I couldn’t go out today, I stayed home, coughing, sleeping and researching ways to unit test ASP.NET controls. Forget it, you don’t want to know 🙂
Here are the images for Saturday. I was out in the snow (not much admittedly) for a few minutes, armed with my new 7-14 mm lens.
The figurine of the frog is only maybe 10 cm high and sitting on a planter used for herbs, but that’s exactly the kind of foreground / background trick you can do with ultra-wide lenses: focus very near on something small in the foreground and the proportions shift completely.
Oh yes, one new lens, one new bag. It was inevitable, and this time there will be enough space: The Tamrac System 3 bag comes with an enormous number of dividers, and using micro-fibre cloth as a separator to stack two small lenses upon another, I can put the camera with one lens into it and up to eight additional lenses. At the moment I am at one camera and seven lenses.
As the bag is big enough, the Olympus 40-150 is back. I have decided not to sell it, because it is a decent lens and a long lens that I can keep with me. The rumored Olympus 40-150/2.8 seemingly won’t come and so far the 35-100/2.8 does not entice me.
What definitely will go into the bag as soon as it becomes available (probably next week) is the Olympus 35/1.8. I guess that’s it, I can’t imagine any other lens that I would need or want.
Maybe for special occasions the Nikon 180/2.8 AI-S, but I wouldn’t carry that around regularly.
The new bag has an excellent shoulder strap, much better than the Hama bag last time, has plenty of additional space for cards, filters, pens, papers and whatever, and it is extremely comfortable.
I could have sworn I’ve never used that title before, but alas, Google revealed it, “235 – Hammer Horror” was the first time. Still, it’s been quite a while since 🙂
This one is from yesterday. Not a good day photographically, but I don’t want to bother you again with my river images, and besides, the best I’ve already posted 😀
The image was taken through the very dirty window of a pawnbroker’s shop. In processing I had not much choice but to go with the grit.
The Song of the Day is “How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live“, performed “Live In Dublin” by Bruce Springsteen and the Sessions Band. Great music, and the video on YouTube, live for the BBC, is not bad either.
Hmm … funny, do you notice how the image matches the colors of the record cover 😕
Gloomy, rainy days in Vienna, what would I do without this pawnshop in Josefstädter Straße?
It’s a place I pass by late on my way to work, and when I am not sure that I have another good candidate, I always have a look into this shop’s window.
This is a composite of two exposures, one at f2.8 and one at f5. Additionally I have accentuated the sharp foreground with a healthy dose of Topaz Detail. Speaking of which, they have recently released Version 1.1 of this plugin. It it is advertised as substantially faster, well, maybe, but it’s still slow. Other than that, they have added a new high-contrast, high-detail, near-monochrome preset. If you own a license, you should have been notified by mail. The upgrade is free.
The Song of the Day is “Bird’s Nest” by Charlie Parker. I have it on my 168 CD collection called “The Ultimate Jazz Archive”. Hear it on YouTube.
Remember that I wrote about unusual cold, about snow falling, and that this was only weeks ago? Well, now it’s different: we have some unusually warm weather 🙂
I remember having read that it is subtropic air being spiraled up from the Mediterranean. It won’t last though. These things never last. Most trees have lost all their leaves by now. This one was particularly interesting. A single leaf on a whole oak tree. It’s probably no good photo, but on the other hand, I really tried to catch a feeling for this time of the year, and in a way that’s something that this image seems to achieve, so maybe it’s not so bad either 🙂
The second image, this little Harlequin, I have found in a small shop. Not the same as that with the car yesterday, in another street, but definitely similar.
This morning was dark and gloomy. That’s when I made the image of the car. It’s in one of my favorite shops, a small pawnshop in Josefstädter Straße.
Almost every morning I walk by, look into the window and see something that I cold photograph. Most of the time I don’t. It’s near work, when I am there, it’s already late, and normally I have several pictures at that time. This is a shop for desperate moments.
Today I took the image anyway. The car reminded me of Ted‘s car miniatures, and somehow I simply had to take it 🙂
After this bad start, the day became pretty beautiful. By noon it was sunny, that lasted a whole short afternoon, and when I finally left work shortly after 6pm, it was pitch black night. Oh well, winter can be fine, but not when you have to work during all the light hours.
For the Image of the Day I did not care much about noise. This is ISO 1400 and one could say I have heavily pushed this image. Noise is still pretty acceptable. Actually I really like what I ended up with.
I read an article about jazz today, about the festival in Saalfelden, Austria, and about how jazz is completely accepted as art. You can’t provoke a scandal with jazz anymore. This made me think. Do we need scandals?
The history of the visual arts is a continuous progress towards ever more perfection, and it reached its high point during Renaissance. There was no way to get more realistic, no way to get more detailed, and from then on, it went the other way: towards abstraction. You see it begin in Titian’s colors, how he mixed red and green, you see it much stronger in Tintoretto, Rubens used a rougher brush with longer strokes, El Greco and the late Goya pointed up to our times, impressionism re-invented color, expressionism warped it, and with Kandinsky and Mondrian that second progression finally came to an end.
There was always a tendency to mix art and scandal, because scandal sells almost as good as sex, but the art of the 20th century was especially characterized by the tendency to shock the viewer and that is very much due to the fact that art had to search for a new orientation. The gesamtkunstwerk was born.
I understand all that and I understand how necessary this was in many cases, but there is also the question of what becomes of a piece of art, when the performance is over, the shock has worn off. Is it still art? Does it keep its value? Can it persist in spite of being isolated from the original context?
