Tag Archives: Ceiling

3615 – Pills

I’ve found this ceiling in a modern church in Vienna. I suppose I pushed the colors a little more than necessary, but actually I like the plasticity of the result. Ymmv.

Btw, today is the 15th anniversary of the event that formally turned western democracies into fundamentally authoritarian systems.

Not that secret services world-wide wouldn’t have interpreted the laws in “creative” ways before, but this was the point when we handed the world officially over to unelected, unaccountable, secret organizations with secret plans and methods. And when we did find out about them, well, it was all lies, propaganda, power games, torture and war crimes.

1984 I was convinced that the book was outdated and essentially only valid in dictatorships and in the Soviet Empire. When I first saw Terry Gilliam’s “Brazil”, I recognized many things, but although I adore the film, I found it factually exaggerated. “Minority Report” was fascinating, but built around such a fundamentally stupid idea, that I didn’t see anything like that coming.

I was wrong in all accounts. We’re well past 1984 when it comes to surveillance, the idea in “Minority Report” is pursued by police forces world-wide, and as far as “Brazil” goes, more and more I feel like being right in the middle of it.

Wouldn’t it be a cool idea to stand up, step back and recognize again that we are “The People”? All that has happened has happened because of choices. Choices have been made by people who were not entitled to make choices that could (and did) destroy the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. But leaving those choices to those people, that’s also a choice.

You can always choose Norbert Hofer in Austria, Marine Le Pen in France or Donald Trump in the US. They won’t disappoint you in one respect: choosing them will change a lot. Only not for the better.

Choosing the authoritarians means choosing choices to be taken away from you. That’s the very nature of authoritarianism: Someone decides all the things and it’s not you!

3509 – Two White Geese

While I used the Nikon D300, I had an 85/1.4 AI-S and an 85/1.8. In terms of size and weight, the 85/1.4 was a monster. I’ve later tried to use it with the Olympus E-P2 and an adapter, but I soon lost interest. The adapter added to the length, and the whole thing was pretty unbalanced.

The 85/1.8 was much smaller and lighter, but wide open it suffered from purple fringing. It was an old design, clearly not made for digital cameras.

Why do I mention that? The reason is, that in terms of equivalent focal length at 35mm they are more or less the same. It’s the classic portrait lens.

Of course the Olympus 45/1.8 can’t match the mighty Nikon 85/1.4 in bokeh wide open. In fact it can’t even match the Nikon 85/1.8. It does not matter though. If I want something close to that, I just use the much bigger and heavier Olympus 75/1.8. In terms of bokeh it’s wonderful, in terms of shallow DOF it’s close but not there. It is still smaller than the 85/1.4 AI-S that I had and it weighs 300g. That’s half of the Nikon. Of course both Olympus lenses focus extremely fast, none will ever show front- or backfocus. That’s one of the big advantages of mirrorless cameras: focus is always accurate and you don’t ever need focus adjustment settings.

But really, most of the time I am not interested in shallow DOF at all. I can have it if I want to, but if not, I enjoy a trio of featherweights, for instance 12/2.0, 25/1.8 and 45/1.8. That’s one main reason why I always come back to this small, sharp and precise lens.

3506 – DOOM?

I’ve never been a big fan of the original DOOM. In 2004 I bought DOOM3, played it for a while, and I still think it had a great mix of at least some story, lots of atmosphere, satisfying speed (I’m talking about the single player campaign) and still quite impressive graphics.

Two weeks ago the new “DOOM” came out. It should have been DOOM4, but was released without a number. Well, if Leica can do it, why not id Software šŸ™‚

I’ve not bought it. I have no system that could adequately run it, but most of all I am not interested. It’s an intense orgy of bloodshed and gore (well, what did you expect, it’s DOOM, you say?), and it progresses on high speed, at least on par with the original from 20 years ago (and that’s bad, you ask?).

Yes, that’s bad šŸ™‚

I’ve seen a few videos (they are aplenty on YouTube) and they looked like a constant stream of mindless jumping and gunning. They didn’t give me the feeling of an interesting or scary exploration, they just looked like maximally stressful work with little variation. Thanks, I already have a job šŸ˜€

2900 – I’m Shooting High

2900. Good.

On the other hand, for the first time in an eternity I saw my Statcounter stats this morning, and it was, well, discouraging. I’ve just confirmed it now on Google Analytics: At the moment, and this moment seems to have lasted for at least a year, my blog draws around 20 to 50 visitors per day. Even over the last year there was a slow decline.

