Tag Archives: Green

3754 – The Green Door II

In a comment to “3744 โ€“ The Organic Emerging From The Liquid“, Joe Jarosak said, he’s

contemplating upgrading from E-M1 to the MkII but balking at the price. Curious as to the sensor upgrade.

Well, so am I. We’ll find out soon ๐Ÿ™‚

While writing this, I am on the train. I’ve bought the MkII, an EP-13 eyepiece (the deep one) and a spare battery an hour ago. What I found while the train was not yet moving, was that, using the 17/1.8, I could hold an image at 1.6 seconds. Then the train started moving and I couldn’t get any spectacular results. I’ll try again at the next station ๐Ÿ™‚

I have no idea how good the sensor is, but I wouldn’t expect noticeably better performance than on the PEN-F. But then, let’s see. I’ll try to make a few images under identical conditions tonight, and this should clarify things.

OK, we’ve just held in a station and I could take an image at 2s and two images at 3.2s. All sharp – and that’s not yet the crazy mode of the stabilized 12-100/4. It’s just a normal, non-stabilized lens. Cool.

By the way, no chance to do that while the train moves, but for wide lenses and dim churches I see great opportunities. I’ll try the 75/1.8 at the next station and see how slow I can get.

Yes, it keeps impressing! I’ve made an image at 1/10s and it’s razor-sharp. One more at 1/4s is still sharp, but as it’s textile, it’s a little bit hard to judge. 1/8s while the train was already moving was probably luck.

One stop later: 75/1.8 at 1/2.5s, twice at 1/3s, once at 1/4s, all of that series completely sharp.

On the MkI I could repeatably hold the 75/1.8 at 1/30s, but I have one image taken at 1/25s in last year’s Lightroom catalog. Slower might be possible, but 1/10s never was. I’m pretty sure about that. Next stop: 12mm ๐Ÿ™‚

Bad news! I can’t hold 4s. Two seconds were OK, 3.2s sometimes, and more I didn’t get time to try. This is not better than with the 17mm, but it may well be that 4s are more a restriction of myself than of the camera. In any case it seems incredibly long.

Let’s be conservative. I think it is safe to say that the MkII has more than one stop advantage in image stabilization. How big is it really? My first tests are of course pretty unscientific, especially because I don’t have the MkI to compare with, but it certainly feels like 2, maybe even 2.5 stops. That’s pretty much consistent across focal lengths as well.

OK, here we are. So far a damn fine camera for my needs.

3752 – The Green Door I

What could possibly be wrong with my new Lenovo ThinkStation P310? Well, turns out, a lot.

Basically I’ve never had a worse customer experience in my life. It all started out with my super-expensive hard drive not being available for a week. The dealer had advertised it wit 1-2 business days. Really not Lenovo’s fault, but it set the mood ๐Ÿ™‚

Last Friday it was finally there. I unpacked it, opened the case to put in the data drive and … was dismayed. I have built a few PCs, I have seen a few PCs built buy companies like Fujitsu, but I have never seen something like this. It looked like a garbage can. Cables thrown in, unorderly, cheap parts and sharp edges everywhere, the SATA heads on the motherboard hardly accessible. So that’s for the heir of IBM’s PC business. I swallowed my anger, closed the case, started the PC and saw it boot … Windows 7!

Really. Windows 7 Pro! Yes, I had known that the computer came with both Windows 7 Pro and Windows 10 Pro, but I had assumed naรฏvely, that Windows 10 Pro would be preinstalled, with an option to downgrade to Windows 7 Pro.

Nope, so let’s search the box for the Windows 10 DVD. Tedious, but … where … no … can that … that can’t …

Turned out it could. Instead of a DVD I only found a sheet of paper with a URL. Grrr!

On my new Windows 7 computer I used Internet Explorer to call Lenovo’s support site. There I found that I had to enter the serial number of my computer (that was easy) and, lo and behold, I was eligible for downloading a Windows 10 recovery medium. I only needed to login with my Lenovo ID.

Lenovo ID? OK, I need one. Thankfully they allowed me to log in with my Google ID. Cool?

Not so cool in fact, because what sounds easy in theory, is pretty nerve-wracking when you are on a web site from hell. Lenovo’s support site is a web sie from hell. They even managed to deliver an internal server error on the support home page ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway. I finally could log in and on that download site I could even convince the page that I was already logged in. It had taken a few iterations, and I guess the majority of users would already have given up. I didn’t, I persevered and …

It turned out that they wouldn’t let me just download a damn installation DVD. Instead I had to download a program that would download the data and then burn it on a 16 GB USB stick. Imagine that: Lenovo saved 20 cents for a DVD, and instead they force me, the customer, to buy a USB stick and to burn hours and hours of my precious time in an attempt to recover what I’ve paid for and what should already have been installed.

