Category Archives: Panasonic Leica DG SUMMILUX 25/1.4 ASPH

2480 – Somewhere In Between III

I see this construction site behind the Underground station (well, forget about the “under” part out here in the outskirts of Vienna) every time I head for the train to Carinthia. Somehow the portal-like view impresses me.

It’s not a classically beautiful place, but it breathes a certain power. And it’s one of those non-places that are so much part of our everyday life and that we tend to disregard anyway. It’s only somewhere in between, but that doesn’t make it less interesting for me.

The Song of the Day is again “Somewhere In Between” from Kate Bush’s 2005 album “Aerial”. Hear it on YouTube.

2479 – Stones In My Passway

Take any Robert Johnson song and you’ll find countless interpreters. Interestingly enough I have only one version of this song and that’s Peter Green’s on his “Robert Johnson Songbook” from 2005, but that’s exactly what I can’t find online.

What I do find is Eric Clapton though. Well, another Englishman, I guess he’ll do for demonstration purposes 😀

See the video on YouTube.

2478 – Permanently Temporary

“Temporarily closed due to renovation” says the sign in this window. It once was a restaurant, now it is nothing, and I guess it won’t open again any time soon.

Why I know? Well, I don’t, but whoever owns this place must have known for years that a bunch of new office buildings would open this spring.

In the meantime they have, and at noon around 800 hungry people swarm out for the few restaurants around. Having a restaurant in this place, that’s a gold mine. If it has not opened by now, I can’t imagine it opening ever again.

That’s how it always is. Progress is not linear. Some things improve, some things get worse, some people win, some lose. If more gets improved than decays, if there is just a tiny majority of winners, that’s when we call it progress. And there is no guarantee for progress either. Regardless of what you think about the downsides of Roman civilization, it was leaps ahead of what succeeded it for the next 500 to 1000 years.

The Song of the Day is “Permanently Temporary” from the 2001 Blackmail album “Bliss, Please”. Hear it on YouTube.

2460 – Hot Or What

Given how much I’ve waited for this summer, it marches along at a frightening pace. The hottest days were short and are already over, but there’s still no reason to complain 🙂

I don’t know exactly what made me stop in the heat of the afternoon, on my way to the train, made me crouch on the sidewalk and take an image of a box and a few lines. I just did it, because it felt like the right thing to do. And it was. You don’t need to like this image, but I do 😀

The Song of the Day is “Hot Or What” from Mark Knopfler’s 2013 album “Privateering”. Hear it on YouTube.

2459 – Everybody Pays

America is at war with the world and its citizens. Not with everybody, but with most of them, even most of its own. America spies on everyone and trusts nobody. Everybody could be a terrorist, everybody could copy their so-called “intellectual property”. Poor America 🙂

Dissent on economic systems makes them send out their agents and their drones, revelation of their betrayal of their own people’s rights and freedom makes them antagonize all of what they like to treat as their colonial backyard. Poor America 🙂

But worst of all, the deadliest of dangers, encryption and freedom of speech for everyone, makes them mobilize their most feared weapons of mass destruction, the rating agencies and the credit card companies.

Want a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to protect your privacy? Well, you can, but you can’t pay for it with US-controlled plastic money.

You can pay for porn and you can pay for your own automatic guns, interestingly enough, at this time you can even donate to the defense of Bradley Manning, but giving people access to comfortable encryption and self-controlled privacy, that’s obviously too much.

If you ask them, then it’s always the same story. Terrorists and child pornographers eat your children and your puppies, but as always and ever, it’s a lie, just a shameless lie, trumpeted into the world over and over and over again.

In reality it’s all about the money, it’s all about being in control, it’s all about being able to perpetuate the status quo. America does not produce anything any more (well, almost), but it wants to own everything, your genes, your thoughts, your memories and your ideas, and most of all it wants to own and control all the channels of communication that you use. It wants to own you. For the best, but not for the best of you.

The Song of the Day is “Everybody Pays” from Mark Knopfler’s 2004 album “Shangri-La”. Hear it on YouTube.

