Tag Archives: Flower

4034 – A Sea Of Flowers In South Tyrol

Until the end of World War One, South Tyrol was a part of Austria, then it had to be ceded to Italy. Since then, the Austrian province of Tyrol consists of two disconnected parts, North Tyrol (or simply “Tyrol”) and East Tyrol, which is kind of an annex to Carinthia.

It’s a little bit far for a day trip, but this May we decided to take just that: a day trip to Brixen / Bressanone. We mostly wanted to see the famous cloister in Brixen’s cathedral. Other than that, well, we would see. If nothing else, there was always good food and classy wine.

4032 – A Sea Of Flowers II

Flowers! I mean, how on earth can you be original with that? Turns out I can’t, but a lot of people can. I’m pretty sure though, they’ve spent at least as much time taking pictures of flowers, as I’ve spent taking pictures of bicycles.

Speaking of bicycles: you know, I don’t see that many of them where I live and work now, and therefore they have practically vanished from my work. Maybe I should more often get into Vienna’s center again and – most importantly – take my time when I’m there.

At the moment I am looking through my old images. There are a little more than 7000 since 2006, that have been processed and mostly used on this blog. Since I bought the new iPad, I’ve put all of them on the tablet, and while I was at it, I’ve put them on the Mac and on my phone as well. Which means: I’ve started to browse them again.

I haven’t done that at any time. There were too many of them for my small devices. Now my phone has 64 GB, that’s enough for my images, the German Wikipedia (without pictures), plenty of Kindle books, all of my productivity apps, offline maps, and I still have 16 GB of free memory.

At the moment I have finished browsing through the images of 2006 through 2009. Lots of bicycles, lots of shallow DOF, lots of creativity. Hmm … compared to 2009, my current work looks pretty bland. And I guess that’s what it is. I think I should really put more time into photography again, do it more regularly again, daily even 🙂

4031 – A Sea Of Flowers I

More or less once a year I make a trip to Blumengärten (flower gardens) Hirschstätten.

“Trip” is actually too big a word for that. By foot I could get there from work in 20 minutes, and if I need to make haste, I can take a bus. Still, I don’t do it more often.

Sometimes though I have a strong desire for colors 🙂

3632 – The Beauty of a Rose

Image quality. On the PEN-F we see a moderate increase from 16 Mpx to 20 Mpx. That’s not bad, but most competitors made the jump from 16 to 24. If we take the smaller sensor area into account, we can expect that all current cameras of about the same price segment have about the same pixel sizes with about the same per-pixel quality. I can’t verify my expectation, but the fact, that most of the sensors involved originate with Sony, supports my expectation. Obviously different sensor sizes make for a difference in resolution.

When working with images, I frequently look at them on pixel level. The higher the resolution, the smaller the part of the image that I see, but while I am at pixel level, resolution is not a criterion for image quality. Noise is one. I know how it looks like on pixel level. I know how it looked on the D200, D300, the LX5, E-P2, OMD E-M5 and finally on the twins OM-D E-M1 and PEN E-P5.

There was a distinct quality gain from the D200 up to the D300. There was an even bigger step back to the LX5. The E-P2 was worse than the D300 and maybe about equal to the D200. The OMD E-M5 was a big step over the E-P2 and it also surpassed the D300. The last two didn’t make much of a difference, their advantages were elsewhere.

The PEN-F? Maybe slightly better on pixel level, but it is close. Therefore the relevant difference is again the number of pixels.

Does it count? My logic would say no (or only slightly), but working with the pictures, I’d say the difference is significant. I try to frame precisely, but I still find myself cropping or rotating or skewing. Doing so, I always have to sacrifice a few pixels, and having more of them to begin with, definitely helps.

Is it worth the few annoyances? Yes, I think so. At least I wouldn’t want to go back. The PEN-F is it, and if I find enough common sense, I’ll put the E-P5 up for sale within the next days 🙂

Is it worth the money? Do I recommend you sell your E-P5 + VF-4? That’s a tough question. As a recommendation, I’d say no. At least you should try to look through the PEN-F’s viewfinder first.

