May 082014
 

I took this image using one of my best and most expensive lenses, the Olympus 12-40/2.8, a fully professional lens with rock-solid build, excellent image quality, weather sealing and – a much too short focal length.

Nevertheless, I took the image before changing to my cheapest lens, the perfectly appropriate Olympus 40-150/4.0-5.6, the one with the plastic mount. Needless to say that after I had changed lenses, the rooster decided to step down from the pig and the opportunity was gone. In the end I had to settle with a healthy crop 🙂

The Song of the Day is “Piggy Pig Pig” by Procol Harum. Hear it on YouTube.

Feb 102013
 

Here’s one image of a lone magpie resting on a tree across the street. Thursday morning it sat there long enough for me to take several images.

No images were taken on Saturday though. I was busy buying a new washing machine, installing it and getting rid of the defective old one 🙂

The Song of the Day is not exactly a song at all. It’s the overture to Gioachino Rossini’s opera “La Gazza Ladra”, famously used by Stanley Kubrick in “A Clockwork Orange”. If violence disturbs you, I suggest you’d better avoid the two scenes from the movie where it was used so brilliantly.

Apr 202012
 

This is Keith. Keith is happy. Keith, say hi to your fans 🙂

Well, the image of Keith was taken with the E-P2 and the Olympus 40-150 lens. Of course this image is from the same series as “2010 – He Shall Feed His Flock“.

Btw, I’m happy as well. Today I got my Olympus OM-D E-M5, and although I made only a few images so far, I can already say that this is the best camera that I ever had. See for instance the two images below:

On the left side you see the JPEG that came out of the camera. On the right side, with the white border, you see what I made of the RAW file using Corel AfterShot Pro, Topaz Denoise 2 and Photoshop CS3.

Of the few images I have chosen this one, because although it is base ISO 200, the dynamic range of this scene is brutal. Click on the images, both open to full size. Look at the dark ceiling. It was almost black and I have opened it up considerably. There is definitely some noise, but it is very well controlled. At the same time I could bring a little more contrast into the highlights. There is plenty of headroom on both sides.

Of course this would not have been possible with the Panasonic LX5 and the Olympus PEN E-P2, but in fact my Nikon D300 would have been much worse as well. Really, in terms of dynamic range (and also of high ISO noise as I’ve already seen) the OM-D bests the D300, just as I had hoped for.

In case you wonder, I have tried the RAW converter of Olympus Viewer 2, the software that came with the camera. Forget it! It is so painfully slow, I can’t use that program in my regular workflow. In a discussion on dpreview.com I found out that although Adobe does not yet support the OM-D, Corel AfterShot Pro does. You may not know it by that name, Corel only recently acquired it. The program was formerly known as Bibble Pro 5, thus it is no newcomer at all. It’s also reasonably fast and it may currently be your best choice if you need a RAW converter for the OM-D. At 80$ or 90€ it is not even expensive, and usability is fine as well.

As soon as Adobe’s DNG converter supports the OM-D, I will switch back to that again, but for now I can at least work.

Of course I have not tried everything yet, but as far as I can tell now, the OM-D is a perfect upgrade from the D300. As a consequence, not only the E-P2 will go, the D300 and most of its DX lenses will go as well.

The Song of the Day is “Happy” from the 1972 Rolling Stones album “Exile On Main Street”. Lead vocals by Keith Richards. See a live video on YouTube.

Apr 192012
 

We wanted to go to the circus today, but as it is already the third week, there were not enough people and the show was canceled.

I got to see some animals though. Somehow I love it how their humps rhyme with the tents 🙂

The Song of the Day could have been “Wild Billy’s Circus Story”, but we already had that, and so we go two centuries back in time. William Christie’s “Messiah” is and has always been one of my most favorite recordings of Handel’s oratorio. Hear Andreas Scholl and Barbara Schlick on YouTube.

Aug 102008
 

This post was meant to be about fences, about looking down from a hill, about quiet summer mornings and such things. Of the two fence images that I shot Saturday morning, it was clear that I would take the vertical. The images were uploaded to SmugMug, and the only thing amiss was a title. Don’t you feel that, due to the strong compression at 300mm, both images look like gentle, rolling waves? I contemplated “Waves” by the Hooverphonic as title, but neither could I find a video on YouTube, nor was the text exactly fitting. These images certainly don’t evoke the feeling of sea waves in the night.

OK, I thought, let’s look for “Morning” as a keyword. “New Morning” by Nick Cave? Wow, a song like a religious epiphany, an explosion of pathos, … “The sky was a kingdom / All covered in blood” … I couldn’t. I have to save this song for the most impressive sunrise that I’ll ever encounter.

“Fool On The Hill”? Probably, but whose version? I was ready to go with Aretha Franklin, but still, it didn’t seem to fit. Maybe something different? Something like “Air” by The Incredible String Band? No way, already used for “128 – Rural Quietude“. Still, this would have been the mood.

“Don’t Fence Me In”? The David Byrne version? I must have used that, have I? No, I have not and there is even a video. Hmm … Holly Cole would be even better, but as usual with her songs, no video, not even a sound sample on Amazon. Damn.

Having nothing really compelling, I went back to Aretha’s “Fool On The Hill” (or probably really the original by The Beatles?), and just as I wrote the caption on SmugMug, I recognized the number!

Oh my, I could have saved a lot of time. Thankfully I had a fitting image, shot yesterday as well.

The Song of the Day is “Ride My Llama” from Neil Young’s 1979 masterpiece “Rust Never Sleeps“. Hear it on YouTube.