I remember when I did a few Photoshpo tutorials in between and when I was among the first who had a Nikon D300 review online, 250 per day was low traffic. Good posts, that I actively promoted, drew a few thousand visits the first day, and they constantly brought traffic over years.

I don’t do all that any more. I don’t even write daily. What you get these days is canned content, posted on a regular schedule. That of course makes it impossible to write about current news, because how should I know what will be current two weeks ahead?

Anyway, I don’t complain, I am interested, thus a question to those who may still read this: Most of you are bloggers and I suppose you use Google Analytics, Statcounter or something like that, just as I do. Do you see a similar decline? Is this only a result of my lack of effort promoting the blog or go blogs out of fashion? Have they already done so and it’s only I who has not recognized?

Not that it makes much of a difference. I’m stubborn šŸ™‚

The Song of the Day is “I’m Shooting High” by Nat King Cole. Hear it on YouTube.

2874 – Edge of Darkness

When I made this image of a richly painted ceiling in a small church, I did so at 0.3 seconds, f4, ISO 800 and handheld. I literally couldn’t see what I was taking images of. To my naked eye the ceiling was beyond the edge of darkness. Would I buy a camera that could do the same at ISO 100? You bet! Do I need one? Hardly, I guess šŸ˜€

The Song of the Day is “Edge of Darkness” by Eric Clapton. Hear it on YouTube.

2456 – Big Stuff

During the Napoleonic Wars Vienna was occupied by French troops, and at that time the once mighty walls of the city / fortress, the walls that had survived the attack of the Ottoman Empire, they were tore down.

During the next century the modern “RingstraƟe” was built, the inner belt of representative buildings like the Parliament, Burgtheater, the Opera or the University. Two of these buildings were museums, one dedicated to science and nature, the other to the Arts.

These pictures were taken in the Arts museum, Kunsthistorisches Museum, home of one of the most impressive galleries in the world, ranking among Paris’ Louvre, London’s National Gallery or Madrid’s Prado. Contrary to many other museums you’re allowed to take photographs there and I may show one or the other of the famous paintings in another post, but for now here are the dome spanning the lobby and the big central stairs. Big stuff, always a pleasure to photograph.

The Song of the Day is “Big Stuff” by Billie Holiday. Hear it on YouTube.

2192 – Heavens Above

Wednesday. It was beautiful, I took the car and drove around most of the afternoon. Again I was at the shores of Wƶrthersee, Carinthia’s biggest lake, but this time it was not in Velden but in Pƶrtschach.

While I was there I made some images of colorful autumn leaves, and I also went to find out where Pƶrtschach’s center may be.

You know those tourist villages where everything is the same as everywhere else? Well, it is not as bad in Pƶrtschach, there’s some nice turn-of-the-century architecture, a small castle, but there is nothing that looks like a historical center. It’s funny for me having to ask such questions. I’ve been living in Carinthia for almost half a century and I still don’t know the center of a village 30 kilometers from where I was born, but that’s the nature of the world.

You can fly to faraway places, you can think you have seen it all, but in reality you don’t know your own backyard. Transport takes us far away in no time, but it does not make the world even a little bit smaller.

To look for a center means to look for a church, and really, off the main road through Pƶrtschach, on the other side of the railway tracks, I found a square with two churches, a new protestant and a not-so-old catholic. In the end I found nothing like the usual square with church, inn and shop, nothing that looks really old and organic. It seems Pƶrtschach went from a few farm houses to tourist attraction in very short time.

The image of the painted ceiling is from the catholic church. I’ve added the original JPEG from out of the camera. I think the difference is pretty remarkable. All this has been done in Lightroom, no Photoshop was involved.

Perspective correction is not as easy as in Photoshop, but you see, I got it pretty straight. The church has big windows, light came mainly from one side, and as a result I had uneven lighting with different color temperatures. All no problem. You’ll have to wait for the next post to see a need for Photoshop šŸ™‚

The Song of the Day is “Heavens Above” from the widely disdained 1987 Style Council album “The Cost of Loving”. Hear it on YouTube.