Sep 122008
 



Yesterday I was swimming, and most probably it was for the last time this year, at least in Vienna. The bath closes on Sunday, and weather is forecast to omit fall this year anyway. We’ll see.

The Image of the Day was shot using the trusty old Sigma 30/1.4. This lens really can’t be said to have a nice bokeh when stopped down (much to the contrary, wide open naturally it has), but on the other hand, at f8 it produces very nice sun stars :)

The other image is one of some smearing, I won’t even call it graffiti, on a house wall that may have seen better times. Still, looks good to me.

The Song of the Day is “Summer’s Almost Gone” from the 1968 Doors album “Waiting for the Sun“. We already had it a year ago for “344 – Summer’s Almost Gone“. Hear it on YouTube.

Aug 312008
 



Hmm … Sunday and I’m still posting Thursday’s images? Oh well.

This is a bicycle I found in the morning, and it is a good example for what I like in bicycle images: simple, elegant geometry, and that in nice lively colors and with a perfect posture. Of course the isolation that you get with 300 mm and f5.6 really does help :)

The Image of the Day is from Thursday evening. I left the bath when they closed, and while going to the Underground, I looked back over the water (remember, the bath, Gänsehäufel, is an island in the river), just to see the sun spill its last splendor. I love summer.

The Song of the Day is Sidney Bechet’s “When The Sun Sets Down South”, and there are no lyrics, even when most lyrics sites promise to provide them soon, or regret that “the artist chose to not disclose” them :)

I have it on disc 21 of “The Ultimate Jazz Archive“, and searching on Amazon, I found it only as MP3 download. Strangely, the album does not seem to be available on CD.

Aug 222008
 



It’s Friday morning now, I’m almost off to work, so let’s keep this short.

Yesterday I was swimming, and this is an image from Vienna’s biggest public bath, “Gänsehäufl“, an island in the back waters of river Danube.

The Song of the Day is “Sit Down” from the 1990 James album “Gold Mother“. See this fantastic version on YouTube, live in Manchester, or this one, Manchester as well. That’s what I call a concert :)

Jul 292008
 



Let’s get colorful today, will we? These are the images of Monday. I left work early enough to go swimming.

The red alarm device is in the Underground. Sometimes I am a junkie for vivid colors. Give me a screaming red and my heart beats faster :)

The next image, the chair, is already in “Gänsehäufl“, the biggest bath in Vienna, actually an island in the back waters of river Danube. Over time I acquire a nice collection of these images, because the chairs fascinate me every time I see them. For once, they are old. Very old. For twice, they are colorful and I see them always against a creamy white background. Finally: they are simple. Expect to see more of them.

The last image is the sundown over another back water, with some modern architecture. The image out of the camera was completely silhouetted. It’s amazing what you can get out of a RAW file. These are two variants from RAW, a contrast mask and a saturation layer in “Soft Light” mode, basically the same technique that I applied to the Image of the Day.

The Image of the Day is from early in the morning. I was waiting for the tramway train and fooling around a bit with shallow depth of field. The post of a traffic sign, the only thing that could remotely be used as a sharp foreground, came out extremely dark, color was bluish and far off, and indeed I didn’t even think about actually using this image. Only when I began to play with it in Photoshop did I see the potential.

The Song of the Day is “Don’t Wait Too Long” from Madeleine Peyroux’s 2004 album “Careless Love“. Very nice. Here is the video.

Mar 222008
 



There are days of need and days of plenty. Thursday was a day of plenty, and that’s one reason why it took me so long to come up with this entry.

In the morning it began completely innocent, with a little sunshine, too cold for the season but friendly. I tried to get on with my series of images with de-focused foregrounds of color. After Wednesday’s pink and green I wanted to tackle blue, a much bigger challenge. I had already tried it the last two days, had tried cars and traffic signs, but whenever there was something blue, the background did not work. That’s not always a problem in photography, but with these shots it is: after all, you have to focus on the background.

This magnolia tree is very near to where I work. It stands in front of a baroque palace, and I have made these two shots from the other side of the street, the front lens more or less inside some flowers. It’s the same tree, and if you look very carefully, you can see that I have removed a branch from the yellow image, that I have left in in the blue. In the blue image it works, because the movement is mostly horizontal, but in the yellow image with the strong diagonal composition it was out of place.

Fast forward in time. I left work at 4pm, and that’s how Vienna looked like. Sort of a backlash. I’m afraid there will be more of that the next days. In fact, the very moment that I write this, Saturday noon, it has just stopped snowing.

The next image again reminds me of those environments that you see in sci-fi computer games, the techno-industrial environments that you run around and where you frag your enemies.

This is the same escalator that we had in “475 – Up with People“, but this time I ran to be first, in order to get it devoid of people. There is nothing wrong with people, but in this case, using the Nikon 18-200 VR at 18mm, I wanted the neutrality that allows me to think of this place as a sci-fi environment.

What can you do on a winter day in early spring? What about swimming? Actually that’s what I did, and this time I took a borrowed Fuji FinePix F11 with me, along with an underwater bag. The F11 is a six megapixel camera with Fuji’s SuperCCD sensor, and it makes quite good images, obviously copes well with strong contrasts, has moderate noise levels at ISO 200 and delivers usable results up to ISO 800.

I took about 80 images while fogs rose from the warm water, snowflakes drifted, and for a short moment it looked like the sun would brake through the clouds.

In the end it decided to stay veiled, and shortly after these images were taken, snowfall returned with might. Well, there are worse things than to float in the warm water and let the snow fall on your face :)

The Song of the Day is “For You Blue” from “Let It Be“, the last album published by the Beatles. See a video from the movie on YouTube.