digital downloads. Interestingly enough, Amazon.com has only the CD, not the MP3 files. Oh how I marvel at the intricacy of the international music business.

Here’s a video on YouTube. Enjoy!

1265 – The People Who Grinned Themselves To Death

Having lost the stabilized 17-50/2.8 feels … exciting. I almost have not used any other lens since November 6 when I bought the Tammy, and now that I must, I begin to change frequently again. I absolutely love it.

This is a still-life from the window of some esoteric shop here in Vienna’s 7th district, the only place in Austria where the Green Party rules. In a way this is the most impossible place in Austria, our very own San Francisco ๐Ÿ™‚

The Song of the Day is Paul Heaton’s “The People Who Grinned Themselves To Death“. Heaton was then, in 1987, lead singer of The Housemartins, the same Paul Heaton who later was The Beautiful South. It’s not the first time we had him, it won’t be the last time. YouTube has the song.

1104 – Keep On Movin’

Sometimes I have no problem finding a suitable image, sometimes I have to make one. Yesterday was of the latter category.

I tried to process an image that had quite interesting lines, but then nothing more. Light was garbage, tonal distribution was garbage, colors as well, and after I had finished a B&W version this morning, I decided to try another one.

Well, I just did, and although the image had some merits, it just wouldn’t work. Finally I remembered my friend Bill Birtch and his motion blur experiments, and – what can I say – I found the result strangely satisfying.

The Song of the Day is “Keep On Movin’“, originally from Pino Daniele’s 1984 album “Musicante”. This album is regrettably unavailable via Amazon, thus I link to the 2CD collection “I Grandi Successi”, probably a good idea because for many it would be their first Pino Daniele album anyway. Hear the song on YouTube.

1009 – In A Country Churchyard

Saturday began with rain. Much rain.

Again there were floods in parts of Austria, and the air cooled down by about 15 degrees Celsius. High mountain roads above 1500 meters were impassable without snow chains, in other words, it was a rather unusual high summer weekend.

In the afternoon the eastern part of Carinthia seemed to be sunny, so we took the car, drove down to Saualpe, a north-south mountain chain in eastern Carinthia, and explored the country roads.

Carinthia is not densely populated, but certainly denser than all that gorgeous nature would demand. In this certain part though, there are only some small villages far and between.

It’s really a wonderful landscape up there on the mountain, but of course it has a reason that not many people live there. You are far away from every supermarket, not to speak of a real city, and what looks so wonderful in summer, is quite a problem in winter. Winters up there are long, and to live there probably means to be snowed in a couple of times a year.

There are plenty of churches up on the mountain, one in every village, sometimes for not more than maybe ten houses, some solitary, and one of the churches, Sankt Leonhard, is even off the road in the middle of a forest. That’s the one with the walls in the Image of the Day.

The images were taken with three prime lenses, 24, 35, 70, and two zooms, 11-16 and 70-300. This was lens changing day ๐Ÿ™‚

All images were treated with a combination of Topaz Adjust and Alien Skin Snap Art. For the high-contrast images with lots of sky, I have normally taken two differently developed versions from the same RAW, combined with a mask. I love these effects on landscapes.

It’s probably Kitsch, but it triggers something in me. Those images look like a certain kind of illustrations that I liked in my books when I was a child, a kind of illustrations that completely came out of fashion in the 1970s.

The Song of the Day is “In A Country Churchyard” from the 1977 Chris De Burgh album “At the End of a Perfect Day”. Hear it on YouTube.

991 – Mystery Train

In the morning I was in a hurry again, and being in a hurry is normally pretty adverse to being creative.

I solved the problem by letting the camera do on its own. This is one of a series of images that I took while being on the train. I pointed the camera out of the window, in different directions, in angles that I thought could probably make for an interesting image, and from that series of essentially random images I got at least this one.

In the meantime, after one and a half days in Vienna, I’m on the train back to Carinthia. Tomorrow night we’ll see an opera in Graz. Nikolaus Harnoncourt, the great Austrian master of Baroque music directs, no, not Purcell, not Haendel, not Bach, he directs Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess”. More about that tomorrow night or Thursday.

Btw, while I sit here on the train and look through dirty windows, outside is fantastic weather, golden light, a sky mixed with blue and scattered clouds. It’s pure masochism to even look out of the window. Oh well ๐Ÿ™‚

The Song of the Day is the Elvis song “Mystery Train“, interpreted by the Neville Brothers on their 1990 album “Brother’s Keeper”. Hear it on Deezer.

