3592 – Electric Ladyland XXI

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Aug 192016
 

It’s funny. I initially gave this image the quite matching title “Tangled Up in Blue”, but then I decided to post another image in my “Electric Ladyland” series instead. It had been quite a while and I had to search my own blog to find out what was the last post. Turns out it was “3040 – Electric Ladyland XX“, and it has the exactly same subject 🙂

Aug 182016
 

I see, I see: this was “Cheap Week” 🙂

The Image of the Day was made with another cheap and light lens, the collapsible pancake lens Panasonic Lumix G Vario 12-32mm 3.5-5.6 ASPH. You have to admit, this is pretty much of a name for such a small and light piece of almost nothing 😀

I rarely use it nowadays, but really, it is a lens good enough for a trip to sunny places. I certainly could have used it in Lisbon for most of the images made with the much more expensive, much bigger and much heavier 12-40/2.8 PRO. The collapsing mechanism is something that I need to get used to, but after an hour it feels natural enough.

This small zoom, the plastic 40-150, and probably the Olympus 9-18 if I need it real wide, that’s probably as light as it gets. Occasionally I may have to raise ISO to 1600 or even 3200, but then I can always process with DxO. Oh yes, and: you won’t shoot action with that combo. The cheap 40-150 focuses abysmally slow. For my kind of images it doesn’t matter though. My subjects rarely move.

Feb 252016
 

People in the various parts of former Yugoslavia may have different opinions about that, but I never understood why the country exploded in such a burst of violence. Of course I saw documentaries on it and of course I read all about it in newspapers at that time, but still I wonder what exactly has turned to the better.

Slovenia has recovered very early. There was almost no war in this northernmost former province, and obviously the Serbs were not interested in holding them in the federation. Slovenia had no Serbian population and no historic ties to Serbia. After all it had just been a part of Austria for much of its history.

Serbia and Croatia were the big opponents. They share a language, but historically they had belonged to different spheres of influence for more than a thousand years.

The Serbs have first been vasalls of the Eastern Roman Empire, and when Constantinople fell, they were swallowed up by the Ottoman Turkish Empire. The first five hundred years gave them their Orthodox religion, the next five hundred left them with a strong desire for independence and self-determination, paired with a fair amount of paranoia and a glorification of their fallen heroes of the past.

Croatia on the other hand had been a part of Catholic Hungary, a state in union with Austria.

Together they had been joined in the comparatively short-lived Yugoslavian state. Still, that time had been long enough to mingle populations. In the end, after a bloody war, Serbia lost its access to the sea, the very mixed Bosnia is hardly more than a protectorate instead of a functioning state, and Croatia has recovered, mostly due to the beauty of its coastline and the resulting tourism.

Today both Slovenia and Croatia are members of the European Union, but there are still disputes about Slovenia’s access to the sea. The problem is, that Slovenia’s short coast is within a small gulf and that its connection to the sea is so narrow, that it leads through Croatian and Italian waters. I’m not even sure what the whole dispute really is about. Most likely it is about fishing rights.

In any case I find it unfortunate that Yugoslavia broke up at all. If it had not, if it had just made a transition from communism to moderate capitalism, for instance like Slovenia did, everybody would have been better off and a huge number of lives would have been spared.

Today’s pictures were taken in the small, picturesque town of Piran, one of the most beautiful places on Slovenia’s coast. I used the Panasonic 12-32, an extremely light and small collapsible lens that rarely sees the light any more.

3065 – Little Drops Of Poison

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Mar 102015
 

A few days ago I had a short “zoom phase” and this image has also been taken with the tiny Panasonic 12-35. It’s actually a pretty fine lens and although f3.5 at the wide end is rather slow, the E-M1 and its stabilization can even handle low light images such as this one. Handheld on a rainy night at ISO 1600 and 1/5s.

The Song of the Day is Tom Waits’ “Little Drop Of Poison” in Rebekka Bakken’s rather interesting rendition. Hear at least part of it on YouTube.

3063 – Closed Doors

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Mar 082015
 

Rosenbach may once have been a mining village and it was also the last railway station in Austria when your train went south to Yugoslavia.

Today there is no Yugoslavia any more. The state on the other side of the mountain range is called Slovenia, and like Austria it is part of the EU.

Everything has changed for Rosenbach. Mining has long ceased to be profitable and people traveling to Slovenia go by car now, taking the new highway tunnel. Rosenbach has lost any importance – and it shows, for instance here at the railway station.

The Song of the Day is “Closed Doors” by Mellow Mood. Hear it on YouTube.

3061 – Rusty Scars

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Mar 062015
 

These two images show parts of some dismantled machine near a power plant at river Drau. I have no idea what it is, but the parts are big, they go way over my head, and they are heavy.

The second image shows more of the context and its color temperature is more accurate, while the Image of the Day was kept deliberately abstract.

The Song of the Day is “Rusty Scars” by Summer Heart. 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 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 500px.com and ipernity.com.

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.