A sunny afternoon, light falling through a shattered pane of security glass. Take a long lens, a short focusing distance, and interesting things begin to happen 😀
The area out here on the “other” side of river Danube has belonged to Vienna for many years, but it was semi-rural with fields and lots and lots of glass houses.
Today cheap labour in Turkey and southern Spain, along with cheap transport, have made growing vegetables in Vienna much less profitable. Everybody seems to just wait for the next development project to finally sell off their land.
The Song of the Day is “Broken Glass” by Jack Savoretti. Hear it on YouTube.
And here’s another image taken on the same sunny day as yesterday’s. This one is of a famous building right at the center of Vienna. It is called “Haas Haus” and was built by architect Hans Hollein right opposite of Stephansdom, Vienna’s cathedral. You see reflections of the gothic facade in the not so totally flat glass.
The Song of the Day is still “Glass Walls” by Nik Ammar and you can still hear it on YouTube.
On a computer screen it only gets as white as white goes. Sometimes you can play tricks with colors, but in an image like this, either the blinding brightness of the reflection or the “natural” brightness of the scene is lost. Something has to give. Were it different, looking at the screen would blind us, Really, I prefer compromises 😀
The Song of the Day is “Glass Walls” by Nik Ammar. Hear it on YouTube.
Sometimes it’s pretty hard to be an optimist in this world, but then, do we have an alternative?
Things may get worse and they may do so consistently, but that does not take away our responsibility to know what the right direction would be, neither does it take away our ability to work towards that goal of making things better, however elusive it may be.
In that regard, one of humanity’s greatest characteristics, maybe the one that put us in control of our own fates in a way that no other species has ever controlled theirs, is working against us. I mean the ability to see small differences by putting everything in relation to where we are and what our current situation is.
We are extremely good at recognizing small changes. We all know how images may look extremely lively to our eyes and how dull they may be when printed or displayed on a screen, just as they came out of a camera. Fact is, this is not at all restricted to photography, this happens everywhere.
This automatic bias, this focus on deviation from the short-term average greatly helps us living our lives in response to the challenges of the world, but it may also fool us and throw us in despair.
In those moments it is a good idea to lean back and think about the big picture. Just doing so normally gets you back in an optimistic mood. After all, even if things got worse, there is nothing that automatically keeps them from getting better. Every moment is new, the past is past, every present means a new roll of the dice.
Sounds like a resolution, huh? Not really though 😀
The Song of the Day, “Drink No More”, is from the 1990 Jay Leonhart album “Salamander Pie”. At that time it was the reference album of a German hifi magazine, and that’s how I learned about it. Well, it still sounds terrific, and even more important, it’s very, very good music. Hear for yourself on YouTube.
Some days are better, some days are not. Today was not. And still, regardless of how I feel, there are always images that sneak to my attention.
Like the B&W image below. It rained, I stood under a glass roof and looked up at some modern architecture. It took me some experimenting in Lightroom to find a tonal balance that would emphasize mainly the water drops. I think I found it 😀
I really wanted to frame the rose in front of the leaves, but that was completely impossible. It was even impossible to center the rose or to bring it to one of the thirds. This was really the only solution, and although I didn’t have much choice, I think I like it 🙂
The Song of the Day is “La Vie En Rose” from Cyndi Lauper’s 2003 album “At Last”. Hear it on YouTube.
Yesterday I’ve mentioned the “Advanced Guide + New User’s Introduction to Lightroom 4” by Jeff Schewe and Michael Reichmann. I’ve seen the whole introduction and a little more than half of the advanced guide during the past hours. It’s good, actually very good, and I can strongly recommend it to everyone who wants to learn how to effectively use Lightroom.
One good thing is, that they have broken up the whole video thematically in parts of about 15 minutes. It makes sense to see the whole thing in sequence, but when you’re later interested in one single aspect, say split-toning, then there is a single short video for that. Very handy.
One part that I’ve found exceptionally worthy was that about noise reduction. I’ve always shied away from using Camera RAW’s noise reduction and have instead used first Noise Ninja and later Topaz Denoise. With what I’ve seen (and already practiced) today, I think this is a thing of the past.
I’ve played with an image taken at ISO 12800 (not shown here), and the result was extremely good: low noise, much detail, punchy colors. The point is, that although the controls are easy to use once you know what they do, the interplay of the controls is not obvious. This is something that someone has to explain, and thankfully Jeff and Michael do a very thorough job.
The Song of the Day is “Cloudspotting” from the 2010 De Phazz album “Lala 2.0”. Hear it on YouTube.
I hope you didn’t expect an image made with the new Olympus 45/1.8? Nope, although with 40 mm the focal length is not that far off. As I said yesterday, weather here is Vienna is severely lacking at the moment 🙂
Last Sunday I had two images left that I didn’t want to use along with the swans, here’s the first of them.