3513 – So Far Nothing

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO  Comments Off on 3513 – So Far Nothing
Jun 012016
 

Rotten Flesh? Harsh words. I may have to explain.

We had roughly 50% of votes for Norbert Hofer. That are about 2.2 million people. Those are not the neo-Nazis I mean. The vast majority of them are also not idiots.

Those are the people unsatisfied with the political system and its pseudo-choices that always boil down to the same politics and to the same sorry results. Those are people in fear for their jobs and of their economic future. Those are people in fear of the competition of immigrants. Those are people who clamor for real change. Unfortunately they also want simple solutions where none exist. That makes them susceptible to the liers, the vendors of snake oil, the populists.

Did the Freedom Party appeal? No, of course not. They had no case and they knew it.

Did they apologize for planting rumors? No, of course not.

Did they at least stop the rumors? No, of course not.

And here we are again: Rotten Flesh!

3468 – Fog Rising

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 25mm f/1.8  Comments Off on 3468 – Fog Rising
Apr 172016
 

This does not look exactly like a December landscape, but still, with the rising fog it looked interesting enough. The harsh contrast would have been a bit of a challenge only a few years ago, but even the “lowly” Micro Four Thirds sensors of today handle this with grace.

3459 – Nothing Anymore

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm f/2.8 Macro  Comments Off on 3459 – Nothing Anymore
Apr 082016
 

I already ordered the Mitakon Speedmaster 25/0.95 in September, but it took until end of November to finally arrive. When it did, I got it two days after my second copy of the 60/2.8. It’s small wonder that the spectacular f0.95 lens got all my attention.

Nevertheless, I keep using the unspectacular macro lens from time to time, and the longer I do so, the more I love it. I sold it once, but I’ll never do that again 🙂

Feb 082014
 

I had almost given up on the concept of matching the title of my Image of the Day with a Song of the Day from my collection. It had started to get repetitive long ago. Yes, I have a lot of music. More than 3000 CDs and maybe around 500 albums bought as digital downloads, between 40,000 and 50,000 tracks. One would assume this should suffice for a blog like mine, but then: not all good song titles make for good image titles, and apart from that, of some songs I have countless versions. Jazz standards come to mind.

Now on Spotify, with an almost limitless library, it is much easier. In this case I searched for “winter fields”, and what I got was “Winter Fields” by Bat For Lashes on her 2012 album “The Haunted Man”.

Did I know her? Hell, no. I can’t know everything! Do I like it? Yup, I do! Would I have ever heard it were it not for my Song of the Day-ritual? Definitely not. Do I feel smug? You bet 😀

Hear the Song on YouTube.

Jan 262014
 

I’m hearing Holly Golightly right now. While looking up the lyrics of the Song of the Day, I found that there is also an interpretation by Holly. This dragged me over to Amazon and made me put two of her CDs into my shopping cart. One other CD already waited there for enough company to get free shipping. You know, that’s one of the exceptions when I buy plastic: the CDs plus MP3s cost about the same as the MP3s alone.

I still haven’t submitted the order though.

I recently got myself a Spotify account. Going to Spotify I found that I can have the same music for free. Well, Spotify plays ads in between, but when I want to get rid of the ads, I can just shell out 10€ per month and that’s that. I even get offline playback and a higher quality as well. Why should I submit the order to Amazon? Really?

Well, from a financial point of view I simply can’t rectify shopping for music. Streaming via Spotify (and I really mean the non-free version) or Google Play (or whatever runs on your devices and in your country) is much cheaper.

I’ve already bought music for 31€ this month, hitting submit on my order will bring me to 60€ just for January. When I consider how much music I hear, this is insane. The amount for January would buy me a practically infinite amount of music for the next six months.

Should I submit the order anyway? Would you? Is there a benefit to owning music? What does it mean to you to own music?

Both images of today were taken in Friuli, Italy. The second image is not a stitched panorama, but just a strongly cropped single exposure. With a size of 4696 x 1457 it’s still larger than the biggest monitor you can buy 🙂

The Song of the Day is “Getting Mighty Crowded” from Elvis Costello’s 1980 collection of mostly B-sides “Taking Liberties”. Hear it on YouTube.

2585 – First Snow

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45 mm f/1.8  Comments Off on 2585 – First Snow
Nov 142013
 

Ok, here’s one more I have to share. Same place behind our house, behind the fence with the shovel. I like it how strong colors are still pushing through, at least until next time 🙂

Like always at this time of the year, the Song of the Day is “First Snow In Kokomo” from Aretha Franklin’s 1972 landmark album “Young, Gifted And Black”. Hear it on YouTube.

Aug 052013
 

As I said, I used to buy lots and lots of lenses for my Nikon system, and while I still like buying lenses for Micro Four Thirds, my approach is different now. I began to sell.

I have owned four Panasonic lenses, the 14/2.5, the 20/1.7. the 25/1.4 and the super-big, super-heavy (for Micro Four Thirds standards) 7-14. The 7-14 is obviously wider than the 9-18, but apart from its physical characteristics, it had a big, big problem: on the OM-D it ghosts and flares like mad. It’s not just the usual kind of lens flares, it’s lots of purple flares whenever a light source is in the frame.

It does that not only with the sun in the frame, lots of good lenses do that, even the fabulous Sigma 8-16 on my Nikon did it, no, you see those ugly internal reflections even with artificial lights in the frame. Strong street lights can cause it, lights in the Underground, head lights of cars, and that all builds up to a big problem, at least for someone like me, who absolutely loves shooting into the light.

My first image with the new lens was taken at the shop, at 9 mm, wide open, and looking out through the window onto a brightly sunlit street. That’s as bad as it can get in terms of purple fringing, but although there is some of it in extreme situations, it’s well controlled and no problem to get rid of in Lightroom. That’s much better than the two cheap Panasonic lenses, about on par with the Panaleica and the 7-14. Of course lateral CA is also there, but it’s well corrected in in-camera JPEGs, and – as always – Lightroom does an excellent job removing it when developing from RAW.

The images in this post have all been processed, but I have not cloned out any flares. Although the images have the sun in or slightly out of the frame, there is only minimal ghosting. In that respect the 9-18 is not only infinitely better than the Panasonic 7-14, it’s better or at least as good than the Sigma 8-16 or any of the wide-angle lenses that I’ve ever owned.

The near focus distance is 25 cm, that’s the same as the Panasonic’s and one centimeter more than the Sigma. Actually the Sigma on a Nikon adapter would have been the wider lens and the one to focus closer, and while I still had the Sigma, for a short time I had even considered keeping it. Of course it is twice as big and with the adapter it’s four times as heavy as the Oly 🙂

In terms of size and weight the Panasonic was considerably better than the Sigma, and now the Olympus is much better again.

Well, here we are. My new lens is not as wide as some that I had in the past, its optical quality is not as high either, but in terms of usability it is exactly what I always wanted. I finally can carry an ultra-wide at all times, just in case I need it, and the weight does not break my back. You’ll see a lot of pictures made with this lens in the following days.

The Song of the Day is “Compared To What” from Roberta Flack’s 1969 album “First Take”. Hear it on YouTube.

Jul 042013
 

This is the field right over our fence. When I brought down the garbage, I recognized that the shadow of the electric post looked like a big letter “A”.

Hmm … now when I think of it, who in his right mind would take a camera when bringing down the garbage? 😀

Anyway. The Song of the Day is “One Sweet Letter From You” by Lionel Hampton and his Band. Hear it on YouTube.