Klagenfurt is always more foggy than Villach. At that morning, after I’d left my parents, the image matched my mood.
These two images were an unexpected bonus. That day I had made a trip back in time, to a place at a small river near home, where I used to swim in my childhood.
It was a small basin in the river, where it was joined by an even smaller creek. I’ve spent there countless hours, we used to play there and I can remember exactly what it looked like. Well, probably not exactly, but well enough, given that 45 years have passed.
Later, much later, a highway was built across the site. I had always assumed that the western portal of an underpass below a small village had been built where we used to swim, with the river somehow channeled below.
When I visited the site, I found that the underpass was actually 20-30 meters to the south of the former basin, but I had trouble recognizing anything at all. Once there were walls of concrete around the basin, at their highest point maybe five, six or even seven feet above the water. It’s hard to tell, because my memories are those of a little boy, but we used to jump down into the basin and make big splashes.
I found one single concrete pillar still there, seemingly sunken into the ground, and the basin was completely gone without a trace. The riverbed was shallow and almost dry, the stream having been diverted into a bypass. The small tributary was already running into the bypass, but from its straight line and the line of the old river bed I could reconstruct the location of the former basin. In my childhood the shores had been between fields. No single tree had given us shadow then. Today the whole area is at the center of a small copse.
45 years have passed and a place that I knew and loved has completely ceased to exist. I had come for images, but none were to be found.
On my way back I took a short detour across a forest, and there I found this unexpected view. Images, finally.
I don’t do HDR very often. I used to do it in the past, but frequently it seems too much hassle. Dynamic range of digital cameras has become so good, that it rarely is necessary any more.
And there are exceptions 🙂
This image is one. No way I could have got both clean grass and that much detail in the sky in one exposure. I can’t remember whether I had to clone out a reflection of the sun in the lower right part, but I suspect I did …
… no, I’ve just looked up the original exposures, and there is really no trace of a reflection. Amazing how good those Olympus lenses are on Olympus bodies. I have no idea how well they do on Panasonic bodies, but I’ve always had trouble with extensive flares when using Panasonic lenses on Olympus bodies. Must be some incompatibility of sensor reflectivity and lens coating.
Two images of red trees, taken about a week apart, one on a sunny Carinthian day, the other on a foggy morning in Vienna.
The foggy image is more than slightly exaggerated. I remember it that way though, and only the image out of the camera was almost devoid of color.
Well, the eye is a very sensitive organ. If contrasts are low, if colors are pale, our eyes and minds just boost sensitiviy. Evolution really has made us able to detect patterns, even when absolute contrast or color differences are low. It was a matter of survival.
In comparison, sensors act just the same, regardless of what they record. In order to boost a photo sensor to the next of its 255 shades, always the same increase in the number of photons is necessary. Therefore a foggy image always looks dull. At least before you process it 🙂
And yes, I know that was unscientific and plain wrong in a number of ways 😀
It was morning and there was low fog coming up from the river. Above there was the plume of smoke from the municipal waste incinerating plant. Looked kinda surreal to me 🙂
The Song of the Day is “Mirage” by Jean-Luc Ponty. Hear it on YouTube.
I’m repeating myself, but what consoles me is, that everybody does 🙂
I don’t exactly know how many variations of this image I have made during the last three years that I’ve lived here. I loved this spot even more while the fence was still broken. Now it is still a wooden fence, but it’s ugly and I have to omit it 🙂
The Song of the Day is “Sunny Misty Morning” by Simon Klein. Hear it on YouTube.
Here are some more images from last sunny Sunday, taken at the cemetery of Sternberg, the church on a rock above the fog.
These are likely among my last pictures with the Panasonic Lumix G 20/1.7 ASPH. The new Olympus 25/1.8 is rumored to be presented on January, 29, first leaked pictures of the lens are online, and it seems to be a plastic lens, in build more like the 45/1.8 than the 17/1.8. Well, if it is comparable in quality, I will certainly buy it, and if it is not, there’s always the Panaleica 25/1.4, waiting to be bought again 🙂
In the meantime I don’t care much. I’m back to the convenience of the 12-40/2.8 zoom, and apart from the fact that it is not as fast as the primes, it is second to none in quality.
The Song of the Day is “Double Cross” from Mary Coughlan’s 1985 debut album “Tired & Emotional”. Hear it on YouTube.
When I set out to take images on a foggy day in Villach, I knew I would just have to drive up Mount Dobratsch, and regardless of how high the top of the fog is, 1700 meters are always enough.
Of course I was not alone. The bench in front of the church was full of people enjoying the warm sun. While I was there, I took several images of the constantly rising fog. Three of them are here. They are not that different, but it’s really a sight that I can’t get enough of, especially at this time of the year.
To be honest, not only is this not the top of the world, it’s not even the top of Mount Dobratsch. It is a spot more than 200 meters below the summit, just a few meters above and off the highest parking area.
Does it matter to me? Not at all when I’ve just made it out of the fog and into the sun 🙂
The Song of the Day is “Top Of The World” from the 1990 James album “Gold Mother”. Hear it on YouTube.
The last few days we had fog in Villach, but only below around 750 meters. This image was taken from almost 1000 meters above. You’ll see more images from my short after-work trip to Mount Dobratsch in the next few posts 🙂
The Song of the Day is “White Moon” from the 2005 White Stripes album “Get Behind Me Satan”. Hear it on YouTube.