This weekend I have got my copy of “The $12 Million Stuffed Shark” by Don Thompson. I have not read it yet and won’t do so during the next weeks, but I guess this book will answer some of my questions, at least from the point of view of economics.
For me the most important point is, that we live in a post-modern world. Of course this is old news, but it is essential to realize, that this gives us enormous freedom. The river has come to an end, there is no more need to swim with or against the current, there is no current any more, we are floating in an endless sea of possibilities. This is scary but liberating.
It is possible to take up pieces from older times, it is possible to combine, it is possible to simply do what you feel you need to do, regardless of trends and fashions. There is nothing to win by trying to swim with a current when there is no current at all. You can as well be you and be happy with it. In an age of ubiquitous and instantaneous communication you may not get rich, but you will find your audience.
The Image of the Day is one more bicycle for the book, and the frogs were hanging outside of a shop. A sad and a happy image, that’s it for today.
Hi everybody. It’s Friday afternoon, I’m on the train from Vienna to Carinthia, and this is the post for Tuesday.
Tuesday was really the day when the weather began to deteriorate. Most of the week we had rain at least in the morning. This will certainly show in the number of usable images. Not that I’m concerned, I should have enough material for my SoFoBoMo effort by now, it does not really affect me, but it’s still annoying.
The first image was taken on the tram. Raindrops and smeared bird droppings on a window. Oh well. It’s still a nice composition in a way 🙂
Confronted with rain, I normally go into color seeking mode. In a shop window in Josefstädter Straße I found these funny guys. They would do nicely anyway, so the text “I dream about you” is a bonus. Apart from that, the right one really looks positively kissable 🙂
Btw, you may have noticed that I have changed the blog’s layout slightly. There is a blogroll again. You have to scroll a little bit down, it’s under the blog archive. It uses the standard blogger widget for blog lists.
This time it mirrors quite accurately what I read (or rather not at the moment), because I have imported my subscriptions from Google Reader. All in all over 120 blogs and news feeds. Don’t worry if you don’t find your’s, the widget shows only the 25 most recent posts, but you can get the whole list by clicking “Show All” at the bottom of the list.
I hope this removes all complaints. The manual list that I had before, was hopelessly outdated, and there was simply no way to make a fair ranking. Now it’s easy: the more often you post on your own blog, the more often you are in the top part 🙂
On a side note: I know that some Bloggers are “following” my blog, and so far I have not followed anybody. It’s all a matter of volume and maintainance cost. As soon as you have more than a hundred links, everything gets tedious.
But really: does anybody have experience with the benefits of following or being followed? Is the effect different from linking and being linked to? Do I miss something?
The other thing is, that I have made the layout a fixed width again, and on wider screens it is centered. This makes my embedded thumbnails a bit less prone to shift around when the paragraphs in between are too short.
It now looks nice on everything from a width of 1024 pixels up. It may be a problem on net books though, but I suspect they will have had a problem in the past as well.
Still, I’m interested in your feedback to these changes.
Wednesday. I write this on Saturday morning, thus I am still substantially behind. Frequently I can use the time on the train to Carinthia to catch up, but this time I managed to process eight images. Just now I did one more, which requires me to fill the spaces between with words. Ouch!
Wednesday brought the expected rain, and that forced me to use shorter focal lengths. I decided to take the Sigma 70/2.8, this outstandingly versatile macro lens that can also perfectly be used for street photography.
Due to the rain I had to use an umbrella, but it really doesn’t bother me any more. It may look strange for passersby, but sometimes, mostly with wide lenses, I even use the umbrella as part of the framing. You have seen some of these images in the past.
As to the subjects, well, I did as I said yesterday: I shot impulsively, without much care about if a particular shot would possibly be a good candidate for the book. Basically that’s one of the big advantages of having no idea of what the final book will really be about. And, honestly, even if bicycles probably won’t play a major role (but who knows now?), there is no reason at all to skip a perfectly good bicycle 🙂
Of course the title “Urban Dreams” is still in my mind, and of course this also shapes the impulses, thus I am much more likely to produce something that fits my idea than normally. The scooter in front of the hairdresser’s, the black flag on the theater, dreams of beauty and death.
The black flag is for Fritz Muliar who has died recently at the age of 89, died in the evening after having stood on the stage for the last time that very afternoon. Muliar may not have been widely known outside of Austria, but here he was immensely popular. R.I.P.
Why the other images? Well, the flowers on the window sill represent a dream of nature, the figurine of the boy a dream of family. Both will typically be found among older people from the working class.
By the way, this is the same shop that brought us “781 – Piggy And The Frog In Love“. I frequently pass this window, and most of the time I see something that I could photograph. A safe place to go when you are in need of an image. The only thing that you need is a lens with a very wide aperture.
So, obviously my SoFoBoMo efforts come to fruit, I progress nicely, I have processed and published 19 images from three days, that’s slightly above my target average of five images per day.
Thus I may end up with around 65 images by the end of next working week, at least if I manage to keep my pace. I may choose to omit some images, some images of the next days may represent subjects already covered, only better, but all in all I suppose that I won’t need to take a day off, especially because I won’t stop photographing at the end of next week.
The Song of the Day, “Lord, Help The Poor And Needy” obviously inspired by the dream of money in the Image of the Day, is from Cat Power’s second album of cover versions, the 2008 release “Jukebox”. Deezer has the album, YouTube as some live versions, for example this one from Bogotá.