And what if you have only the E-P5 without VF-4? Well, I’d probably still recommend buying a used VF-4.

And if all that is like I said it is, why, you ask me, did I buy the PEN-F at all? Good question, I’d say. I suppose it was mostly for the looks and because I could afford it. It also was for the integrated viewfinder, a feature that I like, but if I think of why I like it, it’s probably also mostly for the looks.

Interestingly enough, the most useful feature of this camera over its predecessors is the dedicated exposure compensation wheel. And I guess that’s it.

3605 – More Rural Beauty, Less Color

OK, back to Carinthia, back to the E-M1, back to the big, long and heavy lens. Well, at least for Micro Four Thirds that is.

Does it make a difference? Sure, it does. Here we have a dreamy, rural scene, shot wide open through a lot of foreground dandelions, augmented by a pseudo-infrared black and white conversion in Lightroom. You can’t do that with the cheap plastic lens at f5.6 or, as I mostly use it, at f8.

On the other hand, aside from the conversion, the use of foreground bokeh is an effect. I like it, but using it makes the image less dependent on composition. In a way it just looks good all of itself.

I wouldn’t call it a cheap effect (certainly not in a literal sense, when you consider the price of the lens), but when I think of it, working without it takes more creativity.

Well, look at yesterday’s streetlight overwhelmed by the tree. Positioning the light was a conscious decision. I put thought into it and I like the image, because there is much of myself in it.

You know that I have my problems with the concept of “style”, but as it is, you can’t escape developing something like that. Yesterday’s image has more of my style than today’s. Today we see just a technique that I employ a few times a year, when I feel like it or, like here, when the lens permits it.

Here’s the color version.

3599 – Pretty Blue

A few flowers on a narrow strip of lawn between a banking office and the sidewalk. It’s not the environment where you’d expect nature’s beauty, but when you use a long lens and point the camera straight to the ground in front of your feet, you can create a frame tight enough to exclude everything 🙂

An aperture of f10 is commonly considered a no-go in MFT. Refraction eats away all sharpness, they say.

They’re wrong 😛

3585 – A Tulip

It always fascinates me when someone makes perfect flower pictures. I can’t point you to someone specific, but look around on Flickr, Smugmug, 500px or any of the other photo sharing sites used by enthusiasts and professionals. You’ll quickly find people who take a lot of flower images, sometimes almost exclusively flowers, and among them are photographers who continuously leave you breathless.

You immediately see when someone’s interest is focused on a particular subject. The images have a certain quality that you even may be able to achieve with the odd grab shot, but that you certainly can’t achieve regularly or at will and consistently at any time.

Like everything else, photography is something that can be learned through repetition and hard work. This may not be sufficient to reach mastery in a particular subject, but without work and repetitive attempts at particular subjects, mastery can’t be achieved.

The rest is passion and imagination.

3567 – Only Violets

Sometimes you look at an image and you see that a lot of effort went into it. Sometimes it looks … plain. Maybe you like the composition, maybe you like the colors, maybe not even that. What you don’t see is that it made me sweat.

I suppose this is such an image. It was processed entirely in Lightroom, but I had to make all sorts of local adjustments to white balance, contrast, local contrast, vibrance and saturation. In this dappled light, the problem were the strong differences between the directly lit and the shaded parts of the ground.

It’s something you don’t see when you’re there. You just think, wow, what a nice image, compose, click, and you naturally expect it to be what you saw or believed to see.

It’s not. Colors in the shade are much too blue, washed out and lack contrast, while the sunny patches are a mess of contrasts, much too warm, always on the verge of burning out.

Later this year we’ll see the same concept again in my images of lavender fields in Provence: sometimes you have to lie in order to even remotely tell the truth.