Oct 272013

Here’s a sycamore tree in front of beautiful fall foliage. The image is sharp enough while not just as sharp as this lens would have been capable of.

But really: an effective focal length of 150 mm and 1/20s, for that it’s quite OK. Just imagine it had been some camera’s kit lens 🙂

The Song of the Day is “Fall Foliage” from the 2010 Soap&Skin album “Lovetune For Vacuum”. Hear it on YouTube.

2507 – Warm And Beautiful

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Aug 282013

Summer. Steps leading into the water, painted brightly yellow. They are worn, with blue paint coming through the cracks. Metal, but warm and beautiful.

The Song of the Day is “Warm And Beautiful” from the album “Wings At The Speed Of Sound”. Hear it on YouTube.

2410 – Precious Things II

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75 mm f/1.8  Comments Off on 2410 – Precious Things II
May 262013

It’s Sunday, I’m on the train to Vienna and here is an image for Thursday. Again this is an image that needed some post-processing to bring out the reds and the blues.

The Song of the Day is “Precious Things” from Tori Amos’ 1992 debut “Little Earthquakes”. I’ve had it more than half of this blog’s life ago in “1127 – Precious Things” for some over-saturated architecture, here it is again for nature’s beauty. Hear it on YouTube.

2406 – They’re Red Hot III

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May 222013

Let me try the same title one more time, may I? This is for Sunday, totally different subject, but I guess the title works as well 🙂

By the way, this is an excellent example of an image that needs post-processing, and it is also an excellent example of how good Lightroom is at preserving highlight detail, or in this image rather detail in the extreme reds.

Again the Song of the Day is “They’re Red Hot“, but this time I can recommend Eric Clapton on his 2003 album “Me And Mr. Johnson”. Hear it on YouTube.

Sep 112011

We had a wonderful, hot summer day here in Carinthia, and I spent most of it in shops, talking to our carpenter, planning our kitchen, in short, with unpleasant things. Only late in the afternoon I went swimming … and then it was good.

Although in the end I am quite satisfied with the day and our results, there was no room for photography. The Image of the Day was made Wednesday morning in Burgenland. The lake, Neusiedlersee is big and shallow, a paradise for birds, and although you can swim in the water and there is absolutely no pollution, it is rather muddy and reddish brown.

The Song of the Day is “Muddy Water” from Eddi Reader’s 2007 album “Peacetime”. See a wonderful live version on YouTube.

Sep 092011

Do you believe in God? I don’t, you may, but in any case we go through kind of a religious renaissance. People seem to lose their faith in science, politics and in general in progress, and instead they flock back to the elder Gods.

Well, you know, for all I know, they could be right. Really!

God might really exist and he might really be a man with a beard. Probably even a rabbi. Or he may be more spiritual and wear a turban. Or have a blue face. He may really hate homosexuals and communists. He may really care about how often we have sex and with whom. He may really be willing to fix every problem that we create on this planet.

But then, maybe not. I mean, if I told you that it’s safe to give me all your money, I would take care of it, double the amount within only five years, you probably wouldn’t trust me. You’d want a proof. You wouldn’t base such a decision on faith, would you?

If I told you I have a backpack that can make you fly, and if I asked you to try it by jumping down an abyss, you wouldn’t believe me, but even if, you wouldn’t do it without a proof.

In both cases you would ask for some kind of scientific proof, but probably you wouldn’t even rely on that, you would want to see with your own eyes, talk to someone who did it, had success, survived.

Not so with religion. Nobody has ever come back from death to tell us how it was. Those who believe simply believe that there is something after death, that they were created by a God and that they’ll meet that God (or a different God) after death, and that things will be somehow better after death.

That’s all fine and they may be right, although they can’t be right all of them, but let’s say some could be right, with all the others probably going to some kind of hell (or not). They could be right and I could be wrong and I would go to hell. I guess I take that risk.

The point is, it’s really OK what they believe. What’s not OK, is that they think their weird belief in an intolerant, cruel, hateful God entitles them to force their believes down other people’s throats. What’s not OK, is that they think they can force their so-called God-given laws on me and you and everyone, yes even if their victims are believers themselves, albeit in another God.

C’mon, believe whatever you want, but please be kind and leave me alone. Thank you 🙂

Still, you know, as much as I am agnostic and sometimes even atheistic, I do recognize how strong religion can be and how much art has its origins in religious feelings. That’s wonderful and I am thankful for all the beauty that religious people have created. Thank you for that as well. Really 🙂

The Song of the Day is “God’s Gonna Cut You Down” from Johnny Cash’s 2009 album “American V – A Hundred Highways”. What an incredibly powerful song! Hear it on YouTube.

Sep 072011

I’m on a workshop in Rust, a picturesque small town at the shores of Neusiedlersee, a big shallow lake in the Austrian province of Burgenland, right on the border to Hungary. This is the morning view from my room. Lots of birds and pretty impressive if you ask me 🙂

The Song of the Day is “Birdland” from Patti Smith’s 1975 debut album “Horses”. Hear it on YouTube.

Sep 172009

A big, fat rain cloud squats over Italy, Slovenia and Austria. All of Austria? No, today there was a spot in Austria’s utter east, Burgenland, where the sun still shone, and that’s where we sought shelter from the storm. It’s a bit crazy and completely irresponsible from an ecological point of view, but it sure felt good to sit in the car and drive 2.5 hours for a little sunshine.

We went to Güssing in the south of Burgenland. It’s a small town best known for its mineral water, featuring a castle atop of a hill and a Franciscan monastery. This image has been taken in the Franciscan church.

The Song of the Day is “Shelter From The Storm“, originally from the 1974 Bob Dylan classic “Blood on the Tracks”, unequivocally acclaimed as one of his best albums, and a live version is also available on the 1976 release “Hard Rain”.

YouTube has the album version and a 1976 live video. Well, I’m a fan, I love both, but when you press me hard, I’ll take the live version.

Aug 152007

Austria is a catholic land and today we had a public holiday. I used it for a trip to Burgenland, where in the quarry of Sankt Margarethen, one of the biggest and oldest in Europe, every summer an opera festival takes place. This year they show Verdi’s “Nabucco“, yesterday evening I saw it, and I was utterly impressed. It’s a fantastic production and more than worth seeing.

But that’s not the only thing to see in Sankt Margarethen. The quarry is used by sculptors and their works are liberally scattered all over the place. This is one of those sculptures on a hill a little east of the quarry and overlooking Burgenland’s big lake Neusiedler See.

Nick Cave has given us four Songs of the Day so far, and today we have another one: “Rock Of Gibraltar“, a love song with a twist, from his 2003 album “Nocturama“.