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.

2638 – End Of The Day

 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO  Comments Off on 2638 – End Of The Day
Jan 062014

Days are still extremely short. A few days ago I decided to take images at a river shore near Villach, in a very photogenic place where I am often in winter. I arrived a little late though, and the shadows of the mountain range to the south had already reached the river bed.

In the end I just took some images into the setting sun. This one had originally been in 16:9 aspect ratio, but since Lightroom 5.3 the aspect ratio chosen in-camera is not baked into the RAW any more, it’s just a default. I mean, it’s still nothing special, but this time re-framing after the fact definitely improved the image.

The Song of the Day is “End Of The Day” from Beck’s 2002 album “Sea Change”. Hear it on YouTube.

Jan 012014

It’s a new year. It will be a good year 🙂

Apart from that, do I have any resolutions? Predictions?

Not really. I can’t imagine buying a new camera, but then, last year I had everybody’s Camera of the Year, the OM-D E-M5, and I couldn’t imagine either. Now I have everybody’s Camera of the Year, the OM-D E-M1, and ever again wanting another camera is something that I can’t imagine. But, you know … 😀

I’ve been using the 12-40/2.8 PRO for little over a month now, and I admit the only occasion when I’ve put another lens on my camera, was when I had to take a portrait. I used the 75/1.8 for that, and then I immediately switched back to the zoom. An impressive lens, one to love madly, but I still won’t sell my primes.

To the contrary: I will buy a new prime. It will either be the once again rumored Olympus 25/1.8 (supposedly the kit lens for the upcoming OM-D E-M10, thus maybe due in February) or I will one more time buy the Panasonic 25/1,4.

Crazy, huh? I had the 25/1.4 and sold it. Why should I buy it again? Well, I miss it, I shouldn’t have sold it and it is a hole in my prime array. But then, an Olympus that’s twice as light, only slightly slower and has the build of the 17/1,8, that would be even better. In fact, when I sold the Panasonic in Summer, I expected the Olympus to come out in Autumn 😛

The Song of the Day is “Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground” from the 2001 White Stripes album “White Blood Cells”. Hear it on YouTube.