Sep 272015
 

Imagine for a moment living a normal life in some medium-sized country. You are not rich, certainly not by first world standards, but you get along. Your dictator does not bother you, your kids go to school, your mother gets her insulin, war has been over for ten years, things seem to get better or at least not worse. It’s the only life you have and you have decided it’s good.

Then something strange happens. Some idiots fly planes into skyscrapers, somewhere in a city that you only know from TV. It has no connection to you or to anybody you know, even your dictator did not do it or support it, but for some insane reasons you get punished for it. Your country gets bombed, your dictator killed (good riddance at least), your country gets occupied, insulin (just like other medication) gets incredibly expensive. Your mother dies, your two surviving kids have no school any more and you hunger.

Would you feel justly treated? Or would you probably applaud an uprising, led by people from your own culture and religion, people who promise to throw out the occupants and their puppet regime?

Or, say you live in a country that for some years has experienced the worst drought in recorded history. For the last 42 years your country has been formally at war with a neighboring country, but at your age of 35 years you can’t remember anything but peace. Your dictator does not bother you, and although you are not rich, your country’s economy is rising.

Then one big super-power, a long-standing ally of that neighboring country, decides to bully every other country on this planet into grave economic sanctions against you. Additionally they support rebels against your government, incite a war in your country, all with the aim of forcing you to overthrow your own government.

Due to the sanctions your economy breaks down, your factories have to close because of a lack of raw materials and spare parts. The health system goes down the drain, hunger and poverty plague millions of internal refugees.

Who would you think is right? The super-power with its politics that you don’t understand, acting like an alien god without mercy? Your own government, increasingly brutal and desperate, trying to stay in power? Or maybe a new “State” that arises from the turmoil and seems to be surprisingly successful?

You can call this post “Support of a terrorist organization”, but it is not. It’s a challenge to think outside of your convenient place in a safe country and show a little empathy. How does it feel?

Jul 042014
 

Our day at Isola Bella was exceptionally beautiful and I made more images than I’d care to trow into a single post.

Let me wrap it up with a selection of a few leftovers that I wouldn’t like to omit.

We begin with some pavement in front of the main entrance to the palace on Isola Bella. It is made of small black and white pebbles, polished smooth by the tread of countless feet. It’s a beautiful visual indication of age.

When we got back to Stresa (the place with Hemingway’s hotel, remember?), we decided to buy some souvenirs, and while we went through the less luxurious parts of town, I saw a garage and a pillar with a colorful, blue pattern of stripes, lit by gorgeous afternoon light.

And then there is an image that I took on the ferry to or from the island. Just a triangle of metal, painted blue, and then the water of the lake. If the image looks posterized on your monitor, start worrying, because it’s your monitor, not the image. It looked good at home and now on my laptop it looks horrible indeed 🙂

None of these images became Image of the Day. The one that did somehow was my favorite. It’s a fancy piece of fence at the pier where the ferry departs to the island. In my mind it is tied to a relaxed sense of expectation, to the certainty of beautiful things ahead. You see, my choice is personal 🙂

You know the Song of the Day.

Aug 192013
 

Well, I could post some more flowers, but I guess we’ll go for variety, shall we? Here’s a red valve from a ferry in Croatia. It’s always nice to cross the sea, at least as long as the weather is fair 🙂

The Song of the Day is “Sea Breezes” from the 1972 self-titled Roxy Music debut album. Hear it on YouTube.

1067 – Ride Across The River

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Sep 152009
 

Forget about post-processing. Yes, I did some things and it’s been more or less random. I followed impulses, and as on another day the impulses would be different, so would be post-processing.

No, it’s not the procesing, it’s the crop. This is what took time, what made me try and go back, back and forth, many times, but now I am satisfied. I really like the balance in this image, and – interestingly enough – it’s a kind of hobsonesque balance that I originally set out to achieve with today’s image, and that I now enforced in this image of last Monday, our first full day in Poland, the day we went to Auschwitz. Obviously taking photographs and processing photographs are two very similar creative processes for me, cropping being very similar to the original process of composing through the viewfinder.

Why I post a past image instead of what I photographed yesterday? Easy to answer: I only made one image, a personal portrait snapshot. We had rain all day and that very fact sucked the creativity out of me 🙂

The Song of the Day is “Ride Across The River” from the 1985 (oh my, so long ago!) Dire Straits album “Brothers in Arms”. This is the very album that made the then new Compact Disc popular. Hear it on YouTube.