When I started that program, it asked for my Lenovo ID (Ha! I’ve got one! Take this!!) and my … password? C’mon! I’ve logged in with my Google ID. I did’t use no freakin’ password!

Again I logged in to the Lenovo support site (I guess it was there that I encountered that hilarious “Internal Server Error”), went through a “reset password” routine (the only way to set a password), and finally I had my password. I entered it, download began, and it would take no more than a few hours.

After an hour or two I came back, only to find that the PC had gone to energy saving mode. My fault, yes, I should have thought of it. Anyway. I moved the mouse, the screen went on again and … the download program crashed.

Fortunately when I restarted it, it recognized what had already been downloaded. It tried to continue and … failed! No network.

A few reboots and a few “network repair” wizards later, I thought I’d try to uninstall the McAfee firewall and anti-virus product. And really, one more reboot and I had my network back. Carry on downloading, can we? Oh yes, I first changed the energy saving settings to avoid sending the computer to sleep during download again.

It took half of the night. When I woke up, I had already two thirds. An hour later I still had about two thirds. Download speed was at 10 kB/s. Another network problem? I decided to interrupt the download (it picks up anyway, doesn’t it?) and reboot, but instead of a proper reboot, I saw a message telling me that update 1 of 88 was being installed, and that I shouldn’t turn off power.

Great! My useless and unwanted Windows 7 had dowloaded updates, thereby starving the Windows 10 downoad program.

It took an eternity, but then I could restart the download. Finally I had everything downloaded and the download program started to format and write my USB stick. It did so and … failed. The error message was all but useless. I tried it again, but it told me that some file was missing and that I had to restart the process.

What now? Downloading again, only to probably find myself in the same situation? I was almost ready to give up, but I thought, well, let’s try to just boot from that damn stick. Maybe it has already been written.

And so it was. Seemingly the stick had been ejected automatically, and the program had not recognized it. It boooted and a weird custom installation of Windows 10 began, full of scary and useless messages. Needless to say that it also terminated with an error. Needless to say that the message was again completely misleading. Needless to say that in fact it was not an error at all. Instead I had … a Windows 10!

From then on, it was just the usual installation process. It still took me enormous amounts of time to move my data, it’s still not finished, but at least I have now what I should have already had out of the box.

Lenovo? Never again! I mean, granted, it’s not easy to provide a perfect customer experience, but delivering a known, virgin product, and delivering an update process that fails so miserably so many times, that is nothing but pathetic. In terms of customer experiences it was nothing but a nightmare. What do they think? I have a degree in Computer Science. I have built computers myself. I am their best-case customer, and even I was close to throwing in the towel, giving up on that included Windows 10 license, and simply buy a new one from Microsoft. What would a normal customer do?

2777 – Another Green World III

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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.

2772 – Lucky

Fashion is maybe a concept that I have grown too old for. Fashion always interested me and for a few periods in my life I have followed it with passion. These were also cases of a process being more important than its outcome.

Have you ever thought about painting cat’s whiskers in your face and going out like that? You’ve done that in carnival? Really? And now? Would you do that now in mid-May? And if not, why not? One doesn’t do that, huh?

Fashion is the kind of conformant deviation that herd animals allow themselves to enjoy. Wearing old fashion or non-fashion means staying behind or outside, being rejected from the herd.

Well, apart from the fact that trend setters and fashion makers by necessity have to do just that, and in their case fashion gets created out of non-fashion, apart from that, just not caring about fashion can be incredibly liberating.

Not caring about fashion means not caring about other people’s opinions about things that only relate to me. Mind you, I don’t suggest ignoring other people’s opinions in general, much to the contrary, but if I like my walls painted in bright colors (as I do), then I have them painted in blue and green and yellow, with red and white furniture, and if the world cries “Garish!”, I just relax, smile and enjoy to be free.

Why this post is called “Lucky” you ask? Oh my, just because. “Lucky” by Kat Edmonson is such a nice song, I had to use it ๐Ÿ™‚

Hear it on YouTube.

2771 – For No One II

Over the next few days you will see a series of pictures taken on a recent short trip to Slovakia. So far none of them was particularly successful on Flickr and maybe they induce nothing but a shrug in you as well, but that is not the point why I take them.

So, what is the point? Actually I don’t take these images to have them seen and acclaimed by as many people as possible. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy success (whatever that is) as much as everyone else, but I don’t need it to sustain my image making. That happens due to an inner necessity.

Truth is, I don’t make images for you and I don’t even make them for me. I don’t print and hang them, I don’t sell them, the most use I get out of them is as the odd wallpaper on my devices. I make images for no one.

I make images because I can and because the act of making images is utterly enjoyable.