2455 – As A Flower Blossoms

Last weekend I had the opportunity to take images at a florist’s exhibition, or to be precise, at the exhibition of the 2013 Federal Florist Apprentices’ Contest.

This year it took place in a beautiful monastery a few kilometers from Villach. I tried it and I found it … challenging. This was for a few reasons.

The exhibition was a presentation of the best works from a contest. It was clearly meant to be seen, but obviously nobody had tried to make it easy to take images. Many arrangements were not opaque enough to block the distracting backgrounds. What you see here are some easy examples of dense pattern-like arrangements.

Lighting was generally bad, with painted, well-lit walls, big windows and comparatively cool light on the flowers. Thus in many cases the background was lighter than the flowers, often with warmer colors from incandescent light. I really had to avoid backgrounds at all costs.

But apart from those external factors I had one more fundamental problem: I am not good at photographing flowers. I just don’t do it very often, and as with everything, practice really, really helps.

So, here’s obviously a lot of room for improvement, but hey, there is always a next time, and next time it will be easier 😀

The Song of the Day is “As A Flower Blossoms” from the Pat Metheny Group’s 2007 album “Secret Story”. Hear it on YouTube.

2447 – Where The Wild Roses Grow III

This is the time of the year when the alpine rose, a.k.a “Almrausch” around here, should be in full flower. It only lasts a few days and the exact time depends on height above sea level and of course on the weather.

As you see, this year I was a bit too early, but I may come back next weekend for the sea of pink covering the mountains.

This is at the heart of one of Carinthia’s national parks. About 30 years ago “Nockalmstraße” was built, a fascinating street crossing one of the most beautiful areas in Carinthia. We’ll get back with two more images tomorrow.

The Song of the Day is one more time “Where The Wild Roses Grow“, a brilliant collaboration of Kylie Minogue and Nick Cave, taken from the 1996 album “Murder Ballads”. Hear it on YouTube.

2446 – The Spur Of The Moment

Sometimes I get accused of careless driving. “You always look to the sides for possible pictures”, I keep hearing, but rest assured, nothing could be further from the truth 😀

Let me use this image for an example. I was driving a winding road along a river, and suddenly I knew I had to stop and take a picture. There was something that I had seen, that had fascinated me, but even if my life had depended on it, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you what it was. In fact I had not the slightest idea.

Thus, when I stopped and went the maybe 100 meters back, I was curious myself what I would find.

Being already outside of the car, I made two pictures along the short way, each time completely confident that what I saw was not what had made me stop in the first place. On the other hand, when I saw what became this picture, I immediately knew that this fallen tree drowning in plants had been the reason why I was there.

The point of the story? Doing something like photography for a long time changes your perception and shifts much of the process into the unconscious. You stop taking photographs, you become a photographer.

The Song of the Day is “The Spur Of The Moment” from the 1955 album “The Jazz Experiments of Charlie Mingus”. Hear it on YouTube.

2444 – Sway

Weather conditions have been quite extreme lately. We’ve had unusually cold and wet weather for most of May, but what a difference was it last week!

Heat records were broken, that had held since the beginning of scientific meteorology – and I deeply enjoyed it!

For only the second time this year I went swimming, and these images were taken on my somewhat circuitous way to the lake.

The Song of the Day is “Sway” from Vanessa Carlton’s 2002 album “Be Not Nobody”. Hear it on YouTube.

2443 – Keep On Growing

This car is for sale, obviously it has been so for a while, and I suppose it will be so for quite a while longer 🙂

I’ve seen this car near the place where I work and live now. Most of my co-workers seem to hate the neighborhood, partly because they have much longer commutes now, partly for the factual and undeniable lack of conventional aesthetic values. While I also had doubts about its value as a photo hunting ground, I see now, that I need not worry. It’s not worse, it’s only different. I suppose I’ll get along quite well 🙂

The Song of the Day is “Keep On Growing” from the classic Derek & The Dominos album “Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs”. Hear it on YouTube.