3959 – Unexpected Rays of Light

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17mm f/1.8  Comments Off on 3959 – Unexpected Rays of Light
Aug 222017

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.

3588 – Waters of Spring

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO  Comments Off on 3588 – Waters of Spring
Aug 152016

Every once in a while I come back to the region where I lived for 20 years. It’s halfway between Klagenfurt, the city where I was born, and Villach, the city where I live now. It’s not on a direct line, but on the northern side of a valley parallel to that line.

I’ve taken a few images along that creek. It runs along one of the many ravines that go down to river Drau. Most of them are off the street and you won’t notice them if you don’t know them. This one is an exception, because a small road down into the valley follows it for a while.

3471 – A Forest in Winter

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm f/4.0-5.6  Comments Off on 3471 – A Forest in Winter
Apr 202016

On the fields it already looked like mid-March, but in the forest some fog still clung to the treetops. The lens of the day was mostly the Olympus 9-18, a not so ultra wide and not so fast lens, but a lens that I frequently choose because of its light weight and its resistance to flares.

3430 – The Beauty of the Forest

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17mm f/1.8  Comments Off on 3430 – The Beauty of the Forest
Mar 102016

For some reason I think this is a particularly beautiful forest image. I find it harmonic and I like its colors and all, but I guess the real reason is something different.

It’s a forest like I’ve never seen it in my childhood. In Carinthia we do have deciduous trees, but they are sprinkled in between. Mostly our forests are a sea of spruces, spruces, spruces.

I knew forests like this one, but I only knew them from illustrations in fairy tales. This is a magic forest, the forest of my fairy tales. I guess that’s what makes much of the beauty that I see in this picture 🙂

Sep 022015

I’ve been using ultra-wide lenses for a long time. I know how to use them properly and what for, but what can you do when you really, really want to try a new lens in a situation where no appropriate subject matter is available? I went to a forest and tried to force my luck.

Nothing substantial came from it, but this image of a lazily arranged stack of wood reminded me of a tired dog. Black and white took care of the boring colors and it allowed me to better work the contrasts. In the end it was more interesting processing the image than it had been taking it. That’s how it is sometimes 🙂

May 252014

Today’s pictures are more about nature and the color green. Both images were interesting to process, especially in terms of color temperature. The problem with the intense red of these poppies is, that you have to be extremely careful to not let them burn out. If that happens, you have nothing but red blotches without any detail or texture.

The problem with the forest is similarly complicated. Light in a forest is colored, because it is filtered through the leaves. In both cases it helps to use a much cooler color temperature and to compensate the cast by mixing magenta into the greens (in Photoshop) or by shifting the greens towards yellow (in Lightroom). The result is a much more lively palette. This is also very similar to the kind of filtering that our mind does in its continuous search for variation. It may seem counter-intuitive, but by employing these “manipulative tricks”, we end up with a much more natural looking image than what the camera recorded.

Where is the difference you say? The camera recorded green light, and when we see it in the image, it’s still the same green. Why shouldn’t our mind do the same as it did in the forest?

The difference is, that while being inside of a forest, we are totally contained in green. The green is everywhere, and therefore our mind kind of subtracts it away. Opposed to that, the image of a forest is contained within the context where we are looking at it. It’s green, but there is variation between the green of the image and the differently colored environment of the image. Thus the mind has less incentive to subtract green and the image looks greener than reality has looked. Does this make sense? Well, that’s why I take out green 🙂

The Song of the Day is one third time “Another Green World” from Brian Eno’s album of the same name. Hear it on YouTube.

Mar 112014

I made this image in brightest sunlight, and while the ghostly fingers of these trees fascinated me, I found that the colors did not particularly contribute to the image. Converting with a blue filter did the trick.

Funny, sometimes I feel in B&W. The next two posts have more of that.

The Song of the Day is “Ghosts” from Laura Marling’s album “Alas I Cannot Swim”. Hear it on YouTube.

2684 – Until The Last Light Fades

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO  Comments Off on 2684 – Until The Last Light Fades
Feb 212014

It’s awkward at the moment. Most of the time weather is terrible. No light, rain or snow or fog or any combination of the four, and as a consequence I don’t get out photographing. On the other hand, this gives me the opportunity to wade through past pictures and try to work on something that either escaped my attention or that I couldn’t find the proper processing for.

Today’s image is from the latter category, taken on New Year’s Day in the last fading light.

The Song of the Day is “Until The Last Light Fades” from the 2013 Mandolin Orange album “This Side Of Jordan”. Hear it on YouTube.