It’s the process, not the result. Does that sound odd? Time wasted? Think twice. Living is a process and death is at the end. We live our lives because living is enjoyable and certainly better than not. Thus, even if that were the only example of a process being more interesting and important than its result (hint: it’s not), I guess it’s a pretty convincing one ๐Ÿ™‚

The Song of the Day is “For No One” from the Beatles album “Revolver”. Hear it on YouTube.

2763 – Green Grass

Morning light in Spring. It’s as beautiful in Vienna as it’s everywhere, and with that kind of light you often don’t need much of a subject.

I’m writing this and a few other posts while riding the train from Vienna to Villach, knowing that the new Panasonic 12-32 has already arrived. At the time when you read this post, I will already how it performs, especially in regard to purple fringing. On Olympus cameras this has been the major weakness of three of the Panasonic lenses that I’ve tried so far, of the 14/2.5, the 20/1.7 and – worst offender of all – the 7-14/4.0. Only the 25/1.4 has been flawless and we’ll see how this tiny zoom behaves.

The Song of the Day is “Green Grass” from Tom Waits’ album “Real Gone”. Hear it on YouTube.

2695 – Red Light – Green Light

This is a shop around the corner from where I live, in the same block where my office is. It was past midnight when, coming from Villach, I crossed the street and saw the extreme contrast between the corporate green of the supermarket chain and the red semaphore.

The Song of the Day is “Red Light – Green Light” from the Limp Bizkit album “Results May Vary”. A wise word: they do ๐Ÿ˜€

Not exactly my taste but hear the song on YouTube.

2314 – Green River

After all that snow, how do you feel about some green? Villach has it all. At the base of Mount Dobratsch is the source of a small, warm creek. You wouldn’t recognize it in summer, but in winter the contrast between the white snow and the green algae in the water is stunning.

OK, it’s not a river, but still, the Song of the Day is “Green River” from the 1969 Creedence Clearwater Revival album of the same name. Hear it on YouTube.

2048 – Shoplifters Of The World Unite III

Today I was totally uninspired. I rose late, couldn’t make myself get out, and when I finally did, I had no idea where to go, what to take photos of. I knew I had to go to the supermarket, so eventually I did. I had the full intention to give up and to use one of the images from my archives, but then, when I went to fetch a cart, I saw the pattern of that mass of carts, neatly stacked, lined up, but still forming a curve.

I tried three different lenses, the 45/1.8, the 14/2.5, and in the end I settled with the 40-150.

While we are at shopping, you may know that I’ve recently finished Asimov’s “Foundation” series, including the so-called “Second Foundation” trilogy. Much could be said about that, but that’s for another day.

I have still one Asimov left, “The End Of Eternity”, not directly part of “Foundation”, but closely related, and I want to save it for later. For now I crave for something completely different, the “Dying Earth” series by Jack Vance.

In my youth I have owned (but strangely never read) three books by Jack Vance in German translation: “The Gray Prince” and the first two of the three “Alastor” novels.

You know, I have given up on plastic and paper. When earlier I used to buy CDs and physical books, I now buy MP3s and eBooks. Thus I wanted to buy the four “Dying Earth” books as eBooks. What else?

Here I encountered a tiny little problem. Book one, “The Dying Earth”, is sold on Jack Vance’s own web site under his preferred title “Mazirian the Magician”. Unfortunately it’s the only one. For the missing books Vance directs us to Amazon and to the eBook series “Gateway“.

Indeed they have many books by Jack Vance, but of the Dying Earth series they have only three. Creatively they omit book #3 of the tetralogy. Is that cool? How can that be? What do they think? Do they think? Oh my!

Well, that’s it. The 50 books “Fantasy Masterworks” series has as book #4 the omnibus edition “Tales of the Dying Earth”, but unfortunately it is paper only. I really was pissed.

Can you remember the Oatmeal comic about the “Game of Thrones” TV series? Well, what could I do? I bought books #1, #2 and #4, and then I searched for an eBook of “Tales of the Dying Earth”. Surprisingly, although I did not find it for sale, I found it for free on a file hosting site, ALONG WITH ALL OTHER 49 BOOKS OF THE “Fantasy Masterworks” SERIES!!!! Talk about shooting yourself in the foot ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

Stupid, huh? And it’s not a scan of dubious quality. As far as I can tell, it must be a regular eBook, probably sold in some market other than mine. Really, I’m so sick of it, this industry is even more stupid than the rest of the content industry. It’s a disgrace! C’mon guys, I’m totally willing and able to buy, you just have to offer the goods. If you don’t and if I resort to what you try to make the world call piracy, just shut up and don’t complain. You’ve had your chance. Nobody forced you to apply for the Darwin Award.

The Song of the Day is “Shoplifters Of The World Unite“, this time from Morrissey’s 2008 album “Live At Earls Court”. See him perform live in Manchester.