990 – Oh Yes, Take Another Guess

I was pretty much in a hurry in the morning. When I left work late in the afternoon, we had traces of sunshine mixed with some raindrops, and halfway that turned into a constant drizzle. Oh well, it IS worse north of the alps.

The first image is from the morning. I had just left the Underground station. So … you think your camera’s got a big, heavy battery, huh? Loser! That’s a big battery ๐Ÿ™‚

I suppose electricity in the Underground station had failed and they came with the big truck to our rescue: 400 kVA!! That’s a battery.

The next image is from the afternoon, near my workplace. This is a garbage container of some construction company, and the sign on it reads “Please don’t fill in refrigerators and PC monitors“. I wonder if they take TV sets or sofas ๐Ÿ™‚

I used the Nikon 24/2.8 for all images. Post-processing is similar to what I did the last days, Topaz Adjust and Snap Art. The exact settings, which Snap Art effect I use, how much I modify it, which Topaz effect I use, whether I add lines made with Snap Art “Stylize” or not, what kind of masks I use, the opacity values, all that varies from image to image, thus it wouldn’t make much sense to create an action. It’s more of a pattern than an algorithm.

The Song of the Day is “Oh Yes, Take Another Guess” by Ella Fitzgerald. I have it on a 10 CD box of her early recordings, that is most probably not available outside of Austria, Germany and probably Switzerland, but you find the song on many compilations, e.g. “Ella And Her Fellas”. Deezer has the album, YouTube has a video.

984 – Travelin’ Man

Surprisingly enough, this morning I find myself on the train to Carinthia again. Nursing leave. Nothing to worry about, but I suppose it may keep me in Carinthia for the rest of the week.

I just read that Janine, commenting on yesterday’s rain image, hopes for an even higher level of summer, but at least for today I have to disappoint her: It still rains and if at all possible, it is even less inviting than yesterday.

After all that SoFoBoMo action I try to catch up with blog reading, and yesterday night I read Mark “The Landscapist” Hobson. This is always amusing, because Mark is not only a brilliant photographer, he is also never shy of confrontation. Of course he found fault in Mike Johnston’s advice to aspiring photographers, to only use a Leica, a single lens and B&W film of a single type for a year. Actually it’s not so incredibly much fault that he found, but it’s enough for a heated debate. Many people may take offense at Mark’s sometimes slightly aggressive style, but I love it. Here is a man who has strong opinions, grounded in great knowledge and long experience, who fiercely defends them and who is a talented and witty writer as well. It’s not for the timid, but it’s deeply enjoyable ๐Ÿ™‚

Why I mention Mark? Oh, only because he is the Master of the Square, and every time I’m exposed to his imagery, I feel a strong temptation to get square as well ๐Ÿ™‚

The Image of the Day was taken this morning out of the rear window of tram line 18 in Vienna, just before I reached Vienna South Station. Think of it as of “826 – Goin’ Down Slow” under adverse conditions ๐Ÿ™‚

The Song of the Day is “Travelin’ Man” by Anita O’Day. I have it on disc 2 of the 4 CD collection “Young Anita”. Deezer has a version on the album “Let Me Off Uptown”, no idea if it’s the same recording. I can’t check it at the moment. Anyway. Anita is never a bad choice.

983 – Summer Turns To High

It’s the first day of summer. At least that’s what it’s supposed to be.

In reality it pours down like mad, it is relatively cool and the weather forecast mentions snow lines. They are in a very safe distance above us, but at this time of the year even the idea of snow is obscene ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway. It is as it is. The bicycle detail was shot in the morning. Uhhh … “shot” again? Oh well, maybe it’s OK to shoot bicycle details, as long as nobody else gets hurt ๐Ÿ™‚

The Image of the Day shows the impressive summer situation that I encountered when I left work early. For both images I used the Nikon 24/2.8, a lens that I selected because I knew I would not have to struggle with flares and ghosts anyway. It’s a very relaxing change from the Tokina 11-16/2.8, because again I can focus relatively near (still not as near as I like) and the focal length feels so incredibly natural.

Do you know that feeling, when you do something, that you used to do regularly and with pleasure, but have not done long since? That feeling of returning? Well, that’s how it felt ๐Ÿ™‚

The Song of the Day is “Summer Turns To High” from the 2001 R.E.M album “Reveal”. Sorry, no video, I can’t offer you more than Amazon’s sound sample.